Holy Cross Catholic Church understands itself as called out from other faith communities to do the following:
1. To be an inclusive Catholic community that welcomes to all the sacraments those marginalized by many other churches, regardless of marital status, sexuality, or lifestyle.
2. To be engaged in ministries to the marginalized. Holy Cross Catholic Church is committed to doing ministry, especially with those who are frequently overlooked, forgotten, abandoned or rejected by mainline denominations.
3. To be a Catholic witness for social justice and reconciliation on behalf of marginalized peoples.
4. To be committed to an ecumenical Catholicism in the spirit of Vatican Council II.
5. To model collegial relationships among bishops, clergy and the laity.
6. To be a model of progressive Catholicism at work in the world.
Holy Cross Catholic Church is part of the Old Catholic movement which first emerged in the 1870’s in response to the First Vatican Council which declared the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. Old Catholic bishops rejected the doctrine of Infallibility of the Pope, and his direct jurisdiction over Local Churches at the expense of the bishops and their proper authority over their dioceses. The Declaration of Utrecht, the founding document of Old Catholics, set forth the position of Old Catholics as those who hold to the Ecumenical creeds of the Church and who reject the doctrine of Papal Infallibility as an unwarranted innovation by the Pope. Holy Cross Catholic Church emerged in the summer of 1998 from the American Catholic Church which was a continuation of the Old Catholic movement in America. The reason for the separation lies in differences in the understanding of episcopal leadership and authority. Holy Cross Catholic Church seeks to be an Independent Catholic Church in which episcopal leadership is accountable to the whole church for its actions and reputation. Holy Cross Catholic Church affirms collegial responsibility not only among bishops, but also with presbyters, deacons and all the baptized as members of the People of God.
(Articles of the Constitution)
SECTION 1: The name of this corporation shall be Holy Cross Catholic Church. The Church is incorporated in the State of Rhode Island as a religious nonprofit corporation and has headquarters in Tiverton, RI and at 141 Hornbine Road, Rehoboth, Massachusetts.
A. The Corporation is founded for the purpose of maintaining and promoting religious worship according to the general usages of the Independent Catholic Church; to worship God; to believe in, and to disseminate religious principles proclaimed by Jesus Christ, the Apostles, and their successors, and the realization of these truths in the life of the individual, family and community.
B. The source of these religious truths is:
(a) The Holy Scripture, and foremost the New Testament, expounded authoritatively by the first Four Ecumenical Councils of the Christian Church (Nicea, Constantinople, Ephesus and Chalcedon);
(b) The Declaration of Utrecht;
(c) The Vatican Council II documents with the exception of those touching upon Papal authority and others which contradict statements in the canons of this Church;
(d) Theological Method of Scripture, Tradition and Reason;
(e) The Apostolic Succession of bishops;
(f) The Seven Catholic Sacraments;
(g) The Mission of the Church as expressed in Luke 4:18-19;
C. The Administrative Members of Holy Cross Catholic Church shall consist of the Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Secretary, Treasurer, and not less than three (3) Committee Members, unless otherwise prescribed by law, all of whom shall be members, in good standing, of this Parish.
D. The Administrative and Committee Members of this Parish shall be by a majority vote of members of the Parish.
SECTION 2: The Church shall have a Parish seal with the legal name of the Parish thereon.
SECTION 3:The objectives of the Parish are:
(a) to cultivate a religious and social life;
(b) to rear its youth in a Christian spirit;
(c) to unite its members in the service of God and society;
SECTION 4: All of the funds, monies and property belong to the members of the Parish.
SECTION 5: In the event that the Parish ceases to exist, all funds, moneys, and property, shall be donated to a Christian charity to be determined by members of the Parish in consultation with the Pastor.
SECTION 1: Meetings for the Parish will be conducted on a monthly basis or whenever an urgent need dictate.
SECTION 2: The business of a monthly meeting of the Parish shall be to receive reports of the Committee members and Pastor.
SECTION 3: The business of special meetings shall be confined to such matters as are set forth in the notice for such meetings.
SECTION 4: Parishioners shall be notified of parish meetings by an announcement by the Pastor after the Sunday Mass, at least one week in advance of the meeting and via the website.
SECTION 5: Special meetings shall be called by the Pastor with the concurrence of the Assistant Pastor and Board of Directors.
SECTION 1: The Pastor is to guide the Parish in accordance and compliance with and to the spirit of the Constitution and Laws of this Church.
