Utrecht has never been fond of its bald-headed stepchild church in America.To recap the history: Father Renee Vilatte went to Switzerland to be ordained a deacon and priest by Bishop Herzog of the Swiss Christian Catholic Church. All accounts say that Bishop Herzog was not a particularly pleasant man and the relationship didn't last long. Renee then completely alienated his Episcopalian host Bishop Grafton and Bishop Herzog by being consecrated by Archbishop Alvarez of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
Little is mentioned of our second Utrecht transplant--Bishop Anthony Kozlowski. He was consecrated in 1897 by Herzog, Gul, and Weber in Bern. He continued pretty successfully until his death in 1907. At this point his remaining parishes were mostly incorporated into the PNCC.
Then there is Bishop Hodur who was consecrated in 1907 by Gul, et al. in Utrecht. This relationship lasted until 2003 when the relationship between the two became unstable. Utrecht began ordaining women and non-celibate gay clergy which angered the PNCC. The PNCC had begun a gradual shift towards conservatism with its subsequent leadership and with an influx of married former Roman Catholic priests. This is in spite of the progressive tradition of Bishop Hodur who declared the Word of God a sacrament, preached universalism, and wrote his own liturgy. The PNCC had, for years, been participating in ECUSA consecrations until the ordination of women.
Arnold Harris Mathew was, of course, consecrated in 1908 by Gul, etc. in Utrecht and he sent Rudolph de Landes-Berghes over to America. Rudolph found success with ECUSA high society and even participated in the consecration of the Bishop of Cuba, Hiram Hulse, in 1915. This relationship was to be short lived, however. Anyone who had anything to do with Mathew has been almost anathema for years with the Old Catholics. A Swiss Old Catholic priest, Christoph Schuler, even wrote his dissertation for a Master of Theology degree on "The Mathew Affair" in 1994. In the publication he lists multiple reasons that, according to Old Catholics, made Mathew's lineage invalid.
Fast forward to the 1980's, when Father Donald Currie was sent by the Council of Independent Catholic Bishops to visit Utrecht. He was even successful in meeting with Archbishop Glazemaker and forming a friendship with him. However, Father Currie was killed in 1990 and the Council of Independent Catholic Bishops (made up of primarily Old Roman Catholic prelates) would not ascent to women and openly-gay priests. The purpose of these meetings was more fraternal than intentionally unifying.
In 2005, the Old Catholic Church of British Columbia became an "affiliate partner" with the Union of Utrecht per their translation of a Dutch publication. The Google translator uses the words "aspiring member of the Union." Regardless of the extent of their relationship, it was short lived. The Old Catholic Church of British Columbia now says: "Later he was invited to attend as a member the International Old Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Wislikofen, Switzerland, from 4-8 February 2007, accompanied by Fr. Claude Lacroix, as our representative of Québec. Due to difference of opinion at that conference, we are no longer part of the said Union."
In 2006, the Conference of North American Old Catholic Bishops got together with Bishop Mike Klusmeyer of ECUSA. Joining them were Old Catholic priests Dr. Esser and Fr. Marcussen (serving in ECUSA). Present were Bishops Peter Paul Brennan, Chuck Leigh, Robert Fuentes, and Peter Hickman. Since that time, Fuentes has formed The Old Catholic Church, Province of the United States with several other bishops. Hickman continues to lead the Ecumenical Catholic Communion and Leigh continues to lead the Apostolic Catholic Church. Brennan continues to minister for Married Priests and the Order of Corporate Reunion. No new news has been reported.
There have been, at various times, European Old Catholic ordained or currently affiliated priests that have visited American Old Catholic communities. But their presence is always an unofficial one of testing out the waters. This leaves the age old question "How do you solve a problem like American Old Catholics...?" (For those not familiar with the play on words, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1HwVmY28Pk)