The Union of Utrecht is a federation of Old Catholic Churches consisting of several national churches in Europe, especially in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland. The Old Catholic Church objects to the papal claim of universal supremacy and infallibility proclaimed at the First Vatican Council in 1870. While orthodox in faith and traditional in liturgy and worship, the Old Catholic Church has a more liberal theological anthropology.
While the Old Catholic Confederation acknowledges the Archbishop of Utrecht as the Primate of the Old Catholic Church and the Successor of St. Willibrord, the Old Catholic Church in the United States is neither a Member Church of the Union of Utrecht nor subject to the authority of the Archbishop of Utrecht.
The Old Catholic Church in the United States is the National Church of the Old Catholic Confederation, with its own American Old-Catholic religious identity and governed by its own Synod of Bishops under the leadership of the Primate of the Old Catholic Confederation.
His Grace, The Most Rev. Dr. Joris Vercammen
Primate of the Old Catholic Church
and the Union of Utrecht
Metropolitan-Archbishop of Utrecht
Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands
Archbishop Dr. Vercammen and the Old Catholic Bishops of the Union of Utrecht meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.
St. Willibrord was a Northumbrian monk who brought Christianity to the Low Countries in the 7th century and became the first Archbishop of Utrecht in 695. The Anglican and Old Catholic Churches have adopted him as the patron of their relations, which have always been close. To strengthen these links, the first Willibrord Society was founded in England in 1908. Full church communion was achieved when the Bonn Agreement was signed in 1931. Today the Willibrord Societies in several European countries work to apply this agreement in everyday church life. For further information, please go to:www.willibrord.org