An Old Western Rite Catholic Orthodox Jurisdiction

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::: OUR CATECHISM :::

 

Our Catechism
Our Statement and Confession of Faith


Gen.Art. I  General Articles

Gen.Art. II  We Hereby Make This Statement and Confessions of Our Faith And Practice which includes both General and Organic Articles below:

Gen.Art. III  We are an independent Old Catholic Orthodox Church governed in accordance with the Principles and Faith of the Ancient Church as established prior to the Great Schism of 1054. Our Confession of Faith is all inclusive and based not only on the Ancient Church Faith, but on The Munich Statement of 1871, Declaration of Utrecht of 1889, and the Statement of Faith of Archbishop Matthew of 1911. We are a Catholic Church that practices all seven sacraments.

Gen.Art. IV  We believe Sacred Scripture as interpreted by the Church, together with the Seven Undisputed General Councils of the Whole Church, together with doctrines believed by the Church as a whole prior to the Great Schism of 1054, as defining the belief of the Whole Church. Every person wishing to become a member of this Church must affirm this Faith as contained in the articles below.

Gen.Art. V  We affirm the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as interpreted by the Church, as containing everything that is necessary for salvation, and as being the rule and ultimate statement of the Faith of the Church.

Gen.Art. VI  We accept the Canon of Scripture as handed down from of Old.

Gen.Art. VII  We affirm the Nicene Creed as the principal creed of the Faith of the Church. We also recognize the Western Baptismal Creed, commonly called the "Apostles Creed," and the hymn commonly called the "Athanasian Creed" as representing statements of the Nicene Faith.

Gen.Art. VIII  We believe that the Nicene Creed is a literal statement of the belief of the Church and is not subject to interpretation which dismisses as merely allegorical or merely mythological any portion thereof.

Gen.Art. XIX  We affirm the Seven Sacraments Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Holy Order, Holy Matrimony, Penance and Holy Unction administered with the unfailing use of the traditional outward and visible signs, and the form, matter, ministers and intention received of old.

Gen.Art. X  We affirm the Historic three-fold ministry of Bishops, priests and deacons, and the traditional rights and powers thereof, locally adapted in the methods of its administration according to the needs of the nations in which the Church resides, but historic in form, matter, ministers and intention.

Gen.Art. XI  We affirm that, in accordance with Sacred Love and Tender Mercies of God, the love of and compassion of Jesus Christ, and by the Holy Scriptures, males and females may be ordained to the Diaconate, Priesthood, or Episcopate.

Gen.Art. XII  We affirm the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist when the Eucharist is performed by a validly ordained Priest of the Holy Catholic Church, with the elements ordained by Christ, and a valid Canon of the Mass including Christís Words of Institution and the Epiklesis.

Gen.Art. XIII  We affirm that those who receive the Sacraments unworthily do so to their detriment, but do so without effecting the nature or efficacy of the Sacrament itself.

Gen.Art. XIV  We affirm that the unworthiness of a minister of a Sacrament does not invalidate the Sacrament, but, rather, that a Sacrament performed with the proper matter and form, and with the intention of the Church to make such action a Sacrament, remains valid, whether or not the minister is worthy to administer that Sacrament.

Gen.Art. XV  We affirm that marriage, conducted as a Sacrament, with the full understanding and intention of both parties to make a marriage, is indissoluble except by death. However, we believe that the Church may annul "marriages" which have taken place without full understanding and intention of the parties involved, and counsel that error be made on the side of compassion for those seeking to make marriages after divorce.

Gen.Art. XVI  We affirm an openness to all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including the so-called "Charismata," but finding it unscriptural to require that anyone exercise any particular Charism to be considered a full, believing member of this body. (I Corinthians 12:21) Those who exercise the Charismata are welcome and encouraged to exercise their gifts to the edification of the Church in an orderly, Biblical manner, subject to the godly discipline of the Pastor of the Parish to which they have allegiance.

