Old Catholic Church
|Old Catholic Church|
|Union of Utrecht||
|Union of Scranton|
|Associations||World Council of Churches (Union of Utrecht only)|
Church of Sweden (Union of Utrecht only)
Anglican Communion (Union of Utrecht only)
|Founder||Ignaz von Döllinger|
Nuremberg, Kingdom of Bavaria
|Separated from||Catholic Church (1879)|
|Old Catholics, Old-Catholic churches|
The terms Old Catholic Church, Old Catholics, Old-Catholic churches or Old Catholic movement designate "any of the groups of Western Christians who believe themselves to maintain in complete loyalty the doctrine and traditions of the undivided church but who separated from the see of Rome after the First Vatican council of 1869–70".
The expression Old Catholic has been used from the 1850s by communions separated from the Roman Catholic Church over certain doctrines, primarily concerned with papal authority and infallibility. Some of these groups, especially in the Netherlands, had already existed long before the term.
These churches are not in full communion with the Holy See. Member churches of the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches (UU) are in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Anglican Communion; many members of the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches hold membership in the World Council of Churches.
The term "Old Catholic" was first used in 1853 to describe the members of the See of Utrecht who did not recognize any infallible papal authority. Later Catholics who disagreed with the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility as defined by the First Vatican Council (1870) were thereafter without a bishop and joined with the See of Utrecht to form the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches (UU). Today, Old Catholic Union of Utrecht churches are found chiefly in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic. The Union of Scranton separated from the Utrechter Union in protest over the UU's ordination of women and LGBT Christians.
Old Catholic theology views the Eucharist as the core of the Christian Church. From that point, the church is a community of believers. All are in communion with one another around the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, as the highest expression of the love of God. Therefore, the celebration of the Eucharist is understood as the experience of Christ's triumph over sin. The defeat of sin consists in bringing together that which is divided.
The 1889 Declaration of Utrecht states the Union of Utrecht believes in Vincent of Lérins's following quote from his Commonitory: "all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all; for this is truly what is catholic."
Pre-Reformation diocese and archdiocese of Utrecht
The northern provinces, that revolted against the Spanish Netherlands and signed the 1579 Union of Utrecht, persecuted the Roman Catholic Church, confiscated church property, expelled monks and nuns from convents and monasteries, and made it illegal to receive the Catholic sacraments. However, the Catholic Church did not die, rather priests and communities went underground. Groups would meet for the sacraments in the attics of private homes at the risk of arrest. Priests identified themselves by wearing all black clothing with very simple collars. All the episcopal sees of the area, including that of Utrecht, had fallen vacant by 1580, because the Spanish crown, which since 1559 had patronal rights over all bishoprics in the Netherlands, refused to make appointments for what it saw as heretical territories, and the nomination of an apostolic vicar was seen as a way of avoiding direct violation of the privilege granted to the crown. The appointment of an apostolic vicar, the first after many centuries, for what came to be called the Holland Mission was followed by similar appointments for other Protestant-ruled countries, such as England, which likewise became mission territories. The disarray of the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands between 1572 and about 1610 was followed by a period of expansion of Roman Catholicism under the apostolic vicars, leading to Protestant protests.
The initial shortage of Roman Catholic priests in the Netherlands resulted in increased pastoral activity of religious clergy, among whom Jesuits formed a considerable minority, coming to represent between 10 and 15 percent of all the Dutch clergy in the 1600–1650 period. Conflicts arose between these, and the apostolic vicars and secular clergy. In 1629, the priests were 321, 250 secular and 71 religious, with Jesuits at 34 forming almost half of the religious. By the middle of the 17th century the secular priests were 442, the religious 142, of whom 62 were Jesuits.
The fifth apostolic vicar of the Dutch Mission, Petrus Codde, was appointed in 1688. In 1691, the Jesuits accused him of favouring the Jansenist heresy. Pope Innocent XII appointed a commission of cardinals to investigate the accusations against Codde. The commission concluded that the accusations were groundless.
In 1700, Pope Clement XI summoned Codde to Rome to participate in the Jubilee Year, whereupon a second commission was appointed to try Codde. The result of this second proceeding was again acquittal. However, in 1701 Clement XI decided to suspend Codde and appoint a successor. The church in Utrecht refused to accept the replacement and Codde continued in office until 1703, when he resigned.
