Orthodox Church of the Mother of God

Joy of all the Sorrowful - Mays Landing, NJ (f. 1966)

Brief Catechism

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Q. 122. How does the ninth Article of the Creed read?
A. In One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Q. 123. Of what is it spoken in the ninth Article of the Creed?
A. In the ninth Article of the Creed it is spoken of the Church.
Q. 124. What is the Church?
A. The Church is the body of Christians, united by the Seven Sacraments, the Hierarchy, and Orthodox Christian Faith.
Q. 125. What is it 'to believe in the Church?'
A. "To believe in the Church" is to honor the true Church of Christ, and to obey Her doctrines and commandments, from a conviction that divine grace ever abides in Her, and works, teaches, and governs unto salvation, flowing from Her to One only everlasting Head, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Q. 126. Why is the Church One?
A. The Church is ONE because the Church has but One Head -- Christ, and but one Orthodox Doctrine. The St. Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Ephesians (1:22-23; 1:15-16; 5:23) names Christ the Head of the Church, and the Church -- His Body: "God . . . gave Him to be the Head over . . . the Church, Which is His Body."
Q. 127. - How should we understand this, that the Church is the Body of Christ?
A. That the Church is the Body of Christ we should understand it in this way: Jesus Christ is for the Church what the soul is for the body.
Q. 128. Can our body have two heads?
A. Our body can have only one head. In a like manner Christ is the ONE Head of the Church. It is but the Roman Church that believes that it has two heads -- Christ and the Pope.
Q. 129. When did the Roman Church appear?
A. Pope Leo IX separated from the Orthodox Church in 1054 A. D. and founded the Papist Roman Catholic Church. Therefore the Raman Church is an unorthodox (schismatic) Church.
Q. 130. What does the Pope of Rome name himself?
A. The Pope of Rome named himself "Infallible," the "Vicar of Christ."
Q. 131. Is it true that the Pope is infallible (nepohrishimi)?
A. It is not true that the Pope is infallible (nepohrishimi); God alone is without sin. All people are sinful. The St. Apostle John said: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8.)
Q. 132. Why is the Church Holy?
A. The Church is Holy because it is sanctified by the doctrine and Passions of Jesus Christ.
Q. 133. Why is the Church Catholic (Universal, Soborna)?
A. The Church is Catholic (Universal) because it contains within it all the Orthodox believers of all the lands, of all times, and all peoples.
Q. 134. Why is the Church Apostolic?
A. The Church is Apostolic because it was spread about the world by the Apostles and by their successors, the bishops and the priests. (Matt. 28:19.)
Q. 135. When was the origination of the Hierarchy of the Orthodox Christian Church?
A. The Hierarchy (Bishops and Priests) of the Orthodox Christian Church originates from Jesus Christ Himself; and from the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles; from which time it is continued in unbroken succession (Apostolic succession), through the laying on of hands, in the Sacrament of Orders. "And He gave some, Apostles; and some Prophets, and some, Evangelists; and some Pastors and Teachers; for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ." (Ephes. 4:11-12.)
Q. 136. What is the highest authority of the Church on the earth?
A. The highest authority of the Church on the earth is the authority of the Ecumenical Council.
Q. 137. To whom is the Russian Orthodox Church subordinate?
A. The Russian Orthodox Church is subordinate to the Most Holy Patriarch of Russia and to his Synod.

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