The Old Catholic Churches


#1

I don’t know much about this sect. The Old Catholic Churches claim to have apostolic succession and they don’t accept the authority of the Pope. What do they believe that’s so different? Could there ever be unity? Has there been any effort for unity?


#2

[quote=Roman_Army]I don’t know much about this sect. The Old Catholic Churches claim to have apostolic succession and they don’t accept the authority of the Pope. What do they believe that’s so different? Could there ever be unity? Has there been any effort for unity?
[/quote]

The OC, or Union of Utrecht Catholics came into existence in 1870. There was a theologian named Dr. Dollinger who refused to accept Vatican I’s teaching on Papal Infallibility. After they broke communion with Rome, they’ve become kind of an ersatz conglomeration of different irregular Catholic bodies, like the Polish National Catholic Church. Many OC bishops ordained Anglican priests, so some Anglicans do possess apostolic succession. Some OC’s are very traditionalist, most are very liberal. It’s a very clericalist communion… they have tons of priests and bishops but few lay adherents.


#3

The Holy See keeps ecumenical relations with many different members of the Utrecht communion, especially the PNCC, which is theologically orthodox.


#4

Thanks.


#5

[quote=BillyT92679]The Holy See keeps ecumenical relations with many different members of the Utrecht communion, especially the PNCC, which is theologically orthodox.
[/quote]

It is my understanding that the PNCC is no longer affiliated with the Utrecht group, largely due to the latter groups new willingness to ordain females.

Some background:
Vatican I was never completed due to the horrible political situation in Italy at the time. It remained for Vatican II to close the Council and further define (or elaborate) the relationship between the bishops and the Holy See. So for the inter-Conciliar period it seemed to some that the role and duties of the Pope in the church was over-emphasized while the role of the college of bishops was under-emphasized. Thus several (four or five at least) generations of Roman Catholics were raised with the ultra-Montanist ideas of the Vatican Council I.

Interestingly, the French national church (Gallicanism) was the principal threat facing the church in those decades, between that and the possible political collapse of the Papal States a need was seen to reinforce the concept of Papal authority within the church.

The first generation saw many intellectuals, bishops and priests doubt the strongly worded terms in the decrees of V-I. Within 20 years large numbers of Eastern Catholics went over to the Orthodox churches where their successors are to this day. The terms of Vatican Council I did not directly cause the withdrawal, but it contributed to the background of the crises.

In the Roman Catholic communities (of North America) there were splits over parochial issues, and the doubts about V-I made it easier to justify withdrawal from the church. Some Polish, Lithuanian and Czech parishes withdrew at that time, the largest being the Polish national church.

In Europe the situation was different because they did not typically have highly mixed plural ethnic societies in the manner of North America. Most of the objectors to the V-I pronouncements were intellectuals and priests, and they approached the little church of Utrecht for bishops, being the only good source for authentic Catholic bishops not in communion with Rome.


#6

I’ve wondered about this too. We don’t have any Old Catholic churches down here in Louisiana. We have one church in our diocese that is associated with Abp. Lefebreve’s group but that’s it. New Orleans is 75% + Catholic and Baton Rouge is 40% and we never saw any of this. Any ideas?


#7

I think too the PNCC has attempted to break relations with the Utrecht group; they’ve attempted dialogue with Rome forever… especially since +John Paul II+ (blessed memory) became the Holy Father. They have a couple of churches out here in Western NY. A big sticking point is clerical celibacy because I think their bishops are married.

I had a great Polish professor of history at my college who knows more about Polish culture that just about anyone. He basically said that the PNCC is considered kind of anathema in Poland and that virtually no one there belongs to that church. It’s purely an American church.


#8

[quote=BillyT92679]…He basically said that the PNCC is considered kind of anathema in Poland and that virtually no one there belongs to that church. It’s purely an American church.
[/quote]

**Mostly Polish American.:wink: Thanks, this helped a lot. **

:blessyou:


#9

Thanks, God bless you too.


#10

“Sacramental ministers of the Roman Catholic Church may admit Polish National Catholics to the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick, when they ask and are properly disposed to approach the sacraments with faith, repentance, and a firm purpose of amendment (conditions which all Christians must fulfill in approaching the sacraments). No additional restrictions apply. The additional restrictions which do apply to Protestants (such as serious need of the sacraments and the inability to receive them from their own ministers, cf. canon 844.4) do not apply in these cases. It can safely be presumed that Polish National Catholics hold a faith in these three sacraments in harmony with the faith held by Roman Catholics, and ought not be questioned on this.”

rcab.org/EandI/resources.html


#11

This is NOT correct!:mad:

The REAL reason some Eastern Catholics joined the Orthodox church were the rude, ignorant Irish Catholic Bishops of this country who REFUSED to recognize them as valid members of the Catholic church!:mad:


#12

[quote=Patchunky]This is NOT correct!:mad:

The REAL reason some Eastern Catholics joined the Orthodox church were the rude, ignorant Irish Catholic Bishops of this country who REFUSED to recognize them as valid members of the Catholic church!:mad:
[/quote]

That was the same story with the Poles. The Irish Bishops weren’t providing them with Polish churches and priests, so the schismatical Polish National Church was born.


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