Old Catholic Church

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Old Catholic Church

 

a Christian movement that diverged from Roman Catholicism after Vatican Council I (1869–70). The Old Catholics reject the primacy of the pope, the dogmas of papal infallibility, the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, the addendum to the Creed known as the Filioque (seeCATHOLICISM), and obligatory celibacy for the clergy. They recognize only the first seven ecumenical councils.

One of the founders of Old Catholicism was J. Döllinger, a professor at the University of Munich, who was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1871. The first congress of Old Catholics took place in Munich in 1871. From its beginning in Germany, the movement spread to Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, the USA, and elsewhere.