“The Affirmation of Personal Faith asks candidates for ministry to state unequivocally: “I believe and profess all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God. This carries with it the affirmation of specific teachings of the Catholic Church. A non-exhaustive list of these is provided in the form of individual affirmations. They include statements on the inviolability of human life, the sinfulness of contraception, the evil of extra-marital sexual relationships, the unacceptability of homosexual relationships, the wrongness of cohabitation before marriage, the significance of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the legitimacy of Marian devotions, the existence of hell and purgatory, the uniqueness of the Catholic Church, the legitimacy of the Holy Father’s claim to infallibility and the moral teaching authority of the Catholic Church.”The Affirmation of Personal Faith applies to all Catholics:
“The summary statements which I have collected in the Affirmation of Personal Faith are all taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. They represent the authentic and authoritative teaching of the Catholic Church and acceptance of these tenets is expected of every Catholic.”
“At the time that converts enter the Church they make the Profession of Faith and then they announce: “I believe and profess all the that Holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God.” This is the basic, fundamental affirmation required of all Catholics.”
We are children of God. We should not allow anyone, who less than fully accepts and embraces the teachings of the Catholic Church, to negatively influence us in any way regarding the Catholic Faith and the Holy Catholic Church:
“Outstanding moral character necessarily entails a clear knowledge and proper understanding of the teachings of the Church and a firm adherence to those teachings. The need for persons involved in these ministries to be of “outstanding moral character” comes from the recognition that, in their capacity as ministers, they are official representatives of the Church and of Her teachings. As such, the ‘Church’ and the ‘teachings’ which these ministers represent are not the widely held, sometimes erroneous, opinions of the faithful but the authentically held teachings. These teachings are found clearly enunciated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Papal Encyclicals and Documents, Liturgical Rubrics and the Code of Canon Law to name a few of the authentic sources. There is certainly much room in the Church for diversity of opinion and choice but that diversity, if it is to be legitimate, must always be exercised and expressed within clearly defined moral parameters. A choice to act upon or express a view, under the guise of diversity, which falls outside of the defined moral parameters cannot be considered legitimate diversity. Such expressions, if given the semblance of official approval by way of some ecclesial ministry, become not only illegitimate for the person who holds them but divisive and confusing for those who seek to know the authentic teachings of the Church.
Such persons can become a “cause of stumbling” and if a Pastor or Bishop fails to act to correct the “false teaching” then he too incurs the Lord’s condemnation as a “cause of stumbling”. There is perhaps no stronger condemnation uttered by our Lord than that used in regard to leading His “little ones” astray. He says unequivocally: “But if a man is a cause of stumbling to one of these little ones who have faith in me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-7) I am certain our Lord’s word to a Bishop who knowingly or negligently permitted such a person to be an official minister in His Church would be even more severe.”
The ‘CCC’ references in Affirmation of Personal Faith are to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Click on them to read those specific paragraphs of the Catechism.
“I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God.” In particular:
I affirm and believe the Church’s teaching about the inviolability of human life. In accord with that teaching I affirm that human life is sacred and must be protected and respected from the moment of conception until natural death. I affirm that I reject direct, intentional abortion and I do not recognize the legitimacy of anyone’s claim to a moral right to form their own conscience in this matter. I am not pro-choice. I further attest that I am not affiliated with, nor supportive of, any organization which supports, encourages, provides or otherwise endorses abortion or euthanasia. (CCC2270-2283 & 2295)
I affirm and believe the Church’s teaching about the sinfulness of contraception. I affirm, in accord with the teachings of the Church that “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil. (CCC2366 – 2379) I affirm and believe that every person is called to chastity in accord with their present state of life and that it is only in marriage between man and woman that the intimacy of spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. (CCC 1601 & 2331—2365) I accept the Church’s teaching that any extra-marital sexual relationships are gravely evil and that these include pre-marital relations, masturbation, fornication, the viewing of pornography and homosexual relations.
I affirm and believe the teaching of the Church about the evil of homosexual acts. I accept the formulation in the Catechism which states: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (CCC2357)
I affirm and believe all that the Church teaches about the Reality and Presence of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. Specifically I believe that Jesus is present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under each of the forms of bread and wine and that receiving either one is Communion with the whole Christ. I recognize that worship and adoration are appropriate, not only during Mass but also outside of Mass and that the Most Holy Eucharist must always be handled with the utmost care and devotion. (CCC 1373-1381) I affirm and believe the teachings of the Church regarding Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church. I accept with the Church that it is fitting and proper to honor the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. (CCC 963-975) I affirm and believe that it is possible for a person to choose to remain separated from God for all eternity and that “This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”” (CCC 1033) I affirm and believe that those who die in God’s grace and friendship but are still imperfectly purified undergo additional purification so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joys of heaven. I affirm that the Church’s name for this final purification is Purgatory. (CCC 1030-1032) I affirm and believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and embrace the teachings about that Church as enunciated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (cf. CCC 748-962) I affirm and believe that the Church teaches with God-given authority and that the promise of Christ to remain with His Church always, until the end of time is a reality. I further acknowledge that those teachings pronounced in a definitive manner, even though not as an infallible definition, are binding on the consciences of the faithful and are to be adhered to with religious assent. (CCC 892 & 2089) To these and to all the teaching of the Catholic Church I give my assent. I attest that I believe these things and, while I am aware of my own sinfulness and shortcomings, I strive in my beliefs and life style to conform to this Affirmation of Personal of Faith.
The Affirmation of Personal Faith and full text of Bishop Vasa’s comments can be found in his pastoral letter: