Chiesa Vetero-Cattolica Italiana

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The Chiesa Vetero-Cattolica Italiana ("Italian Old-Catholic Church") is one of several Old Catholic churches in Italy.


The church started with the events in Naples in 1808 under the Pugliese bishop Domenico Forges Davanzati (1742–1810) who, on his return from exile in France, founded the Magistero Catechetico Civile Laicale (Lay–Civil Catechetic Magisterium). In 1862 this group joined the Proto–Catholic Association (at that time with about 7000 members) which then evolved, on 25 January 1882, into the Chiesa Cattolica Nazionale Italiana (Italian National Catholic Church), following the First Vatican Council and the Old Catholic Church (Utrecht Union) separations.

Other precursors of the Italian Old–Catholic Church include Filippo Cicchitti Suriani (1861–1944) who founded, in Milan, the Old Catholic Centre and established contact with the Swiss branch of the Utrecht Union (Old Catholics). Another key element in the foundation of the movement is the Pan–Christian theology of Ugo Janni (1865–1938).

Upon the death of Cicchitti Suriani, the role of director of the Old Catholic Centre in Milan passed to Mario De Conca (1901–1970) with, from 1966, Father Luigi M. Caroppo (a Servite friar) who succeeded De Conca as director in 1970. After renaming the movement the Italian Christian Catholic Community (later Mission) in 1970 the community was recognized as a mission of the Utrecht Union. The relationship with the Old Catholics of Utrecht lasted nearly 30 years until disagreements over the introduction of the ordination of women and other theological questions caused a separation in 1997 when the current name ("Chiesa Vetero-Cattolica Italiana - Missione Cristiana Cattolica Italiana - Rito Cattolico Antico") was adopted. The Utrecht Union, for its part, has since established a new mission, the Chiesa Vetero-Cattolica dell'Unione di Utrecht in Italia, in the north of Italy under its jurisdiction. The Chiesa Vetero-Cattolica Italiana has its prioral see in Rome.


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