Polish Catholic Church in Poland
(Kościół Polskokatolicki w RP)
The Polish Catholic Church in Poland came into being through a missionary campaign launched in Poland after the First World War by the Polish National Catholic Church in the USA. The latter originated in North America as a protest by American Poles who felt abandoned and exposed to Anglo-Saxon Catholicism under Irish bishops and priests. Polish members of the Roman Catholic Church demanded from their English-speaking bishops the right to participate in administrative matters and in the election of priests, and more worship services in the Polish language. This led to a schism, and a separate Polish Catholic community was organized. A Polish liturgy and communion with both elements were introduced; clerical celibacy was abolished. Bishops and priests were consecrated by the Old-Catholic Church of the Netherlands in Utrecht. After the title of the head of the church, Hodur, members of the PCCP were often named Hodurowy (Hodur people).
The PCCP has maintained its close links with European Old-Catholicism. It is a member of the Union of Utrecht of the Old-Catholic Churches. It is also united in faith and practice with the Polish National Catholic Church in the USA and Canada. Since 1998 the church is engaged in an official dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church.
The PCCP is organized in three dioceses: Warsaw, Wrozlaw and Krakow. A considerable number of the members live in the Lublin area. The highest authority is the general synod composed of clergy and laity, which meets every five years. The synod council is the executive body in between meetings of the synod. Priests are trained at the Christian Theological Academy in Warsaw. Following the political changes in Poland in the 1990s the church has adopted new regulations for its relationships with the state and with the Roman Catholic Church in Poland.