THE PROGRESSIVE CELTIC CHURCH- PROGRESSIVE INCLUSIVE CHRISTIAN
Constitution and By Laws of the Progressive Celtic Church
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, To release the oppressed,to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Luke 4:18-19
Founding Statement and Principle
"The Progressive Celtic Church just like the early Celtic Church adapts and embraces all positive spiritual practices that we can incorporate into our Christian faith and those influences include Shamanism and other earth-based spiritual traditions of the Celtic people, As Celtic Christians we can show that this can often be what some are called upon to the heal gaps with humanity that was really the original teachings of Jesus Christ, minus convoluted manmade doctrine and practices that divide the Body of Christ."
Our Affirmation of Faith
We believe in God, who love is the source of all life and the desire of our lives, who love was given a human face in Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified by the evil that waits the enslave ignorance within us all. And who love, defeating even death, is our glorious promise of freedom within the ever loving arms of God, our Creator. Therefore, though we are sometime fearful and fill of doubt, we trust in that eternal love and in the name of Jesus the Christ and Messiah, we commit ourselves, in the service of others, to seek justice and live in peace, to care for the earth in which God had in cared to us and to share the commonwealth of God’s goodness with those around us, for we hold to the brotherhood and sisterhood of all humankind, that know his love for us when we best serve those around in need and despair. To live in the freedom of forgiveness, and the Spirit of Love, and the company of Faithful, past, present, and yet to come so to be the Church, we shall be in Christ, for the Glory of God Amen
Affirmation of Faith
We believe that God is Love, and Power, and Truth, and Light; that perfect justice rules the world; that all His sons shall one day reach His feet, however far they stray. We hold the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of mankind; we know that we do serve Him best when best we serve our brother man. So shall His blessing rest on us and peace for evermore
The Progressive Celtic Church (PCC) has been called to do the following:
1. To be a inclusive and progressive community were people who both have Celtic and non-Celtic backgrounds can form local communities around the world within the spirit and model of the Ancient Celtic Christian Church in worshiping our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We affirm expression of the highest spiritual principle is found in unconditional love, mutual respect for the Universal Human Rights of all people.
2. To engage in ministries to the economically distressed, those suffering from various addictions, the n imprisoned, widows and widowers, the elderly, physically impaired, and others who seem abandoned or
forgotten by the mainline denominations. We also believe that we should be kind, do good deeds for others, and others will do likewise thus we believe in that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. For every day is a new beginning in each of our lives.
3. To be a inclusive and progressive Celtic Christian witness for social justice and reconciliation on behalf of those who have been overlooked by society. For we are committed to promote and work for social justice and reconciliation on behalf of all of the God's creation and people and that all true spiritual expressions are living in obedience to the God's and nature's Laws. For we all bring unhappiness to ourselves by the errors we make and we will be happy if we obey the laws of life.
4. To be committed to a true inclusive and ecumenical Celtic Christian witness with other Christian groups. While being committed to Celtic Christian Tradition; also we believe strongly in the integrity and expression of all spiritual traditions of humankind
5. To model collegiate relationships among bishops, clergy, ministers, communities, and people where all responsibility and authority is shared equally in non-administrated issues.
6. To be a model of a inclusive, universal body of committed Celtic Christianity at work in the world and that works in the world that expresses itself through the marginalized and those with very little resources. We bring unhappiness to ourselves by the errors we make and we will be happy if we obey the laws of life..
7. To recognize and give thanks for our uniqueness among Christian communities of faith while continually striving to effectively serve the Body of Christ by our shared ministries and to reach out to those who will need our help even if they do not share our beliefs for this is the Christian thing to do.
Thus we stand by what our societies’ motto states in Latin:
• Progressio aeternam- Eternal Progression.
• Et plenius vivunt, omnes- A Fuller Life for Everyone.
• Auxilium vivere, vive.-To Live and Help Live.
• "Nos unum sumus."- "We Are One."
7. This Church stands within the context of the Sacramental Christian faith (universal Catholic) stands firmly and proudly for
- Respect For Individual Choice
- Freedom Of Thought And Belief
- Rejection ipso facto of all forms of dogmatism and authoritarianism
- Integrity of Individual Conscience
- Diversity, Inclusiveness and the Affirmation of the Unconditional Love and Acceptance Of All People by Jesus Christ
I. Name of the Church
The Name of this Church shall be known as the Progressive Celtic Church otherwise known as the PCC.
