Friday, April 11, 2014

Give me that Old Catholic Church

This week I will be going to Glory to God Old Catholic Church. This church used to be part of the North American Old Catholic Church; however, this group is now defunct and it appears that the church is an independent Old Catholic church.

So, what is an Old Catholic church?

An Old Catholic church is one of a number of Christian denominations that split with the Catholic Church (centered in Rome and ruled over by the Pope) over various doctrinal issues, generally, but not always, dealing with papal authority.

Generally, these churches retain much of their Catholic traditions and heritage, often to a greater extent than the Roman Catholic Church. Most have what the Catholic Church would consider valid priesthood succession, meaning that the deacons, priests, and bishops of their churches were validly ordained by someone who stands in a priesthood line dating back to the Twelve Apostles. This means that though the Catholic Church would consider these churches heretical, they would consider their sacraments valid (with the exception of women being ordained). As such, these churches are considered Catholic churches, just not in communion with Rome.

Similarities between Glory to God Old Catholic Church and the Catholic Church:

  • Belief in the Trinity.
  • Belief in the Seven Sacraments: baptism, confirmation, communion, penance (confession to a priest), unction (healing of the sick or Last Rites), marriage, holy orders.
  • Belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
  • Belief in the historical creeds: Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed.
  • Belief in Apostolic Succession.
  • Belief in the Old and New Testaments as scripture to guide mankind approached through reason and Tradition.
  • Celebration of the Mass as the central form of worship.
Differences between Glory to God Old Catholic Church and the Catholic Church:
  • Glory to God Old Catholic Church is not in communion with the Bishop of Rome (the Pope).
  • Glory to God Old Catholic Church does not discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered people (LGBT) in any fashion.
  • Glory to God Old Catholic Church does not bar women nor LGBT people from holding the priesthood.
  • Glory to God Old Catholic Church allows their clergy to marry.
  • Glory to God Old Catholic Church performs same-sex marriages.
  • Though the Catholic Church takes a similar approach to interpreting the Bible, namely through reason and Tradition, it seems that Glory to God Old Catholic Church allows a wider spectrum of belief and a more liberal interpretation of scripture than the Catholic Church does.
I will be attending this church on Palm Sunday, which is the Sunday before Easter and celebrates both Jesus entering Jerusalem, and the Passion of Jesus. I'm curious to see how this compares to Palm Sunday when I was a Roman Catholic and curious to see if there are any differences.

Until I next time. Peace be with you.

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