Father George A. Stallings Jr. said Sunday that his congregation, in "taking control of its own destiny" by breaking ties with the Roman Catholic Church, would encourage the ordination of women and allow birth control and abortion.
Stallings, in defiance of church officials, last summer formed the Imani Temple, an independent African-American Catholic congregation. He announced his decision to break all ties with the Vatican last week.
Stallings said the departure from Vatican authority would allow his congregation to set in place "its own discipline and laws, which will govern our activities."
After addressing his congregation of several hundred followers Sunday, Stallings revealed some of those laws.
"We will allow for the ordination of women and we will allow for divorced and remarried Catholics to be in full communion without having to go through the tedious and potentially damaging annulment process," he said in an interview.