Gen.Art. XVII  We believe in an intermediate state wherein all persons, after death and individual (particular) judgment, will have an opportunity to repent their sins, acknowledge Jesus as the only Way, Truth and Life, and grow "from strength to strength." We deny that this intermediate state is a place of torture and fear, but affirm that any pains endured in this state are gladly embraced, as they are the pains of releasing our earthly bondage and conforming to the Will of God in all things.

Gen.Art. XVIII  We believe that there is a possibility that some will reject grace, no matter how often it is offered, and these people freely choose to remain in a state of separation from God. This state of spirit we call "Hell." It is a freely chosen state of the damned to be damned. It is not the will of the Father that any be lost.

Gen.Art. XIX  We believe that humans are truly endowed with free-will and can freely choose Life in Christ Jesus or death through the rejection of grace.

Gen.Art. XX  We believe that the Holy Scriptures are correct on all matters of faith and morals.

Gen.Art. XXI  We believe that people are justified by faith, which is demonstrated in good works and obedient practice. Both faith and works are necessary to the living of a Christian life.

Gen.Art. XXII  We believe that there is a "cloud of witnesses," the Saints, whom we may ask in, on and through the Name of Jesus to God, to pray for us as one would ask any other member of the Church to pray for us in the Name of Jesus Christ. It is an idolatrous practice, however, to ask Saints to give us any material or physical blessing of their own. For, while the prayer of the righteous is very effective (James 5:16), yet every good thing comes from the Father (James 1:17).

Gen.Art. XXIII  We believe that the "Sacrifice of the Mass" is a "making present" of Jesusí One Sacrifice, once offered, forever. Jesusí Sacrifice is made present on the altar, and, as such, the Mass may be spoken of as a Sacrifice. Therefore, it is appropriate that Masses be offered for the living and the dead, making present to the Church now the One Sacrifice once offered, and making very present the benefits of Christís Holy Sacrifice to the benefit of those present at the offering.

Gen.Art. XXIV  We believe that Mary, mother of Jesus, was truly the Theotokos, or bearer of the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity. When Mary is called "Mother of God" we truly honor her who gave everything of herself to secure our Salvation. However, the Theotokos is called "Mother of God" in the sense that she bore Jesus, who was and is the Incarnation of the Son, not in the sense that she generated, in any way, the Godhead.

Gen.Art. XXV  We believe that the prayers of the Blessed Virgin are effective because of her great and unique faith, and because she has a relationship which is unique with God from having been the bearer of the Son. The relationship, which exists between Jesus and His mother, is the same relationship Jesus wants to have with all believers. Mary is unique because of her great faith, and it is this which gives special power to her prayers, and her maternal relationship with the Lord.

Gen.Art. XXVI  We believe that all Bishops who have valid orders and remain in the Orthodox Catholic faith that existed prior to the Great Schism of 1054 and in accordance with the line of succession of both the Roman and Eastern Rites after the Great Schism of 1054, are successors of the Apostles, and, while we accord to the Bishop of Rome great respect, and primacy of position, we see him as first among equals, and though we are in the same beliefs with Rome on all Ecumenical matters and Sacraments, we, however, completely reject the Papal Claims of Universal Jurisdiction and Infallibility.

Gen.Art. XXVII  We believe that whatsoever is not repugnant to the Catholic Faith, but which aids in belief and devotion, may be believed as pious opinion, but may not be taught as doctrine of the Church.

Gen.Art. XXVIII  We affirm that the Eucharist is the principal service of the Church; that its celebration is commanded by the Lord, and that it shall be the regularly celebrated during Sunday Worship and during weekly Mass, whenever possible.

Gen.Art. XXIX  We believe that the Way of Salvation. Eternal Salvation is promised to mankind only through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ, and upon condition of obedience to the teaching of the Gospel, which requires Faith, Hope and Charity, and the due observance of the ordinances of the Orthodox and Catholic Religion.

