Old Catholics. Christians who adhere (according to the declaration of their bishops in 1889) to the Vincentian Canon, not in order to resist all change, but in order to guard against unwarranted innovation. The roots of the separation of Old Catholic Churches go back to the post-Reformation debates in the Netherlands: the Jansenist Church of Utrecht retained the apostolic succession after its separation from Rome in 1724 and was later able to supply valid consecration of bishops. The major breach occurred as a consequence of the Vatican I proclamation of papal infallibility. In 1889, the newly called Old Catholic Churches united in the Union of Utrecht. Old Catholics recognize the seven ecumenical Councils and the teachings of the undivided Church before the Great Schism of 1054.
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