The Old Roman Catholic Church is an Independent Catholic denomination and was
founded by Arnold Harris Mathew, Old Catholic Church bishop for
England, on 29 December 1910. The Old Catholic Church holds close
to ideas of ecclesiastical liberalism and is not associated with the
Roman Catholic Church nor general protestantism.
While the term "Old Roman Catholic Church" is sometimes treated as
synonymous with "Old Catholic Church", the Old Roman Catholic Church,
unlike the OCC, does not fully reject the dogmas of papal
infallibility, and primacy of the Roman Pontiff. Old Roman Catholic
Churches do not require clerical celibacy, and ordain married men to
the priesthood. Some Old Roman Catholic jurisdictions are also open to
ordination of homosexuals and women, while others are more conservative
on these issues.
Bishop Mathew issued a declaration of independence of his followers
from what he called "Continental Old Catholics" (Utrecht Union) and
listed "nine points of difference" between the two groups. In 1914,
Bishop Mathew appointed Bishop Rudolph Francis Edward Hamilton de
Lorraine-Brabant, Prince de Landas Berghes, as Bishop of Scotland.
Bishop Berghes emigrated at the outbreak of World War 1 and established
the ministry of
the Old Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Shortly thereafter,
Father Carmel Henry Carfora, an Italian Franciscan friar who had left
the Roman Catholic Church, was elected to succeed Bishop de Landes
Berghes as Old Roman Catholic Archbishop in
Following Archbishop Carfora's death in 1958, the Old
Roman Catholic Denomination evolved into several
autonomous ecclesial bodies. These groups are neither in full
communion with the Holy See of Rome nor with the Old Catholic Utrecht
Union. At times in their history there have been quite severe
differences amongst themselves too.
Archbishop Bernard Mary Williams was the successor to Archbishop Arnold
Harris Mathew in the Old Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain and
established the strongly traditionalist and conservative pattern still
followed by that church's successors. His
conception of the ORCCGB was as a Uniate Rite conforming to the Roman
Catholic Church in most respects, but differing in the admission of a
married priesthood and a vernacular liturgy.
The Liberal Catholic Church was one of several developments of the
original Old Catholic Mission, from which it differed on the question of