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Encyclopedia > Liberal Catholic Church

The Liberal Catholic Church is a form of Christianity open to theosophical ideas. It is not related to the Roman Catholic Church and has its own administration. Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... Emblem of the Theosophical Society (Adyar) described at [1] Theosophy, literally wisdom of the divine (in the Greek language), designates several bodies of ideas. ... The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology below) is the Christian Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter. ...

Contents

Church background

The founding bishop of The Liberal Catholic Church was James I. Wedgwood of the Wedgwood China family, former priest in The Anglican Church, who became a theosophist and was ordained as a priest in the Old Catholic Church on July 22, 1913 by Arnold Harris Mathew. Archbishop Mathew was a resigned Roman Catholic priest who had been consecrated by Archbishop Gerardus Gul of Utrecht on April 28, 1908, and appointed as the first Old Catholic Bishop in England. Thus the Liberal Catholic Church claims to trace its apostolic succession going back to Rome. In the end Mathew came to cease all ties with the Utrecht Union of Churches, to vow allegiance once more to the Roman Catholic Church and to advise those of his flock who were theosophists to resign membership of the Theosophical Society Adyar. This advice was not taken seriously by many of the church's members. Wedgwood was consecrated to the episcopate on February 13, 1916 by Bishop Frederick Samuel Willoughby (who had been consecrated by Bishop Matthew), and started the organization that would later become the Liberal Catholic Church, of which Wedgwood became the first Presiding Bishop. Bishop Wedgwood published articles within the Theosophical Society on ceremonial work. These interested Charles Webster Leadbeater, an alleged clairvoyant and Anglican priest who was consecrated as a Liberal Catholic bishop in 1916. C. W. Leadbeater became the 2nd Presiding Bishop. Bishop James Ingall Wedgwood (1883 - 1951) was founder of the Liberal Catholic Church. ... Wedgwood is a British pottery firm, originally founded by Josiah Wedgwood, and possibly the most famous name ever associated with pottery in any form, which in 1987 merged with Waterford Crystal to become Waterford Wedgwood. ... Emblem of the Theosophical Society (Adyar) described at [1] Theosophy, literally wisdom of the divine (in the Greek language), designates several bodies of ideas. ... The Old Catholic Church is a community of Christian churches. ... July 22 is the 203rd day (204th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 162 days remaining. ... Year 1913 (MCMXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Bishop Arnold Harris Mathew Arnold Harris Mathew (1852–1919) was the first Old Catholic bishop in the United Kingdom. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Utrecht ( (help· info)) is a municipality and the capital city of the Dutch province of Utrecht. ... April 28 is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 247 days remaining. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Old Catholic Church is not so much a religious denomination, as a community, part of whose member churches split from the Roman Catholic church in 1870. ... In Christianity, the doctrine of Apostolic Succession (or the belief that the Church is apostolic) maintains that the Christian Church today is the spiritual successor of the Church of the Apostles. ... Nickname: The Eternal City Motto: SPQR: Senatus PopulusQue Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area    - City 1285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban... The Union of Utrecht consists of the Dutch Church of Utrecht, the Old Catholic Church in Germany, the Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland, and similar movements in Austria, the Czech Republic, and elsewhere, organized into the Utrecht Union. ... The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology below) is the Christian Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter. ... The Theosophical Society - Adyar is a successor organization to the original Theosophical Society founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and others in 1875. ... February 13 is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1916 (MCMXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... The Presiding Bishop is an ecclesiastical position in some denominations of Christianity. ... The Theosophical Society was the organization formed to advance the spiritual doctrines and altruistic living known as Theosophy. ... C.W. Leadbeater (1847 or 1854-1934), English clergyman and Theosophical author, contributed to world thought mostly through his work as a clairvoyant. ... Clairvoyance is defined as a form of radio waves). ... The term Anglican describes those people and churches following the religious traditions of the Church of England, especially following the Reformation. ... . ... This article is about a title or office in religious bodies. ... Year 1916 (MCMXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ...


