Category Archives: Papacy

​The Bishop of Rome

 

It is Christ’s will that we should reverence His ministers as Himself. This is why Catholics pay the greatest reverence to Christ’s Vicar, the Pope, their universal Father. On this account the title “His Holiness” is given him. Out of respect for his office, the Holy Father is given privileges not granted to other bishops. As a temporal sovereign he has a Court and guards. He has a standard and sea. He has ambassadors. On solemn occasions he is carried in the papal chair called sedia gestatoria.

 

    Did Christ intend that the special power of chief teacher and ruler of the entire Church should be exercised by Peter alone? –Christ did not intend that the special power of chief teacher and ruler of the entire Church should be exercised by Peter alone, but intended that this power should be passed down to his successor, the Pope, Bishop of Rome, who is the Vicar of Christ on earth, and the visible Head of the Church. 

  1. St. Peter lived for a short time at Antioch; then he went to Rome and there fixed his official residence permanently. It was there, and as Bishop of Rome, that he died as a martyr some twenty years later.The Church was not to die with Peter. Therefore his official rank and dignity and powers were to be handed on to his successors from generation to generation. In the same way, successors to a civil office acquire all the powers attached to the office. 
  2. Thus the Bishop of Rome, the lawful successor of St. Peter, is what Peter was, Vicar of Christ and visible head of the Church. Christ is the true and invisible Head of the Church. But its visible head is the Bishop of Rome, our Holy Father the Pope, because he is the successor of St. Peter.No one but the Bishop of Rome has ever claimed supreme authority over the whole Church. Therefore, either he is St. Peter’s successor, or St. Peter has no successor, and the promise of Christ had failed. 
  3. The supremacy of the Bishop of Rome over all Christendom has been disputed because of the perversity of men and the power of evil. It has been denied by unruly sons. The very fact that it was disputed shows that it existed.In the same way even the authority of God Himself has been questioned; His very existence has been denied. From the beginning, too, parental authority has been defied. The authority of lawful rulers has ever been attacked. The denials, defiance, and attacks have not destroyed the existence of such authority. Does God die because men deny His existence? “The fool said in his heart, There is no God” (Ps. 52).
    Has the Bishop of Rome always been looked upon as the head of the Church? –Yes, the Bishop of Rome has from Apostolic times been looked upon as the universal head of the Church. 

  1. From earliest times the titles “high priest” and “bishop of bishops” have been given to the Bishop of Rome.  Appeals were made to him, and disputes were settled by him.The third successor of St. Peter was Pope St. Clement.  A dispute in the Church at Corinth was referred to him for decision. He wrote letters of remonstrance and admonition to the Corinthians, and they submitted to his correction. At that time, very near Corinth the Apostle John was still living. Why did the Corinthians, instead of appealing to faraway Rome and Clement, not refer their trouble, to the Apostle John, Bishop of Ephesus? Evidently because Rome’s authority was universal, while that of Ephesus was local.There were numerous cases of appeal throughout the long history of the Church; all were referred to Rome.In the fifth century when Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus in the East, was deposed, he appealed to Pope Leo, and the Pope ordered him reinstated. The Pope was everywhere recognized as head of the Church not only in the West, but in the East, up to the great schism of the ninth century. 
  2. With one voice the Fathers of the Church pay homage to the Bishop of Rome as their superior.All of them recognized the Pope as Supreme Head. St. Ambrose said in the fourth century: “Where Peter is, there is the Church.” 
  3. General councils were not held without the presence of the Bishop of Rome or his representative. No council was accepted as universal or general unless its acts received the approval of the Bishop of Rome.At the Council of Chalcedon in the year 451, the Pope’s letter was read to the assemblage of bishops, and they cried with one voice: “Peter has spoken by Leo; let him be anathema who believes otherwise!” As late as the year 1439, in the council of Florence, the Greeks who wished to return to the Church acknowledged the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. 
  4. Every nation converted from paganism has received the faith from missionaries specially sent by the Pope, or by bishops acknowledging the Pope as their Head.St. Patrick was sent by Pope Celestine to Ireland. St. Palladius was sent by the same Pope to Scotland. St. Augustine was sent by Pope Gregory to England. St. Remigius went to France under the protection of the See of Rome. St. Boniface was sent by Pope Gregory II to Germany and Bavaria. And so on. 