Gen.Art. XXX  We Believe in Faith, Hope and Charity. Faith is a virtue infused by God, whereby one accepts, and believes without doubting, whatever God has revealed in the Church concerning true Religion. Hope is a virtue infused by God, and following upon Faith; by it one puts their entire trust and confidence in the goodness and mercy of God, through Jesus Christ, and looks for the fulfillment of the Divine promises made to those who obey the Gospel. Charity is a virtue infused by God, and likewise consequent upon Faith, whereby one, loving God above all things for His own sake, and their neighbor as oneself for God's sake, yields up one will to a joyful obedience to the revealed will of God in the Church.

Gen.Art. XXXI  We believe in The Holy, Apostolic, Old Catholic Orthodox Church. God has established the Holy Catholic Church upon earth to be the pillar and ground of the revealed Truth; and has committed to her the guardianship of the Holy Scriptures and of Holy Tradition, and the power of binding and loosing.

Gen.Art. XXXII  We believe in the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church has set forth the principal Doctrines of the Christian Faith in twelve articles of the Creed, as follows:

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all Ages, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten not made, of one substance with the he Father, by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was Incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made Man; And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, He suffered and was buried; And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; And ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; And He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end; And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets; And in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church; I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins; And I look for the Resurrection of the dead; And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

This sacred Creed is sufficient for the establishment of the Truth, inasmuch as it explicitly teaches the perfect Doctrine of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Gen.Art. XXXIII  We believe in the Holy Sacraments. The fundamental ordinances of the Gospel, instituted by Jesus Christ as special means of conveying Divine Grace and influence to the souls of men, which are commonly called Mysteries or Sacraments, are Seven in number, namely Baptism, Confirmation, the Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Matrimony, Penance, and Unction.

Gen.Art. XXXIV  We believe in the Holy Baptism. The Holy Baptism is the first Sacrament of the Gospel, administered by threefold immersion in, or affusion with, water with the words, "I baptize thee (you) in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." It admits the recipient into the Church, bestows upon them the forgiveness of sins, original and actual, through the Blood of Christ, and causes in them a spiritual change called Regeneration. Without valid Baptism no other Sacrament can be validly received.

Gen.Art. XXXV  We believe in the Holy Confirmation or Chrismation. This is a Sacrament in which the baptized person, on being anointed with Chrism consecrated by the Bishops of the Church, with the imposition of hands, receive the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit to strengthen them in the grace which they received at Baptism, making them a strong and perfect Christian and a good soldier of Christ.

Gen.Art. XXXVI  We believe in the Holy Eucharist. This is a Sacrament in which, under the appearance of Bread and Wine, the real and actual Body and Blood of Christ are given and received for the remission of sins, the increase of Divine grace, and the reward of everlasting Life. After the prayer of Invocation of the Holy Spirit in the Liturgy, the bread and wine are entirely converted into the Living Body and Blood of Christ by an actual change of being to which change the philosophical terms of Transubstantiation and Transmutation are rightly applied. The celebration of this Mystery or Sacrament, commonly called the Mass, constitutes the chief act of Christian worship, being a sacrificial Memorial or re-Presentation of our Lord's death. It is not a repetition of the Sacrifice offered once for all upon Calvary, but is a perpetuation of that Sacrifice by the Church on earth, as our Lord also perpetually offers it in heaven. It is a true and propitiatory Sacrifice, which is offered alike for the living and for the departed.

Gen.Art. XXXVII  We believe in the Holy Orders. These Orders are a Sacrament in which the Holy Spirit, through the laying-on of hands of Bishops, consecrates and ordains the pastors and ministers chosen to serve in the Church, and imparts to them special grace to administer the Sacraments, to forgive sins, and to feed the flock of Christ.

Gen.Art. XXXVIII  Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament in which the voluntary union of husband and wife is sanctified to become an image of the union between Christ and His Church; and grace is imparted to them to fulfill the duties of their estate and its great responsibilities, both to each other and to their children.

Gen.Art. XXXIX  We believe in the Holy Penance. This Penance is a Sacrament in which the Holy Spirit bestows the forgiveness of sins, by the ministry of the priest, upon those who, having sinned after Baptism, confess their sins with true repentance, and grace is given to amend their lives thereafter.

