Ancient Symbols of the Church:
of the early symbols of the Church of Christ Jesus was the fish
or ichthus, ictus or Greek for fish. The letter in the Greek are
an anagram which means: Christ Jesus God’s Son Savior. In
meeting with other Christians during the persecutions. One person
would mark one circular line in the dirt and the other person would
contribute the other line making the fish. Then the mark would be
P is Jesus Christ Holy Name Monogram: Chi Rho are the first two
letters in the Greek spelling of the word Christ in Greek is a symbol
of the Holy Name of Christ which is spelled [Xpistos] in Greek,
the original language of the Christian Testament. First and last
letters of the Greek alphabet
& Omega A & W in the Greek Alphabet symbolize Christ's Divine
designation "Alpha and Omega." Clear testament to His
absolute and unqualified Deity.
dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity,
because of Matt. 3:16 "And when Jesus had been baptized, just
as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to
him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting
Cross represents the mode of Our LORD 'S Death. Though long antedating
Christianity it was early adopted as its greatest Sacred Symbol.
Of the many forms of the Cross, the Latin, the Celtic, the Greek
and the Maltese are those most generally seen. The shape of the
"True Cross" was probably the Latin (or perhaps the "T")
Cross, having the lower arm longer than the others.
One Lord, One Church
This Church believes in the essential unity of all Christians who
teach and practice the Faith of the undivided Church. There is no
Biblical support for denominations.
Jesus Christ prayed: "That they all may be
one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may
be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
(St. John 17:21) Because the Church believes that Christ is God
Incarnate, His words must be regarded as the revealed will of God.
It must follow, then, that anything contrary is heretical and of
the nature of sin. For this reason, Caritas Catholic Church regards
as heretical and sinful the denial of the Sacraments to believing
and practicing Christians.
Jesus said: "The Sabbath was made for man,
and not man for the Sabbath. (St. Mark 2:27) Christ Catholic Church
says: The Church was made for man, and not man for the Church. The
Church does not save it is only our Lord Jesus who can save and
empower through the Holy Spirit to help us live a life in Christ
and make us fit to live with Him.
History of the Church
The Church, referred to in Holy Scripture as "The
Kingdom of God" and "The Body of Christ," was founded
by Christ who is its only head and high priest. He empowered the
Holy Apostles to carry it into all the world, led by the Holy Spirit
(the "Holy Comforter"), which he sent to "guide you
into Truth." (St. John 16:13.) In the early years, the Church
grew up around five historic Church centers, or Patriarchates, whose
Bishops were honored and given "precedence" as "first
among equals." So the Church did not develop as a "monarchial"
institution, but as "collegial," The government of the
Church was "Conciliar," as evidenced by the Seven Ecumenical
Councils which help to define the Faith of the Church between the
years 325 and 787 A.D.
The unity of the Church was first broken by several
groups which did not accept the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils,
and again in the eleventh century when the Patriarch of Rome attempted
to exercise jurisdiction over all the Church. This led to the Great
Schism, which divided the Eastern Orthodox Bishops from the Roman
Catholic Church of the West. The Eastern Churches were primarily
national Churches, and when their people joined the great flood
of immigrants who came to America in the 19th and 20th centuries,
they brought their Churches with them. This led to the multiplicity
of Church names in America: Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Serbian
Orthodox, etc. They vary in cultural and ethnic traditions, but
all hold to the faith of the Seven Great Councils.
History of Christ Catholic Church International
The History and Development of the Christ
A timeline from the 18th century to present day
Information taken from “Christ Catholic Church (Diocese of
Boston)” printed by the St. Willibrord’s Press of Goffstown,
Since the 18th century a growing number of Catholic
Churches have separated from the Vatican. The first of these non
Papal churches developed in the Netherlands when the Dutch Catholics
extended sympathy and hospitality to French Catholics denied religious
liberty in France. Catholics have always held that under Christ,
one finds perfect freedom. Rather than disavow their historic principles,
certain Dutch Churches, under the leadership of the Archiepiscopal
See of Utrecht, have maintained a separate existence from Rome since
the 18th century. The following is a timeline of changes that have
occurred since this first separation.
