Installation of Reverend Mother Elizabeth Maxwell as Rector of the Church of the Ascension in New York City (13 May 2015)
The Ancient Catholic Church provides a culture of inclusiveness and unification, with a policy of respect for diversity, in the spirit of religious and intellectual freedom. This gives the participating Churches and Faithful all of the benefits and advantages of being supported by their own “Vatican”, without the customary limitations or disadvantages. All member Churches and Faithful thus enjoy the open-handed guidance and spiritual leadership of the Catholicate, receiving an infusion of ancient and classical sacred knowledge as the foundations for an unshakeable Faith, with full respect for their individual preferences.
The word “Catholic” is from the Latin ‘Catholicus‘, which actually means “Universal”, in the sense of being the “general” foundation for otherwise diverse groups. The word “Catholic” was first applied to the Holy See of the Church of Rome ca. 1554 AD.  Prior to that 16th century Vatican usage, the concept of “Catholic” was a basic mission of the 1st century Ancient Church: The Apostles taught the first Churches “to keep the unity of the Spirit… till we all come in the unity of the Faith… that we henceforth be no more [distracted], tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:1-16) .
Because the Ancient Priesthood of Solomon includes the direct origins of many practices which are particular to Roman Catholicism, this early Christian denomination is properly called Ancient Catholicism. As it predates all later derivative doctrines which developed after the 1st century, while it contains much of the elegance, scholarship and formality of Catholic tradition, it is completely free from any and all “dogmas”.
Because the Ancient Priesthood of Solomon continued through the Essenes to be practiced and taught by Jesus to the Apostles, it organically consists of the underlying foundations of all Christian denominations. As a result, Ancient Catholicism is compatible with all denominations of Christianity, thus making it – quite ironically – a “non-denominational” denomination.
Because of the great antiquity of the Ancient Priesthood of Solomon, it preserves the most universal doctrines which are the cornerstones of all genuine spiritual religions. Accordingly, the denomination of Ancient Catholicism is generally compatible with all major world religions, giving it a strong basis for interfaith ecumenical cooperation, while preserving the distinct respective heritage of all historical traditions.
In accordance with the Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law of 1983, the Ancient Catholic denomination incorporates “immemorial customs” from the ancient roots of Christianity, and “centennial customs” of all derivative Christian denominations (Canon 26), which cannot be revoked (Canon 28) as long as they are “reasonable” (Canon 24, §2); Canon law also guarantees freedom of liturgy and “the right to follow their own form of spiritual life” within the Pontifical Catholicate (Canon 214). 
Therefore, all Churches and Faithful of various denominations, whether Old Catholic, Reformed Catholic, Liberal Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Episcopalian, Celtic, Gnostic, or otherwise, can fully participate in the religious life of the Ancient Catholic Church: Clergy and practicing Faithful can choose the liturgies and prayers of their personal preference and inspiration; Churches of various denominations can be accepted into Full Communion with the Pontificate, while preserving their autonomy.
Supporting and representing an interdenominational membership of autonomous Churches in Communion, the primary role of the Ancient Catholic Church is to restore and provide the underlying doctrines as educational sermons, seminary studies, ancient and classical liturgies for optional use, to strengthen and deepen the experience of Faith itself, in all participating denominations.
In practice, the inclusiveness of the Ancient Catholic Church allows the experience of enjoying a balanced combination of the comfort of ceremonial sacraments with the inspiration of evangelical sermons.
Promoting ecumenical unification while preserving multidenominational independence, the Ancient Catholic Church provides deeper dimensions of the true experience of Faith, through the most ancient original doctrines of early Christianity, which are the timeless foundations to rediscover an unshakeable Faith.
TRADITIONAL DOCTRINES OF DIVERSITY IN FAITH
As a canonical denomination of inclusiveness, the Ancient Catholic Church gives Christians “tradition without dogma”, gives Churches “unity with independence”, and gives Catholicism “diversity with direction”.
Ancient Catholicism is the most tolerant, diverse and inclusive denomination of classical Christianity. While preserving its own unique and distinct traditions since ancient times, it accommodates many practices which are considered “liberal” in the modern era. However, the apparent “liberalism” of the Ancient Catholic Church is not from any compromise of traditional doctrines. Rather, this comes from a deeper understanding, supported by facts of the historical record, that the original doctrines of early 1st century Christianity are in fact much more inclusive than has been generally known.
All doctrines and practices of Ancient Catholicism are directly rooted in Biblical Scripture, interpreted in the context of verified historical facts of the original practice of Christianity as taught by Jesus the Nazarene, as clarified and supported by academic archaeology.
Women Equal in All Levels of Clergy – Women hold full and equal status in the Ancient Catholic Clergy, at all levels, and are canonically consecrated as Bishops (Genesis 1:26-28; Mark 15:40-41; Acts 1:14; Romans 16:1; I Corinthians 11:8-12) .
Married Priests: Celibacy Not Required – Married Priests are accepted and encouraged. While voluntary celibacy is respected and has recognized advantages, Clergy are not expected to be celibate (Genesis 2:18; I Corinthians 7:1-2, 7:5). In scripture, Priests are not expected to be above nor without worldly entanglements (including marriage), specifically as life experience to be better Priests (Hebrews 5:1-2; Ephesians 3:7-8). The Apostles explicitly wrote that both Deacons and Bishops were actually strongly encouraged to be married and the head of a family, which was considered to give qualifying skills beneficial to managing the Church (I Timothy 3:12, 3:2-5; Titus 1:5-9) .
Divorce & Remarriage Permitted – Divorce is discouraged but permitted (Matthew 5:31, 19:8), and remarriage is supported and encouraged, as a fundamental God-given right of companionship (Genesis 2:18-24; Matthew 19:4-6) .
