What We Are
The North American Old Roman Catholic Church (NAORCC),
Archdiocese of California, was incorporated in the State of California by
The Most Reverend Edgar Ramon Verostek in 1940,
shortly after being consecrated Regionary Bishop of California by
The Most Reverend Carmel Henry Carfora,
founder and Supreme Primate of the NAORCC.
The NAORCC is a valid Old Roman Catholic Church not currently in full communion with the Holy See. The technical term for this type of Church is
"valid, but canonically independent," which means "sacramentally real, but legally not in full communion with Rome." What this amounts to, in practical terms, is that the NAORCC, and other Churches like it, offer purely valid Catholic sacraments to individuals who, for a variety of reasons, do not receive them from Roman Catholic Churches.
The NAORCC, Archdiocese of California, under the episcopal leadership of its Presiding Archbishop, The Most Reverend Joseph Andrew Vellone, and its Coadjutor-Archbishop with Right of Succession to the Episcopal See, The Most Reverend Chris M. Hernandez, is unique in the world of
Old Roman Catholicism for being at great pains to identify as much as possible with the Universal Church, though "canonically independent" of it. Another way to view this fact is to consider the Archdiocese of California as "non-Papal," although we feel we are part of the Pope's flock and in spiritual union with Rome through Christ. With this in mind, Presiding Archbishop Vellone (consecrated by Archbishop Verostek as his successor in 1985) and Archbishop Hernandez (consecrated by Archbishops Vellone and Verostek) have actively sought throughout the years to establish and retain mutually satisfying working relationships with the Ordinary and clergy of the local Roman Catholic diocese. The Archbishop also reminds those who come to the NAORCC for various forms of sacramental ministry that if they are Roman Catholics, their membership in the Roman Catholic Church is their first obligation, and that they should only seek out the NAORCC
if their consciences so dictate.
The NAORCC, Archdiocese of California has parishes and ministries located throughout the United States, Canada and the Philippines.
With valid apostolic succession, it is a Church with its heart and arms open to those who come to it to receive Christ's good news
and sacramental grace.