Old Catholic Church
|Old Catholic Church|
|Church family :||Union of Utrecht|
|Supreme body:||International Old Catholic Bishops' Conference|
|President:||Archbishop em. Joris Vercammen|
member churches :
Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands
Alt-Kath. Church in Germany
Christkath. Church of Switzerland
Old Catholic Church of Austria
Altkath. Church in the Czech Republic
Polish Catholic Church
or congregations in:
Old Catholic Church Croatia
Altkath. Church in Sweden
Italian Old Catholic Church
Altkath. Mission in France
member churches :
Altkath. Church of the Mariavite
Polish National Catholic Church
Boarding school Old Catholic
Congresses Internat. Ak. Theological Conference
Internat. Altkath. Youth
boarding school Altkath. Lay forum
|Church fellowship :||
Independent Philippine Church Church of
Old Catholic Church , (especially) in Switzerland the Christian Catholic Church , in the Netherlands Oud-Katholieke Kerk , denotes the community of independent Catholic churches, some of which are united in the Union of Utrecht .
The Old Catholic Churches in Germany, Austria and Switzerland emerged out of protest against the dogmatic definitions of the primacy of jurisdiction and papal infallibility , which were proclaimed at the First Vatican Council on July 18, 1870 in the Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus . Those Roman Catholic Christians who rejected the new dogmas were excommunicated . They called themselves - with reference to the Old Church - “Old Catholics” in order to differentiate themselves from what they saw as the “new” Roman Catholic Church. From 1872 onwards, separate parishes and local churches were founded .
The Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands is of particular importance . The Archdiocese of Utrecht is the oldest Old Catholic Church (independent of Rome since 1723), from which all other Old Catholic churches received episcopal ordination in apostolic succession , so that according to (Roman Catholic) canon law, the ordinations made by Old Catholic bishops are valid , but are not permitted in the case of episcopal ordinations, as they lack papal confirmation. The Orthodox Churches also recognize the validity of the Old Catholic consecrations in principle, provided that they are not donated to or by a woman.
The official names of the three Old Catholic churches in the German-speaking area are:
- "Catholic Diocese of Old Catholics in Germany"
- "Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland"
- "Old Catholic Church of Austria".
Theology and church order
- The Bible and tradition are regarded as the basis and guideline of faith ( regula fidei )
- The dogmatic decisions of the seven Ecumenical Councils belong to the depositum fidei
- These include in particular:
- the Nicano-Constantinopolitanum without filioque as an authentic summary of the faith
- Belief in the Trinity : there is a single God who exists in three identical persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
- Jesus Christ is true man in terms of humanity and true God in terms of divinity; in the unmixed unity of his two natures (divine and human) he is a single person
- Due to her central position in God's work of salvation, Mary bears the predicate Theotokos (in the Western Church: Mother of God), because she conceived and gave birth to the second divine person, the Son of God , in virginal integrity through the work of the Holy Spirit .
