We are part of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church conforms to that of the undivided Orthodox Catholic Church of the first millennium of its existence. It is expressed in the ancient Symbol of Faith of the Nicene Creed, promulgated by the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 and enlarged by the Council of Constantinople in AD 381:
"I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible, and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made, who, for us men, and for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary; and became man; He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered, and was buried, and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory, to judge the living and the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end, and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, Who proceed from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets, and in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins; I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen".
We believe that the source of the Orthodox Catholic Faith is fully expressed in the Nicene Creed (based on Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition).
We believe that Sacred Scripture (the Bible),which comprises the Old Testament (including the deuterocanonical/apocryphal books) and the New Testament, contains God’s revelation to us, particularly that concerning His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that in matters essential to our salvation it is inerrant.
On The Bible:
We do not consider the Bible to be a source of information concerning science or any other human discipline. Its purpose is to teach us about God and about His Son Jesus Christ. It does that within the cultural environment of its time and place, hence the need for careful study to understand its message correctly.
We believe that Sacred Scripture itself is part of Sacred Tradition, that process by which God’s revelation is passed on to us from the Apostles, and unto the Church Fathers and to the unbroken succession of Bishops through the centuries. This handing on occurs through the prayers and liturgy of the Church, through preaching, teaching, catechesis, devotions, doctrines, and the Bible itself.
We believe that Church Tradition is a collection of Orthodox practices and beliefs, from the earliest of days, which makes Sacred Tradition an inerrant source of God’s revelation in matters essential to our faith and our Christian life. A very important part of Sacred Tradition is the teaching of the Ecumenical Councils.
We believe that the doctrinal definitions of the first seven Ecumenical Councils, that is those which took place within the undivided Catholic Church, were guided by the Holy Spirit and it accepts them as part of its faith. Those seven Ecumenical Councils are the Councils of Nicaea in AD 325, Constantinople in AD 381, Ephesus in AD 431, Chalcedon in AD 451, Constantinople II in AD 533, Constantinople III in AD 680, and Nicaea II in AD 787.These Councils were concerned essentially with defining the true Catholic faith, in the Holy Trinity and in Jesus Christ the Son of God made man: God is triune, a single God in three Persons, Whom the Saviour Himself named as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, uniting in His single Person both the divine and the human natures.
We believe that equally important in Sacred Tradition are the Seven Sacraments. We believe that these Sacraments, which are Baptism and Eucharist, both of which are particularly attested to in Sacred Scripture; Confirmation (or Chrismation), Penance (or Reconciliation), Matrimony, Holy Orders and Unction (or Anointing of the Sick and the Dying), are effective signs of the Lord’s continuing presence and action within His Church and efficacious channels of his Grace. Among the Sacraments, the Holy Eucharist holds prominence of place.
We believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ is really and truly present, in His humanity and in His Divinity, in the species of bread and wine that have been consecrated in the Eucharistic Liturgy of the Holy Mass, and that in Holy Communion we receive Him into ourselves to nourish the very life of the soul: ‘Those who eat My Flesh and drink My Blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day’, (John 6:54).
We believe that in Our Lord Jesus’ plan for His Church, the Apostles and the Bishops hold a special place.
We believe that the Bishops, canonically and liturgically consecrated in the unbroken line of Apostolic Succession are the successors of the Apostles and that they are responsible, as were the Apostles, for the ministry of service to the Church, consisting of preaching and teaching, of sanctifying and of governing, but most of all, for the safeguarding and the handing-on intact, of the Deposit of Faith and Sacred Tradition of the Church under the divine command.
On The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Theotokos:
We believe that Mary, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Theotokos, the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church and the Queen of Heaven and earth, holds a special place in the faith, the lives and the liturgy of the our Church.
On the Immaculate Conception:
As most Orthodox we reject the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as unnecessary and wrong. We do not see ancestral sin as an inheritance of guilt or a stain, there is no reason for the miraculous removal of either. Nevertheless as per the Orthodox Tradition we hold that the Theotokos remained free of personal sin.
On Dormition of the Theotokos:
We believe that the Dormition of Our Blessed Lady and Her ascension into Heaven, are held in accordance with Sacred Tradition, the Church Fathers and the Sacred Liturgy from the earliest of times; and in oneness with the Orthodox Church of the East and the Latin Roman Church in the West.
On the Saints:
We believe in the Communion of Saints, and the fellowship of the whole Church in Glory, the Church Militant and the Church Suffering. It holds to the honouring of Saints, and the prayers for their intercession for both the Church Militant and Suffering.
On Life after Death:
Each person is subject to what is called "private judgment" and to what is called "general judgment”.
The private judgment is what an individual receives immediately after death.
The souls of the righteous, who have received a "positive" private judgment have a certain "foretaste" of Heaven, and the souls of unrepentant sinners who received a "negative" private judgment have a "foretaste" of hell.
However, neither Paradise nor the Inferno even exist yet, because the final division of all humans into those who are saints and those who are damned will occur only after the Second Coming of Christ and the general resurrection of the dead (Matthew 25: 31-46).
Even though a person whose soul is separated from his/her body is not able to repent anymore, and thus cannot change the private judgment by him- or herself, the prayers of others, the prayers of the Church, and especially the prayers of the Most Holy Mother of God the Theotokos still can change the destiny of those who received a negative private judgment.
