PROVINCE OF EUROPE
A WESTERN [LATIN RITE] EXPRESSION OF THE ORTHODOX FAITH

 The Old Roman Catholic Church

Old Roman Catholic Church in Europe

FrequentlyAskedQuestions

What is the difference between Old Roman Catholicism and Roman Catholicism?

About Old Roman Catholicism

  1. Why are you called "Old" Roman Catholics?

    We are called Old Roman Catholics because a) we are the continuation of the original Roman Catholic Church descended through the authentic historic See of Utrecht and b) because we maintain the Catholic Faith as it had always been believed by Western Catholics. (The recent dogmas of the Immaculate Conception [Ineffabilis Deus 1854], Papal Infallibility [Pastor Aeternus 1870] and the Assumption of Mary [Munificentissimus Deus 1950] are taught as pious doctrine.)

    In 1145 Bl. Eugene III granted the Cathedral Chapter of Utrecht the perpetual right to elect their own bishops. In 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council (Canons 23 and 24) confirmed this privilege. In In 1520, Pope Leo X decreed in his papal bull [Debitum Pastoralis] that the Bishop of Utrecht, his successors, his clergy, and his laity should never be tried by an external tribunal of canon law. If any such proceedings did take place they were null and void.

    Then in 1691, the Jesuits falsely accused Archbishop Peter Codde, the occupant of the See of Utrecht, of favoring the so-called Jansenist heresy. (We say so-called Jansenist heresy because no one has ever yet succeeded in finding the repudiated heretical statements, either in substance or in form in the, "Augustinus" of Bishop Cornelius Jansenius, where the Jesuits pretended to have discovered them.) Despite the Archbishop's proved innocence of heresy, the influence of the Jesuits was so great that they persuaded the Pope to issue a secret brief suspending and deposing Archbishop Codde. Neither the names of his accusers, nor the charges made against him were ever made known to him, nor was he permitted to offer any defence. All this happened despite the special privileges granted the See of Utrecht. This created a breach which was never healed, though Pope Clement XIV was favorably disposed towards the grievously wronged Church of Utrecht.

    Despite the repeated requests and affirmed desire of the See of Utrecht to reach a canonical solution of the breach, in 1853 Pope Pius IX established another Roman Catholic hierarchy in the Netherlands. This existed alongside that of the original Roman Catholic See of Utrecht. Thereafter in the Netherlands the Utrecht hierarchy was referred to as the 'Old Roman Catholic Church' to distinguish it from those in union with the Pope. In the mind of the Holy See, the Old Roman Catholic Church of Utrecht had maintained Apostolic Succession and its clergy thus celebrated valid sacraments in every respect.

    This Church is called OLD because it rejects Modernism and every recent innovation of doctrine while adhering faithfully to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of Apostolic times. She is called ROMAN because the line of her Apostolic succession from the first century until 1739 was held in common with the Roman Catholic Church and also because she uses the Roman Rite without addition or change, employing the Pontificale, Missale and Rituale Romanum with great care and exactitude as to matter, form and intention in the administration of the seven Sacraments. The Church is CATHOLIC because she is not confined to any one nation or place or time, but ministers to all men, in all places, for all time, teaching the same Faith once delivered by her Founder, Jesus Christ, to the Apostles.

  2. Are you connected in anyway with the Utrecht Union of Old Catholic Churches?

    In 1870, Dr. Ignaz von Dollinger brought the “Old Catholics” into being to offer resistance to the dogma of Papal Infallibility. In 1873, the Old Roman Catholic Church of Utrecht was prevailed upon to provide these “Old Catholics” with a bishop in 1889, and an amalgamation took place between the Church of Utrecht and the “Old Catholics”. Though Utrecht was eventually to abandon Old Roman Catholicism, the Church was not to perish.

    Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew of England was consecrated to the Episcopate by Archbishop Gerard Gul of Utrecht at a time when Utrecht was still truly orthodox (1909). At the time of Archbishop Mathew's consecration at Utrecht, no serious inroads had been made upon the Catholic Faith by the Church of Utrecht, nor had she yet departed in any way from Catholic traditions and practise. But by the end of 1910, however, the heterodox influence of the “Old Catholics” had proved too much for Utrecht and had overwhelmed her, and so great and far-reaching were the changes which she was prevailed upon to make in her formularies and doctrinal position, that on December 29, 1910, Archbishop Mathew was forced to withdraw the Old Roman Catholic Church in England from Communion with Utrecht in order to preserve its orthodoxy intact.

