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Church of St. Raphael Archangel
Foundations of Catholic Faith

The Liberal Catholic Church is a "Catholic Church" -- because we have maintained and value the historic organic unbroken link to the twelve apostles.  This is commonly called "Apostolic Succession."  We have a valid and recognized apostolic succession.  This may also be referred to as "Episcopal Succession," referring to the bishops, as the bishop is the direct descendent of the apostles, he is the "Modern Day Apostle."

We are organically the same congregation, or ecclesia, which was born at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem at Pentecost and a direct continuation from the apostles by a laying on of hands from each generation of bishops to the next.  We proclaim that this church corresponds to and is the same "Church of the Apostles," just as a grown up person corresponds to a picture taken of him as a child.

The Liberal Catholic Church, Theosophia Synod, is an integral part of the "One , Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church" throughout the world.

Every bishop is the living icon of Christ.  He and his flock in a particular area constitute "The Church" in that locality.

The church of Christ is the bishop, priests, deacons, and laity surrounding the Eucharist in the true faith. All bishops and their flocks so constituted compose the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

In other words there can be no church without a bishop, no bishop without the Eucharist, and no bishop or Eucharist without the apostolic pedigree.  The church is in the bishop, and the bishop is in the church.  There is no church where there is no bishop.  And there is no bishop where there is no succession from the apostles.

Also there can be no church without the Eucharist, the sacrament of unity, because the church is formed through it.  The body and blood of Christ unite the faithful to God.

This fellowship, or koinonia, is the whole purpose of Christianity.

Ancient church tradition has always maintained that Jesus Christ consecrated and commissioned the apostles with certain spiritual powers and teaching.

These special powers and teaching of which the bishops are the sole custodians are referred to as the "Magisterium" or "Christian Deposit of Faith."

The True and Original Magisterium consists of

  1. The Special Spiritual Power of the Apostles (Bishops) and
  2. Special Teachings regarding the Origin, Nature, and Destiny of Humankind, and of the Cosmos.

The Teaching is divided into two sections.

Section I

  1. The Incarnation
  2. The Passion
  3. The Crucifixion
  4. The Resurrection
  5. The Ascension
  6. The Redemption

Section II

  1. God
  2. Christ
  3. The Incarnation & The Church
  4. Sin
  5. Atonement
  6. Ethics
  7. The Communion Of Saints
  8. The End (The Finality)
  9. Death
  10. Revelation & Authority

The True Magisterium

The "Original and True Magisterium" which Jesus Christ bequeathed to the twelve apostles centered on these basic themes only.  There was no dogma, no intellectualism, no rules and regulations, no politicization or party line to follow.

At their consecration and commissioning by Jesus Christ, the Apostles received directly from Jesus spiritual powers and a direct and implicit intuitive insight and understanding, a gnosis of these teachings.  There was no intellectualizing, rationalizing or theology, but a Direct Theosophia, a knowing."

 Many things regarding the teachings of the apostles cannot be verbalized or adequately articulated in words.  The "knowing" itself cannot be verbalized.

St. Paul makes continual reference in his writings to "things of which I cannot speak."  Not that he was under any prohibition from speaking, but simply because the gnosis of the teachings cannot be adequately verbalized.  Other means of communication must be used to deploy the understanding, i.e. ritual, ceremony, symbols, signs, and enactment.

This is a very brief overview of the true and original magisterium of Jesus Christ.

It is very important that we understand this because the term "Magisterium of The Church" as it is used in the Roman Church today has deviated from this understanding.  Their use of this term refers to a loyalty to the institution of the Roman Church and not to the "True Teachings" or "Deposit of Faith" of Jesus Christ.

Orthodox Christianity still recognizes and adheres to this "True Magisterium" of Jesus Christ.

Equality and Collegiality of all the Apostles and Bishops

It is also very important that we understand that Jesus Christ consecrated and commissioned all of the apostles equally, with equal authority, "in collegium."

No one apostle was superior to any other, and none subservient.  When Jesus used the words, "Thou Art Peter And Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church," he was not referring to and singling out the individual Peter.  He was using the term "petros" meaning a rock, solid bedrock, a foundation.  The special spiritual powers and teaching he gave to the apostles was to be the foundation on and for which the church stood.

Apostolic and church history from the earliest times shows us that special councils and synods of bishops in collegium made all major decisions concerning the whole church, never the ipse dixit of one bishop.  The Bishop of Rome may be respected as the "Patriarch of the West," but he has no legitimate authority to speak for the whole church, nor is his episcopacy of greater importance, than that of any other bishop.  We reverence and respect the episcopacy of all bishops equally as living icons of Jesus Christ.

Protestant Traditions Differ

The Protestant Christians place their whole emphasis upon sacred scripture, the Holy Bible, the word of God.  They do not give equal emphasis to the sacred and holy traditions of the church.  Their way of Christian faith is different and not the same as Catholic sacramentalism.  They do not recognize the apostolic succession of church tradition.