Oath to Defend the Immutable Deposit of Faith

in the Tradition of the Oath Against Modernism

In the most holy name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, I, Michael Callahan, Presiding Bishop of the Apostolic Western Orthodox Church, along with my brothers and sisters in Christ, solemnly swear to unswervingly uphold the unchangeable tenets set forth in the Nicene and Apostle’s Creeds—the irreplaceable pillars of Christian orthodoxy.

I acknowledge, in unwavering obedience to Divine Revelation, that Jesus Christ is exclusively the “Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6), affirming that no path to salvation exists apart from Him, as enshrined in the Sacred Scriptures: “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Recognizing the sovereign grace of God as the ultimate source of salvation, I assert that this grace beckons our responsive actions of faith, contrition, and repentance, conforming to the apostolic teaching to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12-13). The holy sacraments—Baptism, Confirmation/Chrismation, and the Holy Eucharist—are not mere human works but are, instead, the divinely-ordained channels through which God’s sanctifying grace permeates our lives.

In conscious alignment with the spirit of the Oath Against Modernism promulgated by Pope Pius X in 1910, I categorically reject the pernicious error of Universalism and any teaching that contravenes the ecclesiastical traditions as formalized in the Second Council of Constantinople.

Upholding the Judeo-Christian moral code that has fortified civilizations for thousands of years, I affirm marriage as a holy union between one man and one woman, in accordance with biblical directives. In obeisance to Apostle Paul’s admonitions (1 Corinthians 6:18-20), sexual relations outside this covenant are in violation of divine law. I declare abortion to be morally indefensible, and although civil authorities may possess the prerogative for capital punishment, my plea is for its judicious and limited application.

Firmly opposing contemporary theories that introduce gender fluidity, I assert the God-ordained binary distinction of male and female (Genesis 1:27). I further emphasize that love for all humans, inclusive of those identifying as LGBTQ, does not legitimize the endorsement of lifestyles that are discordant with biblical orthodoxy. Love must never be perverted into complicity with sin.

With the Apostle Paul as my guide—”stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter” (2 Thessalonians 2:15)—I resist modernist impulses that threaten the purity of apostolic doctrine. My sole commitment is to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:14-16), thus fostering spiritual growth under the eternal lordship of Christ.

Eschewing the quagmire of moral relativism, I insist that our choices in this world have everlasting implications. Therefore, fortified by Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition, I make this solemn oath to safeguard the unaltered faith “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3), in everlasting homage to God who is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

In making this oath, I invoke the help of God Almighty, Amen.

Michael Callahan

Presiding Bishop
Apostolic Western Orthodox Church


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