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Code of Canon Law

For the governance of
the Reformed Catholic Church
Revised & Approved October, 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Article I - The Organization of the Church
Article II - Ministries
Article III - The Sacraments
Article IV - Particular Churches and their Groupings
Article V - Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
Article VI - Ecclesiastical Discipline
Article VII - Exercise of Ecclesia Supplet

ARTICLE I
THE ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH

CANON 1: Governance
Sec 1 (a). The Governance of the church shall consist of the following: the Metropolitan
Archbishop or Presiding Bishop, the Board of Directors (known herein as ‘Leadership Council’),
and the Holy Synod.
(b). The Holy Synod shall consist of three separate bodies: the College of Bishops, the
Leadership Council, and the College of Clergy and Laity. Each body shall be distinct and of
equal rank in the Synod.

CANON 2: The Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop
The Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop shall be the spiritual head of the Church and
shall be responsible for the governance of the Church with the assistance of the Regional
Diocesan Bishops. It shall be incumbent upon the Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop
to introduce legislation and to set the tone for the forward movement of the Church. The
Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop shall announce the Holy Synod and will act as
moderator of the same. The Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop is entitled to and is to
meet the following:

Sec 1 (a) Only persons consecrated as a Bishop shall be elected Metropolitan Archbishop or
Presiding Bishop. There must be a minimum of 3 (three) active and voting bishops in the

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Church to elect a Metropolitan Archbishop from among them. The Presiding Bishop shall be
appointed to govern the Church until this election can take place. The Presiding Bishop will
assume all authority and responsibility of the Metropolitan Archbishop in the interim.
(b) No person shall be elected Metropolitan unless he/she has been a bishop for a minimum of 5
(five) years and has reached at least 45 years of age.
(c) The office of Metropolitan is entered into for a period of 5 years. They may be re-elected
once for a total of 10 (ten) years of leadership.
(d) The office of Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop may be vacated for reasons of ill
health or advanced age. The office may be vacated either voluntarily or by a majority vote of
active bishops.
(e) The Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop may, at his/her request retire from the
office and shall upon retirement be referred to as Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop
Emeritus if they so choose.
(f) Should the Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop be found guilty of crimes violating
Church law, he/she shall be deposed by a vote of the Holy Synod. He/she may also be deposed
if found guilty of serious crimes violating Civil law by a vote of the Holy Synod. Such votes
may take place apart from the scheduled Synod gathering, either in writing, by telephone or
through online methods.

CANON 3: The Regional Diocesan Bishop
The Regional Diocesan Bishop (RDB) shall govern a certain geographical area of the Church.
The RDB shall work in conjunction and collaboration with the Metropolitan Archbishop or
Presiding Bishop in the governance of the Church. The RDB is the chief executive and ecclesial
officer of the geographic area over which he/she governs. The RDB shall make a biennual report
to the Holy Synod on the conditions, growth, ministries and financial status of their diocese.

Clergy elevated to the office of Bishop and RDB are entitled to and shall meet the following:
Sec 1 (a) Only persons having received Holy Orders (Diaconate and Priesthood) shall be
elevated to the office of Bishop.
(b) Only persons who meet the criteria as established in the Constitution of this Church shall be
eligible to be elevated to Bishop.
(c) No person shall be elected RDB unless he/she has reached 40 years of age and has been a
bishop a minimum of 3 (three) years.
(d) The RDB shall be elected by the bishops and/or clergy of his/her diocese or region. Laity of
the diocese or region should also participate in the election as circumstances permit.
(e) The office of Bishop and/or RDB may be vacated for reasons of ill health, or advanced age.
(f) The RDB may, at his/her request, retire from the office and shall upon retirement be made
Regional Diocesan Bishop Emeritus.
(g) Should a RDB or other Bishop be found guilty of crimes violating Church law, he/she shall
be deposed by a vote of the Holy Synod. He/she may also be deposed if found guilty of serious
crimes violating Civil law by a vote of the Holy Synod.

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CANON 4: The Leadership Council
The Leadership Council of the Church (aka the Board of Directors) shall provide the temporal
leadership of the Church and shall be responsible for conducting the business of the Church. The
Council meets annually to set the budget for the following year as well as on a quarterly or even
monthly basis for making other executive decisions as necessary.

Sec 1 (a) All consecrations to the episcopacy shall be ratified in advance by the Council in order
to address any concerns and to affirm the Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop's power
to consecrate.
(b) The Council shall elect a member to serve the judicial body of the Church when the Church
must hear cases involving violations of the Canons of the Church.

