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Apostolic Catholic Church

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Not to be confused with Catholic Apostolic Church.
The Apostolic Catholic Church
The seal of the Apostolic Catholic Church showing the Catholic cross (right) and the Eastern Orthodox cross (left).
Classification Protestant
Orientation Apostolic and Paleo-orthodox
Polity Episcopal
Leader Patriarch Dr. +John Florentine L. Teruel, P.P.
Associations National Council of Churches in the Philippines, World Council of Churches and Christian Conference of Asia through NCCP.
Geographical area Worldwide
Founder Patriarch Dr. +John Florentine L. Teruel, P.P. and St. Maria Virginia Peñaflor Leonzon (Honorary Foundress)
Origin July 7, 1992[1]
Template:Flag Hermosa, Bataan, Philippines
Separated from Roman Catholic Church
Separations CMHT (unrecognized)
Members 5,000,000 - 8,000,000 (2009 estimate)[2]
Tertiary institutions Collegio de Santa Maria Virginia and College of the Most Holy Trinity
Official Website

The Apostolic Catholic Church is a self-governing church that traces its faith and worship from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that Jesus Christ and his Apostles established. The church believes the Trinitarian Doctrine that states that the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit are three persons in one being. The church goal is to mediate and unite the Western Rite or the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Rite or the Orthodox Church to form a single Catholic Church.[3] It is a conservative church because it observes the proper attire of men and women. Especially during the sacrifice of the Holy Mass, veils and decent dresses are worn by women and white shirt and pants but most of the time, white soutanes are worn by men. Vulgar and liberated attires such as mini skirt and jeans in women and sando shirts in men are strictly prohibited and should not be worn at all times. These ancient church traditions were removed after the Vatican II Council by the Roman Catholic Church but all were retained by the Apostolic Catholic Church.[4] The members of the church are also known for their discipline and piety, youth are not allowed to have intimate relationships with one another because it is known to be the route of indecent and immoral behaviors and adults are prohibited against vices such as alcohol, cigarettes, gambling and drugs. The Apostolic Catholic Church is classified as a catholic and an autocephalous protestant church because it is not in communion with the Vatican or the Holy See and the Bishop of Rome although it follows Catholic teachings and theologies like Marian Devotion and recitation of the Holy Rosary. ACC does not recognize the supremacy of the Pope as the head of the Catholic Church. It has its own leader, Patriarch Dr. John Florentine L. Teruel, P.P. who is respected and followed by members of the church congregation and other christian denominations as well as other religious leaders.[1]


File:ACC in EDSA.jpg

The Apostolic Catholic Church (ACC) was founded in 1992 by the Patriarch Dr. +John Florentine L. Teruel, PP., and his mother, the ACC Matriarch St. Maria Virginia Peñaflor Leonzon became its honorary foundress. The church is based in Sacrifice Valley Ecclesiastical State in Hermosa, Bataan, Philippines. It has its two main shrines, one is the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity in Sacrifice Valley and one is The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Rock in Quezon City, the first being its main cathedral. The church was registered in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines on August 4, 1992.


The Apostolic Catholic Church has a patriarchate similar to Eastern Orthodox churches, it is located in Hermosa, Bataan, Philippines. It is officially called as Barangay Sacrifice Valley Ecclesiastical State where the highest clergy of the church and the Patriarch Dr. +John Florentine Leonzon Teruel resides and governs the whole denomination. Like the other Christian Patriarchates worldwide, Sacrifice Valley does not accept the authority of the See of Rome but respects it.[5] It's principal church is The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, where the history and foundation of the church took place.There is also a unique and one of a kind outdoor church, called the Nature's Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary which has circular structures that shelters the different images of Mother Mary, the Theotokos. It is also commonly known as the Pilgrimage Capital of Bataan because every year during Holy Week, thousands of people including other christians and Roman Catholics visits it for their devotion to Mahal na Ingkong, God's preferred title according to ACC members and clergies.[6] The Apostolic Catholic Church follows the Episcopal Polity because it maintains a council of bishops that is headed by a sole leader, the Patriarch.[7]


The Apostolic Catholic Church is a mainline protestant denomination that can be classified as paleo-orthodox because its goal is to mediate Christianity to revive its ancient traditions that Jesus Christ had taught humanity.[8] The church manifests itself to be protestant because it does not accept the authority of the Pope nor the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility and the conditions approved in the Vatican II Council that removed some ancient Christian traditions.

