photo above, right to left: Bishop J.I. Wedgwood, Mrs Annie Besant, Bishop C.W. Leadbeater.
What do we mean by "Liberal Catholic"?
The Holy Celtic Order of the Temple is an order in the Liberal Catholic tradition, and by that we mean something quite particular. We are NOT Roman Catholics who disagree with certain teachings of their own church, but rather, we are part of a Liberal Catholic tradition which goes back to the foundation of the original Liberal Catholic Church in 1918. The order is affiliated to the Holy Celtic Church International and the Mar Thoma Liberal Catholic Church and holds lines of episcopal succession from the founders of the original, and still extant, Liberal Catholic Church. We normally use the Liberal Catholic Liturgy or a variant thereof, such as the Templar Mass. We are liturgically traditionalist, not having suffered the iconoclasm of Vatican II, but are at the same time, theologically enquiring and universalist. The first grade of our order is ecumenical and welcomes members of various denominations provided that the individuals subscribe to the following requirements.
Essentials for those who might wish to apply for membership:
- Prospective members need to be theologically enquiring and universalist. Like our Liberal Catholic founders, we believe that there are many paths up the same mountain to eventual union with the Divine. We believe in salvation through enlightenment and at-one-ment rather than vicarious atonement.
- Prospective members need to be eager to attain esoteric knowledge, as we offer a great many resources for the diligent student. Those who have a problem with freemasonry or other mystical and magical orders are not suitable candidates.
- Following the Statement of Faith and Sacramental Policies of the Holy Celtic Church International prospective members need to be aware that we are "liberal", in the modern sense of the word, on certain issues and not on others. For example, you will need to support equal marriage for all, regardless of sexual orientation, and at the same time to hold a firm Pro-Life position with regard to procreation. We have no issues with birth control and divorce.
- In order to maintain the integrity of the sacraments we do not ordain women and do not admit to membership those women who profess to be apostolically ordained, however, we do welcome lady ministers in Protestant denominations and Deaconesses in our own tradition. We are happy to provide a document explaining the Liberal Catholic position on the ordination of women to those who may require it.
1st Liberal Catholic Act of Faith
We believe that God is Love, and Power,
and Truth, and Light;
that perfect justice rules the world;
that all His sons shall one day reach His feet,
however far they stray.
We hold the Fatherhood of God,
the Brotherhood of man;
we know that we do serve Him best
when best we serve our brother man.
So shall His blessing rest on us and peace for evermore. Amen.