Tuesday, 29 January 2013

By the Grace of God brought to the knowledge of the Truth

Those of us who have had the privilege of being received into the Catholic Church understand full well that it was only through the enlightenment of divine grace that we were brought to embrace, and to be embraced by, holy Mother Church. No matter how long we spent praying and debating with ourselves and with others about taking, what seemed to us at the time, such a momentous step we could do nothing of ourselves without that grace.

There were those who thought that the disarray in the Church of England and the generosity shown by the Holy Father in Anglicanorum Coetibus would result in a stampede of disaffected Anglo Catholics clamouring to be received into the Catholic Church. That was never to be, for it is not in the noise and the fury of a stampede that one opens one’s heart in peaceful submission to the work of the Spirit. Rather there is a quiet and gentle flow of those experiencing (and open to) the operation of divine grace. So let us not be impatient with those we have left behind but be steadfast in praying that our separated brethren may be united with us to the Chief Shepherd in the One True Fold.

We have written before about the immense joy experienced at our restoration to communion and union with the faithful and to the holy sacraments of the Church and it is a joy we relive whenever we attend the reception of a new convert. On Candlemas a new member of the Marylebone Ordinariate Group, Harry Smith, will be received into holy Mother Church and on Saturday, the Feast of St Polycarp, members of our Group witnessed the reception of Alex Robertson, like Harry another former resident of Pusey House, by Fr Nicholas Edmonds-Smith Cong. Orat. in the stark beauty of the Priory Church at Blackfriars, Oxford. The Rite, and the Missa Cantata that followed, was in the Extraordinary Form with its ringing Statement of Faith by the convert.

I, born outside the Catholic Church, have held and believed errors contrary to her teaching. Now, enlightened by divine grace, I kneel before you, Reverend Father having before my eyes and touching with my hand the holy Gospels. And with firm faith I believe and profess each and all the articles contained in the Apostles' Creed, that is: I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended into hell, the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty, from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

I firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and all the other constitutions and ordinances of the Church.

I admit the Sacred Scriptures in the sense which has been held and is still held by holy Mother Church, whose duty it is to judge the true sense and interpretation of Sacred Scripture, and I shall never accept or interpret them in a sense contrary to the unanimous consent of the fathers.

I profess that the sacraments of the New Law are truly and precisely seven in number, instituted for the salvation of mankind, though all are not necessary for each individual: baptism, confirmation, holy Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony. I profess that all confer grace, and that baptism, confirmation, and holy orders cannot be repeated without sacrilege. I also accept and admit the ritual of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of all the aforementioned sacraments.

I accept and hold in each and every part all that has been defined and declared by the Sacred Council of Trent concerning original sin and justification. I profess that in the Mass there is offered to God a true, real, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; that in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ is really, truly, and substantially present, and that there takes place in the Mass what the Church calls transubstantiation, which is the change of all the substance of bread into the body of Christ and of all substance of wine into His blood. I confess also that in receiving under either of these species one receives Jesus Christ whole and entire.

I firmly hold that Purgatory exists and that the souls detained there can be helped by the prayers of the faithful.

Likewise I hold that the saints, who reign with Jesus Christ, should be venerated and invoked, that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated.

I firmly profess that the images of Jesus Christ and of the Mother of God, ever a Virgin, as well as of all the saints should be given due honour and veneration. I also affirm that Jesus Christ left to the Church the faculty to grant indulgences, and that their use is most salutary to the Christian people. I recognize the holy, Roman, Catholic, and apostolic Church as the mother and teacher of all the churches, and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman Pontiff, successor of St. Peter, the prince of the apostles and vicar of Jesus Christ.

Moreover, without hesitation I accept and profess all that has been handed down, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and by the general councils, especially by the Sacred Council of Trent and by the Vatican General Council, and in special manner all that concerns the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. At the same time I condemn and reprove all that the Church has condemned and reproved. This same Catholic faith, outside of which none can be saved, I now freely profess and I truly adhere to it. With the help of God, I promise and swear to maintain and profess this faith entirely, inviolately, and with firm constancy until the last breath of life. And I shall strive, as far as possible, that this same faith shall be held, taught, and publicly professed by all who depend on me and over whom I shall have charge.

Deo gratias.


  1. I'm glad that there's no stampede. Slow and steady, doing it for the right reasons and not just joining the crowd.

    People tend to forget that the Catholic Church thinks in centuries and millenia, not months or years. All's right in God's time, and however many or few that do come home, we will be waiting with open arms and much love and happiness.

  2. These photos were picked up by the widely respected New Liturgical Movement website.