IT

Institute Of Theology's Mission Statement

Extending excellence under the Sovereignty Of God to religions, the Earthplane

and to the Universe as One ~ Hands Across the Universe.

"Imagine our Sun
as a tiny ball in your heart breathe deeply
and ‘nourish’ that Sun giving it love and appreciation
(for it’s blessing of warmth and Light for the gifts it would offer to our
brother and sister planets each doing an orbit dance around it) feel that
light expand… until there is no single ‘you’ and a separate ‘Sun’ but simply
Light, simply One… just a few minutes for a loop of love, balance,
peace and appreciation. If only the prayer you say in
your life is ‘thank you’, that would be enough. "

Meister Eckhart

              

 

Thomas Hickey, in his Independent Catholicism for the Third Millennium states: "Society is globalizing into a common world culture. However disparate beliefs and customs have been in the past, we are now starting the process from involution to evolution, toward the meaning of religion [to 'bind back to Source']." (18)*

"Religion, therefore, must become Catholic (Universal) to incorporate a liberal and Gnostic alternative." (7). "A binding back--will only become effective if religion returns to its roots: mystical, metaphysical and sacramental--rather than canonical and doctrinal. The Independent Catholic Church's rites and initiations transforms (though unconditional love) (18) to an internal state of Divine knowledge--which allows the descent of the Holy Spirit within." (39). *Independent Catholicism for the Third Millennium, Thomas J. Hickey, Alan R. Kemp (ed.), (Sophia Divinity School Press, Santa Fe, 2004).

The Temple of Antioch, Malabar Rite, Independent Catholic Church, Institute of Theology's tenants and philosophy are similar to that of The Most Rev. ‡  Mar Adrian, Herman A. Spruit, Ph.D., the Founder of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch, Malabar Rite. He wrote: "An educational program initiated by the Church of Antioch must not be only a school, but a movement in spirit that goes beyond the reason of the academy. It nurture the roots of life with balanced rations of mysticism."

The Temple of Antioch, Malabar Rite, Independent Catholic Church, Institute of Theology's tenants and philosophy are similar to that of The Most Rev. ‡  Mar Adrian, Herman A. Spruit, Ph.D., the Founder of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch, Malabar Rite. He wrote: "An educational program initiated by the Church of Antioch must not be only a school, but a movement in spirit that goes beyond the reason of the academy. It nurture the roots of life with balanced rations of mysticism."

 

Malabar Rite:  What is the Church of Antioch?

Archbishop  Herman A. Spruit [2]

CHRISTIC: We are a limb of the one Christian church, the Mystical Body of Christ...

INDEPENDENT CATHOLIC: We are a Catholic church in the original, universal, sense of that word as well as in our form of sacramental worship....and our bishops and priests trace their Holy Orders, or “apostolic succession”...roots as far back as any other Catholic or Orthodox church. Our priests perform the Divine Liturgy and administer the seven sacraments.

SACRAMENTAL: As a sacramental church, we hold that the sacraments are visible signs of a manifestation of divine grace and are powerful aids to spiritual growth. The seven sacraments are Holy Eucharist (Communion), Reconciliation (Penance), Holy Unction (healing of the sick), and Holy Matrimony. They are made available to all who seek them. Baptism is the rite of formal initiation into Christ's church. Confirmation seals the commitment to a Christian way of life. Holy Orders is an initiation available to those who believe they have the charism of priesthood and wish to serve as clergy.

MODERN: As a modern church,we maintain that eternal truth cloaks itself in garb appropriate to the age, and that the outward form of religion should keep pace with human development. We do not shrink from new knowledge. Our form of Catholicism embodies an ancient truth for a new age. We provide a contemporary alternative to older Catholic traditions — traditional worship with free exploration of new ideas and avenues of spirituality. Seekers are encouraged to explore all resources of spiritual development they find meaningful.

FELLOWSHIP: Our Church is a spiritual fellowship of followers of the Spirit.... To live the truth is to become ever more the Christ, the true Self of all and the source of real happiness and abiding fellowship.

LOVE CENTERED: We as a church of love....love thy neighbor as thyself. This is the whole of the Law and the prophets.

UNIVERSAL: We maintain that the Holy Spirit acts through pure channels everywhere regardless of age, sex, race, creed or culture. There is only one true God however this God is known or worshipped; hence, there is eternally only one holy universal Church regardless of the cultural form it happens to assume in a given time and place. We revere the saints, sages, and holy ones of all ages and places.

HONORS THE DIVINE FEMININE: We recognize that the one true God speaks with both feminine and masculine voices. We listen for them. We maintain that God touches us in many ways. We respond. The Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine manifest through and in us. We act. We seek not one or the other, but rather the co-mingling and integration of all that is God. Experienced inwardly and expressed outwardly, the Divine Presence moves us with Grace toward a stillpoint where we can abide in Peace, rest in God, and co-exist with all that is.

MYSTICAL: As a mystical church, we keep in mind the Old Testament words, “Be still and know I Am God.” We give a primary place to Christ's saying, “The kingdom of heaven lies within you”... Divinity resides within.