CANON 5 : The Holy Synod
The Holy Synod shall be the chief legislative body of the church and shall consist of the
following: the College of Bishops, the Leadership Council, and the College of Clergy and Laity.

Sec 1 (a) The Holy Synod is the only body that shall pass legislation and/or amend canons.
(b) The Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop shall announce the time and location of
the Synod on a biennial basis (every two years). The Synod date shall be announced no less than
6 (six) months prior to the meeting.
(c) The Synod shall take place in as central a location as possible so as to be convenient to as
many bishops, clergy and laity as possible.
(d) The Synod is to typically take place over a weekend but shall not exceed five days in
duration.
(e) The Synod shall review and pass the budget presented by the Leadership Council.
(f) The Synod shall set aside time for worship and reflection.
(g) Unless circumstances require otherwise, all consecrations to the episcopacy shall take place
at the biennial meeting of the Synod. Ordinations to the priesthood and diaconate may also take
place at the Synod.

CANON 6: The College of Bishops
The College of Bishops shall consist of every bishop in the Reformed Catholic Church, including
those who are retired. The function of the College is twofold: it acts as a consultative body to the
Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop and to advise him/her in all matters pertaining to
the governance of the church, as well as to act as the preeminent spiritual body during the
meeting of the Holy Synod.

Sec 1 (a) The College of Bishops shall meet either in person or through other means, typically a
phone or video conference, at least 4 (four) times during the year.

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(b) The College shall elect a member to serve the judicial body of the Church when the Church
must hear cases involving violations of the Canons of the Church

CANON 7: The College of Clergy and Laity
The College of Clergy and Laity shall consist of all members of the clergy and regional
representatives in good standing of the laity of the Church.
Sec 1 (a) The College of Clergy and Laity shall formulate and vote on legislation dealing with
the life of the Church.
(b) The College of Clergy and Laity shall vote on the budget of the Church.
(c) The College shall elect a member to serve the judicial body of the Church when the Church
must hear cases involving violations of the Canons of the Church.

CANON 8: The Judicial Body
The Judicial Body shall be called into session during the meeting of the Holy Synod, or more
frequently as needed, in order to address any violations of Church and/or Civil law.

Sec 1 (a) The Judicial Body shall hear cases of clergy or laity who have been accused of
violating the Canons of the Church or the Laws of the United States or of the State in which the
accused live.
(b) The accused shall be presumed innocent until found guilty.
(c) The decisions of the Judicial Body shall be final.
(d) The Judicial Body shall report any criminal violations of Civil law to the appropriate legal
authorities.

ARTICLE II
MINISTRIES

CANON 1: Ministerial Structure
The Ministry of the church is comprised of the following: Bishops, Priests, Deacons and
Licensed Lay Ministers.

CANON 2: The Bishop
The Bishop holds within his/her office, the fullness of ordained ministry and shall have all
privileges and honors to which the rank is entitled.

Sec 1 (a) Only ordained persons with sufficient knowledge and experience in the ministration of
theology, Scripture, liturgy and Canon Law shall be considered for election to the office of

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Bishop. They should also have reached at least 35 years of age and have served as a priest of the
Reformed Catholic Church for a minimum of 5 (five) years.
(b) Candidates for consecration shall be examined by the Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding
Bishop and Leadership Council in order to evaluate their qualifications.
(c) Bishops shall only be elected in accordance with the needs of the Church and at the will of
the governing bodies.
(d) A bishop may serve as either a Regional Diocesan Bishop (RDB) as elected, as a Coadjutor
or Auxiliary, or in a strictly Titular or Curial capacity at the discretion of the Metropolitan
Archbishop or Presiding Bishop.
(e) Bishops who are invited to incardinate into the Reformed Catholic Church from another
denomination/jurisdiction by the governing bodies of the Church must hold valid Apostolic
Succession or will be limited to functioning as a priest until such time as he/she may be
consecrated into our lineage.
(f) The stylizations for a bishop in this Church are The Right Reverend or The Most
Reverend and in spoken or written greeting, “Your Excellency.”
(f) A Bishop shall retire from office at a date and time that he/she sees fit. A bishop who is
found upon examination to be incapable of continuing in his/her duties may be relieved of them
by a majority vote of the College of Bishops.
(g) If a bishop is accused of crimes in violation of Church law, he/she will be suspended from all
duties pending an investigation. If the evidence is sufficient to pursue proceedings, a trial shall
be held by the Judicial Body. If the defendant is found guilty, he/she shall be immediately
deprived all inherent privileges and a sentence shall be imposed. If the crime is of a serious
enough nature, the defendant may also be deposed.

