Old Catholicism spread to Switzerland and Austria and then to other nations, arriving in the United States as early as 1885. The Polish National Catholic Church of America, one of the most important early groups, was formed in 1897. Christ Catholic Church, established in 1968, is one of the newest. In 1990, U.S. membership in various Old Catholic churches numbered some 500,000. Other important Old Catholic groups include the Philippine Independent Church , with approximately 3 million adherents, and the German Old Catholics, with some 24,000 members. The German church began ordaining women in 1996.
See K. Pruter and J. G. Melton, ed., The Old Catholic Sourcebook (1983).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches: Branches, Schisms, and Heresies
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