Limited visits of individual foreign Catholics in Sweden were decriminalised through the Tolerance Act, imposed in 1781 by King Gustav III of Sweden. The conversion of Swedish citizens to the Catholic Church was decriminalized in 1860. In 1951, Swedish citizens were allowed to exit from the Lutheran Church of Sweden. In 1977, the last legislative ban on Catholic convents in Sweden was abolished. Still, however, according to the Act of Succession of the Swedish throne, only Lutheran legitimate descendants brought up in Sweden are presently entitled to succeed as monarch and the thus head of state of Sweden.
Since 1953, the Catholic Church in Sweden is formally represented by the Diocese of Stockholm, covering the whole country, estimating some 106,873 registered members (2013), with unofficial estimates of about 150,000 Catholics in the country in total. Most of them have an immigrant background, while others are native Swede converts.
When the Swedish state gave "registered denominations" legal status in 2000, and the associations that had until that point organised the Catholic Church in Sweden became defunct, the church lost the right to the ordinary name. The administration of the diocese took it for granted that the name was the Catholic Church, that they had never applied to legally patent the name. Several smaller denominations, among them the Liberal Catholic Church, and the Old Catholic Church, opposed it calling itself the "Catholic Church". The solution was similar to the United Kingdom, where "Roman Catholic" has long been used to disambiguate from the high church movement of the Anglican Church that refer to themselves as "Anglo-Catholics". The church is therefore now registered under Swedish law as the "Roman Catholic Church" (Swedish: "Romersk-katolska kyrkan").