Church Structure

The Liberal Catholic Church is governed by a General Episcopal Synod of Bishops from the various countries in which they serve. Generally, this General Episcopal Synod meets formally every three years. The General Episcopal Synod elects a Presiding Bishop from among their ranks as the executive officer of the Synod. The General Episcopal Synod also elects priests to the Episcopacy, with the approval of the Liberal Catholic parishes of their respective Provinces. The Bishops of The Liberal Catholic Church may hold office until the mandatory retirement age of 75. . ... This article is about a title or office in religious bodies. ...


Each Province of The Liberal Catholic Church functions at the national level of their respective country, governed by a Regionary Bishop. The Regionary Bishop, in turn, may have one or more Bishops functioning under him. A Province may also have its own Clerical Synod of Deacons, Priests and Bishops. For the most part, these clergy are not compensated by the Church and hold secular jobs as a result. They also may marry and hold property. This article is about a title or office in religious bodies. ... Deacon is a role in the Christian Church which is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. ... . ... This article is about a title or office in religious bodies. ...


Training for the clergy may vary from province to province. The Liberal Catholic Institute of Studies was created to standardize the seminary program and aid in the development of future Deacons and Priests. A seminary or theological college is a specialized and often live-in higher education institution for the purpose of instructing students (seminarians) in philosophy, theology, spirituality and the religious life, usually in order to prepare them to become members of the clergy. ... Deacon is a role in the Christian Church which is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. ... . ...


Basis of Teaching

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The Liberal Catholic Church draws the central inspiration of its work from an earnest faith in the living Christ. It holds that the vitality of a church gains in proportion as its members not only revere and worship a Christ who lived two thousand years ago, but also strive to affirm in their lives the eternal Christ of whom St. John (VIII,58) speaks: "Before Abraham was, I am." It is the Christ who ever lives as a mighty spiritual presence in the world, guiding and sustaining His people. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Christ is the English translation of the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ... St. ... Christ is the English translation of the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Christ is the English translation of the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ...


It regards these promises as validating all Christian worship, of whatever kind, so long as it be earnest and true. But it further holds that while the promise of the presence with individual believers is thus effective, Christ also appointed certain rites or sacraments, called 'mysteries' in the Eastern Church, for the greater helping of his people, to be handed down in the Church as special channels of power and blessing. Through these 'means of grace' The Liberal Catholic Church believes that Christ is ever present within His Church, in fellowship and Communion, guiding and protecting them from birth to death. Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (see Hebrews 8:6). ... Worship usually refers to specific acts of religious praise, honour, or devotion, typically directed to a supernatural being such as a god or goddess. ... A sacrament is a Christian rite that mediates divine grace. ... St. ... St. ... Christ is the English translation of the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ... St. ... Communion has several meanings within Christianity. ... Birth is the process in animals by which an offspring is expelled from the body of its mother. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Sacraments and Apostolic Succession

"The Liberal Catholic Church recognizes seven fundamental sacraments, which it enumerates as follows: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Absolution, Holy Unction, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders.It claims an unbroken apostolic succession through the Old Catholics, and claims that its orders are 'acknowledged as valid throughout the whole of those Churches of Christendom which maintain the Apostolic Succession of orders as a tenet of their faith" (from The Liberal Catholic Church Statement of Principles). The truth of this claim, however, is difficult to demonstrate: the Roman Catholic Church, for example, has never made any formal recognition of Liberal Catholic Orders. The LCC International has modified their Statement of Principles to read 'it (the LCC Church) has preserved an Episcopal succession that is valid, as understood throughout the whole of those Churches in Christendom that maintain the Apostolic Succession as a tenet of their faith.' A sacrament is a Christian rite that mediates divine grace. ... Baptism in early Christian art. ... Confirmation can refer to: Confirmation (sacrament) Confirmation (epistemology) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... For the death metal band from Sweden, see Eucharist (band) The Eucharist (or Communion or The Lords Supper etc. ... Absolution in a liturgical church refers to the pronouncement of Gods forgiveness of sins. ... Anointing of the Sick is one of the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church, the the Anglican / Episcopal Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and is also administered in some Protestant Churches. ... Marriage is a governmentally, socially, or religiously recognized interpersonal relationship, usually intimate and sexual, and often created as a contract. ... Catholic deacon candidates prostrate before the altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles during a 2004 diaconate ordination liturgy Holy Orders in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Assyrian, Old Catholic, and Independent Catholic churches includes three orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. ... In Christianity, the doctrine of Apostolic Succession (or the belief that the Church is apostolic) maintains that the Christian Church today is the spiritual successor of the Church of the Apostles. ... This article is about the Christian buildings of worship. ... This T-and-O map, which abstracts the known world to a cross inscribed within an orb, remakes geography in the service of Christian iconography. ... In Christianity, the doctrine of Apostolic Succession (or the belief that the Church is apostolic) maintains that the Christian Church today is the spiritual successor of the Church of the Apostles. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology below) is the Christian Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter. ...


