Catholic Apostolic Church

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Catholic Apostolic Church,

religious community originating in England c.1831 and extending later to Germany and the United States (1848). It was founded under the influence of Edward IrvingIrving, Edward,
1792–1834, Scottish preacher, under whose influence the Catholic Apostolic Church was founded; its members have sometimes been called Irvingites. He was tutor to Jane Welsh, later the wife of Thomas Carlyle, and became the friend of Carlyle.
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; its members are sometimes called Irvingites. Because of their prophetic gifts, 12 apostles (including Henry DrummondDrummond, Henry,
1786–1860, English banker, known particularly as one of the founders of the Catholic Apostolic Church. Beginning in 1826, he gathered annually for five years, at his home in Surrey, a group of laity and clergy to examine the prophecies in the Scriptures.
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) were in 1835 set aside as officers. They were expected to survive until the Second Coming of Jesus, but the last of them died in 1901. When the apostles began to die, a schism took place in Germany over the appointing of successors. This led to the formation (1863) of the New Apostolic Church, the formal name of the present-day organization. An angel, or bishop, presides over each congregation; he is assisted by pastors, teachers, and others. Symbolism and mystery of worship characterize the elaborate liturgy, which has borrowed much from the Roman Catholic Church, including devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Much emphasis is given to the Second Coming of Jesus. The membership is about 8 million worldwide (1994).
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