Statement regarding “Archbishop” Karl Rodig and the Cathedral Abbey of St. Anthony

In response to questions regarding the status of “Archbishop” Karl Rodig and the Cathedral of St. Anthony, Detroit, the Archdiocese of Detroit issues the following statement:

Rev. Karl Rodig is a former member of the religious Congregation of the Most Precious Blood in Austria. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on July 1, 1986. He was dismissed from the Precious Blood Congregation June 5, 1995. On May 29, 1999 in Miami, Florida, Father Rodig “received episcopal consecration” by Archbishop Maurice McCormick, Archbishop Patriarch of the Old Catholic Church* in North America. By participating in this ceremony, Father Rodig incurred an automatic (latae senteniae— in canon law: “incurred as soon as the offense is committed”) excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church. (CIC 1383).

Founded in 1857, St. Anthony Parish at 5247 Sheridan Street, Detroit, was merged with two eastside archdiocesan parishes in 2006. The church building closed in 2007; the congregation was welcomed at Good Shepherd Parish in Detroit. In 2010, the Archdiocese of Detroit sold what was St. Anthony church to an entity identifying itself as “The Church of Holy Unity.” Subsequently, the building was established as the headquarters for the Holy See of the Worldwide Ecumenical Catholic Church of Christ, a movement founded by Karl Rodig. As its leader, Rodig took the title of archbishop and renamed his church “The Cathedral Abbey of St. Anthony.” In public, Rodig dresses in black clerical attire wearing a pectoral cross, in colored episcopal robes with zucchetto, and in brown friar robes.

The Archdiocese of Detroit wishes to clarify that Karl Rodig and the Cathedral Abbey of St. Anthony have no connection or association with the Roman Catholic Church or the Archdiocese of Detroit. The Catholic faithful in the archdiocese are advised not to associate or participate in any way in the services of the Cathedral Abbey of St. Anthony.

* A breakaway, schismatic group, the Old Catholic Church does not accept— rejects— some significant beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church. It is the understanding and position of the Detroit archdiocese that the Old Roman Catholic Church in North America has not preserved apostolic succession and does not validly ordain men to the deaconate, priesthood and episcopacy.