"The Old Catholic Church"

Thomas

So it goes ...
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The 'new' Church appeared under the direction of 'Msgr Arnold Henry Mathieu, Count of Kandave of Thomastown, Old Catholic Archbishop of London, Metropolitan of France and Ireland'. It is curious to note that this church proclaimed itself 'French and not Roman' but was under the authority of an Englishman, Arnold Henry Matthews, who was first to receive orders in the Episcopal Church of Scotland, but became Catholic and was ordained priest in Glasgow in 1877. In 1889 he left the priesthood, and a year later took the name Arnoldo Girolamo Povoleri. Married in 1892, he took the title Reverend Count Povoleri di Vincenza, whilst also taking the title Count of Landaff.

Matthews had himself consecrated Bishop by Dr Gérard Gul, head of the Old Catholic Church of Holland, a schismatic organisation born from the debris of Jansenism in 1870 and after three years founded the 'Catholic Orthodox Church of the West', repudiating any subordination to Rome or Utrecht.

This church took a succession of names, whilst its head tried to enter negotiations for formal recognition by the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

In 1913 the clergy of the 'Old Catholic Church of Great Britain and Northern Ireland' (another incarnation) was augmented by the arrival of several new members, all former Anglican ministers, and more or less openly Theosophist. James Ingall Wedgewood (secretary general of the English section of the Theosophical Society), Rupert Gauntlett, secretary of an 'Order of Healers' attached to the TS, Robert King and Reginald Farrer.

In 1915 Matthews, previously ignorant of Theosophy, took fright at the ideas and activities of Wedgewood and his associates and shut down the church, tried a rapproachment with Rome, only to pop up later as the 'Catholic Uniate Church of the West'.

Wedgewod meanwhile sought episcopal consecration from Matthews, who refused him, and the Bishop of a neo-Nestorian church in Oxford. He found Frederick Samuel Willoughby, consecrated into the OCC by Matthews in 1914, only to be excommunicated within a year. Willoughby consecrated Gauntlett and King, then the three consecrated Wedgewood a year later. Willoughby would later submit to the Holy See.

Wedgewood left for Australia where he consecrated Charles Webster Leadbeater, a former Anglican clergyman, as 'Bishop of Australia'.

On April 20 1916, an assembly of clergy and bishops of 'The Old Catholic Church of Great Britain' published a new constitution under Wedgewood's signature, with no mention of Theosophy nor its ideas. In 1918 another declaration was made under the title of the 'Liberal Catholic Church'.

Wedgewood in a report to the Theosophical Convention of 1918:
"The Old Catholic Church works to spread Theosophical teachings through Christian pulpits; and the most iumportant part of its task consists in preparing the hearts and minds of men for the arrival of the Great Teacher."
The Vahan, June 1, 1918.

In The Messenger, Nov 1918:
"Bishop Leadbeater is researching the occult side of the Mass, and he is preparing a complete book on the science of the sacraments... "

"The Science of the Sacraments" contains a comparison of the liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church with that of the Roman Catholic, what is most notable is the adroit modification of the LCC rite to dispose minds to accept Theosophical theory without overtly stating the case – allusions which one would not be aware of, unless already informed of Theosophical doctrines.

These alterations are done under the pretext of returning to a 'primitive Christianity' as founded in the 'Gospel of the Twelve Saints', a book wriiten by a priest of the Liberal catholic Church, E F Udney, detailing the recovery of an ancient text from a monastery in Tibet, transmitted 'mentally' to a retired Anglican priest, Ouseley, a man who at the time the was, according to Udney 'aged, deaf, and physically weak, his eyesight at its worst, and his mind greatly slowed, he being more or less broken down by age' (p6). The work of translation was undertaken by 'Master R', who was at one time Francis Bacon...

The 'special teaching' contained in this gospel, excised from all others in the 4th century, 'an essential part of original Christianity, the absence of which has impoverished and still impoverishes this religion' (p4) comes down to two: the Theosophical doctrine of reincarnation, and the prescription of a vegetarian and anti-alcohol regimen so beloved of Anglo-Saxon moralism.

The crudity of this, one among many attempts, to usurp the Christian Church and the unwitting believer, beggars belief. Suffice to say the author also spoke of a 'new and better bible' which would extendd this practice of falsification to the Sacred Texts themselves.