- The following doctrines are rejected or rejected as contradicting the teaching of the early church :
- What is taught, however, is that
The ecclesiological principles can be found in the statute of the International Bishops' Conference, as well as in the constitutions of the individual Old Catholic national churches . For example, the statute of the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands states:
"The Church of Utrecht has the following in common with other Catholic churches:
- - the diocese is the central figure of the church structure. At its head is the diocesan bishop , who is both the first presiding officer of the Eucharist and the one who, in agreement with his clergy, heads the diocese;
- - the ecclesiastical life of each diocese takes place in the parishes ;
- - Bishops from neighboring dioceses come together to form the Synod of Bishops of a church province in which one of them acts as chairman ;
- - The bond between different ecclesiastical provinces is expressed in the Church of the West in the particular care and responsibility of the Bishop of Rome for the good of the Church and the preservation of unity;
- - the universality of the Church is shown in the General or Ecumenical Council . "
In the synodal and community order of the Old Catholic Church in Germany, the interaction of “personal, collegial and communal episcopes” is weighted more in favor of the layperson :
The content of the Old Catholic understanding of the church can be found in the constitution of the Christian Catholic Church in Switzerland. Article 3 of the preamble reads:
“ Maintaining the catholicity of the church is the content and aim of apostolic succession . It is carried out by the fact that the bishop with the priests and deacons on the one hand and the laity on the other hand mutually commit to preserve the faith of the apostles as well as the liturgy and the structure of the ancient church , to develop it in the present and into and into the future to continue planting all over the world. This is emphasized in the Sacrament of Orders ; that is why ordinations to apostolic offices only take place in the express context of the apostolic succession in which the whole church stands. "
The legal system of the Polish Catholic Church exemplifies how the connection between catholicity and the national church can be structured:
“§ 1. The Polish Catholic Church
- a) Confesses the Catholic truths of faith and morals as well as the principles of church order contained in the Holy Scriptures and formulated in the General Symbols of Faith and in the provisions of the seven Ecumenical Councils of the first millennium;
- b) is part of the only, holy, catholic and apostolic Church;
- c) has its own church hierarchy;
- d) takes care of the religious and pastoral care of the faithful of Polish nationality and also of the faithful of other nationalities when they have declared their affiliation with the Church;
- e) uses the Polish language in the liturgy as well as its own liturgical books approved by the church authorities, in particular the missal , ritual and pontifical , as well as auxiliary books ( hymn books ; prayer books );
- f) takes into account the spiritual and material needs of the Polish people and state in their pastoral work;
- g) teaches the value of human life from conception to natural death and the dignity of every human being. "
- The constitution of the Old Catholic Churches is episcopal-synodal and is based on democratic principles ( majority decision ; separation of powers ):
- Community members of legal age have co-determination rights, which are mainly exercised at the semi-annual community meetings.
- These include u. a. the election of the church council, the synodal delegates and i. d. R. the pastor.
- The bishop is elected at a synod made up of lay people and clergy sent from the parishes .
- The bishop heads the diocese together with the synodal council (in Germany: with the synodal representation) .
- The jurisdiction in the diocese is incumbent on independent synodal courts.
- Community members of legal age have co-determination rights, which are mainly exercised at the semi-annual community meetings.
- Coercion in the practice of religion is rejected:
- The obligation of the faithful to make ear confessions was lifted in Germany after 1873.
- The clergy are generally exempt from celibacy ; however, they are free to live celibate voluntarily.
- The fee for religious official acts and indulgences were abolished in Germany in 1873.
- There is no mandatory Sunday bid .
- Role of women, homosexuals and divorced people in the Western European Old Catholic Churches:
- All baptized Christians who share the belief in the Real Presence are invited to receive the Eucharist (this also applies to remarried divorced people).
- Women are admitted to the sacrament of ordination , see main article ordinance of women .
- A second church wedding of divorced people is possible if certain conditions are met.
- The blessing of same-sex couples is possible in consultation with the responsible pastor.
- Liturgical reforms:
- The Holy Mass and other services are held in Germany since 1877, in Switzerland since 1885, in Austria since 1879 and in the Netherlands since 1908 in the national language.
- Instead of individual confession, the sacramental absolution can also be received collectively.
- The chalice communion - in some dioceses also the intinctio - are part of liturgical practice.
The degree of solemnity of the liturgy varies depending on the parish and priest. In some parishes, Sunday services are similar to Roman Catholic weekday masses, while in others high offices are celebrated regularly or occasionally with deacon, altar service and incense . Outside of German-speaking countries (e.g. Poland or England), people kneel during consecration and communion . The liturgical services of the cantor , organist and lecturer are performed by lay people, while children, young people and in some places adults also act as acolytes .
The following main articles provide information on individual aspects of the Old Catholic liturgy:
- church service
- Roman rite
- Gift preparation
- Our Father
- Communion prayer
- Chalice communion
- Liturgical year
- Maundy Thursday
- Good Friday
- Great intercessions
- Easter night
- Ite, missa est
Criticism from the Roman Catholic side
Occasionally the Old Catholics were accused by the Roman Catholic side of being new Protestants because of their reforms (e.g. introduction of the national language, abolition of compulsory celibacy , and more recently also because of the introduction of women's ordination) . This assertion is countered by the Old Catholic side that the Old Catholic Church does not intend to abandon the catholicity of the Church through its reforms , and on the other hand that the Roman Catholic Church, almost a hundred years later, prevented one or the other reform by then introduced himself, e.g. B. the liturgical reform , the national language in worship or the ordination of married men as permanent deacons.