1870: The First Vatican Council proclaims the
doctrine of Papal Infallibility. Since only Christ is infallible,
many churches in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland separate from
Rome and take the name of Old Catholic. Since these churches hold
the same faith as the churches of Utrecht and are without a bishop,
they come into union under the leadership of the Archbishop of Utrecht.
1900 (apx.): In the United States similar churches
are established among Belgium immigrants under the leadership of
Bishop Villatte, who was consecrated by a bishop of the ancient
Mar Thomas Church in India. Other non papal churches spring up among
the Poles, Ukrainians, Greeks and Native Americans. Their orders
come from various Orthodox and Old Catholic Churches.
1937: A number of independent Catholic and Orthodox
Churches incorporate into the Polish Old Catholic Church. They elect
Father Joseph Zielonka as their first bishop. Although they stretch
as far as Tampa, Florida, most of these churches are in New Jersey,
in such places as New Brunswick, South River, Dover, and Dunellen.
In 1959, a group of Polish Orthodox Catholics
in the Eastern United States changed their name to Christ Catholic
Church to lift barriers and to make all nationalities feel welcome.
The Church grew rapidly, and in 1967, the Rev. Father Karl Pruter
was elected and consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Boston.
Present day: The orders of the Christ Catholic
Church are regarded as valid by the Vatican and by other Catholic
and Orthodox communions. The Church has been unaffected by recent
fads in theology, and while its outlook is definitely liberal, it
continues to maintain the historic Catholic faith and order. The
Church is an ideal home for those who want the historic faith and
liturgy, in fellowship that allows the widest personal liberty consistent
with good order.
The Constitution and Canons establishing Christ
Catholic Church as an independent and autocephalous (self-governing)
jurisdiction were approved the following year. The consecrators
of Bishop Karl were Archbishops Peter Zurawetzky and Uladyslau Ryzi-Riski.
These Bishops held valid apostolic orders stemming from Russian
and Greek Orthodox jurisdictions.
Although still a small communion, Christ Catholic
Church has experienced steady growth. It has been very attractive
to many Christians unhappy with modern aberrations in faith and
practice, and who long for the traditional, Apostolic Faith. Because
its heritage is from the undivided Church, Christ Catholic Church
considers itself to be Orthodox-Catholic. The hyphen is used to
differentiate this communion from other Churches which may use one
or both terms in their names.
The Faith and the Church are inseparable. But Christ
Catholic Church does not believe a Church should be judged by the
beauty of its edifices and the weight of its bricks and mortar.
The Church is, first of all, a family, a support group in which
each member must help other Christians work toward that perfection
which our Lord set as a goal for our lives in his Sermon on the
Mount. Therefore, the Church approves and blesses small groups of
Christians working together, and often worshiping together at an
altar in a private home.
The Meaning of Orthodox The word Orthodox as used
by the Church is very ancient and has two meanings which are closely
- The first definition is true belief. Christ Catholic Church
maintains and teaches the Faith of the Holy Scriptures and of
the first Seven Ecumenical Councils as accepted by the undivided
Church. It rejects the additions to that Faith which have occurred
in both the East and the West, and the distortions of separatists
who seek to interpret Holy Scripture without reference to the
Faith and traditions of the undivided Church.
- The second definition is true worship. Holy Scripture tells
us that the three thousand who were added to the Church on that
first Day of Pentecost "continued steadfastly in the Apostles'
doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers
and great and mighty signs by the Apostles." (Acts 2:42)
Worship is the life of the Church, and its central
act of worship is the Divine Liturgy, established at the Last Supper
by our Lord himself. Christ Catholic Church believes that the ancient
Liturgies which developed in the richness of Faith expressed by
the Seven Great Councils represent true forms of worship, and that
modern variations too often water down or obscure the spirituality
which is our true heritage from the Apostolic Church.
