A Member of the Liberal Catholic Movement
Universal Catholic Church

Last Updated April 6, 2011.

              Frequently Asked Questions [Continued]

 

Do Universal Catholics practice artificial means of birth control, such as birth control pills?

The Universal Catholic Church places no restrictions on its members use or lack of use of birth control methods. In fact, many Universal Catholics, in keeping with church belief that religion should keep pace with human growth and enlightenment, consider family planning an important part of responsible human sexuality. We have no teaching on abortion and opinions will vary.

 

Speaking of sexuality, are homosexuals welcome in the Universal Catholic Church?

Yes. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transsexual people may receive Holy Communion at our altars, with no need to hide or repress their sexual orientation.

 

Didn’t Christ teach that homosexuality was a sin?

No. Christ never mentioned homosexuality in any way. We might wonder why so many Christians are worried about something that Christ never once mentioned. While the Old Testament does condemn certain forms of homosexual behavior, such as homosexual rape, it also condemns men cutting their facial hair, eating pork, and many other things that today's Christians do not consider sinful. In fact, working on the Sabbath calls for the death penalty. Homosexuality likely has a biological basis. Christ did not single out homosexuality for scorn, and neither should we.

 

I'm still concerned, though, that many of these things—divorce, homosexuality, and sex outside of marriage—are sins. Doesn't a person need to be in a "state of grace" before receiving Holy Communion?

First, Universal Catholics recognize the futility of trying to divide the world into categories like “sinners” and “the righteous.” Christ taught us in the story of the woman caught in adultery, that only the person who is without sin among us can cast a stone. We have all committed sins. Next, Liberal Catholics seek to recall the original meaning of the word “sin,” which is “error.” We have all made errors. Lastly, consider the company Jesus kept—drunkards, prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, the poor and oppressed—and that nearly all of His critical comments were aimed at religious leaders. When Jesus walked the earth he did not withhold his love from all but the perfect, nor does he now.

 

Have Universal Catholics accepted the liturgical reforms of Vatican II?

Some of the liturgical “reforms” of the Roman Catholic Church’s 1962-1964 denominational conference (Vatican II) were already instituted in the Liberal Catholic movement in advance, in the early 1900’s, such as the use of the language of the people in the services of the Church. We have not, however, turned around our altars, simplified mass vestments, eliminated the requirements for gold or linen in items that touch the Blessed Sacrament or otherwise decreased the respect due to the Body and Blood of Christ. Our Mass is a revised version of the old Latin Tridentine Mass used before Vatican II, and is very traditional and beautiful.

 

What do Universal Catholics think about Mary?

While the Universal Catholic Church does not seek to clearly define the role of the holy Lady Mary as certain other Churches have, there are many members who have a special devotion to her. Some view her in a very traditional Catholic way as the Theotokos, or “God-Bearer,” while others see her as the World Mother—a manifestation of the feminine aspect of divinity. She is often honored in the devotion of the Rosary. Forms of the Rosary that may be found in use in the Universal Catholic Church include the popular Dominican Rosary, the Franciscan Crown Rosary, the Rosary of the Seven Rays and the Rosary of the Five Trees.

 

I have heard that the early Bishops of the Liberal Catholic Movement were Theosophists. What is Theosophy and is a belief in it required in the Universal Catholic Church?

Theosophy is a school of thought founded in the late 1800’s. Its purpose was to study comparative religion and mysticism. Some of its basic principles are belief in the eastern concepts of reincarnation, karma, vegetarianism and abstention from the use of alcoholic beverages. While many of the Liberal Catholic Movement’s early Bishops did, in fact, hold theosophical ideas, a belief in them is neither required nor forbidden in the Universal Catholic Church. The UCC respects the freedom of individual conscience on these issues, as in others.

 

Elsewhere in this web site you can see a chart of the differences in practices between our Church and certain other denominations in the Movement. Click here.

 

 


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