A Member of the Liberal Catholic Movement
Universal Catholic Church

Last Updated Febraury 2, 2014.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Universal Catholic Church (UCC)



Isn’t the name “Universal Catholic Church” redundant?

Because "catholic" means "universal" what you are asking is true, in a sense. However, "Catholic" also refers to the traditions of worship of the historic Church, as opposed to that of later sects. In addition, "Universal" also may be taken to refer to the Church's teaching of Universalism, a key teaching of the Liberal Catholic Movement, that holds that all of mankind will be saved.

 

Isn't the expression "Liberal Catholic Movement" a contradiction in terms?

There is absolutely no contradiction if one considers the true meaning of the words themselves. Contrary to popular opinion in some circles, “liberal” is not a dirty word. It comes from the Latin word liberalis, which means “suitable for a free man.” The idea of this ancient term is that a “free man” is free to think for himself, and not be told what to think as a slave would be. The word “catholic” also has negative connotations for some. It actually means “universal.” Universal comes from the root word for “universe.” The idea is that the Church is universal by existing in all times and in all places for all people. The word “Church” is also often misunderstood. Far from indicating an institution, it is derived from the Greek word ecclesia, which means an assembly of people called for a particular purpose, in this case the worship of God and service of our fellow man. To sum it up, the Universal Catholic Church is an assembly of people whose freedom of thought is respected, and who are called to worship God and serve humanity in all times and in all places.

 

How did the Liberal Catholic Movement come into existence?

The Liberal Catholic Movement sprang from the Dutch Old Catholic Church. The Dutch Church became separated from Rome after giving refuge to a group of accused heretics called Jansenists, who were being persecuted by the Jesuits. The Dutch Church later began to be called "Old Catholic” when other European Catholic Churches joined with it as a result of the "new" dogma of Papal Infallibility declared in the First Vatican Council. The Liberal Catholic Church came into existence as the result of a complete reorganization in 1915-1916 of the Old Catholic movement in Great Britain upon a more liberal basis.


What are the conditions for receiving Communion in the Universal Catholic Church?

The UCC offers Open Communion; that is, we welcome all the members of the Christian Brotherhood to receive Communion at our altars. There are no membership or belief requirements. The Blessed Sacrament of Christ’s love was meant for the betterment of all people. Christ came not to heal the healthy but the infirm.

 

Do Universal Catholics believe that the Bread and Wine in Communion actually become the Body and Blood of Christ?

We do teach that a change (Transubstantiation) occurs in the Bread and Wine after they are consecrated in the Holy Eucharist. The Body of Christ is the vehicle of his consciousness and the Blood of Christ is his life poured out in sacrifice.

 

Are Universal Catholic priests allowed to marry?

Yes. Many people are unaware that the practice of requiring celibacy for Roman Catholic priests has only existed for a little over 1,000 years. It came about largely as a means of preventing the spouses and children of priests from inheriting Church property. Prior to that, married clergy were common, as they still are in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Both celibate and married lifestyles have their respective merits.

 

Do you ordain women?

Yes. Gender is not an impediment to ordination at any level. Both women and men can be ordained as cleric, doorkeeper, reader, exorcist, acolyte, subdeacon, deacon, priest, and bishop.

 

Are divorced or remarried people welcome in your Church?

Yes. We do not kick or keep people out because of divorce, nor do we bar them from receiving the Sacraments. To do so is totally inconsistent with the example of love and forgiveness given by our Master, Christ.

 

Will you baptize children born out of wedlock?

Absolutely. The practice of some Churches to deny Baptism to children born out of wedlock is truly a sin. The Sacrament of Baptism is intended to benefit the child, not the parents; therefore, the marital status of the parents is not relevant.

 

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