Landmarks

Landmarks of the Young Rite

  1. Introduction

The Young Rite is under the jurisdiction of three bishops, named the Council of Three.

There are two kinds of membership:

  • A church or jurisdiction with its own bishop(s) and appropriate operating structure
  • A clergy membership for clergy without any other episcopal support.

The question that arises is, what exactly is the tradition of The Young Rite. As The Young Rite is an avid advocate of freedom, universality and the authenticity of own experience, only ground principles can realistically be stated. These ground principles are defining in nature. They provide the identity by which one can ascertain that it is indeed a group or bishop operating within the Young Rite tradition. Any such defining principle is immutable. The collection of the immutable defining principles forms the landmarks of the Young Rite.

  1. A Bishop of the Young Rite
    A Bishop of The Young Rite is a man or a woman who subscribes to the following principles and meets the following conditions:

2.1 Has been consecrated in the Apostolic Succession
A Bishop needs to have undergone a valid Baptism, Confirmation; have had all the minor (Cleric, Doorkeeper, Reader, Exorcist, Acolyte) and major (Subdeacon, Deacon, Priest) orders conferred; and have been consecrated to the episcopate according to the liturgy of The Liberal Catholic Church or according to the liturgy of The Young Rite. If there is any doubt as to the validity, all of these sacraments may be conferred sub-conditionae by a Bishop of The Young Rite.

2.2 Leads a clean life
A Bishop leads a clean life. This means a respect for life and a respectful attitude to all, irrespective gender, faith, religion, colour, sexual preference, or whatever other categorisation one may use to distinguish human beings from one another.

2.3 Subscribes to esoteric Christian principles
A Bishop subscribes to the Summary of Doctrine of The Young Rite and believes in an esoteric, rather than a literal interpretation of the Scriptures and the Christian tradition.

2.4 Confers Holy Orders
A Bishop is required to confer Holy Orders up to and including the priesthood on any adult applicant, whether man or woman, who requests ordination, as long as this candidate has been baptised, confirmed and has had all prior ordinations conferred. The ordination to the diaconate and priesthood and the consecration to the episcopate may only be conferred during the celebration of the traditional form of the Holy Eucharist.

2.5 Confers Sacraments
A Bishop confers any of the sacraments (other than Holy Orders – see 2.4) to any person who requests such sacrament, whilst always abiding by the laws of the country in which they are conferred (note especially laws regarding marriage).

2.6 Authorises Liturgical forms
Experimental forms are encouraged, however, a Bishop formalises and authorises the experimental form into a liturgy in such a way that the sacramental integrity is to the best of the Bishop’s knowledge maintained. Official liturgies are ratified by consensus of the Council of Three of the Young Rite .

2.7 Authorises celebrants
A Bishop ensures that those who he or she authorises as celebrants (see 4.) are thoroughly trained, not only in the technical aspects of the celebration, but also in the exercising of proper intent. Only when entirely satisfied does the Bishop authorise that such a person may celebrate during public services.

2.8 Is not remunerated for conferring sacraments
A Bishop is not remunerated for the conferral of any sacrament. A Bishop may accept a contribution towards expenses incurred and charge a reasonable hourly rate for services held outside the regular schedule of public services.

2.9 Termination
Any Bishop may, at any time and without the obligation of providing a reason, honourably terminate his or her service as a Bishop of The Young Rite. A Bishop is morally required to terminate his or her services if he or she is no longer able to subscribe to the landmarks of The Young Rite.

  1. The Council of Three
    The Council of Three is made up of three bishops of the Young Rite:

3.1 Suitability
Only bishops who comply with the requirements of a bishop as stated in paragraph 1 may constitute the Council of Three.

3.2 Appointment and vacancies
There are only three bishops in the Council of Three. A vacancy arises:

When one of these bishops retires of own free will

When one of these bishops reaches the age of 75

When one of these bishops dies.

The remaining bishops will then choose by consensus a new bishop to fill the vacant position.

3.3 Decisions
The Council of Three makes all decisions regarding the Young Rite by consensus.

3.4 Approves membership
Approves membership only to those clergy, jurisdictions and churches who are in complete agreement with these landmarks and fulfill the conditions it imposes.

3.5 Terminates membership
Terminates membership of  those clergy, jurisdictions and churches who by their word or action no longer are in complete agreement with these landmarks. They may also terminate membership of those clergy, jurisdictions and churches who do not respond to communications for a period exceeding three months.

  1. Membership of jurisdictions and churches
    Jurisdictions and churches which are members:

4.1 Are autonomous
Jurisdictions and churches are fully self-ruling and self-sufficient.

4.2 Are in the Apostolic Succession
Have only bishops and/or priests who are in a valid line of the Apostolic Succession.

4.3 Bishops
Have bishops who comply with all the requirements of a Young Rite bishop as mentioned in paragraph 2, excepting clauses 2.1, 2.6, 2.7 and 2.9.

