Christ Catholic Church

Church History
"Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me." (RSV) John 14.1
The History and Development of the
Christ Catholic Church (Diocese of Boston)

A timeline from the 18th century to present-day

Information taken from “Christ Catholic Church (Diocese of Boston)” printed by the St.  Willibrord’s Press of Goffstown, N.H.

Since the 18th century a growing number of Catholic Churches have separated from the Vatican.  The first of these non-Papal churches developed in the Netherlands when the Dutch Catholics extended sympathy and hospitality to French Catholics denied religious liberty in France.  Catholics have always held that under Christ, one finds perfect freedom.  Rather than disavow their historic principles, certain Dutch Churches, under the leadership of the Archiepiscopal See of Utrecht, have maintained a separate existence from Rome since the 18th century.  The following is a timeline of changes that have occurred since this first separation.

1870: The First Vatican Council proclaims the doctrine of Papal Infallibility.   Since only Christ is infallible, many churches in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland separate from Rome and take the name of Old Catholic.   Since these churches hold the same faith as the churches of Utrecht and are without a bishop, they come into union under the leadership of the Archbishop of Utrecht.

1900 (apx.): In the United States similar churches are established among Belgium immigrants under the leadership of Bishop Villatte, who was consecrated by a bishop of the ancient Mar Thomas Church in India.  Other non-papal churches spring up among the Poles, Ukrainians, Greeks and Native Americans.  Their orders come from various Orthodox and Old Catholic Churches.

1937: A number of independent Catholic and Orthodox Churches incorporate into the Polish Old Catholic Church.  They elect Father Joseph Zielonka as their first bishop.  Although they stretch as far as Tampa, Florida, most of these churches are in New Jersey, in such places as New Brunswick, South River, Dover, and Dunellen.

1959: The church changes its name to Christ Catholic Church in order to lift barriers so that all nationalities feel welcome.  The Church continues to steadily grow.

1960: The Church now consists of 22 parishes and approximately 7,200 members.

1961:  Bishop Zielonka dies and his suffragan Bishop, Peter Andreas Zhurawetsky, is chosen as his successor.  Under his leadership the Church undertakes a new and vigorous mission program.

1965: The Church of the Transfiguration gathers in Boston, Massachusetts.

Archbishop Karl Prüter of Blessed Memory

1967:  The Diocese of Boston is created by the consecration of Father Karl Hugo Rehling Prüter to the episcopate by Archbishops Zhurawetsky and Uladyslau Ryzy-Ryski.

September 26, 1968:  Archbishop Zhurawetsky establishes the Christ Catholic Church (Diocese of Boston) as an independent jurisdiction.

November 28, 1990:  Christ Catholic Church (Diocese of Boston) becomes a Missouri non-profit corporation.

September 7, 2005:  Archbishop Prüter consecrates Father Robert Louis O’Block to the episcopate and names him as his coadjutor.

August 3, 2006:  The selection of Dr. O’Block as coadjutor is affirmed by the Church’s board of directors and Holy Synod.   Bishop O’Block is re-consecrated sub conditione by Presiding Bishop Huron Clay Manning, Jr., assisted by several other bishops of the Southern Episcopal Church of the United States of America (founded in 1962 and incorporated in Tennessee in 1968).

August 4, 2007:  Archbishop Prüter retires to Archbishop Emeritus status, and Bishop O'Block succeeds him as Archbishop.

November 18, 2007:  The Lord calls Archbishop Prüter home for a well deserved rest from his labors.

August 7, 2008:  Father William Martin Sloane is consecrated to the episcopate by Bishops Manning, O’Block, William Harold Corley, Charles George Fry, Robert William Hotes and Richard M. Johnson.  Archbishop O’Block then names Dr. Sloane as his coadjutor and retires to Archbishop Emeritus status.  The Church’s board of directors and Holy Synod vote (a) for Bishop Sloane to be affirmed as Archbishop and (b) for the CCC/DoB to function as a diocese of the SEC/USA.

Present day:  We are the only denomination founded by Abp. Prüter, headed by him for 40 years, and maintained by bishops who were selected by him and who share his traditional beliefs.  The orders of Christ Catholic Church (Diocese of Boston) are regarded as valid by the Vatican and by other Catholic and Orthodox communions.  The Church has been unaffected by recent fads in theology and continues to maintain the historic Catholic faith and order.

We do not engage in secular political activity or pronouncements and will not affiliate with, join or give support to an organization that does.  The Church is an ideal home for those who want the historic faith and liturgy, in fellowship that allows the widest personal liberty consistent with good order.  Any man who feels called to Holy Orders (the diaconate or priesthood) should contact the office of the Archbishop.

If you are presently without a church affiliation, we invite you to visit and worship in your nearest Christ Catholic Church.

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