What do we mean when we call ourselves an Ancient Faith Church?
Basically this term aligns us with the faith of the Apostles, Fathers, and councils of the first Millenia. And as such it also separates us from modernist churches that assert the concept of Development of doctrine as a means to align more closely with politically correct public opinion.
Our Church claims to be an Ancient Faith member of the “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.. this is a historical fact, confirmed both by Apostolic Succession, and our continuing commitment to the consensus of the historic deposit of faith. Thought it is true that ecclesiastically, we have our roots with the both the Churches of Rome and Utrecht, both churches have moved away from the definition of Catholicity as outlined by Saint Vincent of Leren’s: “Id teneamus, quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est; hoc est etenim vere proprieque catholicum.” “Therefore we abide by the faith of the ancient Church as it is formulated in the ecumenical symbols and in the universally accepted dogmatic decisions of the ecumenical synods held in the undivided Church of the first millennium.”
The Roman Catholic Church first abandoned catholicity in 1054 when it instigated the the Great Schism by unilaterally changing something an ecumenical council had declared unchangeable — the Nicene Creed. Then again Rome sparked the Protestant schism with abuses of their teachings on the sale of indulgences This may be happening once again via Rome’s modern “Synodal” Process where many believe that they can change their church’s doctrine via a democratic process — is there soon to be another schism at Rome’s door?
The Union of Utrecht, of whom we derive much of our modern cultural context has been heading down the modernist rabbit hole for decades, abandoning its commitment to the ancient faith. They and many of their breakaway bishops and churches are empowered by their self-proclaimed independence. To step away from their founding principles, creating doctrine out of whole cloth, based more upon public pressure than sound theological reasoning.
True Catholic Christianity must be more akin to a bug stuck in amber than leaves blown too and fro by the whims of public opinion. We must not become like “children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ”
from Ephesians 4:14. Taking the Apostle’s admonition to heart, we do not find the authority in our deposit of faith to make changes to Church doctrine, moral or practical to appease cultural demands. Rather’ we choose to embrace both Scripture and the consistent teachings we’ve received from the ancient Church.
Therefore, to more accurately differentiate ourselves from other Catholic Churches whom we believe to be in error, we’re taking the bold stand of Changing our jurisdiction name from “The Catholic Church in America,” to the “Apostolic Western Orthodox Church.” This change in name will have no effect on our mission or vision, it simply helps our clergy and parishioners to better understand our place within the historic Catholic Church.