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  • How do I take a deep spiritual breath?
    The Natural Breath There’s a saying, “It’s as natural as breathing.” We all know how important breathing is, and we’ve all experienced the abject misery of an illness which blocks our ability to take a deep, natural breath. When this happens, we eagerly look forward to the day when we are cured and can breathe easily again. Your Natural Right So, it is a human right to seek a natural life of freedom and growth, yet there are untold numbers of people who suffer from spiritual misery because they are in a “spiritual system” that blocks their ability to take a deep, spiritual breath. Perhaps their religion controls them by preaching about “hell,” or perhaps their religion pretends to be the “one true religion.” It may be that their religion rejects and denies to their members the right to investigate various pathways to the spiritual life. A Terrible Loss Most religions in the United States have no knowledge or understanding about the mystical life, don’t foster or encourage spiritual experience (promoting, instead, emotional outbursts, and claiming these to be “spiritual”), and utterly reject Christ’s “spiritual power” arrangement called the Sacraments. A Church of Freedom and Spiritual Growth The Liberal Catholic Church has, from its beginning in 1916, held to the truth of complete freedom of belief and the truth that the Divine Power of the Sacraments was given by Christ. The LCC (as it is often called), through its publications, has once again restored and revealed authentic Christian teachings which promote the mystical experience. Further, The LCC has a valid Apostolic Succession which it carefully guards and preserves so that its Sacraments are maintained “in their plenitude.” Indeed, Dr. Iain Ramsey, the Anglican Bishop of Durham, during the World Eucharistic Congress in 1976, reported that The LCC “has the most beautiful Liturgy in the English language.” Escaping to Freedom So, why not be free? Why be “of two minds,” as St. Paul writes, believing in the mystical life, yet staying outside a Church that encourages and supports the mystical life? Or, if you currently belong to no church, yet still believe in the mystical side of living, why not come to the very Source of that mystical life? You are invited to escape untruth, ignorance, and oppression, and to come into the real world of wisdom, spiritual freedom, and Divine Love as found in The Liberal Catholic Church.
  • How do I know that you are the real deal?
    There are people who will pretend to be a part of The Liberal Catholic Church. They use our materials and may even celebrate our Holy Eucharist, but they do not uphold the tenets of The Liberal Catholic Church. Some of these people lie about us and try to sabotage us and steal our items. To make sure you are attending or discussing The Liberal Catholic Church, ask the clergy to see their card signed by our Regionary Bishop William Downey. Our clergy will refer you to many resources and often encourage members to attend national and international events where you can meet Bishop Downey. Also, Bishop Downey visits our parishes, so you can ask to see photographs of our Bishop at a local parish event within the parish's worship space.
  • I’m interested in your Church, but I had a bad experience with religion once..."
    You probably had a bad meal once, too, but you didn’t stop eating. You probably had a bad night’s sleep once, but you didn’t stop sleeping. And perhaps you once owned a car that was a lemon, but you didn’t stop buying cars—except for that brand. Perhaps now is the time to try a “different brand” of religion, an authentic, ancient, esoteric, and initiatic religion—The Liberal Catholic Church. If when you are asked the question, "Do you have a religion you like?" and you answer, "I'm spiritual," you should definitely contact us!
  • How do I become a member?
    If you believe in freedom of conscience and belief and in a spiritual life that leads (quoting St. Paul) to the “fulness of the stature of Christ,” you are already a Liberal Catholic in your heart. To become a Member of The Liberal Catholic Church in your life, send us your email using the submit box below. We will connect you with someone who can guide you towards membership. They will explain to you how you will first be a Catechumen, then how you will be Initiated into the ancient Christian Mysteries, and they will explain the spiritual effects those ancient Rites will have in your life.
  • Do you allow birth control?
    The Liberal Catholic Church believes and practices complete freedom of conscience. The LCC has taken no official position on birth control.
  • How do I know if I will fit in?
