What is the Union of Utrecht?

The Union of Utrecht is an association of Old Catholic churches in Europe. The churches are organised as independent local churches with one or more dioceses. In 1889 they joined together to form the Union of Utrecht. At that time, the bishops of the Old Catholic churches of the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany defined their ecclesiastical and theological principles in the Utrecht Declaration.

Today, these principles are formulated in the Preamble of the Statute of the International Old Catholic Bishops’ Conference (IBC). The IBK is the supreme body of the Utrecht Union. It is chaired by the Archbishop of Utrecht as President.

The IBC does not intervene in the jurisdiction of the independent Old Catholic churches, but exercises jurisdiction over dependent churches and parishes without ecclesiastical structures. For this purpose, it appoints a member of the Bishops’ Conference as delegate. The Union of Utrecht is responsible, among other things, for relations with other churches.