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DavidV

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This time in a new guise as the Orthodox Old Roman Catholic Communion in the UK and USA:
https://oldcatholic.org/

Other Old Roman Catholic jurisdictions:
https://www.naorcc.com - California-based
https://www.naorcc.org/ - New England-based
http://caer-glow.rosarychurch.net/ - Florida-based

All of these descend from an Englishman, Arnold Harris Mathew, whose consecrations sprang wildly divergent independent Catholic groups, mainly in the USA.

Until his death in 1958, Carmel Henry Carfora led the North American Old Roman Catholic Church, which subsequently became fractious with numerous separate jurisdictions, name changes and reorganisations. What has been consistent about the American (and some British) Old Roman Catholics is that they are liturgically and theologically conservative, adhering to a largely traditionalist position (albeit with things like married clergy).

What of the other Old Catholic jurisdictions? In America they very wildly from arch-liberal to arch-traditionalist in terms of theology, liturgy and morality.

The continental Old Catholics, originating in Utrecht and Vatican I, have become little more than continental Anglicans. They are more like liberal Protestants, since they began ordaining women and approving same-sex relationships within the church.

The Polish National Catholic Church was once part of the Union of Utrecht, but have since formed their own Union of Scranton in opposition to Utrecht's liberalism.

The Mariavites in Poland divided between a larger church which adheres to conservative Old Catholic principles, and a smaller church which retains innovations like female clergy and bishops.

The Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church (ICAB) was originally a liberation theology/social justice church under Carlos Duarte Costa. Under his successor Luis Castillo Mendez, the church did a dramatic turn to become more conservative. Since Castillo Mendez's passing in 2009, I am not sure of the situation.

The Liberal Catholic Church also claims a lineage from Arnold Harris Mathew and operates in Europe, USA and Australia. It combines a traditionalist approach to liturgy with New Age theology. It was long a pretty stable and well-organised church, but has more recently split between conservative and progressive wings on WO and LGBT.

There you have it. Independent Catholicism is a tangled web, one in which there are serious and respectable churches, but one also where disreputable characters can be found. It is not like Continuing Anglicanism which is very well-organised and consistent, or even non-canonical Orthodox churches like the Old Calendarists in Greece and ROCOR splinters in Russia, the latter having especially political reasons to stay out.
MatthewJTaylor

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And you've not even touched on Reformed Catholics such as myself who are quite thoroughly Protestant.
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DavidV

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I'm not sure what you mean!
VivatReginaScottorum

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewJTaylor
And you've not even touched on Reformed Catholics such as myself who are quite thoroughly Protestant.

The "Old Catholic" tradition David is discussing here originates with Roman Catholic dissenters to the First Vatican Council, and has nothing to do with the catholicity of the Protestant churches.

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MatthewJTaylor

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VivatReginaScottorum

The "Old Catholic" tradition David is discussing here originates with Roman Catholic dissenters to the First Vatican Council, and has nothing to do with the catholicity of the Protestant churches.

I'm aware, I'm simply pointing out how the catholic term can be dragged out in a third direction.
Tis truly a flexible term.

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DavidV

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VivatReginaScottorum

The "Old Catholic" tradition David is discussing here originates with Roman Catholic dissenters to the First Vatican Council, and has nothing to do with the catholicity of the Protestant churches.


It actually began in 18th Century Utrecht, before the Vatican I schism and all the schismatics linked up.

The Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht Gerardus Gul consecrated Arnold Harris Mathew, as well as Franciszek Hodur (PNCC) and Jan Kowalski (Mariavites).

Mathew's consecrations spanned the theological spectrum as mentioned above. On one extreme, he sought to set up an Old Catholic Church in Britain, but broke with Utrecht as he felt that the Old Catholics had become too "modernist" even at the time. He consecrated Rudolph de Landas Berghes, who in turn consecrated Carmel Henry Carfora, from which the mostly American Old Roman Catholic churches descend.

He also consecrated the Frederick Samuel Willoughby, who consecrated Theosophists who formed the Liberal Catholic Church - basically Theosophist ideas given a traditional Christian cloak, hence their New Age theology and traditional liturgy.

It seems that Mathew was described as "nice but muddleheaded" by some commentators, while some use the choices he made to discredit the line of bishops and churches he sired.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #7 
I read as much as I could stand of the rather messy Wikipedia article you linked to. What a bizarre creature. At least he wasn't a deliberate fraud like Joseph Smith, for example, just a self-deluding idiot, and he must have had some sort of charm because otherwise why would so many people in so many different churches have put up with his antics? Still, one of the odder stories I've come across.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #8 
I think there's been even weirder people associated with independent Catholicism. At least the main church bodies descended from Mathew have maintained a consistency in their beliefs and practices.
TuiMangareva

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Reply with quote  #9 
The first link you give appears to be risky.

There is, or was, a group in the UK called the Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Victories, based in Hampstead in London, which claimed to be "part of the worldwide family of Traditional Roman Catholics" and had tiny Mass Centres in various parts of the UK.

It was led by an Anthony Earl-Williams who claimed to be  bishop and was involved in a sex scandal with one of the young men in his congregation.  Their web site hasn't been updated for years so I have no idea if they are still in existence. 
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