Statement of Faith

These articles were formulated between the Old Roman Catholic Church and the Patriarchate of Antioch in 1911.

Dogmatic Articles

1. The Way of Salvation.
Eternal Salvation is promised to mankind only  through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ, and upon condition of obedience  to the teaching of the Gospel, which requires Faith, Hope and Charity, and the  due observance of the ordinances of the Orthodox and Catholic Religion.

2. Faith, Hope and Charity. Faith is a virtue infused by God, whereby  one accepts, and believes without doubting, whatever God has revealed in the  Church concerning true Religion.  Hope is a virtue infused by God, and following upon Faith; by it one puts  their entire trust and confidence in the goodness and mercy of God, through  Jesus Christ, and looks for the fulfillment of the Divine promises made to those  who obey the Gospel.  Charity is a virtue infused by God, and likewise consequent upon Faith,  wherby one, loving God above all things for His own sake, and their neighbor as  oneself for God’s sake, yields up one will to a joyful obedience to the revealed  will of God in the Church.

3. The Church.
God has established the Holy Catholic Church upon earth  to be the pillar and ground of the revealed Truth; and has committed to her the  guardianship of the Holy Scriptures and of Holy Tradition, and the power of  binding and loosing.

4. The Creed. The Catholic Church has set forth the principal  Doctrines of the Christian Faith in twelve articles of the Creed, as follows:
I. I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and  of all things visible and invisible;
II. And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of  the Father before all Ages, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God,  begotten not made, of one substance with the he Father, by Whom all things were  made;
III. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was  Incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made Man;
IV. And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, He suffered and was  buried;
V. And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures;
VI. And ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
VII. And He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead;  Whose kingdom shall have no end;
VIII. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who  proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is  worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets;
IX. And in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church;
X. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins;
XI. And I look for the Resurrection of the dead;
XII. And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

This sacred Creed is sufficient for the establishment of the Truth, inasmuch  as it explicitly teaches the perfect Doctrine of the Father, the Son, and the  Holy Spirit.

5. The Sacraments. The fundamental ordinances of the Gospel,  instituted by Jesus Christ as special means of conveying Divine Grace and  influence to the souls of men, which are commonly called Mysteries or  Sacraments, are Seven in number, namely Baptism, Confirmation, the Holy  Eucharist, Holy Orders, Matrimony, Penance, and Unction.

Holy Baptism is the first Sacrament of the Gospel, administered by threefold  immersion in, or affusion with, water with the words, ” I baptize thee (you) in  the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” It admits the  recipient into the Church, bestows upon them the forgiveness of sins, original  and actual, through the Blood of Christ, and causes in them a spiritual change  called Regeneration. Without valid Baptism no other Sacrament can be validly  received.

Holy Confirmation or Chrismation is a Sacrament in which the baptized person,  on being anointed with Chrism consecrated by the Bishops of the Church, with the  imposition of hands, receive the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit to  strengthen them in the grace which they received at Baptism, making them a  strong and perfect Christian and a good soldier of Christ.

The Holy Eucharist is a Sacrament in which, under the appearance of Bread and  Wine, the real and actual Body and Blood of Christ are given and received for  the remission of sins, the increase of Divine grace, and the reward of  everlasting Life. After the prayer of Invocation of the Holy Spirit in the  Liturgy, the bread and wine are entirely converted into the Living Body and  Blood of Christ by an actual change of being to which change the philosophical  terms of Transubstantiation and Transmutation are rightly applied. The  celebration of this Mystery or Sacrament, commonly called the Mass, constitutes  the chief act of Christian worship, being a sacrificial Memorial or  re-Presentation of our Lord’s death. It is not a repetition of the Sacrifice  offered once for all upon Calvary, but is a perpetuation of that Sacrifice by  the Church on earth, as our Lord also perpetually offers it in heaven. It is a  true and propitiatory Sacrifice, which is offered alike for the living and for  the departed.

Holy Orders is a Sacrament in which the Holy Spirit, through the laying-on of  hands of Bishops, consecrates and ordains the pastors and ministers chosen to  serve in the Church, and imparts to them special grace to administer the  Sacraments, to forgive sins, and to feed the flock of Christ.

Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament in which the voluntary union of husband and  wife is sanctified to become an image of the union between Christ and His  Church; and grace is imparted to them to fulfill the duties of their estate and  its great responsibilities, both to each other and to their children.

Holy Penance is a Sacrament in which the Holy Spirit bestows the forgiveness  of sins, by the ministry of the priest, upon those who, having sinned after  Baptism, confess their sins with true repentance, and grace is given to amend  their lives thereafter.

Holy Unction is a Sacrament in which the priests of the Church anoint the  sick with oil, for the healing of the infirmities of their souls, and if it  should please God, those of their bodies also.

The efficacy of the Sacraments depends upon the promise and appointment of  God; nevertheless, they benefit only those who receive them worthily with faith,  and with due preparation and disposition of mind.

6. Holy Scripture. The Scriptures are writings inspired by God, and  given to the Church for her instruction and edification. The Church is therefore  the custodian and the only Divinely appointed interpreter of Holy Scripture.

7. Tradition.
The Apostolic and Ecclesiastical Traditions received  from the seven General Councils and the early Fathers of the Church may not be  rejected; but are to be received and obeyed as being both agreeable to Holy  Scripture and to that Authority with which Christ endowed His Church. Matters of  discipline and ceremonial do not rank on the same level with matters of Faith  and Morals, but may be altered from time to time and from place to place by the  Authority of the Church according as the welfare and greater devotion of the  faithful may be furthered thereby.