    Utrecht is no longer Old Roman Catholic but simply “Old Catholic.” Thus it comes about that the ancient and glorious Church of St. Willibrord and St. Boniface has its continuation and perpetuation through the present day Old Roman Catholic Church which is compelled, in defence of its orthodoxy, to refuse to hold union with either Utrecht or the Continental “Old Catholics.”

  3. What is the difference between Old Roman Catholicism and Old Catholicism?

    The honest inquirer must be cautioned not to confuse the Old Roman Catholic Church with those groups calling themselves “Old Catholic.” Much which, in this age, calls itself “Old Catholic” represents some compromise with Protestantism, or in wider digression, with such non-Christian cults as theosophy. Old Roman Catholicism has no affiliation with such groups as the Polish National Catholic Church, or the Utrecht Union of Churches, the Liberal Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Churches of the Continent or any of the various independent groups which abound in the United States and elsewhere. The heterodoxy of these groups makes union with them impossible.

    Old Roman Catholicism, as Archbishop Mathew (who preserved it after the apostasy of Utrecht) rightly understood it, was different from Modernist influenced Old Catholicism in the retention of ancient doctrines, formularies and praxis, yet different from Roman Catholicism by that same retention of the Catholic Faith as it had "always been believed, everywhere and by all" (St Vincent Lerins) without the additional dogmas decreed by Rome.

    Old Roman Catholicism is a continuation of the true Catholic Faith that had always existed in the West akin to that Faith which the Orthodox Catholics had also maintained since the divide between East and West in 1054. To this end, Archbishop Mathew successfully approached and achieved communion with the ancient Sees of Antioch and Alexandria (Orthodox Patriarchates). This intercommunion was the first real heal of schism between Eastern and Western jurisdictions and was based upon the mutual recognition and maintenance of the ancient Faith of the Church.

  4. Are you "Episcopi Vagantes"?

    An oft misused phrase and misapplied term regarding Old Roman Catholics is the term "Episcopi Vagantes" (lit. Latin "Wandering Bishops"). This term is often used derogatively and often by those who ought to know better! The answer is an emphatic "no"! An "Episopus vagans" is a man consecrated validly but irregularly or illicitly (unlawfully) i.e. without ecclesial approbation. Old Roman Catholics claim "canonicity" (licitness/lawfullness) because:

    • The canonical dispute between the Holy See and the See of Utrecht about whether the Ultrajectine See could elect its own Bishops was never canonically i.e. legally, concluded (Bl. Pius IX ignoring due process and erecting an uncanonical heirarchy in Holland in 1853). Thus, it is only just according to Canonical principles to assume that the inalienable right granted by Papal Bull of Bl. Eugene III is still extant and in effect. 
    • The rightful Archbishop of Utrecht (Geraldus Gul) in 1909 consecrated and comissioned Arnold Harris Mathew as a Bishop in accordance with the norms of universal ecclesiastical law.
    • When the See of Utrecht fell into 'apostasy' in 1910, Bishop Mathew justifiably declared autonomy from the Ultrajectine See on December 29th 1910 and justifiably claimed her canonical rights and prerogatives for the continuation and perpetuation of the Old Roman Catholic Church from Utrecht.
    • On August 5th 1911, [now] Archbishop Mathew was received by His Eminence the Most Reverend Archbishop Gearrasimos Messara of Beruit, Syria into the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and the East and intercommunion was established between the second most ancient See of Christendom and first "cathedra" of the Apostle Peter and the Old Roman Catholic Church recognised as an "autocephalous" i.e. self-governing, jurisdiction. This occurred similarly with the Patriarchate of Alexandria in 1912. Thus making the Old Roman Catholic Church a Canonical entity in both the Western and Eastern Catholicates.

    Thus the term "Episcopi Vagantes" ought not justifiably be applied to the Old Roman Catholic Church, in all her duly constituted and canonically governed ecclesial communities around the world, nor particularly her Bishops. The Old Roman Catholic Church is a recognised autocephalous and canonical ecclesial entity equal to any other so recognised Church of the East and has a legitimate claim to Canonical status within the Latin Rite. 

Back to top

What is the difference between Old Roman Catholicism and Roman Catholicism?

