The formation of the Old Catholic communion of Germans, Austrians and Swiss began in 1870 at a public meeting held in Nuremberg under the leadership of Ignaz von Döllinger, following the First Vatican Council. Four years later episcopal succession was established with the consecration of an Old Catholic German bishop by a prelate of the Church of Utrecht. In line with the "Declaration of Utrecht" of 1889, they accept the first seven ecumenical councils and doctrine formulated before East–West Schism 1054, but reject communion with the pope and a number of other Catholic doctrines and practices. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church notes that since 1925 they have recognised Anglican ordinations, that they have had full communion with the Church of England since 1932 and have taken part in the ordination of Anglican bishops.Some orders are still recognized by the Catholic Church although not any women priests.
The term "Old Catholic" was first used in 1853 to describe the members of the See of Utrecht who did not recognize any infallible papal authority. Later Catholics who disagreed with the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility as defined by the First Vatican Council (1870) had no bishop and joined with Utrecht to form the UU. These Old Catholic churches today are found substantially in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Austria. Union of Utrecht Old Catholic churches are not generally found outside of Western Europe. Beliefs Old Catholic theology views the Eucharist as the core of the Christian Church. From that point the church is a community of believers. All are in communion with one another around the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, as the highest expression of the love of God. Therefore, the celebration of the Eucharist is understood as the experience of Christ's triumph over sin. The defeat of sin consists in bringing together that which is divided. Old Catholics believe in unity in diversity and often quote the Church Father Vincent of Lérins's Commonitory: "in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all."(p132)
Pre-reformation diocese and archdiocese of UtrechtMain article: Archdiocese of Utrecht (695–1580)Four disputes set the stage for an independent Bishopric of Utrecht: the Concordat of Worms, the First Lateran Council,[relevant? – discuss] and Fourth Lateran Council, and confirmation of church procedural law by Pope Leo X. Also relevant was the 12th century Investiture Controversy over whether the Holy Roman Emperor or the Pope could appoint bishops. In 1122, the Concordat of Worms was signed, making peace. The Emperor renounced the right to invest ecclesiastics with ring and crosier, the symbols of their spiritual power, and guaranteed election by the canons of cathedral or abbey and free consecration. The Emperor Henry V and Pope Calixtus II ended the feud by granting one another peace.[a] In 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council canon 23 states that the duty to elect a bishop for a cathedral within three months devolves to the next immediate superior when that duty is neglected by electors.[non-primary source needed] In 1517 Pope Leo X, in Debitum pastoralis officii nobis, forbade the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, Hermann of Wied, to rely on his status as legatus natus[b] in summoning Philip of Burgundy, his treasurer, and his ecclesiastical and secular subjects to a court of first instance in Cologne.[c]John Mason Neale explained that Leo X only confirmed a right of the church but Leo X's confirmation "was providential" in respect to the future schism.(p72) This greatly promoted the independence of the diocese, so that no clergy or laity from Utrecht would ever be tried by a Roman tribunal. Overview: three stages of separation from Roman CatholicismOld Catholicism's formal separation from Roman Catholicism occurred over the issue of Papal authority. This separation occurred in The Netherlands in 1724, creating the first Old Catholic church. The churches of Germany, Austria, Bohemia, and Switzerland created the UU after Vatican I (1871) over the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility. By the early 1900s, the movement included groups in England, Canada, Croatia, France, Denmark, Italy, America, the Philippines, China, and Hungary. The Polish National Catholic Church was the UU member church in America until recently, it left the UU in opposition to the ordination of women by other member churches. Post-reformation Netherlands: first stage
The northern provinces, that revolted against the Spanish Netherlands and signed the 1579 Union of Utrecht, persecuted the Catholic Church, confiscated church property, expelled monks and nuns from convents and monasteries, and made it illegal to receive the Catholic sacraments. However, the Catholic Church did not die, rather priests and communities went underground. Groups would meet for the sacraments in the attics of private homes at the risk of arrest. Priests identified themselves by wearing all black clothing with very simple collars. All the episcopal sees of the area, including that of Utrecht, had fallen vacant by 1580, because the Spanish crown, which since 1559 had patronal rights over all bishoprics in the Netherlands, refused to make appointments for what it saw as heretical territories, and the nomination of an apostolic vicar was seen as a way of avoiding direct violation of the privilege granted to the crown. The appointment of an apostolic vicar, the first after many centuries, for what came to be called the Holland Mission was followed by similar appointments for other Protestant-ruled countries, such as England, which were likewise become mission territories. The disarray of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands between 1572 and about 1610 was followed by a period of expansion of Catholicism under the apostolic vicars, leading to Protestant protests.
