What is an Ecumenical Catholic Church? | SierraSun.com

What is an Ecumenical Catholic Church?

Colleen Williams
Special to the Sun
Community submitted photo
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TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Reverend Sara Beaman is the founder and pastor of The Community of The Risen Christ, an Ecumenical Catholic Church new to the Truckee Tahoe area. Bishop Peter Hickman of St. Matthews Ecumenical Catholic Church in Orange California ordained Rev. Sara in early February of this year. Having been trained in religious education through the Archdiocese of Los Angeles she brings to Truckee more than 50 years of teaching and ministering to the and#8220;unchurched,and#8221; specifically those who were injured by the church either its clergy or legalism.

First as a Deacon for 12 years and then more recently as an ordained priest, Beaman has officiated their weddings, baptized their children and buried their relatives. Reverend Beaman knows personally the pain of rejection from the traditional Roman Catholic Church. After a failed long-term marriage and divorce she married a man who not only shared her religion but her politics and love of the ocean, who happened to be a Catholic priest and she, her husband and her seven children were shunned.

The Community of the Risen Christ Church is an authentic Catholic faith community and is both Catholic and ecumenical. It is part of a communion of communities that stretch across the USA. They celebrate a characteristically Catholic faith tradition that is not sectarian. They share a common theology and liturgical tradition with the Catholic Church. Their deacons, priest and bishops participate in the same historic apostolic succession, as do the Roman Catholic Church and other apostolic churches.

The Old Catholic or Ecumenical Catholic movement began in 1870 as a response to the First Vatican Counciland#8217;s pronouncement of Papal infallibility. The Ecumenical Catholics do not recognize the jurisdiction of the Pope and do not participate in the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church. Lay people play an important and prominent role in the church. They uphold all persons in their discernment of conscience over the law.

There are significant differences in the Catholic practices of the Ecumenical Church. Reverend Beaman refers to a tradition of teaching love and mercy and the freedom of the good news rather than the threat of hell, fire and brimstone. According to Rev. Beaman their practices distinguish them from the Roman Catholic Church

and#8220;We invite all baptized people to partake in the Eucharist regardless of denominational affiliation,and#8221; said Rev. Beaman. and#8220;Our priests may marry and women are given the opportunity to respond to a genuine vocation and to fully participate in the ministerial priesthood. We affirm the dignity of all persons regardless of race, religious affiliation, gender or sexual orientation. With regards to divorce and remarriage, we council those whose marriage failed and who are called to remarry to reflect upon all that has passed and grow in all that will come during their new marriage. We believe that the use of contraception and medically assisted fertility practices if used responsibly is an issue of conscience to be decided by couples. We are a loving and inclusive faith community, following Jesus, supporting the community, promoting social justice, honoring the dignity and equality of each person in the authentic Catholic tradition. All are welcome! Please join me for Mass every Saturday at 5 p.m. in the dining room of The Truckee Donner Senior Apartments, 10040 Estates Drive, Truckee.and#8221;

For more information please contact Reverend Sara Beaman at 587-1512

and#8212; To submit your faith item, e-mail Community Editor Amy Edgett, aedgett@sierrasun.com