Old Catholics

Our pope is truly a man of vision. He is even reaching out to the Old Catholics.


Seems like some evangelical “Mega-Church” ministries have as many members as the Old Catholic Church (115K in 2013 estimate). I’ll bet they are thrilled by the publicity from the Pope’s comments. True to form, our Pope’s comments reveal a sense of ecumenical charity while still witnessing to the truth:

“The theological and ecclesiological questions that arose during our separation are now more difficult to overcome due to the increasing distance between us on matters of ministry and ethical discernment,” lamented Pope Francis in an Oct. 30 address to the Old Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Union of Utrecht."

Old Catholics are not an Evangelical “Mega Church”, we simply don’t recognize the Pope’s authority after the whole Papal Infability thing.

Personaly, I think it’s a great thing. It would be great if Rome would acept us, but considering that we have married clergy, LGBTI clergy and female priesthood, I don’t see how Pope Francis, no matter how insightfull he is, would acept the Old Catholic’s differences.

SilverAvenger, How awesome to have a member of the Old Catholic Church here to express their take on the story! :thumbsup:

The “Mega Church” reference was simply a comparison of numbers…

So by your estimation, is your church growing or shrinking? How have the married priest, female ordinations and LGBTI policies affected church attendance?

Are there significant numbers of Old Catholic Church members willing to consider the teaching of the Catholic Magisterium on these matters?

You are correct. The Church will never accept what the Old Catholics have done to the priesthood. Male clergy is a doctrine of the Church. Married clergy is not an obstacle.

According to Wikipedia, the Old Catholic Church opposes the RCC on abortion. If that is true, that would be a permanent deal-breaker.

I suspect that most of the great distance that now separates the 2 communions happened in the last few decades. In other words, I think the Old Catholics were much closer to Rome in, say, 1960 than now. I predict they will be farther apart in 2030 than they are now. I think Pope Francis is trying to keep the lines of communication and cooperation open, especially on the local parish level. In dialogue with some communions, such as the LCMS or - possibly - the PNCC, there is strong doctrinal stability that Rome can build with, long term. Is that true of Old Catholics? Are their positions today in union with, and predicable from the standpoint of 20 or 30 years ago?

I think your last para is correct.


Old" catholics despite their incredibly misinterpretable name are not some group of traditional (old) pre vatican 1 catholics or like the orthodox actually old calendarists or even like SSPX. They are basically a more progressive/liberal version of the already liberal Episcopalians. I can’t foresee a very liberal high church Protestant group moving any closer to the Vatican.

Its also good to read up on why the Old catholic church formed. It wasn’t some innocent arrival. Few people really knows about them today or have strong feelings towards them because their movement largely failed. But they were a huge threat to the catholic church when they first arrived and they had powerful anti catholic backers with goals like liberalizing, protestantizing and breaking up the church through nationalization.

Who knows? Perhaps, within my lifetime, it will be the Anglicans!

Huh … I thought someone would have a snappy (or unsnappy) comeback to that. :hmmm:

It’s a fairly grim group on CAF nowadays. My lighthearted, irrelevant little posts tend to get (rightly) ignored. People are caught up arguing what color Luther’s horse was, or why the commas in Vatican II documents are **not **defined dogma, and that proves it was just a pastoral council, so the SSPX is right to ignore modernist interpretations that emerged from unholy reliance on those commas. Now semi colons, on the other hand…


No sense of humor around here.


Okay, I see that I’ve set some rugs on fire on this one!

I still afirm myself as an old Catholic, but to be honest, It’s been almost 20 years since I last attended Mass.

First of all, we splitted from the Roman Catholic church on the following of Vatican I, as we don’t beleave any man can be infalible in any matter [yes, I know that it’s supposed to be only when the Pope is speaking Ex Catedra]. We’re close to the Anglican Communion, and keep many of the ancient catholic tradictions [For instance, my parish had tridentine mass prayed in the vernacular, and we kneeled to receve holy comunion from our priest and her deacons]. Yes, we can be seen as protestants: As we have no Pope, we follow the desisions of the synod, which has more liberal positions than the Roman Catholics. Allowing women and LGBTQI to be priests was a way to balance the vocations, as the number of priests was rapidly decreasing, and at least where I’m from [Born in the Swiss Alps :slight_smile: ], we already had to close off many parishes because the priests died and there was nobody to replace them. We didn’t tryed to break the Church by nationalization…the movement was just composed like that, and it was decided that it would be best if each country had it’s own synod…kinda like if the SSPX in Italy decided to turn it’s back from the main body of the SSPX, then was followed by Portugal and, for instance, Brazil. But for the sake of being easier to manage, would stay like “National Churches”.