Unity of All Religions

The Liberal Catholic Church believes that there is a body of doctrine and mystical experience common to all the great religions of the world and which cannot be claimed as the exclusive possession of any. Moving within the orbit of Christianity and regarding itself as a distinctive Christian church it nevertheless holds that the other great religions of the world are also divinely inspired and that all proceed from a common source, though different religions stress different aspects of the various teachings and some aspects may even temporarily be ignored. These teachings, as facts in nature, rest on their own intrinsic merit. They form that true Catholic faith which is catholic because it is the statement of universal principles. Well did St. Augustine say: "The identical thing that we now call the Christian religion existed among the ancients and has not been lacking from the beginnings of the human race until the coming of Christ in the flesh, from which moment on the true religion, which already existed, began to be called Christian." (Retract I. XIII,3). And the same principle was in reality involved in the well-known declaration of St. Vincent of Lerins: "That let us hold which everywhere, always and by all has been believed: for this is truly and rightly catholic." The Liberal Catholic Church, therefore, does not seek to convert people from one religion to another. Antarctica Oceania Africa Asia Europe North America South America Middle East Caribbean Central Asia East Asia North Asia South Asia Southeast Asia SW. Asia Australasia Melanesia Micronesia Polynesia Central America Latin America Northern America Americas C. Africa E. Africa N. Africa Southern Africa W. Africa C. Europe E. Europe N... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (see Hebrews 8:6). ... St. ... Augustinus redirects here. ... Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (see Hebrews 8:6). ... Christ is the English translation of the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ... Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (see Hebrews 8:6). ... Saint Vincent of Lerins (in Latin, Vincentius) was a Gallic author of early writings on Christianity. ...


First Schism

In 1941, there was a schism in the Liberal Catholic Church in the United States, surrounding a controversy involving Bishop Charles Hampton, who, while he was himself a theosophist, wished to keep adherence to theosophical tenets optional for the clergy. This was in keeping with what was taken to be the original intent of the church's founders, who, although they were theosophists, wanted the church to remain primarily Catholic and to be open to everyone. While some branches of the church place more esoteric, lifestyle and dietary restrictions on the clergy, the church as a whole did not, and still does not, require membership in the Theosophical Society. For the movie, see 1941 (film). ...


Legal battle

The controversy surrounding Bishop Hampton led to a legal battle in the United States which eventually split into two different divisions, both of which claimed to be the Liberal Catholic Church. Frank W. Pigott, the church's 3rd Presiding Bishop in England, who held to a more theosophical ideal for the church, removed Hampton and then ordered the confiscation of certain church property at the Regionary headquarters in California and forced the resignation of those clergy under Hampton who refused to support his new episcopal replacement. At the time, the majority of Liberal Catholics in the United States supported Hampton and saw his removal from the office of Regionary and the other subsequent precedings as a breach of canon law and a violation of some of the laws of California under which the church had been incorporated in America. These clergy continued on their own and won the right to be called the Liberal Catholic Church in the U.S. (while being called the Liberal Catholic Church International in the rest of the world). Those who followed Bishop Pigott in England became known in America as The Liberal Catholic Church, Province of the United States of America. Both divisions have similar structures of government and administration. The word episcopal is derived from the Greek επίσκοπος, transliterated epískopos, which literally means overseer; the word, however, is used in religious contexts to refer to a bishop. ... The Liberal Catholic Church International arose from the 1941 schism of the Liberal Catholic Church in the United States, which surrounded the controversy involving American Regionary Bishop Charles Hampton, who wished to keep adherence to theosophical tenets optional for all clergy, in accordance with the wishes of the churchs... The Liberal Catholic Church, Province of the United States of America is a part of The Liberal Catholic Church (original). ...