SPIRITUAL: We seek to draw back the veil, first to discover the deeper intellectual import, and then the experiential dimension which is the true meaning of spiritual symbolism in scripture, ritual, liturgy and theology.

OPEN COMMUNION: We hold that a chief purpose of the church is to perpetuate the historical sacramental tradition as instituted by Jesus Christ and as preserved through apostolic succession. We maintain that the sacraments are channels of Divine Grace. Therefore, we make the sacraments easily available to all. Since the Eucharist puts us in direct communion with the Christ, it is a channel of Grace without parallel. Therefore, at our altars all reverent persons are welcome to receive communion whether members of the Church of Antioch or not.

OPEN HOLY ORDERS: Holy Orders are open to all regardless of gender, marital status, or sexual orientation. While we value the principle of the “priesthood of the laity,” we also recognize the importance of valid Holy Orders for the administration of the sacraments. Our solution is to make Holy Orders available to all qualified candidates who wish to serve Christ through ordained ministry. Such candidates are required to have a level of academic achievement and prior life experience which demonstrates the potential for the successful completion of a program of formation and for the professional practice of ministry. .. All of our clergy must be self-supporting.

AN INVITATION: Do you want the freedom to read and investigate the best of modern philosphers, theologians, and writers while at the same time remaining rooted in the beauty and form of traditional Catholicism...to live according to informed conscience ....[as] the most intelligent, best educated, and spiritually developed members of the church...And [as] they have used their time and energy for self-education, either formally or informally, to learn from the best theologians of our age.... If you are such a person, it could be that you are spiritually ripe to join ....this church which sets no limits on your thinking; to the contrary, it encourages you to use all the gifts God has given you to find the deepest spiritual truths that you can. You are urged to read all you can on scriptural interpretation, comparative religion, and mystical traditions as well as the best works in the contemporary social sciences. At the same time, you can share with your fellow seekers the experience of worshiping in the rich traditional beauty of Catholic Eucharistic fellowship.

In our Spiritual Principles, we affirm that our spiritual message to the world is one of unconditional love, peace, and self-responsibility...One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and the seven traditional sacraments which are empowered by Jesus the Christ; the sacred writings of both the Hebrew and New Testament books of the Bible, which contain our foundational body of knowledge. However, we are not limited to these writings; that we are a truly Catholic Church in the most universal sense. Our altars and priesthood are open to all humanity;an individual’s right to complete freedom of thought, interpretation, conscience, and inquiry in all matters of our faith and belief; our openness to spiritual truth wherever it may be found, whether that is in ancient wisdom, modern thought, mystical or daily experience or one's inner-knowing; we are spiritual beings in the human experience and that spiritual consciousness is forever expanding into higher and more infinite realms of awareness; and, spiritual enlightenment as part of our mission to experience God at the innermost depths of our being as we surrender our humanness to dissolution in the divine Light. Our greatest desire is to share these experiences with all of humanity by our living example. ...[As] a church in the sense of a worldwide fellowship of spiritual explorers, linked together by a certain universal kind of approach to God. Catholic (a spacious word derived from ancient Greek: kata which means according to, and holikos meaning the whole) ... includes the members of all the Churches of God -- provided that they as individuals be sincere friends of God and obedient to Him, according to their hearing of His voice. It is Holy because it includes the holy ones here on earth that belong to each division and subsection of the Whole, as well as those who have gone beyond....It has no absolute canons, decrials or injunctions with regard to policy, ritual or structure; all members being encouraged to fulfill their own inner need....Its theology deals primarily with the direct experience of God. Its philosophy deals with value, the highest human value -- holiness of life. Therefore, it esteems all devotional means, including sacramental, according to the measure of their effectiveness in helping toward the attainments of these great ends.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is its Supreme Bishop, and its highest Exemplar of Holiness (Col. 1:18). He is also its Supreme Advocate of Wholeness, meaning Catholicity, meaning Unity (Jn. 17:21).

Its Source of Continuing Life is the Holy Spirit...It is the essential, perdurable and invisible Realm of God that was, is and will be on earth, until all the sons and daughters of God shall be gathered...to the final Assembly of the Saints--the consummated and eternal Holy Catholic Church, forever free from compromise and division.    

The term apostolic succession refers to the doctrine in Catholic and Orthodox churches that holds that certain spiritual powers, which Jesus entrusted to the twelve disciples, are passed on in an unbroken line of succession from bishop to bishop, and from these bishops to the priests who assist them in their pastoral duties. The validity of apostolic succession is the key factor in determining the sacerdotal powers of a Church.

The principle line of apostolic succession comes from the Roman Catholic Church, through the Dutch Old Catholic Church and the Liberal Catholic Church in England. The validity of this line of succession is widely recognized with the earliest recorded member being Roman Catholic bishop Scipione Rebiba. More than 91 percent of all Roman Catholic bishops world-wide trace their own lineage to Rebiba (Bransom, 1990)....[In] an effort to unite eastern and western lines of apostolic succession....We make our principle lines of succession available for those who wish to gain a better understanding of the sacramental authority on which our independent branch of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is founded. All Christians are grafted into the one vine, the mystical body of Jesus Christ."