Gen.Art. XXXX  We believe in the Holy Unction. The Unctions is a Sacrament in which the priests of the Church anoint the sick with oil, for the healing of the infirmities of their souls, and if it should please God, those of their bodies also.

Gen.Art. XXXXI  We belive in the efficacy of the Sacraments. The efficacy of the Scaraments depends upon the promise and appointment of God; nevertheless, they benefit only those who receive them worthily with faith, and with due preparation and disposition of mind.

Gen.Art. XXXXII  We believe in the Holy Scripture. The Scriptures are writings inspired by God, and given to the Church for her instruction and edification. The Church is therefore the custodian and the only Divinely appointed interpreter of Holy Scripture.

Gen.Art. XXXXIII  We believe in the old Catholic Orthodox Church Tradition. The Apostolic and Ecclesiastical Traditions received from the seven General Councils and the early Fathers of the Church may not be rejected; but are to be received and obeyed as being both agreeable to Holy Scripture and to that Authority with which Christ endowed His Church. Matters of discipline and ceremonial do not rank on the same level with matters of Faith and Morals, but may be altered from time to time and from place to place by the Authority of the Church according as the welfare and greater devotion of the faithful may be furthered thereby.

Gen.Art. XXXXIV  We believe in the The Communion of the Saints. There is a Communion of Saints in the Providence of God, wherein the souls of the righteous men of all ages are united with Christ in the bond of faith and love. Wherefore it is pleasing to God, and profitable to men, to honor the Saints and to invoke them in prayer; and also to pray for the faithful departed.

Gen.Art. XXXXV  We believe in Religious Symbols. The relics and representations of the Saints are worthy of honor, as are also all other religious emblems; that our minds may be encouraged to devotion and to imitation of the deeds of the just. Honor shown to such objects is purely relative, and in no way implies a confusion of the symbols with the thing signified, nor is the object or symbol placed in the same or equal realm as God. There is only One, True God and no person, item, relic or object is equal to or takes the place of our One, True God.

Gen.Art. XXXXVI  We believe in the Rites and Ceremonies of the Old Catholic Orthodox Church. It is the duty of all Christians to join in the worship of the Church, especially in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in accordance with our Lord's express command; and to conform to the ceremonies prescribed by holy Tradition for the greater dignity of that Sacrifice and for the edification of the faithful.

Gen.Art. XXXXVII  We believe in the Moral Law. All Christians are bound to observe the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament, developed with greater strictness in the New, founded upon the law of nature and charity, and defining our duty to God and to man. The laws of the Church are also to be obeyed, as proceeding from that Authority which Christ has committed to her for the instruction and salvation of His people.

Gen.Art. XXXXVIII  We believe in the Monastic Estate. The monastic life, duly regulated according to the laws of the Church, is a salutary institution in strict accord with the Holy Scriptures; and is full of profit to them who, after being carefully tried and examined, make full proof of their calling thereto.


Org.Art. I Organic Articles

Org. Art. II  We believe in the Head of the Church. The Foundation Head and Supreme Pastor and Bishop of the Church is our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, from Whom all Bishops and Pastors derive their spiritual powers and jurisdiction.

Org. Art. III  We believe in true Obedience. By the laws and institution of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel, all Christians owe obedience and submission in spiritual things to them who have rule and authority within the Church.

Org. Art. IV  We believe in Ministerial Authority. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not commit rule and authority within the Church to all the faithful indiscriminately, but only to the Apostles and to their lawful successors in due order, and God commanded order by and within His Great Creation an for a unified and structured Church organization.

Org. Art. V  We believe in Apostolic Succession. The only lawful successors of the Apostles are the Orthodox and Catholic Bishops, united by profession of the self-same Belief, participation in the same Sacraments, and mutual recognition and Intercommunion. The Bishops of the Church, being true successors of the Apostles, are by Divine Right and appointment the rulers of the Church.

Org. Art. VI  We believe in virtue of this appointment, each individual Bishop is supreme and independent in that part of the Church which has been committed to his care, so long as the Bishop remains in Faith and Communion with the united company of Catholic Bishops, who cannot exclude any from the Church, save only them who stray from the path of virtue or err in Faith.