After Frank W. Pigott retired as the Presiding Bishop, and after attempts at a reconciliation, some of the clergy in the LCCI returned to The Liberal Catholic Church, Province of the United States of America. Bishop Hampton died before the litigation was settled. While some clergy wish for more cooperation between the two Divisions, they still exist independently. The Liberal Catholic Church, Province of the United States of America is a part of The Liberal Catholic Church (original). ...


Another "Reform"

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In 2003 a controversial change took place in the Liberal Catholic Church worldwide. The main issues was the limitation of the inalienable right of Bishops to ordain candidates of their choice, and in particular the ordination of women to the Holy Orders. It is difficult to say who continues the tradition and who is not. What is certain is that all the parishes in the Dutch, Belgium and Canada provinces who represented the "liberal" wing of the Liberal Catholic Church worldwide, by votes of their members assembled for their national convention, declared that the Episcopal Synod under the jurisdiction of the Rt. Rev. Ian Hooker no longer represented their rightful government, and elected a new Episcopal Synod under the presidency of the Rt. Rev. Tom Degenaars. They still use the name The Liberal Catholic Church because they have never resigned from the Liberal Catholic Church, they consider their movement as a Reform. Several law suits by bishops of the "Conservative Wing" have determined that the churches of the Netherlands, Sweden, and of other countries are the rightful Liberal Catholic Church. The "Conservative Wing" opened "The Order of Our Lady" as an alternative for women for seeking ordinations in 2002, which is a lay Order and is not part of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Since both groups call themselves The Liberal Catholic Church, distinguishing between the two can be confusing. Significantly, in 2003, the newly elected Episcopal Synod declared for the right of women to be ordained. Other Provinces joined the new Episcopal Synod: Austria, Denmark, Germany, Cameroon, and both Congos, and Sweden. Several new congregations have been formed in England and the USA. The membership of this new movement is estimated to exceed 50,000 members. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ...


At their General Episcopal Synod in 2004, a few weeks after the election of the "New Episcopal Synod", the Liberal Catholic Church International also began the ordination of women up to and including the Order of Bishop.


In 1982 Ernest W. Jackson had resigned from Province of Canada and started a group called The Liberal Catholic Church - Theosophia Synod. The group was always very small, but on May 15, 2005, under the leadership of John Schwarz III, they joined with the progressive Dutch, Belgium and Canada branch of the LCC. The Theosophia Synod no longer maintains a separate existence. May 15 is the 135th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (136th in leap years). ...


Another Schism

In 2006 yet another schism resulted in the formation of a new group called The Young Rite. The past Presiding Bishop of the "mother" Liberal Catholic Church, Johannes van Alphen, who had resigned from the LCC in 2002, had consecrated Mario Herrera (in 2002) who in turn had consecrated Benito Rodriguez (in 2005). These three bishops consecrated Markus van Alphen, a former priest of the Dutch Liberal Catholic Church, in June 2006 in Hilversum, The Netherlands. Bishop Markus started the Young Rite as an autocephalous group operating within the Liberal Catholic tradition, yet separate from any of the Liberal Catholic Church organisations. Although the Young Rite shares many beliefs and customs with the Liberal Catholic Church and derives its Apostolic Succession from it, they are not affiliated with or recognised by any of the Liberal Catholic Church organisations, nor do these organisations recognise their sacraments and ordinations.


