Disunion of Utrecht

Old Catholics Fall Out over New Doctrines

by Laurence J. Orzell

At their November 2003 meeting in Prague, the Old Catholic International Bishops’ Conference (IBC) narrowly approved a resolution that effectively expelled the U.S.-based Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) from the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht, for being, in effect, too traditional. A press statement issued after the meeting announced that a “separation” of the churches had occurred because the PNCC had refused “to maintain communion with those Churches of the Union of Utrecht, which have introduced the ordination of women”—i.e., those of Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Though the principal . . .

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Laurence J. Orzell is the secretary of the doctrine commission of the Polish National Catholic Church and has served as an advisor to the PNCC?s bishops at recent meetings of the Old Catholic International Bishops? Conference. He lives in Norfolk, Virginia.

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