International Free Catholic Communion

 

 

 

 

"Governed by Consensus"

 


 

What We Believe   Apostolic Succession   Bishops and Dioceses   History   Intercommunion   Centering Prayer   Seraphic Order   Contact Us

 

 

 

Welcome, ALL lovers of God!

 

 

 

"In essentials, unity, in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things charity."


---Pope John XXIII to St. Peter's Cathedral, popularly attributed to St. Augustine

 

 

The International Free Catholic Communion* invites ALL who share our vision to join with us. We are a "Communion", a "Seraphic Order", of autonomous bishops, clergy, ecclesial communities and individuals whose hearts burn with the fiery Love of God.

Join us. Together "in one accord" we CAN change the World!

Jesus said: "Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven."

St. Matthew 18:19 Amplified Bible

 

Unity of Faith and Apostolic Heritage Calls Us All to "Unity In Communion"

 

What are FREE CATHOLICS?*

We are Christians We acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Lord, Founder and Eternal High Priest.

"Catholic" (means "Universal") The International Free Catholic Communion* is an independent rite of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and is not Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox or Protestant. Our priests, men and women, married and single, are ordained to Holy Orders by bishops who trace their ministry in an unbroken line through the laying on of hands to the original apostles and, through them, to Jesus Christ himself.

 

Sacramental We hold that the sacraments are outward signs that confer the very grace they signify. These Mysteries ordained by Christ are seven in number: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Reconciliation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Anointing the Sick. We practice open Communion, welcoming to the Lord’s Table all who approach it with reverence, regardless of religious affiliation.

 

Charismatic We believe in the Release or "Baptism" of the Holy Spirit and the free exercise of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit described by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 12.

 

Evangelical We seek to lead all creatures to the direct personal experience and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Free We believe that the Church must seek to cultivate and to protect individual freedom of thought, conscience and choice. While gently offering guidance, it is her duty to help God’s People develop the faculty of discernment and take personal responsibility for their choices in life. Free Catholics are encouraged to think, to explore and to be true to their own conscience. We are non-dogmatic, emphasizing instead the life of the Spirit and the law of love. We do not condemn those whose ideas differ from our own, but seek to be tolerant, respectful and open to the beliefs and values of others.

 

"You have been called to freedom, brothers and sisters, only do not use your freedom for self-indulgence, but through love serve one another." —St. Paul

 

Ecumenical We respect all parts of the one Body of Christ, whether Catholic Orthodox or Protestant; and we desire, insofar as it is possible, to be in loving communion with all, while humbly receiving what each one has to teach us. Furthermore, we believe that the Church must remain open to recognize the wisdom of the other great spiritual traditions of the world. With humility, we honor the holy people of all times and places. Recognizing the unity of God’s family on earth, we welcome to our altars all who reverently approach them, erecting no barriers based upon dogma or religious affiliation.

 

Mystical We believe that every person is invited to know God directly and to experience the joy of abiding divine union in this life. St. Paul said that we may “know the love of Christ which passes knowledge and be filled with all the fullness of God.“ Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is within you.” And the psalmist writes, “Be still and know that I am God.” With this in mind, we give particular emphasis to the cultivation of contemplative prayer and the discovery of God within.

 

Alternative Free Catholicism offers an attractive alternative for Catholic and Orthodox Christians who seek a truly sacramental church which is open to the message and movement of the Holy Spirit for our times. Many sincere people have given up on the mainstream due to its inertia, rigidity, and dogmatism, They feel at home in the Catholic tradition, with its deep spirituality and sacramental worship, but they can no longer accept many of the things that go with it. For example, there are men who are called to the priesthood but do not want to be celibate, and there are women who desire to serve the Church but are told that there is no place for them. Others seek a Catholic Church: which recognizes the importance of free thought, conscience, and expression, instead of one that offers in its place the pronouncements of an “infallible” hierarchy. Free Catholicism also provides an alternative for Protestants and others not from a traditional Catholic background who are attracted to Catholic spirituality, sacramental worship and apostolic tradition but could never join one of the more conservative mainline sacramental churches.

 

Mission Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. This is the whole of the law...” We are called to reach out to the world with the unconditional love of Christ. True Christian love must be concerned not only with reconciling souls to God, but also with meeting the needs of the poor and oppressed, healing the sick in soul and body, working for peace and social justice, protecting the environment, and promoting dialogue and understanding between people of different denominations, religions, cultures and ideologies throughout the world. Thus, we may proclaim by our actions the good news of a salvation that offers not only eternal welfare for our souls, but also wholeness and liberation on every level. Christ deeply desires to alleviate the sufferings of this present world, and ultimately to liberate and transform all of creation as heaven and earth unite in Him who is truly the Alpha and Omega.

 

Jesus called his disciples together and said, "You know those who exercise authority among the Gentiles lord it over them, their great ones make their importance felt, it cannot be like that with you. Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest, and anyone who wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all. Such is the case with Son of Man who has come, not to be served by others but to serve, and to give his own life as a ransom for the many." ---St. Matthew 20:25-28

 

"Come you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me... Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me". ---St. Matthew 25:34-36, 40.

 

Copyright © 1991 Timothy M. Barker & Maclin R. Milner, Jr.

All Rights Reserved

 

*NOTE: The International Free Catholic Communion, founded in 1991 by Bishop Timothy Barker and Bishop Michael Milner, has no connection with The Free Catholic Church later founded by Bishop Thomas Clary in San Diego, California.

