Declaration of Faith
We proclaim the teaching of Metropolitan Kallistos that "Neither an Ecumenical Council, nor the Patriarchate of Constantinople, or of Moscow, nor any other Mother Church can create a new local Church. The most that they can do is to recognize such a Church. But the act of creation must be carried out in situ, locally, by the living Eucharistic cells which are called to gradually make up the body of a new local Church." (Nov. 2005, Sergius Institute of Theology in Paris).
† We believe in One God - the parental Creator of life, who much of the Church call the Father. They are the source of life’s energy, love, and balance. There is more than we can understand about God, where They came from, or how They came to be. God is the ‘most real being’, and humans have a likeness of Them, except that we are imperfect in our free-will.
† We believe in Jesus Christ – God’s Son in flesh and Messiah of Gods' people. He was crucified, buried, rose from the dead and resurrected on the third day. He revealed Himself to Mary Magdalene, his first disciple and apostle of the Church.
† We believe that it was through our works of mercy, and through the death of Jesus Christ and by crucifixion that we gain our salvation.
† We believe in the Holy Spirit - the breath and life of the Creator, it is an unseen force of energy, wisdom, and love.
† We believe in an understanding of Original Sin from the view that sin derives from the Evil-Doer or the Devil, that our mortality came from the sins of Adam, and we as a human race with free-will, we also inherit the sins of our ancestors physically, emotionally, and mentally.
† We believe in three dogmas of the Virgin Mary; she is the true Theotokos and Mother of God, her Assumption into Heaven, and the Virgin Birth of Christ. We believe that the Annunciation is a Great Feast of the Church where the Theotokos was cleansed of any sinful impurities and blessed with bearing the Son of God. We believe the status of the Theotokos is Queen of the Heavens and Saints, sitting at the left hand of God; and she is our Champion and highest-ranked Saint of all the Saints.
† We believe in the faith creating and sustaining sacraments and rituals of the Ancient Holy Church – catechism of the faithful, triple immersion baptism, chrismation, marriage, confession, ordination, anointing of oil, and one’s funeral. We believe that in the Eucharist the bread and wine are changed and become in a real sense the Body and Blood of Christ, though we cannot say when and where the change takes place, we become one with the Divine.
† We believe in communing with and the intercession of the Saints. We believe in saying special intentions for Saints, the living, and the dead in the Divine Liturgy. We believe in the apparitional visions and manifestations people have with the Virgin Mary and Saints of the Church.
† We believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Creator. The Trinity--the same yesterday, today, and forever. Coequal, from eternity past to eternity future, ever the same and unchanging. Coeternal and consubstantial. “With regard to the first matter, they (the Romans) have produced the unanimous documentary evidence of the Latin Fathers, and of Cyril of Alexandria, from the sacred commentary he composed on the gospel of St. John. On the basis of these texts, they have shown that they have not made the Son the cause of the Spirit — they know in fact that the Father is the only cause of the Son and the Spirit, the one by begetting and the other by a procession; but [they use this expression] in order to manifest the Spirit’s coming-forth (προϊέναι) through him and, in this way, to make clear the unity and identity of the essence….” Saint Maximus the Confessor.
† We believe that Heaven and Hell are understandings of God's loving presence, being on the light or dark side of that presence. We also believe that there are grievous sins, such as murder, genocide, etc. that can permanently separate someone from God’s Love for eternity.
† We believe in an after-death state of purgatory or spiritual reincarnation where we cleanse ourselves and process through Theosis-becoming Christlike until the Second Coming and our appearance before the Judgement Throne of God. Because of this in-between realm of existence, thus we believe it is possible to see and communicate with the reposed.
† We believe that the “1452(-1571) Unification of Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches in the cathedral of Hagia Sophia on 12 December, five months before the [Constantinople] fell, on the West's terms, when Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos, under pressure from Rome, allowed the union to be proclaimed by the former Metropolitan Isidore of Kiev and all Rus' (seated in Moscow) by Emperor John VIII Palaeologus, who had participated in the Council of Florence and was now a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, and who read the solemn promulgation of union and celebrated the union liturgy, including the name of the pope, arousing the greatest agitation among the population of the city” makes both Eastern and Western Rites valid within their own shared rites being one Church again for 119 years, in the most recent Christian history.
† We believe that Eastern Rite/Byzantine monasticism can accompany both the traditional eastern formation and ethos, while also having a Franciscan and Benedictine Spirit as a monastic community.
