“You are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the [Church], built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.” (Ephesians 2:19b-20)
As Anglican Catholics, we adhere to what the Bible instructs us from the beginning: Christ and His Church. What we believe and do is entirely based on the teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, kept alive by the Holy Spirit through His inspiration of Scripture and Tradition. We honor the ancient Christian maxim Lex orandi, lex credendi (“the law of praying is the law of believing”) which follows Christ’s own example that prayer and worship should shape our beliefs and faithfully reflect them. What does this mean for our Christian experience?
It means that talking about “beliefs” has as much to do with our experience of God among His People as what is written down in the Bible and doctrinal statements. So, Anglican Catholics believe:
- That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the authentic record of God’s revelation of Himself, His saving activity, and moral demands. Human writers, but the Word of God.
- That our Anglican Catholic Tradition of prayer and worship maintained in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer and the Anglican/American missals faithfully upholds the ancient Christian Faith enshrined in the 3 great Creeds—the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian—and the 7 Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church. The Anglican Catholic Church reaffirmed this in its 1977 Affirmation of St. Louis.
- That the Apostolic ministry of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons was instituted by Christ and is male in nature.
- That our worship is centered on the Holy Eucharist instituted by Christ at the Last Supper to receive the spiritual food of the most precious gift of His Body and Blood. In this Blessed Sacrament, which is the Real Objective Presence of our Lord’s Body and Blood, we truly receive His grace and are united with Him.
- That in addition to the Eucharist, there are 6 other Sacraments that are objective and effective signs which extend Christ’s redeeming activity (though not His unique Presence) in the life of Christians. These include Baptism, Confirmation, Confession, Unction, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.
- That every Christian is obliged to form his or her conscience by the Divine Moral Law and the Mind of Christ as revealed in Holy Scriptures, and by the teachings and Tradition of the Church. Such teaching is especially seen in the Sermon on the Mount (St. Matthew 5, 6, 7) and in our Lord’s Summary of the Law, which states that we must first love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and that we must love our neighbors as ourselves.