4.4 Are in agreement with these Landmarks
The church or jurisdiction is required to provide a written, signed and legally binding document in which it fully agrees to operate according to these Landmarks up to and including paragraph 4.

  1. Clergy membership
    A clergy member is a man or a woman who subscribes to the following principles and meets the following conditions:

5.1 Is in the Apostolic Succession
A clergy member needs to have undergone a valid Baptism, Confirmation; have had all the minor (Cleric, Doorkeeper, Reader, Exorcist, Acolyte) and the major orders of Subdeacon and Deacon conferred by a bishop consecrated into the Apostolic Succession. If there is any doubt as to the validity, any or all of these sacraments may be conferred sub-conditionae by a Bishop of The Young Rite.

5.2 Leads a clean life
A member of clergy leads a clean life. This means a respect for life and a respectful attitude to all, irrespective gender, faith, religion, colour, sexual preference, or whatever other categorisation one may use to distinguish human beings from one another.

5.3 Subscribes to esoteric Christian principles
A member of clergy subscribes to the Summary of Doctrine of The Young Rite and believes in an esoteric, rather than a literal interpretation of the Scriptures and the Christian tradition.

5.4 Agrees to these Landmarks
Any member of clergy is in complete agreement with these Landmarks.

5.5 Termination
Any member of clergy may, at any time and without the obligation of providing a reason, honourably terminate his or her membership of The Young Rite. A member of clergy is morally required to terminate his or her services if he or she is no longer able to subscribe to the landmarks of The Young Rite.

  1. A Circle operating in the tradition of The Young Rite
    In order for a group to be able to be formed and to operate as a circle within the tradition of The Young rite, three parties are involved:
  • A Bishop who is prepared to provide episcopal support to the group
  • A group of persons wishing to operate according to the principles of The Young Rite and wishing to avail itself of the services of the Bishop above.
  • One or more celebrants who are authorised to celebrate the public services of the group.

6.1 Episcopal support
Episcopal support shall be given by one of the Council of Three or any other bishop appointed by the Council of Three to act on their behalf.

6.2. A Circle operating in the tradition of The Young Rite
A Circle operating in the tradition of The Young Rite is a group of men and women who subscribe to the following principles and meet the following conditions:

6.2.1 Membership
Any adult, whether man or woman, may become a member of the circle.

6.2.2 Holds public services
All public services are open for all to attend, whether member of the Young Rite or not.

6.2.3 Adherence to liturgy
All are encouraged to not only participate, but also to help generate alternatives which may be tested in experimental services and assist in the evaluation of these alternatives. However, it is the Council of Three who is required to formalise the Liturgy. During a public celebration of any service, the authorised version is to be adhered to.

6.2.4 Trained celebrants
Sacraments may only be administered by those who have been authorised as celebrants of the Young rite. All who have received the ordination to the priesthood may celebrate the Eucharist privately in their home oratories. However, only those priests who have been authorised as celebrants may celebrate the public services of the group.

6.2.5 Exacts no fees
A group operates from voluntary gifts and contributions. No fee may be exacted from any person for the administering of any sacrament. If a service is requested that falls outside the usual service schedule, it is reasonable that those requesting the service cover the (extra) expenses incurred in order to make this service possible.

6.3. A Celebrant of The Young Rite
A Celebrant of The Young Rite is a clergy member (see paragraph 5) and additionally meets the following conditions:

6.3.1 Has been ordained to the priesthood
A Celebrant needs to have had the priest ordination conferred on him or her by a bishop consecrated into the Apostolic Succession. If there is any doubt as to the validity, this sacrament may be conferred sub-conditionae by a Bishop of The Young Rite.

6.3.2 Has been authorised as Celebrant
The Council of Three is required to only authorise a priest as a celebrant when the priest is adequately able to show that he or she has been properly trained and meets the requirements (guidelines are published on the web site). Such authorisation is in writing.

6.3.3 Confers Sacraments
A Celebrant confers any of the priestly sacraments to any person who requests such sacrament, whilst always abiding by the laws of the country in which they are conferred (note especially laws regarding marriage).

6.3.4 Is not remunerated for conferring sacraments
A Celebrant is not remunerated for the conferral of any sacrament. A Celebrant may accept a contribution towards expenses incurred and charge a reasonable hourly rate for services held outside the regular schedule of public services.

6.3.5 Termination
Any Celebrant may, at any time and without the obligation of providing a reason, honourably terminate his or her service as a Celebrant of The Young Rite. A Celebrant is morally required to terminate his or her services if he or she is no longer able to subscribe to the landmarks of The Young Rite.

6.3.6 Revocation
An authorisation automatically expires every five years or on reaching the age of 75 years. An authorisation may be revoked by the Council of Three if it is evident that celebrant no longer meets the standards expected of a celebrant. The authorisation is automatically revoked when a celebrant resigns his or her membership of the Young Rite.

Towards a free and universal priesthood