What is The Liberal Catholic Church?
A CEREMONIAL CHURCH
The Liberal Catholic Church is one of thirty or more Catholic Churches in the world which are independent of Rome, such as the Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Old Catholic, etc. It teaches the Christianity of the Christ and administers the seven Sacraments which are regarded as channels of His blessing. It is a church wherein there is intellectual and religious freedom and a natural balance between ceremonial worship, devotional aspiration, scientific and mystic thought. It uses a revised Liturgy in the language of the country, a Liturgy devised to sound a note of joyous and uplifting aspiration. The Liberal Catholic Church welcomes all and everyone to its services, those who have faith and those who have lost faith; those who believe in the literal exposition of the scriptures and those who accept the allegorical spiritual interpretation. Above all, it wishes to serve those who are earnestly seeking spiritual enlightenment.
FREEDOM OF BELIEF
The Liberal Catholic Church erects no barriers around its altars. All who come in a spirit of reverence are welcome to Holy Communion and to all other services of the Church. What opinions or beliefs an individual holds is considered to be his/her own affair. The mind that is free is in the best condition to grow. Growth into spirituality enhances the perception of truth which each one must discover for himself/herself and in his/her own way. Anything less than full mental freedom is thought to retard progress. Thus, the difference between The Liberal Catholic Church and all other Catholic and Protestant Churches lies in the fact that with the ancient sacramental worship have been associated the widest measure of intellectual freedom and respect for the individual conscience.
The Liberal Catholic Church seeks to give the world the best elements of Catholicism with the best of Protestantism. On the Catholic side are the seven Sacraments; but these have been hedged about with all kinds of man-made dogmatic encumbrances such as creeds, rigid beliefs, the confessional, penances, indulgences, etc. On the Protestant side we have an earnest attempt to promote religious freedom; but the reformers discarded the Sacraments, lost the Apostolic Succession and soon lost much of the intellectual emancipation they had previously gained, which development has led to the rise of innumerable sectarian movements.
ORDERS OF THE CLERGY
The orders of the clergy of The Liberal Catholic Church were derived through the Old Catholic Church of Holland which became independent from Rome over two centuries ago. Through this Apostolic Succession, unbroken since the time of Christ, The Liberal Catholic Church aligns itself with the historic church in past centuries. The clergy are neither forbidden nor enjoined to marry. They serve without personal remuneration. The clergy claim no authority over the individual conscience; rather, stress is laid on their function as ministers of the Divine Sacraments, ready to serve those who may ask or need their help.
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“With the words ‘Deo Gratias,” a great wave of thankfulness goes up to the Angels, who, as a parting gift, send back a fine stream in response. This is caught by the celebrant and poured out during the final benediction, along with the power and material of which the whole Eucharistic Edifice was constructed, which... dissolves into great streams of rushing force... spreading benediction wherever they go.” — Rt. Rev. C.W. Leadbeater, Late Presiding Bishop of The Liberal Catholic Church, The Science of the Sacraments.