Showing posts with label Old Catholics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Old Catholics. Show all posts
Thursday, May 16, 2019
The Errors of the Old Catholics

The Most Reverend Carmel Henry Carfora looks like a traditional Catholic but he left the Roman Catholic Church to join the schismatic Old Catholics in 1908.

To those Catholics who wish to hold fast to the venerable traditions of our Fathers, we will often go to great lengths to find a Tridentine Mass.  And while we may have a regular parish for this purpose in our home area, this can be difficult during periods of travel.  Sometimes, as I search online for a Latin Mass, I stumble upon an alleged parish or mission that claims to be offering the Tridentine Mass but with the notation that it is an “Old Catholic” Church.  Don’t let the “Old” part of the name deceive you. This does not refer to keeping the same Faith as was kept before Vatican II while remaining united to the only true Church: The Catholic Church. The “Old” Catholic Church is a schismatic organization with a long and convoluted history.

Jansenist Roots

The term "Old Catholic" is an ambiguous term. Some sects that operate as “Old Catholics” began when the schismatic See of Utrecht was formed in 1724 by members of the Archdiocese of Utrecht who split and formed their own alleged archdiocesan see under Cornelis Steenhoven. The split was largely driven by the Old Catholics’ support of the Janenist heresy which the Jesuits were fiercely fighting again. In short, Jansenism denied the necessity of free will in receiving grace by claiming that grace is so efficacious that we need to make no act of assent on our behalf. As a result, Jansenists concluded that this grace was intended only for a predestined elect known to God. The heresy also led to a disregard of the authority of the pope.

In 1653 Pope Innocent X in the papal bull Cum Occasione condemned five key propositions of the Jansenists as heretical.  And Clement XI’s 1713 bull Unigenitus Dei Filius condemned 101 propositions from Pasquier Quesnel, an Oratorian priest who organized the Jansenists into a unified movement. However, the Jansenists and some bishops refused to submit to the Pope’s authority on the matter and held that ecumenical councils and the local church have greater authority than the pope, which is the heresy of Gallicanism.  This led to the formation of the Old Catholic schismatic group based in Utrecht.

Infallibly Denied

However, not all Old Catholics have roots in the 1724 formation of the schismatic See of Utrecht. The term may also refer to Catholics who refused to accept the First Vatican Council’s dogma on papal infallibly in 1870. This group led by Johannes Döllinger, Franz Reusch, and Johannes Friedrich joined with Utrecht to form the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches.  Döllinger established an Old Catholic group in Bonn, Germany and took apostolic succession through the schismatic See of Utrecht.

However, the term can also refer to a variety of Polish, Slavic, Croat, and Yugoslavian communities that broke with Rome over what they alleged was discrimination by American bishops.

In 1925, the Old Catholics formally recognized Anglican ordinations, in direct contradiction to Pope Leo XIII who had infallibly declared that Anglican Holy Orders were “absolutely null and entirely void”, and in 1932, some of the Old Catholics entered into communion with the Church of England. Others today are in Communion with the Orthodox Church.

Stay Clear of the Old Catholic Sect

Despite images of what seem to be reverent Tridentine Masses, priests in cassocks, and other external elements that we recognize as Catholic, the Old Catholic Church is not a part of the Catholic Church. They are a schismatic organization that today is highly fragmented. Some groups within the Old Catholic Church ordain women or homosexuals. For instance, an Old Catholic mission in Chicago praises the Council of Trent while also claiming to offer the Tridentine Mass in the vernacular. Other groups within the Old Catholic network accept only the first seven ecumenical councils, oppose the veneration of saints and relics, discourage pilgrimages and sacramentals, and allow clerics to marry. The Polish National Catholic Church, which also is not truly Catholic, was a member of the Union of Utrecht until 2003 when they broke away over the Union's support for the ordination of women and homosexuals. And there are many more fragments in the overall hierarchy of these groups.

