Notice of Laicization: Anthony Russell Lipari

Anthony Russell Lipari, a former priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, abandoned ministry as a Roman Catholic priest in 2003, and had not been permitted to function as a Roman Catholic priest since that time. 

The Archdiocese had requested the Holy See to grant a Rescript of Laicization concerning Lipari on the basis of his abandonment of ministry as a Roman Catholic priest. On January 7, 2015, The Congregation for the Clergy of the Holy See informed The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark, that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, had granted the laicization of Lipari effective March 5, 2015.

Laicization is the process by which an ordained minister of the Roman Catholic Church loses all rights, duties and responsibilities connected to the clerical state (CCC 1583). A priest who is laicized is no longer permitted to function as a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He may not engage in ministry within a Roman Catholic diocese or religious institute. He may not celebrate Mass or confer the Sacraments. He may no longer be called “Father” or wear clerical clothing. A laicized priest returns to the outward life of a layman. (cf. cc. 290-293).

The Archdiocese has become aware that Anthony Lipari has affiliated himself with a group calling itself The American National Catholic Church, or ANCC. In spite of confusion created by the group’s name, the ANCC is not in communion with the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis, or the Roman Catholic Church. The Church does not recognize as licit any ministerial activities in which Lipari may have engaged since he abandoned the Roman Catholic Church in 2003.

Any Roman Catholic with doubts about Sacraments received from Lipari after 2003 should consult immediately with a local Roman Catholic priest to determine their validity under the canons of the Roman Catholic Church.