     

    PONTIFICAL DECORATIONS

    The Holy See confers various titles, orders, decorations, and other honorson certain persons, usually lay people, who in some special manner have distinguished themselves in furthering the well-being of humanity and of the Church. They, are listed here in the order of importance.

    The Supreme Order of Christ was started by Pope John XXII in 1319. Today it is the supreme pontifical Order of knighthood, conferred only on very rare occasions.

    The Order of the Golden Spur follows the Order of Christ as a pontifical decoration. It has one class of 100 knights, and is awarded only to those who have furthered the cause of the Church by outstanding deeds. It is bestowed also to non-Catholics.

    The Order of Pius IX has three classes, Knights of the Grand Cross, Commanders, and Knights. It is awarded also to non-Catholics.

    The Order of St. Gregory the Great was founded by Pope Gregory XVI in 1831. It has two divisions, civil and military, each of which is divided into three classes: Knights of the Grand Cross, Commanders, and Knights.

    The Order of St. Sylvester, instituted in 1841, like the Order of St. Gregory, has three classes of knights.

    The Order of the Holy Sepulchre is considered one of the oldest of pontifical honors; it is today highly prized in Europe. It has been bestowed on kings and nobles, on heads of republics, on persons outstanding in arts, letters, and sciences, on those who in special manner have served the Church. Unlike other orders, this is bestowed besides on clerics and women.

    The medal “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” was instituted by Leo XIII, that great “Pope of the Workingman” in 1888. It is awarded in recognition of special services to the Church and the Pope. The “Benemerenti” medal was instituted in 1832 by Gregory XVI, of two classes, civil and military, in recognition of outstanding daring or courage.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

​The Living Church

 

In spite of all kinds of persecutions, the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, has continued to spread all over the world. It has obeyed strictly the command of Our Lord to the Apostles: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Everywhere men have listened to its voice, believing the warning of Christ, “He that believeth not shall be condemned.”

 

    Give a short summary of the history of the Church for the almost two thousand years of its existence –The following is a brief summary: 

  1. The first 400 years. The Apostles dispersed to different countries in order to carry out Christ’s command to teach. The Apostles baptized, preached, and ruled in various countries to which they were sent. They appointed bishops and priests to rule and minister to the faithful.In spite of sufferings and persecutions they persevered, until finally they sealed their faith by martyrdom. Peter and Paul were especially interested in the conversion of the Roman Empire, the mightiest and also most wicked empire of ancient days.The morals of the Romans were extremely debased; the evil was spreading from the Imperial City of Rome throughout the vast empire. In Rome alone some 30,000 different “gods” and “goddesses” were worshipped, many of them for their very immorality. So close was the union of the pagan religion and the empire that to attack the religion was to be considered a traitor to Rome. For this reason the full force of the empire was set against the new religion of the Christians. But the Fisherman did not falter: Peter battled with all his might. He and Paul were both martyred; but others rose to continue the battle for Christ, which lasted for nearly 300 years.Persecution followed upon persecution, numbering ten unsurpassed in ferocity. The severest were those under Nero (64-68) and Diocletian (303-305). The latter condemned to death some two million Christians. But the more they were persecuted, the faster they increased. Tertullian says: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity.”

    At last, in 313 A.D., the banners of Christianity were flung out in victory; peace was granted by the Edict of Milan. Later, Constantine the Great made Christianity the State religion (324 A. D.) He was led to this step when he conquered in battle after seeing in the heavens a luminous cross with the words In hoc signo vinces (In this sign thou shalt conquer). His saintly mother, St. Helena, had also a great influence on his conversion.

