New Year’s Newsletter

January, 2019

Archbishop Michael Callahan

Lord Jesus, by your glorious passion and resurrection, may you conquer the hardness of hearts infected by pride and selfishness; continue to bring salvation to this fallen world, and unity among our separated brethren.

Lord, grant us Holy Spirit inspiration and guidance as we seek to remain faithful servants, rightly teaching the word of truth.

Lord, above all this, we seek your grace, love, and peace.

WOW — 2018 blew by at seemingly light-speed.  With my travels during the Christmas Season, I didn’t have the resources to put together my end of the year message. My computer was at my home office while I was on the road. Thanks, Monsignor Komba for reminding me of my laps.

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, Christianity has never taught that our faith is all about “being a good person” or “doing the right thing.” Let’s face it, anyone—pagan, Muslim, Jew, nonbeliever—can be any of those things. To be a Christian is to be adopted into the Body of Christ and hence drawn into the very dynamics of the inner life of God. We don’t speak simply of following or imitating Jesus. We speak of becoming a member of his Mystical Body.

Though in the context of Christian orthodoxy, doing good is not enough to get you in the door, a dedication to right living in relation to both God and Neighbor is essential. Considering the necessity of right living, it is imperative that we as a particular Church, develop an ethic whereby we are committed to continuous catechesis. 

Last week I wrote a brief article where I touched on the 1910 Oath Against Modernism, penned by Pope Pius X. In that writing, I observed that the errors we are encountering in today’s churches are not new, but continuous developments of old heresies. Considering that all  “clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries” were expected to profess their stance against modernism, why are we still fighting these battles up to our present day? This can be answered in one word — complacency. So when I say we need to be “committed” to continuous catechesis, I’m not talking about simply our focus moving into 2019 or even 2020. This is a long game, where teaching orthodoxy and expecting orthopraxy need to become part of our corporate DNA. Wavering commitment in this area leads to complacency and eventually apathy; the final death knell becoming open antagonism, as we see from many sectors, nations, and world cultures.

The Catholic Church in America

As presiding Archbishop for the CCIA, I expect that those accountable for souls in their charge take their responsibility seriously. The fight against modernism is not limited to those sitting in your pews. Each parishioner or person seeking to know Christ, lives in our multimedia world of mixed messages, spouting politically correct jargon that not only is contrary to our traditional message, but they often couch their propaganda in pseudo-Christian feel-good lies.

With the above understanding though, we must temper our moral catechetical polemic with an equal commitment to evangelizing, first our local communities, then reaching our beyond our borders as time and resources permit. Both of these commitments should be balanced, finding our motivation in our Love for God, which compels us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

I pray that throughout 2018, my own messages and instructions were received with the above spirit. For my only motivation is rooted in serving God through being a faithful shepherd. My prayer is that each of you reading this whether lay or ordained will follow my lead and become active participants in this new evangelism. 

Support Social Media on a Mission

Without workmen committed to propagating the true Christian Message, the truth could be lost in one generation. Modernism currently has firm roots in all levels of education, our governments, and the mainstream media. Therefore, we need to find or develop new means and resources to present our message that are cogent in this technological age. Moving in that direction, I have been working with an independent technology company developing a set of social media tools to combat the censorship that the conservative Christian Message encounters in the public agora. In a post a few days ago, I presented my idea of Social Media On a Mission. This is the blanket of media options: News, media hosting, and Social Media. We will be hosting ChattieSocial, an alternative to Facebook and Twitter where big business will have no say or control over our message. 

CCIA Cameroon
Mons. Cyrille Sam Komba

Early on in my episcopate, I was blessed to be contacted by then Deacon, Cyrille Sam Komba. This was prior to the passing of Archbishop Baladad. Under Baladad’s guidance, the CCIA incardinated a group of Churches in Cameroon, now, in 2018 Fr. Komba, was appointed my Apostolic Vicar to Cameroon and the French-Speaking countries in Central Africa. 

Old Catholic Apostolic Church in Nigeria

About the same time we began working with Cameroon, we also developed an intercommunion relationship with the Old Catholic Apostolic Church in Nigeria, under Archbishop Raphael Fagbhoun. Then, early this year I spent a great deal of time communicating with another group of Churches, this time in South Africa. These discussions culminated in a journey to Africa this past October, for the consecration of the Most Reverend Banele, Christopher Mente. Additionally, we are in full communion with The Reformed Ethiopian Catholic Church of Southern Africa.

Bishops ++Callahan and +Mente

As a result of this international activity, I began seeking to become part of a larger, international communion of Catholic Churches. Most, unfortunately, fall somewhere outside of the spectrum of orthodoxy. The one organization I was most interested in coming into communion with, though fairly conservative, preferred a less boisterous approach to evangelism and public polemic.

International Catholic Confederation

It became clear shortly after my return from South Africa that an altogether new, international jurisdiction was needed. After prayerful consideration and preparation, we currently have National Churches in Eight other countries that will be joining us in the “International Catholic Confederation (ICC). This international Church shares our commitment to orthodoxy and evangelical zeal.

There is indeed a hunger around the world for the truth, which may only found within the historic deposit of faith. With God’s blessings the ICC and CCIA’s commitment to being a vocal proponent of conservative Catholic teachings and traditional moral values, our potential for growth is exponential.

While 2018 was indeed blessed, 2019 is shaping up to be even more dynamic. In order for us to be faithful to our mission, the clergy of the ICC and CCIA, my prayer is that each of you will renew your commitment to prayer, the Daily Office and study. The Daily Office and Rosary remain excellent resources for on-going spiritual development. I also recommend a commitment to refreshing your knowledge base on patristics and the documents of the early Church Councils. Readings such as these will be key in reinforcing your baseline belief in orthodoxy. Developing these practices into a habit will become a valuable spiritual resource in building both jurisdictions and local communities.
Prayers and episcopal blessings 

“May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.” 

Saint Teresa of Avila
Authentic Faith, Radical Transformation, and Contemplative Prayer

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