Org. Art. VII  We believe that by virtue of this same Divine appointment, the supreme Authority over the whole Church on earth belongs to the collective Orthodox and Catholic Episcopate. They alone form the highest tribunal in spiritual matters, from whose united judgment there can be no appeal; so that it is unlawful under the Code of Canons of The Church (Canononical Law), for any single Bishop, or any smaller group of Bishops apart from them, or for any secular power or state, to usurp this authority, or for any individual Christian to substitute his own private judgment for that interpretation of Scripture or Authority which is approved by the Church, as promulgated by the Holy Scripture.

Org. Art. VIII  We believe in Church Authority. The collective body of the Orthodox and Catholic Episcopate, united by profession of the Faith, by the Sacraments, and by mutual recognition and actual Intercommunion, is the source and depository of all order, authority and jurisdiction in the Church, and is the center of visible Catholic Unity; so that no Pope, Patriarch or Bishop, or any number of Bishops separated from this united body can possess any authority or jurisdiction whatsoever, unless the body is of an independent jurisdiction with the Bishop is in a valid line of Apostolic succession. The Authority of the Church can never be in abeyance, even though a General Council cannot be assembled. It is equally to be submitted to and obeyed in whatever way it may be exercised, and although it may be exercised only through the ordinary administration of their respective jurisdictions by individual Bishops.

Org. Art. IX  We believe that the authority of this collective body is equally binding, however it may be expressed: whether by a General Council or by the regular and ordinary consultation and agreement of the Bishops themselves.

Org. Art. X  We believe that it is an act of schism to appeal from the known judgment of the Orthodox and Catholic Episcopate, however it may have been ascertained; or to appeal from any dogmatic decree of any General Council even though such appeal be to a future Council. For the Episcopate, being a continuation of the Apostolate, is clearly a Divine institution, and its authority is founded in Divine Right. But General Councils are not of Scriptural promise of Divine appointment; and so the Episcopate having clearly the Scriptural promise of Divine guidance into all Truth, cannot be hampered in the exercise of its authority by the necessity of assembling a General Council which may obviously be rendered impossible through natural circumstances.

Org. Art. XI  We believe in the Seven General Councils. There have been seven General Councils only, which are recognized by the whole of Christendom, held respective in Nicea (AD-325), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431), Chalcedon (451), Constantinople (553), Constantinople (680), and Nicea (787). At no other Councils was the entire body of the Orthodox and Catholic Episcopate representatively assembled; and the decrees and pronouncements of no others must of themselves be accepted as binding upon the conscience of the faithful.

Org. Art. XII  We believe in Church Hierarchy. All patriarchs, archbishops, and metropolitans (that is to say, all Bishops who exercise any authority over other Bishops owe that authority solely to the appointment or general consent of the Orthodox and Catholic Episcopate; nor can they ever cease from owing obedience to the collective body of the Episcopate in all matters concerning Faith and Morals.

Org. Art. XIII  We believe in the Five Patriarchates. There are five Patriarchates, which ought to be united and form the supreme authority in the administration and government of the Holy Catholic Church. These are Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, and Constantinople. Unfortunately, owing to disputes and differences on the one hand, and to the lust for power and supremacy and domination on the other, the Patriarchs are not at present in Communion; and the welfare of Christendom is jeopardized by their unedifying quarrels, which, we pray, may soon have an end.

Org. Art. XIV  The Statement of Faith contained herein is to be considered a Primary Summary of the Faith of the Old Catholic Orthodox Church, Cluj-Napoca Synod. All Clergy, Religious, and Seminarians in the Old Catholic Orthodox Church, Cluj-Napoca Synod are bound in conscience to uphold and teach the Faith as contained herein. Any future act of intercommunion with another Jurisdiction must be based on a mutual agreement with this Statement of Faith. Any other arrangement would be tantamount to heresy.

I, N., do solemnly swear to uphold and teach this Statement of Faith with utmost conviction, aided by Divine Grace, with God as my Judge.

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