  1. Dogma and Doctrine

    Contemporary Roman Catholics believe in the Immaculate Conception [Ineffabilis Deus 1854], Papal Infallibility [Pastor Aeternus 1870] and the Assumption of Mary [Munificentissimus Deus 1950] Old Roman Catholics recognise these teachings as doctrine, not as dogma. In other words, Old Roman Catholics do not belive it is "necessary for salvation" to believe in these doctrines. The reason why not, is due to a difference in appreciation of the "deposit of Faith", for Old Roman Catholics, the Catholic Faith was imparted whole to the Apostles and all that was "necessary for salvation" was given them and the Church by Christ [33AD]. Old Roman Catholicism, like the Eastern Orthodox, do not hold to a concept called the "development of doctrine" that modern Roman Catholicism uses to justify later dogmas like those given above. For Old Roman Catholics, the Faith today must be the same as the Faith yesterday and will be tomorrow, this is what we understand by "Apostolic Tradition", that there is one deposit of Faith that cannot be added to or subtracted from.

    Like the Eastern Orthodox, Old Roman Catholics recognise that our understanding of doctrine may overtime become more comprehensive, i.e. an increased understanding, and this is how we interpret Christ's words regarding the Holy Spirit to the Apostles "Yet when the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth..." (John 16:13) Yet, we believe that what Catholics were asked to believe fifteen hundred years ago and today, must be the same as that believed by the Apostles and first Christians.

    Old Roman Catholics recognise of course, that over time changes have been made to the externals of the faith (e.g. liturgy, devotions, habits, vestments, new feasts, Canons of ecumenical and regional Councils etc) in order to better express the same Faith to different cultures or generations, but the Faith itself cannot change.

  2. Ecclesiology

    The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Pope has "universal ordinary jurisdiction" everywhere in the world, in other words, that a Bishop is not the sole head of any diocese but is effectively an "agent" or "vicar" of the Pope. Indeed, Bishops can only be appointed with the approval of the Pope. Many are surprised to know that this is a comparatively modern understanding of the role of the Papacy, and has been Canonically so only since 1870.

    Old Roman Catholics believe that every Bishop in his own right, is an Apostle of Christ, and as such has supreme authority for that portion of Christ's flock entrusted to his care, the Bishop and his flock are "the Church" where they are; as St Ignatius of Antioch put it to St Polycarp of Smyrna, the Church of Christ is in the Bishop, his priests and deacons with the people around the Eucharist in the true Faith. All bishops and their flocks together so comprise the "Catholic Church", or "The Church is in the Bishop and the Bishop in the Church" as St Cyprian of Carthage wrote.

    Even so, it has long been the practise of the Church to organise herself for administrative purposes so that a church or groups of churches may be led by a Bishop, a Metropolitan or Archbishop, but essentially there is only one Sacramental rank of Bishop - not many. All Bishops are equal. The Pope then as Bishop of Rome, may historically have had authority to govern many churches as a Patriarch, but he is still only a Bishop and thus only the "first among equals" of his brothers in the Episcopate.

    The Holy See and the Orthodox Patriarchates are currently establishing what the practice of authority was in the first millenium of the Church's existence and how the Petrine Ministry (position of the Pope of Rome) was understood then within the context of the magisterium universally attributed to the first Seven Ecumenical Councils.

    Old Roman Catholics acknowledge the Bishop of Rome historically and spiritually as the Patriarch of the West and our priests pray for the Pope in the Canon of their Masses to express the desire for unity that should exist amongst Western Catholics.

  3. Clerical Celibacy

    With regard to this discipline, Old Roman Catholic clergy in common with our Orthodox brethren perpetuate the practice of the first millenium Church, thus they are permitted to marry before Ordination; clerical celibacy is considered a particular and individual vocation rather than a obligatory condition for the Sacred Ministry.

  4. Are you schismatic Roman Catholics?

    Old Roman Catholicism is not a sect or schism as some of its self-constituted enemies may claim. Old Roman Catholics acknowledge the Bishop of Rome historically and spiritually as the Patriarch of the West and our priests pray for the Pope in the Canon of their Masses to express the desire for unity that should exist amongst Western Catholics. A thorough reading of history clearly indicates that Old Roman Catholics did nothing schismatically to warrant Pius IX's institution of another heirarchy in the See of Utrecht in 1853, nor taught anything that was not always considered to be Catholic faith and practice.