8. The Communion of the Saints.
There is a Communion of Saints in the  Providence of God, wherein the souls of the righteous men of all ages are united  with Christ in the bond of faith and love. Wherefore it is pleasing to God, and  profitable to men, to honor the Saints and to invoke them in prayer; and also to  pray for the faithful departed.

9. Religious Symbols.
The relics and representations of the Saints are  worthy of honor, as are also all other religious emblems; that our minds may be  encouraged to devotion and to imitation of the deeds of the just. Honor shown to  such objects is purely relative, and in no way implies a confusion of the  symbols with the thing signified.

10. Rites and Ceremonies. It is the duty of all Christians to join in  the worship of the Church, especially in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in  accordance with our Lord’s express command; and to conform to the ceremonies  prescribed by holy Tradition for the greater dignity of that Sacrifice and for  the edification of the faithful.

11. The Moral Law.
All Christians are bound to observe the moral law  contained in the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament, developed with greater  strictness in the New, founded upon the law of nature and charity, and defining  our duty to God and to man. The laws of the Church are also to be obeyed, as  proceeding from that Authority which Christ has committed to her for the instruction and salvation of His people.

12. The Monastic Estate.
The monastic life, duly regulated according  to the laws of the Church, is a salutary institution in
strict accord with the  Holy Scriptures; and is full of profit to them who, after being carefully tried  and examined, make full proof of their calling thereto.

Organic Articles

1. Head of the Church. The Foundation Head and Supreme Pastor and  Bishop of the Church is our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, from Whom all Bishops and  Pastors derive their spiritual powers and jurisdiction.

2. Obedience. By the laws and institution of our Lord Jesus Christ in  the Gospel, all Christians owe obedience and submission in spiritual things to  them who have rule and authority within the Church.

3. Ministerial Authority. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not commit rule  and authority within the Church to all the faithful indiscriminately, but only  to the Apostles and to their lawful successors in due order.

4.Apostolic Succession. The only lawful successors of the Apostles are the  Orthodox and Catholic Bishops, united by profession of the self-same Belief,  participation in the same Sacraments, and mutual recognition and Intercommunion.  The Bishops of the Church, being true successors of the Apostles, are by Divine  Right and appointment the rulers of
the Church.

In virtue of this appointment, each individual Bishop is supreme and  independent in that part of the Church which has been committed to his care, so  long as he remains in Faith and Communion with the united company of Catholic  Bishops, who cannot exclude any from the Church, save only them who stray from  the path of virtue or err in Faith.
By virtue of this same Divine appointment, the supreme Authority over the  whole Church on earth belongs to the collective Orthodox and Catholic  Episcopate. They alone form the highest tribunal in spiritual matters, from  whose united judgment there can be no appeal; so that it is unlawful for any  single Bishop, or any smaller group of Bishops apart from them, or for any  secular power or state, to usurp this authority, or for any individual Christian to substitute his own private judgment for that interpretation of Scripture or  Authority which is approved by the Church.

5. Church Authority. The collective body of the Orthodox and Catholic  Episcopate, united by profession of the Faith, by the Sacraments, and by mutual  recognition and actual Intercommunion, is the source and depository of all  order, authority and jurisdiction in the Church, and is the center of visible  Catholic Unity; so that no Pope, Patriarch or Bishop, or any number of Bishops  separated from this united body can possess any authority or jurisdiction  whatsoever.

The authority of this collective body is equally binding, however it may be  expressed: whether by a General Council or by the regular and ordinary  consultation and agreement of the Bishops themselves.  It is an act of schism to appeal from the known judgment of the Orthodox and  Catholic Episcopate, however it may have been ascertained; or to appeal from any  dogmatic decree of any General Council even though such appeal be to a future  Council. For the Episcopate, being a continuation of the Apostolate, is clearly  a Divine institution, and its authority is founded in Divine Right. But General Councils are not of Scriptural promise of Divine appointment; and so the  Episcopate having clearly the Scriptural promise of Divine guidance into all  Truth, cannot be hampered in the exercise of its authority by the necessity of  assembling a General Council which may obviously be rendered impossible through  natural circumstances.

There have been seven General Councils only, which are recognized by the  whole of Christendom, held respective in Nicea (AD-325), Constantinople (381),  Ephesus (431), Chalcedon (451), Constantinople (553), Constantinople (680), and  Nicea (787). At no other Councils was the entire body of the Orthodox and  Catholic Episcopate representatively assembled; and the decrees and  pronouncements of no others must of themselves be accepted as binding upon the  conscience of the faithful.

The Authority of the Church can never be in abeyance, even though a General  Council cannot be assembled. It is equally to be submitted to and obeyed in  whatever way it may be exercised, and although it may be exercised only through  the ordinary administration of their respective jurisdictions by individual  Bishops.

6. Hierarchy. All patriarchs, archbishops, and metropolitans (that is  to say, all Bishops who exercise any authority over other Bishops owe that  authority solely to the appointment or general consent of the Orthodox and  Catholic Episcopate; nor can they ever cease from owing obedience to the  collective body of the Episcopate in all matters concerning Faith and Morals.

7. The Five Patriarchates. There are five Patriatchates, which ought  to be united and form the supreme authority in the administration and government  of the Holy Catholic Church. These are Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, and  Constantinople. Unfortunately, owing to disputes and differences on the one  hand, and to the lust for power and supremacy and domination on the other, the  Patriarchs are not at present in Communion; and the welfare of Christendom is  jeopardized by their unedifying quarrels, which, we pray, may soon have an end.