SECTION 2: He is to guide the life of the Parish in accordance with the aims, purposes, and mission of this Church.
SECTION 3: He guards, preserves and upholds the faith, morals and discipline in the Parish entrusted to his care.
SECTION 4: He organizes and is responsible for the liturgical life of the Church as well as its Faith Formation Programs.
SECTION 5: He keeps accurate Parish vital statistic registers, issues certificates, attestations and other official documents of his Office, bearing his signature and the Official Parish seal, maintaining records thereof.
SECTION 6: He examines and approves all legal documents of the Parish by affixing his signature on same.
SECTION 7: The Pastor receives no salary.
SECTION 10: Free-will offerings (stipends) for priestly services rendered by a Pastor according to accepted customs of this Church are the property of the Church.
B. ASSISTANT PASTOR
An Assistant Pastor is a validly ordained priest in the Independent Catholic Church who assists a Pastor in the performance of such priestly duties as shall be assigned to him by the Pastor to whom he is responsible. The Assistant Pastor receives no salary. Free-will offerings (stipends) for priestly services rendered by an Assistant Pastor according to accepted customs of this Church are the property of the Church.
C. PASTOR EMERITUS
A Pastor Emeritus is a retired Pastor who may assist a Pastor in the performance of such priestly duties as shall be assigned to him by the Pastor to whom he is responsible.
SECTION 1: A Pastor is appointed to the Parish by the members of the Board of Directors after an electoral process consisting of a majority vote by members of the Parish.
SECTION 2: The guidance of a Parish in its spiritual and moral matters rests with the Pastor of the Parish in conformity with the teachings of the Church.
SECTION 3: A Pastor of the Church is a Bishop who is validly ordained in the Independent Catholic Church, has authority to exercise the Office of Pastor, is elected by a majority vote of the members of the Parish and appointed by the Board of Directors.
SECTION 4: The management of the material matters of the Parish rests in the hands of the Parish, executed by the Board of Directors in consultation with the Pastor.
SECTION 5: In the case of retirement, illness, incapacity, or death of the Pastor, the Assistant Pastor, will be elected by members of the Parish and appointed by the Board of Directors to replace the Pastor. The current Pastor shall be named Pastor and Bishop Emeritus.
SECTION 1: The Parish Administration is elected by a majority vote and/or appointed by the members of the Parish.
SECTION 2: The Parish Administration is responsible to the Parish.
SECTION 3: The Parish Administration shall consist of the Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Secretary, Treasurer, and not less than three (3) Committee Members.
SECTION 4: The duties of the Board of Directors are as follows:
(a) to assist the Pastor in all matters pertaining to the development of the Parish's spiritual and material life;
(b) to fulfill all Parish resolutions adopted in accordance with the aims, objectives and spirit of this Church;
(c) to keep proper and accurate files and records of the Parish business, income and expenditures;
(d) to render to the Parish at its monthly meeting a summary report of the official Parish administrative transactions;
SECTION 5: Payment of all bills shall be by the Treasurer. All checks shall be signed by the Pastor.
SECTION 1: The Pastor announces all Parish meetings and presides over them.
SECTION 2. The Secretary records the minutes of the meetings and maintains an accurate inventory of the Parish property.
SECTION 3: The Treasurer maintains an accurate record of all monies received and disbursed. Pays all invoices, has the Pastor sign checks, and in consultation with the Pastor, submits a budget to the Board of Directors each December for approval.
SECTION 4: The Board of Directors together with the Administrative members of the Parish have charge of all the material matters of the Parish and perform such duties as are assigned to them.
SECTION 5: The Secretary, Treasurer and every officer of the Board of Directors, upon the termination of their duties, shall surrender possession of all the files, records and property kept, maintained and in their possession and shall deliver them to their successor(s).
SECTION 6: All of the aforesaid files, records and property of the Parish in the custody or possession of the Secretary, Treasurer and every other member of the Board of Directors are the property of the Parish and shall be open at all times for examination by the Pastor and Parish Committee Members.
SECTION 1: The Committees of this Church are as follows: Liturgical, Finance, Building and Maintenance, Indoor and Outdoor Upkeep and Decorating, Hospitality and Fundraising.
SECTION 2: The Pastor is responsible for the Liturgical and Finance Committees.
SECTION 3: The Assistant Pastor is responsible for the Building and Maintenance, Indoor and Outdoor Upkeep and Decorating, Hospitality and Fundraising committees.
SECTION 4: Each Committee Member shall give a report at the monthly meeting.