Hierarchy of Members

There are two kinds of members, the Sealed Servants or official members and the associate members or those who received other Catholic Sacraments but did not yet receive the Holy Sealing from God, the Holy Spirit through His Holy Covenant, Saint Maria Virginia or through the Patriarch, John Florentine. There is also a hierarchy of members from children to adults. Sealed Servants are classified as "APO" (men and women who are 21 years old and above) and "Auxiliaries" (youth who are below 21 years old). Auxiliaries are classified also into: Hijas de Maria (girls 13 to 20 years of age),Cherubims or Seraphims, (boys 13 to 20 years of age), and Angelitos and Angelitas (girls and boys below 13 years old).[9]

Church Governance & Congregation


Patriarch +Dr.John Florentine Teruel.

The Apostolic Catholic Church as a self-governing autocephalous church, has only one Congregation and religious Order which is the Order of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit (OMHS). The members of the said Congregation are the Archbishops, Bishops, Auxiliary Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Subdeacons, Deaconess, Nuns, and Third Order Members who are bound by their Evangelical Vows of Chastity, Poverty, Obedience, and Acceptance to their immediate superiors, to the Patriarch, His Holiness, Dr. +John Florentine L. Teruel, P.P., and to God, the Holy Spirit, who is called in His new Name Ingkong.[10] The lay governing body of the Apostolic Catholic Church is headed by the Parish Pastoral Council, with its own elected officers and committees, the working force of the church.

The Church governance is divided into Dioceses and headed by Archbishops or Bishops and each Diocese is also divided into individual Parishes which is headed by one or more priests. The church is also one of the active members of National Council of Churches in the Philippines along with other Protestant and non-Roman Catholic churches whose goal is towards ecumenism.[11] Today, the church is said to have more than five to eight million members worldwide, making it as third largest Christian denomination in the Philippines after the Roman Catholic Church being the first and Iglesia Filipina Independiente or Aglipayan as the second.[2]


The Apostolic Catholic Church follows the doctrine of having saints and holy people based on what they have done when they are still living. Similar to the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, it recognizes all the Roman Catholic and Orthodox saints.[12] Currently, there is only one saint beatified by the ACC Patriarch.


Saint Maria Virginia wearing red when she is still living with some nuns at her back.

*St. Maria Virginia Peñaflor Leonzon, mother of the Church and the Patriarch, Dr. John Florentine L. Teruel, PP. She is the honorary foundress of Apostolic Catholic Church and its Curcillo Movement. Having a high status of spiritual life, she was beatified and canonized as a saint in 1995 by the Patriarch. Because of this, St. Maria Virginia P. Leonzon became the first Filipino non-Roman Catholic saint. All the members of the church congregation believe that St. Maria Virginia P. Leonzon is the Covenant of the Holy Spirit, Mahal na Ingkong and also the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary. When she is still alive, St. Maria Virginia is a living saint for all the ACC members. She died at 83 years old in Sacrifice Valley in 2005.[13]


Soon after the church split with the Roman Catholic Church, many catholic and non-catholic clergies have started to conclude that Patriarch Dr. Teruel and his mother, Maria Virginia have established a cult. Their claim that God told them his new name "Ingkong" and Maria Virginia is God's covenant and Virgin Mary's reincarnation also heated up the controversy. Unlike any other religious leaders, Dr. Teruel possesses many material or earthly things such as the expensive Air Jordan shoes and genuine branded watches collection. The said materialism of Teruel is always criticized on documentaries and TV shows as well as in their hometown in Hermosa, Bataan.


Cross of the Russian Orthodox Church 01

The Eastern Rite Cross

Christian cross

The Western Rite Cross.

The symbol of the church are two crosses with a dove between one another. The Eastern Rite Orthodox cross is in the left and the Western Rite Roman Catholic cross is at the right and a dove that represents unity and peace between one another is in the center. The combination of these two crosses are viewed by the Apostolic Catholic Church as the unity of Christianity, particularly the Eastern and Westen Churches.

View on Family Planning

The Apostolic Catholic Church views the RH Bill (Reproductive Health Bill) as the answer to the increasing growth in Philippine population. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church that views it as a sinful act, the church considers it as a non-abortive method of planning a family in the future. Before, they are skeptical about the bill, but after Patriarch Dr. +John Florentine Teruel had heard the discussion of Representative Edcel Lagman, the principal author of the bill, they are now fully supporting it like other Protestant Christian denominations.[14]


External links

  • ACC home, the official website of the Apostolic Catholic Church.
  • NCCP home , the official website of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines.
  • ABS-CBN News Online, official website of ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs.

Template:Philippines in topic

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