What is the Status of the Old Roman Catholic Church?

I recently located and atteneded a Latin Mass said by a Archbishop belonging to the Old Roman Catholic Church. I know they are not in communion with Rome, but the Vatican recognizes them and they recognize the current Pope.

Are they in schism? The group i attended held the three dogmas proclaimed after the First Vatican Council (Papal inffailability, the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption).

Pope Saint John Paul II spoke of them in “Dominus Jesus” and stated that they were recognized and thier orders and sacraments are valid, is this still the case and is it licit to attend / serve at one of the latin masses offered by them?

The only other option i have is a CMRI chapel, and i am never going back there again, so i am looking for an alternative to attend the Tridentine Mass. My diocese says they are in schism but Cardinals and the Pope say otherwise.

would appreciate any advise or assistance. Thank you!

Honestly I have never heard of an “old RCC” However I have only been officially Catholic for 5 years but I did feel that there are some contradictions here that stood out.

1- If you “know they are not in communion” then you have answered your question about are they licit or not and can you attend mass there- NO.

  1. However you say " the Vatican recognizes them and they recognize the current Pope" In what way are they 'recognized ’ and who told you? This seems to be a contradiction of them not being in communion.

  2. If they believe in Papal infallibility and they recognize Pope Francis as the valid Pope then this would indicate they are in obedience with Rome and therefore probably yes are in communion.

  3. If their orders and sacraments are valid then yes they are in communion surely , HOWEVER why then would your Diocese say they are in schism that is the real question. Do they mean in schism like the Eastern lung? Then my understanding is that yes their orders and sacraments could be valid with regards to apostolic succession ( honestly though I have never understood the difference between how can a schismatic Church still have valid apostolic succession and a Protestant Church of England not for example) .

  4. A the end of the day it is the Bishop of your diocese who has jurisdiction unless He is in schism with the Magisterium!!

Some one else help me out here have I got this all right?

Finally why don’t you make it easier and find a regular parish that holds a Tridintine mass at least once during the day ? We have one parish like that.

By Bishop is totally against most things traditional and does not allow the Latin mass to be celebrated at the normal parishes in the diocese.

However, the previous Bishop of the Diocese endorsed this group and granted them a chapel to celebrate mass in. He stated that they were and are recognized by the Holy See as being Catholic, but not in full communion. This Bishop also states that by including Pope Francis in the Canon of the Mass they celebrate (tridentine) it keeps them spiritually, although not fully, in communion with Rome.

They are not in communion in that they do not fully accept Vatican II and say they cant because of “modernism”. They recognize Pope Francis but are not “under” him due to the rejection of elements of Vatican II.

The Popes and several cardinals have repeatly stated that thier orders and sacraments are valid. I am just a little concerned and frankly, our current Bishop is a very modern man and he closely watches when and what masses are celebrated and is ready to deem anything schismatical if it doesnt suit him.

Here is an article from EWTN on the Old Catholic Church.

Old Catholic Church

Personally, I would stay away from them and just go to a parish that you know is Roman Catholic Church.

First of all, Dominus Iesus is a document from the CDF, not Pope Saint John Paul II and nowhere in that document does it say anything about the ‘Old Roman Catholic Church’.

Second, Bishop Dominique Varlet was suspended on 7 May 1719. None of his ‘consecrations’ are valid, So there is no Apostolic Succession in the ‘Old Roman Catholic Church’ and, as far as I can tell, no valid sacraments.




They are called Old Catholic Church,not Old Roman Catholic Church. There is an Old Catholic Church nearby where I work for local RCC parish. They are NOT in communion with Rome. Their baptism are valid,however, if one is baptized under an Old Catholic Church,such a person has to recite the Profession of Faith to be in full communion. I do believe their Communions and Confirmations are illicit.

Maryann, you seem to misunderstand a few things. This “Eastern Lung” you are talking about is NOT in schism. The Pope was talking about the Eastern Catholics when he said the Church has two lungs.

secondly, the DO have valid orders and sacraments, because they have apostolic succession. but NO, they are not in communion. Valid , but not licit.

Many thanks you are right I knew I was getting it mixed up somewhere. Appreciate the correction.

Thank you everyone for your help! I am never going there nor communicating with that “Bishop” again after speaking to the Bishop Emeritus of my Diocese, he told me to keep away from at all costs.

Thanks again!

This is aside from the main point of the thread, but what is this? (for inquiring minds, who want to know…)

The Religious Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen. Traditionalist Catholic group that rejects Vatican II.

The Old Catholic Church arose from Utrecht Holland and indeed they resulted due to disagreement with some of the positons taken in Vatican 1-

they presently consist of a number of small churches with varying names such s the Ecumenical catholic Church and indeed the “Old Roman Catholic Church” which has a Parish near me in Florida-a number of Priests were ordained by a Brazilian Bishop (Duarte)

the Polish National Catholic Church was for awhile a member of the “Old Catholics”

the Old Catholics are in communion with the Episcopal Church-

here is one of many web sties that “Old Catholics” have

I am sure that the senior members here will tell you that their Holy Orders are indeed valid

However much like the Episcopal Church they have moved in the direction of female and gay and transexual Clergy

Many of their clergy are ex Roman catholic Priests or deacons

It looks like the Old catholic movement is ultimately a dead end

I think Old Catholics is different from the bunch that braeden came accorss. Old Catholics originally broke away from the Catholic church in the 18th century over a dispute over the bishop occupying the see of Utretch. After Vatican I, the church grew with the influx of Catholics who disagreed with the proclaimation of papal infallibility after Vatican I.

This bunch that breaden met disagreed with Vatican II, similar to SSPX, and the like. Unlike the Old Catholics, they are very much in favour of papal infalibility, provided of course the Pope agreed with them, and if the Pope does not, they reserve the right to decide that the Pope is in heresy and only they are faithful to the true Church. What they say can be very confusing for the unwary Catholics. Some would claim that the seat of Peter is vacant and so when they say the recognise the Pope, it is the office of the Pope that they recognise, not so much Pope Francis since Pope Francis is not occupying what they conisder to be a vaanat seat. There is even one claim that Montini was never elected Pope Paul VI in 1963 and therefore all subsequent popes (& the bishops they consecrate) lack apostolic succession (a lack of understanding of apostolic succession if you ask me). If you start to question them further, though, you will find that many of their views start to fall apart, as with many consipracy therories.

I have no problem with traditionalist Catholics, even those who want to bring back the Tridentine mass (I try to attend one if ever the opportunity arises - which is rare) but I do take issue with those who think loving the Tridentine mass makes them more Catholic than the rest of us, including the Pope.

Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI used the 'eastern lung" term to describe both Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics.

In an address to the Eastern Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus, Pope Benedict XVI invoked the language of Pope John Paul II and clearly refers to the Eastern Orthodox Church as one of the two lungs of the Church:

“Thank you, Your Beatitude, for this gesture of esteem and brotherly friendship. In you, I greet the Pastor of an ancient and illustrious Church, a shining tessera of that bright mosaic, the East, which, to use a favourite phrase of the Servant of God John Paul II of venerable memory, constitutes one of the two lungs with which the Church breathes.”


Actually Mary was right, as another poster pointed out Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict use the term ‘Eastern Lung’ to refer to the Easter Orthodox as well as Eastern Catholics.

I just found a wikipedia article on the Old Roman Catholic Church. It seems that they are often associated with Old Catholics, but they are NOT in communion with the Old Catholics and are independent. It seems that the biggest issue they have is clerical celibacy, they allow ordain married males. They also view their “schism” like the East and don’t completely accept papal infallibility



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