Once I was inside, I realized I hadn’t understoodhe sign at all. The church wasn’t that old, despite being an “old Catholic church.” Somehow I missed that “Old Catholic” was a denomination.
It didn’t look like a church from the exterior, which is probably why I walked past a few dozen times over the past couple of years without noticing it. Turns out St. Ursula’s doesn’t look like a typical church from the outside because it was built as a convent.
When I saw the sign for an “old Catholic” church, I just assumed it was one that rejected Vatican II and services would still be conducted in Latin. I seem to recall reading about a congregation like that in Ottawa.
The pamphlet I picked up didn’t mention Latin. Neither did the website.
And it isn’t the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) they reject, but the first one (1869-70). That puts a different spin on things. They don’t, for example, believe that the pope is infallible. And the do have both married and women priests.
They are catholic with a small C, not Roman, which makes me think they probably switched from Latin to German a long time ago. They are in full communion with the Anglicans, with whom I suspect they have a lot in common. But they allow all Christians to receive communion, which also sets them apart from their Roman cousins.
I’m not sure if I will ever get to a service. I have a list of churches here I’d like to visit, but the reality is that most Sundays, like today, I’m going to be in the church we have been attending since moving here. Going to a different church each week might be interesting, but it wouldn’t be conducive to spiritual growth – which is one of the main reasons for going in the first place.