R. Joseph Owles
A Sheep Among Wolves
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Old Cathlic Beliefs



Papal Infallibility
Old Catholic:  Pope Is Not Infallible at All
Roman Catholic:  Pope Is Infallible on Matters of Doctrine


Authority of the Pope
Old Catholic:  the Pope Is the Bishop of Rome
Roman Catholic:  the Pope Is the Ruling Official of the Church


Authority of Bishops
Old Catholic: All Bishops Are Equally Apostolic
Roman Catholic:  All Bishops Are under the Authority of the Pope


Old Catholic: Not Required by Clergy
Roman Catholic: Required by Clergy


Ordination of Women
Old Catholic: Yes*
Roman Catholic: No


Use of Contraception
Old Catholic: Personal Choice
Roman Catholic: a Serious Sin


Old Catholic: All Sin Is Potentially Grave
Roman Catholic: Two Types of Sin (Venial and Mortal)


When Sin Is Forgiven
Old Catholic: When Acknowledged and Asked to Be Forgiven (Prayer)
Roman Catholic: When Confessed to a Priest and Given Absolution


Personal Confession to a Priest
Old Catholic: Not Required, but Encouraged for Spiritual Growth and Humility
Roman Catholic: Required for Sins to Be Forgiven


Old Catholic: it Happens
Roman Catholic: Not Allowed


Remarriage after Divorce
Old Catholic: Yes
Roman Catholic: No


Who May Partake of the Eucharist
Old Catholic: All Baptized Christians
Roman Catholic: Only Roman Catholics


Number of Sacraments
Old Catholic: Seven
Roman Catholic: Seven


Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
Old Catholic: Yes (though not necessarily defined)
Roman Catholic: Yes (through transubstantiation)


Historic Catholic Doctrines
Old Catholic: Yes
Roman Catholic: No–Have Adopted New Doctrines


Catholic Liturgy
Old Catholic: Yes
Roman Catholic: Yes


Athough this is not currently true for the Independent Old Catholic Church, the following is true for many Old Catholic jurisdictions:


Holy Orders Open to Homosexuals
Old Catholic: Yes*
Roman Catholic: No


Performs Same-Sex Marriage
Old Catholic: Yes
Roman Catholic: No


Open and Affirming of GLBT
Old Catholic: Yes
Roman Catholic: No


There May Be Other Differences, Most Having to Do with Various Customs or Disciplines. Other than the Glaring Differences Listed, Old Catholics and Roman Catholics Are Essentially the Same in Almost Every Respect.




*This comparison compares the North American Old Catholic Church with the Roman Catholic Church. Not every Old Catholic Communion in the United States ordains women and homosexuals.



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