     

  2. The second 400 years. Before sixty years had passed after the Edict of Milan, hordes of barbarian Huns, Goths, Vandals, and Visigoths, numbering millions, started moving from the north into the civilized European countries. City after city surrendered until Rome itself was taken, and the darkness of barbarism covered the continent. But the missionaries and teachers of the Church mingled with the barbarians, returned with them to their countries, and brought light once more out of darkness.St. Patrick was sent to Ireland, and converted that nation to Christianity. St. Augustine in England and St. Boniface in Germany changed those nations into followers of the cross of Christ. The idol worshipping Franks followed their king Clovis into the Christian fold. At the end of four centuries, the cruel and savage barbarians of Italy, Spain, France, Germany, England, and Ireland were Christians, civilized, progressive, settled in peaceful cities, building churches, carrying on trade. 
  3. The third 400 years. In the seventh century Mohammed had begun to propagate his doctrines among the Arabian tribes. His was a conversion by the sword: a great part of Asia, North Africa, Spain, and the islands of the Mediterranean were overrun and conquered to Mohammed’s Allah. At last Mohammedanism broke into France.In a memorable nine-day battle in 732 A. D., the French Christians under Charles Martel defeated the Mohammedans at Tours, and thus stopped their incursions into France. But in the next century the Mohammedans entered and sacked Rome itself, even St. Peter’s. However, the Church carried on and finally repelled the invader.The fall of Jerusalem into the hands of the Mohammedans in the eleventh century gave impetus to the Crusades, during which Christian armies went to free the Holy Places from the infidels. There were seven Crusades in all, from 1095 A.D., to 1254 A.D. Among the outstanding leaders we may mention: Godfrey de Bouillon, Frederick Barbarossa, Richard the Lionhearted, and St. Louis of France. 
  4. The fourth 400 years. The Christian rulers of Europe, upon becoming more powerful, began to look with envy on the Pope’s authority, and to encroach upon it. Although the Crusades had had good effects, too much interest in material preparations caused a relaxation in spiritual life; heresy often attacked the Church. Berengarius denied the Real Presence; followed the Greek schism, the Albigensian heresy, and the heresies of Wycliff and Huss, who denied the authority of the Church. Finally, in the sixteenth century, the general laxness and spirit of revolt culminated in open defiance against Church authority, and the Protestant Revolt swept Europe.An Augustinian monk, Martin Luther, in 1517 made an open attack on the doctrine of Indulgences. When he was effectively refuted by Doctor John Eck in a public argument, Luther became enraged, and more active in propagating his errors. Because his doctrines appealed to human vanity and weakness, he attracted many followers. The princes. who envied the papal authority, threw in their lot with Luther. The Bible was declared the only rule of faith, so, that no one would any longer be dependent on Church authority, but could interpret the word of God as he pleased for himself. The vicious were readily won over by the doctrine that man cannot prevent sin on account of natural corruption and the absence of free will.Revolt spread from Germany to other countries. In Switzerland John Calvin followed in Luther’s footsteps, and began Calvinism. In Scotland John Knox was the propagator of Protestantism. In England, Henry VIII’s desire to change wives was the immediate cause for the establishment of the Anglican Church. Denmark, Holland, Norway, and Sweden were all swept into heresy by their rulers.But out of the pains of the Protestant revolt, the Church came forth stronger and purified. In the meantime, newly discovered countries were converted. The Portuguese and Spaniards were the pioneers in this missionary enterprise. The discoveries of new lands, to which Catholic missionaries went, resulted in the gain of more millions for the Church than had been lost in Protestantism.