CANON 3: The Priest
The priest is a person (male or female) duly ordained to the presbyterate who, among other
duties, celebrates public Eucharistic services as well as other sacramental services for the people
of the Church.

Sec 1 (a) No person shall be ordained in this Church unless they have reached at least 25 years of
age. Candidates for ordination to the priesthood shall also first complete a minimum of 6 (six)
months as a deacon.
(b) Any person pursuing ordination to the priesthood in this Church must show themselves to
have sufficient knowledge in theology, Scripture, liturgics, homiletics, and Canon Law. It shall
be the place of the Diocesan Ordinary in consultation with the Vocations Director to judge
whether or not the candidate meets the minimum criteria for ordination, and shall pass his or her
findings onto the Leadership Council and Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop for final
approval.
(c) All candidates for priesthood in the Reformed Catholic Church, either through ordination or
incardination, shall be subject to a full criminal background check at the local, state, and federal
levels.

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(d) Any person already holding orders within this church who is accused of sexual crimes
against minors or other serious offenses shall be suspended from duty and their faculties revoked
pending the outcome of both internal Church and external Civil investigations.
(d) (1) The Reformed Catholic Church will work in conjunction with all civil authorities
in any investigations regarding those suspected of sexual crimes against minors.
(d) (2) Any person already holding orders in this Church who is convicted of sexual
crimes against minors shall be deposed from their office. There shall be no exceptions.
(d) (3) Any person applying for ordination or incardination in this Church who withholds
information regarding past convictions or accusations of serious crimes, sexual or
otherwise, shall be considered as canonically defective and shall not be considered
eligible for ordination in this church.
(e) All priests in good standing within the Reformed Catholic Church shall be eligible for a seat
in the College of Clergy and Laity.
(f) The normal stylization for a priest within the Church is either The Reverend Father/Mother,
or Father/Mother.
(g) Priests who are acknowledged for devoted and exceptional service to the Church may be
elevated to the Monsignori by the Metropolitan Archbishop or Presiding Bishop and may then be
addressed as Reverend Monsignor (abbreviated as Rev. Mgsr.). This is an honorary title and
does not denote greater position or authority in the Church.

CANON 4: The Deacon
The Deacon has historically seen to the physical needs of the community and is assigned the
privilege of proclaiming the Holy Gospel during the Mass. The ministry of deacon is one of
service to the congregation, to the priest during liturgical celebrations and to the wider
community.

Sec 1 (a) There are two forms of the diaconate: the Transitional Diaconate, where the deacon
intends to continue on to the priesthood, and the Permanent Diaconate, which is a state chosen
for life.
(b) Each candidate must show themselves sufficiently knowledgeable in the following: theology,
Scripture, liturgics and homiletics to the satisfaction of the Diocesan Bishop in conjunction with
the Vocations Director, who are responsible for overseeing their training.
(c) The same regulations governing background checks and issues involving sexual crimes
against minors that are to be found in Canon 3 apply to all candidates for the Diaconate as well.
(d) The stylization for Permanent Deacons is The Reverend Deacon. Transitional Deacons use
The Reverend Mister/Mrs./Miss/Ms.
(e) If a Bishop chooses to appoint an Archdeacon, he/she may choose a Permanent Deacon or
Priest who has distinguished him/herself in leadership. The Archdeacon is addressed as The
Reverend Archdeacon, The Venerable (in writing) or Archdeacon.

CANON 5: The Licensed Lay Minister

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The Licensed Lay Minister (LLM) is a member of a local congregation who is given license by
the Bishop to perform non-Sacramental liturgies in the absence of the pastor, i.e. Morning
Prayer. The LLM is authorized to lead the Prayers of the Faithful during the Mass and to read the
lessons if a three lesson lectionary is used in that place. They may also minister to those in a
hospital, nursing home, hospice or other institution after completing any required training for
these ministry settings.

Sec 1 (a) Since the Lay Licensed Minister is a licensed ministry rather than an ordained one, the
regulations governing them are at the discretion of the Bishop.
(b) The license of an Licensed Lay Minister may be revoked at any time.

