Independent Catholicism?!

Why is it that independent " Catholic " churches call themselves catholic but are not in communion with the Holy Father like for example, Old Catholic Church, Polish National Catholic Church, Liberial Catholic Church, Lutheran Evangelical Catholic Church etc.

Some of these churches actually claim to be the official church Christ established, but were formed by man.

Are these churches break away churches, and if so is it because they don’t agree with the catechism and the doctrine of the official Catholic Church?

God Bless

There are 3 divisions in Christianity which is Catholic, Orthodox, And Protestantism, since the independent catholic churches arnt in communion with both orthodox and Catholicism, would they be one of those 40,900 Protestant denominations?

I’m not exactly sure what we’d call them. If they are not in communion with Rome, they are not Catholic; it doesn’t matter what they call themselves. They many Catholic roots or have a Catholic history, but so do the Protestants.

There is One Christianity. Catholics claim to be of that One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Protestants claim to be denominations. They are divisions of that Church. It is right that these “independent” communities should want to be of that One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. We all should want that. It is just that the very act of being separated is inherently contrary to being part of the universal(Catholic) Church.

It’s not that their are three groups: Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant…some of the examples the OP listed (such as the Old Catholic Church) are schismatic (similar to the Orthodox) but not heretical (like the Protestants). The CCC 2089 clears this up.

I don’t think we should label every Christian group, not Catholic, Protestant. The Orthodox are certainly not Protestant. The groups you discribe would certainly not fit into that category. The whole point of Catholicism is unity of faith, so there can be no “independent Catholicism”.

Some of them are “break away churches” as you call them. And yes, many of them have broken away because of their lack of willingness to conform to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Those who have broken away from Rome are free to call themselves anything they like, and many choose to use the title “Catholic” so as to confuse people, or to snub their noses to the authority of Rome. I was flipping through the TV channels and saw a protestant pastor preaching – at the bottom of the screen it said he was “Bishop” so-and-so from such-and-such Christian church. But he is no more a “bishop” than I am. There are also women who have gone through an ordination ceremony and call themselves Catholic priests.

Well, I could glue feathers all over my body and call myself a bird, but that doesn’t mean I can fly. :smiley:

If you’re concerned about making sure you attend a Catholic mass that is valid and licit, check with your local diocese/archdiocese for parishes in your area.

If you’re concerned that people can publicly claim religious titles they don’t actually have – well, I can’t help you on that one.

God bless you!


There are hundreds of “independent Catholic” and “old Catholic” churches.

They call themselves Catholic because they use Catholic liturgy, claim to have Catholic sacraments, wear Catholic vestments, and to an untrained eye look Catholic superficially.

They all reject the Holy Father, but go to great lengths on their websites to “prove” the apostolic succesion of their bishops, this they think proves their legitimacy.

If you look at the sites you will find groups with one bishop, but no parishes.
“Cathedrals” in converted garages, or living rooms.

I honestly cannot understand these people, but I can understand the appeal to the ego. You get to call yourself bishop, wear a mitre, lots of strokes.

I acctualy know of two “bishops” in my small 9,000 pop town. One calls himself “Orthodox” but he is not in communion with any Orthodox. His “cathedral” a repurposed small furnititure store.

The other called himself “old Catholic” had a real church in the barrio, and his episcopal palace a trailer house!:eek:

The Old Catholic Church and the Polish National Catholic Church might be called “break aways”. Many of the other “independent” catholic churches were formed by individuals who left either the Catholic Church or the Anglican Church. Some are even headed by laicized Catholic priests. :frowning:

Hey, the first Christians met in people’s houses, or worse places like burial grounds and sewers (otherwise known as catacombs). And many of the first bishops had no more comfortable ‘episcopal palace’ than a friend’s spare room or a jail cell :shrug:
For that matter, the same is probabably still true in some places where the Church is still persecuted, like China.

Material trappings maketh not the true Church, 'cos some other groups can match us pound for pound on that score.


Is the Church of Christ really the Church of Christ?

Is the Mexican National Catholic Church really the Catholic Church in Mexico?

You may want to look st the book “handbook of denominations” or “separated brethren” for a discussion as to the origins of these groups.

The Old Catholic Church and the Polish National Catholic Church might be called “break aways”. Many of the other “independent” catholic churches were formed by individuals who left either the Catholic Church or the Anglican Church

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