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INDEPENDENT CATHOLIC DENOMINATIONS, or CATHOLICS NOT IN COMMUNION WITH ROME, or BREAKAWAY CATHOLICS, is a term for schismatic Christian denominations that self-identify as Catholic despite not being affiliated with or recognised by the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
. Split into multiple groupings with an estimated 28 million members, Independent Catholic denominations, their magistry, and their sacraments are not recognised by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
nor the Oriental Orthodox Church .

Independent Catholic groups, while typically employing episcopal hierarchy claiming apostolic succession , differ from Protestantism
Protestantism
in that they identify with and practice liturgy more closely aligned with the Catholic Church. Independent Catholic bishops who were originally Roman Catholic but left the Church are sometimes referred to as episcopi vagantes ("wandering bishops") because of their lack of communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Their decisions to enter into Independent Catholic Churches tend to stem from various disagreements with and perceived failures of the institution of the Roman Catholic Church.

The term "Independent Catholic" is not usually applied to Anglo-Catholics nor to the churches within the Anglican Communion . However, "Independent Catholic" is sometimes applied to denominations that consider themselves to be " Old Catholic
Old Catholic
", including the Union of Utrecht
Utrecht
, even though it is in communion with the Anglican Communion , although not an actual member of the group. In the case of Continuing Anglicanism
Anglicanism
outside the Anglican
Anglican
Communion, denominations that self-identify as Catholic may sometimes be considered as Independent Catholic.

Various Independent Catholic groups have attracted a significant amount of criticism. Regarding the Argentine Catholic Apostolic Church , for example, a TV report exposed "sham" marriages by priests pretending to be of the Catholic Church, phoney miracles and fake exorcisms , as well as charitable works coupled with illegal practice of medicine, theft, securities fraud, attempted sexual corruption of minors, and other crimes. Representatives of the Catholic Church consistently warn about the dangers of associating with these institutions.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 2 Groupings

* 2.1 Traditionalist Catholics * 2.2 Old Catholics * 2.3 Groups that broke with Rome over perceived injustice and / or hierarchical abuses

* 3 Description * 4 Faith
Faith
and practice

* 5 Holy orders

* 5.1 Multiple (sequential) ordinations or conditional ordinations

* 6 Controversy * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links

HISTORY

Bishop
Bishop
Arnold Mathew being ordained a bishop by Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht
Utrecht
Gerardus Gul at St. Gertrude's Cathedral, in Utrecht
Utrecht
, on 28 April 1908

Although the term Old Catholic
Old Catholic
was first used in 1853 to describe those Catholics in Utrecht
Utrecht
in the Netherlands
Netherlands
, most scholars date the modern Old Catholic
Old Catholic
movement to the 1870s. After the First Vatican Council in 1870, considerable groups of Austro-Hungarian , German and Swiss Catholics rejected the declaration of papal infallibility and left to form their own churches, independent of the pope. The churches were supported by the Old Catholic
Old Catholic
Archbishop of Utrecht
Utrecht
, who ordained their priests and bishops. Later, they united more formally, as the Utrecht
Utrecht
Union of Churches (UU).

The "independent" Catholic movement came to Great Britain
Great Britain
in 1908, when Arnold Harris Mathew was consecrated by Old Catholic
Old Catholic
Church of the Netherlands
Netherlands
Archbishop Gerardus Gul . The Union of Utrecht incorrectly believed that Mathew had a significant following in the United Kingdom and that there would be a wave of clergy wanting to leave the Church of England
Church of England
as a result of Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII
's affirmation that Anglican
Anglican
orders were null and void. Mathew believed that Old Catholicism
Catholicism
would provide a home for those disaffected clergy, but the mass conversions failed to occur. Before separating from the Union of Utrecht, Mathew ordained several individuals to the episcopacy and priesthood from whom a number of new churches quickly developed, including the Liberal Catholic Church , whose first bishop, James Ingall Wedgwood , was consecrated by Frederick Samuel Willoughby , who had been consecrated by Mathew.

