Common Questions & Answers
Married clergy isn't
something new. St. Peter himself was married, and throughout Christian history
there have been married deacons, priests and bishops. Celibacy is not a
requirement to be a priest. Within the Eastern Orthodox Churches married
deacons and priests are commonplace, and also in the Eastern Rite of the Roman
Catholic Church, deacons and priests are married. In certain circumstances,
converts to the Roman Catholic Church who had been, for instance, Episcopalian
or Anglican married priests, who are approved by the Vatican, are ordained as Roman
Catholic priests, and serve in parishes and other ministries as married men who
are Roman Catholic priests. So you see, the fact that we ordain single and
married men to the priesthood isn't something new or unusual, but married
priests have always been a part of the Church.
Are You Part Of That Group Which Says That There Is No Pope?
No! We acknowledge the Holy Father as "First Among Equals", Bishop of Rome, and Patriarch of the West. We pray for the Pope at every Mass, and have a good relationship with our Roman Catholic counterparts. We have nothing but love, respect and support for the Holy Father.
Why Do You Call Your Ministers "Priests", and not simply "Pastor" or "Minister"?
A priest does both these things, he pastors (protects and looks out for) the people of the parish or mission he is assigned to, and he ministers to them (cares for and teaches) the Word of God, the Sacraments and daily concerns. A priest is a sacramentally ordained individual, who, as a result of ordination, has imparted upon his soul an indelible character as a result of ordination. This indelible character is a gift of God through the Holy Spirit, and is that sacred grace and spiritual authority that Christ gave to His Apostles and the Apostles passed on to other men within the church through prayer and the laying on of hands. This authority was given to the Elders of the Early Church, who ordained coworkers in the form of presbyters and deacons. This spiritual gift of Christ to the Church is passed down, generation by generation, through the bishops, and is known as Apostolic Succession. Like our counterparts in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Oriental Churches, we have maintained that Apostolic Succession, which can be traced from our bishops all the way back to the Apostles, which is to say, all the way back to Jesus Christ Himself. This spiritual grace is unique to sacramental apostolic Churches (and was rejected by Protestant Churches) and so, owing to Holy Writ and Sacred Tradition, the term "priest" is completely accurate for us, as it is for our Roman Catholic, Oriental and Orthodox brethren.
Absolutely! We believe that in the Eucharist, we receive Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, as He Himself instructed us in Holy Writ, and which has been the unified testimony of the Church, without exception, from the Apostles, the Early Church Fathers to the present day. We share this steadfast belief with all sacramental Churches.
Our Statement of Faith is to be interpreted through the lens of understanding created by the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, the seven Oecumenical Councils of the Church and two thousand years of theological expression of orthodox Christian faith. Our Statement of Faith is not a substitute but rather a reaffirmation of those basic theological principles, particularly in today's world as sociopolitical forces seek to redefine Catholicism, the Sacraments and Catholic Theology. We hold to the long-held and traditional expressions and understanding of Catholic theology, rather than submit to the “spirit of the age”.
Our Apostolic Succession originates from Jesus Christ, through His Apostles. Our apostolic succession derives from the Roman Catholic Church through Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa, Bishop of Bocatu, Brazil, who left the Roman Catholic Church and founded the “Igreja Catolica Apostolica Brasileira” (ICAB).
The timeless witness of the Church is that Christ Himself chose the Apostles, instructed them and imbued them with the Holy Spirit. These Apostles, even being more graced through Christ's teaching after His resurrection, maintain the process of selecting men for the tasks of sacramental ministry. We here today, do not have the authority to change that witness because individuals may not understand or like it. Nor do we dismantle that witness due to a perceived slight, based upon a twentieth-century socio-political agenda, which seeks to "fix" the Word of God, so that it is, finally, "correct". Arguments that offer that Christ was unable to select women due to the culture of the time, fall on their face, in light of the fact that there were many religions headed by "priestesses" or matriarchs at the time, that, obviously not Jewish, were nonetheless, very strong in followers and very popular, as revealed by Holy Writ. Christ broke many social and cultural taboos of the time, went where He pleased, chose whom He wanted and what they would do, and spoke the truth boldly and directly. The truth is that Men and Women, being of equal dignity and worth, can be equal and at the same time unique, as God made us. The truth is that there are spiritual tasks that both share, and there are spiritual tasks, which are unique to each, as God has determined. Human pride, arrogance and hubris blinds us to this truth, and prevents us from the blessings He has planned for our lives.
Efforts to "modernize" the Church by abolishing annulment and recognizing civil divorce, same-sex marriages, inclusive language bibles and other such movements reject and overturn the teachings and fundamental tenets of Catholicism, until what you are left with is not Catholicism at all. Such efforts require Churches to surrender their theology to become part of a socio-theological gathering that introduces concepts and belief systems that are not Catholic in particular, nor Christian in general. We reject any effort to trivialize our Catholicity, brought about by new faces placed upon old heresies. An "effort to bring commonality and social acceptance, through political correctness in order to recognize the equality of all religion" is Indifferentialism and Social -Theology, and it is wrong. God created man in His image; we don't get to return the favor! Holy Writ admonishes us to "stand fast to what you have been taught…"
You can expect to encounter a small group of prayerful people committed to making Christ a part of their everyday lives. You can expect to see priests, along with their wives and families, a part of the regular lives of the people of the parish. You can expect to see a parish which is truly a part of the lives of the people of the parish, and that the people truly are the church, and make the community thrive and develop. No one is a number, and many parishes host special projects, missions, and ministries which are run by the laity and not the clergy. We are a church of tent-makers, establishing parishes where there is a need, and it is requested.
While it's true that many organized churches are losing members, we have been steadily growing and increasing in membership. People want orthodox theology, and when churches stray from that, people leave. We have remained true to the original theological expression of Old Catholicism, as practiced and understood over two hundred years ago as its inception as a separate Catholic community of faith (1724 A.D.), and as blossomed again sixty years ago in Brazil (1945 A.D.), through Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa. We have met multitudes of people seeking a church that has remained faithful to the orthodox expression and practice of Catholic theology, and has rejected modernism, indifferentialism and other problems we all face today. The Catholic Apostolic National Church, remain true to Traditional Catholicism.