After Codde's resignation, the Diocese of Utrecht elected Cornelius Steenoven as bishop. Following consultation with both canon lawyers and theologians in France and Germany, Dominique Marie Varlet, a Roman Catholic Bishop of the French Oratorian Society of Foreign Missions, consecrated Steenoven as a bishop without a papal mandate. What had been de jure autonomous became de facto an independent Catholic church. Steenoven appointed and ordained bishops to the sees of Deventer, Haarlem and Groningen. Although the pope was notified of all proceedings, the Holy See still regarded these dioceses as vacant due to papal permission not being sought. The pope, therefore, continued to appoint apostolic vicars for the Netherlands. Steenoven and the other bishops were excommunicated, and thus began the Old Catholic Church in the Netherlands.
While the religious clergy remained loyal to Rome, three-quarters of the secular clergy at first followed Codde, but by 1706 over two-thirds of these returned to Roman allegiance. Of the laity, the overwhelming majority sided with Rome. Thus most Dutch Catholics remained in full communion with the pope and with the apostolic vicars appointed by him. However, due to prevailing anti-papal feeling among the powerful Dutch Calvinists, the Church of Utrecht was tolerated and even praised by the government of the Dutch Republic.
The See of Utrecht declared the right to elect its own archbishop in 1724, after being accused of Jansenism. The formation of the Old Catholic communion of Germans, Austrians and Swiss began in 1870 at a public meeting held in Nuremberg under the leadership of Ignaz von Döllinger, following the First Vatican Council.
In 1853 Pope Pius IX received guarantees of religious freedom from King William II of the Netherlands and re-established the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the Netherlands. The Holy See sees the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht as the continuation of the episcopal see founded in the 7th century and raised to metropolitan status on 12 May 1559, thus not recognizing any legitimacy of Old Catholics.
First Vatican Council, Old Catholic Union of Utrecht
|Papal primacy, supremacy and infallibility|
After the First Vatican Council (1869–1870), several groups of Roman Catholics in Austria-Hungary, Imperial Germany, and Switzerland rejected the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility in matters of faith and morals and left to form their own churches. These were supported by the Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht, who ordained priests and bishops for them. Later the Dutch were united more formally with many of these groups under the name "Utrecht Union of Churches".
In the spring of 1871, a convention in Munich attracted several hundred participants, including Church of England and Protestant observers. Döllinger, an excommunicated Roman Catholic priest and church historian, was a notable leader of the movement but was never a member of an Old Catholic Church.
The convention decided to form the "Old Catholic Church" in order to distinguish its members from what they saw as the novel teaching in the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility. Although it had continued to use the Roman Rite, from the middle of the 18th century the Dutch Old Catholic See of Utrecht had increasingly used the vernacular instead of Latin. The churches which broke from the Holy See in 1870 and subsequently entered into union with the Old Catholic See of Utrecht gradually introduced the vernacular into the liturgy until it completely replaced Latin in 1877. In 1874 Old Catholics removed the requirement of clerical celibacy.
The Old Catholic Church within the German Empire received support from the government of Otto von Bismarck, whose 1870s Kulturkampf policies persecuted the Roman Catholic Church. In Austria-Hungary, pan-Germanic nationalist groups, like those of Georg Ritter von Schönerer, promoted the conversion of all German speaking Catholics to Old Catholicism and Lutheranism.
Spread of Old Catholicism throughout the World
In 1913, Mathew consecrated Rudolph de Landas Berghes, who emigrated to the United States in 1914 and planted the seed of Old Catholicism in the Americas. He consecrated an excommunicated Capuchin Franciscan priest as bishop: Carmel Henry Carfora.
Another significant figure, Joseph René Vilatte, who was ordained a deacon and priest by Bishop Eduard Herzog, of the Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland., worked with Catholics of Belgian ancestry living on the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin, with the knowledge and blessing of the Union of Utrecht and under the full jurisdiction of the local Episcopal Bishop of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
The Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) in the U.S. was previously in communion with the Union of Utrecht of Old Catholic Church. In 2003 the church voted itself out of the UU because the UU accepted the ordination of women and has an open attitude towards homosexuality, both of which the Polish National Catholic Church rejects.