While some Old Catholics priests may offer valid Sacraments, they are all illicit.  And since women may not receive Holy Orders, any Old Catholic “priest” alleged ordained by a woman does not possess any orders whatsoever.

In short, being a Catholic requires union with the Vicar of Christ and belief in all that the Church teaches. Old Catholics may possess some of the externals we associate with Catholicism, but their beliefs are ultimately opposed to the dogmatic teachings of the Church that Christ founded. Like Protestant services and Orthodox liturgies, the Sacraments of the Old Catholics should be avoided at all costs.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
What is the Old Catholic Church? Are Roman Catholic?

There is a group of individuals who call themselves "Old Catholics."  This group broke off of the Catholic Church before Vatican I and have mixed in protestant thought within what looks like a Traditional Catholic Mass. But they do not offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  These individuals belong to a group that has been officially condemned as schismatic and heretical.  One such group is present in Chicago, IL.  Look up the "Old Catholic Church" and you will find they are located around the world. Keep in mind though, this is a complicated topic. Certain "Old Roman Catholics" actually do offer valid Masses, unlike the similarly named "Old Catholics" without the "Roman" in the name.

Please visit the two following links in which Fr. Peter Carota devotes time to explain the history and errors of the Old Catholics:
 Photo of His Holiness Pope Pius IX

His Holiness Pope Pius IX has condemned the Old Catholic Movement as heretical and schismatic:

The serious and long-lasting plots and efforts which the new heretics who call themselves Old Catholics use daily in your country to deceive the faithful and to tear them away from their ancient faith, urge Us, as a duty of Our supreme apostolate, to zealously devote Our paternal care and attention to protecting the spiritual welfare of our children. We are aware, and We sorrowfully deplore the fact, that these schismatics and heretics who enjoy the favor of the civil authority exercise the ministry of their wicked sect in the region of the diocese of Basel as in other regions of your country while the religious freedom of Catholics remains publicly oppressed by schismatic laws.

Deceit Characteristic of Schism

2. Having violently occupied parishes and churches with apostate priests, they have not neglected any deception or cunning to lead the children of the Catholic Church into wretched schism. Because it has always been especially characteristic of heretics and schismatics to use lies and deception, these sons of darkness are to be reckoned among those the prophet spoke of: "Woe to you deserting children who have faith in the shadow of Egypt. You have rejected the word and have hoped in trickery and rebellion." They love to deceive the unwary and the innocent and to draw them into error by deception and hypocrisy. They repeatedly state openly that they do not in the least reject the Catholic Church and its visible head but rather that they are zealous for the purity of Catholic doctrine declaring that they are the heirs of the ancient faith and the only true Catholics. But in fact they refuse to acknowledge all the divine prerogatives of the vicar of Christ on earth and do not submit to His supreme magisterium.

Condemnation of Errors

3. In order to spread their teachings more widely, We know that some of them have been appointed to teach sacred theology in the University of Bern, hoping to be able in this way to gain new followers from the Catholic youth for their wicked faction. However, We have already reproved and condemned this deplorable sect which has produced from the old store of the heretics so many errors opposed to the principal tenets of the Catholic faith. This sect overthrows the foundations of the Catholic religion, shamelessly rejects the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council, and devotes itself to the ruin of souls in so many ways. We have decreed and declared in Our letter of 21 November 1873 that those unfortunate men who belong to, adhere to, and support that sect should be considered as schismatics and separated from communion with the Church.

4. We think it is Our duty to repeat this public declaration now and to request you to preserve the unity of faith among your faithful by every possible means in accordance with your eminent zeal and your renowned virtue. For you have given notable examples of this virtue in bearing tribulations for the cause of God. You should remind them to beware of these treacherous enemies of the flock of Christ and their poisoned foods. They should totally shun their religious celebrations, their buildings, and their chairs of pestilence which they have with impunity established to transmit the sacred teachings. They should shun their writings and all contact with them. They should not have any dealings or meetings with usurping priests and apostates from the faith who dare to exercise the duties of an ecclesiastical minister without possessing a legitimate mission or any jurisdiction. They should avoid them as strangers and thieves who come only to steal, slay, and destroy. For the Church's children should consider the proper action to preserve the most precious treasure of faith, without which it is impossible to please God, as well as action calculated to achieve the goal of faith, that is the salvation of their souls, by following the straight road of justice.