Differences of various Branches

The General Episcopal Synod of The Liberal Catholic Church worldwide requires its clergy to believe in such theosophical tenets as reincarnation and the ascended masters. It encourages its priests and its bishops to have a vegetarian diet and to refrain from using tobacco as well as alcohol. Significantly it also continues to require deacons, priests and bishops to be male. In this regard, The Liberal Catholic Church follows the same practise as the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Liberal Catholic Church International does not as a group require any belief in theosophical tenets, while it continues to accept them if they are the personal choice of the individual. Since 2004, the Liberal Catholic Church International opens the ordination of women to all Holy Orders up to and including bishop. The reformed movement in Liberal Catholic Church (Dutch, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Sweden), retains the emphasis on the tenets defined by the founders of the Liberal Catholic Church, but practices ordination of women to the Holy Orders, including the Episcopate. (http://TheLiberalCatholicChurch.org) Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... Reincarnation, literally to be made flesh again, is a doctrine or mystical belief that some essential part of a living being (in some variations only human beings) survives death to be reborn in a new body. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... For animals adapted to eat primarily plants, sometimes referred to as vegetarian animals, see Herbivore. ... Species Nicotiana acuminata Nicotiana alata Nicotiana attenuata Nicotiana benthamiana Nicotiana clevelandii Nicotiana excelsior Nicotiana forgetiana Nicotiana glauca Nicotiana glutinosa Nicotiana langsdorffii Nicotiana longiflora Nicotiana obtusifolia Nicotiana paniculata Nicotiana plumbagifolia Nicotiana quadrivalvis Nicotiana repanda Nicotiana rustica Nicotianasuaveolens Nicotiana sylvestris Nicotiana tabacum Nicotiana tomentosa Ref: ITIS 30562 as of August 26, 2005... Functional group of an alcohol molecule. ... Deacon is a role in the Christian Church which is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. ... . ... This article is about a title or office in religious bodies. ... In general religious use, ordination is the process by which one is consecrated (set apart for the undivided administration of various religious rites). ... Catholic deacon candidates prostrate before the altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles during a 2004 diaconate ordination liturgy Holy Orders in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Assyrian, Old Catholic, and Independent Catholic churches includes three orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. ... In general religious use, ordination is the process by which one is consecrated (set apart for the undivided administration of various religious rites). ... Catholic deacon candidates prostrate before the altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles during a 2004 diaconate ordination liturgy Holy Orders in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Assyrian, Old Catholic, and Independent Catholic churches includes three orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. ...


The Liberal Catholic Church International holds that they are the only one Liberal Catholic Church in The USA with legal right to that name. All other Branches should actually be called synods to eliminate confusion. However, The Liberal Catholic Church, Province of the U.S.A. also holds a similar claim and further owns this latter title as a legally registered trademark for the United States in the State of Maryland (legally incorporated in 1919; trademark renewed in 1964). [1] Either claim is legally valid with respect to their registered names. A trademark or trade mark[1] is a distinctive sign of some kind which is used by an individual, business organization or other legal entity to uniquely identify the source of its products and/or services to consumers, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities. ...


See also

Warren Prall Watters was the founding Archbishop of the Free Church of Antioch, one of several Independent Catholic Churches with valid Apostolic succession. ... Archbishop Warren Prall Watters and Bishop Ellen Watters of the Free Church of Antioch. ... The Ancient Catholic Church of the Netherlands is closely related to the Old Catholic Church, and the Liberal Catholic Church, and can be said to be the ancestor of both. ... The Old Catholic Church is not so much a religious denomination, as a community, part of whose member churches split from the Roman Catholic church in 1870. ... The Liberal Catholic Church International arose from the 1941 schism of the Liberal Catholic Church in the United States, which surrounded the controversy involving American Regionary Bishop Charles Hampton, who wished to keep adherence to theosophical tenets optional for all clergy, in accordance with the wishes of the churchs... The Liberal Catholic Church, Province of the United States of America is a part of The Liberal Catholic Church (original). ...

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