FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a the Reformed Celtic Church
The RCC is an affiliation of eclectic communities, parishes, congregations, and ministries. We affirm Trinitarian universalism.
What do you mean by "Trinitarian"?
We believe that God is three persons (or 'energies') in One Essence. Christians understand this as the Father/Creator, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. No one can 'know' God's Essence. We believe God makes Himself known through His energies, especially through the second person of the Trinity (the Logos, Word, Divine Reason). This second Person was Incarnate as Jesus Christ.
What do you mean by "Universalism"?
We believe that ALL sentient beings are saved by the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who is the Lord and Savior. We believe "universalism is attested to in the Bible and in the 7 Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church. However, we allow for freedom of interpretation and belief in universal salvation is not a litmus test for membership in the RCC. Without Christ, none of us are "saved"; with Christ, we are all "saved". When asked, "Are you saved?" A Reformed Celtic Christian may say, "I was saved by Christ's atoning death on Calvary; I am being saved by His grace in my life; and I will be saved at the end of earthly time as God reconciles the cosmos to Himself through Christ."
Is the RCC a tax-exempt non-profit organization?
Yes and no. The RCC as an affiliation does not solicit funds nor accept donations and does not exist as an IRS tax exempt entity. However, RCC affiliates are autonomous and self-governing. They may or may not have tax-exempt non-profit status depending on their specific circumstances.
Can a homosexual join the RCC?
Yes. An individual's sexual preference is a private matter. Love, compassion, and monogamous loyalty are not the monopoly of heterosexuals. We do not consider homosexuality to be a sin.
What is the RCCs position on abortion?
Abortion is a matter of individual conscience. However, most RCC clergy believe human life begins at conception and would counsel against having an abortion.
Is the RCC a Christian organization?
Yes. We believe Jesus Christ is the instrument of our salvation. We affirm the Nicene Creed, the Apostles' Creed, and the 7 Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church. We differ from some catholic, orthodox, and evangelical bodies in that we allow for individual freedom of belief and interpretation. We see the role of the RCC as one of teacher and guide, not a pontificator of doctrine and dogma. activity.
Do I have to be Irish or Scottish?
No. Celtic Christian spirituality is not ethnically exclusive. While many members are of Celtic lineage, many are not. We are Celtic Christian in spirituality, not ethnicity. We are open to all people, regardless of race, national origin, or ethnicity
Do you pray the Rosary?
Most use what is called the Dalriadan Rosary, a Celtic Rosary that differs somewhat from the Roman Catholic Rosary. Some members use other prayer beads like the Buddhist Mala. Contrary to misconception we do not pray to the beads. They are merely a tool in the recitation of a sequence of prayers. Various forms of prayer beads have been used in all the major religions of the world.
Do you Worship Mary?
No. We venerate St. Mary and hold her in great esteem as the mother of Jesus Christ. Some members (not all) ask St. Mary to intercede for them in their prayers or petitions to God. We do not promote the Roman Catholic teaching that she is "Co-redemprix." But we respect an individual's right to hold that belief.
Do you Worship the saints?
No. Communion of the saints is not worship of them. We believe that the saints are in heaven and can hear our prayers, at the same time we believe that they can pray for us so asking them to pray for us is not much different than me asking you to pray for me. We venerate them as examples of lives lived in communion with the Divine Spirit within all of us, seeking to follow their example. And we recognize the 'sainthood' of non-Christians like Mahatma Gandhi.
Do you Ordain Women?
Yes. We ordain females to all levels of Holy Orders. We do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, or sexual preference.
Do you ordain homosexuals?
Yes. Sexual preference is not an obstacle to Holy Orders.
Do you Allow Priests to be married?
Yes. All priests may marry however those who remain unmarried must also remain celebut.
Do you have "Open Communion"?
Yes. The Reformed Celtic Church offers Holy Communion to anyone who wishes to partake. All RCC Sacraments are open to all people.
Do you believe in the 'Real Presence' of Christ in the elements of bread and wine?
Yes. We take Christ at His word, "This IS my body... This IS my blood." However, we do not try to explain how this is so with terms like 'transubstantiation' or 'co-substantiation'. We accept it as a Mystery (the Greek meaning of the Latin Sacrament).
How do you baptize?
Generally, we pour or sprinkle holy water over a person's head. However, a person may be fully immersed if he/she so desires and the facility to so is available. In either case, Holy Baptism is done in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Do you baptize infants?
Yes, when requested by the child's parents. The parents may also designate 'godparents' to assist in nurturing the child's faith until the child reaches an age (usually 12-14 years of age) when he/she can personally confirm his/her faith.
Do you believe in heaven and hell?
These are originally cosmological terms that signified regions of the universe but which also came to function as vehicles of religious thought. The ideas expressed by these terms are integral to practically all religions, both ancient and modern. In most religions heaven and hell are expressions of final states of existence, whether blessedness (heaven) or curse (hell). The beliefs of members about the nature of heaven or of hell varies. Succinctly, the RCC teaches that heaven is the Presence of God ("The kingdom of heaven is within you") while hell is the absence of God ("My God, why have you forsaken me?"). We view heaven and hell not as physical spaces but as transcendent spiritual states within which one may currently exist. We do not teach that hell is a state of eternal damnation.
Do you believe in demonic possession?
While we do believe in the existence of evil spirits or demons and the possibility of demonic possession, the well-documented incidence of such occurrences is rare. More frequently what appears to be 'possession' is a manifestation of psychological or physiological problems. Demonic possession can occur. More often we fall under demonic or evil influences.