    In 1145 Blessed Pope Eugene III granted the Cathedral Chapter of Utrecht the right to elect successors to the See in times of vacancy. This meant that, unlike most other Sees in the Roman Catholic Church, the Cathedral Chapter of Utrecht could elect bishops without permission or approval from the Pope. This had always been the practice in the early Church. In 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council (Canons 23 and 24) confirmed this privilege.

    Another significant right granted the Church of the Netherlands was its immunity from prosecution by Roman Catholic courts of canon law constituted outside the See of Utrecht. In 1520, Pope Leo X decreed in his papal bull Debitum Pastoralis that the Bishop of Utrecht, his successors, his clergy, and his laity should never be tried by an external tribunal of canon law. If any such proceedings did take place they were null and void. This extraordinary right had been granted by Pope Leo X at the request of Philip of Burgundy, who was the reigning prince-bishop of Utrecht at the time.

    In 1691, the Jesuits falsely accused Archbishop Peter Codde, the occupant of of the See of Utrecht, of favoring the so-called Jansenist heresy. We say so-called Jansenist heresy because no one has ever yet succeeded in finding the repudiated heretical statements, either in substance or in form, in the Augustinus of bishop Cornelius Jansenius, where the Jesuits pretended to have discovered them. Archbishop Codde was ordered to stand trial in Rome despite the special privilege and Papal dispensation from such a trial (see above re Debitum Pastoralis). Despite the Archbishop's proved innocence of heresy, the influence of the Jesuits was so great that they persuaded the Pope to issue a secret brief suspending and deposing Archbishop Codde. Neither the names of his accusers, nor the charges made against him, were ever made known to him, nor was he permitted to offer any defence. This created a breach which was never healed, though Pope Clement XIV was favorably disposed towards the grievously wronged Church of Utrecht.

    We believe and maintain, as we have always done since 1691, that these irregular proceedings against the Church of Utrecht, based, as they were, upon charges which were proved at the time to have been groundless, were null and void and in direct contravention of the privileged rights of the See of Utrecht for immunity from prosecution outside her territory. Add the uncanonical actions of Pope Pius IX in 1853, again contravening a privilege granted the See of Utrecht in 1145 re the election and thus appointment of her own Bishops and despite the majority opinion being in our favour of Canon lawyers and academics. Thus it is that we have remained, and are still in actual technical fact, and not according to any fanciful or far-fetched theory, part and parcel of the Roman Catholic Church.

Back to top

Why should I become an Old Roman Catholic?

  1. Depositum Fidei

    Many and various are the reasons why people become Old Roman Catholics! Essentially however, one should become an Old Roman Catholic because, on the basis of Holy Scripture and the continuous history of two thousand years, Old Roman Catholicism represents the fullest and most correct expression of the Catholic Faith as it has been lived and believed in the Western Catholicate since the time of Christ and the Apostles.

    Old Roman Catholicism is the continuation of the cultural, scholastic and devotional tradition of Western Latin Rite Christians. Old Roman Catholicism expresses this continuity by maintaining the Depositum Fidei: “The faith once and for all delivered to the saints” Jude 2; the Old Roman Catholic Churches maintain that Faith revealed in and through and imparted to the Apostles by, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word made Flesh, without addition or subtraction; Old Roman Catholicism maintains this single deposit by adhering faithfully to

    • the received Sacred Tradition,
    • the Holy Scriptures and
    • the infallible Magisterium of the Universal Church.
  2. Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi

    This Latin maxim addresses the centrality of worship in the life, identity and mission of the Church; “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi”. The phrase in Latin literally means the law of prayer ("the way we worship"), and the law of belief ("what we believe"). It is sometimes written as, "lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi", further deepening the implications of this truth - how we worship reflects what we believe and determines how we will live. The law of prayer or worship is the law of life. Or, even more popularly rendered, as we worship, so will we live…and as we worship, so will we become!

    The Church has long understood that part of her role as mother and teacher is to watch over worship, for the sake of the faithful and in obedience to the God whom she serves. How we worship not only reveals and guards what we believe but guides us in how we live our Christian faith and fulfill our Christian mission in the world. The Old Roman Catholic Church preserves the ancient liturgy of the Latin Rite as it has been received and developed over the centuries and dependent on the preference of local communities, offers the liturgy in either traditional Latin or sacral English.

