Celtic Orthodox Church

The Celtic Orthodox Church (COC) is a small autocephalous church which derives from the church formerly known as the Catholic Apostolic Church (Catholicate of the West)[1] and, before that, as the Ancient British Church and the Orthodox Church of the British Isles (OCBI), which was constituted by the Syriac Orthodox Church to develop an Orthodox church in the Western (Celtic) tradition without recourse to its Oriental roots.

The Ancient British Church was canonically established with the consecration of Mar Julius (Jules Ferrette) in 1866 by Mar Boutros (Boutros ibn Salmo Mesko) who later became Patriarch Mar Ignatius Peter IV of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.

However, as an autocephalous church, the Celtic Orthodox Church is not, and never has been, subject to the Syriac Orthodox Church nor is it in any way part of the Oriental Orthodox Church. It is Western Orthodox.

The Celtic Orthodox Church is neither Monophysite nor Miaphysite in theology. Its position with regard to the Ecumenical Councils might best be described as Pro-Chalcedonian, that is to say it accepts the teaching of all seven councils, but acknowledges that only the first three were truly ecumenical. The Celtic Orthodox Church, therefore, shares the Eastern Orthodox doctrine that Christ, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, is one Person with two Natures as defined at the Council of Chalcedon.

Since 25 December 2007, the Celtic Orthodox Church has been united with the French Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of the Gauls, forming the Communion of Western Orthodox Churches (CWOC). There are other groups who use the words 'Celtic' and 'Orthodox' in their titles. These are not the subject of this article.