1. a body of teachings of a religious, political, or philosophical group
2. a principle or body of principles that is taught or advocated [Latin doctrina teaching]
Every Church has a series of beliefs which defines the basic tenets of its Faith. These beliefs are referred to as the Church's body of doctrine. There are also many supplemental regulations which govern the Church's conduct and members' behavior as it is related to living out the principles of its doctrinal belief. These supplemental rules and regulations are usually referred to as the Church's discipline. And finally, every Church has a manner in which, according to its doctrinal and disciplinary procedures, conducts it public services of worship of Almighty God. This is naturally referred to by the word worship. Thus it is common to hear Churchmen refer to their "Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship" as being distinctive of their particular ecclesiastical group. In more modern parlance, we often encounter this same concept of "docrine, discipline and worship" masquerading under the terms of "creed, code, and cult". Unfortunately the latter term has so many negative connotations that it is actually best to avoid such terminology.
On this website you will find three sections devoted to these three divisions, so as to explain to our readers, the exact doctrinal and disciplinary beliefs and practices which are essentially characteristic of The North American Old Roman Catholic Church. It will also describe the Liturgical Worship of our Church.
The section on the sidebar, marked DOCTRINE, which you have just opened, will now open six additional pages. On each of those you will find a number of documents which have been provided so that you can read and see in a very brief and concise manner, the beliefs or "Doctrines" of our Church.
On the first page you will find the four Creeds of the Church (The Apostle's Creed, The Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Creed of Pope St Pius IV). These Creeds are binding statements of Faith for The North American Old Roman Catholic Church.
On the second page you will find six Foundational Documents. These documents establish the firm foundation in the Catholic Faith and the Doctrinal positions of the Church together with it Statement of Principles. The first document is the famous Vincentian Canon which seeks to clarify for the Christian how to determine true Catholic Faith from heretical teachings. The next two (second and third documents)are statements of the Church of Utrecht, which again clearly identifies us as true Roman Catholics. The fourth document was issued by Archbishop Mathew in England when it became clear that the ancient Church of Utrecht was now succumbing to the pressures to forsake her position as an Old Roman Catholic Church and to adopt the positions of the continental Old Catholics and their drastic reform of the teachings and practices of the Catholic Faith. As a result of the publication of the aforementioned document of Autonomy, the next or fifth document was compiled by Archbishop Mathew to clearly set forth in an official and concise manner the theological, doctrinal, and disciplinary positions of the Old Roman Catholic Church in England, and now by extension for us in The North American Old Roman Catholic Church, as we are the American expression of that same jurisdiction and are the canonical successors of Archbishop Mathew here in America, via Archbishp de Landas Berghes. The final document is the Statement of Principles which was written and issued by our second Primate here in America, the late Archbishop Carmel Henry Carfora.
On the third page you will find two contemporary statements which have been adopted by the College of Bishops of our Church that clearly outline our positions on issues which presently face the entire Christian Church and in particular our own Church.
On the fourth page you will find four Declaration and Oaths used in The North American Old Roman Catholic Church. The first is the Declaration Against Modernism, which all traditional Old Roman Catholics adhere to; the next is the Oath of Fidelity that all of our Bishops take when they are consecrated or enthroned; the third is the Declaration of Intention that each priest takes upon his Ordination and or Incardination into our jurisdiction; the last is the Declaration of Intention taken by the Bride and Groom before they are to be married, declaring their belief in the sacredness of the Sacrament they are to receive and the bond which they are to contract.
On the fifth page are four documents of related interest to us. They are not binding statements for The North American Old Roman Catholic Church, but rather for the Utrecht Union Old Catholics. They are provided here to show the development of the Old Catholic position and the gradual departure from traditional Old Roman Catholic theology and ecclesiology.
On the last page will be found two documents. The first is an article from The Guardian, a London newspaper, which carefully reprints the letter from Bishop van Thiel of Haarlem (The Church of Utrecht) and the support of the Old Catholic Bishops for Archbishop Mathew, shortly before the drastic departure of the Dutch Church from her historic Old Roman Catholic position. the second is a contemporary document which is a foundational document of unity for the "continuing" Anglican Church bodies which have come into existance since 1974. While it is in no way a binding or even an accepted document fo The North American Old Roman Catholic Church, in almost all of its points, not specifically directed towards the Anglican churches and their worship, it closely adheres to and enunciates the positions of our own North American Old Roman Catholic Church. It demonstrates that while we are two different jurisdictions from two different traditions, we share many things in common.
It is our hope that you will find these pages helpful and educational as regard the theology, history and discipline of The North American Old Roman Catholic Church.