WHAT DO OLD CATHOLICS BELIEVE?

This is the faith of the Old Catholic Church as defined by Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition, Ecumenical Councils, and the documents of the Old Catholic Church:

  1. We believe in the Holy Trinity, that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  2. We believe that everything that exists was created by God.
  3. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Second person of the Holy Trinity, who came in the flesh.
  4. We believe that Jesus Christ is the clear image of who God is.
  5. We believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to atone for sin, and rose from the dead in accordance with the                Scriptures.
  6. We believe that Jesus is coming again to establish the eternal Kingdom of God on the earth.
  7. We believe that the Holy Spirit has guided the Catholic Church in all her doctrines and dogmas.
  8. We believe “Catholic Church,” has always meant the church that teaches and affirms what all Christians                

       everywhere have always believed.
  9. We reject the new doctrine that “Catholic “means being in union with the Bishop of Rome.
 10. We believe in one, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
 11. We believe baptism washes away Original sin.
 12. We believe in the resurrection of the dead.
 13. We believe in the three historic creeds:
Nicene, Apostles, and Athanasian
 14. We believe that the Catholic faith was established by ecumenical councils guided by the Holy Spirit.
 15. We believe that there were seven Ecumenical Councils of the whole church:
                 
 The Council of Nicea (325)The Council of Constantinople (385)The Council of Ephesus (431),                                                       The Council of Chalcedon (451),  The Second Council of Constantinople (453),                                                                      The Third Council of Constantinople (680-681)The Second Council of Nicea (787)
​ 16. We believe that all other “Councils” after 1054 were not Ecumenical Councils, since the whole church did not                 meet together, but  that they  were Synods of a part of the whole church; therefore, their decisions were not    

        binding on the whole church.
 17. We believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God.
 18. We believe that the apocryphal, or Deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament are not of the same canonicity           as the books contained in the Hebrew canon—they are good for personal edification  and spiritual growth but  

        not for doctrine.
 19. We believe that the Bible in the original languages is superior to any one translation.
 20. We believe that the Bible should be read In the common language that is understood By the people (English in    

        England, French in France, German in Germany, etc).
 21. We believe that the Bible is the primary source for our faith, but we also accept the Holy Tradition as passed    

        down by the Apostles through teaching, documents of the early Church, and Ecumenical Councils.
 22. We believe in and maintain, Apostolic Succession.
 23. We believe that the guidance of the Early Church Fathers as part of Holy Tradition.
 24. We believe that the liturgy of the church should be conducted in the common language that is understood by the         people.
 25. We believe that faith and works are required of us by God (because we do what we believe).
 26. We believe that no amount of good deeds can earn Salvation. Salvation comes by God’s grace through Jesus    

        Christ.
 27. We respect the Saints of the church, but we do not believe that they have earned some sort of extra salvation    

        that can be transferred to others.
 28. We believe in seven Sacraments of the church:
      
 Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Anointing of the Sick,  Absolution—Confession and Reconciliation,         Marriage,  Holy Orders
 29. We believe that the sacrament of baptism and the Eucharist are the primary sacraments of the church.
 30. We believe the Eucharistic celebration is not a communal sacrifice, or a re-sacrifice of Christ, but its sacrificial    

        character consists in that it is a permanent memorial of Christ’s sacrifice that was once forever on the cross.
 31. We believe in the real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, that the bread and wine are the Body and Blood of    

        Christ.
 32. We believe that the sacrament of the Eucharist is open to all who are baptized, regardless of their personal views

        regarding the character of the Eucharist.
 34. We believe that celibacy for those in Holy Orders is a personal decision and voluntary, not required.
 34. We believe the practice of confession of sins before the congregation or a Priest is a sacrament that has been

        passed down to us by the Catholic Church, but it is not required for the forgiveness of sins.
 35. We believe that the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a new teaching that has

        crept into the church and is not the product of the Catholic Church, neither does it reflect the teaching of the    

