Blue Mountains Franciscan Church
We Believe




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The Seal of the Confessional:

The Seven Sacraments - or Two

The Eucharist/Holy Communion

Responding to Vocational Calls

Marriage:

The Seal of the Confessional:

Where a penitent confesses to committing murder, rape, an act of terrorism, domestic violence where there is actual physical harm or any child protection matter as documented in the NSW mandatory reporting guidelines, the confession will not be granted the inviolable seal of the confessional. In other words, the clergy hearing the confession where they are advised of these matters, will report them to the relevant authorities. All other items will be considered sacrosanct and not be reported.

 

The Seven Sacraments, or Two:

There are two sacraments which were ordained by Jesus, Baptism and the Eucharist/Holy Communion.  There are five sacraments that the church universal has adopted through the centuries.  These are: Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony, Confirmation and Reconciliation.  We acknowledge that people will approach these seven sacraments based on their respective faith journeys.  We agree with the two scriptural sacraments and are quite comfortable in accepting and using the other five.

 

The Eucharist/Holy Communion:

St Francis of Assisi tells us in one of his Admonitions that the disciples and apostles saw Jesus in the flesh and recognised his divinity.  Today, as inheritors of both the disciples and of St Francis, we see the elements of the Holy Communion/Eucharist (bread and wine) and recognise that Jesus is present with us in these elements.

 

We are content that people need to believe that Jesus is present in the bread and wine. We accept that a person’s faith tradition will lead them to understand the sacrament of the Eucharist in many and varied forms.  We accept that these various traditions may also result in a person responding to the Eucharist in different ways.

We believe in the presence of Jesus in the Sacrament. We have elected to not make a choice of one definition over the others.  We allow the individual person to receive Jesus in the sacrament in the manner which fits both their tradition and their faith journey.

 

Responding to Vocational Calls:

We believe that God will call people from different situations into ministry in the church.  We welcome people (without regard to their personal or physical circumstances) into the ministry as long as we are certain that a:) their vocational call is valid and b:) that there is an active worshipping community that is seeking this person to be their shepherd.

 

Marriage:

For us marriage has two distinct components.  One is simply the legal union between two people.  The other is a mystical bonding of two people who join together to become one, in Christ.  This mystical union will happen between two people regardless of those people’s journey or personal circumstances.  We understand that this mystical union is intended by God and, so it should not be declined by human intervention.  We consider this mystical union as one of the church’s Seven Sacraments.

In Australia, the Commonwealth Government’s Marriage Act is the framework that defines the legal union.  On the 7th December 2017, the Australian Commonwealth Government changed the Marriage Act to allow people of the same sex to marry. The law took effect when it was signed by the Australian Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, on Friday 8th December 2017.

We concur with the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull when he said "People who think that gay people making a commitment is a threat to marriage, fail to recognise that the real threat is lack of commitment.  "So more commitment, more marriage, is good." *

From 9th December 2017, the Blue Mountains Franciscan Church will conduct a marriage ceremony for people (regardless of their sex), where we are convinced that the couple have a permanent commitment to each other and they have affirmed their Christian faith.

Br. Luke Efo, Rev Br. Simeon Efo

* http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-08/same-sex-marriage-legal-after-gg-approval/9239334

 

 
   
 

Last updated 08/12/2017 


 Web Administrator Wayne Benge