Frequently asked questions and answers!
We are a catholic church and welcome people of all ethnic, racial and social backgrounds. Our beliefs are based on Holy Scripture, Christian Tradition, and Church Ecumenical Synods.
Do you have to be Polish to be a member of a Polish National Catholic Church?
Of course not – our membership is made up of a wide array of ethnicities. The parish was founded in 1915 when Polish was the primary language amongst 1st and 2nd generation immigrants in the Northeast Ohio area. Its connection to the Polish National Catholic movement in Scranton, PA (www.pncc.org) gives us the name today.
What is the central act of worship in the PNCC?
The Holy Mass or Divine Liturgy is the central act of worship in all churches of the Catholic Community, including the National Catholic Church. The Mass is the Sacrifice of the New Testament and is celebrated completely in the language of the people.
How is Holy Communion administered?
Holy Communion is given under two forms, Bread and Wine, which are the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The principal method used is Intinction, which simply means that the Sacred Host is dipped into the Consecrated Wine and administered to the faithful at the altar. Only Priests and Deacons administer the Eucharist and it is always placed on the tongue, not in the hand.
What does the church teach concerning confession?
A humble confession of our faults to Almighty God, followed by the assignment of penance and absolution given by the priest, is the way the congregation obtains forgiveness of its sins. The sacrament may be administered in one of two ways: public or private. Private confession is required for all members under the age of sixteen. Public confession is a part of every Mass. In this form, the faithful confess their sins directly and privately to God. The entire congregation then recites the Prayer of Confession together.
What is the teaching concerning birth control?
The utilization of birth control is a matter of personal judgment for husband and wife. It is not the responsibility of the church to tell its communicants how many children they must or must not have. Marriage serves other major purposes besides the procreation of children.
Can a divorced person participate fully in parish life?
Yes. There are no discriminatory regulations against those who have suffered from a divorce; divorced people may participate in Mass and receive Holy Communion. The Church has an obligation to lend its support and ministry to those who have divorced, as it would to casualties of other social ills.
Can a divorced person re-marry?
Yes. Each Diocese has a matrimonial Commission that studies each request for marriage by persons who have been divorced. This commission presents its finding to the Diocesan Bishop with its recommendation. The Bishop makes the final decision.
Why do we permit priests to marry?
Because it is the perfectly natural thing for a man to do. The church sees no moral reason in the world to forbid a man to receive the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony simply because he happens to be a priest. Tradition tells us that all but one of the twelve apostles were married. Popes, bishops and priests of the early church were all married men. Many believe that a married priest is more likely to understand the problems of marriage and child rearing because he has gone through them.
How is the National Catholic Church governed?
It is governed in accordance with its Constitution. In matters of faith, morals and discipline, bishops and priests possess the authority to explain and teach the doctrinal position of Christ's Church. The legislative authority of the Church is vested in the General Synod, the Special Synod, the Diocesan Synod and the Parish Meeting. In financial and administrative matters, the Parishioners possess administrative authority. Representatives elected at the Annual Parish Meeting, and confirmed by the Diocesan Bishop, exercise their constitutional authority in cooperation with the priest. This constitutional authority is at all administrative levels: parish, diocese and church-wide. Synods are required by the Constitution to be held every four years. Diocesan Synods are held between General Synods.
Be closer to Jesus …
The public life of Jesus lasted approximately three years. During that time, He built the foundation of an organization to carry on His mission. He taught his Apostles by example, reminding them that He had chosen them, not the other way around. He expected them to get results, bringing others to the kingdom. He promised that the Holy Spirit would come to guide them. Since Jesus promised to be in His Church until the end of time, the directives and promises He made to his Apostles passed on to their successors, the leaders of the catholic Church. Our Church is a part of that legacy, established by Jesus Christ Himself.