top of page
Bishop Goes to Mass

Welcome to

The Gnostic Catholic Union 

We are a world church and communion of churches in the tradition of the Independent Gnostic Catholic faiths and are guided by "A Gnostic Catechism" Prepared by The Most Reverend Stephan A. Hoeller. 
We are welcoming and inclusive of all people.

Who we are . . .

World College of Gnostic Bishops

The Gnostic Catholic Union

The Gnostic Catholic Union is hereby constituted for the purpose of creating a unified presence for the Gnostic Apostolic jurisdictions in the United States of America and Canada, providing a network of communication amongst these groups, and providing a mechanism for the resolution of disputes in accord with the honor and dignity befitting our calling.

The Gnostic Catholic Union is an Independent Sacramental assembly of Liberal and Gnostic Catholic communities and individuals.  The Union exists to for the purpose of upholding the Gnostic tradition and to encourage and forward the work of the Christ and the Holy Sophia in the world.

As an international, independent, autonomous, and non-political organization, the GCU is in no way dependent upon any other authority outside its own administration.  We are neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant—but Catholic. 

Catholic means universal, but the word has also come to stand for the traditions and practices of the historical Church as distinct from that of later sects.  The Gnostic Catholic Union allies itself with many elements of this historical tradition, while also maintaining the right of innovation and adaptation guided by gnosis.

​Gnosis means knowledge, not simply intellectual knowledge, but a deep, spiritual knowledge.  Our Apostolic Lineages trace back through many paths most notably to the Old Catholic Church, the Liberal Catholic Church, and the French Gnostic Church.

Gnostic Catholic Theology

Gnostic Theology differs greatly from that of Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy.  Gnosticism refers to a number of theologies originating among the Hellenistic Jewish and Christian communities, influenced by the Greek Mystery Traditions, in the 1st century.  Gnostic-Christianity, in its various forms, flourished in the 2nd century within the early Christian Church and Gnostic influences are noticeable even in today's most conventional Churches.

Although many of these Gnostic theologies differed, they shared a common theme of a trapped spiritual essence - the Spark of Sophia -within humankinds’ material existence.  This spiritual essence is the vestige of the Holy Sophia, the mother of all material creation.  The Logos, the Great Redeemer, was sent into the material realm by the True God and became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ in order to aid humanity in liberating the spiritual spark through the teaching of the divine origin of mankind and the attainment of gnosis. 



Originating in the intellectual “café societies” of Alexandria around 200 BCE, the original Gnostics were Greek-educated Jews, living in Egypt, on the doorstep of the Roman Empire.  While it does seem odd to found a religion in an ancient Egyptian Starbucks with a group of Jews debating Greek philosophy, this is precisely where our story begins: with artists and initiates inhaling the erotic perfume of dangerous ideas.

Since the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library of Coptic Gnostic scriptures, the largest collection of Gnostic writings ever discovered in 1945 and its subsequent translation and publication in 1977 a considerable number of organizations bearing the name "Gnostic" have emerged.  Gnosticism now stands revealed as a fascinating and creative early variant of Christianity that possesses many features of contemporary relevance. 

While there are a number of established Gnostic churches with robed priests and deacons with apostolic succession that is the exception.  We have not reached the point where we can move to a new town and find the local Gnostic church listed in the church directory of the local newspaper.  While Gnosticism can express itself through a tradition of incense and candles and sacraments, most practicing Gnostics are solitary practitioners or leading small study groups or home churches in living rooms, restaurant meeting rooms or even storefronts.  This is a valued and time-honored tradition, too.

"Salvation to the Gnostic means not reconciliation with an angry God by way of the death of his son, but rather liberation from the stupor induced by earthly existence and an awakening by way of gnosis.”

Bishop Stephan A. Hoeller

bottom of page