Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest ?????

Spring in December’ could bring 70-degree day Monday

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.trbimg.com/img-50bbb2ed/turbine/chi-toys-for-tots-motorcycle-parade-photo/600                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bishop James Wilkowski from  the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest blesses participants  at the starting line of the 35th annual Chicagoland Toys for Tots  Motorcycle Parade at 83rd Street and Western Avenue on Sunday. Thousands  of motorcyclists participated in the parade this year, which travels  north on Western Avenue, ending at Lane Tech High School on Addison  Street. Parade officials say the turnout was larger this year for the  event, due to the 60-degree temperatures in Chicago. The event is  designed to help raise money to buy new toys for needy children.                                                 (Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune / December 2, 2012)

Has anyone heard of this offshoot group?

They are one of the many splinter groups which have spawned (and sometimes dissolved) in the wake of the Old Catholic schism of the 1870s. The Old Catholics got valid apostolic succession from an even older schism (rooted in the Jansenist heresy) which was called the Union of Utrecht.

The Utrecht schism, for a couple centuries, kept close guard on their bishops and the validity of their orders. But they consecrated some Old Catholic priests (who didn’t have any bishops of their own) and the Old Catholics quickly splintered in all directions since nothing really united them other than rejection of Vatican I.

So a situation of episcopi vagantes, or wandering bishops, resulted. These bishops not only ordained priests but more bishops as well, often with little control over the views of their newly anointed clergy. The result, at least in the US, has been a multiplication of denominations which use the name Catholic in their title, but which are not in communion with Rome.

These denominations often try to lure Catholics to their fold by touting doctrines at variance with the Holy See, but which appeal to American sensibilities e.g. female priests, married clergy, approval of contraception etc.

oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Old_Catholics
(NB: the link I supplied was written 100 years ago, and the situation has worsened since then)

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