Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ecumenical Catholic Church names Florida bishop, a former Roman Catholic

The Ecumenical Catholic Communion, a small denomination with 8,000 U.S. members, recently installed its first Florida bishop.

Bishop Steve Rosczewski, 53, was ordained in a ceremony attended by about 225 people at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Clearwater.

The Ecumenical Catholic Communion traces its roots to the Old Catholic movement in Europe, which grew out of a disagreement with Rome in the late 19th century. Members profess no allegiance to the pope but consider themselves fully Catholic.

The new bishop is a former Roman Catholic and religious order priest who served in the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Rosczewski, who will continue to head Holy Spirit Ecumenical Catholic Church in Largo in his new role, agreed to answer a few questions for the St. Petersburg Times.

Where does the Ecumenical Catholic Communion stand on the issues of birth control, abortion, gay rights, celibacy and female priests?

The ECC invites the faithful to form and follow their consciences. The use of contraception and artificial birth control as a way of responsibly limiting the size of one's family is an issue of conscience to be decided by couples. We believe the use of contraception, if used responsibly, can be a positive good as a means of increasing the frequency of the gift of sexual union, reducing the incidence of abortion for unwanted pregnancies and limiting the spread of sexually transmitted disease.

We affirm the dignity of all human persons regardless of race, national origin, religious affiliation, gender or sexual orientation. The ECC celebrates the gift of women by ordaining them as deacons, priests and bishops. Celibacy is not required of our ordained clergy. We strive for justice within the universal church and the whole world.

Why did you leave the Roman Catholic Church?

My personal departure in 2001 from the Roman Communion was one of conscience with regard to how the church was not welcoming nor ministering to many kinds of people: the divorced and remarried; single parents; people of sexual diversity; individuals who struggled with formal church teaching and abuse by church leadership.

When was the Largo church established and why was Pinellas County chosen as the site?

Holy Spirit Ecumenical Catholic Church was established in June 2003 … as an accessible location that was diverse with backgrounds and peoples. The majority of the community is Pinellas-based while it draws from both Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

What is the religious background of your congregation and members nationwide?

The membership of most ECC communities is diverse: Catholics who have been seeking a new expression of their beloved faith; Christians of all denominations who seek a sacramental community; individuals who are unchurched or dechurched.

How does it feel to be a bishop?

It's an exciting thing and it's certainly something that I never dreamed of for myself, and it's a great opportunity in today's world to work together with others to build a church for people to express their faith in a safe space.

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at wmoore@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2283.

> Fast Facts

Ecumenical Catholic Communion

U.S. headquarters: Orange, Calif.

U.S. members: 8,000

Holy Spirit Ecumenical Catholic Church

6152 126th Ave., Suite 500, Largo, holyspiritecc.org or (727) 232-3918.

Ecumenical Catholic Church names Florida bishop, a former Roman Catholic 03/19/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 19, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Who took a knee? How each NFL team responded to Donald Trump's tweets about anthem protests

    Bucs

    NFL players, coaches and owners across the league reacted in various ways on Sunday to remarks from President Donald Trump speaking about NFL players who have protested during the national anthem.

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Florida State out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2011

    Blogs

    Florida State's first 0-2 start since 1989 has led to another low.

  3. From care center to purgatory to 'hellhole': How 11 frail elders died after Irma

    Hurricanes

    As she got ready to say goodbye to her mother at the Hollywood Hills nursing home, Rose Wyda's heart was sick. Hurricane Irma had been gone for nearly 48 hours, but the trail of shattered trees and broken, hissing power lines the storm left behind was still dangerously apparent. And the nursing home was part of the …

  4. Bucs' Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson kneel during national anthem

    Bucs

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings, two days after President Donald Trump made critical remarks about NFL …

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Authorities ID man killed in Clearwater Beach boating crash; Girl, 4, still in critical condition

    Briefs

    An Altamonte Springs man died and a 4-year-old girl remains in critical condition Sunday morning after their personal watercraft collided with a boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near Clearwater Beach just before 5 p.m.