CANON 6: Religious Communities
The Reformed Catholic Church encourages the foundation of religious orders and the
reformation of existing religious orders to conform to the practices and theology of the Reformed
Catholic Church.

Sec 1 (a) Religious communities must petition the Holy Synod for permission to be established
under the Reformed Catholic Church.
(b) If approved for establishment, they must submit their Constitution and Rule of Life to the
Synod for approval.
(c) Once established and approved, religious orders are under the guidance of the Metropolitan
Archbishop or Presiding Bishop but autonomous in their daily operation.

CANON 7: The Laity
The Laity, being the body of Christ, shall be protected by the bishops and clergy of the Church
from all spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological harm both internally and, to such extent
as is possible, externally.

Sec 1 (a) The laity shall enjoy an equal role in the governance of the church and as such shall
make up the greater portion of the College of Clergy and Laity.
(b) The laity shall come into membership of this church through either the Sacrament of
Baptism, Confirmation or Reception.
(c) Any member of the laity who is in good standing within this church is eligible for election to
the College of Clergy and Laity.
(d) A member in good standing is defined as one who attends and participates in the Holy Mass
on a regular basis and gives financially to the support of their parish and the Church at large.

CANON 8: Financial Support of the Church
All bishops and clergy are expected to contribute financially on a regular basis to support the
work of the Church both locally and universally. This may be done through clergy dues or other
means including donations of goods or property for church use. Lay ministers and members are

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also expected to contribute financially toward the good of the Church, typically through the
Sunday collection during Mass in their local parish.

ARTICLE III
THE SACRAMENTS

CANON 1: The sacraments are historically understood in the Catholic and other churches as
visible signs of God’s grace to be celebrated and shared with the holy people of God. As such,
they are celebrated and offered free of charge. Clergy of the Reformed Catholic Church may not
charge a fee for sacraments. It is customary for some members of the church to give clergy a
monetary stipend for sacramental services performed, and clergy may receive such stipends
gratefully. However, stipends should not be expected and definitely not requested. Where travel
expenses may be involved for a wedding or other sacramental celebration, clergy may require
that these expenses be paid for by the person(s) receiving the sacrament or their
family/representative before clergy commit to traveling and celebrating the sacrament.

CANON 2: The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
All persons within this Church are invited and encouraged to participate in the Eucharistic
celebrations (also referred to as the Holy Mass) held each Sunday and on Holy Days in which
they will hear the Word of God and may receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

Sec 1 (a) The celebration of the Eucharist is considered “the source and summit” of Christian life
to which we direct our thanks and praise to God while receiving a renewal of grace and faith.
(b) The minister of the Holy Eucharist (also referred to as the Presider or Celebrant) is ordinarily
a Bishop or Priest. In their absence, a Deacon or Licensed Lay Minister may lead the celebration
using pre-consecrated Eucharistic hosts and omitting the Eucharistic Prayer and any other
prayers or gestures reserved to a Bishop or Priest.
(c) All Catholics, Christians and other people of goodwill are welcome to participate in the Mass
and to receive Holy Eucharist as well as the other sacraments of the Church according to their
personal desire and state in life. The reception of Holy Eucharist (also referred to as
Communion) in the Reformed Catholic Church is not reserved only to members “in good
standing” or without sin. Similarly, all present should be encouraged to take an active role in the
celebration by proclaiming the readings, leading music or singing, and/or by helping to distribute
Communion.
(d) The weekly/regular celebration of the Mass is also the appropriate and preferred setting in
which to celebrate other sacraments of the Church including Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing
of the Sick, Marriage and/or Holy Orders.

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(e) The time and place of Eucharistic celebrations on Sundays, Holy Days and weekdays (as
desired) is to be determined by the local Diocesan Bishop or Pastors of parishes in consultation
with their community’s members. The preferred setting for the Holy Mass is a designated
church, chapel or oratory. However, non-religious settings including private homes, community
centers, schools, parks or beaches may be used as warranted by local needs or space options.
(f) A suitable number of consecrated hosts are to be reserved in an appropriate vessel (typically a
ciborium or pyx) for distribution during the week to those who are sick, hospitalized, elderly,
imprisoned or otherwise unable to attend the Eucharistic celebration. The reserved Holy
Eucharist may also be venerated on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Solemnity of the Body &
Blood of Christ (also referred to as Corpus Christi Sunday) and on other appropriate occasions.

