The M+G+R Foundation

The Old Catholic Movement

It May Be the Answer to Many


The purpose of this document is to shed some light on what is called the Old Catholic Movement since it may be a refuge for those seeking the strength and nourishment provided by the valid Catholic Sacraments as they justifiably flee the collapsed Church of Rome.


We have received some information on The Old Catholic Movement and related groups not associated with the Roman Church.  The information has been taken from Roman Catholic Church sources. Although we have not reviewed each source, we are quite familiar with said line of reasoning thus, we have every reason to feel comfortable with the statements quoted.

We are not necessarily encouraging a move to said Churches, however, it is our responsibility to make the information available to the Faithful who may be starving for nourishment and not knowing where to turn.


References on the Old Catholic Movement from:


Old Catholic - several groups, including: (1) the Church of Utrecht, which severed relations with Rome in 1724; (2) The National Polish Church in the U.S., which has its origin near the end of the 19th century; (3) German, Austrian and Swiss Old Catholics, who broke away from union with Rome
following the First Vatican Council in 1870 because they objected to the dogma of papal infallibility.

The formation of the Old Catholic communion of Germans, Austrians and Swiss began in 1870 at a public meeting held in Nuremberg under the leadership of A. Dolinger. Four years later Episcopal succession was established with ordination of an Old Catholic German bishop by a prelate of the Church of Utrecht. In line with the "Declaration of Utrecht" of 1889, they accept the first seven ecumenical councils and doctrine formulated before 1054, but reject communion with the pope and a number of other Roman Catholic doctrines and practices. They have a valid priesthood and valid sacraments.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church notes that they have recognized Anglican ordinations since 1925, that they have full communion with the Church of England since 1932, and have taken part in ordination of Anglican Bishops.

Published with Ecclesiastical Approval
Huntington, Indiana 46750

Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Declaration: Dominus Iesus (1)

An excerpt...

17. Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the (Roman) Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the (Roman) Catholic Church... 

From Other Vatican Related Sources

[1] "When a Catholic sacred minister is unavailable and there is urgent spiritual necessity, Catholics may receive the Eucharist, penance, or anointing from sacred ministers of non-Catholic denomination whose holy orders are considered valid by the Catholic Church. This includes all Eastern  Orthodox priests, as well as priests of the Old Catholic or Polish National Church."

Rights and Responsibilities, A Catholics' Guide to the New Code of Canon Law, Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., page 44.

[2] "A validly consecrated bishop can validly confer all orders from the minor orders to the episcopate inclusively ... For this reason the ordinations performed by the bishops of the Old Catholics are consider valid."

A Practical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, revised and enlarged edition, by Rev. Stanislaw Woywod, OFM, LLB. Vol. 1, Sec. 881 P. 558.

[3] "They [Old Catholics] have received valid orders."

Roman Catholic Dictionary, by Addison Arnold.

[4] "The Old Catholic Church has received valid episcopal consecration",

Christian Denominations, by Rev. Konrad Algemissen

[5] "Their [Old Catholic] Orders and Sacraments are valid."

A Catholic Dictionary, by Donald Attwater.

[6] "The Far East Magazine of June, 1928, published by the Saint Columban Fathers of St. Columbans, Nebraska, in reply to any inquiry about the Old Catholic Church, published the reply that: "These [Old Catholics] Orders are valid."

[7] "The Roman Church recognizes the validity of Old Catholic Orders and other Sacraments."

1974 Catholic Almanac, by Felician A. Roy, OFM, page 368. "Our Sunday Visitor."

[8] "We have no reason to doubt that the Old Catholic Orders are valid. The Apostolic Succession does not depend on obedience to the See of Peter but rather on the objective line of succession from Apostolic sources, the proper matter and form, and the proper intention ... likewise Old Catholic bishops are bishops in Apostolic Succession ... The Old Catholics, like the Orthodox, posses a valid priesthood."

Separated Brethren, William J. Whalen, pp. 204, 248.

[9] (Apostolicae Curae) "...Whenever there is no appearance of simulation on the part of the minister, the validity of the sacrament is sufficiently certain ... "

[10] “Every validly consecrated bishop, including heretical, schismatic, simonistic or excommunicated bishops, can validly dispense the Sacrament of Holy Orders, provided that he has the requisite intention, and follows the essential external rite (set. Certa).

Cf. D 855, 860; CIC 2372.” 1952 Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott, pp. 456.

[These sources were printed with the imprimatur of various Roman Catholic Bishops]



If you need to flee the Church of Rome, still with the AntiChrist in residence (2) , we strongly recommend that you try to find churches where the Sacraments have not lost their savour yet (3) as they have in most Roman Catholic Parishes.

13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. [Matthew 4]

The largest being the Orthodox Church (4) - the Catholic Church of the East with its "Rome" being Constantinople, today's Istanbul.


(1) Dominus Iesus
(2) The AntiChrist
(3) For example
(4) The Orthodox Church

Published on February 7, 2006
Updated on June 28, 2014 - Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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