    Worship is not an “add on” for a Catholic Christian. It is the foundation of Catholic identity; expressing our highest purpose. Worship reveals what we truly believe and how we view ourselves in relationship to God, one another and the world into which we are sent to carry forward the redemptive mission of Jesus Christ. How the Church worships is a prophetic witness to the truth of what it professes. Good worship becomes a dynamic means of drawing the entire human community into the fullness of life in Jesus Christ. It attracts - through beauty to Beauty. Worship informs and transforms both the person and the faith community which participates in it. There is reciprocity between worship and life.

    To express our adherence and praxis to the Catholic Faith received by us from the Apostles, the Old Roman Catholic Church uses the Roman Rite without addition or change, employing the Pontificale, Missale and Rituale Romanum with great care and exactness as to matter, form and intention in the administration of the seven Sacraments.  She offers the holy sacrifice of the Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite i.e. in Latin language and according to the Rite of St Pius V, sometimes called the "Tridentine", "Gregorian" or "Extraordinary Form". Other services are sometimes conducted in Sacral English (traditional language) for pastoral necessity. However, Mass booklets in English/Latin are available and many of our parishoners comment how easy it is to become accustomed to the Latin responses... both young and old!

  3. Conscientia principatus

    Old Roman Catholicism affirms the "primacy of conscience" and the formation of right conscience. Old Roman Catholic theology recognises that the Church's teaching magisterium has two objects:

    • the formation of conscience, in which case authority has an instructive quality;
    • and the nurturing of an informed conscience to full maturity, in which case authority is guiding but not directive.

    In other words, Old Roman Catholicism seeks to instruct and to guide, not to dictate what a person should do, but to present to them the Tradition of the Church for them to make informed decisions.

    The New Testament demonstrates essentially two ways in which the magisterium of the Church is to be understood; an interior teaching about everything, divined by the Holy Spirit derived from the anointing at Confirmation of the believer [1 John 2:27], and an external teaching role residing in certain members of the ecclesial community as illustrated by St Paul [Rom 12:6-8; I Cor 12:28-31]. In the Early Church, the external teaching role, like that of the bishop, meant catechesis, ongoing instruction in the lived experience of Faith. S Gregory the Great called this the "pastoral" role of the teaching office of the bishop.

    In the early centuries, the authority behind adherence to the truth of faith and the acceptance of its demands was bourne by the whole Church. Only in the course of time did 'authority' come to be seen as deriving from the status/role of a specific person within the community teaching the truth.  Later on, there would be made a distinction between the academic and pastoral magisterium i.e. the authority and roles of theologians and bishops.  After the Reformation the universities began to decline in influence until after the French Revolution, with the suppression of many universities, the academic magisterium was all but destroyed.  This void was then filled by the development of an heirarchial magisterium transfered and embodied ultimately in the teaching office of the Pope.

    It is against this heirarchial magisterium, particularly in relation to the Pope as defined by Vatican I, that Old Roman Catholicism maintains an original understanding of the Early Church regarding the teaching authority of the Church.  Thus, while the Old Roman Catholic Church preserves, teaches and instructs the Faithful regarding the divine revelation of Scripture and Tradition, she does not seek to impose impersonal strictures of discipline to burden the consciences of the Faithful that might ultimately impede their observance of the praxis that would be most beneficial to them spiritually and developmentally.  For this reason, Old Roman Catholicism maintains the principle of 'primacy of conscience' that the Faithful may be educated and enabled to make informed choices regarding their moral praxis.

    “Over the Pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one’s own conscience, which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official Church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing totalitarianism.”

    Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) writing as peritus (expert) in his commentary on the documents of the Second Vatican Council, 1967.

  4. Veritatem facientes in caritate

    "Seeking the truth in charity"... with an emphasis on community and Catholicism, which expresses a warmth and interest in the total person, Old Roman Catholic communities are able to address the needs of today's society in the early years of the Twenty-First Century...

    • for the contemporary Catholic searching to maintain his/her Faith but desiring to do so without excessive institutionalism that often loses contact with the individual;
    • for those with a Catholic background who feel impeded from full participation in the life and Sacraments of the Church;
    • for the many unchurched who desire the joy and peace of Our Lord's Word and His Holy Sacraments, Old Catholic communities provide available alternative and allow a person to be a part of Christ's Church, and be at peace with his/her conscience.

    Old Roman Catholic communities, because of their size, can give individual attention to the individual spiritual needs of the faithful and, where necessary, develop unique ministries to meet those needs.

Back to top

How do I become an Old Roman Catholic?

