Dominique M. Varlet (1678-1742) is a great figure in the Independent (Old) Catholic Movement. A composer of commentaries on Scripture, theology, and ecclesiastical abuses he has been a symbol of Christian freedom and church autonomy. He was a parish and missionary priest, bishop, theologian, and church reformer. He is at the origin of the Old Catholic Church and the originator of its episcopate. Bishop Varlet advocated the purification of the Catholic Church and its return to a more authentic Christianity. His theology challenges the authority of the papacy by holding that the Bible is the source of religious authority and that it is the baptized Christians sanctified by the Holy Spirit who give the Church its infallibility. He taught that Christ is personally present through the election of grace. Salvation is experienced by faith in Him, a faith mediated by the whole Church, not exclusively by the clerical establishment or the living magisterium. For Bishop Varlet, justification is relational as well as ontological. The relationship between the believers and the divine Trinity is understood as the growth of Christ-like love in fidelity to the Truth given once for all. These ideas have helped to shape the Old Catholic doctrine.
Serge A. Theriault, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1933993960, ISBN 13: 9781933993966