Summary of Doctrine

Unlike most churches, the Liberal Catholic Church is not concerned with what its members believe. Rather, we focus on doing our liturgical and sacramental work together. All who wish to participate, of whatever religious belief or affiliation, are welcome to do so.

Nevertheless, the Church as a whole does have a teaching role and the following Summary of Doctrine, first published in 1920, outlines those teachings. If you find these teachings interesting or congenial, please consider joining us in our work.

 

The Nature of God

“The Liberal Catholic Church teaches the existence of God, infinite, eternal, transcendent and immanent. He is the one essence from which all forms of existence are derived. ‘In him we live and move and have our being.’(Acts 17: 28).”

“God manifests in his universe as a Trinity, called in the Christian religion Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three Persons in one God, co-equal, co-eternal; the Father the cause of all; the Son the Word who was made flesh and dwelt among us; the Holy Spirit the lifegiver, the inspirer and sanctifier.”


The Nature of Man

“Man is a complex of spirit, soul, and body. The spirit of man made in the image of God is divine in essence. Therefore he cannot cease to exist; he is eternal and his future is one whose glory and splendor have no limit.”


The Living Christ

“Christ ever lives as a mighty spiritual presence in the world, guiding and sustaining his people. The divinity which was manifest in him is gradually being unfolded in every man until each shall come ‘unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.’ (Eph. 4: 13).”

 

The Divine Plan

“The world is the theatre of an ordered plan, according to which the spirit of man, by repeatedly expressing himself in varying conditions of life and experience, continually unfolds his powers. This spiritual unfoldment takes place under an inviolable law of cause and effect. ‘Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.’ (Gal. 6: 7). His doings in each physical incarnation largely determine his experience after death in the intermediate world (or world of purgation) and the heavenly world, and greatly influence the circumstances of his next birth. Man is a link in a vast chain of life extending from the highest to the lowest. As he helps those below him, so also he is helped by those who stand above him on the ladder of life, receiving thus a free gift of grace. There is a communion of saints, just men made perfect or holy ones, who help mankind. There is a ministry of angels.”

 

Man’s Ethical Duties

“Man has ethical duties to himself and to others. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’ (Matt. 22: 37-40). It is the duty of man to learn to discern the divine light in himself and others, that light ‘which lighteth every man’ (John 1: 9). Because men are sons of God they are brothers and inseparably linked together; that which harms one harms the entire brotherhood. Hence a man owes it as a duty to the God both within himself and others, first, to endeavor constantly to live up to the highest that is in him, thereby enabling that God within himself to become more perfectly manifest, secondly, to recognize the fact of that brotherhood by constant effort towards unselfishness, by love of, consideration for, and service to his fellow men. The service of humanity, reverence for all life and the sacrifice of the lower self to the higher are laws of spiritual growth.”

 

The Sacramental System

“Christ instituted various sacraments in which an inward and spiritual grace is given unto us through an outward and visible sign. There are seven rites which may be ranked as sacraments, namely, Baptism, Confirmation, the Holy Eucharist, Absolution, Holy Unction, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders. The doctrine of these sacraments is sufficiently set forth in the authorized Liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church. Christ, the living head of the church which he founded, is the true minister of all sacraments.”

 

Freedom of Thought

“Inasmuch as The Liberal Catholic Church welcomes to its membership all who are seeking truth, it does not require its members to accept this… Summary of Doctrine; it is, however, to be regarded as embodying the distinctive contribution of The Liberal Catholic Church to Christian thought.”






© 2013 St. Michael the Protector Church