  1. If you are a Roman Catholic...

    INFORMAL association: Roman Catholics are automatically permitted to receive the Sacraments from an ORC Priest - there is no need to formally become an Old Roman Catholic to attend Mass; however, if you wish an ORC Priest to minister to you in extremis (i.e. in an emergency or in danger of death), it is advisable to register with your local Parish Mission.

    If you are a Roman Catholic who has received the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation; in the first place contact your nearest ORCCE Mission and arrange to meet with the Mission Priest/Administrator. 

    Having already received the Sacraments of Initiation into the fellowship of the Catholic Church, there will be no need to receive these again, simply bring certification of the receipt of these Sacraments to show the Priest/Administrator.

    If you have been baptised but not yet Confirmed, you may receive preparation to receive this Sacrament from the Bishop and this can be arranged with the Mission Priest/Administrator.

    FORMAL Membership: If you would like to become an Old Roman Catholic formally, a simple Profession of Faith affirming the primacy of the infallible teaching magisterium and authority of the Universal Church to decide matters of Faith may be made in the presence of an ORC Priest. Prior to this Profession of Faith, you should formally register with your ORC Parish/Mission.

    Actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia Catholica (Romana)

    The following course of action is generally expected only of men prior to the reception of any Ordination within the Old Roman Catholic Church.

    You may also send a letter of abjuration, signed by yourself, to the local head of the Roman Catholic Church, declaring your expressed refutation from any Canonical obligation to the Holy See: this would formally annul your Canonical obligations to the Holy See i.e. membership of a Roman Catholic parish, Peter's Pence, the system of Indulgences etc and waive the right of your children to receive Sacraments from the Roman Catholic Church (except in extremis i.e. "danger of death" when an RC priest is required morally to administer the Sacraments) and automatic acceptance into a Roman Catholic school (though Baptism/Confirmation through the ORCCE is regularly accepted as "valid" by Roman Catholic schools re qualifications for admittance).

    This course of action is to be considered very carefully, and under advisement, its implications discussed thoroughly before a definite decision is made. This would be considered a 'formal act of schism' by the Roman Catholic Church incurring an automatic excommunication latae sententiae [cf Canon 1364, CIC 1983].

  2. If you are an Orthodox [Eastern/Oriental] Catholic...

    INFORMAL association: Orthodox Catholics are automatically permitted to receive the Sacraments from an ORC Priest - there is no need to formally become an Old Roman Catholic to attend Mass; however, if you wish an ORC Priest to minister to you in extremis (i.e. in an emergency or in danger of death), it is advisable to register with your local Parish Mission.

    If you are an Orthodox Catholic who has received the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation; in the first place contact your nearest ORCCE Mission and arrange to meet with the Mission Priest/Administrator.

    Having already received the Sacraments of Initiation into the fellowship of the Catholic Church, there will be no need to receive these again, simply bring certification of the receipt of these Sacraments to show the Priest/Administrator.

    If you have been baptised but not yet Confirmed, you may receive preparation to receive this Sacrament from the Bishop and this can be arranged with the Mission Priest/Administrator.

    FORMAL Membership: If you would like to become an Old Roman Catholic formally, a simple Profession of Faith affirming the primacy of the infallible teaching magisterium and authority of the Universal Church to decide matters of Faith may be made in the presence of an ORC Priest. Prior to this Profession of Faith, you should formally register with your ORC Parish/Mission.

  3. If you are an Anglican or Protestant...

    INFORMAL association: if you are a baptised and confirmed Anglican or a baptised Protestant, you may, at the discretion of the Priest, be permitted to receive the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist [Holy Communion] if;

    • you affirm a belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist;
    • you are unable to attend a church or service in your own tradition, or find a minister;
    • in extremis i.e. you are in danger of death.

    FORMAL Membership: if you are certain and may prove that you have received Baptism with the Trinitarian formula (I baptise thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit), you may be prepared for formal reception into the Catholic Church by receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, after formally registering with an ORCCE Mission/Parish. In the first place contact your nearest ORCCE Mission and arrange to meet with the Mission Priest/Administrator, you will be required to bring evidence of your Trinitarian Baptism to the meeting. 

  4. If you have never been a practising Christian...

    If you feel moved to and would like to become a Catholic Christian, in the first place contact your nearest ORCCE Mission and arrange to meet with the Mission Priest/Administrator.  They will be able to inform you about any exploratory opportunities local to you to find out more about the Catholic Faith and what becoming a Catholic Christian entails. 

Back to top