OLD CATHOLIC & UNITED CATHOLIC HISTORY
Introduction

 

The United Catholic Church is a free non-hierarchical fellowship of independent Catholic, Orthodox, and Apostolic churches who trace their individual histories back to the early church and to the apostles themselves. The history of our church dates back to the early church, as found in the Acts of the Apostles when it began as a fellowship of of of believers. Throughout the centuries there have been many splits in this fellowship. Nonetheless, our various histories come together in one united family of faith

It is at the time of the Great Schism of 1054 that the histories of our individual churches diverge from each other. Some of us are descended primarily from the Eastern or Orthodox branch of Christianity, others from the Western or Roman branch. Many of us represent a union of both branches. But all of us trace our Apostolic succession back to the Patriarchs of the undivided Church, and through them to apostolic times.

We will begin this history with a look at the events surrounding the Great Schism. We will then follow the Western branch through two more great divisions – the Protestant Reformation of the 15th and 16th centuries, and the emergence in the 19th century of the Old Catholic Church and the Utrecht Union. We will see that most of our churches are descended from the Old Catholic Church, yet many of us also have recent bishops of the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches in our apostolic line.

The independent Catholic movement can be viewed as a further fracturing of the Roman monolith. Yet in truth, it represents an attempt to bring back the pieces, laying the basis for true unity by discarding demands for uniformity.

FURTHER READING

To further understand the history and development of the United Catholic Church, please click on the links below.

church front hall st glass.jpg