The American Catholic Church (1894 – c. 1895) is an independent confederation of congregations, which individually separated from the Catholic Church. It was founded by Anton Francis Kołaszewski and Alfons Mieczysław Chrostowski in the United States. The first convention of the American Catholic Church (ACC1894) appointed Joseph René Vilatte as its ecclesiastical head who was "without arbitrary powers". Constantine Klukowski wrote, in History of St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church, Green Bay, Wisconsin, 1898–1954, that the 1894 Green Bay city directory lists Vilatte's cathedral, which was built in 1894, "as 'American Catholic'" and its officials as: Vilatte, archbishop metropolitan and primate; Kolaszewski, vicar general; Stephen Kaminski, consultor; and, Brother Nicholas, church manager. The initial formation of the ACC came about, as did the formation of other independent Catholic churches in Europe, in about 1894 in response to the Vatican declaration that the Pope is infalible. The Independent Catholic Churches in Europe, as well as the ACC in the United States, rejected the idea that any human being can be infalible, hence the schism from Rome.
Joseph René Vilatte incorporated the ACC in the state of Illinois in 1915, and that charter was acquired by Archibishop Robert Mary Clement in 1972. In the original charter, Vilatte and his colleagues declared the ACC to be:
a council of churches open to all persons having their residence in this country, whatever may be their nationality;
united in the fidelity to the true faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the sole Head of the Universal Church and our High Priest;
imbued with the American Spirit of democracy and liberty;
a branch or section of the true (Christian) Catholic Church of God, with its own Synod and Conference of Bishops.
Today, under the leadership of Archbishop Clement, the ACC is an inclusive, open and affirming church which welcomes all. The ACC ordains both men and women of any sexual orentation -- whether married or single -- to the deaconate and to the priesthood. The ACC also supports the consecration of both men and women as bishops, and is fully supportive of marriage equality. All are welcome at the Eucharist at any ACC service, including previously divorced and remarried persons.
The ACC is in inter-communion with the Ecumenical Cattholic Communion (the largest group of independent Catholic churches and a member of the National Council of Churches). The ACC is also in communion with the Philipine Independant (Catholic) Church, Bp Clement having been concecrated in that tradition, too.
The ACC offers all sacraments and services, including baptism, marriage and funerals, as well as sacrament of the sick (previously known as "last rites" or "extreme unction").