DECLARATION OF FAITH
The Anglican Clergy Episcopal of Diocese
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
The Anglican Clergy Episcopal of Diocese declares its belief in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the Word of God and the only sufficient Rule of Faith. We entreat all the faithful to read the same diligently, not only as their duty and privilege but in obedience to Christ’s command, “Search the Scriptures.” For the moral instruction contained therein, it accepts also the so-called Apocryphal books.
The Anglican Clergy Episcopal of Diocese accepts the Nicene Creed, without the “filioque” interpolation as the only one of universal obligation, and also believes the other two symbols known as the Apostles’ Creed and the Creed of S. Athanasius.
The Anglican Clergy Episcopal of Diocese receives as Ecumenical the Seven General Councils whose dogmatic decrees are today accepted by all Apostolic Churches of the East and West, viz:- (1) Nicea, 325; (2) Constantinople, 381; (3) Ephesus, 431; (4) Chalcedon, 451; (5) Constantinople, 553; (6) Constantinople, 680; (7) Nicea, 787.
The Anglican Clergy Episcopal of Diocese holds that a Sacrament is a sacred rite divinely instituted to convey grace, having a sensible or visible sign connected with prayer as the means by which the grace is conveyed. It receives as a part of the original deposit of the faith “Once for all delivered to the saints” the Seven Gospel Sacraments.
It acknowledges Baptism as the Sacrament established by Christ to cleanse man from Original Sin and to make them members of the Christian Church, it is the sacrament of Regeneration of the New Birth.
It believes that Confirmation is the Sacrament in which the Holy Spirit is given with the fullness of His Gifts to the believer and regards the Bishop as the ordinary minister of this Sacred Rite.
It believes that in the Sacrament of Penance, Jesus Christ Himself inwardly looses from their sins those who sincerely repent of them and outwardly make a confession and that every validly ordained priest has the power to pronounce Christ’s pardon to penitent sinners confessing their sins. It allows both public and private confession, the mode being optional with the penitent.
THE EUCHARIST. It holds that the Eucharist is both a Sacrament and a Sacrifice offered for the living and the dead. It believes that in this holiest Sacrament of the Altar there is the real Presence of the glorified spiritual Body and Blood of Christ under the forms of bread and wine, the mysterious transformation being affected by the Holy Spirit. Since this is a mystery it shuns all terms of definition and description. It maintains that the Chalice should not be denied the laity in holy communion; it believes that the Liturgy ought to be said in the language of the people; and it permits in connection with this Sacrament the use of the names Eucharist, Mass, or Divine Liturgy.
UNCTION OF THE SICK. It believes Unction of the Sick to be a Sacrament of the New Dispensation, instituted for the spiritual and corporal solace of the sick, to be used for the benefit of the Christian when seriously ill, and not only when approaching death. Both the mode and the efficacy of this Sacrament are indicated in the fifth chapter of the Epistle of St. James.
SACRED ORDERS. It believes that Order is a Sacrament which confers upon those who validly receive it the power to exercise special ministerial function, Bishops alone being the ministers of this Sacrament. The greater, or Holy Orders, which are of divine institution, are the Episcopate, the Priesthood, and the Diaconate, reader, exorcist, acolyte, and subdeacon. It believes the episcopate necessary for the life of the Church, that all bishops are equal in power and authority by divine right and that their prerogatives of honor and jurisdiction are derived from the Church and regulated by her canons.
HOLY MATRIMONY. It believes marriage, when a man and woman are joined together according to the sacred rite of the Church, to be a sacrament, and that the civil ceremony of marriage prescribed by law in certain countries, should always be blessed by the priest. There should be no dissolution of the bonds of marriage except for adultery, and malicious desertion (including proven extreme abuse,) and no priest of this Church is permitted to perform the marriage ceremony of any person who has a divorced husband or wife living, unless such a person produces satisfactory evidence from court records that he or she is the innocent party in a divorce granted for the cause of adultery or malicious desertion. In all cases involving the marriage of a divorced person, the priest must submit the facts to, and receive the consent of his/her Bishop, before performing the rite.
The Anglican Clergy Episcopal of Diocese believes that the departed saints are not dead, but living, and that if the prayers of the righteous on earth avail much, the prayers of our glorified brethren nearer the throne of God must be more potent. Hence, we consider it a good and useful practice to invoke the prayers of the saints for us, and to pray ourselves for the repose of the souls of the faithful departed.
SACRED PICTURES AND IMAGES
The Anglican Clergy Episcopal of Diocese holds that pictures and images of Christ and the Saints may be reverenced as sacred things, though not adored. We do not deny to any Christian the use of this pious practice if it is an aid to worship, but we caution against abuses thereof when the picture or image is given the adoration which belongs only to God, or its veneration considered necessary to salvation or justification.
The Anglican Clergy Episcopal of Diocese sympathizes with GAFCON, Traditional Anglican Communion, and Orthodox Anglican communion.