II. Declaration of Faith in the following documents
Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ and our personal Savior.
the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
the inerrancy and divine inspiration of Holy Scripture
The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of God
The Ecumenical Creeds, (Apostles, and Nicene, )
the wisdom and guidance of the doctrines of the Seven Early Church Ecumenical Councils.
The appreciate of the wisdom and guidance of the Early Church Fathers and Mothers including those from the Celtic Lands
The Declaration of Utrecht
Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry and the New Delhi Statement on Unity (World Council of Churches)
Theological Method of Scripture, Tradition and Reason plus Experience
The Apostolic Succession of Bishops
The Seven Historic Sacraments-Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Anointing and Prayers for the Sick, Confession and Reconciliation, Marriage and Holy Orders.
the Bread and Wine becomes the real presence of Jesus Christ within the Eucharist.
the Eucharist is open to all Christian believers
All Holy Orders are open to both men and women, married, single or orientation .
celibacy of those in Holy Orders is a personal decision
The Progressive Celtic Church's Affirmation of Faith
Universality of all Humanity
Roger William's ideals on Liberty of Conscience
the sanctity of marriage, however we believe that Jesus is merciful and those who have been divorced and/or remarried are offered the sacraments of the Church.
contraception is a personal decision.
the responsibility of stewardship of our planet, Earth.
The Mission of the Church as expressed in the Gospel of Matthew 28:19-20 and Luke 4:18-19
III. Membership in the CCC
1. By the sacrament of Holy Baptism and
2. Endorsement of the canons of the PCC and
3. Commitment to support the PCC with our prayers, presence, gifts and service
IV. Ministry in the PCC
1. All members of the Church are members of the Order of the Baptized and share in the general ministry of the Church. As a baptized member of Christ's church one shares in the priesthood of the faithful expressed in worship and service in the world. Each person is called to find their liturgy (the work of the people) and offer it as
a spiritual sacrifice to God and for the good of all. The PCC seeks to enable all its members to participate in the general ministry of reconciliation committed to the whole Church.
2. Among the baptized there are those who are specifically called to works of mercy, justice and proclamation of the Word. Such persons are deacons and after a time of discernment and preparation are ordained by the bishop to the diaconate to be signs of the Church's commitment to mercy in the world and to lead the faithful in
3. Among the baptized are those who are specifically called to the ministry of Word and Sacrament as presbyters (priests). Persons called to the presbyterate will, after a time of discernment and preparation, be ordained by the bishop to share in the ministries of Word and Sacrament and in the ministry of general oversight of the bishop.
4. Among the presbyters there are those who are called of God and the Church to serve as bishop in providing oversight, teaching and sacramental ministry to the People of God. New Bishops are selected by the PCC Council of Bishops and are ordained in the historic apostolic succession.
5. No person shall be ordained to the sacred ministry of the Church who has not demonstrated a commitment to working in ministries as a baptized member of the Church.
V. The Council of Bishops
1. All the bishops and heads of religious orders that are recognized by the Council of Three and is a part of this Church shall be members the Council of Bishops.
2. The Council of Bishops shall function as the administrative officers of the PCC.
3. The Council of bishops shall seek to explore and implement ideas and suggestions of PCC members.
4. The Council of Bishops may propose initiatives to the PCC members.
5. The Council of Bishops is responsible for the day to day general administration of the Church.
6. The Council of Bishops is responsible for establishing the legal affairs of the Church in relation tovarious civil entities.
7. The Council of Bishops has general oversight over the clergy of the Church and may require of the clergy such reports of their ministry as necessary to provide oversight and direction.
8. The Council of Bishops may act to temporarily suspend the faculties of clergy for good cause.
9. The Council of Bishops and the Council of Three shall establish appropriate standards for clergy preparation and conduct. To assist the bishops in clergy formation a vocations committee may be created composed of those members whom the bishops believe well qualified to assist with this work.
10. Bishops of this Church will not participate in the consecration of another bishop for this Church without the election of the candidate by the Council of Bishops, nor will individual bishops ordain clergy for this church without the prior consent of the Council of Bishops as stated below.
11. The ordination of new clergy to the Church shall take place only after the Local Bishop Ordinary and the Council of Bishops approve of individual candidates and certify that the person has met the eligibility requirements to receive Holy Orders.