Joseph René Vilatte
Joseph René Vilatte
, an Old Catholic
Old Catholic
priest, is credited with being the first person to bring the independent Catholic movement to North America. In 1892, Vilatte traveled to India
India
, where he obtained ordination to the episcopacy by the Oriental Orthodox bishops in India. Over the following 28 years, Vilatte consecrated a number of men to the episcopacy. Those bishops and their successors went on to found many different jurisdictions in North America.

GROUPINGS

See also: List of Christian denominations § Independent Catholicism
Catholicism

TRADITIONALIST CATHOLICS

A number of Traditionalist Catholic groups, who have advocated for a restoration of many or all of the liturgical forms, public and private devotions and presentations of Catholic teachings which prevailed in the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
before the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
, have left the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
and begun their own religious organizations. Most of these schismatic Traditionalist Catholics belong to the Latin Rite , although some groups are part of the Byzantine Rite . Some of them are grouped with sedevacantism .

OLD CATHOLICS

The Old Catholic
Old Catholic
Church is a Christian denomination
Christian denomination
that split from the Holy See
Holy See
in the 1870s because they disagreed with the solemn declaration of the doctrine of papal infallibility promulgated by the First Vatican Council
First Vatican Council
(1869–1870). The Old Catholic
Old Catholic
Church holds close to ideas of ecclesiastical liberalism (Liberal Christianity
Christianity
). The Church is not in communion with the Holy See, though the Union of Utrecht
Utrecht
of Old Catholic
Old Catholic
Churches is in full communion with the Anglican Communion .

GROUPS THAT BROKE WITH ROME OVER PERCEIVED INJUSTICE AND / OR HIERARCHICAL ABUSES

Some groups such as the Polish National Catholic Church arose as a result of grievances relating to the second-class status of immigrant Polish Catholics by the American Irish and German dominated church hierarchy. Ethnic grievances still play a role in the church today as in the case of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
.

In 1534, King Henry VIII
King Henry VIII
of England, who had previously been awarded the title " Defender of the Faith " by the Pope, signed into law the Act of Supremacy , placing the ecclesiastical governance of the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
in England (Ecclesia Anglicana), under his own jurisdiction in order to grant himself an annulment from his marriage to Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
, establishing the independence of the Church of England from the See of Rome. Since the English Reformation the English Church, known as the Ecclesia Anglicana or Church of England, has experienced various other reforms over the centuries, all the while maintaining its via media character as established by the Elizabethan Settlement
Elizabethan Settlement
of 1558, wherein the church was understood to be both Catholic and Reformed.

DESCRIPTION

Many but not all independent Catholic clergy claim descent from the Union of Utrecht
Utrecht
member churches, but Utrecht
Utrecht
does not officially accept their orders. Like Orthodoxy, Utrecht
Utrecht
holds that ordinations cannot be done except within the church as a whole and with appropriate authority. Some independent groups in North America
North America
began life as Protestant
Protestant
and/or Charismatic congregations; for example, the Charismatic Episcopal Church came into being when charismatic fellowships rediscovered both sacramentalism and the historical apostolic succession. Another group, the Evangelical Orthodox Church (EOC), found its way into mainstream Eastern Orthodoxy: one part joined the Antiochan Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America in 1987: Some parishes later entered the Orthodox Church in America
Orthodox Church in America
, but a remnant, which does not claim traditional apostolic succession, kept the name Evangelical Orthodox Church and continued as an independent church. Since the orders of the EOC were not regarded as valid by the Orthodox bishops, the reception of clergy into mainstream Orthodoxy was always accompanied by ordination.

The Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church was founded in 1945 by Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa , who withdrew from the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
over his opposition to its position on clerical celibacy and divorce and his suspicions of its Fascist sympathies, which he saw evidenced in documents such as Rerum novarum , Quadragesimo anno and Divini Redemptoris . Duarte Costa went on to consecrate other bishops in Europe as well as North and South America. Several independent Catholic bodies trace their apostolic succession through Duarte Costa, including the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America
North America
and the American National Catholic Church .

