Old Roman Catholic Church in Europe

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LeaderJerome Lloyd OSJV
FounderArnold Harris Mathew
Origin5 May 2012
Separated fromChurch of England
Branched fromOld Catholic Church of the United States (OCCUSA)
Official websiteoldromancatholiceurope.com

The Old Roman Catholic Church in Europe (ORCCE) is an Old Roman Catholic church based in Brighton, United Kingdom.

The ORCCE regards itself as a Catholic church of the Western tradition following the Roman Rite.[1] It has fellowship with other ecclesiastical bodies internationally through inter-communion agreements and international ecumenical bodies;[2] the World Council of Churches through the International Council of Community Churches).[not verified in body]

The church's apostolic succession is through Arnold Harris Mathew's lineage and traced back to Roman Catholic bishops.


The Church holds the Nicene Creed and believes the summit of its worship is the Eucharist. It also holds that the Church is one even though it is manifested in many places, according to Orthodox tradition. Thus, within the ORCCE individual churches retain their autonomy in self-governance, but subscribe to the same basic understanding of the church and of the faith as a communion expressing "one Church."

The ORCCE proclaims its belief "in unity in diversity". As a result, greater liberty of belief and practice are found in its churches than in the RCC or the Eastern Orthodox churches. For example, some within the church hold to the Roman dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception, others regard it as a doctrine worthy of pious belief but not necessary to believe for salvation and may hold to a more Orthodox understanding of the nature of Mary; but all member churches commemorate the Feast of the Conception whether as a holy day of obligation or not. Old Roman Catholics often refer to an excerpt from Vincent of Lérins' Commonitorium: "all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all."[3](p132) as a basis for discerning and For this reason the ORCCE is different from the Utrecht Union (UU) and it neither ordains women nor condones same-gender marriage.


The mission of the church:[4]

  1. Theological preservation: to preserve and continue the orthodox Catholic Faith according to the principles found in Scripture, Tradition and Reason. "Real theological reform should consist in communicating to all men the teachings of Jesus Christ, as they are collected in the Scriptures and recorded in the universal tradition of the Church - a tradition, which also belongs to all the members of the Church. It is the duty of pastors and scholars to explain them, and it is the duty of each member to study the explanation, which appear to them wisest and most useful."
  2. Ecclesiastical reform: Old Roman Catholics are attempting to restore true conceptions of pastor, bishop, synod, council, ecclesiastical authority, and even infallibility according to ancient traditions. "The Church has been called from its very beginning a simple 'church' and it has been regarded in its universality, since the time when the question of universality arose, as a Christian 'republic'. The episcopal see of Rome was not long in attaining a certain priority. Rome being the capital of the empire; but it was merely a priority of honour, and not of jurisdiction."
  3. Union of the Christian Churches: A better understanding generally has already been reached as to the respects in which the Christian Churches ought to be one, and those in which they ought to remain distinct and all. "When all are one in loving one another, in working together for the social well-being, in banishing from their theology every trace of anthropomorphism and politics, in becoming more spiritually-minded after the pattern of Christ, and in establishing the reign of God in every individual conscience, then the union in question will be very near being declared."


In the late 1990s a group of mainly disaffected Anglo-Catholic clergy and laity, disappointed with the then small growth of the Continuing Anglican movement in Great Britain and ignorant of the pre-existing Old Roman Catholic presence in the United Kingdom, approached the Old Catholic Church of the United States (OCCUSA) under the primacy of Archbishop Robert Gubala, petitioning for the creation of a missionary province to re-establish an Old Catholic presence in the United Kingdom.[citation needed] In 2000, after the Rt Revd Robert McBride was consecrated, the English Catholic Church (ECC) became autonomous and in communion with OCCUSA.

In 2006, the English Catholic Church changed its name to the Old Catholic Church in Europe (OCCE) and was led by Bishop Dennis Beevers. The OCCE was incorporated in 2006 in the United Kingdom and dissolved in 2009.[5]

In 2009 the dissolved OCCE changed its name to the Old Roman Catholic Church in Europe (ORCCE). The church was incorporated in 2011 in the United Kingdom.[6] The ORCCE was received into full communion with the Old Roman Catholic Church, Latin Rite, under Archbishop Boniface Grosvold, in 2011. Fr. Jerome Lloyd was consecrated to lead the jurisdiction. The ORCCE is no longer in communion with the Old Roman Catholic Church, Latin Rite. The Old Roman Catholic Church in Europe, but not the OCCE, is in communion with the Old Catholic Church of America (OCCA), but not with the OCCUSA, which is a different denomination.

Ecumenical relations[edit]

The ORCCE does not regard itself as the sole expression of traditional Old Roman Catholicism in Western Europe and has relations and dialogue with similar traditionalist Old Catholic and Independent Catholic jurisdictions internationally.

Remaining true to the Declaration of Utrecht, the ORCCE feels that the possibility of reunion with the Holy See would require discussion and agreement on the understanding and practice of the Petrine Ministry necessarily different from that promulgated as dogma by the Roman Church during the First Vatican Council.

Current state[edit]

The Most Revd Msgr Jerome Lloyd OSJV, Metropolitan of Europe (UK) and Archbishop of Archdiocese of Britannia serves as the head of the church.

Members of the church's clergy believe that there is a need for the pastoral care of people those who wish the Tridentine Mass in Latin or in the vernacular. The ORCCE predominantly uses the Gregorian Rite, often referred to as the Tridentine Rite, for the occasional offices as well as the 1570 Breviary and Mass with pre-1955 rubrics e.g. the traditional Rites of Holy Week without the alterations instituted by Pius XII.

The church's mission in Brighton, UK, broadcasts Masses daily over the internet for those unable to attend a service physically.[7]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Williams, Bernard Mary (1922). A summary of the history, faith, discipline and aims of the Old Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain. [s.l.]: [s.n.] (published c. 1924). p. 23. OCLC 315302080. Check date values in: |publication-date= (help)
  2. ^ "Antioch & Alexandria". orcce.webs.com. Old Roman Catholic Church. Archived from the original on 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  3. ^ This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Vincent of Lérins; Heurtley, Charles A., trans. (1955) [1894 by various publishers]. "The Commonitory of Vincent of Lérins, for the antiquity and universality of the catholic faith against the profane novelties of all heresies". In Schaff, Philip; Wace, Henry (eds.). Sulpitius Severus, Vincent of Lerins, John Cassian. A select library of the Nicene and post-Nicene fathers of the Christian Church. Second series. 11 (Reprint ed.). Grand Rapids: B. Eerdmans. pp. 127–130. OCLC 16266414 – via Christian Classics Ethereal Library.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Brusca, Charles T. "Old Roman Catholic Church: in the history Of the One True Catholic and Apostolic Church". orcclatinrite.org. London, ON: Old Roman Catholic Church Latin Rite Archdiocese of Canada and the United States. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
  5. ^ "Old Catholic Church in Europe Limited". companieshouse.gov.uk (database record). London: United Kingdom. Companies House. Company number: 05953534. Archived from the original on 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  6. ^ "Old Roman Catholic Church in Europe Limited". companieshouse.gov.uk (database record). London: United Kingdom. Companies House. Company number: 07872020. Archived from the original on 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  7. ^ "Daily Mass Online apostolate". dailymass.co.uk. Brighton: The Old Roman Catholic Church in Europe.