Good Shepherd Companions, An Ecumenical Catholic Ordinariate holds to the foundational tenants of the Catholic Faith as expressed in creedal statements through the centuries. This is one version of the Apostle’s Creed:
- We believe in God, creator of heaven and earth.
- We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son.
- He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
- He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day, he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
- We 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.
- WHAT DOES "ECUMENICAL CATHOLIC" MEAN?
We, as an Ecumenical Catholic Ordinariate, are part of a growing movement of renewal Catholic communities arising in a variety of developing forms. The movement is comprised of numerous small local faith communities and other ministries. Many of these communities, like ourselves, have included the word "ecumenical" to indicate our commitment to Christian unity. These communities often began with groups of Roman Catholics who could no longer support the position of the current Roman Catholic hierarchy; they also often include people from many different Christian Traditions. A prevalent characteristic of these communities is that they welcome all people. back to top
- ARE YOU AFFILIATED WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AS REPRESENTED BY THE VATICAN?
Good Shepherd Companions (GSC), An Ecumenical Catholic Ordinariate identifies itself as Catholic and lives out its Catholic heritage. It is not, however, affiliated with any Roman Catholic diocese and its authority does not come from the Vatican. back to top
- WHERE DOES YOUR AUTHORITY COME FROM?
As with all who have formed Church in the name of Christ our authority comes from Jesus. The Gospel of Jesus is our call to mission and our mandate for service. All of us within GSC, lay and ordained, are empowered by the Gospel in freedom to follow God's call. Our bishops, priests and deacons are people called forth for service by the community and are ordained within the Apostolic lineage. back to top
- ARE YOU IN COMMUNION WITH THE CHURCH OF ROME?
We see ourselves to be in communion with all Christian Traditions. While we adhere to the foundational teachings of the Church (Creedal Statements), we disagree with the current hierarchy of the Church of Rome regarding some of its (less than foundational) teachings. Therefore from their point of view (as we understand it) they might not consider themselves to be in full communion with us nor see us to be in full communion with them. Nevertheless, we believe disagreement on non-foundational teachings is an opportunity for learning and growth - not a reason for disunity. We look forward to the day when the Church of Rome and all Christian Traditions work together to discern and follow God's Spirit at work in our world. back to top
- Do you celebrate the Sacraments?
Yes. We believe that all seven sacraments are gifts from Christ to the Church and meant to be open to all people regardless of gender or sexual orientation. back to top
- How does leadership evolve in GSC?
Our leaders, lay and ordained, are called forth for service by the community. We believe that Jesus intends for the Church to be ordered. But he repeatedly and consistently instructed that such order should be based on service and mission and not on power. (Mk.9:35-36; Jn.13:11-17) Our Ordinariate and organizations affiliated with it are structured such that (in some format) the entire body is involved in major decision making. Our leaders, lay and ordained, serve the community in the mission which Jesus gave it. back to top
- Can everyone receive communion at your Masses?
The table around which we celebrate the Eucharist (Mass) is Jesus' table, and all are welcome to it. Anyone wishing to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist is welcome to do so. From our point of view the Eucharist is far too precious a gift to be used as a punitive tool. We believe it was Jesus' intention and practice that it be celebrated to nurture unity and understanding, not to highlight differences. Hence we follow Jesus' example and welcome all at His table. (Jn 17:21) back to top
- Does that include divorced and remarried Catholics?
Yes. back to top
- Are gay, lesbian, and trans-gender people welcome and does that include gay married couples and families?
Yes. back to top
- Do you ordain women as deacons, priests and bishops?
Yes. We are open to ordaining both men and women, single and married, regardless of sexual orientation back to top
- What is the mission of the Baptized and Ordained?
As with all who have formed Church in the name of Christ our authority comes from Jesus. The Gospel of Jesus is our call to mission and our mandate for service. All of us within GSC, lay and ordained, are empowered by the Gospel in freedom to follow God's call. Our bishops, priests and deacons are people called forth for service by the community and are ordained within the Apostolic lineage which we have received from our ordinations as priests and bishops, and our lay members through their baptism back to top