     

  5. The last 400 years. Many in Europe returned to the Church; more were gained in the Americas. Protestantism has continued to attack the Church; the paganism bred from the spirit of laxity and revolt is another enemy. Open warfare goes on in Russia and satellite countries. Still the Church continues to grow, the greatest single religious body in history.In 1954 missionaries of Mother Church can be found in the most remote portions of the globe, working patiently to bring souls to Christ. They go where no other foreigners would go. At present there are about 30,000 priests, 12,000 lay brothers, and 60,000 Sisters working in the foreign missions. The missions are supervised and supported by the Societies for the Propagation of the Faith and the Holy Childhood.At present the Church has a membership of about 425,000,000 in all parts of the world. They are under the direction of some 420,000 priests, 2,200 Prelates, and one Head, the Pope. They form the greatest body having a single religious faith. The different Protestant denominations number about two hundred million all together. The schismatic Eastern Christians total about 150 millions.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

The Primacy of Peter

 

 

When Our Lord said to Peter, “And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” He clearly meant: “I will give you supreme authority over My Church. You shall be My representative.” The true test of loyalty to Christ is not only to believe in Him and worship Him, but to honor and obey the representatives He has chosen. Our Lord chose St. Peter as His Vicar. It is rebellion against Christ to say to Him: “I will worship You, but I will not recognize Your representative.” This is what Christians do, who deny the authority of the successor of Peter.

 

    Did Christ give special power in His Church to any one of the Apostles? –Christ gave special power in His Church to Peter, by making him the head of the Apostles and the chief teacher and ruler of the entire Church. 

  1. When Simon, led by his brother Andrew, first met Christ, Our Lord said to him: “Thou art Simon, the son of John; thou shalt be called Cephas” (John 1:42). Christ spoke in Aramaic, and the original Cephas, or “Kepha” means stone or rock, which we interpret Peter. Our Lord must have some special purpose for having Simon’s name changed, particularly as the word Kepha was never used as a proper name then. 
  2. When, at Caesarea Philippi, Peter made the memorable confession of faith in the name of the Apostles: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Christ promised to make Peter the head of His Church (Matt. 16:17-20). In reply Our Lord said: “Blessed. art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to thee, but my Father in heaven. And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
       

    1. Our Lord changed Simon’s name to Peter, which means Rock. He said that He would make Peter the Rock on which His Church should be founded. As the foundation of a building holds up, supports, and preserves the building, so Peter was to hold the same office for Christ’s Church. 
    2. Our Lord. promised to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven. In ancient as well as modern times, keys are a symbol of authority. He who lawfully carries the key to a building has the right himself of entering and of admitting or excluding others. Our Lord said to all the Apostles, “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained” (John 20:23). But to Peter alone did Our Lord address these words: “I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”

     

  3. Christ, after the Resurrection, fulfilled His promise, and appointed Peter head of the Church (John 21:15-17On the Lake of Gennesareth, “Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, dost thou love me more than these do?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, dost thou love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A third time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, dost thou love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him for the third time, “Dost thou love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee,” He said to him, “Feed my sheep.” By this Christ entrusted to Peter the whole flock, thus making him the head shepherd. The “lambs” (the weak and tender portion of the flock) are the faithful, and the “sheep” (those that nourish the lambs) are the pastors, bishops and priests. The sheep of Christ are those who submit to Him, the Good Shepherd (John 10: 14). Never did Christ say to any other Apostle: Feed My whole flock. As the shepherd is responsible for the flock, he is given authority comparable to his responsibility. 
  4. Christ also conferred on Peter special marks of distinction not conferred on the other Apostles. He gave him a new name. He chose him as a companion on the most solemn occasions. After the Resurrection, He appeared to Peter first, before showing Himself to the other Apostles. The Lord said: “Simon … I have prayed for thee that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32As with every well-regulated society, the Church needed a visible head; Christ appointed St. Peter visible head of the Church. The city has its mayor, the state its governor, the nation its President. At the head of every government is a president or king. Even in the family, the father is the head. Every corporation has a head. The Church is a visible society; that is, it is composed of human beings. It needs a head as well as any other organization. Christ is always its invisible, Head, but it needs a visible head to take His place among men.
    Did Peter actually exercise his primacy? –Yes, Peter actually exercised his primacy, and the other Apostles and the disciples recognized him as the head of the Church. 

