BISHOP SUNNY ALAPPAT +
The Ecumenical Catholic Church in India (ECCI) is a member of the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. ECCI is part of a worldwide movement of millions of Roman Catholics, and members from different Catholic Rites that, through prayer and dialog is seeking Unity with all Catholic and Christian Churches, reforms within the Roman Catholic Rite and other Catholic Rites respectively.
ECCI has never lost the historic episcopate, which has maintained a validly ordained priesthood. Lines of Apostolic succession of The Ecumenical Catholic Church in India come from the great and holy Patriarchates of Christianity: ROME, ITALY. The Ecumenical Catholic Church in India has the source from the Roman Catholic Church, in Brazil.
A. At the conclusion of the Second World War, Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa, a Roman Catholic Bishop who voiced his disapproval of many practices of the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil and did so very strongly, which led to his being excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. He then established a Church called "Igreja Catolica Apostolica do Brasil" (Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil) in 1945. This church movement has spread to several countries, and came to the United States in 1947, two years after its foundation in Brazil.
ECCI keeps its belief in the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass and in its priesthood to insure Catholicism kept the Roman Catholic traditions and retained the same liturgical rites. ECCI is maintaining all authentic Catholic theology and doctrine as it existed prior to the First Vatican Council.
ü We believe in the infallible teaching authority of the Chair of Peter. We know that this teaching authority involves the ministry of the Pope. We believe that the Pope is infallible in the areas of faith and morals with due consideration of the "Sensus Fidelium".
ü We celebrate as holy traditions the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary We hold these as dogmas which must be absolutely accepted by all. This is because they were proclaimed and agreed upon by the Catholic Bishops.
The Ecumenical Catholic Church in India supports the reform efforts of millions of Roman Catholics worldwide who have signed petitions to the Vatican for reforms in the Roman Church and Catholics from other Rites who seek reforms in their churches serving the desire for Unity:
ü Interfaith communion with all Catholic rites that have Apostolic Succession, sharing the sacred tradition, and have the same theology of the sacraments.
ü The choice for priests either to marry or to live a celibate life.
ü Ordination of women
ü The involvement and participation of more lay people in the administration of the Church.
ü The inclusion of Holy Communion for divorced and remarried people
ü More autonomy for the dioceses.
ü The election of bishops by clergy and lay people, as it was customary in the early centuries of the Church.
ü More collegiality between bishops and lay representatives of the local churches.
ü Emphasis on the Gospel that calls for social justice for the poor, and for inclusion of those that have been rejected by society.
ü There is no excommunication.
ü All Sacraments are free of cost
All Sacraments celebrated by the The Ecumenical Catholic Church in India, are considered VALID by the Roman Catholic Church, in accordance with the official document "DOMINUS IESUS" promulgated and decreed by Pope Benedict XVI which state Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), who was then prefect of the Roman Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith states,
"Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church."
(See also: Second Vatican Council, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 3.; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae, 1: AAS 65 (1973), 396-398.; Second Vatican Council, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 14 and 15; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter Communionis notio, 17: AAS 85 (1993), 848.; First Vatican Council, Constitution) In the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council, we read,
"The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but who ... have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter. For there are many who hold sacred scripture in honor as a rule of faith and of life, who have a sincere religious zeal, who lovingly believe in God, the Father Almighty, and in Christ, the Son of God the Savior, who are sealed by baptism which unites them to Christ, and who indeed recognize and receive other sacraments in their Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them possess the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion of the Virgin Mother of God. There is furthermore a sharing in prayer and spiritual benefits; these Christians are indeed in some real way joined to us in the Holy Spirit for, by his gifts and graces, his sanctifying power is also active in them".
In light of the worldwide call for changes by the great number of Catholics who are refocusing their lives through spiritual renewal and who are longing for unity with other Catholic rites, we believe it necessary to abolish those Canons that erect obstacles to needed reforms and to re-articulate certain provisions of Canon Law so that they can better serve the daily faith-life of Christians in this increasingly secular world.
ECCI prays for a fruitful dialog among all Catholic Churches leaders and their lay representatives since informed discussions and prayerful contemplation of issues of faith, ones that affect Catholics’ daily lives around the world, can only support the goal of this dialog, Catholic unity and solidarity. We need to rethink some of our theologies, making them adequate for the more informed mentality of post-modern Christians.
May God bless all the efforts of ECCI and all of God’s Holy People who sincerely seek unity, healing, and reforms, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.