A Short History of the
Old Catholic Church

Society of All Saints Hospitallers is a church denomination that is dedicated to evangelizing people into following God. We believe that being hospitable is a core value of being Christ-like and something that individuals should practice.

 

In the 18th century, the Roman Catholic church attempted to assert its supreme authority over all Catholics. It was a time when the Jesuits, wielding unprecedented political powers in the world principally due to the colonial conquests, attempted to gain even more power over the Catholic Churches.

 

They did this by interfering with the church in Holland and attempted to unlawfully depose the Archbishop of Utrecht. These believers also called a church council during a time of war when most of the bishops would not be able to attend.

 

Vatican was attended primarily by local Roman bishops, with little to no attendance by other Catholic bishops around the world. It is here where Rome splits from the rest of the church by attempting to claim her supremacy without the full attendance of the bishops.

 

Here they proclaim a new, novel, and unprecedented concept of papal infallibility, where the bishop of Rome is declared the supreme voice of the church in faith and morals. Again, this was a novel and unprecedented concept to the church and one that was not agreed to by a majority of the bishops since most of them were unable to attend.

 

Many Catholics, especially in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, disagreed with this action. While they agreed that the pope may be the head of the Roman Church, he was certainly not the head of the Church Catholic (i.e. the Church universal). He was not also “infallible,” as only Christ holds this position.

 

Infallibility is not an authentic Catholic belief nor was it ever a part of the teachings of Christ and of the apostolic tradition. The Old Catholics, faithful to the Archbishop of Utrecht, continued the apostolic succession in their churches and our bishops have our lines of succession through them.

 

Even Rome has declared time and again that the Old Catholics hold valid lines of succession. Therefore, they have a valid priesthood with sacraments, and since our lines of succession flow through them, we too have those.