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Published: Saturday, 12/2/2006

New Reformed Catholic parish planned


A Jesuit priest who said he wants to reach out to people who feel disenfranchised by the Roman Catholic Church is starting a new Toledo parish under the auspices of the Reformed Catholic Church.

The small denomination, incorporated in 2000, is not affiliated with the Vatican and is self-described as offering a progressive interpretation of the Roman Catholic tradition.

The Rev. Marcis Heckman, 47, is the founding pastor of Holy Cross Reformed Catholic Church of Toledo, which he said will reach out with the love of God to those who have been disenfranchised by the church.

Holy Cross will hold a dedication service at 5 p.m. tomorrow at Monroe Street United Methodist Church, 3613 Monroe St., with the denomination s presiding bishop, Archbishop Phillip Zimmerman of St. Sebastian Cathedral in Columbus, in attendance.

Mass will be celebrated at 3 p.m. on Sundays at Monroe Street UM. Father Heckman said the Reformed Catholic Church s liturgy is very much like that of a Roman Catholic Mass, although there are numerous doctrinal differences between the two denominations.

For example, the Reformed Catholic Church will ordain women, which the Roman Catholic Church forbids. It also acknowledges same-sex marriage and second marriages for the divorced, Father Heckman said.

Our official statement on that is basically that a marriage is limited to a union of two people, regardless of gender, he said.

Also unlike the Roman Catholic Church, Holy Communion is open to everyone who is a baptized Christian, no matter what denomination they belong to.

The table is open to everyone, Father Heckman said.

The denomination states on its Web site, www.reformedcatholicchurch.org, that we remain in, and honor, the traditions of the Orthodox Catholic churches and the old Catholic Church of Utrecht, Netherlands.

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