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The Bladensburg Call

to Catholic Faith and Order

St. Gregory I

 

Preamble

 

Celebrating the risen Christ, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church Bladensburg, Maryland

on May 12, 2001, we bear witness to the historic faith and order of the One, Holy,

Catholic and Apostolic Church of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We call upon all

loyal Anglicans to join us in supporting one another in the defense of our Catholic

inheritance, no matter what opposition we may encounter from official bodies or

appointed leaders within our churches, and at whatever personal cost may be required

of us. Appreciating our tradition of diversity in unity, we pray that all loyal Anglicans

may publicly embrace the fullness of Catholic faith and order, remembering that the

opposite of Catholic is neither Protestant nor Evangelical but Heretical.

 

We affirm that as Anglicans we have no faith of our own.

 

Happily recalling Archbishop Fisher's declaration that Anglicans have

only the Faith of the Catholic Church enshrined in the Catholic

Creeds, we reaffirm with him that authentic Anglicanism seeks only to

be the Church of the Fathers and of the undivided Councils.

 

We affirm that all churches within the Anglican tradition of faith and

order ought to regard themselves true provinces and local

embodiments of the Catholic Church.

 

Faithfulness to this tradition is witnessed by reverence for Holy

Scripture as the unalterable standard of revealed truth, orthodox

teaching, the apostolic ministry and the celebration of the two

dominical sacraments as "necessary for salvation" together with those

five others which have been universally accepted by the Catholic

Churches throughout the ages. As such, our chief standard of

Christian faith is the Vincentian Canon, the common tradition of the

Church, which has been believed by Catholic Christians,

"everywhere, always and by everyone."

 

We declare that churches within the Anglican tradition have neither the

authority nor the power to change the commonly accepted faith and

order of the Church.

 

As provinces of the whole Catholic Church, we dare not deviate from

nor make any innovations to the church's faith and order which

contradict the clear teaching of scripture, repudiate the traditional faith

and practice of the undivided church, or ignore the commonly accepted

practices of the vast majority of contemporary Christians both East

and West, and that those who make such fundamental changes or

support them remove themselves from the full communion of the

Catholic Church. By acting and teaching in ways that are heretical and

schismatic, no matter what their particular ecclesiastical allegiance

may happen to be, they create a state of impaired communion with

other Anglicans. This is especially true of those who have been given

the apostolic responsibility of proclaiming the faith once delivered to

the saints, recalling also that according to Anglican tradition official

pronouncements and laws of any provincial church are only valid so

long as they guard and enhance the authentic and historic teaching of

the Church Catholic.

 

We pray for a renewed Anglican participation in restoring the visible

unity of the Catholic Church.

 

We rejoice in the signs of a closer relationship between Eastern and

Western Christians, furthered by the Pope's recent apology for the

past sins of Western Catholics and in like manner we urge our

Anglican leaders to ask forgiveness for our own past sins of arrogance

and indifference towards the faith and order of Catholic Christians,

both East and West.