  1. Peter’s name always stands first in the lists of Apostles; Iscariot’s is always last. St. Matthew even calls Peter the “first Apostle.” But he was neither first in age nor in election, for Our Lord had called Andrew; his elder brother, before him. He must therefore have been first in honor and authority. 
  2. It was Peter that proposed the election of another to take the place of Judas. In obedience to Peter’s advice, the Apostles put forward two among the disciples to choose from; and after praying, they chose Matthias (Acts 1:21-26). 
  3. It was Peter that preached the first sermon on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Ghost had descended on the Apostles; they spoke so that each person present (and there were many nationalities in the crowd) heard his own language being spoken. The people were amazed; and Peter spoke (Acts 2:14-36). 
  4. It was Peter that admitted the first converts from Judaism (Acts 2:38-41), as well as from paganism (Acts 10:5).“And he (Peter) ordered them (the Gentiles) baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:48). This was a thing unheard of, that the Jews, “of the Faith”, should consort with “heathen”; but Peter broke all bonds. 
  5. Peter worked the first miracleHe gave a man lame from birth the power to walk (Acts 3:6-8). 
  6. Peter meted out the first punishmentAnanias (and later his wife Sapphira) had lied and cheated; and having been rebuked by Peter, fell down dead (Acts 5: 1-6). 
  7. Peter cast out the heretic Simon Magus. This heretic had wanted to purchase the power of the Apostles of bringing down the Holy Ghost on those on whom they laid hands (Acts 8:19-20). 
  8. Peter made the first visitation of the churches (Acts 31-32). 
  9. In the first Council at Jerusalem, there was much disputing, but when Peter spoke, all submitted (Acts 15:7-12).“After a long debate, Peter got up and said, … ‘But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus’ … Then the whole meeting quieted down” (Acts 15:7, 11-12). 
  10. After his conversion, St. Paul presented himself to Peter (Gal. 1: 18) . 
  11. Of the early churches established by the Apostles, the Church of Rome was the highest in rank. It was the See of Peter.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!


​The Apostles: First Bishops of the Church

    To whom did Christ give the power to teach, to sanctify, and to rule the members of His Church? –Christ gave the power to teach, to sanctify, and to rule the members of His Church to the Apostles, the first bishops of the Church.

     

  1. St. Peter was the first Head. After a miraculous escape from prison in Jerusalem, he founded his See in Antioch; here the followers of Christ were first called Christians. Peter made frequent missionary journeys through Judea, Samaria, Galilee, Asia Minor, and probably even Greece. He finally fixed his See at Rome.St. Peter presided at the Council of the Apostles in Jerusalem in the year 50 A. D. At the same time that St. Paul was beheaded, St. Peter was crucified head downwards, on Vatican Hill, Rome, 67 A. D. 
  2. St. John, the Beloved Disciple, lived at Ephesus and governed the Church in Asia Minor. In the time of Trajan he was thrown into a caldron of boiling oil, but was miraculously preserved. Later he was banished to Patmos, where he had the revelations which we call the Apocalypse. He died at the age of about 100 years, the last of the Apostles, and the only one who did not die a martyr’s death. He left his Gospel and Epistles. 
  3. St. James the Greater, St. John’s brother, labored in Judea, and according to tradition, travelled as far as Spain. He was the first of the Apostles to be martyred being beheaded in Jerusalem in the year 44, by Herod Agrippa. 
  4. St. Matthew preached among the Ethiopians, Persians, and Parthians, and was martyred in Parthia. He wrote the first of the four Gospels. 
  5. St. James the Less was Bishop of Jerusalem. He was cast down from the pinnacle of the Temple in 63 A. D. He left one Epistle.
  6. St. Andrew, St. Peter’s brother, preached along the lower Danube, and was crucified in Greece.