The Old Catholic Church sees no innovations in its standpoints and reforms that affect or even run counter to the original, generally binding faith of the Church. Rather, according to the Old Catholic view, these reforms are based on an original Catholicism, which corresponds to the spirit of the Gospel and the tradition of the Church of the first millennium. This also applies, for example, to the possibility of priests to marry. The changes in the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church by the First Vatican Council, which elevated the infallibility and the universal jurisdiction of the Pope to binding beliefs, are, however, still considered to be the actual "innovations" that should be rejected out of old church sentiments, viewed. The Old Catholic Movement raised its opposition to Vatican I, not least because it was not an ecumenical council in the early church sense, but rather a particular synod. In addition, there was a considerable minority among the Roman Catholic bishops present who initially rejected the new dogmas and evaded voting by leaving early.
Despite some similarities, such as the emphasis on the synodal principle , the Old Catholic Church differs fundamentally in its self-image from the Reformation churches, for example because - in addition to the preservation of the apostolic tradition and the belief in the sacrificial character of the Eucharist - it has seven Holds sacraments .
Since the 1870s, Old Catholics from Germany and Switzerland in particular have sought dialogue with representatives from other churches. As early as 1874/75, on the initiative of the Synod Representation and at the invitation of Ignaz von Döllinger, “ Union Conferences ” were held in Bonn , in which not only Old Catholics but also well-known Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant theologians and church leaders took part.
Since 1931 the Old Catholic Church, which already declared itself ecumenical in the Utrecht Declaration of 1889 , has been in full church fellowship with the Anglican Church through the Bonn Agreement , and since 1965 with the Independent Philippine Church as well as the Lusitan Church of Portugal and the Reformed Episcopal Church Spain . The joint International Anglican - Old Catholic Coordinating Council (AOCICC) and the (voting) participation of Old Catholic bishops in the Lambeth Conference also connect the two church families institutionally.
The Old Catholic Church is a founding member of the World Council of Churches and in numerous other ecumenical bodies, e.g. B. the Working Group of Christian Churches in Germany (ACK) and the Conference of European Churches .
In 1987 attempts at union with the Orthodox Church came to an extensive agreement on all essential questions of faith. The introduction of the ordination of women , which is incomprehensible to most Orthodox, gave rise to a new need for discussion . Nonetheless, the dialogue, also on this issue, was resumed in 2004. Both during the 2011 visit of the Archbishop of Utrecht to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in his official seat Phanar , as well as the return visit of Patriarch Bartholomeos I in 2014 to the St. Gertrudis Cathedral in Utrecht , both expressed positive feedback about the previous work of the permanent Orthodox Old Catholic working group .
A dialogue commission (abbreviated: IRAD) was formed with the Roman Catholic Church in 2004, which presented its final report on May 12, 2009. The results of a previous dialogue, already presented in the “Zürcher Nota” in 1972, with far-reaching results, such as sacramental temporary help in emergencies, had not been ratified by Rome at the time. However, since 1999 there has been an agreement between the German Old Catholic Diocese and the German Bishops' Conference that regulates the takeover of clergymen into the service of the respective church after a transfer.
In 2012, the International Roman Catholic - Old Catholic Dialogue Commission (IRAD II) received a new mandate from the International Old Catholic Bishops' Conference and the Pontifical Unity Council to continue the talks. This commission met until 2016 and published its document Church and Church Fellowship (Second Report) in 2017. In a personal conversation between Pope Francis and the Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht Joris Vercammen , who was invited as an ecumenical guest to the Vatican's inauguration in 2013, the results of the Roman Catholic Old Catholic dialogue were honored - also with regard to this commission work.
On October 30, 2014, the International Old Catholic Bishops' Conference visited the Vatican for the first time. After a working meeting with Cardinal Kurt Koch , the Old Catholic bishops were received by Pope Francis in a private audience. With his address to the Bishops' Conference, the Pope encouraged the cooperation between Catholics and Old Catholics to advance.
