A Common Faith

As a project in the Catholic Anglican tradition, it is expedient to establish some common principles of faith, listed below.1

It is expected that core tenets of Christianity (#1) and traditional Anglicanism (#2, #3, #4), be affirmed; reservations and dissents on these points should be noted prior to proposal or contribution.

Principles 5-7 are not required, but should be respected as a normative baseline within an Anglo-Catholic context. We request that, if dissenting, contributions do not aim to contradict—or operate subversively against—any of the below affirmations.

This project is open to contributions independent of one's affiliation—that is, regardless of parish, diocese, province, country, or communion—whether Global Anglican Communion, GAFCON, Continuing Anglican, or outwith these groups.

"One canon reduced to writing by God himself, two testaments, three creeds, four general councils, five centuries, and the series of Fathers in that period – the centuries that is, before Constantine, and two after, determine the boundary of our faith." —Lancelot Andrewes

  1. We accept the Apostles’ Creed as the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith. (Article VIII)
  2. We accept the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as “containing all things necessary to salvation,” and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith and morals. (Article VI)
  3. We accept the historic episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of His Church. We affirm the traditional, historic view of the Christian ministerial priesthood as male. (Article XXXIV)
  4. We affirm our Lord’s teaching that Holy Matrimony is in its nature the exclusive, permanent and lifelong union of one man and one woman. We affirm that God created only two complementary sexes of human beings - male and female. We also affirm that a person's God-given sex is immutable and therefore, cannot be changed.
  5. We recognize the Sacraments of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. That is, the two dominical Sacraments of Baptism and the Supper of the Lord–ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him; and those five—"commonly called Sacraments"—received through the tradition of the Undivided Church: Confirmation, Matrimony, Ordination, Reconciliation of a Penitent, and Unction of the Sick.2
  6. We believe that, in the Sacrament and mystery of the Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ is truly, really present in the Body and Blood in the outward and visible sign of Bread and Wine. (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16-17, 11:23-29, John 6:32-71)3
  7. We affirm that Seven Councils are ecumenical and catholic on the basis of the received Tradition of the ancient Undivided Church of East and West.4

  1. Simplified and revised from Forward in Faith North America 

  2. In order to offer greater possible parity with interpretations of Article XXV, this modified phrasing emphasizes that there are two dominical sacraments, and five so-called lesser sacraments of the Western Church. An Eastern Orthodox understanding of the sacraments may be phrased differently, as there is no formal number, yet affirm the same. 

  3. In order to allow a more broad interpretation of #6, the word 'substantial' found in the FiFNA declaration has been removed, affirming—at minimum—a "true and real" presence. 

  4. "Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of Holy Scripture." Article XXI