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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

.1. WHAT DOES "ECUMENICAL CATHOLIC" MEAN?
The Ecumenical Catholic Church is a growing part of the Church located primarily in the United States and Western Europe. It is comprised of numerous small local faith communities. These communities often began with groups of Roman Catholics who could no longer support the position of the current Roman Catholic Hierarchy; they also often include people from many different Christian Traditions.

St. Mary of Magdala Church is such a community, and is affiliated with the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of New England. We celebrate Mass in the Roman Catholic tradition (Mass of Paul VI). Among the primary differences one might find from the Roman Catholic Tradition are that we are an inclusive community, welcoming all to our liturgical celebrations and to the communion table. (For example divorced and remarried people, Christians from other traditions, and people of good faith are welcome to receive the Body and Blood of Christ in communion if they desire to do so.) People of different sexual orientations are welcome here. Also, we recognize the call of men and women, married and single, to the sacramental priesthood, and the right of any individual to commit themselves to another person in sacramental marriage regardless of gender.


2. ARE YOU AFFILIATED WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?

We do identify ourselves as Catholic and we cherish and live out our Catholic heritage. We are not, however, affiliated with the local Roman Catholic Diocese and our authority does not come from the Roman Catholic Hierarchy.


3. WHERE DOES YOUR AUTHORITY COME FROM?

. As with all throughout history who have formed Church in the name of Christ our authority comes from Jesus. St. Mary of Magdala Church is affiliated with the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of New England


4. DO YOU CELEBRATE THE OTHER SACRAMENTS (IN ADDITION TO THE EUCHARIST)?

We recognize and celebrate seven Sacraments: Baptism, Reconcillation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and the Sacrament of the Sick. All seven are open to all people regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Anyone with questions about the sacraments is welcome to contact our priests to discuss what is involved in receiving the sacraments.

5.I AM DIVORCED AND REMARRIED AND I DO NOT WANT TO GO FOR AN ANNULMENT. WOULD I BE ABLE TO RECEIVE COMMUNION AT YOUR MASS?
Of course.


6.  MY SPOUSE IS NOT CATHOLIC.  WOULD S/HE BE WELCOMED AT MASS?

Yes, and  if he or she expressed the understanding of and desire to receive the Body and Blood of Christ in Communion s/he would be welcome to do so.  (We follow the practice of Jesus in welcoming all to the table.)


7.  WHAT IF SOMEONE WAS NOT CATHOLIC BUT WISHED TO BECOME CATHOLIC?

We would be glad to discuss that possibility with anyone on a case by case basis.


8.  I HAVE BEEN AWAY FROM THE CHURCH FOR A LONG TIME AND WISH TO RECONNECT WITH THE RELIGION OF MY PAST.  CAN YOU HELP ME?

We would be glad to talk to anyone who finds themselves in this position.  If you discover that your reconnection can happen in our community we would welcome your presence.  If you would like help in reconnecting to a traditional Roman Catholic Church we would be glad to refer you to a Roman Catholic Priest who could help you.


9,  DOES ATTENDANCE AT YOUR MASS FULFILL MY SUNDAY OBLIGATION?

If this question is important to you we would respectfully suggest that you should attend Mass at a traditional Roman Catholic Parish.


10. ARE YOU IN COMMUNION WITH THE CHURCH OF ROME?

From our point of view the Eucharist is far too precious a gift to be used as a punitive tool. We believe it was Jesus’  intention and practice that it  be celebrated to nurture unity and understanding, not to highlight differences.  Hence we welcome all at our table and see ourselves to be in communion with all Christian Traditions.    While we adhere to the foundational teachings of the Church (Creedal Statements), we disagree with the current Hierarchy of the Church of Rome regarding some of its (less than foundational) teachings, so from their point of view as we understand it they would not consider themselves to be in communion with us nor see us to be in communion with them.  We believe that disagreement on non-foundational teachings is an opportunity for learning and growth - not a reason for dis-unity. We look forward to the day when the Roman Hierarchy will listen to the Spirit of God working among all Catholics and Christians and open its teachings to continued growth and learning based on the ongoing discernment of  God’s Spirit at work in our world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Mary of Magdala Church, Inc. is a 501 (C) (3) Organization.
Our Ecumenical Catholic Community
meets at St. Mary of Magdala Chapel, located at
Evensong Retreat Center, 326 Lower County Road, Harwich Port, MA 02646

St. Mary of Magdala Church is proud to be affiliated with

THE ECUMENICAL CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF NEW ENGLAND
THE FEDERATION OF CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES
THE HARWICH CLERGY ASSOCIATION
THE CAPE COD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES

 

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