The International Old Catholic Bishops' Conference is holding further bilateral talks with the Swedish Church and the Indian Mar Thoma Church . A final report was presented in 2013 in the dialogue process with the Church of Sweden. On November 23, 2016, the church fellowship agreement was signed by Archbishop Antje Jackelén (Church of Sweden) and Archbishop Joris Vercammen (Union of Utrecht) as part of the General Synod of the Church of Sweden .
In April 2014 the International Old Catholic Bishops' Conference decided to initiate the resumption of the Old Catholic Church of the Mariavites . However, this process was suspended again in mid-September 2014, as the Mariavites declared that there was still a need for further intra-Mariavite discussion.
Old Catholics internationally
The Old Catholic Churches are united in the Utrecht Union of Old Catholic Churches . The bishops of these churches meet regularly in the International Old Catholic Bishops' Conference (IBK), chaired by the Archbishop of Utrecht . An International Old Catholic Congress takes place every four years . In the time between the congresses, the International Old Catholic Lay Forum meets annually .
Dependent Old Catholic churches or parishes exist in Denmark , France , Italy , Croatia and Sweden . These are mostly in an extreme diaspora situation , so that no separate bishop can be ordained for them. Therefore, these congregations are directly subject to the jurisdiction of the IBK, which assigns an Old Catholic bishop to each as a delegate. The whereabouts of the Slovenian and Serbian Old Catholics after the fall of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia remains unclear .
Some American ecclesiastical communities that consider themselves Old Catholic and recognize the Utrecht Declaration asked the IBK to join the Union of Utrecht, but they were referred to the Episcopal Church .
In the USA in particular , the term “old catholic” is used in various combinations as a self-designation by religious communities that are not, however, member churches of the Union of Utrecht or associated with it.
(See also: Old Catholic Church of America )
Old Catholics in German-speaking countries
The Old Catholic Church is a small church that is rather unknown in broader sections of the population. Therefore, accessions are mostly made by individuals who either come from another church - the Old Catholic churches, however, reject active enticement - or from non-denominational backgrounds. Old Catholic parishes are therefore often of a manageable size (usually between 200 and 600 members). In Germany in particular, there are church service visitors in many congregations who belong to another church but are permanently welcome as guests or friends, even if they do not decide to join. They only lack the right to vote at community meetings, in which they can, however, also participate.
The Old Catholic Churches emerged - with the exception of the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands , which had existed since the 18th century - following the First Vatican Council of 1870. Those Catholic Christians who did not accept the resolutions of the First Vatican Council were accepted by the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated and then founded their own communities. The main points of conflict were the dogmas of papal infallibility and the jurisdiction primacy of the pope formulated at the council .
In the Utrecht Declaration of 1889, the founding document of the Utrecht Union, the old Catholic bishops confessed to what they saw as the "old Catholic faith of the old undivided Church of the first millennium" and confirmed their rejection of what they believed to be illegal claims to power of the Pope. They also acknowledged the character of the Eucharist as a real visualization of Christ's sacrifice on earth and his abiding presence in the consecrated gifts of bread and wine, rejecting the doctrine of transubstantiation .
Another important point of the declaration is its commitment to ecumenism . The Old Catholic Church, especially in Germany and Switzerland, has campaigned for an understanding between the individual denominations since the beginning of its independent ecclesiastical existence , among other things by holding several union conferences in Bonn in the 1870s with representatives of the Orthodox and Anglican churches. These were the basis for the Bonn Agreement of 1931, in which the churches of the Old Catholic and Anglican traditions granted each other full church fellowship.
- International Church Journal (IKZ), Stämpfli Publications, Bern, .
Monographs and edited volumes
- Johann Friedrich von Schulte : The Old Catholicism. History of its development, internal structure and legal position. Gießen 1887, reprint: Scientia Verlag, Aalen 2002, ISBN 3-511-00169-2 (source collection and historical representation from the early days of Old Catholicism).
