Independent Catholicism – It’s a Thing!


**A work in progress; please pardon our dust**

The idea of a church not in communion with the Bishop of Rome goes back to the days when the Emperor of Rome and Pope fought over who could ordain bishops of the Church.  At that time Christianity had already been established as the State religion, however, the Emperor retained considerable power and influence over decisions including the investiture of bishops.  In 1122, a sort of peace treaty was created (Concordat of Worms) between the emperor and Pope, which was later approved by the very first Lateran Counsel in 1123 (Catholic Encyclopedia, 2000) giving the Pope the sole authority over the ordination of Bishops.  This was also the time period where the “Roman” church began to turn its back on the various established churches that refused to acknowledge the Pope as the sovereign ruler of catholicism (universal church).*

As a church “Emergent”, the Independent Catholic churches began seeking to renew the gospel and those aspects of faith that were somehow forgotten through years of infighting and bickering between leaders.  It is “old” in the sense that we have returned to the teachings of the “Christ”*** of Love, Forgiveness, Compassion, and Healing – yet we are Catholic in that our customs, traditions, and lineage descend through the universal (catholic) church. We do not view the Bishop of Rome (Pope) as infallible and rely on a democratic vision of governance that enhances the well-being of all who join in celebration. Not being under the authority of the Bishop of Rome also allows us the freedom to celebrate the Christian tradition as inspired by Jesus, himself. We are, therefore, open to celebrating with the People of God UNIVERSALLY and welcome all sisters and brothers to the table our Lord has set.

*Halsall, Paul. “Internet History Sourcebooks.” Internet History Sourcebooks. FordHam University, 11 Nov. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.(various sources at this site were used to compile the information in this paragraph)

***In Christianity, Christ (from the Greek: Χριστός, Christós, meaning “the anointed one”) is a title given to Jesus, born of Joseph. The title was significant in that it announced Jesus as the saviour and redeemer who would bring salvation to the whole House of Israel. It was never intended to be a “last name”.

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