An Old Catholic Church located in Clarksville, Tennessee. Married Clergy allowed.
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AKA as the Old Catholic Church of America Inc.*
THE DECLARATION OF UTRECHT
A TRANSLATION OF THE
PROFESSION OF FAITH, OR DECLARATION, FORMULATED BY THE OLD CATHOLIC BISHOPS
ASSEMBLED AT UTRECHT,
1. We adhere faithfully to the Rule of Faith
laid down by St. Vincent of Lerins in these terms: "Id teneamus, quod
ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est; hoc est etenim vere
(Hold fast that faith which has been believed everywhere [universally], always, and by all.) For this reason we persevere in professing the
faith of the primitive Church, as formulated in the ecumenical synods and
specified precisely by the unanimously accepted decisions of the Ecumenical
Councils held in the undivided Church of the first thousand years.
2. We therefore reject the decrees of the
so-called Council of the Vatican, which were promulgated July 18th, 187O,
concerning the infallibility and the universal Episcopate of the Bishop of Rome,
decrees which are in contradiction with the faith of the ancient Church, and
which destroy its ancient canonical constitution by attributing to the Pope the
plenitude of ecclesiastical powers over all Dioceses and over all the faithful.
By denial of his primatial jurisdiction we do not wish to deny the historic
primacy which several Ecumenical Councils and the Fathers of the ancient Church
have attributed to the Bishop of Rome by recognizing him as the Primus inter pares
(first among equals).
3. We also reject the dogma of the Immaculate
Conception promulgated by Pius IX in 1854 in defiance of the Holy Scriptures and
in contradiction to the tradition of the first centuries.
4. As for other Encyclicals published by the
Bishops of Rome in recent times - for example, the Bulls Unigenitus and Auctorem
Fidei, and the Syllabus of 1864 - we reject them on all such points as are in
contradiction with the doctrine of the primitive Church, and we do not recognize
them as binding on the consciences of the faithful. We also renew the ancient
protests of the Catholic Church of Holland against the errors of the Roman
Curia, and against its attacks upon the rights of national Churches.
5. We refuse to accept the decrees of the
Council of Trent in matters of discipline, and as for the dogmatic decisions of
that Council we accept them only so far as they are in harmony with the teaching
of the primitive Church.
6. Considering that the Holy Eucharist has
always been the true central point of Catholic worship, we consider it our duty
to declare that we maintain with perfect fidelity the ancient Catholic doctrine
concerning the Sacrament of the Altar, by believing that we receive the Body and
the Blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ under the species of bread and wine.
The Eucharistic celebration in the Church is
neither a continual repetition nor a renewal of the expiatory sacrifice which
Jesus offered once for all upon the Cross; but it is a sacrifice because it is
the perpetual commemoration of the sacrifice offered upon the Cross, and it is
the act by which we represent upon earth and appropriate to ourselves the one
offering which Jesus Christ makes in Heaven, according to the Epistle to the
Hebrews ix. 11, 12, for the salvation of redeemed humanity, by appearing for us
in the presence of God (Heb. ix. 24). The character of the Holy Eucharist being
thus understood, it is, at the same time, a sacrificial feast, by means of which
the faithful, in receiving the Body and Blood of our Saviour, enter into
communion with one another (1 Cor. X. 17).
7. We hope that Catholic theologians, in
maintaining the faith of the undivided Church, will succeed in establishing an
agreement upon questions which have been controverted [i.e. in controversy -
Ed.] ever since the divisions which have arisen between the Churches. We exhort
the priests under our jurisdiction to teach, both by preaching and by the
instruction of the young, especially the essential Christian truths professed by
all the Christian confessions, to avoid, in discussing controverted doctrines,
any violation of truth or charity, and in word and deed to set an example to the
members of our churches in accordance with the spirit of Jesus Christ our
8. By maintaining and professing faithfully
the doctrine of Jesus Christ, by refusing to admit those errors which by the
fault of men have crept into the Catholic Church, by laying aside the abuses in
ecclesiastical matters, together with the worldly tendencies of the hierarchy,
we believe that we shall be able to combat efficaciously the great evils of our
day, which are unbelief and indifference in matters of religion.