- Stefan Leonhardt: "Two absolutely irreconcilable conceptions of the center of the Christian religion". Ignaz Döllinger's examination of the Reformation, its teaching and its consequences in his first creative period , Göttingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-7675-7096-2
- Urs Küry : The Old Catholic Church - its history, its teaching, its concern. 3rd edition, ed. by Christian Oeyen, Evangelisches Verlagswerk, Frankfurt am Main 1982, ISBN 3-7715-0190-3 (older standard work).
- Christian Blankenstein: Being a Christian - but where? Old Catholic considerations. 2nd Edition. Bautz, Nordhausen: 2008, ISBN 978-3-88309-392-5 (short description).
- Angela Berlis , Matthias Ring (ed.): Throwing anchor in heaven. Conjectures about Church in the Future. Festschrift for Bishop Joachim Vobbe. 2nd Edition. Books on Demand, Norderstedt 2008, ISBN 978-3-8370-5957-1 .
- Adrian Suter: Old Catholic Churches. In: Johannes Oeldemann, denominational studies. Handbook of Ecumenism and Denominational Studies. Volume 1. Ed. By the Johann Adam Möhler Institute Paderborn. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Bonifatius 2015, pp. 247–275. ISBN 978-3-374-03803-9 .
- Günter Eßer: The Old Catholic Churches. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2016 (Bensheimer Hefte). ISBN 978-3525872437
- Church building:
- Bishops lists:
- Relevant mental currents:
- List of Old Catholic-Orthodox dialogue papers and declarations of convergence at world level
- Church and Church Fellowship (International Roman Catholic - Old Catholic Dialogue Commission IRAD)
- List of International Old Catholic Congresses
- Everything about the subject term Old Catholic Church in the catalog of the German National Library
- Search for "Old Catholic Church" in the German Digital Library
- Union of the Old Catholic Churches in Utrecht
- Christian Catholic Department at the Theological Faculty of the University of Bern
- International Working Group on Old Catholicism Research (IAAF) ( Memento from January 8, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
- International Church Journal (IKZ)
- Old Catholic Lexicon (Lexicon of the Old Catholic Church of Austria)
- Netherlands: 5,469; Germany: approx. 15,000; Austria: approx. 10,000, Switzerland: 13,312; Czech Republic: 2,700; Poland: 19,035; The Old Catholic churches of Croatia, Italy and Scandinavia probably have hardly more than 500 believers. Since the numbers are declining overall, we can currently (2009) assume around 70,000 Old Catholics who belong to the Union of Utrecht.
- Johann Friedrich von Schulte : The Old Catholicism. Giessen 1887, 2nd reprint, Aalen 2002, pp. 1-14.
- Peter Neuner : Old Catholic Church . In: Wolfgang Thönissen (Hrsg.): Lexicon of ecumenism and denominational studies . On behalf of the Johann Adam Möhler Institute for Ecumenism. Herder. Freiburg in Breisgau. 2007. ISBN 978-3-451-29500-3 . Pp. 31-34.
- Georg Hintzen: Union of Utrecht . In: Wolfgang Thönissen (Hrsg.): Lexicon of ecumenism and denominational studies . On behalf of the Johann Adam Möhler Institute for Ecumenism. Herder. Freiburg in Breisgau. 2007. ISBN 978-3-451-29500-3 . Pp. 1401-1402.
- Herbert Vorgrimler : New Theological Dictionary . 3. Edition. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2000, ISBN 3-451-27340-3 , p. 596 .
- Urs von Arx : The ecclesiastical and ecumenical mission of the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht. In: IKZ 98 (2008), pp. 5–49.
- SGO § 1 paragraph 4.
- Kurt Pursch: Old Catholic. An information . 2nd Edition. H. Neusser, Bonn 1965, p. 44.45 .
- Johann Josef Demmel : What is Old Catholic? Diocese publisher, Bonn 1957, p. 10 .
- Handout for acolytes (PDF; 900 kB)
- So z. B. the then Fulda vicar general Ludwig Schick in the Mainz diocese magazine Glaube und Leben , 22/1996 from June 2, 1996, where he expresses the suspicion that the Old Catholic Church is "finally assigned to the Protestant wing".