        Catholic Church; therefore, it is a new idea that has crept into the church, and is neither binding on the Catholic  

        Church to observe, or is it binding on any person to accept.
 36. We believe the doctrine of the infallibility of the Bishop of Rome is a new teaching that has crept into the church

        and is not the product of the Catholic Church, neither does it reflect the teaching of the Catholic Church,

        therefore, it is a new idea that has crept into the church, and it is neither binding on the Catholic Church to

        observe, nor is it binding on any person to accept.
 37. We believe that the pope as the Bishop of Rome is an heir to the apostolic authority and ministry of the Apostles;

        therefore, the Bishop of Rome is respected.
 38. We believe that all the Bishops hold an equal apostolic calling and authority and no other See is above in

        authority over any other.
 39. We believe that the idea of the Bishop of Rome is the ruler of the church is not in keeping with the Catholic

       Church, but it is a new idea that crept into the church and is neither binding on the Catholic Church to observe,

        not is it binding on any one person to accept.
 40. We believe that the use of the word “Catholic” for only those who are in full communion with the Bishop of Rome

        as ruler of the church is not in keeping with the Catholic Church, the Seven Ecumenical Councils, Holy Tradition,

        or Scripture of the Catholic Church. Therefore, it is a new idea that has crept into the church and is neither

        binding on the Catholic Church to observe, nor is it binding on any one person to accept.
 41. We believe that marriage is a Sacrament but divorce and remarriage are realities. We do not believe the divorce

        is the “unforgivable sin,” neither do we believe that divorce should bar anyone from the ministry and Sacraments

        of the church.
 42. We believe contraception is a personal decision.
 43. We believe in teaching what the whole church has always taught everywhere. We do not teach theological

        speculation, new and controversial doctrines, neither do we believe in debating or arguing them with anyone.
 44. We believe that the church cannot compel anyone to believe anything and that it is not the role of the church to

        impose “faith” on  anyone in and out of the church.
 45. We believe that the role of the clergy is to guide morality and faith by being examples, not by being

        authoritarians. The clergy serves the church, they do not impose their will on it.
 46. We believe that the Catholic Church combats unbelief and religious indifference by faithfully professing the

        doctrine of how Jesus Christ, by refusing to admit human error into the teaching of the Catholic Church, by

        weeding out any abuses of the church and by the clergy living simple lives of faith that serve as examples to

        others.

 

Glory To God

Old Catholic Church

Not Your Mama's Catholic Church Catholic Church

“When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.” Acts 15:4 


Old Catholics May Also Personally Believe:

But Are Not Required To Believe:

  1. We believe in the responsible stewardship of our planet.
  2. We believe that there is nothing in the teaching of the Catholic Church as expressed in her Holy Tradition and the Seven       Ecumenical Councils that impedes anyone from participating in Holy Orders. Therefore, ALL Holy Orders are open to    

      men and women regardless of marital state, or sexual orientation or gender identity.
  3. We believe in and advocate for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the church and in society.
  4. We believe in and support marriage equality, trusting that God celebrates the love between two consenting adults,  

      despite gender or any other variables including physical or sexual ability.
  5. We believe in being truly Pro-Life, in that we consider all life to be sacred and we believe that Pro-Life has to do with the       quality of life for ALL people. Therefore we are pro-education, anti-poverty, anti-violence, anti-war, pro-health care and  

      oppose torture and the death penalty. We also believe that Pro-Choice is not incompatible with any of this. Pro-Life  

      cannot be limited to “Pro-Birth”, and Pro-Choice does not mean “Pro-Abortion.”


  Many Old Catholics Also Accept the Following Statements:


  1. All persons who have received a Trinitarian baptism are by the virtue of that baptism Christians and disciples of Christ.
  2. All persons who have received a Trinitarian baptism and adhere to the ancient Catholic faith as expressed by the  

      Nicene Creed are Catholics.
  3. All persons who adhere to the full Catholic faith as received by the church until the Schism of A.D. 1054 are Old

      Catholics, in the fullness of the Catholic faith.
  4. All Christians holding the fullness of the Catholic and Apostolic faith regardless of their church affiliation, are regarded

      as being in communion with us and may be received in fellowship and admitted to the sacraments, and receive

      pastoral care.



