Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Brief History of the Old Roman Catholic Church - Part III

            A Brief History of the Old Roman Catholic Church - Part III

Old Roman Catholic Church

            We believe and maintain, as we have always done since 1699, that these irregular proceedings against our predecessors, based as they were upon charges that were proved at the time to have been groundless, were null and void, and that we have remained, and still are in fact, recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as a “particular church” since we retain the historical unbroken Apostolic Succession.[1] As decreed by the document issued by the Roman Catholic Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
“…[chapter] IV. Unicity and Unity of the Church…[paragraph number] 17. Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the [Roman] Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the [Roman] Catholic Church, since they do not accept the [Roman] Catholic doctrine of the Primacy [of the Pope].[2]

Dominique Marie Varlet, Roman Catholic Bishop of Ascalon, in partibus , and Coadjutor to Bishop Pidou de St. Olon, of Babylon in Persia consecrated four Archbishops of Utrecht for the Dutch Old Roman Catholic Church. Three of the four bishops consecrated by Bishop Varlet died without perpetuating the Episcopate. The fourth, Peter John Meindaerts, was consecrated on October 17, 1739 to fill the vacant See of Utrecht, without having asked for or obtained a papal bull authorizing the consecration.  Since the Church of Utrecht, while retaining in every detail the worship and doctrine as formerly, became known as the Old Roman Catholic Church of Holland.

            Old Roman Catholicism is the same Mystical Body of Christ as in the first Christian centuries.  There have been no essential changes.  The decrees of the Second Council of Utrecht, held under Archbishop Meindaerts beginning on September 13, 1763, are a monument of orthodoxy and respect for the Holy See.[3]  In a declaration made by Archbishop Van Os and his two suffragans to the Papal Nuncio who visited Holland in 1823, they said: “We accept without any exception whatever all the Articles of the Holy Catholic Faith.  We will never hold nor teach, now nor afterwards, any other opinion than those that have been decreed, determined, and published by our Mother, Holy Church… We reject and condemn everything opposed to them, especially all heresies, without exception, which the Church has rejected and condemned… We have never made common cause with those who have broken the bond of unity.”[4] 

            Thus the Old Roman Catholic Church received and still preserves, not only true Apostolic Succession, but the doctrines and rites of the Holy Church of Christ founded on the Apostles.  The Church is called “Old” because she rejected the innovations/machinations thrust upon Archbishop Peter Codde by the Jesuits of the 17/18th century in Utrecht, Holland, and who are directly responsible for having created the dissension between the aforementioned Archbishop and the Patriarchal See of Rome. Therefore our use of the expression “modernism “ is not in reference to the Roman Catholic Second Vatican Council (1962-1965); it is a rejection of the politically motivated dissension caused by the Jesuits of Utrecht and their vile disobedience to the local Ordinary at that time, namely Archbishop Peter Codde. It is true that we do not accept any heretical tenets that would serve to deviate from the Orthodox Christian Faith, so in this theological sense we remain opposed to Modernism.

[1] Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Dominus Jesus, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, August 6, 2000.
[2] Ibid. ch. 4, par. 17.
[3] Neale. 295.
[4] Ibid. 351-352.

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