Catholic World News

Italian diocese finds sect schismatic

June 07, 2016

The Diocese of Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo, in Italy, has announced that a local sect has been found guilty of schism, thus incurring the penalty of excommunication.

The sect, known as the Universal Church of the New Jerusalem, had arisen in the town of Gallinaro, an outgrowth of reported apparitions of the Child Jesus to a local woman, Giuseppina Norcia, beginning in 1947. Thousands of people flocked to the site of the reported events, a church was built, and for years the prayer groups based in Gallinaro enjoyed friendly relations with the local diocese.

Those relations soured, however, after Giuseppina Norcia died and her son-in-law, Samuele Morcia, took control of the group. The group took public stands in open opposition to the Catholic Church, discouraging members from participation in the sacraments and fidelity to the Pope. 

The "New Jerusalem" sect, the diocese said, "is committed to spreading false religious doctrines and teachings that distort the Bible." The statement from the diocese said that the faithful should be warned that the sect's teachings are "completely against Catholic doctrine and have nothing to do with the grace of faith and salvation." 

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