A number of liturgical churches are sometimes regarded as independent Catholics but do not fit neatly in the category. Continuing Anglican Churches are sometimes included in this grouping, but that is disputed, especially with regard to the larger Anglican
Anglican
bodies, and the continuing churches do not count themselves as being within the independent Catholic movement. Traditionalist Catholic groups that are in irregular standing with the Holy See
Holy See
(such as the SSPX
SSPX
, not Traditionalist groups in full communion with the Pope, such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter ) are sometimes regarded as independent Catholics, but they do not see themselves in this manner; rather they regard themselves as being the true church, believing that Catholicism
Catholicism
has embraced teachings which are schismatic , or even heretical since the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
. A similar controversy exists regarding the Old Calendar Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions, including the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and bodies that split from mainstream Orthodoxy specifically in order to maintain the Old Liturgical Calendar. There have been attempts to construct broader categories to include many of these groups, such as the Independent Sacramental Movement , but most of the groups would be uncomfortable with such a characterization.

Evangelical Catholic groups such as the Anglo- Lutheran
Lutheran
Catholic Church (formerly the Evangelical Community Church-Lutheran ) describe themselves as Lutheran
Lutheran
rather than Catholic because of their Lutheran heritage and the fact that they accept the clauses of the unaltered Augsburg Confession
Augsburg Confession
that agree with their understanding of the Roman Catholic magisterium . Others, such as the Antiochian Catholic Church in America , describe themselves as Catholic and claim that their doctrine is based, with variations, on that of a church unrelated to the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
for centuries.

The Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) is occasionally referred to as an independent Catholic church; however, the PNCC rejects the designation. The PNCC derives its orders from the Old Catholic
Old Catholic
Union of Utrecht
Utrecht
but is no longer in communion with Utrecht
Utrecht
or the Episcopal Church in the United States of America . The relationships ended because the PNCC rejects the ordination of both women and sexually active homosexuals. Whilst no longer in communion with any other body, the PNCC remains a relatively substantial denomination, maintaining active dialogue with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. It is also a member of the World Council of Churches
World Council of Churches
.

Very few independent groups are as large as either the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, with 27 congregations in the United States and 6 in Europe, or The Old Catholic
Old Catholic
Church, Province of the United States with 13 congregations or the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America, with 10 congregations; most consist of one or two bishops, a few priests and deacons, and a small number of adherents. In numerous cases, bishops have been consecrated without having any priests under their jurisdiction. Some bishops have received multiple (sequential) consecrations (see below), often as conditional consecrations, in an attempt to secure a more widely recognised claim to apostolic succession , for example, Bishop
Bishop
Hugh George de Willmott Newman .

FAITH AND PRACTICE

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Virtually all members of the independent movement worship according to a set liturgy , usually derived from a mainstream historical Christian rite , such as the Syriac, Byzantine, or Roman . Sometimes they use a liturgy that is a combination of two or more of these historical liturgies or one that is unique to the group in question. (It was not uncommon for leaders of the various churches in early Christianity
Christianity
to develop rites such as the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, the Milan Rite and the Byzantine Rite.) By definition, all such groups are episcopal in polity, being led by bishops and priests who are assisted by deacons . All hold to a sacramental understanding of the Christian faith related to that broadly held in common by the Catholic , Eastern Orthodox , Oriental Orthodox , Assyrian , and traditional or high church Anglican
Anglican
and Anglo-Catholic churches (low church or evangelical Anglicans are more Reformed in their understanding). Independent Catholicism
Catholicism
also affirms the text of the Nicene Creed , but interpretations vary widely based upon how many councils are recognised by the independent Catholic Church in question.

However, independent groups disagree on the ordination of women , homosexuality , abortion, contraception, divorce, and other issues that are controversial also in more mainstream sections of Christianity
Christianity
. Unlike most of their more conventional counterparts, these groups, usually being quite small, tend to be internally fairly homogeneous on these and other issues; in other words, divisions on these and other questions are between these groups, not so much within them.