    Since all are welcome, everyone can find a place in The Liberal Catholic Church . . . Do you believe one or more of these statements? √ God’s love is what matters in life. √ There are secret teachings freely given to those who are ready to receive them. √ Mature people should be free from religious dogma and oppression. √ The sermon should never be about money. √ A loving God doesn’t permit a hell. √ Divorced persons have suffered enough pain without being rejected by religion. √ No human being is infallible. √ Reproductive rights are the responsibility of the individuals involved. √ Reincarnation is the way things work in this universe. √ There is a spark of God in each living thing, including people. √ It isn’t Christ’s death only, but His whole Life and Living that shows the Way. √ The Bible contains secret teachings, which can only be understood by the Initiated. √ Great Masters (Saints) exist to help all mankind develop a mystical realization of God. √ God is active in other religions. √ The Power and secret teachings of Christ have been handed down through the ages and exist today. √ The Bible is a handbook to higher consciousness. √ Authentic Christianity confers actual power on its adherents. √ The Sacraments of the Church embody and give mystical and spiritual power to those who participate. If you believe even one of these statements, then your spiritual home is in The Liberal Catholic Church!
  • Are your teachings Biblical?
    Our members have complete freedom of conscience and may read any text they choose. All of our teachings are to be found in the Old and New Testaments. We also have kept as a sacred treasure the oral tradition passed on by Christ to his Apostles for forty days after the Resurrection. Following ancient practice, these teachings are given orally (“mouth to ear”) in our study groups.
  • Are divorced persons or anyone else excommunicated?
    No. The Liberal Catholic Church has no excommunication procedure, nor does it believe that divorced persons or anyone else should be excommunicated.
  • Aren’t “liberal” and “catholic” a contradiction of terms?
    No, we use the term “liberal” in the same sense that the word is used in the phrase “liberal arts,” meaning that which makes you free. The term “catholic” means “universal.” We use the term “catholic” (a) to mean the all-inclusive church of Christ and (b) to indicate that we maintain the original, ancient forms of the Christian Church, unlike other Catholic churches that made changes, especially during the 1960s. We have no political offiliation and do not discuss politics at church.
  • How can I become a member of the Clergy?
    If you wish to serve the church, your first steps are to attend church services regularly, donate time and money to the church, and begin studying The Liberal Catholic Institute of Studies. After being a Catechumen, you will work closely with your assigned mentor about being Clergy.
  • What do I do if I want to attend study groups?
    For in-person study groups, contact your local parish. For an online study group of an Introduction to The Liberal Catholic Church, you can send us your email using the submit box below, and we will send you information about joining our Zoom meetings. You will get answers to your questions, and we will provide personal guidance. Upon your request, we will also find a mentor for you who can be your ongoing contact and connect you with our church. For advanced studies after you have attended an Introduction to The Liberal Catholic Church, you can enroll in The Liberal Catholic Institute of Studies.
  • The Liberal Catholic Church? I’ve never heard of it.
    That’s because no one has told you about it or because you haven’t read about it somewhere. In fact, tens of thousands of persons have heard about The Liberal Catholic Church because they are members, and thousands more know about us because they have read about us somewhere. Our St. Alban’s Press publishes many books, and we are listed in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Christian Church, The New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia Britannica, and many other reference works. Our Church is active in thirty countries throughout the world. In America, our Parishes are located from coast to coast. Members of The Liberal Catholic Church tend to remain quiet, and traditionally, we avoid pushy recruitment tactics. The best way to learn more about us is to visit.
  • What about hell?
    The Liberal Catholic Church believes and practices complete freedom of conscience. Our Church does not endorse or teach a belief in hell or eternal damnation, nor did the original, mystical Christians who believed in life as a “theatre of development,” a process sometimes known as “reincarnation.” The concept of reincarnation is the world’s most widely-held religious belief. Indeed, a Gallup Poll taken in 1985 showed that a majority of Americans either believe in reincarnation or believe in its possibility! Further, reincarnation was taught by early Christian theologians such as Origen, St. Clement, and even St. Augustine. There are even reincarnationist references in the Old and New Testaments. To read more about this, do an internet search for Reincarnation: Fact or Fallacy? by Fr. Geoffrey Hodson.
