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Detail, above, from Rembrandt's "Return of the Prodigal Son"

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there more than one Catholic Church?
Yes, there are several catholic jurisdictions including Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, Polish National Catholic, Assyrian Church of the East, to name just a few in addition to the independent catholic jurisdictions.

What is an Old Catholic Church?

Well, first of all, we are not Roman Catholics.  Being an Old Catholic Church is not the same as being a Traditionalist Catholic Church nor a church that celebrates the Tridentine Mass in Latin. Old Catholics are really rather progressive Catholics. 

We are Old Catholics in name, spirit and polity.  This means we join in spirit with the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht in the Netherlands that separated itself from the Roman Catholic Church in 1870 when Vatican Council I made its declaration on Papal Infallibility.  That decree was just too much for many Roman Catholics of Utrecht to accept.  In fact, as an aside, Peter Richard Kenrick, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of St. Louis at the time, also was opposed to that decree and absented himself from the final vote in order not to embarrass Pope Pius IX with a negative vote. 

Our Church is among the spiritual descendants of that Church.  We assume the name “Old Catholic” because we accept the Old Catholic Church’s Fourteen Theses of 1874 and the Declaration of 1889.

The spirit of the Old Catholic Church continues to promote an upbeat and positive respect for individual conscience.  The Old Catholic Church recognizes the role of laity in church decision-making and ownership of Church property, akin in many ways to what Archbishop Kenrick established in 1891.

If you are looking for a “user friendly” Catholic Church, visit us at St Thomas ECC+USA, an Old Catholic Church. 

Can I take the Eucharist?
Yes, Holy Eucharist is given to all baptized Christians who approach the altar in true faith.

What about priestly celibacy?
Celibacy was not mandated until the 11th century. Prior to that, clergy could be either married or celibate. Therefore according to Tradition and Orthodox Canon Law our clergy are married. 1 Timothy 3:1-13, clearly states that the clergy member must be the husband of one wife and be able to manage his own household before he can manage the church.

Do you permit remarriage?
Yes, our Church permits the remarriage of divorced persons after counseling. We do not require annulments. We do not believe in saying that a marriage did not exist for a given sum of money. We believe in the words of Jesus when He said that all sin is forgivable.

What about family planning?
We believe that family planning is left to the conscience of the married couple. We do not believe it is a moral, infallible teaching that if you use birth control you must give up your catholic faith as required by the Roman Church.

Is this a real Catholic church?
Yes, this is a valid Catholic Church. According to the document “DOMINUS IESUS,” issued by Pope John Paul II, June 16, 2000, and signed by Joseph Card, Ratzinger
(now Pope Benedict XVI), August 6, 2000, from the Office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;

“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....”

“therefore, these separated Churches and communities as such... have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church.“ Unicity and Unity of the Church, --IV,17

Other Citations:

Catholic Almanac - 1974

"The Roman Church recognizes the validity of Old Catholic Orders and other Sacraments."
(Felician A. Roy, OFM, p.368)

The Pastoral Companion - A Canon Law Handbook for Catholic Ministry, Third Edition
(John M. Huels, J.C.D. p. 335)

©2007 St Barnabas Catholic Church • Las Vegas, Nevada 89130 •
website http://www.dioceseofstthomas.org • email St. Barnabas Catholic Churchwebmaster