  7. St. Philip preached in Phrygia and Scythia, and was crucified at Hieropolis.

  8. St. Matthias, chosen to take the place of Judas, preached in Ethiopia, and was martyred in Sebastopolis.

  9. St. Jude preached in Syria, and was martyred in Persia. He wrote the “Catholic Epistle”.

  10. St. Simon preached in North Africa, and was martyred in Persia.

  11. St. Bartholomew preached in India, Arabia, and Assyria. He was flayed and crucified in Armenia.

  12. St. Thomas preached in Persia, Medea, and went as far as India. He was martyred in India, pierced with a lance at the command of the king.

  13. St. Paul was converted miraculously (Acts 9) in the year 34. He of all the Apostles labored the most abundantly. He wrote many Epistles. He is called the Apostle of the Gentiles, because he carried the Gospel to the pagan world. He travelled extensively and successively to Seleucia, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Phrygia, Galatia, Macedonia, Thessalonica, Athens, Corinth, Miletus, and finally Rome. From Rome he went to Spain and the East, then returned to Rome, where he was martyred in 67 A. D.
    Did Christ intend that this power should be exercised by the Apostles alone? –No, Christ intended that this power should be exercised also by their successors, the bishops of the Church. 

  1. The Apostles first preached in Judea on the very first Christian Pentecost. Then they dispersed throughout the different countries of the then known world. Everywhere they preached, baptized, and ruled the Christian communities. They were the first bishops of the Church.“As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20:21). 
  2. The Apostles chose men to assist them, imparting to them greater or less powers. Before leaving a place, they chose a successor with full powers (Acts 14:22). Those who received only a small part of the powers of the Apostles were called deacons. Those given greater power were the priests. Those appointed successors to rule in the place of the Apostles were the bishops. 
  3. Christ had given the Apostles full powers to choose successors, when He gave them the powers His Father had given Him (John 20:21). It was His wish that the Apostles should have successors to continue the Church, which He said would last till the end of the world (Matt. 28:20). Without successors to the Apostles, the Church would have no rulers, and being unorganized would never have lasted.

 

Apostolicity of Catholic Doctrines

(Adapted from Cardinal Gibbons, “Faith of Our Fathers”)


