Question and Answer

What is the OPC's policy on receiving former Roman Catholics?

Question:

What is the OPC's policy on receiving former Roman Catholics, now Reformed, for membership? Must they notify their former church and receive permission from the Catholics before being allowed by the OPC to become a member of the denomination? Or would it be acceptable for them simply to cease attending the Roman Catholic Church and begin membership classes at the OPC congregation? What if the Roman Catholic Church told them they shouldn't?

Answer:

Thanks for your question about membership in the OPC. I assume that you are describing yourself, "a former Roman Catholic, now Reformed."

One becomes a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church when the Session (the local elders and pastor) of a congregation receive you into membership. If someone is moving from another church into the OPC, the session will inquire as to your standing with that church. If the church is a church of "like faith and practice," then a letter of transfer will be very helpful. This is good practice. It enables churches to commend members to another congregation when, for example, someone relocates. It also enables churches to help uphold the valid discipline of one another.

If you have come to an understanding of the principles of the Reformation, then you will know that the Roman Catholic Church is not a church of "like faith and practice." You are correct in assuming the Roman Catholic Church would not encourage someone to join the OPC and would not issue such a letter of transfer.

I think you would find it very helpful to attend classes at an OPC congregation. The pastor and elders will be able to give you more guidance on this matter. I am unsure if you have already found an OPC. If we can help you any further, please do not hesitate to contact us or use the online Church Locator . For more information on the subject of membership please see the OPC Directory for Public Worship, section IV, D.


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