Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Celtic Catholic Church USA? (CCC USA)
The CCC USA is an affiliation of different communities, parishes, congregations, and ministries. Our particular roots in the American expression of Celtic Christianity go back to the early movements of the 1970s through the 1990s, when leaders gathered to revive Christianity in general and the Independent Catholic Sacramental tradition in particular by forming various Celtic Christian Fellowships and organizations. From those early endeavors sprung a number of Celtic Christian, Sacramental churches, many of which still exist today.
Our primary purpose of the CCC USA is to share in this endeavor to both integrate and raise up the Church in the original values it held within the Early Church and the unique nature of Celtic churches. We seek to be one voice among many who – even in ‘mainstream’ churches today—are beginning to study and embrace the Celtic model of both faith and ministry for a modern world.
The Cornerstones of the Celtic Catholic Church USA are the two primary theological views of the radical Incarnation of God within Creation, and the belief in Universal Salvation (Universalism); Our other two Cornerstones of our Church are based on the ‘Great Commission’ of Jesus who told us to ‘Love God’ and ‘Love Our Neighbor’. Without Love, we believe there can be no Church.
Do I have to be Celtic to join the CCC USA?
No. Celtic Christian spirituality is not ethnically exclusive. While many members are of Celtic lineage, many are not. We are Celtic Christians in spirituality, not ethnicity. We are open to all people, regardless of race, national origin, ethnicity, or sexual preference.
Is the CCC USA a Christian organization?
Yes. We believe Jesus Christ is the instrument of love and compassion in our world. We affirm the Nicene Creed, the Apostles' Creed, and the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church. We differ from some catholic, orthodox, and evangelical bodies in that we allow for individual freedom of belief and interpretation. We see the role of the CCC USA as one of teacher and guide, not a pontificator of doctrine and dogma. We actively promote multi-faith and inter-faith activities. Theologically, as a Celtic Christian church, we embrace both Trinitarian Universalism and the deep Incarnation of God within Christ, the Holy Spirit, and within ALL creation.
Is the CCCUSA a tax-exempt non-profit organization?
Yes. The CCC USA is a 501-c3 non-profit Church and exists as an IRS tax-exempt entity. This status ensures that we – like most mainline denominations – are able to create unique ministries and also receive donations from friends and members who may claim tax deductions.
What do you mean by "Trinitarian"?
We believe that God is three persons (or 'energies') in One Essence. Christians understand this as the Father/Creator, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. No one can 'know' God's Essence. We believe God makes Himself known through His energies, especially through the second person of the Trinity (the Logos, Word, Divine Reason). This second Person was Incarnate as Jesus Christ. Through contemporary research, we are beginning to see that God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, along with all of creation, have a much deeper ‘Cosmic’ significance than ever before.
What do you mean by "Universalism"?
We believe universalism is attested to in the Bible and in the 7 Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church. However, we allow for freedom of interpretation, and belief in universal salvation is not a litmus test for membership in the CCC USA. The belief in Universal Salvation has existed from the earliest days of the Christian Church, beginning with Origen of Alexandria and other Church Scholars and Fathers. Universalism contests the concept of ‘Original Sin’ put forth by St. Augustine, claiming that God’s creation was all ‘Good’ in God’s eyes, and thus, through God’s love, all will be redeemed. While we as humans will sin, it comes from our individual behaviors and refusal of God’s Grace which is offered to all.
Does the CCC USA have a Canon of Scripture?
Yes. Click on our webpage in our Scriptorium to view the CCC USA Canon of Scripture based on the Canonical and Deuterocanonical Books accepted by Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox Churches; the Muratorian Canon of the Bobbio Monastery; the Book of Kells; and the Lindisfarne Gospels.
What is the CCC USA’s view on “inclusive language”?This term is often associated with “political correctness” and has the noble objective of eliminating or minimizing language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as creating social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts. Unfortunately, “political correctness” can lead to “theological confusion.” We make a concerted effort to avoid offending or expressing bias regarding various groups of people while maintaining conformity to the Holy Scriptures, the Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church, and our ancient Celtic Christian tradition with its “Trinitarian Universalism.” The writings of Perennial Wisdom, great speeches, and Scripture have their chosen words etched in history, which we take seriously and carefully respect. However, We allow CCC USA congregations and/or CCC USA Clergy who have difficulty with “traditional” liturgical language to develop alternative liturgies endorsed by the CCC USA Pastoral Council. It is our goal to reflect a Church that welcomes all people without exclusion.
Can someone whom is LGBTQT join the CCC USA?
Yes. An individual's sexual preference or gender orientation is a private matter. One’s identity, love, compassion, and monogamous loyalty are not the monopoly of heterosexuals. They are incumbent on all Christians.
What is the CCC USA’s position on capital punishment?
We believe that all human life is sacred and that no human court is infallible. Therefore, we are opposed to capital punishment, deferring to life imprisonment without parole in so-called capital crimes.
Do you pray the Rosary?
Many pray the ‘traditional’ Rosary of Mary, derived from Roman Catholic Sacramentals. Others choose to pray the Anglican/Episcopalian Rosary; St. Michael’s Chaplet, Franciscan 7-Crown Rosaries, Orthodox Prayer Knots (the “Jesus Prayer”), or any other Rosaries which speak to one’s heart.
Do you worship Mary?
No. We venerate St. Mary and hold her in great esteem as the mother of Jesus Christ. Some members (not all) ask St. Mary to intercede for them in their prayers or petitions to God. We do not promote the Roman Catholic teaching that she is "Co-redemprix" or the "immaculate conception" of the Blessed Virgin. But we respect an individual's right to hold those beliefs.
Do you worship the saints?
No. Communion of the saints is not worship of them. We believe that the saints are in heaven and can hear our prayers, at the same time we believe that they can pray for us so asking them to pray for us is not much different than me asking you to pray for me. We venerate them as examples of lives lived in communion with the Divine Spirit within all of us, seeking to follow their example.
Do you ordain women?
Yes. We ordain females to all levels of Holy Orders. We do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or national origin.
Do you ordain homosexuals?
Yes. However, single Clergy, whether homosexual or heterosexual, are required to maintain chastity (recommended 'right relation') or celibacy (by choice).
Do you allow Priests to be married?
Yes. All clergy may enter Holy Matrimony.
Do you believe in heaven and hell?
These are originally cosmological terms that signified regions of the universe but which also came to function as vehicles of religious thought. The ideas expressed by these terms are integral to practically all religions, both ancient and modern. In most religions, heaven and hell are expressions of the final states of existence, whether blessedness (heaven) or curse (hell). The beliefs of members about the nature of heaven or hell vary. Succinctly, the CCC USA teaches that heaven is the Presence of God ("The kingdom of heaven is within you") while hell is the absence of God ("My God, why have you forsaken me?"). We view heaven and hell not as physical spaces but as transcendent spiritual states within which one may currently exist. We do not teach that hell is a state of eternal damnation.
Do you believe in demonic possession?
While we do believe in the existence of evil spirits or demons and the possibility of demonic possession, the well-documented incidence of such occurrences is rare. More frequently what appears to be 'possession' is more so a manifestation of psychological or physiological problems. Many of our Clergy are trained to discern the many differences between evil, poor life choices, or difficult life challenges which may include psychological/physiological issues.
Are your clergy available for priestly services outside of the church?
Yes. our clergy is available upon request for Weddings, Baptismal Services, Home and Sick Visitations, Penance, and Funeral Services.