Common Principles

In addition to the teaching of the Book of Common Prayer and The Ordinal, the following principles are within “Catholic Anglican Tradition.”1

"One canon reduced to writing by God himself, two testaments, three creeds, four general councils, five centuries, and the series of Fathers in that period – the centuries that is, before Constantine, and two after, determine the boundary of our faith." —Lancelot Andrewes

“We faithfully adhere to the Rule of Faith laid down by St. Vincent of Lerins in these terms: "We hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, and of all people: for that is truly and properly Catholic.” For this reason we persevere in professing the faith of the primitive Church, as formulated in the ecumenical symbols and specified precisely by the unanimously accepted decisions of the Ecumenical Councils held in the undivided Church of the first thousand years.” —Declaration of Scranton

Common Principles

  1. We accept the Apostles’ Creed as the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith.2 (Article VIII)

  2. We accept the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as “containing all things necessary to salvation,” and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith and morals. (Article VI)

  3. We affirm our Lord’s teaching that Holy Matrimony is in its nature the exclusive, permanent and lifelong union of one man and one woman. We affirm that God created only two complementary sexes of human beings - male and female. We also affirm that a person's God-given sex is immutable and therefore, cannot be changed.3 (FiFNA Declaration of Principles)

  4. We accept the historic episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of His Church. We affirm the traditional, historic view of the Christian ministerial priesthood as male,4 and the church does not have the authority to change this practice.5 (FiFNA Declaration of Principles, cf. Article XXXIV)

  5. We recognize the Sacraments of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. That is, the two dominical Sacraments of Baptism and the Supper of the Lord–ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him; and those five—"commonly called Sacraments"6—received through the tradition of the Undivided Church: Confirmation, Matrimony, Ordination, Reconciliation of a Penitent, and Unction of the Sick.7

  6. We believe that, in the Sacrament and mystery of the Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ is truly, really present in the Body and Blood in the outward and visible sign of Bread and Wine. (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16-17, 11:23-29, John 6:32-71)

  7. We affirm that Seven Councils are ecumenical and catholic on the basis of the received Tradition of the ancient Undivided Church of East and West, yet “things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of Holy Scripture.” (Article XXI)


Based upon the Forward in Faith North America Declaration of Principles, with notes from the 39 Articles, the Jerusalem Declaration, and the Declaration of Scranton.


“We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.” (Jerusalem Declaration)


“We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family.” (Jerusalem Declaration)


“We reject the contemporary innovations promulgated by the Anglican Communion and the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht. We also regard these innovations as being in defiance of the Holy Scriptures and in contradiction to the Tradition of the first centuries, namely: the ordination of women to the Holy Priesthood, the consecration of women to the Episcopate and the blessing of same-sex unions.” (Declaration of Scranton)


“We have to confront these things because these are these are things these are remnants of the past these are these are parts of the of the of history that have crept into the I will I will obviously be critiquing the Anglican tradition but that have that have battered the Anglican tradition and this is the way back. […] For a full restoration and inter communion of the Anglican Church with the Orthodox, the issue of ordination of women has to be resolved. In the 70s when the Anglican Church began to ordain women, the Orthodox Church broke off ecumenical relations with the Anglican Church over this issue as did the Roman Catholic Church. Any ecumenical relationship was simply moved from a movement towards unity, to [a movement of] mutual understanding. […] This is the universal experience, and vision, and opinion, and position of the of the Greek Orthodox world, of the Roman Catholic world, and of the Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox churches.” (Metropolitan Jonah, Address at the founding of the ACNA 2009)

“I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.” (Pope John Paul II, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis)

"[The Church] holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God's plan for his Church." (Pope Paul VI, Response to the Letter of His Grace the Most Reverend Dr. F.D. Coggan, Archbishop of Canterbury, concerning the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood, November 30, 1975)

“This practice is a recent innovation to Apostolic Tradition and Catholic Order. We agree that there is insufficient scriptural warrant to accept women’s ordination to the priesthood as standard practice throughout the Province.” ACNA College of Bishops, A Statement From The College Of Bishops On The Ordination Of Women September 7, 2017


An Eastern Orthodox understanding of the sacraments may be phrased differently, as there is no formal number, yet affirm the same.

“For the laying on of hands, by which the ministers of the Church are initiated into their office, though I have no objection to its being called a sacrament, I do not number among ordinary sacraments.” -John Calvin