The initial shortage of Catholic priests in the Netherlands resulted in increased pastoral activity of religious clergy, among whom Jesuits formed a considerable minority, coming to represent between 10 and 15 percent of all the Dutch clergy in the 1600-1650 period. Conflicts arose between these and the apostolic vicars and the secular clergy In 1629, the priests were 321, 250 secular and 71 religious, with Jesuits at 34 forming almost half of the religious. By the middle of the 17th century the secular priests were 442, the religious 142, of whom 62 were Jesuits.
The fifth apostolic vicar of the Dutch Mission, Petrus Codde, was appointed in 1688. In 1691, the Jesuits accused him of favouring the Jansenistheresy.Pope Innocent XII appointed a commission of cardinals to investigate the accusations against Codde. The commission concluded that the accusations were groundless.
In 1700, Pope Clement XI, summoned Codde to Rome to participate in the Jubilee Year, whereupon a second commission was appointed to try Codde. The result of this second proceeding was again acquittal. However, in 1701 Clement XI decided to suspend Codde and appoint a successor. The church in Utrecht refused to accept the replacement and Codde continued in office until 1703, when he resigned.
After Codde's resignation, the Diocese of Utrecht elected Cornelius Steenoven (nl) as bishop. After consultation with both canon lawyers and theologians in France and Germany, Dominique Marie Varlet, a Roman Catholic Bishop of the French Oratorian Society of Foreign Missions, consecrated Steenoven as a bishop without a papal mandate. What had been de jure autonomous became de facto an independent Catholic church. Steenoven appointed and ordained bishops to the sees of Deventer, Haarlem and Groningen. Although the pope was notified of all proceedings, the Holy See still regarded these dioceses as vacant due to papal permission not being sought. The pope, therefore, continued to appoint apostolic vicars for the Netherlands. Steenoven and the other bishops were excommunicated and thus began the Old Catholic Church in the Netherlands.
While the religious clergy remained loyal to Rome, three quarters of the secular clergy at first followed Codde, but by 1706 over two thirds of these returned to the Roman allegiance. Of the laity, the overwhelming majority sided with Rome. Thus most Dutch Catholics remained in full communion with the pope and with the apostolic vicars appointed by him. However, due to prevailing anti-papal feeling among the powerful Dutch Calvinists, the Church of Utrecht was tolerated and even praised by the government of the Dutch Republic.
Old Catholic parish church in Gablonz an der Neiße, Austria-Hungary (now Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic). Some ethnic German Catholics supported Döllinger in his rejection of the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility.After the First Vatican Council (1869–1870), several groups of Catholics in Austria-Hungary, Imperial Germany, and Switzerland rejected the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility in matters of faith and morals and left to form their own churches. These were supported by the Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht, who ordained priests and bishops for them. Later the Dutch were united more formally with many of these groups under the name "Utrecht Union of Churches". In the spring of 1871 a convention in Munich attracted several hundred participants, including Church of England and Protestant observers. Döllinger, an excommunicated Roman Catholic priest and church historian, was a notable leader of the movement but was never a member of an Old Catholic Church. The convention decided to form the "Old Catholic Church" in order to distinguish its members from what they saw as the novel teaching in the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility. Although it had continued to use the Roman Rite, from the middle of the 18th century, the Dutch Old Catholic See of Utrecht had increasingly used the vernacular instead of Latin. The churches which broke from the Holy See in 1870 and subsequently entered into union with the Old Catholic See of Utrecht gradually introduced the vernacular into the liturgy until it completely replaced Latin in 1877. In 1874 Old Catholics removed the requirement of clerical celibacy.
United States: third stageIn 1908 the Archbishop of Utrecht Gerardus Gul, consecrated Father Arnold Harris Mathew, a former Catholic priest, as Regionary Bishop for England. His mission was to establish a community for Anglicans and Roman Catholics. During his time with the Old Catholics, Mathew attended the Old Catholic Congress in Vienna in 1909 as well as acted as co-consecrator of Archbishop Michael Kowalksi of the Mariavite Church in Poland. In 1910, Mathew left the UU over his allegation of their becoming more Protestant and called his church the "Old Roman Catholic Church".
