What is the "Old Catholic Church"?
The Old Catholic movement traces its history to the Utrecht Union in the Netherlands. The church began splitting apart from Rome in the 19th century over the appointment of bishops by the Pope, who had been previously elected from within each diocese. The split became final after Vatican I when Pope Pius IX claimed Papal Infallibility. The prior tradition, and that which is still held by Old Catholics, is that of “Infallibility of Bishops in General Council.”
The Old Catholic Church is associated with the Holy See of Antioch, which was founded by St. Peter as its first Bishop, and where the term "Christian " was first applied to believers and followers of Jesus Christ. The Old Catholic Church is part of the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church"; and ministers in close co-operation with the Roman Catholic Church. (See web-page: Old Catholics and Roman Catholics) The Bishops of the Old Catholic Church "hold and keep Apostolic Succession".
The Old Catholic Church welcomes individual Roman Catholics, and other Christians, to participate in Communion and other Sacraments. Old Catholics believe in the "Real Presence" in the Eucharist; that the Bread and Wine, truly become the "Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity" of Jesus Christ. Old Catholics offer "Open Communion"; that is Communion to all Baptized Christians.
Of particular concern to The Old Catholic Church is the offering of Sacraments to those who have left Catholicism for whatever reason, who are "non-practicing Catholics", or those who are considered "displaced Catholics"; and/or other Christians, who seek forms of worship and beliefs, founded in Sacred Scripture and the Traditions of the Catholic Church.
To contact an Old Catholic Priest in you area, please see the "Contact Us" page.