Further shared common beliefs:

The American See derives its Apostolic Succession from Antioch. St. Thomas, according to tradition, was sent from Antioch in Syria to South India in 52 A.D. The Malabar Rite maintains a close relionship with The East  Syrian tradition of Edessa [Persia] and the West Syrian orthodox tradition [Jacobite] of Antioch--both Church jurisdictions share connection with St. Thomas the Apostle, the first Bishop of India.

The St. Thomas Christians uphold the basic tenets of historic and apostolic Christianity as expressed in the ancient creeds:

1. Trinitarian: we believe in the salvific work of the Trinity;

2. Mary the Theotokos: [the God bearer--Mary was the vessel for the human birth of Christ];

3. Apostolic Succession: Independent Catholic Bishops have valid Apostolic succession. The term "apostolic succession" refers to the doctrine in Catholic and Orthodox churches that holds that certain spiritual powers, who Jesus Christ first entrusted to the twelve apostles, is passed on in an unbroken line of succession from apostle to bishop to bishop, and from these bishops to the priests who assist them in their pastoral duties. The validity of apostolic succession is a key factor in determining the sacredotal powers of the Church. The validity of apostolic succession is a key factor in determining the sacredotal powers of the Church Apostolic succession is a process which involves a priest being consecrated to the High and Holy Order of Bishop by the laying on of hands and the anointing with sacred Oil of Chrism by a validly consecrated bishop. The consecrating bishop must be able to trace his succession through an unbroken line of bishops back to the original church founded by Jesus the Christ and his Apostles.

As a general rule there must be two validly consecrated co-consecrators in participation with the main consecrating bishop to insure the validity of the consecration. Once a person becomes a priest or a bishop they are ordained spiritually for their entire life.

There is only one Catholic Church. There are nine Rites or Catholic “denominations”; there is no Pope as head of the other Catholic denominations. Each independent denomination is run by a bishop. The word bishop comes from the Greek for: “Overseer.” There are variances but in general, the bishop of an independent Catholic church is elected by a synod or governing council of bishops to be the Patriarch, Matriarch, Presiding Bishop, the Archbishop, the Prime Bishop or leader of the denomination with a variety of titles.

Over the thousands of years of church history there have been validly consecrated bishops from Catholic denominations including the Roman Catholic Church who have broken their affiliation and allegiance to a particular denomination. These bishops and denominations have been called schismatic. Those bishops who have left a denomination are still valid bishops and may continue to ordain priests and consecrate new bishops, thus the valid Apostolic Succession is carried on.

The major splits or schisms, from the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (sometimes called the greater Catholic Church) founded 2000 years ago, were The Eastern Orthodox separation in 1054 and the Anglican community in 1534. There have been a few times in church history where the Church at Rome has given permission for a particular Diocese to elect its own bishops without being appointed by the Pope. Bishops, independent of Rome, have come about through both of these mechanisms.

Some other independent Catholic jurisdictions are the “Old Catholic Church” the “Liberal Catholic Church” The “Old Roman Catholic Church” the “American Catholic Church” the “American Orthodox Church” the “United Reform Catholic Church International” and many more.

4. The "Catholic" Church means the Universal Church--founded by Christ and delivered through ages of Holy Tradition. Regarding ordination of women priests, married priests, celibacy, birth control, abortion, divorce, etc., each independent Catholic denomination establishes their own Code of Canon Law, and their own theological stand on these issues. Various denominations move from very conservative to very liberal.

The Temple of Antioch, Malabar Rite Independent Catholic Church ordains women to its priesthood, priests can be married, and celibacy is optional. We encourage people to make their own informed decisions about birth control, abortion, etc. Our Communion and our Holy Orders are open to all humanity who reverently and sincerely approach our altars.  We recognize that Christ’s message was one of love and forgiveness. He excluded no one.

5. We are autocephalous jurisdictions. We sustain independent and self-governing communion in our beliefs and canons.

 

[1] Bailey, Alice, A Treatise on White Magic (Lucis Trust: 120 Wall St., 24th floor, New York, NY 10005), p. 426.

[2] Archbishop Mar Adrian Herman Spruit, Ph.D., Founder of the Catholic, Apostolic Church of Antioch, Malabar Rite. The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is an East Syrian Rite, Major Archiepiscopal Church in full communion with the Catholic Church. It is one of the 22sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in the Catholic Church. It is the largest of the Saint Thomas Chrisian denominations with more than 3.6 million believers. It is also the second largest Eastern Catholic Church in communion with the Bishop of Rome.

[3] Excerpts are taken from The Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch...The official Website of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch--Malabar Rite, and independent Catholic jurisdiction providing the traditional Sacraments... www.churchofantioch.org/coa/index.php?option...id...