Catholic Apostolic Church

The Catholic Apostolic Church (CAC), also known as the Irvingian Church, is a Christian denomination and Protestant sect[1] which originated in Scotland around 1831 and later spread to Germany and the United States.[2] The tradition to which the Catholic Apostolic Church belongs is referred to as Irvingism or the Irvingian movement after Edward Irving (1792–1834), a clergyman of the Church of Scotland credited with organising the movement.

Church of Christ the King, Bloomsbury, which belongs to the trustees of the CAC.

The church was organised in 1835 with the fourfold ministry of "apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors".[3]

As a result of schism within the Catholic Apostolic Church, other Irvingian Christian denominations emerged, including the Old Apostolic Church, New Apostolic Church, Reformed Old Apostolic Church and United Apostolic Church; of these, the New Apostolic Church is the largest Irvingian Christian denomination today, with 16 million members.[4][5]

Irvingism teaches three sacraments: Baptism, Holy Communion and Holy Sealing.[6][7]

HistoryEdit

Edward IrvingEdit

Edward Irving, also a minister in the Church of Scotland, preached in his church at Regent Square in London on the speedy return of Jesus Christ and the real substance of his human nature.[citation needed]

Irving's relationship to this community was, according to its members, somewhat similar to that of John the Baptist to the early Christian Church. He was the forerunner and prophet of the coming dispensation, not the founder of a new sect; and indeed the only connexion which Irving seems to have had with the Catholic Apostolic Church was in fostering spiritual persons who had been driven out of other congregations for the exercise of their spiritual gifts.[8]

Around him, as well as around other congregations of different origins, coalesced persons who had been driven out of other churches, wanting to "exercise their spiritual gifts". Shortly after Irving's trial and deposition (1831), he restarted meetings in a hired hall in London, and much of his original congregation followed him. Having been expelled from the Church of Scotland, Irving took to preaching in the open air in Islington, until a new church was built for him and his followers in Duncan Street, Islington, funded by Duncan Mackenzie of Barnsbury, a former elder of Irving's London church.[9]

Shortly after Irving's trial and deposition (1831), certain persons were, at some meetings held for prayer, designated as “called to be apostles of the Lord” by certain others claiming prophetic gifts.[8]

Naming of the apostlesEdit

In the year 1835, six months after Irving's death, six other people were similarly designated as “called” to complete the number of the “twelve,” who were then formally “separated,” by the pastors of the local congregations to which they belonged, to their higher office in the universal church on the 14th of July 1835. This separation is understood by the community not as “in any sense being a schism or separation from the one Catholic Church, but a separation to a special work of blessing and intercession on behalf of it.” The twelve were afterwards guided to ordain others—twelve prophets, twelve evangelists, and twelve pastors, “sharing equally with them the one Catholic Episcopate,” and also seven deacons for administering the temporal affairs of the church catholic.[8]

The names of those twelve apostles were: John Bate Cardale, Henry Drummond, Henry King-Church, Spencer Perceval, Nicholas Armstrong, Francis Woodhouse (Francis Valentine Woodhouse), Henry Dalton, John Tudor (John O. Tudor), Thomas Carlyle, Francis Sitwell, William Dow and Duncan Mackenzie.[citation needed]

Structure and ministriesEdit

Each congregation was presided over by its “angel” or bishop (who ranks as angel-pastor in the Universal Church); under him are four-and-twenty priests, divided into the four ministries of “elders, prophets, evangelists and pastors,” and with these are the deacons, seven of whom regulate the temporal affairs of the church—besides whom there are also “sub-deacons, acolytes, singers, and door-keepers.” The understanding is that each elder, with his co-presbyters and deacons, shall have charge of 500 adult communicants in his district; but this has been but partially carried into practice. This is the full constitution of each particular church or congregation as founded by the “restored apostles,” each local church thus “reflecting in its government the government of the church catholic by the angel or high priest Jesus Christ, and His forty-eight presbyters in their fourfold ministry (in which apostles and elders always rank first), and under these the deacons of the church catholic.”[8]