12. The Council of Bishops shall be responsible for establishing ecumenical relationships with other Christian jurisdictions or denominations. Decisions beyond mutual recognition and inter-communion shall be subject to ratification by the Council of Bishops and the Council of Three.
13. Bishops may be removed from office by action of the Council of Bishops after hearing charges and appointing a committee of investigation. Lesser penalties may be imposed at the discretion of the Council of Bishops and Council of Three.
14. The Council of Bishops may elect one of its members to serve as Presiding Bishop or President of the Council of Bishops and the Council of Three.
15. The Council of Bishops may set the term of office of Metropolitan Archbishop and determine the duties and responsibilities of this office consistent with the canons and policies of this church and with the agreement with Council of Three.
16. The Council of Bishop is the Canonical authority of this Church
B. Responsibility of the Council of Three
The Council of Three shall be the founding bishops of the Progressive Celtic Church which are Bishop + Kirk Mason ( Alban), Bishop + Rodney Rickard, and Bishop + Brendan Rumph, they are to serves as chief executive officers of the Council of Bishops of the Church and administrators of Progressive Celtic Church
- There responsibility to is to resolve conflict that might happened within the Council of Bishops by full consensus,
- Hear appeals of disciplinary cases of clergy and communities after the House of Bishop discuss the matter there is no consensus and t if the local convening bishop and such parties can resolve such conflicts.
- Be the final authority of disassociation of a bishop within the House of Bishop, after a disciplinary action has gone through full action within the House of Bishops. The said bishop has the right to appeal to the Council of Three for review and action.
- And finalize all Intercommunion and Full Communion Agreements after they gone through The Council of Three for a vote.
VI. Board of Directors or Advisory Council
At the discretion and the consent of the Council of Bishops, a Board of Directors or another advisory body may be created to assist the bishops in the creation of policy and the carrying out of administrative responsibilities. The Board of Directors/Advisory Council would work in concert with the Council of Bishops and decisions made independently by the Bishops or the Board would be subject to confirmation by the other body before action would be taken.
VII. Missions and Ministries
The Council of Bishops has the authority to establish or recognize missions and ministries developed by this Church, its members, or by another agency. Only those missions and ministries approved by the Council of Bishops shall be entitled to be identified as being in relation to the PCC.
We within the Progressive Celtic Church shall allow other validity ordained clergy in apostolic succession who share our vision and principles to be consider incardinating or transferring as clergy with us as full sacramental deacons and presbyters (priests) through the application process. They shall be giving full faculties accordance to the canons, code of conduct and church safety plan this Church as set forth by the Council of Bishops
IX. Dual Affiliation
We within the Progressive Celtic Church shall allow other validity ordained clergy in apostolic succession who share in our vision and principles to be consider dually affiliated clergy with us and remain with the jurisdiction or denomination they come from. Thus such clergy shall have a full ecclesiastical standing within the Old Catholic Church-Charismatic Rite as well as affiliation with another there other jurisdiction through the application process . They shall be giving full faculties accordance to the constitution and by-laws, code of conduct and church safety plan this Church as set forth by the Council of Bishops.
X. Liturgical Worship
This Church shall follow the Western rites. This includes rites based on the most ancient sources as well as later or modern rites based on ancient liturgical sources. Each local Bishop shall establish the ritual usages in his or her ordinary jurisdiction within this Canon. The liturgical use of Gaelic is permitted, even encouraged, but is not required. English is the official administrative language of the Church. The liturgical use of vernacular languages appropriate to the congregations of the faithful is fully authorized at this moment. From time to time, other liturgies may be used within the \Progressive Celtic Church, but they are only authorized only by the Bishops Ordinary or Council of Bishops.
XI. Civil Law
All members, in their civil business, corporations, etc., must comply with federal, State, and local secular civil and criminal laws and regulations, and must undertake everything honestly and ethically, holding the Church and the Order and all the other members thereof harmless and free of liability. Hereby, every member is strongly exhorted to honest, decent, moral, behavior, in accord with Christian teachings and beliefs, and to comply with federal, State, and local secular civil and criminal laws and regulations as a law-abiding citizen; anyone who fails to do so is solely and personally liable for his or her actions or omissions. All members of the Church and the Order are expected and required at this moment always to act legally and with financial responsibility, both in their private lives and their ministries.
