What Does it Mean
By Fr. Robert-Christopher, OSH
Bishop Brown asked what does it mean to be a Free Catholic?
I suppose that is similar to the question . . . what does it mean to be alive?
Firstly, to me, it means members are Christians. Then the question arises “What is a Christian?”. There are a potential number of answers . . . Someone who believes in Christ. Someone who has been baptized. Someone who preaches God’s word . . .
For me, the real answer is that Free Catholicism and Christ Catholic Church is an aggregate of covenant people. A group/individuals that have accepted the New Covenant made by Jesus Christ and the world at large.
In my opinion it allows us to be what Jesus Christ, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, wants us to be. We are surely a group of loving people and as far as I can discern a non-authoritarian group.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house there are many places to live in; otherwise I would have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, NJB
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. ASV
We do have a structure in order to give coherency to the group at large, but no one to say ‘you have to do so and so or such and such’; no stuffed shirt Theocrats ordering individual lives. Free Catholicism permits/encourages organizations and individuals to seek the leading of the Holy Spirit.
There are a number of groups / organizations united under the umbrella of the Christ Catholic Church; there are currently two orders therein: the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart and the Order of Interfaith Benedictines. There is Whithorn School of Theology and undoubtedly others that I don’t know about.
In my view it is exceptional as it expresses Love as evinced by Jesus Christ and accepts the love of those who wish to be included in the greater family of Christ Catholic Church.
34 I give you a new commandment: love one another; you must love one another just as I have loved you. NJB
12 This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. NJB
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. ASV
Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. ASV
The common thread is Love and Service for and to those we meet wherever we are on the road of life and spirituality. Some of us are even avowed citizens of Christ’s Kingdom.
My encounter and subsequent affiliation with Christ Catholic Church has been and continues to be the most moving spiritual event in my life. Are there other venues other than Free Catholicism and Christ Catholic Church? Of course! This in only one, but we are inclusive of any one professing Jesus Christ as Lord of All!
Father Robert-Christopher, OSH