The priesthood is supported by tithes; it being deemed a duty on the part of all members of the church who receive yearly incomes to offer a tithe of their increase every week, besides the free-will offering for the support of the place of worship, and for the relief of distress. Each local church sends “a tithe of its tithes” to the “Temple,” by which the ministers of the Universal Church are supported and its administrative expenses defrayed; by these offerings, too, the needs of poorer churches are supplied.[8]

Liturgy and forms of worshipEdit

Sources of forms of worshipEdit

For the service of the church a comprehensive book of liturgies and offices was provided by the "apostles." It dates from 1842 and is based on the Anglican, Roman and Greek liturgies. Lights, incense, vestments, holy water, chrism, and other adjuncts of worship are in constant use. In 1911, the ceremonial in its completeness could be seen in the church in Gordon Square, London and elsewhere.[8]

The daily worship consists of "matins" with "proposition" (or exposition) of the sacrament at 6 a.m., prayers at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and "vespers" with "proposition" at 5 p.m. On all Sundays and holy days there is a “solemn celebration of the eucharist” at the high altar; on Sundays this is at 10 a.m. On other days "low celebrations" are held in the side-chapels, which with the chancel in all churches correctly built after apostolic directions are separated or marked off from the nave by open screens with gates. The community has always laid great stress on symbolism, and in the eucharist, while rejecting both transubstantiation and consubstantiation, holds strongly to a real (mystical) presence. It emphasizes also the "phenomena" of Christian experience and deems miracle and mystery to be of the essence of a spirit-filled church.[8]

The services were published as The Liturgy and other Divine Offices of the Church. Apostle Cardale put together two large volumes of writings about the liturgy, with references to its history and the reasons for operating in the ways defined, which was published under the title Readings on the Liturgy.

The Eucharist, being the memorial sacrifice of Christ, is the central service. The Irvingian Churches teach the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, though they rejected what they saw as the philosophical explanations of the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation as well as Lollardist doctrine of consubstantiation.[10]

Some of the music in the Catholic Apostolic Church is composed by Edmund Hart Turpin, former secretary of the Royal College of Organists.

Special servicesEdit

SacramentsEdit

Irvingism teaches three sacraments: Baptism, Holy Communion and Holy Sealing.[6][7]

Prophecy and spiritual giftsEdit

Number of congregations and membersEdit

In 1911, the CAC claimed to have among its clergy many of the Roman, Anglican and other churches, the orders of those ordained by Greek, Roman and Anglican bishops being recognized by it with the simple confirmation of an "apostolic act." The community had not changed in 1911 in general constitution or doctrine. At the time, it did not publish statistics, and its growth during late years before 1911 is said to have been more marked in the United States and in certain European countries, such as Germany, than in Great Britain. There are nine congregations enumerated in The Religious Life of London (1904).[8]

 
The former Catholic Apostolic church in Stockholm, Sweden, built in 1889–90. Since the 1970s, it has served as a Greek Orthodox church.[11]

In the 21st century, of the principal CAC buildings in London, the Catholic Apostolic cathedral, in Gordon Square, survives and has been let for other religious purposes.

Notable membersEdit

Aside from Irving, notable members include Thomas Carlyle, Baron Carlyle of Torthorwald (1803–1855), who was given responsibility for northern Germany. (This is not Thomas Carlyle the essayist (1795–1881), although Irving knew both men.). Besides Thomas Carlyle, Edward Wilton Eddis contributed to the Catholic Apostolic Hymnal; Edmund Hart Turpin contributed much to catholic apostolic music.[citation needed]

New Apostolic ChurchEdit

 
Scheme of several Apostolic churches inside and outside the Netherlands from 1830 until 2005. Click on the image to enlarge.

After the death of three apostles in 1855 the apostolate declared that there was no reason to call new apostles. Two callings of substitutes were explained by the apostolate in 1860 as coadjutors to the remaining apostles. After this event another apostle was called in Germany in 1862 by the prophet Heinrich Geyer. The Apostles did not agree with this calling, and therefore the larger part of the Hamburg congregation who followed F .W. Schwartz, excommunicated. Out of this, sprang the Allgemeine Christliche Apostolische Mission (ACAM) in 1863 and the Dutch branch of the Restored Apostolic Mission Church (at first known as Apostolische Zending, since 1893 officially registered as Hersteld Apostolische Zendingkerk (HAZK)). This later became the New Apostolic Church.[citation needed]

