Blue Mountains Franciscan Church



Bmfchurch







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 is more than simply a legal union between two people.  It 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 union is intended by God and so it should not be declined by human intervention.

However, in Australia, Commonwealth law defines who can have a legal marriage. So we will conduct marriages for people only within this legislative framework.  When the federal law changes, we will also amend our policy.

While we acknowledge that marriage is one of the Seven Sacraments; and we see it as a mystical union, it is the federal government’s legal structure which is the only framework that should define a legal marriage for the church.  Where a marriage is permissible under Australian law, and is perhaps not permissible in other traditions, we will nevertheless conduct it.

All other unions which cannot under Australian law, be a legal marriage, will be blessed as commitment ceremonies.

Br. Luke Efo (Pastor), Rev Br. Simeon Efo (Minister)

 

 
   
 

Last updated 5/7/2017 by Wayne Benge