one holy catholic and apostolic church

The Independent Catholic Movement

The word “Catholic” means “universal”. We are a part of the universal Church of Jesus Christ, sharing in the teachings and liturgical heritage of the Church, and celebrating a characteristically Catholic faith tradition that is not sectarian.

The Independent Catholic Movement, or Independent Sacramental Movement, as it is often times called, is made up of Catholic Christian communities that are committed to the person of Jesus Christ and to His teaching. We accept and believe the testimony of His Apostles who were His first disciples and eyewitnesses of His life, death, and resurrection from the dead. It was these same disciples who passed on to the Church their own testimony about the person of Jesus and the events of His life. Embodied in their testimony are the very teachings of Jesus Himself.

After the Great Schism, the Roman Catholic Church continued to develop in Western Europe. For the next 450 years, during the Middle Ages, the popes consolidated their power and extended their influence over the Church and society. With the dawn of the 16th century, the Roman Catholic Church was overloaded with moral and political corruption. Many concerned religious leaders made efforts to reform the Church.

These efforts at reform became known collectively as the Reformation. Two very different reformations resulted from these tensions. One became known as the independent communities that became Old Catholic. They were called Old Catholics because they sought to turn the clock back and adhere to the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church prior to the various schisms.

Some of the independent Catholic communities derive their Apostolic Succession through the Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht. The Archbishop of Utrecht traces his Apostolic Succession back to the Holy Apostles. The independent and Old Catholics therefore have a valid line of succession, a valid priesthood and episcopate with valid sacraments. The Roman Catholic Church has never denied this fact.

How does the various Independent Catholic Churches differ from the Roman Catholic Church?

• Most Independent Catholic communities do not recognize the teaching of papal infallibility and, therefore, are independent of the Pope's jurisdiction. As a result, we are not bound by some of the canons and regulations that are formulated and enforced in the Roman Catholic Church.

• Deacons, priests, and bishops are permitted to marry.

• Divorced people who remarry are able to be reconciled to the church through the grace of God and, therefore, are not excluded from the sacraments. Therefore, a divorced person may remarry with the blessing of the Church.

• Artificial contraception is an issue of conscience between husband, wife, and God.

• Each Catholic is an equal part of the Church. Therefore, lay people, both male and female, are encouraged to play a prominent role in the Church.

• No Christian is excluded from the sacramental ministry. All baptized Christians are invited to participate in the worship and sacraments of the Church.


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