What do you mean by ‘Oriental’?
By Oriental, we refer to the Eastern ecclesiological focus of our Church, which derives from many of the Non-Chalcedonian Churchs of the East; The Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Syrian, and Malankara Churches.
Why are you called the Church of ‘Damcar’?
We call ourselves the Church of “Damcar” to further reflect our roots in the Philosophia Perinnis (which holds that certain metaphysical truths, and hence knowledge of the Divine, have always been available throughout history and are to be found within the framework of every valid religious tradition), and NATURPHILOSOPHIE as idealized in the Rosicrucian Manifestos and the Western Esoteric Tradition, the “Hesychast” Movement of the West.
How does the Oriental Apostolic Church of Damcar view the Sacred Scriptures?
We hold to a more esoteric/mystical understanding of Scripture: the Tanakh, the Midrash and The New Testament, The Apocryphal Tanakh and Christian Texts, recently discovered Gnostic texts, the Zohar and Sepher Yetzirah of the Judaic Tradition, the Kebra Negast and the Fetha Negast of Ethiopia, the Holy Qu’ran and Sacred Hadith of the Islamic/Sufi Tradition, as long as they honor all of the Peoples of the Book, are held in the highest regard .
Holy Mysteries (Sacraments)
In common with all Christian Communities possessing Apostolic Succession, The Oriental Apostolic Church of Damcar holds the Greater Mysteries to be seven in number, namely: Baptism, Chrismation, Holy Eucharist (called also the Divine Liturgy), Reconciliation, Holy Matrimony, Royal Priesthood, and Anointing.
Validity of The Holy Mysteries.
As The Oriental Apostolic Church of Damcar is under the omophor (jurisdiction) of a validly consecrated bishop within the Apostolic Succession, all of our Sacraments are valid.
Do you ordain women to the Royal Priesthood?
Yes, The Oriental Apostolic Church of Damcar does ordain/elevate and consecrate women to the Royal Priesthood, as we hold to the equality of man and woman as expressed by the early Church and written by the early Fathers of the Church.
Woman has the same spiritual dignity as man. Both of them have the same God, the same Teacher, and the same Church. They breathe, see, hear, know, hope and love in the same way. Beings that have the same life, grace, and salvation are called . . . to the same manner of being.
(St. Clement of Alexandria Tutor 1, 4 (Patrologia Græca, Migne 8,260)
Sacred Scripture does not set men and women in opposition to one another in respect to sex. Sex does not constitute any difference in the sight of God.
(St. Origen Homilies on Joshua, 9 (Griechische Christliche Schriftsteller, Berlin 8,356)
Woman is in the image of God equally with man. The sexes are of equal worth. Their virtues are equal, their struggles are equal. Would a man be able to compete with a woman who lives her life to the full? (St. Gregory of Nyssa Let us make Man in our Image and Likeness, 2nd discourse (Patrologia Græca, Migne 44,276)
These words [of the Apostle] apply not only to men, for women also belong to Christ’s army by the strength of their souls . . . Many women have distinguished themselves no less than men in the spiritual warfare, and some of them more . . . It was not only men but also women who followed Jesus, and he accepted help from women as much as from men.
(St. Basil of Cæsarea Shorter Rules, 3 (Patrologia Græca, Migne 31,624)
And the Bible states in Galatians 3:27-28:
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave or free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.