Old Anglican Catholic Church, USA
1.1 The Canons provide for the jurisdiction which the Old Anglican Catholic Church, USA was founded.
1.2 These Canons may be added too or amended from time to time as seen fit by the Apostolic Council.
1.3 The Church seeks to be as transparent as is reasonable and practical in its day to day governance.
1.4 The Church uses the Holy Bible (NKJV) and other Bibles translated from the original tongues.
1.5 The Church uses a variety of litury and litury books which are the Book of Common Prayer, An Anglican Prayer Book, The Anglican Missal, The Roman Catholic Missal, The Roman Pontifical and other liturgy and liturgical books approved by the Apostolic Council and the Metropolitan Primus.
2.1 The Old Anglican Catholic Church, USA (hereinafter the Church) proclaims the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and seeks to provide a home for those of the Continuing Evangelical Anglican and Catholic faiths.
2.2 For avoidance of doubt the Church is a Christian denomination and part of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Members of the Church accept the Doctrines and Creeds of the early Church and uphold Anglican and Catholic practice.
3.1 JESUS CHRIST is the Head of the Church without question. The Church is governed by the Apostolic Council consisting of at least three Metropolitan Archbishops, these being the Metropolitan Primus, Metropolitan Vicar General and Metropolitan Chancellor, advised by a Clergy Council and such clergy as they may appoint together with the Metropolitans making up the Apostolic Council and all Clergy forming the Clergy Council, which shall have a Senior Clergy as Chair of the Council.
3.2 The Apostolic Council will meet or be in contact regularly.
3.3 The Metropolitan Primus is the Spiritual Leader of the Church. He is an Archbishop elected from among the Archbishops and Bishops, Clergy and Laity to provide a focus of unity for the Church as a whole and for the Episcopate in particular and to act as a spokesperson for the Church.
3.4 In the event of a dispute involving a tied vote as to the resolution of any such dispute the Metropolitan Primus shall have the casting vote. He also may make unilateral decisions for the good of the Church.
3.5 The Metropolitan Primus is given power among his fellow archbishops and bishops who give him Primatial authority to ensure that they all govern collegially, effectively and rightly; in effect the Metropolitan Primus is the Chief Executive of the Church, the Metropolitan Vicar General is the Metropolitan Coadjutor and the Metropolitan Chancellor is the Alternate Coadjutor in the line of succession.
3.6 The Metropolitan Primus shall remain in post for a period of his choosing. If he becomes physically or mentally incapacitated to carry out his duties for a good and serious reason for a period exceeding six months, he shall be retired by agreement of the Apostolic Council, the Chair of the Clergy Council and representatives of the other clergy and laity of the Church.
3.7 The Metropolitan Primus will call and chair the Apostolic Council and is a member of all diocesan and provincial bodies.
3.8 The Ecclesiastical Conference is the assembly of all the Clergy and Laity of the Church. It will meet regularly and the meetings will be open to all members of the Church, who may speak and have voting rights with regard to Church polity. Church corporate business and functions shall rest with the Apostolic Council alone.
3.9 The Church may organize religious organizations to enhance and further the work of the Church and this may include Religious Orders under the Patronage of the Metropolitan Primus.
3.10 The Church shall be divided into Provinces and further divided into Dioceses. Each state (and territories and protectorates of the USA) shall be a Province within the Church. Dioceses as needed will be established within each Province.
4.1 At any time as the Church needs, any person may submit a name of a cleric to be considered for the Episcopate to the Apostolic Council. Such persons should be normally be over 35 years of age. Candidates for Ordination to the Diaconate should normally be 21 years of age or over. Candidates for Ordination to the Priesthood should normally be 25 years of age or over. The church will not knowingly ordain any person who is a practicing homosexual.
4.2 All must hold to the Holy Orders of Bishops, Priest and Deacons and believe that according to the Holy Bible and traditions of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church that all who hold these orders must be men of high moral character.
4.3 The sacraments used in Diaconal, Priestly Ordination or Consecration to the Episcopate must be those accepted by the Church that has proven Apostolicity.
4.4 Clerics who have been ordained already according to the apostolic tradition in any Church may be incardinated into the Church and licensed for ministry. They will need to provide the documentation required by the Church authorities at that time. These will normally include the Church application process, their letters of ordination and an Enhanced Disclosure and Police Checks to ensure that there have been no offenses of violence, moral turpitude, abusive or sexual acts against others, especially minors, or other serious offenses. If there is doubt as to the validity of their Orders, commissioning by letter may be authorized with arrangements for a proper ordination to take place as soon as possible.
4.5 Only a baptized individual can validly receive ordination to the Diaconate and Priesthood.
4.6 Candidates for ordination must submit documentation of their baptism / confirmation accompanied as part of the church’s application process.
4.7 A priest will normally celebrate the Eucharist daily or as often the Priest is able, administer the sacraments, except for confirmation and ordination. At minimum, all clergy will celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday and Holy Days. The priest will keep proper and full registers of baptisms, marriages, funeral and any other services conducted. He is to ensure that all entries are accurately made. Certificates should be issued to the recipients by the Priest.
4.8 Priests will submit themselves to the authority of the Diocesan Bishop or Prelates of the Church in the individual’s ministry area.
4.9 Deacons may preach, baptize, conduct funerals, and assist the celebrant during Mass and any other service authorized by the Prelate or higher authority.
4.10 Clergy of the Church may work in full time ministry or may have secular employment. They will receive no stipend from the Church. They may charge for clerical work outside the sacraments as the sacraments are free and a gift from God. Clergy may accept donations for their work, as this is a gift from the recipient to aid in ministerial expenses and to help others. The cleric must keep proper accounts and records and submit them as requested to the Apostolic Council.
5.1 Celibacy is not required of any person in the Church, but may be adopted as a personal choice.
5.2 The Church’s spiritual home is the National Archdiocese and should be supported by clergy and lay members as they are financially and practically capable without question and is deemed part of ones own development and spirituality.
5.3 Priestly vocation is a life-long commitment. Resignation within the Old Anglican Catholic Church, USA is explored by counsel and support by the Metropolitan Primus or his delegate, failing this; a period of Sabbatical would be recommended, then finally submitting a letter of resignation. If a member acts in a way that brings the Church into disrepute or adopting behavior not befitting Holy Orders, termination will be authorized by the Apostolic Council. The Primate shall have the authority to discharge, dismiss or ex-communicate any minister of this church unilaterally for cause and conduct unbecoming of a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
5.4 In accordance with the Gospel, Canons and ByLaws, no Old Anglican Catholic Church, USA Clergy will marry or conduct any service uniting individuals of the same sex. This article will be strictly enforced and any Clergy violating this article will be immediately excommunicated.
3 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, [a] he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,[b] but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 3:1-13 (NKJV)
6 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists,[a] because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. 2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
Acts 6:1-3 (NKJV)