Anyways, the stance on abortion - although I don’t agree with it, only in specific cases, like rape - It’s that, like planned parenting and counterception, it’s the couple’s perrogative. Old Catholics don’t meddle much in every aspect of life.

And to reply to ThankUJP2,
I’d say that in Europe, we’re shrinking. Many become AngloCatholics, and some go Luteran or Calvinist. The fact that there aren’t as many parishes as one might think [In many places, Old Catholics have to attend Anglican - Or even Roman Catholic Mass - I’ve got to say, it’s still confusing to me to go to receve Holy Comunion and the whole “don’t kneel, the priest won’t like it” thing…]

In Switzerland, the Married Clergy, female priesthood and LGBTQI priesthood got us more vocations and attendance, though…putting us able to try to make a stand against all the evangelical churches and charismatic movements that have emerged over the past 30 years.

Oh, and by the way…the Roman Catholic church had female priesthood on the fifth century. It only started being forbidden arround the eight, ninth century. Later even, if you count places like Ireland.

And now, please don’t use this to start a flame war on me.

I am so sorry that you have not attended Mass for more than 20 years.

What is your source fot there having been a female priesthood up until the 8th century?

I found this article:


The article contains many examples, such as:

• A fourth century floor mosaic covering the tomb of Guilia Runa is located in
the cathedral at Annaba acknowledges: “Guilia Runa, woman priest”. This
cathedral was made famous by St. Augustine of Hippo. (Irvin, Calendars)

• In the catacomb of St. Januarus in Naples, Bitalia, a woman priest, is depicted
attired in a red chasuble and celebrating the Eucharist. She has two cups on a
white cloth in front of her, one is wine one is water to mix with the wine as is still
done today. Above her are two open books with markers and on each of the four
pages the name of an evangelist is written. (Irvin, Calendars)

Thank you, eamonnroma.
I also have a scholary book published by the Univericity of Oxford dedicated on the subject. It’s entitled “The Hidden History of Womens Ordination Female Clergy in the Medieval West” by Gary Macy. There’s a pdf version of it, shouldn’t bee too hard to find.

And I have attended Roman Catholic mass when I can. Since the Eucharist is valid, we’re allowed to do that when there’s no nearby parish…only big problem is my atheist family, which doesen’t allows me, but I sometimes sneak away and manage.

The problem is that the Old Catholic Church does not set rugs on fire. It follows - obeys - the secular media establishment. By supporting the right to rip apart unborn babies on demand, it has rejected the sanctity of all human life. Doing this means they also reject both the ancient Christian Tradition, but also they are taking positions that the earlier Old Catholics would have found unChristian. They may argue that they are not under any hierarchy based in Rome, but they are in effect subservient to the political, media, academic power structure and trendsetters in their own countries.

We don’t need a church that can change with the times. We need a Church that can change the times.

Well, I think SilverAvenger’s “rugs on fire” comment may have been pretty exaggerated, but there’s at least a bit of truth to it. Just look at the article in the OP … Or for that matter, simply read its title:

Pope Francis reaches out to schismatic Old Catholic Church

We give room for personal counscience: For instance, my female priest back in Switzerland had big arguments with both her bishop and the protestant folk from town about abortion, and was well known for telling anyone who would come to her with that that it was preferable giving the child to adoption case the couple couldn’t support the child.

Also, there’s a “general stance”, but each national church has their own stance on the subject.

As for setting rugs on fire, I meant starting an inflamamed argument that could get a little too serious. Like I say on my faith Statement, I’ve got a strong affinity towards Tradictional Catholicism, and am here to learn, not to start personal wars.

Not all Old Catholics are the same.

I have discovered that the Old Catholics in the UK are no longer in communion with the Utrecht Old Catholics, mainly over the ordination of women issue.


It seems that the only difference between us and the OCCUK is the infallibility of the Pope issue.

Maybe it was this ‘sort’ of OCC that was in mind in the Vatican document on THE CHURCH AND ECCLESIAL COMMUNION.


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