XII. Parliamentary Authority
The Council of Bishops may from time to time may procedural questions not addressed by the Constitution and By-laws and policies of this Church shall be referred to Robert's Rules of Order, revised edition. In general, the practice of this church will be to make decisions by consensus wherever possible among the House of Bishops.
XIII. Amendment of Canons and Policies
The canons of the PCC may be amended, added to or deleted by action of the Council of Bishops.A two-thirds majority is required to change, add or delete canons of the Church. It can be done by e-mail, mail, or by phone.
The Progressive Celtic Church., (hereinafter referred to as “the church”) is a gathering of Christian men, women and children, professing faith in the Holy Trinity and advocating the following of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our daily lives. This following includes acceptance of the dignity of each person and that each person is a temple of the Holy Spirit of God and must be respected. To this end, each should be free of any form of sexual harassment, so that any and all clergy, members and guests may worship and socialize in an atmosphere that is safe and respectful of all.
It is a violation of this policy for any clergy, member or guest to harass another clergyperson, member or guest through conduct or communication which is unwanted or unwelcome by the person to whom such conduct or communication is addressed, or by a witness who deems such conduct or communication so offensive that (1) it has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with his/her participation in that event or (2) which may diminish the reputation of the church.
Any clergy person, member or guest who believes she/he has been subjected to sexual harassment may make an internal complaint as described below and/or pursue other remedies provided by federal or state law.
“Sexual Harassment” is verbal or physical communication or conduct based on a person’s sex, affectional orientation or marital status which has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a person’s participation in an event sponsored by the church, or within the church as a whole, or which diminishes the reputation of the church to even hosts or other organizations.
Clergy is defined as any person duly ordained as a deacon, priest or bishop of the PCC.
Member is defined as any person who has chosen to become an active participant in the PCC.
Guest is defined as any person who attends a worship service, meeting or event sponsored by PCC either as an observer or a party interested in becoming a member.
A person may report an allegation of sexual harassment she/he has experience or witnessed at an event sponsored by the church, to any member of the Council of Bishops. Upon receipt of a verbal or written report of sexual harassment, the member of the Council of Bishops who receives the report shall notify the other Council members. If the report accuses a member of the Council of Bishops, the member receiving the report shall notify only the unaccused member. Reports and the forwarding of reports shall take place as soon as possible, but not later than thirty (30) days after the alleged occurrence.
Upon receipt of the report, the Bishop receiving it shall convene a meeting or teleconference with the other members of the Council of Bishops as soon as possible. If the report accuses a member of the Council of Bishops, the convener of the meeting shall notify that member of the report, and excuse him/her from the meeting or teleconference. If the report accuses a person(s) who is/are not members of the Council of Bishops, the meeting or teleconference shall be conducted prior to notifying the accused that a report has been field involving him/her/them.
Reasonable measures shall be taken to notify all members of the Council of Bishops of the meeting or teleconference. After establishing that a quorum is present, the convener shall entertain a motion to enter executive session.
In executive session, the Council of Bishops shall discuss the report and develop a plan for contacting the person(s) accused in the report. The details of the report shall be shared with this/these person(s), and an opportunity for a verbal or written response shall be provided. Care shall be taken that the report and response be kept confidential among the members of the Council of Bishops and any others the council may deem to have a need to know this information. The executive session may be adjourned and reconvened as necessary.
During the executive session, no detailed minutes shall be kept of the discussion; however, a concise summary of the council’s discussion and decision, not identifying the accused, shall be attached to the minutes as a confidential appendix.
Any clergyperson or member found to have violated this policy may be subject to appropriate consequences as set forth by the council including, but not limited to, warning, exclusion from church events for a specific period of time, counseling with an approved counselor, suspension from church-sponsored events until the counseling has been successfully completed, or expulsion from the Progressive Celtic Church.
Any person who is not a member of the church and is found to have violated this policy shall be contacted in person or by phone, as soon as possible by one of the Bishops so designated by the Council, notified of the report and afforded an opportunity to make a verbal or written response. After the council has fully discussed the report and the response(s) from the accused, it shall render a decision and prescribe, as appropriate, any of the consequences enumerated above.
Within 30 days of the final executive session held to discuss the report, the convener shall mail to all persons accused in the report and to all members of the Council of Bishops, a summary of that status of the report. If a person accused in the report is a candidate for the office of deacon, priest or bishop all advancement to said office shall be halted until such time as a satisfactory resolution has been reached.
