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Marriage is celebrated through a rite performed usually within the Mass with great solemnity, and signifies an eternal, sacramental union between a man and a woman. TOCC theology of marriage insists on its sacramental eternity rather than its legal indissolubility. Thus, second marriages, in certain cases, are celebrated through a more subdued and penitential rite. In all cases of second marriage, there is a specific recognition of, and lamentation for, the ending of the first marriage.

The Order of the Second or Third Marriage is somewhat different than that celebrated as a first marriage and it bears a penitential character. Second or third marriages are performed by economy, that is, out of concern for the spiritual wellbeing of the parties involved and as an exception to the rule rather than the norm. Divorced and re-married men may still be considered for Holy Orders at the discretion of the Sacred College of Bishops.

However, the already-married may voluntarily choose to practice continence after Ordination. In his Priesthood, the human Priest embodies no other Priesthood than the Priesthood of Christ Himself; he executes Christ's invisible Priesthood in a visible manner, being completely and fully dependent on the High Priest, whose instrument and surrogate he is.

Independent Catholicism

It does not understand Ordination to the Priesthood as a matter of justice, equality, political correctness, or human rights. The clergy do not stand above the People of God, rather, they stand in their midst, just as Christ stands in the midst of His People. Submitted by Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew. 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.

Faith, Hope and Charity. Faith is a virtue infused by God, whereby man 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 man puts his 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.

Mariavite Church

Charity is a virtue infused by God, and likewise consequent upon Faith, whereby man, loving God above all things for His own sake, and his neighbor as himself for God's sake, yields up his will to a joyful obedience to the revealed will of God in the 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.

The Catholic Church has set forth the principle doctrines of the Christian Faith in 12 articles of the Creed, as follows: Through Him all things were made. For us and for our salvation He came down from heaven, by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered died and was buried. On the third day He rose again in the fulfillment of scriptures, He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His Kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father, who together with the Father and the Son the Spirit is worshipped and glorified, and has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one Holy Catholic and Apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins, I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

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 Ghost. The fundamental ordinances of the Gospel, instituted by Jesus Christ as a 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 Chrismation , the Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Matrimony, Penance, and Unction.

Baptism is the first Sacrament of the Gospel, administered by three-fold immersion in or affusion with water, with the words, "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Without valid Baptism no other Sacrament can be validly received. Confirmation, or Chrismation, is a Sacrament in which the baptized person, on being anointed with Sacred Chrism consecrated by the Bishops of the Church, with the imposition of hands, receives the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Ghost to strengthen him in the grace which he received at Baptism, making him a strong and perfect Christian and a good soldier of Christ.

Beliefs | The Old Catholic Church

The Holy Eucharist is a Sacrament in which, under the appearances 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 Ghost 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 the philosophical terms of Transubstantiation and Transmutation are rightly applied.


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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 dead.

Holy Orders is a Sacrament in which the Holy Ghost, through the laying-on of hands of the Bishops, consecrates and ordains the pastors and ministers of the Church, and imparts to them special grace to administer the Sacraments, to forgive sins, and to feed the flock of Christ.

Matrimony is a Sacrament in which the voluntary union of husband and wife is sanctified to become an image of the union of 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. Penance is a Sacrament in which the Holy Ghost 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.

Unction 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. The efficacy of the Sacraments depends upon the promise and appointment of God; howbeit they benefit only those who receive them worthily with faith, and with due preparation and disposition of mind.

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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. 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.


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  • Matters of discipline and ceremonial do not rank on the same level with matters of Faith or 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. The Communion of Saints. There is a Communion of Saints in the Providence of God, wherein the souls of the righteous of all ages are united with Christ in the bond of faith and love.

    Wherefore it is pleasing to God, and profitable to humanity, to honour the Saints and to invoke them in prayer; and also to pray for the faithful departed. In , Duarte Costa founded the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church , and he shared valid lines of apostolic succession with several bishops and priests within the independent Catholic movement. He is now revered as "St. Charles of Brazil" in the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church , which had grown to , members by In , Pop star Sinead O'Connor b. As such, he enjoyed valid lines of apostolic succession from the Catholic Church , and, after departing from the Catholic Church in over the issues of faith healing and clerical celibacy , he formed Married Priests Now!

    Since , Milingo has performed at least four other consecrations. In , Milingo , who still considers himself a Catholic, retired from active ministry in the Ecumenical Catholic Apostolic Church of Peace. Upon encountering independent Catholicism for the first time, the questions of many individuals "are often historical: Did you invent this?

    And yet is it so new? Is it not perhaps the very way that St. Paul set about spreading the Gospel and building the Church? Many independent Catholic communities look to the past, seeking to create communities according to models provided by the New Testament e. Many also find benchmarks for their current work in the annals of Christian history e.

    Virtually all members of the independent Catholic movement possess "a deep commitment to the catholic in the broadest possible sense sacramental tradition" [17] and worship according to a prescribed liturgy , usually derived from a mainstream Christian rite like the Roman rite. Plummer suggests that "the most critical factor for independent sacramental identity is the single-minded focus on sacramental activity Like the liturgies of early Christian community, the liturgies of independent Catholic communities often vary widely, with each cleric or community making "its own choices of emphasis in terms of doctrine, liturgy, and other matters.

    For the most part, independent Catholic communities possess a sacramental and eucharistic spirituality, often mirroring the sacramental life and theology of the Catholic Church. Most possess a mediatory priesthood and an historic episcopate [19] , which are often the only constants amid diversity that ranges from extreme traditionalism to radical experimentation.

