Challenging Catholicism – 21 september 2014

125 years Union of Utrecht of Old Chatholic Churches: Context and Challenges

International Workshop and Blockseminar , 21 September 2014, following the International Old Catholics’ Congress, Utrecht

Location: Schoollokaal ORKA, Mariahoek 15, Utrecht

Registration until 15 September 2014: Peter-Ben Smit,


13.30 Coffee/Tea, Registration

14.00 Opening

I. Contextualizing Old Catholicism

14.05-14.30 The Union of Utrecht among the World Christian Communions: A Comparative Perspective, Dr. Dirk Jan Schoon, Bishop of Haarlem, associated researcher Old Catholic Seminary Utrecht


14.30-14.55 A Process of Growing Together: Convergence and Conflicts in the early history of the Union of Utrecht, Prof. Dr. Angela Berlis, Professor of the History of Old Catholicism and General Church History, Department for Old Catholic Theology, Faculty of Theology, Bern

14.55-15.15 Plenary discussion


II. Challenging Catholicism?

15.15-15.40 Catholicity and Globalization. How could the Catholicity of the Church provide an Answer to the Challenges of Globalization?”, Prof. Dr. Franz Segbers, Prof. em. of Social Ethics, Marburg University

15.40-16.05 Ecclesiology as a Political Discourse? Old Catholic Ecclesiology in its Dutch Context, Prof. Dr. Peter-Ben Smit, Professor of Ancient Catholic Church Structures, Utrecht University

16.05-16.35 Plenary discussion followed by break


III. Challenging (Old) Catholicism

16.35-16.50 Challenging (Old) Catholicism I: Challenges from a Filipino Perspective, Dr. Eleuterio J. Revollido, Dean, Aglipay Central Theological Seminary, Urdaneta City, Philippines


16.50-17.05 Challenging (Old) Catholicim II: “Challenging Old Catholicism II – Reaction, Idealism, Rousseauism: is the mix right?”, Prof. Dr. Jack McDonald, Professor of Church History, Faculty of Protestant Theology, Brussels, Canon Theologian of the Diocese in Europe


17.05-17.20 Challenging (Old) Catholicism III: “The sensus fidei of the People of God: A Challenge to Catholic theology?”, Dr. Stephan van Erp, lecturer in Fundamental and dogmatic theology, Special Faculty of Theology, Radboud University Nijmegen


17.20-17.30 Concluding Discussion


17.30: Reception


Evening: free, optional: joint dinner.

Organized by Old Catholic Seminary at Utrecht University (The Netherlands) and Departement für Christkatholische Theologie, University of Bern (Switzerland).


  • Prof. Dr. Peter-Ben Smit, Universiteit van Utrecht, Janskerkhof 13, 3512 BL Utrecht,
  • Prof. Dr. Angela Berlis, Departement für Christkatholische Theologie, Länggassstrasse 51, CH-3012 Bern,