CANON 3: The Sacrament of Baptism
Sec 1 (a) The celebration of Baptism is the joyful occasion wherein an infant, child, teenager or
adult is washed clean of the stain of original sin as well as any personal sins, received as a child
of God into a life of grace, and initiated as a member of the Body of Christ, i.e. the Church.
(b) The ordinary minister of Baptism is a Bishop, Priest or Deacon. In the event of a life-
threatening emergency when immediate Baptism may be necessary or desired and an ordained
minister is not available, any baptized individual may administer the sacrament of Baptism using
water and the prescribed words below.
(c) To be valid, licit and effective, the sacrament of Baptism must include the pouring of water,
even if only a minimal amount, and the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The baptism of an infant or young child who would not be
Confirmed immediately following their baptism ordinarily receives a simple anointing with Holy
Chrism on their head or breast as prescribed in the Rite of Baptism.
(d) The preferred time and location of the sacrament of Baptism is during the regular Sunday
Eucharistic celebration when the entire faith community is gathered and can welcome its new
members. However, the sacrament may be celebrated at other times and/or locations including
private homes, hospitals or other settings as pastoral circumstances may necessitate.

CANON 4: The Sacrament of Confirmation
Sec 1 (a) Confirmation marks the completion or “sealing with the Holy Spirit” of one’s faith
development and full initiation in the Church.
(b) The ordinary minister of the sacrament of Confirmation is the local Bishop. However, he/she
typically grants the faculty to administer the sacrament to Priests as warranted by the celebration
of Confirmation during the Easter Vigil (see section d below). Deacons do not administer the
sacrament of Confirmation.
(c) To be valid, licit and effective, the sacrament of Confirmation must include the laying on of
hands and invocation of the Holy Spirit (either individually or collectively if there is a large
number to be confirmed) as well as an anointing with Holy Chrism on the head as prescribed in
the Rite of Confirmation.

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(d) The sacrament of Confirmation is administered to older children (those who have attained the
“age of reason,” generally regarded as age 7), teenagers and adults who have been baptized
previously in the Church. This may be celebrated at any appropriate time during the liturgical
year, with the local Bishop serving as the minister of the sacrament. Those older children,
teenagers and adults who have not been baptized previously are ordinarily baptized and
confirmed during the annual Easter Vigil Mass, with their Priest Pastor serving as the minister of
the sacrament after receiving the customary delegation from their local Bishop.

CANON 5: The Sacrament of Reconciliation
Sec 1 (a) Reconciliation (commonly but more restrictively referred to as Confession or Penance)
is the sacramental means by which one’s sins are forgiven and one is restored to the communion
of the Church and the order of grace. It is intended to be an experience of healing and not one of
shame, humiliation or punishment.
(b) Due to its sensitive and absolutely confidential nature, the celebration of the sacrament of
Reconciliation is strictly limited to Bishops and Priests. They should always be mindful that they
are forgiving sins on God’s behalf and not their own. A Bishop or Priest who reveals sins
confessed to them along with the identity of the penitent in question is considered in violation of
Church law and will be disciplined appropriately, which may culminate in deposition or
excommunication.
(c) The celebration of the sacrament is comprised of the following: the penitent’s initial
acknowledgement that they have sinned and are in need of forgiveness/reconciliation; the full
and honest verbal confession of their known/remembered sins; counseling and the assignment of
a suitable penance by the minister; the optional recitation of a traditional or personal Act of
Contrition by the penitent; and the recitation of the Prayer of Absolution and a final blessing by
the minister.
(d) Reconciliation may be celebrated at any time and/or place that is convenient for both the
penitent and minister. Ministers may set and promote appointed times to celebrate the sacrament
but should remain open to any time a penitent may approach them in need. Care must always be
taken to ensure privacy so that no one might overhear the penitent’s confession.

CANON 6: The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
Sec 1 (a) Anointing of the Sick is the Church’s traditional and primary celebration of
sacramental healing for either physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual or other infirmities.
(b) The anointing may be administered by either a Bishop, Priest or Deacon using consecrated
Oil of the Sick and the prescribed words (see c below).
(c) The celebration of the sacrament is comprised of the following: a greeting and introduction
by the minister; an appropriate scripture reading; laying of hands on the person’s head and
invocation of the Holy Spirit; anointing with the Oil of the Sick in the sign of the cross on the
person’s forehead and the palms of both hands while saying “Through this holy anointing, may

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the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord, who
frees you from your sins, save you and raise you up”; and a closing prayer with final blessing.
(d) Anyone who considers themselves appropriate for and potentially benefiting from the
sacrament may request it at any time. It may be administered either privately/individually, which
is typical if they are in a hospital or other health setting, or to a number of people during Mass or
another appropriate communal gathering.