The Council of Bishops may exercise the right to set forth consequences for those persons found to have issued a false report of sexual harassment.\
By my signature, I verify that I have read and am aware of the PCC policy of “Sexual Harassment.” I further understand that this policy has been adopted not only to protect my own person and reputation, but that of the Progressive Celtic Church as well.
The Progressive Celtic Church(hereinafter referred to as “the Church”) is a gathering of Christian men, women and children, professing faith in the Holy Trinity and advocating the following of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their daily lives. By divine institution some among the Christian Faithful are constituted sacred ministers through the sacraments of orders by means of the indelible character with which they are marked. Accordingly, they are consecrated and deputed to shepherd the people of God, each in accord with his or her grade of orders, by fulfilling in the person of Christ.
Head the functions of teaching, sanctifying and governing.
The following includes the integrity of the individual person as he or she represents him or herself as honest, true forthright and virtuous. To this end, each person seeking Incardination or ordination to the diaconate, presbyters or episcopacy should be honest, true and forthright and virtuous in his or her character as it is revealed through the formation process.
In order for anyone to be ordained licitly to the diaconate, presbyterate, or episcopacy, it is required that the candidate complete a period of probation for at least one year. He or she is not restrained by any irregularity of impediment; he or she has fulfilled the pre-requisites according tot hose set down by the Director of Formation.
A person who is affected by a perpetual impediment, which is called an irregularity or a simple impediment is prevented from receiving orders. The following are irregular as regards to the reception of orders:
A person who labors some form of insanity or other psychic defect due to which, after consultation with experts,
1. He or she is judged incapable of rightly carrying out the ministry
2. A person who has a criminal record which would question or challenge his or her ability to carry out a ministry.
3. A person whose intention and/or desire for ministry is deemed questionable by consultation of the bishops and formation directors.
4. A person who has failed to complete all pre-requisites and/or tampered with documents and/or falsely represented him or herself.
5. A person who fails to exhibit genuine piety, good morals, and adequate comprehension of correct doctrine.
It is a violation of this policy for any person seeking Incardination or ordination into the clergy, to intentionally misrepresent him or herself in any way that may otherwise have excluded him or her form ordination. This includes but is not limited to such matters as criminal record, and personality disorder, or a psychological disorder.
It is the policy of the church to request documentation from candidates for Incardination or ordination to the diaconate, the presbyterate or the episcopacy. These documents include, but are not limited to the following:
• Birth Certificate
• Testamentum for those seeking Incardination
• Official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended since high school
• Baptismal, Communion and confirmation certificates with seal.
• Physical examination by a mental health professional approved by the bishops
• Psychological evaluation by a mental health professional approved by the bishops
• Validation of all ministerial activity
• Letters of recommendation from at least three persons who have knowledge and/or experience of the candidate’s ministerial activities
These documents and any other documents that are deemed pertinent or contributive to the discernment and application process of the candidate will be forthcoming in a timely manner. These documents will be an honest disclosure and representation of the candidate’s application process.
To withhold or alter information, which would, in fact prohibit a candidate from incardination or ordination to the diaconate, the presbyterate, or the episcopacy is considered dishonest, untrue, non-forthright and non-virtuous in the character of the candidate.
An offense against a policy of honest disclosure includes but is not limited to:
1. One who fabricates a false public ecclesiastical document, or changes, destroys or conceals an authentic document or uses a false or changes document.
2. One who states a falsehood in/on a public ecclesiastical document.
3. One who withholds information deemed appropriate to the discernment process for either incardination or ordination.
4. One who misrepresents him or herself in any way to procure the state of ordination illicitly.
The reception of the sacraments, including the sacrament of orders assumes that the candidates have the following:
1. Sufficient use of reason
2. Proper intention and discretion of judgment concerning the diaconal, presbyteral, or Episcopal duties which are to be received and carried out in ministerial integrity.
3. Psychologically capable of assuming the essential obligations of ordained ministry.
Any person who fails to meet these requirements is not a suitable candidate for ordination or incardination. In the event that a person has been, in fact, ordained, he or she will be determined to have been ordained invalidly and his or her ordination will be determined to be null and void of sacramentality.
HOLY ORDERS POLICY
CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION TO THE CANDIDACY FOR THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS IN THE PROGRESSIVE CELTIC CHURCH.
Two year minimum membership with the Progressive Celtic Church. (PCC)
- One year approved diaconate ministry prior to ordination to priesthood after the two-year minimum relationships with PCC.