    On the right traditionalist churches practice versions of Catholicism more conservative than Rome. These include the Society of St. Michael 's community in Spokane, Washington , and actor Mel Gibson 's church in Malibu, California , which made headlines when he directed the movie, The Passion of the Christ in While the western Church and its theology have remained constant, despite changing clergy, independent Catholicism often possesses another model in which "the priesthood remains constant, while the church it serves and the theology it teaches are often in a state of flux.

    While some western Christians may see this state of affairs as a distortion, it is nonetheless the centerpiece of the independent sacramental inheritance from the west. In many such churches, most or all of the members are ordained, with ordination functioning more like [the sacrament of confirmation ], rather than a professional credential.

    For better or worse, there is great freedom to create new church structures, new forms for the sacraments, and new theologies, or at least a new synthesis of inherited elements.

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    Many independent Catholic communities are small, are led by an unpaid clergy, and lack a stable schedule or location. While many Independent Catholic clergy and communities affirm the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed , with or without the filioque and with varying interpretations, they espouse a variety of doctrines and beliefs, ranging from neo-gnostic and theosophical beliefs allowing for "freedom in the interpretation of scriptures, creeds, and liturgies," [26] or the belief in no creed at all, [27] to extremely traditional orthodox Catholic positions.

    Within the movement of independent Catholicism, views vary widely on such issues as the ordination of women , homosexuality , divorce , issues of conscience, and other issues that are also controversial in other mainstream Catholic and Christian churches.

    Drawing from the ecumenical Christian tradition and other religious traditions , a growing number of independent Catholic clergy and communities espouse a certain universalism , believing that God's loving embrace and forgiveness might be extended to all. Plummer suggests the following categories for independent Catholic communities: Hundreds of websites are devoted to independent Catholic jurisdictions and communities, many of which have little evident presence or ministry outside the internet.

    Additionally, many independent Catholic clergy have no web presence at all. Independent Catholic clergy do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church. Rather, the bishops of the independent Catholic movement are autocephalous or self-governing. At present, there is no single unifying structure for the many clergy and laity who make up independent Catholicism, and no reliable, centralized record-keeping.

    The notion of apostolic succession i. The traditional Catholic position holds that a validly consecrated bishop shares apostolic succession with the bishops he consecrates and the priests and deacons he ordains regardless of any heresy or schism he may have committed. Independent Catholic clergy reject this view, arguing that bishops are consecrated and priests and deacons ordained for the service of others, whether of a defined community or jurisdiction, or of a more broadly defined group.

    Independent Catholics tend to share the view that, "whatever else we may disagree about, we all believe earnestly in apostolic succession! Many in the independent Catholic movement who claim to possess valid lines of apostolic succession received them from lines derived from Catholic Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa , Catholic Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo Dihn Thuc or Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo , who are seen within the movement as having validly, even if illicitly, consecrated and ordained individuals outside the Catholic Church.

    While making no explicit statement about the validity or invalidity of consecrations and ordinations carried out in the independent Catholic movement, the Catholic Church declares that it does not recognize them and will not recognize them, and that it considers those who have received them as remaining, for all juridical effects, in their previous state of laity or presbyters.

    Because the claim of apostolic succession has traditionally been viewed as a primary determinant of the validity of the Church's sacraments, some independent Catholic clergy, particularly in the early days of the movement, underwent more than one ordination or consecration, to ensure the possession of valid lines of apostolic succession. According to liturgical theology, these lines of apostolic succession are shared by bishops with the persons consecrated or ordained by them, and, due to the indelible nature of the sacrament of Holy Orders , once ordained or consecrated, a person can never be ordained or consecrated again nor can the orders be taken away.

    Subsequent ordinations and consecrations are considered "conditional" and are without effect unless the recipient has previously received no valid ordination or consecration. These conditional consecrations and ordinations complicate conversations on the historical origins of the independent Catholic movement and its communities. Such consecrations, in which literally dozens of 'lineages' can be transmitted from one bishop to another, only increase the difficulty of accurately describing the ancestry of any given group.

    Independent Catholicism comprises a wide variety of clergy, many of whom are "primarily ritually focused" [39] and possess "a particularly strong attachment to the liturgical aspect of being Christian. Many independent Catholic clergy and their communities are "those who have felt themselves excluded from the mainstream liturgical churches due to gender, sexuality, race, culture, style of worship Thus, those who want to become priests can generally do so. In the case of women and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons, there is a redemptive reversal in which those who were denied a public role in the church's sacramental life have assumed the previously forbidden place at the altar.

    Persons from ethnic or cultural minority groups who have been denied leadership positions, or who feel that their culture has been stifled, can work to more fully integrate their cultural identity and their faith Thus, we have those who have been excluded from the church's sacramental life, for whatever reasons, taking ownership of the liturgical traditions, and creatively innovating to form new communities.

    Paul's vision of an inclusive community [42] and with Jesus ' reconciliation of all on the cross, with the subsequent rending of the Temple veil, [43] thus granting access by all to the Holy of Holies. As a result, an increasing number of independent Catholics find it difficult to justify how a church following in the footsteps of Jesus might justify withholding the sacrament of Holy Orders from women and sexual minorities, and the sacrament of Marriage from same-sex spouses.

    Outside of mainstream churches, Plummer says, such clergy "have often been accused of 'playing church. Independent Catholic clergy have been described as "often very attached to their individual views of theology, liturgy, and other matters Most spent many years within those mainstream jurisdictions Many independent Catholic clergy are "essentially alone in their priestly practice" [46] and exercise a primarily solitary vocation, with many of their family members and friends not even knowing of their clerical status.

    Private celebration is often grounded in a deep conviction of the objective reality and efficacy of the sacraments. From such a perspective, even a mass said in one's living room unknown to any other soul, is still a radiant gift to the world, and a powerful prayer for those held in mind and heart.