On the Filioque Position:
We maintain, as does the whole Eastern Orthodox Church, the solid and unquestioning beliefs as set out in the Creed of Nicaea/Constantinople of AD 381. We maintain that, whilst theological debate may continue regarding the Filioque clause, no Church and no Bishop or Bishops, nor successive Synods or Councils may change, alter, add to, or take away from, a Creed once it is proclaimed by a legitimate General Ecumenical Council, and that such Sacred Tradition is held as absolute by the Augustinians Fathers.
On the Divine Liturgy:
The authorized Eucharistic Liturgies we use are: John Chrysostom, Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian, Pope of Rome.
On the Seven Sacraments of the Church:
The Seven Sacraments: We recognize and affirm the seven Mysteries or Sacraments of the Church:
First place among the Sacraments of the Orthodox Church is Holy Baptism, by which a man/women, who has come to believe in Christ, by being immersed three times in water in the Name of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is cleansed through Divine Grace of all sins (Original Sins and personal sins) and is reborn into a new holy, and spiritual life. Baptism serves as the door through which man enters into the House of Eternal Wisdom - the Church - for, without it, a man cannot be united completely with the Saviour, become a member of His Church, receive other Sacraments, and be the heir to Eternal Life. As the Lord Himself said, in His discourse with Nicodemus, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." (St. John 3:5)
In the Sacrament of Baptism man is called out of spiritual darkness into the light of Christ and is initiated into the economy of salvation by the Son of God. This initiation is effected, however, in the Sacrament of Holy Chrismation.
"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ," the Apostle Peter preached to the people on Pentecost, "and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38) Since that time the Divine Gift of the Holy Spirit is bestowed upon each person who rises from the baptismal font. And everything the Holy Spirit touches receives the seal of an invaluable treasure, a ray of eternal light, the reflection of Divine action. It awakens in the soul that inner, spiritual thirst to grow toward the Heavenly, to the eternal and to the perfect as Temples of the Holy Spirit.
Communion (Holy Eucharist):
The central place among the Sacraments of the Orthodox Church is held by the Holy Eucharist - the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Saviour Himself said, "I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst...If anyone eats of this Bread he will live forever; and the Bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh." (St. John 6:35, 51) At the Last Supper, "Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat; this is My Body.' And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, 'Drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.' " (St. Matthew 26:26-28; cf. St. Mark 14:12-16; St. Luke 22:7-13; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30.)
In the Orthodox Church there are to be found three "Major Orders" - Bishop, Priest and Deacon - and two "Minor Orders" - Subdeacon and Reader. The Holy Apostles appointed seven men (Church Tradition calls them "Deacons') to perform a special serving ministry (Acts 6:2-6) and in his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul speaks of various ministries in the Church (1 Cor. 12:28). Likewise, he address his Letter to the Philippians, "To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons" (Phil. 1:1}. In his first Letter to Timothy, the Holy Apostle also speaks of the qualifications of Bishops and Deacons (1 Tim. 3:1-13), as well as in his Letter to Titus (1.5-9). Ordinations are accomplished by the Laying-on of Hands and intercession of the Holy Spirit. Bishops and Priests must be men. From Apostolic Times, as witnessed in Sacred Scripture and in the Ordination Rites of the Great Church of Constantinople, men and women have been ordained as Deacons. Being married has never been an impediment to the reception of Holy Orders.
The Sacrament of Repentance developed early in the Church's history in the time of persecutions of the 3rd and 4th Centuries, when many people, giving to the threats of persecutors, apostasized and fell away from the Church. Apostacy was considered to be a very serious sin; many held the extreme position that such could not be received back into the Church in their lifetime, while others held that those who had lapsed should be re-baptized - that is, their sins should be washed away by a second baptism. Moderation, in the course of time, prevailed and a penitential discipline - the Sacrament of Repentance - developed, taking on the meaning of Second Baptism. In the Sacrament, the Priest is "only the witness" and pronounces the absolution. "If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (St. John 1:9)
Holy Matrimony (Marriage):
In the theology of the Orthodox Church man is made in the Image of the Most-holy Trinity, and, except in certain special cases (such as the calling to monasticism), he is not intended by God to live alone, but in a family situation. Just as Almighty God blessed the first humans, Adam and Eve, to live as a family, to be fruitful and multiply, so too the Church blesses the union of two people. Marriage is a state of Grace requiring a gift or charism from the Holy Spirit - this give being conferred in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
Holy Unction (Anointing of the Sick):
This Sacrament is described in Holy Scripture by St. James the Brother of the Lord: "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven." (St. James 5:14-15) From the text, we can see that this Sacrament has a twofold purpose - bodily healing and the forgiveness of sins. The two are joined, for man is a unity of body and soul and there can be no sharp distinction between bodily and spiritual sickness. Of course, the Church does not believe that this anointing is automatically or magically followed by recovery of health, for God's will and not man's prevails in all instances. Sometimes the sick person is healed and recovers after receiving the Sacrament, but in other cases he does not recover, but the Sacrament, nonetheless, gives him the spiritual strength to prepare for death. We must note that this Sacrament is NOT only for those on their deathbed, but for anyone who is sick. It may also be performed over the healthy as well (as is the custom on Holy Wednesday) and in some traditions it is often performed over the healthy before Holy Communion, since the rite also contains elements of repentance, although it should be noted that this does not replace the Sacrament of Penance.