ABOUT THE APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC CHURCH
OUR MISSION STATEMENT ANSWERS THE QUESTION OF HOW WE WILL ACHIEVE THE WORK CHRIST HAS GIVEN US TO CONTINUE IN HIS NAME.
ALL CHURCHES SHOULD HAVE, AS THEIR PRIMARY MISSION STATEMENT, THE GREAT COMMISSION IN MATTHEW 28:18-20: "ALL POWER IN HEAVEN AND EARTH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME. GO, THEREFORE, AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, TEACHING THEM ALL THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU. BEHOLD, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN UNTIL THE END OF THE AGE."
BELOW IS THE STATEMENT OF FAITH AND MISSION OF THE APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC CHURCH. IT IS BY NO MEANS A COMPREHENSIVE CATECHISM. RATHER, IT EXPLAINS OUR WORK, AND OUR DESTINY.
We are a Church that espouses Anglicanism in liturgical practice but independent of any Anglican jurisdiction.
THE FAITH AND MISSION OF THE ACC
The Apostolic Catholic Church (ACC) is an ecclesial communion of lay Christians and Clergy, established in order to constitute a space of inclusion, nonjudgment, and affirmation within the Western Catholic tradition by welcoming all people, including those who have been unjustly excluded from or discriminated against by the larger historical and liturgically apostolic denominations. Our outreach includes, but is not limited to: women and married people who feel called by God to the priesthood; those who are divorced and remarried; the LGBTQ community; and those who have been denied participation in the Sacraments of the Church. In this context, our mission is twofold: first, we offer a spiritual home for people who have been forsaken. With us they are given the freedom to thrive, nourished by the sacramental grace that Christ bountifully offers to all humankind. Second, as a community we manifest a prophetic testimonial, giving proof before the whole Church of Christ and the world that traditionally marginalized people can and do walk in holiness, bearing witness to the Risen Lord.
The ACC is constituted as a non-territorial jurisdiction, with one reigning ordinary archbishop, in union with several assisting bishops. Thus, the ACC retains the authority to create parishes and missions all over the world, aimed at accomplishing our foundational mandate without creating competing ecclesiastical hierarchies.
2. Dogma and Doctrine
We subscribe to the dogmatic teachings of the first Seven Ecumenical Councils, following the example of many other ecumenical and apostolic Christian jurisdictions. We proclaim the Nicaean-Constantinopolitan Creed as foundational without the filioque clause, as well as the Apostles’ and Athanasian Creeds.
Those teachings which are part of the deposit of faith as derived from the authority of the Church Fathers and Doctors; the non-ecumenical councils and synods; historical interpretive theological expressions regarding the nature and person of Christ; and the continued piety and practice of the faithful; we regard as worthy of belief and veneration, because they are part of the collective patrimony and wisdom, hallowed by tradition and entrusted to the entire Church of Christ. However, they are not binding on the faithful as obligatory for salvation.
We explicitly reject the dogma of Papal infallibility, along with Papal primacy of jurisdiction.
The ACC will not dare, nor attempt to proclaim new dogmata, but our bishops retain their traditional authority to validly interpret dogmatic and non-dogmatic doctrines and to teach them accordingly.
In all matters of morality, the ACC acknowledges the sanctity of individual conscience. Though we explicitly reject the doctrine of moral relativism, the teaching authority of its clergy will never presume to supersede, hinder, or coerce the exercise of personal freedom.
Following the tradition of the Ancient Church, we proclaim seven Sacraments created by God as conduits of grace for the salvation of humankind: Baptism, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Marriage, and Anointing of the Sick.
a. Regarding the Sacrament of Marriage, the ACC describes this mystery as the sacramental union of two people who love each other preferentially, regardless of sex or gender-identity. Through the sanctification of the couple as a family, spouses provide a mutual witness, spiritual companionship, and material support. The union sanctified by the witness of the Church before God is expected to bear the fruits of life, including—but not limited to—the upbringing of children through biological procreation or through adoption.
b. Regarding Holy Orders, the ACC admits that God in His absolute sovereignty is free to call anyone to His ordained ministry. Therefore, no properly disposed individual who has demonstrated their fitness for the office is barred from ordination to any of the three traditional degrees of Christian priesthood (diaconate, presbyterate, and episcopate) based solely on their race, gender-identity, sexual orientation, or state of life.