- Minimum two years ongoing spiritual direction with an approved spiritual director.
Psychological evaluation by an appointed psychiatrist.
- Course work consisting of Moral Theology, Systematic Theology, and Scripture equivalent to 36 college credit hours from an accredited Christian Institution approved by the Formation Council. Verifiable ministerial work experience of 3000 hours with at least 2000 hours in one setting. CPE quarters are acceptable.
- Letters of recommendation from the following
- Ministerial supervisor
- Spiritual director
- Instructor of course work
- Non-related adult
- Periodic meetings with the Formation Council.
CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION TO CONSIDERATION OF ORDAINED CLERGY FROM OTHER COMMUNIONS INTO THE PROGRESSIVE CELTIC CHURCH.
- Two year minimum membership within the PCC
- Minimum of two years of ongoing spiritual direction
- Psychological evaluation by an appointed psychiatrist
- Transcript from seminary or college
- Proof of ordination
- Verifiable ministerial work experience of 3000 hours with at least 2000 hours in one setting. CPE quarter are acceptable.
- Letters of recommendation from the following:
Instructor of course work
P eriodic meeting with the Formation Council
A CLARIFICATION OF POLICY REGARDING
RELIGIOUS AND SECULAR MARRIAGE
An introduction to the marriage issue:
The Progressive Celtic Church blesses same sex relationships as well as those who have been previously married and divorced.. In doing so, we are in the minority of churches that grant a marital blessing to same sex couples. .It is therefore appropriate that the Church clarify its position on this issue.
1. Marriage exists in two forms
Marriage as a religious or sacramental covenant consists of a mutual covenant or solemn promise between two consenting adults making public vows before God and the witnesses of the Church who give their assent and blessing to this new covenantal relationship. While a moral obligation is created by such a covenant, there is no civil or legal obligation created by a religious marriage.
Marriage as a secular civil contract is one in which two consenting adults enter into legally enforceable set of obligations to one another The State, and not the Church, sets the terms and conditions of this relationship and grants certain privileges in law to those whom the State has granted permission to make such a contract.. Accordingly, the State issues licenses to those deemed eligible to marry and governs the terms of the contract and its ending in terms of divorce or legal separation.
2. Religious Marriage is a Sacrament of the Church for all
Religious sacramental marriage is not divisible between opposite and same sex couples. What is essential to our understanding of marriage is not biological accessories, or being able to procreate children. Farm animals can procreate and do so without benefit of clergy. Human beings can procreate in the same way. What makes marriage a Christian covenant and a sacrament has to do with the spiritual significance of the relationship. This spiritual relationship is the same whether the couple is opposite or same sex. (See I Cor 13) Therefore, there is no need to distinguish between heterosexual marriage and homosexual 'holy unions'. They are both constituted by the same act of love and commitment, the same spiritual qualities are essential to both kinds of couples.
3. The Sacramental validity of Marriage
The essence of marriage is spiritual friendship in which each partner ministers in love and faithfulness to the other with the intention of doing so for their entire lifetime. In John's Gospel Jesus says "I no longer call you servants, but friends." This is the inward spiritual grace of marriage. When this relationship of love and trust fails, the marriage is over, whether or not there is a separation or a legal divorce. The outward visible sign of this relationship is a shared life in which each partner increasingly opens his or her life to the other, and that includes sexual intimacy as well as communication, shared resources, time, talents and much else. Again, this does not depend upon producing offspring, but if children are desired they become partakers of this covenant and sacrament of love and self giving. Marriage is sacramental when it reflects this kind of self giving love which we see in Christ Jesus. It is not sacramental simply because one begets children who may not be desired or wanted or cared for. Thus, producing offspring is not a condition of sacramental validity, nor is recognition by the State of a civil marriage an indication of a valid Christian marriage. What determines validity is the spiritual nature of the covenantal relationship between the two persons.
4. Conditions for Religious Marriage in the PCC.
The Progressive Celtic Church will bless those couples, regardless of gender, or previous marriages, who seek to enter into this kind of marital relationship and ask for God's blessing. As with opposite sex marriage, so with same sex marriage, persons seeking to enter into the Covenant and Sacrament of Marriage will be expected to make adequate preparation by meeting with the clergy for premarital counseling regarding their relationship including any previous marriages, discuss the religious and spiritual significance of their relationship, and understand the liturgical celebration the Covenant and Sacrament of Holy Marriage. In all such counseling sessions the confidentiality of the participants will be respected, and in all such requests for sacramental marriage the decision of the priest or minister is to be regarded as final.
