A Member of the Liberal Catholic Movement
Universal Catholic Church

Last Updated February 2, 2014.

History [Continued]


The Good Energies Spread


The liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church was written during the final years of World War I. The grim wartime focus on trying to stay alive was replaced by an explosion in spiritual growth. The young church with its new liturgy spread quickly: to New Zealand, Holland, the United States, and Canada.


In 1917, a church council formally adopted the new liturgy. It also changed the name of the church. The group would no longer by called the Old Catholic Church. The new name was the Liberal Catholic Church, or Ecclesia Catholica Libera in Latin. In 2007, the Universal Catholic Church became an independent entity within the Liberal Catholic Movement.


One of the new American priests began work on what would become a valuable reference book for Liberal Catholic Movement clergy. Published in 1934, Irving Cooper's work, The Book of Ceremonies of the Liberal Catholic Rite, affectionately known as "The Blue Book" (even though it was originally distributed in a black binder and is now published in a variety of colors) added practical technique to the lofty words of the new liturgy. Cooper's book is every bit as important to Liberal Catholic priests as Adrian Fortescue's The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described was to priests of the Roman Rite before Vatican II.


The original work, as well as a Revised version reflecting the opening of clergy to women amoung other changes, is available through the St. Alban Press Supplies page.

But there's more to the story, for conflicts arose. See the next page.