Contributory Causes of the Schism of 1702 (§ 1).
    Its Immediate Occasion (§ 2).
    History (§ 3).
    Differences from the Roman Catholic Church (§ 4).

1. Contributory Causes of the Schism of 1702.

The doctrines of Jansenism (see JANSEN, CORNELIUS, JANSENISM) left no permanent trace in Belgium or in France, but in Holland there has been for more than two centuries a church popularly called Jansenist. Its adherents reject the name, rightly calling themselves the Old Catholic Church of Holland, since the schism among the Dutch Roman Catholics in 1702, to which they owe their origin, sprang from the adherence of the Dutch clergy to the privileges of their church rather than from dogmatic principles. The first bishop in Holland was Willibrord (q.v.), consecrated bishop of Utrecht by Pope Sergius I. in 695. Among his successors were not a few who opposed the growing tendency to regard the pope as the unrestricted governor of all Christendom. The bishop of Utrecht was originally chosen by the clergy, and in 1145 the Emperor Conrad III. confirmed the right to the chapter of St. Martin's Cathedral. The choice was not always accepted by Rome. In 1559 in accordance with the wish of Philip II. of Spain, then ruler of the Netherlands, the pope elevated Utrecht to the rank of an archbishopric with five suffragan sees, and it was then agreed by pope and king that the latter should select the bishops, to be confirmed by the pope. Nine years later the War of Liberation broke out, lasting for eighty years, and involved the Roman Catholics in many difficulties. Though they joined. with the Protestants in fighting against the Spanish yoke, they were mistrusted, and about 1573 the public exercise of Catholic worship was forbidden?a prohibition which remained in force till the revolution of 1795. As the incumbents of the episcopal sees


died, it was found difficult to fill their places. Sasbold Vosmeer, chosen general vicar by the Utrecht chapter in 1583, after the death of the archbishop in 1580, was consecrated archbishop by the pope in 1602, but with the title archbishop of Philippi. His successors were chosen and consecrated in the same way. Under the fifth of them, Petrus Codde (consecrated 1689), occurred the schism.

2. Its Immediate Occasion.

More formidable opponents than the Protestants had appeared against the Roman Catholic clergy of Holland. During the turbulent conditions of the long war the country had been invaded by "regular" clergy especially by the Jesuits after 1590, who accused the Dutch clergy of the Jansenistic heresy. In 1697, during the negotiations of peace at Ryswik, there appeared an anonymous treatise in French, soon afterward also in Latin, and some years later in Dutch, under the title "Short Memorial concerning the Condition and Progress of Jansenism in Holland." Some copies fell into the hands of Codde, who hastened to send the book to Rome with an apology. He was declared innocent in Rome, although there was no end of insinuations. Since Alexander VII. had issued his constitution against the so-called five theses of Jansen in 1656, the accusation implied that the accused was suspected of agreeing with the five condemned theses, or of refusing to believe that Jansen had taught those theses in his Augustinus, and thereby given rise to the heresy condemned by the church. Codde and his subordinate ecclesiastics could easily defend themselves against the charge of agreeing with the content of the condemned theses, although the former did not express himself on the question whether Jansen had really taught them or not. But since the decision of Alexander, this point involved the absolute supremacy and infallibility of the pope, and the Jesuits were intent upon having this question decided. Codde was summoned to Rome in 1700, and in 1702 was declared guilty of heresy. There was great consternation in Holland when it was learned that he had been dismissed from office, and still more when Theodor de Kock, his opponent, was appointed general vicar. The estates took the part of Codde and forced his opponents to let him return to Holland, where he arrived in 1703. The question now was, what attitude would Codde, the Dutch clergy, and the Utrecht chapter assume. If they accepted Codde's dismissal, the independence of the Utrecht church was necessarily abolished. Codde himself, from love of peace, remained until his death in a passive attitude, stedfastly asserting his rights and those of his church, but refraining from exercising them. A large party of the Dutch clergy and laity, however, remained faithful to him, although another part followed De Kock. Thus Codde's dismissal led to a schism in the Dutch Roman Catholic Church which has never been healed.