5. Optional Terminology Usage
For pastoral reasons we may allow couples to choose to designate their relationship as a 'holy union' if they so desire, but for our Church the nature of the relationship they are choosing to enter is the Covenant and Sacrament of Holy Marriage.
6. Concurrent Religious and Civil Marriage in one ceremony
Through the USA are permissible the priest (or deacon) presiding will counsel the couple to insure they understand the nature of the covenant and sacramental nature of the relationship and are freely choosing to make this life long commitment to each other. Having established that the persons have this religious intention, the priest may also at the same time function as the civil magistrate (if that is permitted by law), witnessing their vows and signing the civil license or registration form required to record the civil contract as valid according to the laws of that State. Thus, the PCC will regard this couple as having entered into the sacrament of marriage, even though the State may regard it as simply a domestic partnership agreement.
The Progressive Celtic Church has one sacrament of marriage for all couples, and not one for heterosexual couples and a different blessing for homosexual couples. Both enter into the same sacramental commitment of lifelong love, spiritual friendship, caring and ministry to one another and the world. These vows they witness before God and the church, and to each kind or relationship we bless them in God's name and add our Amen.
GLOSSARY OF PCC TERMS
Chaplaincy: an individual ministry performed in an institution that is recognized in some way by the host institution, and to which there is some kind of accountability relationship. Some examples: hospital chaplaincy, hospice chaplaincy, police and fire chaplains, military chaplains, chaplains to Dignity.
Faith Community: is a community that has accepted our canons and policies and is formally recognized and accepted as members of the PCC by the Board of Trustees and welcomed by the General Synod.
Ministry: a service provided to others, done by an individual member, which may or may not have official recognition by a host institution. Some examples, a ministry to a food pantry, a ministry to homeless persons, a campus ministry, a ministry to the LGBT community. Such ministries, if undertaken in the name of the PCC must have the approval of the bishops of the Church.
Mission: A service done with others with the intent of forming a faith community of PCC members, or secondly, a project undertaken by PCC members having a specific apostolate or charism. Missions may be transitional, with communities becoming members of the PCC, or they remain separate but affiliated with the PCC through the willing acceptance of the ministries of PCC clergy and/or lay members. Some examples: 1) a monthly PCC mass offered for former members of Dignity Burlington. These members are not interested in joining the PCC but are willing to participate in an is publicly announced as a PCC sponsored mass. 2) A mission project of a faith community in which some member’s band together to serve a particular population. Such a project could be identified as a Mission of the X faith community of the PCC. A group going to assist people due to a natural disaster could be designated a Relief Mission of the PCC
We acknowledge and accept the Union of Utrecht’s Four Ecclesiological Points, namely,
A. Ecclesiology of the Local Church:
The fullness of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church resides in the local church (diocese).
B. The Role of the Bishop and Apostolic Succession:
Apostolic succession belongs to the church. Bishops are servants of the church, elected by the church, for ordained office in the church. Apostolic succession refers to the passing on of the faith of the apostles in and through the church under the leadership and oversight of the bishop of the local church, ordained for his or her office through the laying on of hands and prayer. Apostolic succession is not the personal possession of a bishop that can be passed on to others in separation from the office of bishop in the local church. There cannot be a church without a bishop; conversely there cannot be a bishop without a church. Here the expression "local church" refers to a community of faith that can best be described as a diocese, which in turn consists of a communion of parishes and missions. Bishops without churches are outside of the apostolic succession, even though they may have been ordained with the proper ritual and the proper intention.
C. The Theology of Communion:
Even though the fullness of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church resides in the local church, the local church cannot remain alone. The church's catholicity must express itself, which it does through communion with other local churches. The bishop of a local church stands at the intersection of where the local church meets with the other churches in communion. The bishop represents the local church to the other churches in communion, and represents the churches in communion to the local church. The bishop brings concerns of importance for the local church that may have consequences for the entire communion to the attention of the other bishops of the communion, and brings the concerns of the bishops of the communion to the attention of the local church.