Open Communion for All Seekers – Open communion is practiced, such that all spiritual seekers who are interested, whether from other denominations or even from other religions, are welcome to participate in all fellowship, rites and sacraments of the Church (Acts 2:44-47; I John 1:3-7) .
Science & Religion Together – Science and religion are considered to be not only compatible, but actually interdependent, because scripture confirms that the physical universe is a rational, ordered universe of nature, created by God by intelligent design (Job 38:4-5; Isaiah 40:12; Psalm 19:1-4) . Accordingly, exploring the esoteric mechanics of that universe through empirical science serves to reveal the glory of God (Psalm 111:2-4; Ecclesiastes 1:13-17; Romans 1:19-20) . Moreover, God is the source of all learning, knowledge, understanding and wisdom, including science (Daniel 1:17, 2:21;I Kings 4:29) . Jesus himself taught that it is necessary to understand the principles of science, in order to appreciate the intelligent design of the kingdom of God (John 3:12) .
Freedom of Liturgical and Cultural Preference – Churches in communion with the Ancient Catholic Church enjoy independence and freedom of liturgy, thus promoting diversity of many socio-cultural approaches to Catholic Christianity from differing historical traditions. Jesus taught that whenever Bishops “shall agree on earth” on the form or substance of any prayer, “it shall be done for them… in heaven” (Matthew 18:19), and that prayers are made effective by the faith in one’s heart, not the form of words (Mark 11:24) . The Apostles taught that Priests minister by the spirit, not the letter, of the Gospel (II Corinthians 3:6), and that prayers are made effective by the Holy Spirit, even when we cannot find adequate words (Romans8:26-27) . This doctrine of “intent over form”, and thus freedom of liturgy, is confirmed in traditional Canon law (Canon 214) .
BALANCED POLICIES ON DIVISIVE POLITICAL ISSUES
Secular modernism has actively promoted certain isolated political issues, which are highly divisive, and aggressively enforced by the socially imposed self-censorship of “political correctness”. Such social engineering seeks to undermine Christianity, and the very fabric of society, and only serves as a complete distraction from all genuine spirituality. Those who want to insist upon or debate about divisive issues should become secular politicians, and not seek a role in the spiritual life of the Church (Romans 2:8-9, 14:1; I Timothy 6:3)  (Canon 287, §2) .
No Church (nor any other religion) can possibly give the “correct” answer on either side of such topics, without needlessly divisive effect. Therefore, in the tradition of the legendary wisdom of King Solomon proposing to split the baby (I Kings 3:16-27), the Ancient Catholic Church does not condemn people on either side of sensitive political issues, but rather chooses to condemn “political correctness” itself, as the insidious modernism which promotes such divisiveness against all spirituality.
The Pontificate has established uniquely balanced policies on divisive issues, upholding fairness and respect for rights (Canon 223, §1; Canon 287, §1), with strong support for freedom of choice on secular political issues (Canon 214) .
The Ancient Catholic Church agrees with the declaration by the Vatican’s Pope Francis I: “The people of God want pastors, not Clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials. … We cannot insist only on [political] issues… This is not possible. … It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. … The Church… cannot be obsessed with… a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. … The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.” 
Defending Choice on Both Sides – The Ancient Catholic Church supports the free exercise of religion, in accordance with genuine religious convictions, for its Faithful, Clergy and Churches in Communion, on either side – and both sides – of a socially divisive issue. As a canonical Pontificate and sovereign subject of international law, the Church can also delegate a relevant governmental function or even diplomatic immunity, as may be necessary to defend the protected right to practice authentic religious beliefs, on a case-by-case basis.
Tolerance of Sexual Orientation – Non-traditional sexual orientation is theologically discouraged (Romans 1:26-32; I Corinthians 6:9-10; I Timothy 1:8-10) , but socially tolerated, by the doctrine that otherwise leading a Holy life sanctifies by God’s Grace (Romans 14:1-3; I Corinthians 6:11; II Corinthians 12:9)  (Canon 1008) . Clergy of non-traditional orientation are given equal opportunity, accepted solely for merit, without discrimination (John 15:16; Hebrews 5:1-4; I Peter4:11; I Corinthians 7:17) (Canon 149, §1), provided that they objectively teach and faithfully represent traditional doctrines regardless of their personal lifestyle preferences (I Peter 4:10-11)  .
Freedom of Choice for Same-sex Unions – As an objectively practical legal strategy to protect the freedom of choice of individual Clergy: The Pontificate of the Ancient Catholic Church holds the topic of same-sex civil unions to be a modern secular political issue, and thus neither a canonical nor ecclesiastical matter. The Church will support and defend the refusal of Clergy to violate their personal religious convictions in jurisdictions which may infringe or undermine that right; Equally, the Church will respect and defend the choice of Clergy to voluntarily conduct same-sex union ceremonies, in the form of giving Blessings to a civil union, in more restrictive jurisdictions.
Reasonable Degree of Traditionalism – Clergy of all orientations or cultural affiliations are equally not permitted to use one’s ecclesiastical title or status in connection with secular political activism supporting any non-traditional lifestyles (Canon 285, §§1-2; Canon 287, §2), and not permitted membership in an association promoting non-traditional practices (Canon 278, §3), nor inappropriate public display of non-traditional behaviour (Canon 282, §1; Canon 285, §§1-2) .
Conservative Rights for Member Churches – Churches in Communion are supported in choosing to maintain more strict policies of traditional conservatism, in accordance with their previously established customs (Canon 19; Canon 27; Canon 214) .
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