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Old Catholic Churches

(1,642 words)

Author(s): Oeyen, Christian
1. Self-understanding The Old Catholic Churches are a group of autonomous, episcopal, and synodal churches that confess the pluriformity and the essential doctrines and institutions of the church through its first millennium. They arose in various reforming movements and in resistance to the growing centralized power of the papacy in the Roman Catholic Church ( ¶ Pope, Papacy). As distinct from the modern Roman Catholic self-understanding, they stress the following axioms: 1. The test of catholicity is “what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all” (Vincent of Lérins). 2. “…

Michelis, Friedrich Bernhard Ferdinand

(352 words)

Author(s): Oeyen, Christian
[German Version] (Jul 27, 1815, Münster – May 28, 1886, Freiburg im Breisgau), philosopher and Old Catholic churchman (Old Catholics). Son of a Protestant mother and a Catholic father, Michelis, following his elder brother, became a priest in 1838. He served as tutor to the Count of Westphalia and in 1844 began teaching in Duisburg. Having received his Dr.phil. in 1849, he was appointed professor at the seminary in Paderborn. In 1854 he was appointed director of the minor seminary in Münster but r…

Döllinger, Johann Joseph Ignaz von

(905 words)

Author(s): Oeyen, Christian
[German Version] (Feb 28, 1799, Bamberg – Jan 10, 1890, Munich) was one of the most important Catholic theologians in the 19th century and cofounder of the Old Catholic Movement. Döllinger's grandfather was a professor of medicine, and his father a famed anatomist and embryologist. By an early age, he had command of many languages and their litera-¶ tures. Beginning in 1816, he studied in Würzburg; his profound connection to his mother led him, despite his father's objections, to study theology. After his…

Utrecht Declaration

(223 words)

Author(s): Oeyen, Christian
[German Version] The foundational statement and doctrinal basis of the Union of Utrecht (Old Catholics) was adopted on Sep 24, 1889, by the Old Catholic bishops of the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland. It accepts the canon of Vincent of ¶ Lérins and hence the ecumenical creeds and dogmatic decisions of the universally recognized councils of the first millennium. It rejects the decrees of Vatican I but recognizes the historical primacy of the bishop of Rome as primus inter pares. It also rejects the Immaculate Conception (1854), the bulls Unigenitus (1713) and Auctorem fidei (1794)…

Utrechter Erklärung

(200 words)

Author(s): Oeyen, Christian
[English Version] . Die Gründungserklärung und Lehrgrundlage der Utrechter Union (Alt-Katholiken) wurde am 24.9.1889 von den alt-kath. Bischöfen der Niederlande, Deutschlands und der Schweiz verabschiedet. Sie bekennt sich zum Kanon des Vincentius von Lerinum und darum zu den ökum. Symbolen und dogmatischen Entscheidungen der allg. anerkannten Konzile des 1.Jt. Sie verwirft die Dekrete des Vaticanum I, erkennt aber den hist. Primat des Bf. von Rom als primus inter pares an. Abgelehnt werden die…

Old Catholics

(1,745 words)

Author(s): Oeyen, Christian
[German Version] I. Origins – II. History – III. Today I. Origins At various time, members of the Roman Catholic Church resisting papal centralism have been censured by the church. Organized on the national level in their own local churches, they consider themselves Catholics in historical continuity with the old, undivided church of the 1st millennium. They emphasize the dynamic character of their ecclesiastical organization and its orientation toward the Catholic church as a whole and the unity of all Christians. The term Old Catholics, dating from 1870, is used primarily in …

Campello, Enrico di

(329 words)

Author(s): Oeyen, Christian
[German Version] (Nov 15, 1831, Spoleto – Jul 2, 1903, Rome) was the most important proponent of Old Catholicism (Old Catholics) in Italy. Count Campello, a member of the Academia dei Nobili who became a priest in 1855 and canon of St. Peter's in 1868, inclined toward Italian nationalism. After 1870 he founded a secret society to demand the popular election of the pope and the bishops. After the liberal press discovered the plan, in 1881 he declared (in the American Methodist Church) a breach with the Vatican and in 1882 established the “Italian Catholic Church” (known ¶ after 1899 as the Ca…

Moog, Georg

(214 words)

Author(s): Oeyen, Christian
[German Version] (Feb 19, 1863, Bonn – Dec 28, 1934, Bonn), fourth bishop of the Old Catholics in Germany. Moog studied in Bonn under F.H. Reusch and Joseph Langen (1837–1901); in 1884 he became curate, then acting minister in Cologne; Lic.theol. in Bern; 1888, acting minister in Dortmund; 1898, minister in Krefeld; 1903, member of Synod; 1907, professor of exegesis at the episcopal seminary; 1908, ¶ honorary doctorate in Bern; 1911, vicar general; 1912, suffragan bishop; October 1912, elected coadjutor as the conservatives' candidate; November 1913, bishop an…