These independent congregations represent a variety of doctrines. Some, such as the Liberal Catholic Church, the Free Church of Antioch , the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch—Malabar Rite (the "Church of Antioch"), and The Young Rite are characterized by a neo-Gnostic and theosophical orientation. Other independent groups are quite conservative, following extremely traditionalist Catholic or Old Calendar Orthodox positions; still others describe themselves as " Evangelical Catholic " and High Church Lutheran
Lutheran
.

HOLY ORDERS

The claims of many within the independent movement to continuity with holy orders, as found in Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy, are based, at least in part, on an understanding of apostolic succession held by some within the Latin Church since the time of the Donatist controversy in the 4th and 5th centuries AD. According to those who hold that view, a person becomes a bishop if consecrated in an approved rite by another (validly ordained) bishop even when he is outside the boundaries of Catholicism. However, many theologians consider this view to be mechanical and reductionist and hold that an episcopal ordination is for service within a specific Christian church, and an ordination ceremony that concerns only the individual himself does not make him truly a bishop and are without effect. That view has been affirmed, for instance, by the International Bishops\' Conference of the Old Catholic
Old Catholic
Church with regard to ordinations by Arnold Mathew , Independent clergy reject the characterisation, seeing their bishops as always ordained for the service of others and for the Christian community, whether in a defined jurisdiction or more broadly. The Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
and the Coptic Church and the other churches of Oriental Orthodoxy completely reject the validity of the ordinations of heretics or schismatics and thus do not recognise the orders of independent clergy, whom they place in those categories.

While the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
has more than once declared that certain episcopal consecrations have no canonical effect, some might say that it was not thereby expressing a judgement on their validity. (see also Valid but illicit ). For example, when it declared the consecrations performed by Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngô Đình Thục for the Christian Palmarian Church of the Carmelites of the Holy Face devoid of canonical effect, some claim it refrained from pronouncing on their validity. However, others disagree, citing the part of the declaration which states that, "...the Church does not recognise their ordination nor shall it do so, and she considers them, as regards all legal effects, in the state which each one had beforehand..." The clause "in the state which each one had beforehand" indicates that the Holy See
Holy See
views as juridically laymen those whose sole claim to be clergy is based on the ordinations in question.

The Holy See
Holy See
did not question the validity of the 1988 Ecône consecrations by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre for the Society of St. Pius X that he had founded as Lefebvre was mentally capable of forming the necessary intention. However, questions were raised regarding the mental capacity of Archbishops Ngô and Milingo to perform ordinations according to the understanding of the Catholic Church. Ngô was advanced in age and possibly suffering from dementia and Milingo had undergone a marriage conducted by the Unification Church
Unification Church
, which would raise questions about his theology; the Vatican statement concerning Milingo also refers to him as "elderly" with obvious attendant implications.

The official view of the Eastern Orthodox churches may be summarised as follows: "Thus, the Orthodox Church, while accepting the canonical possibility of recognising the existence (υποστατόν) of sacraments performed outside herself, it questions their validity (έγκυρον) and certainly rejects their efficacy (ενεργόν)." It sees "the canonical recognition (αναγνώρισις) of the validity of sacraments performed outside the Orthodox Church (as referring) to the validity of the sacraments only of those who join the Orthodox Church (individually or as a body)." The Orthodox Communion will not accept as valid any ordination ceremonies of clergy not accepted into their own communion.

MULTIPLE (SEQUENTIAL) ORDINATIONS OR CONDITIONAL ORDINATIONS

Some independent clergy have undergone more than one ceremony of ordination to priesthood and/or episcopacy at the hands of bishops having different lines of apostolic succession , with a view to ensure a broader and more diverse claim to valid holy orders and apostolic succession . The bishop conducting such a ceremony may use conditional language on the lines of "If you are not already ordained (or consecrated a bishop), I now ordain you (or consecrate you a bishop)". Sometimes, a series of such ceremonies is undergone.

In what is called "cross-consecration", bishops representing different lines of apostolic succession consecrate each other to multiply the claims of each to genuine apostolic succession.

