The Rational Universal Church (Iglesya Unibersál Rasyonál) is a Rationalistic church for Freethinkers. (Rationalism is the belief that reason is the basis for establishment of religious truth, not revelation or authority [Bible, Pope or Church], Freethought means forming ideas about religion without regard to dogma.)
The Rational Universal Church (previously named the Rational Catholic Church) is not in any way affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. We fully support the corrections to the errors of the Roman Catholic Church by the Old Catholic Church. We fully support the work of Gregorio Aglipay in separating the Philippine Independent Church (Iglesia Filipina Independiente) [Trinitarian] and the Independent Church of Filipino Christians [Unitarian] from the Church of Rome. Our position is more liberal than these traditional, Christocentric churches, however, and we are more in harmony with the Unitarian Church, which we would encourage our members to attend in the absence of one of our own churches.
While we have no creed to which members must subscribe, we do adhere to the teaching of our mother church, the Universal Life Church (ULC). The two tenets of the ULC are to promote freedom of religion and to do that which is right.
We do believe in and practice complete equality of men and women, either men or women can hold any office of the church, ordination is open to all who will uphold our church and its values.We are Catholic [not Roman Catholic] in our hierarchy, headed by a matriarch or patriarch, with a primate (archbishop) for each region, a bishop for each province (suffragan bishops may be appointed for cites or districts) and priests [rectors, vicars or chaplains] for each parish, barangay or institution (Monsignors, high priests or high priestesses may be appointed for a combination of parishes). The Patriarch is elected by the Council of Bishops, bishops are appointed by the Primate and priests (rectors, vicars and chaplains) are appointed by the bishops. All bishops are members of the Council of Bishops, elections will be held as needed, but at least every five years. The Council shall also elect a president pro tempore, who will be in charge whenever the Patriarch is unable or not available, and who will call elections when needed.
Contraception and family planning are encouraged, members are expected to be responsible and to have no children they are not able to support, care for and educate. Anyone opposing the use and dissemination of contraception is not in harmony with our church. Every member should be informed as to effective contraception and should teach their children to be responsible in avoiding unwanted conception.
While we do not advocate abortion as a means of family planning, we recognize it is worse to bring a child into a life of poverty and deprivation than it is to get an abortion and we respect the right of those who need an abortion to get it. Anyone actively opposing abortion rights is definitely not in harmony with our church.
What you believe about the nature of the Divine, the Universal Presence, is a personal matter, not dictated by the church. But we do follow the teaching of Jesus, not to be hypocrites who pray to be seen by other people, and if we pray and worship, it should be in private. Prayer and worship are not part of our public religious practice, which consists primarily of discussions of how we can be better people, more caring and responsible. Discussions of how to improve our environment, our lives, our educational system, our health and welfare, are also important. God neither needs nor craves our worship and prayer, but these are only for our own solace or improvement.
The Catholic Congregation Without Dogma was formed by ministers of the Universal Life Church with its world headquarters in Modesto, California. We maintain this connection, all of our clergy are also ordained by the ULC.
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Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Nassau, Bishop of Albay, Primate of Bicol
and Patriarch for the Philippines.
NEWS: One presidential candidate expresses concern for the overpopulation problem in the
Philippines and has a program to address this paramount concern of responsible people here.
See this copied article from the Philippine Star
newspaper of March 21, 2004.
Advertisement from the Philippine Daily Inquirer
newspaper of April 25, 2004:
See the Personal Religious Identifications page of
Mike Nassau, first Bishop of the Rational Universal Church of the Philippines, at
Includes links to other sites of interest.
This webpage put on the internet on February 24, 2004 C.E.
Clarification of our beliefs and practices.
(From our Newsletter for October 2004.)
We are a religion and we are serious about our beliefs. There continues to be some misunderstanding from people who are only used to Theistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and the Baha'i Faith) about the meaning of religion. Religion is the system of beliefs and practices by which a person relates to that which is greater than himself or which is exterior to his routine daily existence. There are seven major aspects to religion, theology, ethics, methodology, education, practice, and fellowship or communion.