The Meaning of Catholic
The word Catholic may be found in the writings
of the Fathers of the Church in the second century, and is embodied
in the Nicene Creed, which acknowledges: "One Holy Catholic
and Apostolic Church." Catholic means that the Church is universal,
that she includes persons of all races and cultures, and that she
has preserved the fullness of the Christian Faith.
What about today?
It was recently voted by the majority of the Bishops
and Clergy of Christ Catholic Church to merge with RRCAC or the
Reformed Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Due to the lack of consensual unity and many concerns several bishops
have remained true to the History of Christ Catholic Church International
Those Bishops have gathered to maintain what remains
of that historical vision of Christ Catholic Church and form a new
synod with a new name and vision:
Caritas Catholic Church
(Caritas being the Latin word for Agape or God’s love.)
The following scripture passages are considered
by many to be creeds or declarations of faith. These are taken from
both Lieth's Schaff's books.
Deut. 6:4: Hear O Israel, the LORD is our God,
the LORD alone.
1 Kings. 18:39: And when all the people saw it,
they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, he is God;
the LORD, he is God."
Matt. 16:16: Simon Peter replied, "You are
the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Matt. 28:19: Go therefore and make disciples of
all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit.
John 1:49: Nathan'ael answered him, "Rabbi,
you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
John 6:68-69: Simon Peter answered him, "Lord
to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we
have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One
John 20:28: Thomas answered him, "My Lord
and my God!"
Acts 8:36-37: And as they went along the road they
came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water!
What is to prevent my being baptized?" And Philip said, "If
you believe with all your heart, you may." And he replied,
"I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
Acts 16:31: And they said, "Believe in the
Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."
1 Cor. 8:6: Yet for us there is one God, the Father,
from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus
Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
1 Cor. 12:3: Therefore I want you to understand
that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus
be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except
by the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor. 15:3-7: For I delivered to you as of first
importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in
accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was
raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that
he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more
than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive,
though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then
to all the apostles.
Phil. 2:6-11: who, though he was in the form of
God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but
emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the
like ness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself
and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore
God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is
above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1 Tim. 3:16: Great indeed, we confess, is the
mystery of our religion: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated
in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed
on in the world, taken up in glory.
Heb. 6:1-2: Therefore let us leave the elementary
doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation
of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, with instruction
about ablutions, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the
dead, and eternal judgment.
1 John 4:2: By this you know the Spirit of God:
every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh
is of God.
There are also several early summaries of
the Christian faith which predate the creeds, such as the "Rule
of Faith" as recorded by Irenaeus:
"... this faith: in one God, the Father Almighty, who made
the heaven and the earth and the seas and all the things that are
in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was made flesh
for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who made known through
the prophets the plan of salvation, and the coming, and the birth
from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead,
and the bodily ascension into heaven of the beloved Christ Jesus,
our Lord, and his future appearing from heaven in the glory of the
Father to sum up all things and to raise anew all flesh of the whole
human race ..."
And Hippolytus' account of the baptismal service:
"When the person being baptized goes down into the water, he
who baptizes him, putting his hand on him, shall say: 'Do you believe
in God, the Father Almighty?' And the person being baptized shall
say: 'I believe.' Then holding his hand on his head, he shall baptize
"And then he shall say: 'Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the
Son of God, who was born of the Virgin Mary, and was crucified inder
Pontius Pilate, and was dead and buried, and rose again the third
day, alive from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and sat at the
right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the living and
"And when he says: 'I believe,' he is baptized again. And again
he shall say: 'Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, in the holy church,
and the resurrection of the body?' The person being baptized shall
say: 'I believe,' and then he is baptized a third time."
- Hippolytus, early third century
Both the "Rule" as recorded by Iranaeus and the baptismal
service as recorded by Hippolytus bear very close similarity to
the Apostles' Creed.