Living our ancient Catholic faith in the modern world...
Old Catholic Confederation
The Old Catholic Confederation (OCC) was founded in 2013 by The Rt. Rev. Dr. Craig J. N. de Paulo, in order to promote an authentic Old-Catholic Christian religious identity through theological orthodoxy, episcopal-synodical polity, canonicity and visible unity among Old-Catholics in the United States.
The Old Catholic Confederation faithfully embraces the authority of the Holy Gospel, the First Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Early Church, the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed in its ancient formula, the sacred Tradition of the ancient Church especially embodied within the writings of the Fathers of the Church, the Sacraments and the Episcopal-Synodal governance of the Church. Indeed, as St. Vincent de Lerins put it, as Old-Catholics, we believe "that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all."
Concerning the Sacraments, the Old Catholic Confederation encourages a restoration of the practices of the ancient Church, and especially with regard to the Rites of Christian Initiation of Baptism, Chrismation (Confirmation) and Holy Communion to be administered to infants and adults following ancient practice. Likewise, many bishops of the Confederation continue to tonsure new clerics and confer the minor orders of cantor, lector and subdeacon (in the ancient practice) upon our candidates as they progress toward Holy Orders. Following the example of Christ and the Apostolic tradition of the Early Church, the Churches of the Confederation ordain married and celibate candidates to the ministry. Further, the Old Catholic Confederation encourages a restoration of the solemnity and mysticism proper to the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist that is also joyful and appropriate for the modern Church. With respect to the realm of moral theology, as Old-Catholics, we affirm the ancient, apostolic exhortation of the primacy of conscience.
The Old Catholic Confederation has also promoted a high standard of spiritual formation, pastoral experience and the necessity of philosophical and theological higher education for seminarians as well as continuing formation for clergy.
In recognition of the rights of the Old-Catholics in the United States to live and worship authentically as Old-Catholic Christians and in support of Bishop de Paulo, on December 25, 2013, the Solemnity of the Nativity of Christ, His Grace, The Most Rev. Dr. S. Tilewa Johnson, then Primate and Archbishop of the Church of the Province of West Africa of the Anglican Communion, published an official and historic Proclamation recognizing the Old Catholic Confederation as a “distinct Old Catholic Christian Community" in full Communion with the Anglican Communion. With this proclamation, Archbishop Johnson declared the Old Catholic Confederation to be under the 1931 Bonn Agreement since the Union of Utrecht has no juridical authority over Old-Catholics in North America. On that Christmas Day in 2013, Archbishop Johnson also appointed Bishop de Paulo as Episcopal Commissary of the Church of the Province of West Africa for Old-Catholics, elevating him to the dignity of Archbishop and making him the only Old-Catholic bishop outside of the Union of Utrecht to hold a Diplomatic Appointment within the worldwide Anglican Communion. Sadly, at the age of fifty-nine, Archbishop Johnson died suddenly of heart failure on January 21, 2014. Nevertheless, the Church of the Province of West Africa continuedto support the Old Catholic Confederation and the religious freedom of the American Old-Catholics; and Bishop de Paulo continued to serve in this Diplomatic post for the Church of the Province of West Africa also under Archbishop Dr. Daniel Yinkah Sarfo from 2013 to 2018..