Welcome to the Diocese of Florida
Independent Old Catholic Church
Transforming lives worldwide
Sharing Christ with the World
Living in God's amazing Grace
We warmly welcome you to the Diocese of Florida of the Independent Old Catholic Church (IOCC), a worldwide church body with clergy in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe. As Bishop of the Diocese of Florida let me say everyone, without exception, is welcome in the Lord's House and to our ministries. We believe that all people are created in the image of God.
We do not condemn nor exclude anyone because of their race, sexual identity, gender expression, ethnic background or any other status. All people are at a different place in their spiritual walk and life and we are certain that not one of us is perfect. Yet, God has shown us how much he loves us.
Old Catholics are small and growing communities. The term “Old Catholic” was coined in 1870 when a group of Dutch bishops broke with the Roman Catholic Church. The rift came about because the Roman church declared a new doctrines including the infallibility of the Bishop of Rome (the Pope). The group of Christians who broke with Rome declared themselves loyal to apostolic Christianity rather than the “new” Catholicism that Rome was attempting to define.
Most Old Catholic jurisdictions are derived by means of apostolic succession through validly consecrated Bishops. We do not fall under the authority or rule of the Roman Catholic pontiff. Moreover, we do not feel the need to compare or judge ourselves based on their standards. We are a separate and unique church tracing its linage back to the Old Catholic churches of Utrecht (please read “Our History” for more details).
You will be warmly welcomed and accepted just as you in all the churches of the diocese for we are a loving church who welcomes you. We also have priests who exercise their ministries in special ways such as hospital and hospice chaplains, prison ministry, elder care, grief counseling, marriage counseling and more.
I hope you find our web site enlightening, informative, and inviting. Please visit the websites of our churches and we hope to see you soon.
In Christ's Service,
The Most Rev. Steve Harris, D.D., D.Min.