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CSC: WELS Topical Q&A: Other Lutherans Anglo Lutheran Catholic Church

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Q:When I was googling a church to attend while on vacation, one of the hits was for the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church!! This was a new one to me, and I read some of their material. I am not sure why they call themselves Lutheran at all, except that they were originally a break-off from the LCMS. Would you please comment on this group? I don't think I'll be attending any of their services!

A:

This is one of a number of "Lutheran" churches seeking some form of apostolic succession either with or without the pope.  This is how the ALCC describes itself.

 

Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church
(Formerly the Evangelical Community Church – Lutheran)
A “small denomination within Lutheranism’s Evangelical Catholic tradition,” the ALCC is a “Lutheranism that is a gentle alternate form of non-Roman catholicism” whose “worship resembles that of Roman Catholicism more closely than that of many other Lutheran Churches
ALCC international headquarters and Wittenberg Lutheran Seminary are located in Kansas City, Missouri. ALCC parishes are established in Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. There is a non-geographic ethnic Vietnamese Archdiocese, a non-geographic ethnic Sudanese Archdiocese in the United States and an Archdiocese of All Africa.” The ALCC also has a presence in Canada, Sudan, and Kenya.
For such groups it is important to be able to display their pedigree or family tree of apostolic succession. The bishops and clergy of the ALCC are in the historic "apostolic succession" through several lineages including the Duarte-Costa lineage of the Rebiban (or Vatican) Succession. One can get information about specific apostolic lineages by contacting the Archbishop Metropolitan.
The ALCC uses all of the historic liturgies, ceremonies and devotional customs of Western Catholic Christianity modified only when absolutely required by Lutheran liturgical principles or local circumstances. The use of the many sacramental rites and “aids to devotion” common throughout Western Catholic Christianity is encouraged for those who find them helpful, but is not mandatory. Their significance and the underlying theology supporting their use is also understood somewhat differently by Evangelical Catholic Lutherans. The ECCL accepts the Book of Concord (1580) with certain modifications in sacramental theology and principles of church government derived from the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden and the Oxford Movement of the Anglican Communion. They also subscribe to the Lutheran/Roman Catholic Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, signed in Augsburg in 1999.
The ALCC recognizes and respects the Pope as the Bishop of Rome, Patriarch of the West, Successor to St. Peter, Vicar of Christ, and a prayer is said for him in their communion liturgy. (Psalm 119:1-5; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16; Revelation 22:18- 19)
The ALCC and the AECC of which it is a member, retain the Catholic Sacramental System of seven sacraments. Masses may also be celebrated for specific intentions. All baptized Christians who believe that Christ is really present in, with and under the bread and wine are invited to receive Communion. Neither the ALCC or AECC ordain female clergy. When the ordination of women is authorized by a full Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church, this issue will be revisited by the ALCC and AECC.


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