† We believe that no one is infallible, yet people in their true heart can hear the will or Spirit of God. We believe that that Roman Pontiff, Ecumenical Patriarch, and the Archbishop/Metropolitan heads of jurisdictions, are all capable of fallibility in word, and yet all capable of receiving God’s Wisdom in His Word or Spirit.
† We believe that the Roman Pontiff, Ecumenical Patriarch, and Jurisdiction heads are all primus inter pares (first among equals) of their comparative jurisdictions. We see authenticity and communion in both Eastern and Western traditions, within reason morally and ethically.
† We believe the validity in celebrating both the Divine Liturgy’s and Western/Latin Masses. We believe in the relevance and sincerity in both pre-Lenten rituals, like Ash Wednesday and Forgiveness Vespers.
† We believe ecumenicalism is needed theology, and feel that ecumenicalism would be another area that living the Good News is a part of, loving your neighbor. Building the bridges that have divided us over the years and bringing Christ’s Church to serve all those that confess His name would be and is the Holy Spirit at work. We should try and bring Christianity together, worship and break bread together. If we worked on the areas that unite us more than the areas that divide us as the Christian faith, we would be willing to see what strengths we have and work on the issues that can keep us in communion with one another.
Affirmation of Inclusion
As the Eastern Order of the Protecting Veil, we firmly believe in the profound value of inclusivity and the beauty that arises from diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. We strive to create a welcoming and accepting environment where all individuals, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, physical abilities, or any other characteristic, are embraced and respected as integral members of our spiritual community.
We affirm that each person, as a unique creation, bears the divine image and is deserving of love, compassion, and understanding. We value the contributions and insights of all individuals and seek to foster an atmosphere of mutual support, learning, and growth.
We pledge to cultivate an atmosphere of acceptance where prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance have no place. We encourage open dialogue and active engagement, recognizing that through respectful conversation and shared experiences, we can broaden our understanding and strengthen our bond as a community.
In our pursuit of spiritual growth, we recognize the importance of unity in diversity. We celebrate the richness of different cultural traditions, spiritual practices, and theological perspectives that exist within our Order. We believe that our collective wisdom is enhanced when we learn from one another and engage in respectful dialogue.
We commit ourselves to providing equal opportunities for participation and leadership within our Monastic Community, ensuring that all members have a voice and are empowered to contribute their unique gifts. We strive to remove barriers and promote inclusivity in our practices, rituals, and decision-making processes.
As members of the Eastern Order of the Protecting Veil, we embrace the responsibility to advocate for justice, fairness, and equality in our wider society. We endeavor to address systemic inequities and to support initiatives that promote social justice, peace, and the well-being of all people.
With compassion and empathy as our guiding principles, we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every individual who seeks solace, guidance, and spiritual nourishment within our Order. We extend a warm invitation to all who share our commitment to inclusivity and seek to deepen their spiritual journey within the Eastern tradition.
Covenant of Intercommunion
The Eastern Order of the Protecting Veil, along with our Covenant on Intercommunion Partners, labor for an atmosphere of inclusion amongst all members.
† We welcome all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental ability, income, or political beliefs since Christ commanded us to Love Thy Neighbor.
† We love and respect our transgender and non-binary siblings in Christ as we value all humankind just as Jesus embraced everyone into His fold, we too embrace everyone to be one in our Community.
† We include, guide, and support those who have traditionally been marginalized by religious organizations.
† We will always purposefully maintain an atmosphere of universal reverence, compassion, and sincerity towards all humankind.
† We believe in an all-inclusive world where people of all different lives, faiths, and beliefs can have humble relationships knowing we are all created in the image of God.
† We believe that discrimination has no place in our Community and that diversity heightens cohesiveness in our civilization.
† We denounce hatred of any kind, especially anti-LGBT bigotry, intolerance, xenophobia, prejudice, racism, sexism, and all discrimination.
We encourage an environment of purposeful inclusion, an environment where all can feel protected, cherished, and allowed to form meaningful relationships with each other. We, who seek to proclaim the Gospel to each generation, in the power of the Holy Spirit to allow all people to recognize the love of Christ.
We treasure the array of humanity, a diversity of differences in age, sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, range of abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, financial means, education, and political perspective. We believe in a Monastic Community that welcomes, accepts, and serves all people in the name of Christ.
May the Protecting Veil of the Holy Mother envelop us all in love, acceptance, and unity as we walk together on this sacred path.