Anti-Catholic Marriage Laws

5. We recognize that apart from laws which injure the divine constitution and authority of the church, others have also been promulgated there by the civil authority which are totally opposed to the canonical prescriptions dealing with Christian marriage. These laws deeply oppose the authority and the jurisdiction of the Church. We are obliged to exhort you in the Lord to explain to your faithful by suitable instructions. Recall to their minds those truths which We have often stressed in Our apostolic letters or allocutions concerning this sacrament especially on 9 and 27 September 1852. We endeavored to give them a thorough appreciation of the sanctity and the power of marriage to enable them by pious conformity to the canonical laws in this matter, to avoid the evils which affect families and human society in consequence of contempt for the sanctity of marriage.

6. We are very confident in the Lord, beloved sons, pastors, and clerics, that you, who have been ordained not only for your own sanctification and salvation but also for that of others, in face of this huge conspiracy of the unholy and of so many dangerous allurements will prove yourselves a strong comfort and help to your bishops because of your demonstrated piety and zeal. Under their leadership, you will eagerly take up the task of diligently working for the cause of God, for the Church, and for the salvation of souls. You will strengthen the powers of the faithful who stand firm, assist the weakness of those who falter, and increase daily before God the merits which you have already attained by patience, constancy, and priestly fortitude. The labors which those who act as ambassadors of Christ must sustain are very heavy at this time. But our trust should be placed in Him who has conquered the world. He helps those who labor in His name and rewards them with a crown of unfading glory in heaven.

Obedience to Lawful Authority

7. Dearly beloved faithful children who live in Switzerland, We Speak to you with paternal affection in Our concern for your salvation. You know very well how precious is the gift of the Catholic faith which God has bestowed upon you. Never spare any care, any effort to faithfully preserve that gift. Preserve safe and sound the glory of the ancient religion which you received from your ancestors. Therefore, We urge you with the greatest enthusiasm to give support strongly and constantly to your legitimate shepherds who have received a legitimate mission from this Apostolic See. They watch over your souls since they will have to account to God for them. Listen obediently to their voices and keep in mind the words of eternal truth which Jesus spoke: "Whoever is not with me is against me; whoever does not gather with me scatters." Be obedient to His teaching. Love His easy yoke. Reject energetically those of whom Our Redeemer said: "Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing. On the inside however they are ravening wolves." Therefore strong in the faith, resist the ancient

enemy of the human face "until the right arm of Almighty God destroys all the weapons of the devil who is allowed a certain scope of action only in order to give Christ's faithful greater glory by his defeat . . . because where truth is the teacher, divine comfort is never lacking."

Prayer for Quiet

8. We thought We should write these things to you because the duty of Our supreme ministry requires Us to deliver the universal flock of Christ from every danger of deception and to watch over its safety as well as the unity of the faith and of the Church. Therefore, since every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from above from the father of lights, We pray to Him from the bottom of Our heart that He strengthen your power in the struggle and defend you with His help and protection. May He look favorable on your country until when the errors and the counsels of the impious have been destroyed, it enjoys the tranquil peace of truth and justice. We do not neglect to implore the light from above for the wretched people who have gone astray. May they cease storing up wrath for themselves in the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God. May they turn from the error of their ways while there is still time given to them for sincere repentance. Venerable brothers and dearly beloved children, join your fervent prayers of Ours to obtain mercy and find grace in suitable aid. Receive the apostolic blessing which We impart to you lovingly in the Lord from the bottom of Our heart. We grant it to each and every one of you as a pledge of our special love.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, on the 23rd day of March 1875, the twenty-ninth year of Our Pontificate.

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