- So z. B. Bishop Joachim Vobbe in Faith and Life , 25/1996 of June 23, 1996
- This also applies to the criticism that by moving away from the celibacy of the priests, the Old Catholics would have “distanced themselves” from the “tradition of the old church”. This is what Karl Vocelka claimed: multi-denominational Austria . Religions in the past and present . Vienna u. a. 2013, p. 160.
- alt-katholisch.de on celibacy
- On the effects of the Porvoo fellowship on church fellowship between Anglicans and Old Catholics, cf. International Old Catholic Bishops 'Conference of the Union of Utrecht: Communiqué of the meeting of the International Old Catholic Bishops' Conference (IBK) in Prague / CZ from 16. – 22. November 2003 (PDF)
- Relations with the Anglican Church Fellowship Homepage of the Union of Utrecht, accessed on April 27, 2014
- Public Relations Working Group in the Catholic Diocese of Old Catholics in Germany (ed.): Church for Christians today: An information about the Old Catholic Church . Hoffmann, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-87344-001-6 , p. 12 .
- The agreement with the Orthodox Churches was published in: Urs von Arx (Ed.): Koinonia on an early church basis. Bern 1989
- Orthodox Old Catholic Working Group received by Ecumenical Patriarchs Homepage of the Union of Utrecht, accessed on April 27, 2014
- The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople visits the Utrecht homepage of the Old Catholic Church in Germany, accessed on May 3, 2014
- Greetings from the Ecumenical Patriarch to the International Old Catholic Bishops' Conference Homepage of the Old Catholic Church in Germany, accessed on May 3, 2014
- Union of Utrecht: Roman Catholic and Old Catholic Christians approach each other ( Memento from October 22, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
- Roman Catholic - Old Catholic Dialogue Commission met in December 2012 in Paderborn Homepage of the Archdiocese of Paderborn, accessed on April 27, 2014
- The Old Catholic Archbishop at Pope Franziskus Homepage of the Union of Utrecht, accessed on May 1, 2014
- Old Catholic Bishops' Conference: Working visit and private audience in Rome Homepage of the Union of Utrecht, accessed on November 16, 2014
- Pope receives Old Catholics. Vatican Radio, October 30, 2014, archived from the original on November 29, 2014 ; accessed on September 30, 2015 .
- Address by Pope Francis to the delegation of the Old Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Union of Utrecht. In: Homepage of the Vatican. October 30, 2014, accessed September 30, 2015 .
- Report of the dialogue between the Old Catholic Churches and the Church of Sweden Homepage of the Old Catholic Church in Germany, accessed on April 27, 2014
- International Old Catholic Bishops' Conference, meeting 2014 Homepage of the Union of Utrecht, accessed on May 1, 2014
- Catholic Diocese of Old Catholics in Germany (ed.): Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht - Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar. Documentation of the dialog texts . Bonn 2015
- Information from the Catholic Diocese of Old Catholics in Germany on the church fellowship with the Church of Sweden Homepage of the Old Catholic Church in Germany, accessed on November 23, 2016
- SILA (Dutch), status: end of 2014
- Source: Old Catholic Church in Germany (as of 2016)
- Source: Who are we? - Christian Catholic Church ( memento of September 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive ). According to the Federal Statistical Office: Religious landscape in Switzerland. ( Memento of November 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) In 2004, p. 12 there were still 13,312 members in 2000
- As of 2001, source: Statistics Austria: 2001 population by religion and nationality
- World Council of Churches: Old Catholic Church in the Czech Republic
- Statistical Yearbook 2008: Concise Statistical Yearbook of Poland 2008 . ( Memento of October 31, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 11 MB), p. 132
- Communiqué of the Bishops' Conference on the resumption of the Mariavite homepage of the Union of Utrecht, accessed on June 8, 2014
- Communiqué of the special session of the International Bishops' Conference from September 14 to 18, 2014 Homepage of the Catholic Church of Old Catholics in Germany, accessed on March 13, 2015
- Walter Jungbauer: Christian-Catholic is not Christian-Catholic… .
- See also Ottomar Behnsch (Hrsg.), With the participation of all congregations: For Christian Catholic life. Materials on the history of the Christian Catholic Church. Volume 1 ff., Schulz, Breslau 1845 ff.