Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re Catholic why aren’t you in communion with the Pope and part of the Roman Catholic Church?

The word catholic derives from the Greek καθολικισμός, katholikismos meaning universal doctrine and is used to refer to those who hold to the universal faith of undivided Christianity. In this respect no one has a monopoly on the word catholic and it equally applies to all those Churches with valid Bishops in both the East and the West. 

We are not in communion with Rome for a number of reasons much like our brethren and sisters of the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Union of Utrecht, the Anglican Communion and those (like us) within the Independent Catholic Movement.

We differ from the Roman Church in many ways particularly in our view of the universal jurisdiction and infallibility of the Pope. Whilst we acknowledge the Pope as the primus inter pares (first among equals) of the Western catholic church this was always a title of honour and dignity not of jurisdiction and authority.

Does that mean you split from the Roman Catholic Church?

Whilst some of our ancestor churches did in fact result from schisms within the Roman Catholic Church the UOCC has never corporately had a direct link with that Church.

At the time of the First Vatican Council the Roman Catholic Church defined as dogmas principles (Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility) that many catholics rightly viewed as being innovations to the faith. In Europe many of these faithful catholics formed communities that are now part of the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht.

Whilst we are not a part of this Union we are in spiritual and ecclesiastical descent from the Churches of the Utrecht Union.

You say you’re welcoming and inclusive, what does that mean?

While Christ walked this earth he ministered amongst the downtrodden and the outcasts and we try to do the same in our modern times. There are many people in our society who feel that they have been abandoned and rejected by Churches of the catholic tradition due to their sexuality, gender or economic status.

All are welcome at the Altar of the Unified Old Catholic Church regardless of their sexuality, gender or economic status. Christ welcomed all who genuinely sought Him and believed on His name; who are we to do any less?

What is an Oratory? Are you a church or something else?

Throughout the history of the Church there have been many different styles of worship places. Currently these are usually defined as a Church, an Oratory or a Private Chapel.

Most of us are familiar with Churches as these are the places set aside for public worship and open to anyone who walks through the open doors. In contrast to this a Private Chapel is an approved worship space restricted to the use of an individual, family or particular group. An Oratory however is a worship place approved by the Bishop for the use of a particular community or group that may be opened to others by the Oratory’s Superior.

 The Oratory of Our Lady of Our Lady of the Rosary was erected by Bishop Michael in early 2017 as the presence of the UOCC in Australia. It was erected as an Oratory as the worship space will be located within a private residence and so is not a Church but the erection of a Private Chapel would mean the public could not join us for worship.

If you’re interested in worshipping with the UOCC at the Oratory please contact us through the contact page.

How do you worship and what sort of services do you hold?

The Oratory principally worships using the Book of Divine Worship; a standard approved by the UOCC College of Bishops. Other rites are approved for use and may  be used from time to time.

The Daily Office (Morning and Evening Prayer and Compline) are read at the Oratory daily and a “Deacon’s Mass” and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will shortly form a part of our schedule.

If you’d like to join us please get in touch!

The answers to further questions can be found at the UOCC main website: FAQ’S