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Ask the Patriarch 100
The Worldwide Church of Agnostics (WCA)

from Robert W. Jones

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As a newly-minted member of the WCA clergy, I have a few questions. Since members the WCA are the unruly fringe of the general apathetic agnostic movement, what is our relationship to the UCTAA? Are we just included with the larger group? Are we the relatives no one likes to talk about? Or are we an "independent" entity that reports directly to the Patriarch of the Church? Are there any bishops besides the Senior Bishop? And finally, does the WCA have its own symbols? I could probably suggest a few if it doesn't. Just curious.

The Patriarch replies:

Robert:

I'm glad you brought this issue up. On second thought, I'm not glad at all. I think I'd be happier if everyone just accepted the whole issue of the WCA / UCTAA relationship as remaining undefined and unaddressed.

WCA was created because, over the years, a number of agnostics applied for ordination, but in the interests of honesty felt compelled to mention in the comments block of the application that they did not really agree with the three Articles of Faith of Apathetic Agnosticism. I had to turn down their applications.

I considered these applications showed there was an unfilled need for ordination in the agnostic community. So, I decided to fill that need by creating the Worldwide Church of Agnostics, and issuing ordinations in that church's name.

Other than having a common head of church, there is no official connection between WCA and UCTAA. Nevertheless, those ordained into WCA are invited to use the UCTAA Clergy Resource site and to participate in the UCTAA discussion boards.

IS WCA really the unruly fringe? Not really. WCA clergy are agnostics who wanted to be ordained but, for whatever reason preferred not to be ordained by the Apathetic Agnostic Church. That does not necessarily put them on the fringe. An argument can be made that apathetic agnostics are on the fringe of agnosticism.

The WCA relationship to UCTAA is what you choose it to be. You may freely access the Clergy Resource Site, and currently you may freely join and participate in the UCTAA bulletin board. (This may change in the future if and when UCTAA Incorporated - which is legally separate from me - decides to set rules for membership. )

As to being an independent entity, all clergy ordained by both UCTAA and WCA are independent entities. There is no official reporting relationship required. Once ordained, you are free to do your own thing. This is not to say that a member of the clergy cannot voluntarily enter into a mutually agreed reporting relationship with a senior cleric.

WCA Bishops: there are no WCA Bishops currently other than the Senior Bishop who is head of Church. The issue has not been previously brought up, but if someone were interested, the rules equivalent to those for UCTAA Bishops (as detailed in the Clergy Resource site) would apply.

Symbolism and WCA Resources: There has been no symbolism created for WCA, except for the "borrowed" world map on the nearly empty WCA website. If you have some suggestions, they may be placed on that site if and when I find time to do an update. So far, there has been no expressed need for separate WCA Resources (which is a good thing given my own time restraints) however if more interest is shown and volunteers appear, then these issues might be addressed.