Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Holy Trinity Old Catholic Church

Is Holy Trinity a real Catholic church?  Are Old Catholic Churches fully Catholic?

Yes, Holy Trinity Old Catholic Church is a valid Catholic Church with apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist.  For the first three centuries of Christian history the word Catholic meant “Eucharistic Gathering.”  Later, after Emperor Constantine, the term Catholic became commonly known as Universal and/or Nonsectarian.


Is there more than one Catholic Church?

No, We believe that the The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed AD 381 is true without additions, “We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church."  However, it is true there are several catholic jurisdictions including the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Catholic Churches, Ukrainian Catholic, Polish National Catholic, Assyrian Church of the East, to name just a few in addition to other historically Independent and Old Catholic jurisdictions.

Think about it, are all facial tissues Kleenexes?  No some are Puffs, others are Scotties.  Kleenexes are facial tissues, but not all facial tissues are Kleenexes.  Kleenex is a name brand of facial tissue.

In the same vein, Roman Catholics are indeed Catholic, but not all Catholics are Roman Catholics who are under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome.  Its a recorded historical fact that to be considered Catholic does not require allegiance to a particular Bishop in a particular geographical location, but rather that believers become the one holy Catholic Church in the gathering of the people in the power of the Holy Spirit when partaking of a valid Eucharist.  


What has the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) written concerning Old Catholic Churches with valid Apostolic Succession and a valid Eucharist?

According to the document “DOMINUS IESUS,” issued by Pope John Paul II, June 16, 2000, and signed by Joseph Card, Ratzinger (previously Pope Benedict XVI), August 6, 2000, from the Office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:


“The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the [Roman] Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches.  Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the [Roman] Catholic Church, since they do not accept the [Roman] Catholic doctrine of Primacy.”  Unicity and Unity of the Church, IV, 16 & 17.

Please Note: Holy Trinity Old Catholic Church is not a Roman Catholic Church and subsequently while we certainly do honor the Bishop of Rome we are not subject to Roman Canon Law or the Roman Magisterium.


Can I take the Eucharist at Holy Trinity Old Catholic Church?

Yes, Holy Eucharist is given to all who are baptized into Christ and  who approach the altar in the true faith of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament, There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:4-6).


What about priestly celibacy?

Celibacy was not absolutely mandated by the Bishop of Rome until the 11th century, and then that mandate only pertained to the clergy under his jurisdiction. Other Catholic groups like the Eastern Catholic Churches, etc., have for the most part always maintained a married clergy.  Prior to that ruling, Roman clergy other than those in monastic orders, although the preference was for celibacy, priest could either remain married or choose to be celibate. 

In fact, history records that there have been 39 married Popes including St. Peter himself. 
Therefore according to Christian Tradition and orthodox Canon Law our clergy may choose to remain married.  1 Timothy 3:1-13, clearly states that the clergy member must be the husband of one wife and be able to manage his own household before he can manage the church.

Do you permit remarriage?

Unfortunately divorces do occur and our Church does permit the remarriage of divorced persons after counseling.
 We do not require annulments.  We do not believe in saying that a marriage did not exist to satisfy a technicality.  Hence, we believe in the words of Jesus when He said that all sin is forgivable if we repent and make a true confession (see 1 John 1:9).

What about family planning? 

We believe that family planning is left to the conscience of the married couple.  We do not believe it is a moral, infallible teaching that if you use birth control you must give up your catholic faith as required by the certain jurisdictions of the Catholic Church.  The only exception to this rule is that when a birth control method causes or could cause any form of loss or destruction of a united sperm and egg it should not be practiced.  Couples should feel free to be able to consult with their Priest and Medical personnel regarding these matters. 

Other Citations:

Catholic Almanac - 1974 "The Roman Church recognizes the validity of Old Catholic Orders and other Sacraments "(Felician A. Roy, OFM, p.368). 

The Pastoral Companion - A Canon Law Handbook for Catholic Ministry, Third Edition

(John M. Huels, J.C.D. p. 335).

Please feel free to contact the Holy Trinity Church Office by email or phone if you have more questions, or if we can be of further assistance:

503 266 1981