Old Catholic Church of Slovakia
The Old Catholic Church of Slovakia was accepted in 2000 as a member of the Union of Utrecht. As early as 2001 some issues arose concerning future consecration of Augustin Bacinsky as old-catholic bishop of Slovakia, and the matter was postponed. Old Catholic Church of Slovakia was expelled from the Union of Utrecht in 2004, because the episcopal administrator Augustin Bacinsky had been consecrated by an episcopus vagans.
|Catholic Diocese of the Old-Catholics in Germany||15,500|
|Old-Catholic Church in Austria||14,621|
|Old-Catholic Church in the Netherlands||10,000|
|Old-Catholic Church of Switzerland||13,500|
|Old-Catholic Mariavite Church in Poland||29,000|
|Polish Catholic Church in Poland[b]||20,000|
The Union of Utrecht considers that the reunion of the churches has to be based on a re-actualization of the decisions of faith made by the undivided Church. In that way, they claim, the original unity of the Church could be made visible again. Following these principles, later bishops and theologians of the Union of Utrechts churches stayed in contact with Russian Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican representatives.
Old Catholic involvement in the multilateral ecumenical movement formally began with the participation of two bishops, from the Netherlands and Switzerland, at the Lausanne Faith and Order (F&O) conference (1927). This side of ecumenism has always remained a major interest for Old Catholics who have never missed an F&O conference. Old Catholics also participate in other activities of the WCC and of national councils of churches. By active participation in the ecumenical movement since its very beginning, the OCC demonstrates its belief in this work.
Old Catholicism values apostolic succession by which they mean both the uninterrupted laying on of hands by bishops through time and the continuation of the whole life of the church community by word and sacrament over the years and ages. Old Catholics consider apostolic succession to be the handing on of belief in which the whole Church is involved. In this process the ministry has a special responsibility and task, caring for the continuation in time of the mission of Jesus Christ and his Apostles.
According to the principle of ex opere operato, certain ordinations by bishops not in communion with Rome are still recognised as being valid by the Holy See and the ordinations of and by Old Catholic bishops in the Union of Utrecht churches has never been formally questioned by the Holy See until the more recent ordinations of women as priests.
Christ-Catholic Swiss bishop Urs Küry dismissed the Catholic dogma of transubstantiation because this Scholastic interpretation presumes to explain the Eucharist using the metaphysical concept of "substance". Like the Eastern Orthodox approach to the Eucharist, Old Catholics, he says, ought to accept an unexplainable divine mystery as such and should not cleave to or insist upon a particular theory of the sacrament. Because of this approach, Old Catholics hold an open view to most issues, including the role of women in the Church, the role of married people within ordained ministry, the morality of same sex relationships, the use of conscience when deciding whether to use artificial contraception, and liturgical reforms such as open communion. Its liturgy has not significantly departed from the Tridentine Mass, as is shown in the translation of the German altar book (missal).
In 1994 the German bishops decided to ordain women as priests, and put this into practice on 27 May 1996. Similar decisions and practices followed in Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In 2020, the Swiss church also voted in favour of same-sex marriage. Marriages between two men and two women will be conducted in the same manner as heterosexual marriages. The UU allows those who are divorced to have a new marriage in the church, and has no particular teaching on abortion, leaving such decisions to the married couple.
An active contributor to the Declaration of the Catholic Congress, Munich, 1871, and all later assemblies for organization was Johann Friedrich von Schulte, the professor of dogma at Prague. Von Schulte summed up the results of the congress as follows:
- adherence to the ancient Catholic faith
- maintenance of the rights of Catholics
- rejection of new Catholic dogmas
- adherence to the constitutions of the ancient Church with repudiation of every dogma of faith not in harmony with the actual consciousness of the Church
- reform of the Church with constitutional participation of the laity
- preparation of the way for reunion of the Christian confessions
- reform of the training and position of the clergy
- adherence to the State against the attacks of Ultramontanism
- rejection of the Society of Jesus
- claim to the real property of the Church
- Liberal Catholic Movement
- Independent Catholic Churches
- Liberal Catholic Church
- Willibrord Society
- German Catholics (sect)
- The organization Polish Catholic Church in Poland, a member church of the UU, is not to be confused with the Catholic Church in Poland or confused with the Polish National Catholic Church, a former member church of the UU.
- Polish Catholic Church in Poland, a member church of the UU, is not to be confused with the Catholic Church in Poland or confused with the PNCC, a former member church of the UU.
