"Lord, I believe; help my unbelief."
Mark 9:24The American National Catholic Church adheres to the beliefs as stated in the Nicene Creed. There are certain distinctive elements of the theology of the Church that visitors often have questions about. For the convenience of the visitor to this website, we briefly spell out those distinctions here. We also encourage you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ. Nicene Creed We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. Ordained Ministry The ANCC embraces the traditional threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons. While the church firmly believes that church governance and ministry is the responsibility of all the faithful, it is also recognized that some within the church are called to sacramental ministry through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. These individuals are not superior in any way, they are called by God to be examples of holiness and have a special role in the sacramental life of the church. Clerical Celibacy The clergy of the ANCC are not required to take a vow of celibacy. Like the apostles and the early church, our clergy are permitted to marry and have families of their own. For this reason our clergy understand firsthand the joys and struggles that come with the Sacrament of Matrimony. Women Priests A vocation is a calling by God. The ANCC believes that the call to ordained ministry is not limited by gender. Women may be ordained to the priesthood and episcopal office of bishop within the ANCC. Gay and Lesbian Inclusiveness All respected contemporary understanding of homosexuality tells us that sexual orientation is an inherent aspect of personal identity. We believe that some of God's children are gay and lesbian because God has seen it fit to create them as such. All of God's creation is good and as such we welcome our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in the fullness of the life of the church. Sacramental limitations on marriage and ordination are rejected. As such, we joyfully unite same sex couples in the Sacrament of Matrimony and ordain qualified gays and lesbians called by God. Papacy The pope, as bishop of Rome, holds a special historical office and has the distinction of being "first among equals" of the world's bishops. Because of this status, we have great respect for the bishop of Rome and the church prays for him. This is why we adhere to the belief of the early undivided church. Like the early church, we do not believe that the pope is infallible or holds universal jurisdiction over the Church. Congregational Model The ANCC embraces a "congregational model" of governance. Local parish communities maintain autonomy in their governance and function. A common set of standards for acceptance into ordained ministry for clergy is maintained across the church. Parish communities adhere to a core set of basic policies. The presiding bishop of the church is elected by the ordained and lay representatives at the General Convention. S/he does not serve for life and must be reelected to continue to hold office. The presiding bishop serves in an important teaching capacity and serves as the voice of church. The presiding bishop also exercises the important sacramental functions of the Office of Bishop and is entrusted with the responsibility of ordaining qualified candidates to the diaconate and priesthood.