What is the Old Catholic Church?
We are Catholic, but not Roman. We are Orthodox but not Eastern. We are Conservative and Traditional but we do not close our doors to those looking for God.
We strive to motivate people to return to the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to HIS true presence in the Consecrated Host and Wine. We follow his GREAT COMMISSION to go and make disciples as seen in the GOSPEL of Mark 16,15, and in the return to the adoration of the HOLY EUCHARIST since our faith tells us that HE truly is with us as seen in the GOSPEL of Mathew 28,20.
Even though we are not Aligned through jurisdiction with the Roman Catholic Church, we share everything concerning the FAITH and the SACRAMENTS. We do differ with her in certain aspects on which we feel they have disobeyed Sacred Scripture and the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore have drifted away from the will of God. It is because of this that we are not Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic, but are Independent, Catholic, and Apostolic not aligned with the Roman Church.
The Old Catholic movement traces its history to the Utrecht Union in the Netherlands. The
church began splitting apart from Rome in the 19th century over the appointment of bishops by the
Pope, who had been previously elected from within each diocese. The split became final after
Vatican I when Pope Pius IX claimed Papal Infallibility. The prior tradition, and that which is still held
by Old Catholics, is that of “Infallibility of Bishops in General Council.”
The Old Catholic Church is associated with the Holy See of Antioch, which was founded by
St. Peter as its first Bishop, and where the term "Christian " was first applied to believers and
followers of Jesus Christ. The Old Catholic Church is part of the “One Holy Catholic and
Apostolic Church. " The Bishops of the Old Catholic Church "hold and keep" Apostolic Succession.
The Old Catholic Church welcomes individual Roman Catholics, and other Christians, to
participate in Communion and other Sacraments. Old Catholics believe in the "Real Presence" in
the Eucharist; that the Bread and Wine, truly become the "Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity" of
Of particular concern to The Old Catholic Church is the offering of Sacraments to those who have
left Catholicism for whatever reason, or those who are considered "displaced Catholics", and/or
other Christians, who seek forms of worship and beliefs, founded in Sacred Scripture and the
Traditions of the Catholic Church.
Recognition of the Roman Catholic Church
When members of the Roman Catholic Church encounter Old Catholic Churches for the first time, they are often surprised to learn that Catholic denominations exist apart from Rome. Understandably, questions are raised about the validity of Orders and Sacraments administered by Old Catholics.
"The Roman Church recognizes the validity of Old Catholic Orders and other Sacraments."
-Felician A. Roy, OFM, Catholic Almanac - 1974; p. 368
At the Vatican on 16 June 2000, Pope John Paul II ratified and ordered the publication of
This Declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was signed and published by
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) in August of the same year.
In this Declaration, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes the validity of Orders and
Sacraments of Old Catholic denominations:
"The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Roman Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by Apostolic Succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, these separated Churches and communities as such have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church."-IV. Unicity and Unity of the Church, 17
"We have no reason to doubt that the Old Catholic Orders are valid. The Apostolic Succession does not depend on obedience to the See of Peter, but rather on the objective line of succession from Apostolic sources, the proper matter and form, and the proper intention, likewise Old Catholic bishops are bishops in Apostolic Succession. The Old Catholics, like the Orthodox, possess a valid priesthood."
-William J. Whalan, pp. 204,248
Because its bishops had been validly ordained, they retained the ability to ordain other bishops and priests.
This was confirmed on January 3, 1987, by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Prot. no. 795/68):
Among the churches which are in the same situation as the oriental churches named in can. 844 § 3 we include the Old Catholic churches in Europe and the Polish National Church in the United States of America.
The Catholic Church has recognized the sacraments of the Old Catholic Church as valid and in the same category as the sacraments of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
Differences from the Roman Catholic Church
We are currently seeking adults who feel a call to Holy Orders (Deaconate and Priesthood). We offer formation in our seminary and/or if you have already been validly ordained within the Apostolic Succession and wish to be incardinated, please do not hesitate to contact us.