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Milwaukee priest starts new church, risks excommunication

August 23, 2012

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has announced that a renegade priest faces “immediate excommunication” if he does not promptly renounce his plans to establish a new church.

Father David Verhasselt has announced that he has left the Roman Catholic Church, to set up a parish under the jurisdiction of the Evangelical Catholic Church, a Chicago-based sect.

The renegade priest had been disciplined earlier this year for a violation of the confessional seal. He appealed the disciplinary action by Archbishop Jerome Listecki, but announced his departure from the Catholic Church before the Vatican acted on his appeal.


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  • Posted by: Jim.K - Aug. 24, 2012 5:44 PM ET USA

    Founded in 1995, the Evangelical Church has 17 parishes or missions in the U.S.& Ireland. "...a welcoming community of faith rooted in the Catholic tradition," but it breaks with Rome...ordaining women, allowing married and gay clergy, and in offering the sacrament of marriage to same-sex couples. ...Verhasselt professed his faith in his new denomination, and he is expected to complete the process of incardination by the end of the year. Sounds like he has already excommunicated himself!