Notable buildingsEdit

 
Former Catholic Apostolic Church, Albury Park, Surrey

Shortage of holy orderEdit

All ministers in the church were ordained by an apostle, or under delegated authority of an apostle. Thus, following the death of the last of the apostles, Francis Valentine Woodhouse, in 1901, the consensus of trustees, who administer the remaining assets, has been that no further ordinations are possible.[12]

ArchivesEdit

A collection of papers related to the Catholic Apostolic Church, compiled by the Cousland family of Glasgow, is held at the Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham.[13]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Protestantism - The spread of missions | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved June 18, 2022.
  2. ^ "Catholic Apostolic Church". The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. 2007.
  3. ^ Cannon, John (May 21, 2009). A Dictionary of British History. Oxford University Press. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-19-955037-1.
  4. ^ Nyika, Felix Chimera (2008). Restore the Primitive Church Once More: A Survey of Post Reformation Christian Restorationism. Kachere Series. p. 14. In the 1990s the New Apostolic Church had almost 300 apostles with 60,000 congregations comprising 16 million members globally.
  5. ^ Kuligin, Victor (2005). "The New Apostolic Church" (PDF). Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology. 24 (1): 1–18. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 11, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Whalen, William Joseph (1981). Minority Religions in America. Alba House. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-8189-0413-4.
  7. ^ a b Decisions of the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court) Federal Republic of Germany. Nomos. 1992. p. 6. ISBN 978-3-8329-2132-3.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Catholic Apostolic Church, The" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 533.
  9. ^ "Islington: Protestant nonconformity Pages 101-115 A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 8, Islington and Stoke Newington Parishes. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985". British History Online. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  10. ^ Bennett, David Malcolm (November 4, 2014). Edward Irving Reconsidered: The Man, His Controversies, and the Pentecostal Movement. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 292. ISBN 978-1-62564-865-5.
  11. ^ Kvarter Trasten-Trädgårdsmästaren (PDF) (survey documentation of the city block "Trasten" in Stockholm) (in Swedish), The City Museum of Stockholm, p. 216
  12. ^ "The church and Its Gordon Square Cathedral: the 'Irvingites' and the Catholic Apostolic Church" by Manfred Henke
  13. ^ "UoB Calmview5: Search results". calmview.bham.ac.uk. Retrieved April 15, 2021.

Further readingEdit

  • Carter, Grayson (2001), Anglican Evangelicals. Protestant Secessions From the via media, c. 1800–1850, Oxford: OUP, ISBN 0-19-827008-9.
  • Davenport, Rowland A (1973), Albury Apostles, London.
  • Drummond, AL (1934), Edward Irving and his Circle, London.
  • Flegg, CG (1992), Gathered Under Apostles; A Study of the Catholic Apostolic Church, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-826335-X.
  • Miller, Edward (2004) [London: C. Kegan Paul & Co., 1878], The History and Doctrines of Irvingism or of the so-called Catholic Apostolic Church, vol. I (reprinted ed.), Elibron, ISBN 1-4021-1651-9, archived from the original (hardcover) on March 11, 2005, ISBN 1-4021-1653-5 (Vol. II).
  • Schröter, Johannes Albrecht (1998), Die katholisch-apostolischen Gemeinden in Deutschland und der Fall Geyer [The Catholic-Apostolic Church in Germany and the "Geyer" case] (2 ed.), Marburg, ISBN 3-8288-9014-8.
  • ——— (2001), Bilder zur Geschichte der Katholisch-apostolischen Gemeinden [Images of The History of The Catholic Apostolic Church], Jena: Glaux Verlag Christine Jäger KG, ISBN 3-931743-42-X.
  • Plato E. Shaw (1946), The Catholic Apostolic Church, sometimes called Irvingite (A Historical Study), New York.

DoctrineEdit

  • Albrecht, L (1955), The work of Apostles in the time of the end (2nd ed.).
  • Cardale, John Bate, The Church and Tabernacle.
  • ———, Readings on the Liturgy.
  • Norton, Robert, Restoration of Apostles and Prophets, London: Bosworth.
  • Francis Sitwell The Purpose of God in Creation and Redemption (6th ed., 1888)

External linksEdit