Baptism is the door that gives admittance to fellowship in the Mystical Body of Christ, as St Paul termed the Church. If a person wishes to join The Liberal Catholic Church, and has not been previously baptised in another Church, in complete form, then that person must be baptised in The Liberal Catholic Church. If previously baptised in a complete form, then a simple service of Admission is used. If there is doubt about the validity of a previous baptism, then conditional baptism is used. In each case the person then becomes a member of The Liberal Catholic Church.
Confirmation is, literally, the making of the person ‘firm’, or strong in the life of Christ begun at Baptism. It has the two-fold effect of strengthening the body and soul, thereby allowing the soul greater power to express itself through the body. The candidate pledges him/herself to endeavour to set aside the smaller life of personal interests and to work for the common good. Having offered him/herself thereunto fully in Christ’s service, the sacramental act of Confirmation follows and the candidate is sealed with the sign of the holy cross, the emblem of the life of sacrifice and service.
A form of general Confession and Absolution is included in the public services of the Church. If a person feels compelled to make a private Confession, then a Priest will hear this and give what help he can, but this form of Confession is reserved for exceptional circumstances. This Church does not believe that Absolution rids a person of the consequences of wrongdoing, but does help to restore that inner harmony and renewal of purpose that encourages a more resolute and kindly life in future, bringing the person once more into tune with the Divine Power which flows through him or her.
The Liberal Catholic Church recognises within the Fatherhood of God a maternal aspect of divinity (Gen. 1:27), which brings forth and nourishes all created life. This aspect is represented by the Holy Lady Mary, our heavenly Mother, whose tender care for all women and children in particular and in general for all who suffer, supplements the divine ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ; it is shown forth on earth in our recognition of the sanctity of life and is exemplified by the sacrifice and love of human motherhood which call forth our deep reverence and respect.
For many centuries some individuals have reported their own truly enlightening mystical experiences, yet these are not widely understood or appreciated. Those who have entered into this state of awareness, and who have attempted to leave written accounts, are remarkably consistent in their statements. They tell of a sense of all-embracing love, of knowledge beyond any possibility of doubt that all are one, and that “I am not the I, I thought I was” – and much more. Such experiences are not confined to any era, religious group or sect, but are intimations of the inheritance awaiting all humans as we become progressively more refined and sensitive to such experience – it is part of our spiritual heritage as children of the Most High (vide Ps 82: 6 and Rom 8: 16-17).
The Liberal Catholic Church further contends that within the current excessive flow of information – and misinformation – about the inner life and the emergent faculties of human beings, all those elements that are true and helpful for the safe unfolding of human potential were in fact known to the wisest among the ancients. These transformative teachings (i.e. the Way of Christ) are seen as a major component of the accumulated wisdom of the ages, which we refer to as the Ancient, or Ageless Wisdom, or as the Wisdom Tradition. In every great civilisation the Wisdom Tradition underpinned the popular or exoteric religions, and was accessible to those deemed ready to benefit from it (vide Lk 10: 23-24 & 1 Cor 2: 6-8). As implied, the esoteric teachings had guardians who sought to encourage and guide the worthy, while they protected the unready from all power – bestowing knowledge by a sternly maintained silence.