In closing, I might addd that at one point Wedgewood, King, Clark and Farrer would all be sought by the English police to answer questions of pederasty, as would cloud the reputation of their consecrant, Leadbeater. On Feb 28, 1922, Farrer sent a letter of resignation to Mrs Besant:

"The imputation brought against me, as well as against Wedgewood, King and Clark ... are only too well founded. But I beg you to take into consideration that I was incited to the vice by those whom I considered very much my superiors morally and spriritually ... Wedgewood refuses absolutely to cease this evil practice ... "

Farrer left England the same day. Wedgewood protested his innocence, but left the day he received unoffical information that he would be arrested if he remained.

The 'Free Catholic Church of France' was established by Wedgewood sometime later, deploying language rich in Catholic terminology, and signifying none of its Theosophical intent.

In the Theosophist Oct 1916, Mrs Besant wrote:
"... the little known movement called Old Catholic; it is a living Christian Church which will grow and multiply with the years and which has a great future before it; it is probably called upon to become the future Church of Christianity when He appears."
The use of the term 'living' was specific, drawn from the Orthodox idea of 'living' as signifying the Divine Presence. By contrast, existing Christian denominations, especially the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, must be considered a 'dead Church'.

The aim of Theosophists in taking possession of this church is the same as that for which they previously founded the 'Order of the Star of the East' – the sole difference is whereas the OSE is general, the OCC is meant to attract those who would desire to call themselves Christian without adhering to a well-defined religious principle, be it East or West.

As Guénon was to ask: what sincerity can there be in all this?

From Guénon's "Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-Religion"

Thomas
 
As Guénon was to ask: what sincerity can there be in all this?
More, I'm afraid Thomas, than you can apparently fathom. For by one method of reckoning, the thief in the night has already made His entrance and His exit. And of this - the Roman Catholic Church knows nothing.

As for a second, and more prolonged - even globally witnessed - Reappearance ... well THIS is what Leadbeater, Wedgewood, Besant and others have long labored for. You are either for Him, or against Him. And so too, the day will come (be it years after your passing, or further still in the distant future), when looking back upon all of this, you will be forced to admit - ere you proceed - "I was mistaken."

There need only be one, living Witness to the wince that will be evoked, and that will be all that matters. No one, certainly no Theosophist or Esotericist I've ever met, has the slightest interest in purchasing a ticket that we may have the right to say, "I told you so," and smirk. For you see, we've known it all along ...

Again, `Brother Sun, Sister Moon,' starring Sir Alec Guiness, in my 2nd favorite role of his (having not yet seen his older films) ... scene in which Francesco & his gang finally have their audience before "Innocent" the III (- interesting tradition, this, which must go out of her way to name her authorities "innocent").

Now, Francesco is the Christ, in this scene, and Pope Innocent III will represent the RCC, or even all of Christendom. And Francesco's little band of misfit, pauper preachers ... they are the Theosophists, the Rosicrucians, the long-persecuted Gnostics of every day & age, the Hypatias and Thomas Mores, and even many a man who does not even call himself Christian, yet is verily so in word & deed.

No, Thomas, we do not come to co-opt your precious pomp & circumstance, and make off with your gold candlesticks. Nor to tell you that vain repetitions are wasted breath ... for why quote scripture to those who have long since mastered the art, and perfected its application in matters such as these?
 
Now, Francesco is the Christ, in this scene, and Pope Innocent III will represent the RCC, or even all of Christendom. And Francesco's little band of misfit, pauper preachers ... they are the Theosophists, the Rosicrucians, the long-persecuted Gnostics of every day & age, the Hypatias and Thomas Mores, and even many a man who does not even call himself Christian, yet is verily so in word & deed.

You see, you can't help yourselves? You're doing exactly what, in the very next paragraph, you deny:

No, Thomas, we do not come to co-opt your precious pomp & circumstance, and make off with your gold candlesticks. Nor to tell you that vain repetitions are wasted breath ... for why quote scripture to those who have long since mastered the art, and perfected its application in matters such as these?

Thomas
 
what, is this Bishop Leadbetter the same Leadbetter who liked to sleep with little boys? I believe nothing that comes from Theosophy, which, incidentally, has a new messiah now, Maitreya, who has all the powers of the average corpse! Has everyone forgotten Krishnamurti?

there is no sincerity in it- full stop end stop. The TS fuctions only to promote the careers of a select few while the rest, the congregation, so to speak, buy all the badly spelled books and pretend wisdom is there. They err.
 
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