The Affirmation of St. Louis
The Affirmation of St. Louis is the cornerstone of the "continuing" churches, expressing the ways in which we believe we are called upon to maintain the faith and practices of the Church as we have received them. The Episcopal Missionary Church supports and subscribes to all the statements included in the Affirmation, with one exception. As originally written in 1976, the Affirmation included maintaining communion with the See of Canterbury. When the Church of England resolved to "legitimize" the ordination of women to Holy Orders in 1992, it broke with traditional Anglican practice, and so we no longer maintain that communion with the See of Canterbury is appropriate.
We affirm that the Church of our fathers, sustained by the most Holy Trinity, lives yet, and that we, being moved by the Holy Spirit to walk only in that way, are determined to continue in the Catholic Faith, Apostolic Order, Orthodox Worship and Evangelical Witness of the traditional Anglican Church, doing all things necessary for the continuance of the same. We are upheld and strengthened in this determination by the knowledge that many provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion have continued steadfast in the same Faith, Order, Worship and Witness, and that they continue to confine ordination to the priesthood and the episcopate to males. We rejoice in these facts and we affirm our solidarity with these provinces and dioceses.
TEXT OF THE AFFIRMATION OF ST. LOUIS
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST. AMEN.
The Continuation of Anglicanism
The Dissolution of Anglican and Episcopal Church Structure
We affirm that the Anglican Church of Canada and the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, by their unlawful attempts to alter Faith, Order and Morality (especially in their General Synod of 1975 and General Convention of 1976), have departed from Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
The Need to Continue Order in the Church
We affirm that all former ecclesiastical governments, being fundamentally impaired by the schismatic acts of lawless Councils, are of no effect among us, and that we must now reorder such godly discipline as we strengthen us in the continuation of our common life and witness.
The Invalidity of Schismatic Authority
We affirm that the claim of any such schismatic person or body to act against any Church member, clerical or lay, for his witness to the whole Faith is with no authority of Christ's true Church, and any such inhibition, deposition or discipline is without effect and is absolutely null and void.
The Need for Principles and a Constitution
We affirm that fundamental principles (doctrinal, moral, and constitutional) are necessary for the present, and that a Constitution (redressing the defects and abuses of our former governments) should be adopted, whereby the Church may be soundly continued.
The Continuation of Communion with Canterbury
We affirm our continued relations of communion with the See of Canterbury and all faithful parts of the Anglican Communion. WHEREFORE, with a firm trust in Divine Providence, and before Almighty God and all the company of heaven, we solemnly affirm, covenant and declare that we, lawful and faithful members of the Anglican and Episcopal Churches, shall now and hereafter continue and be the unified continuing Anglican Church in North America, in true and valid succession thereto.