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Pastoral Position Statements

 

THE CLERICAL STATE

The Evangelical Catholic Church celebrates Godís gift of a vocation to the Priesthood and Diaconate to those whom He has called.

Within this Catholic jurisdiction, any woman or man can become a candidate for Orders, regardless of marital status, ethnicity, orientation, race, or socio-economic standing.

The Evangelical Catholic Church welcomes inactive validly ordained deacons and priests and validly consecrated bishops who wish continue celebrating the gift of their vocations to consider Incardination into our Catholic jurisdiction. We welcome inactive clergy from other Christian denominations who find themselves called to our sacramental and liturgical lifestyle to enter our formation process to ordination.

The Evangelical Catholic Church cannot accept candidates for Orders or Incardination who have been convicted of felonious sexual abuse.

Approved July 1, 2001


THE DEATH PENALTY

The Evangelical Catholic Church is unconditionally opposed to the death penalty under any circumstances.

This Catholic jurisdiction embraces the belief that all life is unconditionally precious, since life comes from God. Any act, which fails to respect the gift of life, is inherently and morally wrong.

The Evangelical Catholic Church fully recognizes and shares in the pain and suffering when one human commits violence against another person. When a person takes the life of another, we acknowledge the pain and the hurt. But we also recognize that taking the life of the guilty will not return a lost loved one to their family and friends, or will it, in reality, erase the pain and loss. We do not wish to shield the guilty from the consequences of their actions, but we do not believe that the taking of their lives is a legitimate answer for one cannot respond to an inherently wrong action by committing another inherently wrong action.

We also believe that in this country [The United States of America], the death penalty has been applied unfairly along racial, ethnic, and socio-economic lines. Not only is the act of the death penalty inherently wrong, but the manner in which it is applied become morally wrong.

We call upon all nations, along with the United States of America, which continue to impose the death penalty, to abolish it.

Approved July 1, 2001


CELEBRATING THE GIFT OF LIFE

The Evangelical Catholic Church is a Catholic faith community, which upholds and celebrates the gift of life, for we believe that this gift comes from God.

We hold that the gift of life must be celebrated and treasured. We are a pro-life and a pro-people Catholic faith community.

We also believe that all individuals have the right to plan the size of their families and the timing of each new member to their families

We endorse medically approved forms of responsible family planning and encourage those who wish to have children to give serious consideration to and have an honest understanding of the responsibilities they will undertake.

The Evangelical Catholic Church does not endorse the practice of abortion. This Catholic faith community also understands that individuals will ultimately make their own personal moral decisions regarding abortion. Irrespective of their decisions, this Catholic faith community will not turn itís back nor abandon any person who ends their pregnancy, but will welcome and embrace them in healing ministry and service.

Approved July 1, 2001


MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS

The Evangelical Catholic Church supports the traditional Catholic belief that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, and at the end of her life on Earth was assumed into eternal life.1

We believe that Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ continues to play a pivotal role in our spiritual life. We believe that Mary intercedes on our behalf when prayers are offered to her as first among the blessed in heaven and first among the saints.

We encourage all to celebrate the traditional feast days accorded to Mary.

We encourage all who have devotions to Mary to continue doing so.

We believe that because the role of Mary is so important and unique in our lives, that we not blur her significance by assigning titles or functions inappropriate to her.

Historically, the tradition of Maryís perpetual virginity has been a litmus test for Catholics. However scholars are at a loss to provide a scriptural justification for this tradition. For many scholars the issue of Maryís perpetual virginity remains a mystery of the Faith.

Therefore, the Evangelical Catholic Church respects the various opinions on this matter, and calls upon all to respect the opinions of others. This Church accepts the time-honored prayers and references to Mary for the good of tradition.

1 Traditional Catholic teaching is that Mary, the Mother of God was unique among humans in that she did not suffer the common human fate of bodily corruption after death, but was assumed into heaven without having to endure that indignity.

Approved July 1, 2001


OPEN AND AFFIRMING CHURCH

The Evangelical Catholic Church in America is a part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church given by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ to His Apostles.

The mandate of Jesus to His Apostles to go out and preach to all nations is continued in our midst. Therefore, we are a sign and symbol of Godís love for the world. The People of God are a people of hope who reach out with a radical openness to the diversity found in our members and leaders.

In this spirit we seek to approach those who have been condemned or injured by the Church or her ministers, or others who speak in the Churchís name, and join with them in their quest for equality and justice in the Church. The Evangelical Catholic Church lovingly welcomes all those who have suffered discrimination or who have been disenfranchised from religious life. Any person, couple, or family that has been ostracized or shunned by their home parish, congregation, or denomination because of who or what they are, or who or what they are perceived to be, are invited to join their spiritual and religious journey to ours. The Evangelical Catholic Church invites all persons who wish to practice and fulfill their Catholic faith into full sacramental activity, membership, and ministry of this Catholic Church.

With the love of God and the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Evangelical Catholic Church declares itself an open and affirming Catholic faith community welcoming all people to full participation in Catholic life.

Approved July 1, 2001

 

 

 

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