In 1913, Mathew consecrated Rudolph de Landas Berghes. At the beginning of World War I, Berghes emigrated to the United States in 1914, hoping to consolidate various independent Old Catholic groups under Mathew.[page needed] Berghes, in spite of his isolation, was able to plant the seed of Old Catholicism in the Americas. He consecrated an excommunicated Capuchin Franciscan priest as bishop: Carmel Henry Carfora. From this the Old Catholic Church in the United States evolved into local and regional self-governing dioceses and provinces along the design of St. Ignatius of Antioch - a network of Communities.
Joseph René Vilatte worked with Catholics of Belgian ancestry living on the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin and with the knowledge and blessing of the Union of Utrecht and under the full jurisdiction of the local Episcopal Bishop of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Vilatte was ordained a deacon on 6 June 1885 and priest on 7 June 1885 by Bishop Eduard Herzog, of the Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland. Vilatte's work provided the only sacramental presence in that particular part of rural Wisconsin [under the jurisdiction of the Episcopal Bishop of Fond du Lac, WI].
In time, Vilatte asked the Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht to be ordained a bishop so that he might confirm, but his petition was not granted because UUrecognized the Episcopal Church as the local catholic church. Vilatte solicited the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches to consecrate him. He was made a bishop in India on the 28 May 1892 under the jurisdiction of the Syriac OrthodoxPatriarch of Antioch. Over the years, literally hundreds of people in the United States have come to claim apostolic succession from Vilatte; none is in communion with, nor recognised by, the Old Catholic See of Utrecht. Bishop Carlos Duarte-Costa
Bishop Carlos Duarte-Costa, 1888-1961) was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on April 1, 1911. He was consecrated to be the Roman Catholic Diocesan Bishop of Botucatu, Brazil, on December 8, 1924, and served in that office until certain views he expressed about treatment of Brazil's poor, by both the civil government and the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil, caused his removal from the Diocese of Botucatu. Bishop Duarte-Costa was subsequently named Titular Bishop of Maura by the late Bishop of Rome, Pius PP XII.
Bishop Duarte-Costa’s criticisms of the fascist regime and oligarchy of Brazil in the 1930’s and 1940’s earned him repeated troubles and prison. In 1944 he was imprisoned by the dictator and remained there until pressure from President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill and others caused his release. Of interest is the apparent lack of active protest against this unjust imprisonment by either the Vatican or the other bishops of Brazil.
Bishop Duarte-Costa's criticisms of the Vatican, particularly about Vatican foreign policy during and following World War II toward Nazi Germany, were not well received at the Vatican, and he was eventually separated from the Roman Church by Pius PP XII. This action was taken only after his public denunciations that the Vatican Secretariat of State was issuing Vatican Passports to some high ranking former Nazi officials, who were then fleeing to South America, from the Allies. Bishop Duarte-Costa was a strong advocate in the 1930's for reform of the Roman Church; espousing many of the key positions that the Second Vatican Council would, thirty-five years later, enact. His positions included a more pastoral approach to divorce, challenged mandatory celibacy for the clergy, and rejected abuses of papal power, including the concept of Papal Infallibility, which the Bishop considered a misguided and false dogma.
Bishop Duarte-Costa was involuntarily separated from the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church on July 6, 1945. This schism was, it should be noted, an act by the Roman Pontiff and was not initiated by Bishop Duarte-Costa. Duarte-Costa immediately established the independent Igreja Catolica Apostolica Brasileira (ICAB) on that same date which he led until his death in 1961.
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo (born June 13, 1930) is a former Roman Catholic archbishop from Zambia. In 1969, aged 39, Milingo was consecrated by Pope Paul VI as Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lusaka.
In 1983 he was asked to step down from his position as Archbishop of Lusaka for his performance of exorcisms and faith healing practices unapproved by Church authorities.
In 2001, when Milingo was 71, he received a marriage blessing from Sun Myung Moon, the leader of the Unification Church, despite the prohibition on marriage for ordained priests. On September 24, 2006 Milingo ordained four men as bishops without a papal mandate. All four men were married at the time of their ordination. the Holy See declared Milingo excommunicated.
On December 11, 2006, in Washington, the archbishop ordained four married men as priests. He established the Married Priests Now organization to care for and to reintegrate into the church's ministry many of the estimated up to 110,000 Roman Catholic priests worldwide who had left the formal ministry and been married.