This story from the Miami Herald. Hat tip to Carl Olsen at Ignatius Insight Scoop.
It's the story of the "National Catholic Church" and other "independent catholics" who reject the teachings of Holy Mother Church (the Vatican). Father Joseph Fessio, who is provost of Ave Maria University in Naples, FL, says that "groups that reject the authority of Rome are 'by definition' no longer Catholic."
''To be a Catholic is to accept the authority of the bishops in union with the pope to determine what we believe,'' said Fessio, a former theology student of Cardinal Joesph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. 'To say, `I want to be a Catholic but I don't want to accept all the teachings the church declares as part of myself' is like saying, 'Well, I want to be an employee of Ford Motor Company but I don't want to follow any of their rules.' '' (quote from story)
Why, there is even Traditional Catholic, Old Catholic, United Catholic (not to be confused with United Methodist) and Ecumenical Catholic. But, they're not really Catholic.
More from the story:
"Roman Catholic Church officials say calling such churches Catholic can be misleading, however.
''Our concern is that Roman Catholics aren't confused by the use of the word Catholic,'' said Mary Ross Agosta, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Miami. 'At times, we have received phone calls from people who say, `I went to the Catholic church in my neighborhood and it wasn't a Roman Catholic church.' ''
The Archdiocese of Miami issues periodic disclaimers in its diocesan newspaper warning against Catholic churches that are not under the authority of the Vatican. Other U.S. dioceses take similar measures."
The Diocese of Providence also has taken similar measures when news got big of a St. Patrick's "Catholic" Church in nearby Cranston, stating that attending "Mass" at St. Patrick's Church in Cranston does NOT fulfill one's Sunday obligations as a Roman Catholic.
I'll let you read the rest of the story. (I know, spoken like Paul Harvey. LOL)