“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” -John 17:20-23
The Order of the Shepherd’s Heart is a Celtic Christian religious order chartered and sponsored by Christ Catholic Church Diocese of the Prince of Peace.
Christ Catholic Church is a community of believers, centered on Jesus Christ, holding to the faith and traditions of the apostles as expressed in Holy Scripture and the ancient creeds of the undivided Church: The Apostle’s Creed, The Nicene, The Creed of Saint Athanasius.
We are a Christ-centered and Trinitarian people, believing the Sacraments impart the grace which they signify, and that Apostolic Succession unifies and empowers us to administer the Sacraments and to proclaim the Gospel given to the Church by our Lord Jesus Christ, the author of our salvation.
We freely accept the continued revelation of the Word of God through the Holy Spirit and the call to love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul while loving our neighbors as our self in the same sacrificial way that Christ has loved us.
In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity.
Statement of Belief
Christ Catholic Church acknowledges as its sole Head, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world. It acknowledges as kindred in Christ all who share in this confession.
It looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures, and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world. It affirms the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own in reality of worship, in honesty of thought and expression, and in purity of heart before God.
Recalling that it has always been creedal differences and personal disputes that were the major cause of division among Christians, we are a people who use the word “creed” with constraint.
We believe that God is calling us to be a faithful and growing, ecumenical free catholic diocese that demonstrates true community, deep Christian spirituality, and a passion for social justice. Our faith and beliefs as Catholics are rooted in the spirit of the ancient Didache – the Apostolic Teachings of the Church, yet interpreted within the richness of the postmodern culture in which we live. Our beliefs are a living reflection of the nature and call of God. In that spirit, we offer the following Confession of Faith as one of many possible reflections of what it means to be a Free Catholic:
Confession of Faith
We trust in the One Living God, present in all reality, the Source of all creation and creativity.
We experience this Creator God in a way that transcends hate, injustice, conflict, sickness and death. We recognize the True Presence of and work of the Living God throughout the entirety of creation.
We accept that Jesus is the Christ, the Child of the Living God and the manifestation of God’s healing, reconciliation, transformation, peace, love and justice.
We experience the presence of the Holy Spirit, as the dynamic action of the Living God, present in all of life and freely offering love, justice, peace, healing and life more abundantly to everyone.
We acknowledge that the Living God can be revealed through canonical and non-canonical writings, sometimes referred to as Holy Scripture, in church tradition, human reason, life experience, nature, music and in many forms of creative expression.
We affirm that the Spiritual Experience of a life of prayer, worship and spiritual nurture, of communion with God, and the eternal family of God, is central to becoming and sustaining the Commonwealth, sometimes translated as the Kingdom of God.
We share in the Unbroken Apostolic Tradition of preserving the best aspects of Christian wisdom and practice and of calling out particular people for service and leadership, for teaching and proclamation, for healing and justice, and for the ministry of Sacraments.
We believe that everyone is called by God to gather together as a faith community, the One True Church, undivided by human boundaries, doctrines, organizational schemes, prejudices, languages and cultures, to share in the creation of God’s Commonwealth. This community, in Christian Tradition is also referred to as the Body of Christ, the collective presence of the living, resurrected Christ in the world.
We celebrate the Grace of the Sacraments, the visible signs of God’s blessing of birth, rebirth, of joining in love, of reconciliation, of health and healing, of loving service, of transformation from death to life eternal, and all expressions of the presence and action of God in life and lives, and commit that they should freely and without qualification be made available to everyone.
We expect that the Living God will work through the Body of Christ and human creativity to transform life and culture into the Commonwealth of God, the manifestation of love, peace and justice.
We thank God for giving all people a share in the priesthood of Christ, and empowering each person with the ability to become God’s child, to directly experience God’s reconciliation, love and justice without any human intermediary or impediment. All Christians are called into ministry of healing, reconciliation, justice, worship and witnessing to the Good News of Christ.
We affirm the equality of every person in life, faith, sacrament and service, regardless of ability, sexuality or gender, appearance, culture, vocation or theological opinion. We recognize the four orders of the priesthood: laity, deacons, presbyters and bishops all working together to manifest the Commonwealth of God.
We celebrate the eternal Cloud of Witnesses to the grace of God and the power of faith. These eternally living witnesses include Mary the Mother of Jesus and all the Holy Ones of the Church and God’s people throughout the ages.
We know that True Faith is simply trust in the reality of the living, loving God active in the world and experienced throughout human history, but particularly and uniquely in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, and it is not merely the ritual or intellectual acceptance of any particular creed, formula, dogma, or theology.
Above all we understand that the essence of God’s Law is: “Love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Our Core Doctrine
We confess the revelation of God in and through His Son, Jesus Christ, and are a Church consecrated to the task of spreading the importance of that revelation to the entire world. We believe in the Trinity — one God in three — God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We further hold that Jesus Christ, the second Person in the Trinity, is God and yet Man; that He was incarnated in the womb of the Virgin Mary; that he was crucified, died and was buried; that he rose again; and that He ascended into Heaven. He left as His ever-present witness in the world the Holy Spirit, whom we hold is the voice of God speaking in scripture, history, and in our individual souls. Where two or three are gathered together in Christ’s Name, there is He in the midst.
We further believe in His eternal witness, and that the Church is an essential part of the Spirit’s revelation. It is to this end that we are further dedicated to the unification of that Holy, Catholic (universal), and Apostolic Church, and to pledge ourselves to the struggle to follow and understand the historical traditions throughout all branches of Christ’s Church. We trust, as did the ancient Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, that the Holy Spirit will lead us in this.
We offer ourselves as a Church home to all who confess and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, regardless of their state of grace; and we would not exclude anyone from our fellowship, for we are committed to the principle that all are the Children of God and that “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Saint or sinner, we would exclude none from the joyful response in which we embrace the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the life to which we are called. We witness to Christ who lives and loves; therefore, we are free to commit ourselves to each other, and to live and love.
Christ Catholic Church historically embraces the traditional Seven Sacraments. All are prescribed by the Holy Scriptures and confirmed by God’s continual revelation. It is obligatory on professing Christians and members of this Church that they avail themselves of the Sacraments, especially Baptism, Communion, Confirmation, and Reconciliation, as far as is appropriate to their vocation and station in life, as acts of love and devotion, but none are to be considered conditions for Salvation. Faith in Christ is all that man needs for his soul’s salvation.
In the spirit of historic Catholic and ecumenical concord we hold that all worship done in the Name of Christ and in the presence of the Holy Spirit is acceptable unto Him.