Old Catholics, New Doctrines

The Demise of the Union of Utrecht

by William J. Tighe

The Union of Utrecht has fallen—or embraced a modern Anglican ecclesiology on the issue of women’s ordination, which amounts to much the same thing.

The “Union of Utrecht” is the term given, since 1889, to those Old Catholic churches that arose, for the most part, in the aftermath of Vatican I as a reaction to that council’s definition of the doctrine of papal infallibility in 1870. In recent decades this Old Catholic Communion has consisted of the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands (with two bishops, one of whom, the archbishop of Utrecht, has much . . .

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William J. Tighe is Associate Professor of History at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and a faculty advisor to the Catholic Campus Ministry. He is a Member of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He is a contributing editor for Touchstone.

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