CANON 7: The Sacrament of Holy Orders
Sec 1 (a) Holy Orders (also referred to as Ordination) is the celebration wherein a man or
woman, having heard the Lord’s call, is consecrated and blessed to serve the people of God with
their lives as a minister in the Lord’s own image. The three Holy Orders in the Church are the
Episcopacy (i.e. bishops), the Presbyterate (i.e. priests) and the Diaconate (i.e. deacons).
(b) The minister of Holy Orders in the celebration of Priesthood and Diaconate is the local
bishop. Only a bishop may ordain priests and deacons. For the consecration of a Bishop, a
minimum of three bishops sharing in verified apostolic succession are required.
(c) The celebration of all three Holy Orders require the calling and presentation of the
candidates, laying on of hands by the bishop(s), invocation of the Holy Spirit, the Litany of the
Saints (recited or chanted/sung), the prescribed prayer of consecration, and investiture of the
newly ordained with the vestments and appointments appropriate to their order. These are
defined in full in the Rites.
(d) It is up to the ordaining bishop(s) to define the frequency, dates, times and suitable location
for the ordination rites. In the Reformed Catholic Church, it is preferred that Holy Orders (at
least of bishops) be celebrated during our biennial synod. However, local and potentially urgent
pastoral needs must be considered in scheduling ordinations.
(e) The discipline of celibacy for priests and other clergy of the Reformed Catholic Church is
optional. Clergy may marry either prior to or after ordination.

CANON 8: The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony
Sec 1 (a) Holy Matrimony (commonly referred to as Marriage) celebrates the loving union,
intended for life, of two consenting adults. They may be of either the opposite or the same
sex/gender.
(b) The two partners presenting themselves for Holy Matrimony are properly considered the
ministers of the sacrament. However, their marriage must be witnessed by either a Bishop, Priest
or Deacon to be both sacramentally and legally valid in the United States (this is different in
some other countries). The clergy witness also guides and supports the partners through the
preparation for and celebration of the marriage.
(c) Holy Matrimony may be celebrated at any time or location that is convenient for both the
partners and the clergy witness. It may be celebrated within Mass, either on Sunday or another
day of the week, depending on the partners’ religious backgrounds and preference.

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(d) The sacramentally valid celebration of marriage requires that both partners are choosing to
marry of their own free will and without pressure from anyone or anything, that they exchange
both vows of fidelity and rings, and that the witnessing minister blesses their union. The
minister also must sign their legally issued marriage license after the ceremony and ensure that
the partners and other witnesses sign it as well. Other religious, cultural or family traditions may
be incorporated into the celebration as desired and appropriate.

CANON 9: The worship and sacramental celebrations of the Reformed Catholic Church shall
follow the patterns set down by the church catholic as it is found in its Roman, Anglican, Old
Catholic and Orthodox branches. This church shall not be bound to follow any one form but
shall use any such forms, customs and languages as best suits the needs of the local parish or
community.

ARTICLE IV
PARTICULAR CHURCHES AND THEIR GROUPINGS

See Article VIII of the Church Bylaws

ARTICLE V
INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE AND SOCIETIES OF APOSTOLIC LIFE

See Article VIII of the Church Bylaws

ARTICLE VI
ECCLESIASTICAL DISCIPLINE

See Article I, Canon 8 of this document.

ARTICLE VII
EXERCISE OF ECCLESIA SUPPLET

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CANON 1: From time to time, the Church may find herself in need of making a decision for the
good of the people of God that may come in conflict with the norms of Canon Law. On these
occasions, the ancient dictum of ecclesia supplet (“the church supplies”) will supplant all such
norms. If the spiritual needs of a group of people are in jeopardy by inaction on the part of the
Church, the Metropolitan Archbishop/Presiding Bishop with the consent of a simple majority of
the Sacred College of Bishops may temporarily suspend a canon or section thereof to provide for
the benefit of the people of God. This action may not be taken without due care and
consideration, and may not be repeated more than once in a given calendar year.

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