Theology is the belief one has about the Other, the Infinite, the Eternal. Some people (Theists) personify this Other as a personal god (a god having a personality or persona). Typically, they will go farther and describe this god as omnipotent, omniscient and beneficent. This despite the obvious fact that if god is all powerful and all knowing, it must be responsible for all the evil and suffering in the world. There are many, many other beliefs about the Other in the world, and no one should equate religion with the belief in this one narrow concept. To us, methodology is much more important than theology, we do not much care what one thinks about the Other. We are generally Nontheists, not believing in a personal deity, but it is not important. Theists such as Quakers or even members of the United Church of Christ or United Methodist Church are welcome in our church so long as they adhere to Rationalist and Freethought methodology.
The theology of our members will vary widely, since each person is free to think whatever his reason leads him to believe. Many are Pantheists of some sort; Scientific or Universal Pantheists, who believe the Universe itself in its infinity, majesty and order, is god; Spiritual Pantheists, who believe there is a universal spirit present in all of us (sometimes in all things) which can sustain and aid us, this may be called Mana, the Great Spirit or the Oversoul; or Natural Pantheists, who believe that Nature (the god Pan) is holy and sustaining.Obviously, these beliefs can be combined, a person can believe in more than one level of Pantheism. Many are Agnostic or Atheistic, saying they do not know if there is a god or that they do not believe in a personal god. Some are Deists, saying there is a personal god who created the universe and established natural law but who is no longer active in the world. Deists believe in the existence of a God or supreme being but deny revealed religion, basing their belief on the light of nature and reason. Many other beliefs are possible, including Buddhism, Gaianism, Animism, Spiritualism, etc., but generally these find our way too scientific and uninspired or unenlightened.
Ethics is more important than theology to us. Our teachings to do that which is good and to practice reproductive responsibility (not to have children one can not feed, care for and educate) are central to our beliefs. This is a matter of faith. Humans are social animals, we derive happiness, fulfillment and meaning from our relations with others. We have an obligation to do that which will benefit others, society and future generations. We emphatically are Humanists who believe in the personal worth of humans and the importance of human values over theology or ritual. We are humanitarians who believe how one lives is much more important than prayer or worship or other religious rites.
Methodology, how one decides what is true and what to believe, is much more important than theology. There are four principal sources of religious belief. First, there is scripture or revelation, written or oral codes which are handed down from generation to generation and venerated and sometimes thought to be infallible or inerrant. Torah, the Bible, the Qur'an (Koran), the Granth Sahib and the writings of Baha'u'llah are examples of scripture. Second, there is authority, usually a religious organization or leader believed to have special knowledge, perhaps of divine origin, to which others should give deference or even obedience. The Pope, the Convenor of the Mormons, and Reverend Moon of the Unification Church are examples of leaders with authority. Third, there is enlightenment or mystical experience, what comes to a person in altered states of consciousness. This may be induced by prayer, meditation, hypnosis, trances, rituals, drugs or privation (starvation). This is very important in Eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism and in Native American religion. Starvation and prayer were the methods used by Saint Peter to get the vision in which he was told it was all right for men to become Christian without being circumcised. Fourth, there is reason, history, scientific investigation, etc. As Rationalists and Freethinkers, we uphold this fourth method as being more reliable and valid than the other three. The quest for knowledge, the search itself, is very important to us.Freely seeking the truth for ourselves is the very center of our religion, our foremost religious practice. Anyone who respects this freedom to rationally seek knowledge and to believe whatever we find reasonable is welcome in our church no matter what their theology.
Education and propagation are very important functions of all religions. We particularly believe it is important to make people realize that Rationalists and other Nontheists can be good people, that how a person lives is more important than what they believe, that how one treats other people is much more important than prayer or worship.
Religious practice includes all rites, worship, prayer, meditation, etc. We have little
in the way of rites, though the need for rites like marriages, funerals, etc., is recognized. Meditation, prayer, worship, etc., are not done in public or as a group,
if done at all, they are done privately.
Fellowship and communion are very important to us. We believe in friendship and love, we believe in enjoying the company of others. As Bill Wilson taught in the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, we all need to be sustained by a group of friends. He even says that the group itself may function as our Higher Power. We celebrate communion together both to enjoy the company of other Rationalists and
to honor the great thinkers of the past. We honor people like Margaret Sanger, who founded the movement which became Planned Parenthood, José Rizal, Gregorio Aglipay, Toribio Quimada, John Wycliffe, Wat Tyler, Miguel Serveto, David Hume, Thomas Huxley, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Julian Huxley and Corliss LaMont.