The Virgin Orans: St Sophia’s Cathedral, Kiev, 11th century

Welcome to the Nordic Catholic Church – German Administration

Fast facts

Historical sketch

  • The Nordic Catholic Church was founded in 1999 in Norway by numerous clergy and laity of the Norwegian (Lutheran) state church, who objected, for theological reasons, to the ordination of women to the presbyterate and episcopate, and had come to embrace the Orthodox Catholic faith of the undivided Church of the first millennium.
  • At its inception, the Nordic Catholic Church was formed as an extraterritorial diocese of the Polish National Catholic Church of North America, which belonged to the Union of Utrecht of Old Catholic Churches for more than 96 years (from 1907 to 2003) and indeed was its largest member church. While part of the Union of Utrecht, she remained in communion only with those (few but populous) provinces of the Anglican Communion that had not purported to ordain women to the priesthood.
  • The Polish National Catholic Church and thus also the Nordic Catholic Church did not recognize, for theological reasons, the female priests which several of the other member churches of the Union of Utrecht had unilaterally begun to ordain. Since the revised Statute of the Union of Utrecht did not allow for this situation of impaired communion to continue, the Polish National Catholic Church and the Nordic Catholic Church had to separate from the Union of Utrecht in 2003.
  • In 2011, the Nordic Catholic Church became autonomous through the election and consecration of a Norwegian bishop, the Most Rev’d Dr Roald Nikolai Flemestad. In the same year, the Polish National Catholic Church and the Nordic Catholic Church joined to found the Union of Scranton as an orthodox alternative to the Union of Utrecht. The Union of Scranton is open to other catholic churches and is in dialogue, for instance, with several jurisdictions of Anglo-Catholic tradition concerning potential membership.
  • As of 2018, the Nordic Catholic Church has parishes and missions in Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Hungary. The Polish National Catholic Church has parishes in the United States, Canada and Italy, as well as a daughter church in Poland (the Polish Catholic Church, presently still in the Union of Utrecht).

Theology, liturgy, and ecumenical recognition