- "Member Churches". utrechter-union.org. Utrecht, NL: Utrechter Union der Altkatholischen Kirchen. Archived from the original on 10 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
- "The Union of Scranton: a union of churches in communion with the Polish National Catholic Church". unionofscranton.org. Scranton, PA: Union of Scranton. Archived from the original on 21 March 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Agreement" (PDF). Union of Utrecht. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
- "Old-Catholic churches". World Council of Churches. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
- James R., Lewis (1998). "Old Catholic Movement". The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions (1st ed.). United States: Prometheus Books. p. 367. ISBN 1-57392-222-6.
- "Old Catholic church | Christianity | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
- "Bilateral Relations". Church of Sweden. 24 September 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
- "Churches in Communion with the Church of England". Europe.anglican.org. 8 April 2009. Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "Old-Catholic Church in the Netherlands". Oikoumene.org. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "Old-Catholic churches | World Council of Churches". www.oikoumene.org. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
- "A theological and spiritual vision". Union of Utrecht of The Old Catholic Churches. Archived from the original on 17 April 2010.
- "VIEUX-CATHOLIQUES". Dictionnaire des religions (in French). Presses universitaires de France. 1984. pp. 1771–2. ISBN 2-13-037978-8. OCLC 10588473.
- This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain: Vincent of Lérins (1955) [1894 by various publishers]. "The Commonitory of Vincent of Lérins, for the antiquity and universality of the catholic faith against the profane novelties of all heresies". In Schaff, Philip; Wace, Henry (eds.). Sulpitius Severus, Vincent of Lerins, John Cassian. A select library of the Nicene and post-Nicene fathers of the Christian Church. Second series. Vol. 11. Translated by Charles A. Heurtley (Reprint ed.). Grand Rapids: B. Eerdmans. pp. 127–130 . OCLC 16266414 – via Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
- Kaplan, Benjamin J. (Autumn 1994). " 'Remnants of the papal yoke': apathy and opposition in the Dutch reformation". The Sixteenth Century Journal. 25 (3): 653–669. doi:10.2307/2542640. ISSN 0361-0160. JSTOR 2542640.
- Neale 1858.
- Parker, Charles H. (July 2009). Faith on the Margins: Catholics and Catholicism in the Dutch Golden Age. pp. 30–31. ISBN 9780674033719.
- Kooi, Christine (30 April 2012). Calvinists and Catholics During Holland's Golden Age: Heretics and Idolaters. pp. 48–49. ISBN 9781107023246.
- Gelderblom, Arie Jan; De Jong, Jan L.; Vaeck, Marc Van (January 2004). The Low Countries as a Crossroads of Religious Beliefs. p. 168. ISBN 9004122885.
- Zachman, Randall C. (September 2008). John Calvin and Roman Catholicism: Critique and Engagement, then and Now. p. 124. ISBN 9780801035975.
- Parker, Charles H. (July 2009). Faith on the Margins: Catholics and Catholicism in the Dutch Golden Age. p. 39. ISBN 9780674033719.
- Van Kley, Dale K. (August 2008). "Civic Humanism in Clerical Garb: Gallican Memories of the Early Church and the Project of Primitivist Reform 1719-1791". Past & Present. 200 (1): 77–120. doi:10.1093/pastj/gtm055.
- Vissera, Jan (2003). "The Old Catholic churches of the Union of Utrecht". International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church. 3 (1): 68–84. doi:10.1080/14742250308574025. ISSN 1474-225X. S2CID 144732215.
- "Fr. Hardon Archives - Religions of the World - Chapter 17. Old Catholic Churches". Therealpresence.org. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "The Liberal Catholic" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "Cambridge Journals Online - Ecclesiastical Law Journal". Journals.cambridge.org. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- Varlet, Dominique-Marie (1986). Domestic Correspondence of Dominique-Marie Varlet. ISBN 9004076719. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- Pruter, Karl (October 2006). The Old Catholic Church (3rd ed.). ISBN 9780912134413. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- Bakvis, Herman (1981). Catholic Power in the Netherlands. McGill-Queen's Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780773503618.
