Western Orthodox Christian Church
What is the Western Orthodox Christian Church?
The Church was established by Our Lord Jesus Christ and transmitted down through the ages by the Holy Apostles. We are a Semi-Autonomous Western Orthodox Church of the Eastern Orthodox Church of America (EOCA).
The Western Orthodox Christian Church embraces the doctrinal confession of beliefs as outlined in the Nicene Creed. We adhere to the seven Sacraments as instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ and transmitted down through the ages, beginning with the Holy Apostles. Our Church maintains the traditional understanding that the Church is conciliar and not monarchical. We are conciliar that we do not recognize the universal jurisdiction of any one bishop. Our bishops are the sole legislators of their respective jurisdictions and work in unity with the bishops that belong to our canonical Synod of Bishops or with whom we share inter-communion. Divinely revealed doctrine cannot be changed by any bishop nor Synod of Bishops. We adhere to the Orthodox Faith and canons.
Are you Catholic or Orthodox?
Yes. We are both. We are truly ‘Catholic’ according to the historic meaning of the word. The word ‘catholic’ originates from the Greek word Katholicos meaning universal. ‘Catholic’ is a generic term that embraces many particular Churches. Any Church remaining integral to the Church as founded by Christ belongs to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We are Orthodox in that we profess the Faith of the same Church established by Christ inclusive of the first seven Ecumenical Councils.
We adhere to Orthodox Faith in matters of belief and express it according to a western heritage and culture, including our Divine Liturgy of St. Gregory. Therefore we are Western Orthodox Christians.
Are your priests celibate or married?
Our priests may choose to be married prior to their Ordination to the diaconate and must demonstrate a stable marriage and the support of their wife. If the priests’ wife should pass away our priests assume a celibate life. Other priests choose to be celibate and promise to be celibate at the time of their Ordination to the diaconate. Our bishops are chosen from among those who are are in monastic vows. We maintain the practice as it exists in all Orthodox Churches.
What Divine Liturgy do you use for worship?
Our Church maintains usage of the historical liturgy of the West, namely the Liturgy of St. Gregory, celebrated in the vernacular (English, Spanish, etc.) or the Western liturgical language of Latin.
What is your relationship with other particular Churches of Apostolic Succession?
The Western Orthodox Christian Church, adheres to the Orthodox Faith of the ages. We maintain that which we have received from both East and West. Our Church is united historically with all other ancient, Apostolic Churches that maintain that which was established by Christ and passed on to the Holy Apostles. The Holy Apostles transmitted the Holy Orthodox Faith down through the ages by the laying on of hands. Those men who became recipients of this ancient gesture where consecrated bishops. Bishops continue to pass on what they have received through what is called Apostolic or Historical Succession.
What is the relationship with the Eastern Orthodox Church?
We share the Holy Orthodox Faith. We were erected as a Semi-Autonomous Metropolis by the Eastern Orthodox Church of America. We have fully embraced Holy Orthodoxy.
Come and worship with us!