Synodality permeates all levels of the church. Members of the local congregation meet and make joint decisions about how to implement the mission, pastoral care and finances of the parish. It elects the pastor from qualified candidates. It elects a parish committee of lay people to govern the temporal affairs of the parish, and ministers side by side with the pastor. It elects representatives to the Diocesan Synod. The dioceses by the bishop had can be advised by lay people and clergy. The council of bishops elects the bishop. the bishop in the governance of the diocese.
3. We accept the Declaration of Utrecht (1889), and support the visions of the Munich Declaration (1871), and the Fourteen Thesis of the Old Catholic Union Conference at Bonn (1874).
4. The clergy candidates are to be educated as professionals at the university level, or, at the discretion of the local bishop. Candidates with sufficient pastoral experience may also be ordained. Whenever possible, candidates will normally attain a Master's Degree or its' equivalent in theology or ministry.
5. The church is open to everyone. All baptized members are called to be ministers of the church, and those who are qualified may be elected to and called to holy orders with the laying on of hands for service in the church.
CODE OF ETHICS FOR ORDAINED INDIVIDUALS
In My Life
I will always devote time to seeking spiritual guidance through reading the Christian Scriptures and prayer.
I will endeavor to keep myself physically and emotionally fit.
I will seek in all ways to be Christ-like in my personal attitude and conduct.
I will seek mutual accountability and spiritual friendship with spiritual enlightened human beings for personal encouragement and nurture to ensure faithfulness to my calling as an Celtic Deacon and Priest.
In Relationship to My Family
I will consider each member of my immediate family as precious gifts from God, and will carefully, lovingly and responsibly meet their needs as a sacred obligation to Him.
I will give spiritual leadership in my home.
I will be faithful and loyal to my family members, loving them as Jesus Christ loves His Church.
In Relationship to this Church
I will remember that I am called to lead, but also to serve.
I will never violate a confidence given to me.
I will be diligent in my duties as pastor, never lazy, but with God
I will be spiritual and loving in all my preaching, presenting the whole counsel of God,
I will strive to introduce people to Christ within them.
I will consider my call to the ministry a sacred responsibility and stand by the decision.
I will seek the unity of other of like mindedness and resist any attempts to divide.
In Relationship to Other Ministers
I will be a brother or sister with a mind of Christ within me to my fellow ministers and priest or bishops.
I will not seek to build my ministries at the expense of another ministry, nor my ego at the expense of another ministry.
I will not speak uncharitably or love when not provoked by the other to stand firm on the power of the Christ within me.
In Relationship to the Church
I will participate in the larger fellowship of the Progressive Celtic Church and seek to support through prayer and action its aims and objectives as outlined in the canons of this church.
In Relationship to the Community
I will seek to be responsible for all my personal finances.
I will seek to build a positive relationship with the community around me without sacrificing my ministry to those that I work with.
The purpose of this policy is to protect children as well as adults with severe physical and mental disabilities; who may come into contact with clergy of The Progressive Celtic Church
Charismatic Rite in the context of ministry and to ensure that clergy can work within a sup-portive framework that sets out clear guidelines for their actions.
- Criminal Record checks
- Every member of the clergy of The Progressive Celtic Church shall be required at the time of application for ordination or incardination to produce a recent check obtained from the criminal background checks. Regular and ongoing checks will be required after that.
- No person who has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register shall be admitted to any form of ministry involving children.
- In ministering to children and young people below the age of eighteen as well as adults with severe physical and mental disabilities, all members of the clergy of The Progressive Celtic Church shall ensure that they are accompanied by a second responsible adult at all times. If the second responsible adult is not present, the ministry may not take place.
- If a member of the clergy of The Progressive Celtic Church participates in the running of any youth organization such as a club or religious study group, they shall en-sure that a register of attendance is kept of each meeting. If the group consists of members of both sexes, the second responsible adult present shall be of the opposite sex to the clergy person.
IV. Avoidance of false allegations
Clergy shall conduct them in such a way as not to facilitate the making of false allegations by young people as well as adults with severe physical and mental disabilities.
In particular, if they are placed in a situation where they feel that their integrity is at risk, they shall have the full support of the Council of Bishops in immediately removing them from that situation or activity. Clergy must not give lifts to children and young people under the age of 18 without a second responsible adult being present.
V. Child protection policies of other organizations
Clergy will observe the safety protection policies of other organizations when involved in activities within those organizations.
VI. Designated child protection officer
The designated safety protection officer is designated by the Council of Bishops for The Progressive Celtic Church to whom all inquiries concerning this policy should be addressed.