What exactly is the “Polish National Catholic Church”?

This question came up today as I was driving along and came across a cluster of local cemeteries. I enjoy walking, meditating and praying my Rosary in such places. One of the cemeteries was Holy Mother of the Rosary, a cemetery of the “Polish National Catholic Church”. We have a very large Polish population in the area and I also recalled a distant cousin who was ordained into said organization. Needless to say I went to the PNCC’s official webpage and found it somewhat ambiguous. I guess my question is is the church actually “Catholic” and what exactly it’s beliefs are and it’s standing with Rome. Upon walking through the cemetery I noticed there were a few Bishops interred there which leads me to believe the church may be some type of Eastern Rite or schismatic. Any thoughts?

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2 comments on “What exactly is the “Polish National Catholic Church”?

  1. The PNCC is indeed a “Church” and not merely an “Ecclesial Community” because it has valid priests and bishops in the Apostolic Succession, so they have valid sacraments.

    It is a schismatic church not in union with Rome, and they do not recognize the doctrines of the Assumption or Infallibility.

    Until recently it was part of the Old Catholic movement. When the Old Catholics began ordaining women and other liberal practices, the PNCC left the Old Catholic Union. They have recently entered into communion with the Nordic Catholic Church in Europe, under the umbrella of the Union of Scranton (In Pennsylvania, where the PNCC began.

    They have these things in common with the Orthodox: they recognize only the first seven Councils and their priests may marry. (I don’t know if the PNCC allows bishops to marry; the Orthodox, of course, do not.)

    Each parish has a governing board which owns the property rather than the Diocesan ownership, as in the Roman Catholic Church.

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