- Lee, Stephen J. (1984). Aspects of European history, 1494-1789. ISBN 9780415027847. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- Algis Ratnikas. "Timeline Netherlands". Timelines.ws. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 769
- "Old Catholic Conference". oldcatholichistory.org. Retrieved 25 April 2010.[dead link]
- "Declaration of the Catholic Congress". oldcatholichistory.org. Retrieved 25 April 2010.[dead link]
- "A Study of the First Old Catholic Congresses". oldcatholichistory.org. Retrieved 25 April 2010.[dead link]
- "Father Johann Joseph Ignaz von Dollinger" (PDF). oldcatholichistory.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
- James S. Pula (Summer 2009). "Polish-American Catholicism: A Case Study in Cultural Determinism". U.S. Catholic Historian. 27 (3): 1–19. doi:10.1353/cht.0.0014. ISSN 0735-8318. S2CID 154139236. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2010 – via Project MUSE.
- Davis, Derek H. (Autumn 1998). "Editorial: Religious persecution in today's Germany: old habits renewed". Journal of Church and State. Waco, TX: J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor University. 40 (4): 741–756. doi:10.1093/jcs/40.4.741. ISSN 0021-969X.
- Jensen, John H. (1971). Forces of change. The European experience, topics in modern history. Vol. 1. Wellington: Reed. ISBN 9780589040635.[page needed]
- "Independent and Old Catholic Churches". Novelguide.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- Weeks, Donald M. "A partial chronological history of pioneer Old Catholics in the United States" (PDF). oldcatholichistory.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- C.B. Moss (1964) "The Old Catholic Movement" p. 291, middle paragraph
- "Our History". PNCC.org. Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "Utrechter Union - History". www.utrechter-union.org.
- Thaddeus A. Schnitker (July 1999). "The Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht". Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- "Utrechter Union - Communiqué of the IBC meeting in Breslau/PL 2000". www.utrechter-union.org. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Utrechter Union - Communiqué of the IBC meeting in Bendorf/D, 2001". www.utrechter-union.org. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Utrechter Union - Member Churches". www.utrechter-union.org. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "International Old-Catholic Bishops' Conference". oikoumene.org. Geneva: World Council of Churches. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- "Catholic Diocese of the Old-Catholics in Germany". oikoumene.org. Geneva: World Council of Churches. Archived from the original on 20 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- "Old-Catholic Church in Austria". oikoumene.org. Geneva: World Council of Churches. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- "Old-Catholic Church in the Netherlands". oikoumene.org. Geneva: World Council of Churches. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- "Old-Catholic Church of Switzerland". oikoumene.org. Geneva: World Council of Churches. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- "Old-Catholic Mariavite Church in Poland". oikoumene.org. Geneva: World Council of Churches. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- "Polish Catholic Church in Poland". oikoumene.org. Geneva: World Council of Churches. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- "The Old Catholic Ecumenical Commitment". Union of Utrecht of The Old Catholic Churches. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009.
- "Edward McNamara, "The Old Catholic and Polish National Churches"". Archived from the original on 22 June 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- Urs Küry (1901-1976), Die Alt-Katholische Kirche, 1966
- "Information > Frauenordination • Katholisches Bistum der Alt-Katholiken in Deutschland". www.alt-katholisch.de. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- News Brief,The Tablet, 5 September 2020, 25.
- Ehe, Scheidung, Wiederheirat (Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage) Archived 2 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Baumgarten, Paul Maria (1911). "Old Catholics". In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain: Neale, John M (1858). History of the so-called Jansenist church of Holland; with a sketch of its earlier annals, and some account of the Brothers of the common life. Oxford; London: John Henry and James Parker. hdl:2027/mdp.39015067974389. OCLC 600855086.
- Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church. Henry R.T. Brandreth. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1947.
- Episcopi vagantes in church history. A.J. Macdonald. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1945.
- The Old Catholic Church: A History and Chronology (The Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, No. 3). Karl Pruter. Highlandville, Missouri: St. Willibrord's Press, 1996.
- The Old Catholic Sourcebook (Garland Reference Library of Social Science). Karl Pruter and J. Gordon Melton. New York: Garland Publishers, 1983.
- The Old Catholic Churches and Anglican Orders. C.B. Moss. The Christian East, January, 1926.
- The Old Catholic Movement. C.B. Moss. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1964.
- "La Sainte Trinité dans la théologie de Dominique Varlet, aux origines du vieux-catholicisme". Serge A. Thériault. Internationale Kirchliche Zeitschrift, Jahr 73, Heft 4 (Okt.-Dez. 1983), p. 234-245.