Old Roman Catholic Church in America
|The Old Roman Catholic Church in America|
|Region||United States of America|
|Origin||October 15, 2012
|Separated from||Old Catholic Church|
|Branched from||Old Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain|
The Old Roman Catholic Church in America is an Old Roman Catholic church. The church is a descendant of the church begun by Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew in 1910 and formerly part of the Church of Utrecht. The church maintains the traditional dogmas of Catholic Christianity while emphasizing the necessity of a pastoral approach. It was reorganized in 2012 to provide a viable, organized presence for Old Roman Catholics in America.
The Old Roman Catholic Church in America maintains the dogmatic beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church prior to the First Vatican Council. This means that the dogmas of Papal Infallibility and the Immaculate Conception are rejected as dogmatic articles. They may be held as doctrine by faithful, however. The church describes itself as pastoral on issues of morality, and emphasizes the primacy of a well formed conscience.
The church maintains the three-fold ministries of bishop, priest, and deacon. Also important is the concept of apostolic succession. External objects used in worship and devotions include statues and icons as well as other items typical of high church worship.
The Church of Utrecht was permitted to elect its own bishops in 1145. This situation was confirmed in 1215 by the Fourth Lateran Council as well as by Pope Leo X in 1540. In 1705, the archbishop of the Church of Utrecht, Petrus Codde was deposed by the Pope and accused of Jansenism. The chapter elected their bishop who was consecrated by Bishop Dominique Marie Varlet. The Pope also appointed his own candidate. The Church of Utrecht continued outside of the authority of the Pope. In 1853, the relationship was further strained as Pope Pius IX appointed bishops for the Dutch Church. Until that time, Roman Catholics who did not break with the Old Roman Catholics were led by a vicar apostolic.
The Church of Utrecht was joined in 1870 by those clergy and laity who objected to the First Vatican Council. The Union of Utrecht was formed to incorporate the various groups within Continental Europe. They began to use the title Old Catholic to distinguish themselves from the Roman Catholic Church. The Old Catholic Church in Great Britain was established in 1908 with the consecration of the former Roman Catholic priest Arnold Harris Mathew. In 1910, he broke with the Old Catholics over what he believed to be increasing modernism in their beliefs and practices.
Archbishop Mathew consecrated Archbishop Rudolph de Landes-Berghes to head the church in the United States in 1914. De Landes-Berghes consecrated Carmel Henry Carfora, who led the church when de Landes-Berges joined the Roman Catholic Church. Carfora headed the church until 1958, and it at one time boasted over 50 parishes. However, several groups left for Orthodoxy and when Carfora died the church split into various factions. Since 1958, there have been attempts to gather together the various dioceses and jurisdictions that constituted the church.
The church is part of the Old Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain under it archbishop and metropolitan bishop, Douglas Titus Lewins. The church joined this group in 2013 as it believed it was the closest successor to Archbishop Mathew's church in Great Britain. The Archbishop of the Old Roman Catholic Church in America is William Myers.