Liberal Catholic Church

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The name Liberal Catholic Church (LCC) is used by a number of separate Christian churches throughout the world which are open to esoteric beliefs and hold many ideas in common. Although the term Liberal Catholic might suggest otherwise, it does not refer to liberal groups within the Roman Catholic Church but to groups within the Independent Catholic movement, unrecognised by and not in communion with the Pope nor the rest of the Catholic Church.

There are essentially two groups of Liberal Catholic churches: those which espouse theosophical ideas and those which do not.


Schisms and other departures[edit]

1941 schism[edit]

In 1941, a schism occurred in the church due to breaches of canon law and the laws of the state of California on the part of the Presiding Bishop, which led in 1959 to the church known abroad as the Liberal Catholic Church International earning the legal right to be known as the Liberal Catholic Church in the United States. In America, the entity originally known as the Liberal Catholic Church is known as "The Liberal Catholic Church, Province of the United States of America."[1]

The Young Rite[edit]

In 2006, former LCC Presiding Bishop Johannes van Alphen consecrated Markus van Alphen who, in turn, established the Young Rite. Bishop Johannes himself eventually joined the Young Rite, serving until his death. Among the tenets of the Young Rite was the belief that all possessed a path to the priesthood, and anyone requesting ordination should receive it.[2] This practice was abandoned in the United States after Markus van Alphen's retirement and with the establishment of the Community of Saint George, a Young Rite jurisdiction and the only recognized one in the United States. Young Rite USA now requires a multi-year formation program for its clergy.[3]


Many in the church accept the concept of purgatory, and in the liturgy of the mass the priest prays for the dead. The church is open to reincarnation.[4][5]

Sacraments and apostolic succession[edit]

According to each Liberal Catholic Church's Statement of Principles, "The Liberal Catholic Church recognises seven fundamental sacraments, which it enumerates as follows: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Absolution, Holy Unction, Holy Matrimony, and Holy Orders. It claims an unbroken apostolic succession through the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht and claims that its orders are 'acknowledged as valid throughout the whole of those churches of Christendom which maintain the apostolic succession of orders as a tenet of their faith." The LCC International has modified their Statement of Principles to read "it (the LCC) has preserved an episcopal succession that is valid, as understood throughout the whole of those churches in Christendom that maintain the apostolic succession as a tenet of their faith." The LCC International permits the ordination of [women][6] and gays and lesbians.[7][2] Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine</ref>

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Deceptio, Falsum, et Dissimulatio. Matthews, Edward M. St. Alban Press, San Diego. 1998.
  2. ^ Bate, Alistair (2009). A Strange Vocation: Independent Bishops Tell Their Stories. Berkeley, CA: The Apocryphile Press. ISBN 978-1933993751.
  3. ^ "Education (Celebrants)".
  4. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Christianity and reincarnation, Kristendomen och reinkarnation". YouTube. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  5. ^ [1] Archived October 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ |Statement of Principles]=http://Stalbanpress/StatementofPrincipals.html
  7. ^ "Services of The Liberal Catholic Church". Retrieved 2013-08-16.

External links[edit]