Practices of such nature continue but are perhaps less prevalent than in the past. As an example, Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan of the African Orthodox Church , one of four conditionally ordained to the episcopate on 24 September 2006 by Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo , who was therefore excommunicated , claims to have been first consecrated on 10 June 1978 and to have been subsequently conditionally reconsecrated several times before participating in the Milingo ceremony.

Hugh George de Willmott Newman is a notable example of an individual who was conditionally consecrated numerous times. Over a period of ten years between 1945 and 1955, Newman took part in several ceremonies of conditional consecration and cross-consecration. It was Newman's aspiration that individual bishops would carry not just one or two historic lines or streams of apostolic succession but numerous different lines or streams, converging to form an ecumenical apostolic succession .

CONTROVERSY

Various Independent Catholic groups have attracted a significant amount of criticism as part of their attention. As an example, regarding the Argentine Catholic Apostolic Church , a TV report exposed "sham" marriages by priests pretending to be of the Catholic Church, phoney miracles and fake exorcisms , as well as charitable works coupled with illegal practice of medicine, theft, securities fraud, attempted sexual corruption of minors, and other crimes.

Representatives of the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
consistently warn about the dangers of associating with these bodies.

SEE ALSO

* Christianity
Christianity
portal * Religion
Religion
portal

* List of Christian denominations#Independent Catholicism
Catholicism
* Anglicanism
Anglicanism
* Conclavism * Eastern Orthodoxy * Order of Corporate Reunion

REFERENCES

* ^ A B "Rechazan una demanda iniciada por un religioso". diariojudicial.com (in Spanish). Buenos Aires. 2010-07-16. Archived from the original on 2015-10-17. Retrieved 2015-10-17. * ^ A B C Kemp, Alan R. (ed.). "A brief history of Independent Catholicism
Catholicism
in North America". concentric.net. Ascension Alliance. Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2014-06-15. * ^ Old Catholic
Old Catholic
SourceBook - General info * ^ "Manifesto to the Nations". clinicaltheologist.org. North American Catholic Apostolic Church. A New Ecumenical Ministry of Applied Theology. 2009. Archived from the original on 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2014-06-15. * ^ http://www.oikoumene.org/en/member-churches/ * ^ "Parishes in the United States". ecumenical-catholic-communion.org. Orange, CA: Saint Matthew Ecumenical Old Catholic
Old Catholic
Church. Archived from the original on 2014-03-02. Retrieved 2014-06-16. * ^ "Parishes & missions". cacina.org. Herndon, VA: Catholic Apostolic Church in North America. Archived from the original on 16 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014. * ^ Peter-Ben Smit, Old Catholic
Old Catholic
and Philippine Independent Ecclesiologies in History (BRILL 2011 ISBN 978-90-0420647-2 ), p. 197 * ^ Sacra Congregatio pro doctrina Fidei (1976-09-17). "Decretum circa quasdam illegitimas ordinationes presbyterales et episcopales" (PDF). Acta Apostolicae Sedis (in Latin) (published 1976-10-31). 68 (10): 623. ISSN 0001-5199 . Translated in Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Faith
(1976-09-17). "Decree concerning certain unlawful priestly and episcopal ordinations". L'Osservatore Romano (published 1976-09-30). p. 1. Archived from the original on 2012-01-04. Retrieved 2014-06-15 – via vatican.va. * ^ Sacra Congregatio Sancti Officii (1951-04-09). "Decretum de consecratione episcopi sine canonica provisione" (PDF). Acta Apostolicae Sedis (in Latin) (published 1951-04-21). 43 (5): 217–218. ISSN 0001-5199 . * ^ http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19830312_poenae-canonicae_en.html, * ^ http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_INDEX.HTM * ^ http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a6.htm#V * ^ https://zenit.org/articles/vatican-statement-on-emmanuel-milingo/ * ^ A B Pheidas, Vlassios. "Chapter I". The limits of the church in an orthodox perspective. Myriobiblos: The online library of the Church of Greece. Online Cultural Center of the Church of Greece. Archived from the original on 2005-10-30