4. Apostolic Succession, Validity, and Liceity of our Orders
We declare that the ACC administers the Sacraments validly through our priestly orders which come down to us from the universally hallowed tradition of uninterrupted lines going back to the Apostles of Christ.
The Roman Catholic Church has stated in both its canon law and teaching that those independent catholic jurisdictions with apostolic succession such as ours have valid sacraments, a valid priesthood, and a valid Eucharist, because all bishops retain their apostolic authority, even upon leaving the Roman Communion.
While the Roman Catholic Church states that a woman cannot receive the Holy Spirit at ordination because her body is biological female, we hold that God is impeded by no such obstacle and that the ordination of women is not a theological issue but a legal and juridical one. We therefore hold our Apostolic Succession and our sacraments as valid and regular.
The ACC upholds the traditional teaching that our ultimate salvation and entry into the Kingdom of Heaven is achieved through both faith and good works.
6. Veneration of the Saints
According to catholic tradition dating back to the first centuries of the church, the ACC practices veneration of the saints of God and holds the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, in a position of honour.
We receive and accept the saints traditionally acknowledged by the universal Church whose faithful witness has illuminated the lives of Christians in all times and places. Nevertheless, the ACC proclaims that the act of canonization itself has no bearing on the ultimate destination of a saint’s soul. It is merely meant to indicate that the deceased is with God and that God answers their prayers for the benefit of the Body of Christ on earth.
We understand the saints to be witnesses of Christ’s triumph over death, examples of Christian life, and intercessors through Christ on our behalf, as are all Christians. They connect us to our shared history and embody that holy tradition from which we inherited the gift of Christian faith.
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, is honoured above all other saints with all of her traditional entitlements. Having been proclaimed outside a truly Ecumenical Council, her Assumption into Heaven are not recognized as dogmata by the ACC. Nonetheless, these doctrines are traditional and venerable and they are incorporated into our teaching, liturgy, and piety. We strive to remain vigilant and stand firmly against superstitious abuses in the name of Mary or other saints.
7. Inter-faith Relations and Dialogue
Regarding the ACC’s relationship with other religions, we admit that the diversity of faiths is beneficial and that it constitutes a treasure of spiritual wisdom for all humankind. We believe that people can come to the knowledge of God through their own spiritual traditions; therefore, the ACC does not actively attempt to convert anyone. Nevertheless, free and uncoerced conversions are welcomed. The same principle is observed regarding those with no particular faith tradition and those who have no desire to belong to an institutional religion.
The ACC commits itself to the great endeavour of ecumenism and strives for the reintegration of Christian unity.
We celebrate the Eucharist with an “open table,” inviting all baptized Christians to take communion among us, and that they are properly disposed in conscience to take the sacrament worthily.
We acknowledge the validity of the sacraments of all liturgical jurisdictions with Apostolic Succession
While we are cognizant of our excommunication before the See of Rome, we do not reciprocate this act of anathema. We consider all ancient and venerable jurisdictions in full communion with us as expressed in our prayers of intercession.
This statement of Faith and Mission has been deemed complete and is hereby binding upon all clergy and faithful as the First Apostolic Constitution of the Church.
This statement outlines the major distinctions that embody the unique spirituality and ecclesiology of the Apostolic Catholic Church. Therefore, it is not an exhaustive list of belief, liturgy, and piety expressed in and through the Church. Because we consider ourselves in union with the unbroken apostolic traditions of the WesternCatholic Church, our history informs the practice of our beliefs in private and in the public sphere.
This statement does not provide for a complete catechesis or apologetic for those convictions expressed within the body of this document. Such commentaries have been commissioned by the Archbishop and Bishops and will follow this document to propound the statements herein.