Frequently Asked Questions
The structure, theological underpinnings and public expressions of DOSA converge many different Christian cultures, thus bringing together people that are often uninformed on some particulars on the fundamental beliefs of the Church. To alleviate any confusion we will continually define in order to unify toward common calling.
How is the local church connected to the Diocese of St. Anthony?
There are two types of churches in relationship with the Diocese of St. Anthony:
- An Associated Church: A parish that is led by a priest in Holy Orders with the Diocese of St. Anthony.
- An Affiliated Church: A parish that is led by a priest in Holy Orders with the Diocese of St. Anthony but also has discerned, in partnership between local leadership and the Bishop, to become a Diocene parish through canon compliance, tithing and structure. This status protects the local church in transition.
What is our view on the Bible?
The Holy Bible shall be primarily interpreted by its own witness, revelation, and cohesiveness in accordance with the ancient consensual practice and understanding of interpretation developed under the Holy Spirit’s guidance and summarized as: “that which has been believed always, everywhere, by all” – that is, antiquity, universality and consensus. These aspects of proper interpretation are seen most clearly in the summary of the deposit of faith known as The Universal Creeds of the Church.
Great care shall be given to understanding the various literary forms of the Holy Bible, and the acceptance of the truth conveyed thereby. Parable is parable; story is story; plainly stated facts are facts; laws are laws, prophecy is prophecy; proverb is proverb; and in these and all its forms of literary style the Holy Bible conveys the absolutely trustworthy and unchangeable will, purpose and nature of Almighty God, who has revealed himself to man in and through the Sacred Scriptures.
What creeds do we uphold?
The Creeds of the Church (Apostles’, Nicene, Athanasian, and the Council of Chalcedon).## + What creeds do we uphold?
Why do we think these creeds are important?
These Creeds provide the historically proven and ecclesiastically accepted guidelines for the orthodox interpretation of Scripture.
What is a Diocese?
A Diocese is how a church within the CEEC-USA is organized to accomplish her specific mission. All bishops, priests, deacons, and affiliated churches are ordained by the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Anthony who is in Apostolic Succession.
What are the purposes of the Canons of the Diocese?
The Canons of the Diocese of St. Anthony provide practical guidelines for its administration.
What is an Order?
A religious Order or community shall be given to specific vocation and shall be in canonical relationship with this Diocese under the oversight of the bishop. Thus, an ordered way of life (RULE) and a specific mission are characteristics of an Order. The Order of St. Anthony is an Order within the Diocese of St. Anthony. To be more clear, an Order is a way of living that is open to all regardless of belief with hopes to lead all into a life of prayer, while a diocese is how the church organizes her specific mission in order to ordain deacons and priests, equip affiliated churches and plant new parishes.
What is DOSA's relationship to the CEEC-USA?
DOSA was formed in relational consensus with the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches-USA (CEEC-USA). DOSA's Canons, while unique to the specific purposes of DOSA, are in communion and unity with the Canons of the CEEC-USA.
What is the Great Tradition?
- The Great Tradition of the Church is grounded in the apostolic witness to Christ as ultimately revealed in the Holy Scriptures and living on in the Church's anamnesis - its memorial - expressed in liturgy, tradition, and witness.
- The Great Tradition of the Church is defined and shaped by the ecumenical creeds (Nicene, Apostolic, and Athanasian) of the ancient and undivided church.
- The Great Tradition of the Church is fundamentally catholic in the sense that it aims at incorporating the faith of the church in all its richness across time and space.
- The Great Tradition of the Church is sacramentally, ecclesiastically, and liturgically based, which means it insists that participation in the fruit of Christ's sacrifice takes place through Word and sacrament in the space of the church.
- The Great Tradition of the Church realizes that the people of God are a structured people in the sense that pastoral leaders and shepherds as well as laity are included. (Here God draws a distinction between the ministry of the ordained and the ministry of the people).
- The Great Tradition of the Church is based on the firm conviction that the Church, in accordance with its nature, is one.
- The Great Tradition of the Church holds God's will to be binding and obligatory for human life in its totality. And it acknowledges its commission to preach God's law, which is to affirm its responsibility to confront all violations of the goodwill of God the creator with God's call to repentant lives renewed to God's glory for the benefit of all humankind.
- The Great Tradition of the Church places significant weight on the church's sending, mission, and service in the world. Strong social commitment is a hallmark of the Great Tradition.
- The Great Tradition of the Church realizes that the dialectic between creation and redemption provides the framework for the Church's mission. The aim of this mission is not only that a number of souls be saved, but that God's creation will be redeemed. The Church must make room for and provide a voice for the world's longing for redemption.
- The Great Tradition of the Church should never be perceived as a purely nostalgic project. Being firmly fixed in the witness and shape of the ancient church, it also looks both outward to the people and the world it is called to serve, and forward to the time of eschatological fulfillment, when Christ returns in order to bring his work to completion.
(Ola Tjørhom, "Visible Church-Visible Unity: Ecumenical Ecclesiology and the Great Tradition of the Church)