3. History.

It was to be expected that the church of the Jansenists, as Codde's party was now called, would decrease in numbers after Rome had spoken. Owing to the lack of higher ecclesiastics, the church of Utrecht was on the point of extinction, when aid came in an unexpected manner. Several French clergymen who refused to sign the bull Unigenitus in 1713 (see JANSEN, CORNELIUS, JANSENISM) sought refuge on Dutch soil. Moreover, in 1719, Dom Maria Varlet (chosen bishop of Babylon in 1718 and consecrated as bishop of Ascalon Feb. 19, 1719) spent some time in Amsterdam before he undertook his journey to the Orient. In Amsterdam he became acquainted with ecclesiastics of the Old Catholic Church and was active in their behalf. He had hardly reached the Orient when the pope suspended him as a Jansenist. He then returned to Holland, where the Utrecht chapter in 1723 had elected Cornelis Steenoven as archbishop to prevent the extinction of the Old Catholic Church. In 1724 Bishop Varlet consecrated him. The pope, of course, immediately put Steenoven under the ban, but the Utrecht church was saved from extinction. Steenoven died in 1725, and was succeeded by Barchman Wuytiers (d. 1733), who was followed by Theodor van der Croon (d. 1739), both consecrated by Varlet. The Utrecht church soon recognized the danger of making its continuance dependent upon the life of a single bishop, and consequently Hieronymus de Bock was consecrated bishop of Haarlem in 1742, and B. J. Bijevelt bishop of Deventer in 1758. Several attempts to reconcile the pope failed. A serious danger threatened the Old Catholic Church in Holland under the administration of the Roman Catholic king, Louis Bonaparte (1806-10), and under the régime of Emperor Napoleon (1810-13), who contemplated prohibiting the election of a new Old Catholic bishop; but this danger passed with the restitution of the independence of Holland, and in 1814 W. van Os was elected archbishop of Utrecht, and in 1819 Johannes Bon bishop of Haarlem (see EPISCOPACY, III.). The difficulties which threatened the church under King William I. and King William II., who desired to establish a concordat with the pope, passed as soon as the agreement failed. The law concerning church associations enacted in 1853 assured entire freedom to all ecclesiastical organizations, including the Old Catholics. In this way the small church has gradually increased its members from 5,000 to almost 8,000, and its parishes from twenty-five to twenty six. It is not strange that the Old Catholic bishops disapproved the dogma of the immaculate conception in 1854, and that of papal infallibility in 1870.

4. Differences from the Roman Catholic Church.

The chief points of difference between the Old Catholics of Holland and their Roman Catholic opponents are the following: (1) The old Catholic Church considers the deposition of Archbishop Codde illegal, and asserts that, in spite of the Reformation of the sixteenth century and its influence upon the affairs of Holland, the Roman Catholic Church has existed without interruption, and has continuously retained its right to administer its own affairs as a national church, independent of the church in Rome. (2) It refuses to sign the formula of Pope Alexander VII., unless permitted to make a distinction between a signature quoad jus and quoad factum; namely, between the question whether the five incriminated theses were heretical, and the question whether


Jansen had taught them in a heretical sense. (3) It rejects the bull Unigenitus, since this bull validates the moral system of the Jesuits for the whole Roman Catholic Church. The importance of the Old Catholic Church of Holland for all Roman Catholic Christendom lies not only in the fact that it is a monument of the spirit of the earlier centuries, but also in the fact that it has entered into relations with the Old Catholic movement in Germany and Switzerland. When the Old Catholic spirit was aroused in Germany in opposition to the dogma of infallibility in 1870, and the necessity of a bishop for the newly organized Old Catholic Church was felt, it was H. Heykamp, the Old Catholic bishop of Deventer, who, in 1873, consecrated J. H. Reinkens bishop of the German Old Catholics. See OLD CATHOLICS.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. P. Hoynck a Papendreeht, Hist. ecclesiae Ultrajectinae, Mechlin, 1725; T. Backhusius, Bewijs-Schrift, 3 vols., Utrecht, 1726-30; M. G. Dupac de Bellegarde, Hist. abrégée de l'egise métropolitaine d'Utrecht, ib. 1852; J. W. Neale, Hist. of the so-called Jansenist Church of Holland, London 1858; R. Bennink Janssonius, Geschiedenis der Oud-Roomsch-Katholieke Kerk in Nederland, The Hague, 1870; F. Nippold, Die römisch-katholische Kirche . . . der Niederlande, Leipsic, 1877; J. A. van Beek, Geschiedenis der hollandsche Kerk, Rotterdam, 1886; Neerlandia Catholica, Utrecht, 1888; J. de Huller, Bijdrage tot de geschiedenie van het Utrechtsche Schisma, The Hague, 1892; W. P. C. Knuttel, De Toestand der nederlandsche Katholieken, 2 vols., ib. 1892-94; J. Meyhoffer, Le Martyrologe protestant des Pays-Bas, 1423-1597, The Hague, 1907. The literature of the church is given by J. A. van Beek, Lijst van boeken uitgeven in de Oud-Katholieke Kerk, 3 vols., Rotterdam, 1892-93. Much of the literature under JANSENISM is pertinent, e.g., the work of Tregelles.


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