  • What if a Parish is too far from where I live?
    Whether you live near or far from a local Parish, you can send us your email using the submit box below, and one of our wonderful Members will contact you. You will get answers to your questions, and we will provide personal guidance. Upon your request, we will also find a mentor for you who can be your ongoing contact and connect you with our church.
  • What do I do if I want to attend services?
    Come and see! All are welcome to our services. You can enter into a full spiritual life and experience. You can have spiritual freedom and truth, and you can breathe easily again. You can publicly practice what you privately believe.
  • How does the Church support itself?
    Like other Churches, The Liberal Catholic Church is supported by its Parishioners through donations and fund-raising events. The Clergy of The LCC, like St. Paul, are “worker-priests.” This means that our Clergy receive no salary or other payment for their service; rather, each person, whether they be Deacon, Priest, Bishop, Deaconess, Vestry Vice-President, Sacristan, Grounds Keeper, or Secretary, holds a secular job in addition to church duties. The Liberal Catholic Church is a place where anyone can contribute what they can at any level.
  • Can I believe anything I want? Does your church have any teachings?
    It’s not that members “believe anything they want,” but that they are trying to understand and apply spiritual matters. Our Church does not wish to put people in the hypocritical situation of pretending to believe an official dogma while privately believing differently. Instead, we wish to provide a spiritual foundation for those who are seeking answers. The Liberal Catholic Church has a full complement of teachings which it has inherited from the ancient Christian mystics and gnostics. However, we are not dogmatic: we do not insist that our members must believe these teachings. We have a saying: “A truth is not a truth for a person, until that person sees it to be true for themselves.”
  • Do you take orders from the Pope?
    No. The Liberal Catholic Church is not connected with or affiliated in any way with the Roman Catholic Church or the Vatican. The Liberal Catholic Church has its own Synod of Bishops which elects one of its members as Presiding Archbishop for a certain time period, after which a new Presiding Archbishop is elected. Each country (Province) also has a Provincial Bishop.
  • What’s the difference between you and the regular Catholic Church?
    As the church that did not radically change its services since its beginnings, we are the “regular” Catholic Church, or, rather, a branch of it. Probably you have the idea that the Roman Catholic Church is the “regular” Catholic Church, but there are some thirty branches of the Catholic Church, of which the Roman branch is the best-known. There are major differences between the Liberal and Roman Catholic Church: first, we teach and practice complete freedom of conscience; second, we emphasize the mystical life. There are other differences, but these are the main ones. A Comparison Between The Liberal Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church When first hearing about The Liberal Catholic Church, a person’s immediate reaction often is—“What’s the difference between The Liberal Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church?” To provide information about the major differences between these two Catholic bodies, this list is provided. Information about The Liberal Catholic Church is taken from The Statement of Principles and Summary of Doctrine of The Liberal Catholic Church (St. Alban Press, 1980). Information about the Roman Catholic Church is taken from The New Catholic Encyclopedia.
  • Why are your Priests married?
    Not all of our Priests are married, the matter of clerical celibacy being optional in our Church. But the fact is that the Apostles were married, so the Sacrament of Marriage is left to the discretion of the individual. What about women in the church? Following the example set by Jesus Himself, and having an understanding of the esoteric and mystical principles involved in Ordination, we have no women in Orders. We do have the ancient Office of Deaconess, and there are women of The LCC who are Deaconesses and who are actively involved in the sacred Work of the Deaconess. Women of the Church find many Paths of Service within The LCC, including serving on Vestry Boards and our local and international corporation boards.
  • What are your church services like?
    The Rites of the Church are in “the language of the people.” While our Services are very traditional in form, language, and music and resemble pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic Services, they sound a note of joy at God’s Holy Presence. Dreary cries of mercy and self-abnegation are never heard in The LCC. Watch this video to SEE and HEAR our Holy Eucharist!
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