The first forty-six points are generally shared by all Old Catholics. Yet, even in these there may be some variations at least in language or expression. The last few points are shared by every Old Catholic Church. A tiny minority do not ordain women. Some do not ordain homosexuals or perform same-sex marriage. And that is fine. That is their right to believe as they do on these matters. In our essential beliefs we are one, in our non-essential beliefs, we show liberty; and in all our beliefs we show charity.

In the Old Catholic Church bishops and priests do not rule or impose their will on anyone. They serve as examples. There is a Catholic faith, a faith that has been passed down from the very beginning of the Church to the present. and we in the Old Catholic Church maintain that faith. Yet there is a variety of expression for that faith. It is not our job as clergy to impose belief or faith, on anyone, but to serve others, guide where we can and accept those who express their Catholic faith differently.


 OLD AND ROMAN CATHOLICS AT A GLANCE


Papal Infallibility
                  Old Catholic : Pope is Not Infallible at All
                 R
oman Catholic : Pope is Infallible on Matters of Doctrine

Authority of the Pope
                  Old Catholic : The Pope is the Bishop of Rome
                  Roman Catholic : The Pope is the Ruling Official of the Church

Authority of Bishops
                  Old Catholic : All Bishops are Equally Apostolic
                 
Roman Catholic: All Bishops are Under the Authority of the Pope.
Celibacy
                  Old Catholic : Not Required by Clergy
                 
Roman Catholic : Required by Clergy

 Ordination of Women
                   Old Catholic : Yes
                 
Roman Catholic : No

Use of Contraception
                  Old Catholic : Personal Choice
                 
Roman Catholic : Use Is A Serious Sin

 Sin
                  Old Catholic : All Sin is Potentially Grave
                 
Roman Catholic : Two Types of Sin (Venial and Mortal)

 When Sin is Forgiven
                  Old Catholic : When Acknowledged and Asked to be Forgiven (Prayer)
                 
Roman Catholic : When Confessed to a Priest and Given Absolution

 Personal Confession to a Priest
                  Old Catholic : Not Required but Encouraged for Spiritual Growth and Humility.
                  Roman Catholic : Required for Sins to be forgiven

 Divorce:
                  Old Catholic : It Happens
                 
Roman Catholic : Not Allowed

 Remarriage After Divorce
                  Old Catholic : Yes
                 
Roman Catholic : No

 There are a few Old Catholic Communions that do not ordain women. Some Old Catholic Communions do not ordain G.L.B.T. or perform same – marriages.

 Who May Partake of the Eucharist
                  Old Catholic : All Baptized Christians
                 
Roman Catholic : Only Roman Catholics

 Number of Sacraments
                  Old Catholic : Seven
               
  Roman Catholic : Seven

 Belief In The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
                  Old Catholic : Yes
                 
Roman Catholic : Yes

 Historic Catholic Doctrine
                  Old Catholic : Yes
                 
Roman Catholic : Yes

 Catholic Liturgy (Mass)
                  Old Catholic : Yes
                 
Roman Catholic : Yes

 Holy Orders Open to Homosexuals
                  Old Catholic : Yes
                 
Roman Catholic : No

 Performs Same – Sex Marriage
                  Old Catholic : Yes      "Not every Old Catholic Communion is open and affirming of G.L.B.T. & Not every Old                                                                      
Catholic Communion performs same – sex marriage"
                 
Roman Catholic : No

 Open and Affirming of G.L.T.B.S.
                  Old Catholic : Yes
                 
Roman Catholic : No



There may be other differences, most having to do with various customs or disciplines. Other than the differences listed Old Catholics and
Roman Catholics are essentially the same in almost every respect.