Welcome to St Willibrord’s!

Fast facts

If you are interested in the work of St Willibrord’s or the Nordic Catholic Church, please feel free to contact us:

The Rev’d Dr Frederik Irenaeus Herzberg
PO Box 10 28 04
D-40019 Düsseldorf
Telephone: +49 (0)211 98708499

Historical sketch of the Nordic Catholic Church and St Willibrord’s

  • The Nordic Catholic Church was founded in 1999 in Norway by clergy and laity of the Lutheran Norwegian state church that objected, for theological reasons, to the ordination of women to the presbyterate and episcopate.
  • At its inception, the Nordic Catholic Church was formed as an extraterritorial diocese of the Polish National Catholic Church of North America, which belonged to the Union of Utrecht of Old Catholic Churches for more than 96 years (from 1907 to 2003) and indeed was its largest member church. In this capacity, it remained in full communion with all provinces of the Anglican Communion that had not purported to ordain women to the priesthood.
  • The Polish National Catholic Church and thus also the Nordic Catholic Church did not recognize, for theological reasons, the female priests which several of the other member churches of the Union of Utrecht had unilaterally begun to ordain. Since the revised Statutes of the Union of Utrecht did not allow for this situation of impaired communion to continue, the Polish National Catholic Church and the Nordic Catholic Church had to amicably separate from the Union of Utrecht.
  • In 2011, the Nordic Catholic Church became autonomous through the election and consecration of a Norwegian bishop, the Most Rev’d Dr Roald Nikolai Flemestad. In the same year, the Polish National Catholic Church and the Nordic Catholic Church founded the Union of Scranton as an orthodox alternative to the Union of Utrecht. The Union of Scranton is open to other catholic churches and is in dialogue, for instance, with several jurisdictions of Anglican tradition concerning potential membership.
  • The Nordic Catholic Church is theologically Orthodox: The Union of Scranton professes the faith of the Undivided Church as summarized in the Orthodox-Old Catholic Agreed Statements (The Road to Unity, 1987), which have  become the foundational theological document of the Nordic Catholic Church.
  • Like the Orthodox Churches, both the Polish National Catholic Church and the Nordic Catholic Church have been in limited intercommunion with the Roman Catholic Church since 2006 (can. 844 CIC). In particular, the validity of the holy orders of the Polish National Catholic Church and the Nordic Catholic Church is recognized by the Roman Catholic Church.
  • The liturgical practice of the Nordic Catholic Church is based on the tradition of the (early) Western Church.
  • As of 2018, the Nordic Catholic Church has parishes and missions in France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
  • One of the latest Nordic Catholic missions is St Willibrord’s in North-Rhine Westphalia, which offers liturgical services and catechetical-evangelistic events in Düsseldorf, Warstein and other cities (all in German at present).
  • St Willibrord’s is named for the English saint (658-739 AD) that brought the Good News of Christ to the Netherlands and Northwestern Germany.