FAQ: How are Old Roman Catholics related to the Old Catholics?
Answer:We are not. The name “Old Roman Catholic” (three words, not two) is proper to those who recognize the magisterial authority of the Pope and the Holy See in its authentic exercise, while repudiating the “private” innovations of the New Order (Vatican II) church. The adjective “Old Roman” serves to distinguish us from the “New Romans” who have gone over to the errors of modernism and existentialism. Examination of our Creed will show that we are doctrinally traditional Catholics: Credo
While we trace our Holy Orders to the diocese of Utrecht in Holland we have consistently disowned the doctrinal deviations of the “Old Catholics” and disassociated ourselves from them.
Archbishop Mathew issued a “Declaration of Autonomy” in December of 1910, citing Utrecht’s departure from traditional Catholic practices. In 1913, responding in kind, the “Old Catholic” bishops declared that they did not recognize Archbishop Mathew as one of their own. Early 20th Century ORCC History
The Twelfth General Council of the Old Roman Catholic Church, held in April 1973 declared unanimously: “This General Council reaffirms that it holds and teaches all that is taught by the Roman Catholic Church on matters of Faith and Morals.”
Our Constitution enlarges upon this statement: “This Old Roman Catholic Communion is one in matters of Faith and Morals de fide with the Church established by Jesus Christ. It embraces all such doctrine of the Apostolic See of Rome, and it condemns all heresies and errors condemned by that same See. It accepts as Catholics those who share this doctrine and conduct their affairs accordingly.”
Accordingly, we accept the Infallibility and Jurisdiction of the Pope, as defined by the First Vatican Council—something that no “Old Catholic” would say. The unity of Catholics under a strong and doctrinally orthodox Pope is as elusive for traditional Catholics today as it was for Archbishop Mathew in his day—his Prayer for Catholic Unity remains as appropriate now as then—and points to the papal loyalty of the Old Roman Catholics. Archbishop Mathew’s Prayer
Referring to traditional Catholics as “Old Catholics” has been a disreputable tactic of the New Order and of some schismatic “traditionalists.” Quite incorrectly, both the Modernists and the schismatics generally mis-appropriate the name “Catholic” or “Roman Catholic” for themselves! Do not be deceived by name calling.
[by Fr. Brusca]