Statement of Faith

OCCH - Statement of Faith page

Saint Willibrord’s Old Catholic Church of Hawaii belongs to a growing communion of Old Catholic Churches who believe and practice the Apostolic, Orthodox Catholic Faith of the ancient undivided Church.   It has the same heritage as the various branches of Eastern Catholic Churches and the Western Catholic Church, but it is ecumenical in that it believes in working closely with all Christians to put Christ Jesus back into the ailing society of our modern world.

The Church, referred to in Holy Scripture as “the Kingdom of God” and the “Body of Christ,” was founded by Christ Jesus who is its only head and High Priest.  

The Church exists for the glory of God.   This is achieved by the preaching of the good news of salvation, by caring for the needy, by training for Holy Orders, by calling the faithful to worship and prayer, by administering the sacraments, by forgiving sins, by regular celebration of the Holy Eucharist, and by the perpetual contemplation of God’s gift of grace, love, forgiveness and life everlasting.

STATEMENT OF FAITH

It is paramount to our faith that we personally develop a love relationship with our Lord Jesus, not simply a theoretical or an intellectual concept of religion.   The Church is our primary dispenser of nourishment for that relationship.

The faith of Christian Catholics is anchored in the historic Creeds and Sacraments of the Church.   The clergy and the laity have no doubt that our faith, as confessed in the creeds, is true and accurate.   We believe that the Church must nourish and sustain the faith by its devoted defense of that Creedal faith.   The instant the Creedal faith is compromised, we cease to be Christians and Catholic and we enter into an age of distortions.   There simply can be no compromise in the belief in God or in His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, or the Holy Spirit, nor can there be any doubt as to the importance of the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

We rejoice that we are truly members of the communion of saints, that we are forgiven, and that we have eternal life in Christ Jesus.

We believe that the seven sacraments were instituted by our Lord, are fully substantiated in Sacred Scripture, and are life giving/comforting expressions of love from God to His people.  

The Holy Spirit, through the sacraments, is visible and discernibly active in our lives and through the sacraments, the grace of Christ Jesus is given to us by the Holy Spirit.  

By Grace and faith we are sealed as Christ’s own, thereby, we are fed, forgiven, cleansed, and made victorious.   Our Church recognizes seven (7) sacraments with very special devotion given to Baptism and the Holy Eucharist.

We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sin and the Holy Eucharist (Mass) as our supreme act of communal worship.   The Mass was given its form by the Apostles, and we celebrate it now in its current form.

 

HISTORY:  In the early years, the Church grew up around five historical Patriarchs.   The government of the Church was “Conciliar” as evidenced by the first Seven Ecumenical Councils which defined the faith of the Church between 325 and 787AD.

For the first thousand years the Church was known as the One Holy and Apostolic Catholic Church.   This unity was divided in the 11th Century when the Patriarch of Rome claimed to exercise jurisdiction over the whole Church.   This led to the Great Schism of 1054, separating the Eastern Catholic Patriarchs from Rome through excommunication since they did not agree to accept Papal Supremacy.   Therefore, the Eastern Churches became known as the Eastern Orthodox Churches and became primarily ethnic and national churches.   The Western Catholic Church set itself apart from the other Patriarchs and established the “Roman” Catholic Church as we know it today.

A second major division developed in the Church with the Protestant Reformation in the Roman Catholic Church,  followed by a third major division within the Roman Catholic Church when Pope Pious IX called for Vatican I.   It was at this Council that the notion of Papal Infallibility was proclaimed a dogma.   The clergy divided over this issue, disagreeing with the action of Vatican I, saying that only Christ Jesus was perfect and infallible and that no man was infallible.

Papal Infallibility is not a historic authentic Catholic belief, is not a part of any Apostolic Tradition, and was not a belief of the early Church Fathers.   Those Catholic Clergy and lay persons who disagreed, formed independent jurisdictions and communities throughout Europe that later grew around the world and became known by many names under national and independent jurisdictions that worship independent of Rome yet with valid historic apostolic lines.   Their goal was to turn the clock back and adhere to the faith, beliefs and practices of the One Holy and Apostolic Catholic Church prior to the schism of 1054.

There are over 10 million around the world who faithfully worship the Lord in these independent Catholic jurisdictions.  You are always welcome to join with us in the “traditional” worship of God.

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