 

 

Statement of Union

INTERNATIONAL 

FREE CATHOLIC COMMUNION

 

1. The Way of Salvation

    Being created in the image and likeness of God, the human family has a glorious birthright which has become obscured through ignorance, doubt and sin resulting in a sense of alienation from God, from our true spiritual nature and from all of Creation. In the infinite compassion of God, Christ came forth from the heart of  the Father, to take upon himself the fullness of our human estate, to liberate us and all Creation. By his incarnation, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension, a fully liberating and transforming grace was released into all Creation. In his love, He invites us to embrace this freedom and to participate in the work of redemption. By accepting and cooperating with this grace our lives are transfigured and Creation is transformed.

2. The Church

    The Mystical Body of Christ consists of all who have consciously embraced the grace of Christ. A temple built with living stones, the Church is a sacrament of Christ and a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Referred to as the pillar and ground of truth, she has been entrusted with the care of Sacred Scripture and Tradition. However, the ultimate mission of the Church is to hold forth the message of Christ’s eternal love and healing grace to all the world.

3. Scripture and Tradition

    The principal guides for Christian faith and practice are found in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. Through the inspired writings of Sacred Scripture God has revealed the Word of Life. In addition to the Christian and Hebrew Scriptures, the Church has received oral, written and liturgical traditions which come to us from apostolic times. Through the working of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church, Tradition is constantly nourished, renewed and expanded by the unique contributions of each generation and culture. Ever mindful that all people belong to God’s Family, the Church must remain open to recognize the wisdom of the other great spiritual traditions of the world.

4. The Creeds

    The principle doctrines of the Christian Faith are succinctly stated in what are commonly known as the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. The Church looks to these ancient confessions as a standard and basis for Christian Unity

5. The Law

    Jesus said: "Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. The second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."  

    Free Will is a fundamental and precious endowment given to all God’s children. The Church must seek to cultivate and to protect individual freedom of thought, conscience and choice. While gently offering guidance, it is her duty to help God’s People develop the faculty of discernment and take personal responsibility for their choices in life.  

    "You have been called to freedom, brothers and sisters, only do not use your freedom for self-indulgence, but through love serve one another." —St. Paul

6. The Sacraments

    The sacraments are outward signs which confer the very grace they signify. These Mysteries, ordained by Christ, are seven in number, namely Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing the Sick, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.

•Baptism

    This Sacrament of Spiritual regeneration, administered by immersion or by the pouring on of water in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, imparts sanctifying grace and constitutes initiation into the Mystical Body of Christ, the royal priesthood of believers and the sacramental life of the Christian community.

•Confirmation

    The grace of Pentecost, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, administered by the successors of the apostles with Chrism and the laying on of hands, empowers Christians to participate in the apostolic mission of the Church. 

•Holy Eucharist

    The central act of worship of the People of God, in which we offer ourselves and our gifts in union with the eternal sacrifice of Christ and partake of His Real Presence under the forms of Bread and Wine, offers to us the privilege of direct Communion with our Lord Jesus Christ

•Reconciliation

    The Sacrament in which Jesus Christ, through the ministry of the church, bestows the forgiveness of sins, heals broken fellowship and imparts grace for the amendment of life.

•Anointing the Sick

    The ministers of the Church anoint the sick with sacred oil, imparting the grace of Christ to those in need of healing for body or soul.

•Matrimony

    The Mystery of Marriage corresponds to the union of Christ and his Church. Through a voluntary, mutual commitment declared before God and the Church, the marital union becomes a channel of sacramental grace.

•Holy Orders

    The Holy Spirit, though the laying on of hands and the consecratory prayer of the Bishop, ordains women and men, married or single, who are called to serve the Church, imparting to them special grace to administer the Sacraments and feed the flock of Christ.

7. The Ministry

    The Supreme High Priest and Bishop of the Church is our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, from whom all Bishops and other ministers derive their spiritual powers and jurisdiction.  

    Our Lord Jesus Christ chose and ordained apostles to guide the Church and to carry on His ministry after His Ascension. To this day, in an unbroken chain, their priesthood and ministry of oversight have continued through their successors, the bishops.

    In the exercise of their ministry, bishops are autonomous with respect to that part of the Church entrusted to their care. However, this apostolic privilege cannot be taken lightly. Each bishop should remain rooted in apostolic tradition, responsive to the collegial nature of the episcopacy, and remain ever submissive to Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. 

    The fullness of the ministry of Christ is shared by all the people of God. The episcopacy is complimented by various other ministries in the Church. In addition to the presbytery, which assists the bishop, there are also charismatic and lay ministries incorporating the whole priesthood of believers.  

    "Jesus called His disciples together and said: You know how those who exercise authority among the Gentiles lord it over them; their great ones make their importance felt. It cannot be like that with you. Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest, and whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all.  Such is the case with the Son of Man who has came, not to be served by others but to serve, to give his own life as a ransom for the many."  

Pentecost, 1991

Bremerton, Washington

 

Copyright © 1991 Timothy M. Barker & Maclin R. Milner, Jr.

All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

THE SERAPHIC ORDER OF THE FLOWERING HEART

An Inter-Faith Lay Monastic Spiritual Order

 

For details Click Here

    

        

 

 

 

 

 

For additional information write or email:

 

International Free Catholic Communion

P.O. Box 3454

Clearwater, Florida 33767

BpMilner@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God

Founder & Arch-Bishop

 

What We Believe   Apostolic Succession   Bishops and Dioceses   History   Intercommunion   Centering Prayer  Seraphic Order    Contact Us

 

Copyright © 2003 Maclin R. Milner, Jr.

All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

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