The Anglocatholic Church is Anglican – we are Christians who have an English liturgical and theological heritage and a spiritual heritage and an ancestral connection to the Church in England. The Anglocatholic Church is Catholic, because it accepts the doctrine of the ancient Church, which has been “believed everywhere, always, and by all”.
One must understand that to be ‘Catholic’ one doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘Roman’ Catholic despite what some in the Roman Church may claim. The Orthodox Churches of the East and in other places are Catholic Churches but not in communion with the Pope.
Since the Continental Reformers rejected the apostolic succession of bishops and indeed developed a different understanding of the priesthood, they lost a ‘valid’ ordained priesthood. But at the English Reformation, the Church of England deliberately retained the title ‘priest’, because it contained a real truth and intention. Christ is the perfect priest. The Church is His body. The organ of a priestly body cannot be less than priestly.
The Church of England maintained its apostolic ministry of bishops, priests and deacons. Its form of worship, though translated into English and somewhat reformed, nonetheless stood in continuity with the Church’s historical worship. The goal of the English Reformation was to reform the practice of the Church and return to the ancient and Catholic faith of the Undivided Church.
From the time of Henry VIII there has always been a theological position within Anglicanism which has sought to stress the continuing Catholic nature of the Church of England. Through the reign of his daughter Elizabeth I this was championed by the Elizabethan divine, Richard Hooker. Then later by Archbishop Laud and the Caroline divines including George Herbert and Lancelot Andrews, up to the time of the Oxford Movement, Tractarians, and the Anglo-Catholic Congresses, notables include John Henry Newman, Edward Bouverie Pusey, John Keble and John Mason Neale.
The Anglocatholic Church accepts the teachings of the Undivided Church, the Church of the first millennium of Church history. From the Day of Pentecost, when the Church was born, to the Great Schism in A.D. 1054, the Church was truly Catholic: one in faith and doctrine, even though there were differences between the way Eastern and Western Churches worshipped. Therefore, the Anglocatholic Church claims, in essence, to be both an English Catholic Church and a Western Orthodox Church.
The Anglocatholic Church is part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, faithfully continuing the English Catholic tradition. We practice and uphold the historic Catholic Faith, with Apostolic Order, Orthodox Worship, and Evangelical Witness.
We believe that there is one true and eternal God in Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, without any difference or inequality, Consubstantial, Undivided and of one Essence in Three Divine Persons through whom all that is, was and ever shall be, was created and has its being.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the unique and final revelation of the Person and Purpose of God, in whom alone is the fullness of God’s truth and grace, and that there is no other through whom salvation may be obtained.
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be Inspired by the Holy Ghost as the authentic record of the revelation of God, and as conveying His saving Word to us. We believe in the holy Tradition of the Church as set forth by the ancient catholic bishops and doctors, as defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church.
We believe that the Holy Spirit gives life to and inspires and guides the Church.
We believe in the Seven Sacraments as outward, visible symbols of the inward, spiritual Grace, Presence and working of our Lord Jesus Christ. In accordance with the faith and practice of Holy Mother Church, We declare these Sacraments to be:
Baptism, whereby the forgiveness of sins and new life in Christ and membership into His Mystical Body the Church is proclaimed and that this sacrament is necessary for Salvation.
Confirmation as the “seal of the Holy Spirit” in completion of Baptism.
The Mass, as the sacrifice whereby our Lord, Jesus Christ, unites us to His all-sufficient Sacrifice, once made, to bestow on us “remission of sins, and all other benefits of His Passion”, whereby He is truly present under the forms of bread and wine, and gives Himself to us in His Body and Blood, to be our heavenly food and to unite us to Himself and to all in His Sacred Body the Church.
Holy Matrimony, which is a mystical bond of one man and one woman together in lifelong commitment and unity.
Holy Orders, which is the perpetuation of the sacred and apostolic ministry in accordance with the will of Christ established for the Government of His Church as the ministers of His Gospel and Sacraments; and that the three orders of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons by Christ’s institution are to be confined to the male sex; and that Bishops alone possess the fullness of apostolic authority as Overseers of the faithful and conveyers of Holy Orders.
Confession, through which the faithful are called to conversion of life, confession of sins and reconciliation with God, and through which we are called to forgive others.
Holy Unction, whereby the healing power and consolation of God is specifically bestowed upon the faithful who are sick in body, mind or soul.
We believe in the Communion of Saints, which is the blessed company of all faithful people both living and departed. Traditionally the Universal Church has been considered to comprise of the Church Triumphant (those Christians who are in Heaven), The Church Militant (those Christians who are living) and the Church at Rest (Those Christians who are dead but who are not yet in Heaven).
Furthermore we believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, and that she is preeminent above all others as the first-fruits of those who are saved by Him.
The prayers of the saints in heaven assist the faithful on earth according to the Revelation of St John (Revelation 5:8 and 8:3-4 in the light of 6:9-11). The Saints are not to be given worship or adoration that belongs to God alone, but their prayers support Christians on earth just as the prayers of Christians on earth support one another in prayer).
We believe in the sanctity of human life; that life begins at the moment of conception; and that the willful taking of that life in the womb by abortion to be a grave sin.
Furthermore we believe that the wilful, intentional, and direct taking of any innocent human life is murder, whether disguised as “euthanasia”, “mercy-killing” or “assisted suicide”.
We believe that all men will appear before Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate Judge and Ruler of all Mankind to receive the due recompense of their faith and works.