APOSTOLIC CHURCH CATHOLIC CHURCH PROTESTANT CHURCHES
1. Our Saviour gave pre-eminience to Peter over the other Apostles: “I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 16:19). “Strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32). “Feed my lambs; feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17). 1. The Catholic Church gives the primacy of honor and jurisdiction to Peter and to his successors. 1. Other Christian communions deny Peter’s supremacy over the other Apostles.
2. The Apostolic Church claimed to be infallible in her teachings. “When you heard and received from us the word of God, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but, as it truly is, the word of God” (1 Thess. 2:13). 2. The Catholic Church alone, of all the Christian communions, claims to exercise the prerogative of infallibility in her teaching. Her ministers always speak from the pulpit as having authority, and the faithful receive with implicit confidence what the Church teaches, without once questioning her veracity. 2. Protestant churches repudiate the claim of infallibility, denying that such a gift is possessed by any teachers of religion. The ministers advance opinions as embodying their private interpretation of the Bible. Their hearers are expected to draw their own conclusions from the Bible.
3. Our Saviour enjoined and prescribed rules for fasting: “When thou dost fast, anoint thy head and wash thy face, so that thou mayest not be seen by men to fast” (Matt. 6:17). The Apostles fasted before engaging in sacred functions: “They ministered to the Lord, and fasted.” “When they had appointed presbyters for them in each church, with prayer and fasting, they commended them to the Lord” (Acts 14:22). 3. The Church prescribes fasting to the faithful at stated seasons, particularly during Lent.
A Catholic Priest is always fasting when he officiates at the altar. He breaks his fast only after he says Mass. When Bishops ordain Priests they are always fasting, as well as the candidates for ordination.
3. Protestants have no law prescribing fasts, though some may fast from private devotion. They even try to ridicule fasting. Neither candidates for ordination, nor the ministers who ordain them are ever required to fast on such occasions.
4. St. Peter and St. John confimed the newly baptized in Samaria. “They laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:17) 4. Every Catholic Bishop, as a successor of the Apostles, likewise imposes hands on baptized persons in the Sacrament of Confirmation, by which they receive the Holy Ghost. 4. No denomination performs the ceremony of imposing hands except Episcopalians, and even they do not recognize Confirmation as a Sacrament.
5. Our Saviour and His Apostles taught that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ: “Take and eat; this is my body … All of you drink of this, for this is my blood” (Matt. 26:28). “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the sharing of the blood of Christ? And the bread that we break is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?” (1 Cor. 10:16). 5. The Catholic Church teaches, with our Lord and His Apostles, that the Eucharist is truly and indeed the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine. 5. The Protestant churches; condemn the doctrine of the Real Presence as idolatrous, and say that, in partaking of the communion, we receive only a memorial of Christ.
6. The Apostles were empowered by our Saviour to forgive sins: “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them” (John 20:23). “God,” says St. Paul, “hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 7:10,11) 6. The Bishops and Priests of the Catholic Church, as the inheritors of Apostolic prerogatives, profess to exercise the ministry of reconciliation and to forgive sins in the name of Christ. 6. Protestants affirm on the contrary, that God delegates to no man the power of pardoning sin.
7. Regarding the sick, St. James gave this instruction: “Is any one among you sick? Let him bring in the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14). 7. One of the most ordinary duties of a Catholic Priest is to anoint the sick in the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. If a man is sick among us he is careful to call in the Priest of the Church that he may anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 7. No such sacrament as that of anointing the sick is practiced by any Protestant denomination, not withstanding the Apostle’s injunction.
8. Of marriage our Saviour said: “Whoever puts away his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if the wife puts away her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:11,12). And again St. Paul said: “To those who are married, not I, but the Lord commands that a wife is not to depart from her husband, and if she departs, that she is to remain unmarried … And let not a husband put away his wife” (1 Cor. 7:10,11). 8. Literally following the Apostle’s injunction, the Catholic Church forbids the husband and wife to separate from one another; or, if they separate, neither of them can marry again during the life of the other. 8. The Protestant churches, as is well known, have so far relaxed this law of the Gospel as to allow divorced persons to remarry, during the lifetime of those they have divorced.
9. Our Lord recommended not only by word but by His example, to souls aiming at perfection, the state of perpetual chastity. St. Paul also exhorted the Corinthians by counsel and his own example to the same angelic virtue: “He who gives his virgin in marriage does well, and he who does not give her does better” (1 Cor. 7:38). 9. Like the Apostle and his Master, the Catholic clergy bind themselves to a life of perpetual chastity. The members of our religious communities for men and women voluntarily consecrate their chastity to God. 9. All the ministers of other denominations are permitted to marry. And far from inculcating the Apostolic counsel of celibacy to any of their flock, they more than insinuate that the virtue of perpetual chastity, though recommended by St. Paul, is impracticable.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

​Foundation of the Church

Ninth Article of the Apostles’ Creed

 

 

From among His disciples Our Lord chose twelve Apostles, and gave them special training. He sent them forth to teach His doctrines, saying, “As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” The Apostles were the foundation of the True Church. Christ gave them all power and authority, saying, “He who hears you hears me: he who rejects you rejects me.”
    Did Jesus Christ found a Church? –Yes; all history, religious and non-religious, including the Bible, clearly proves that Jesus Christ founded a Church. 

  1. After teaching publicly what He required all to believe and practice, thereby announcing the main doctrines of His Church, Christ gathered a number of disciples. From them He chose twelve, to whom He gave special instruction and training. The term “a kingdom”, by which Our Lord used to refer to His Church, implies organized authority. And He said to the special men He had chosen, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16). He did not teach the disciples for themselves alone, but to be the foundation of His Church. God did not come to save only a few disciples, but all men. 
  2. Christ said to the men He had chosen: “As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20:21), bidding them go and preach the doctrines He had taught. He sent them to all nations, promising salvation to those that should believe, and threatening condemnation to those refusing to believe.“He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). God is just; He would not have threatened condemnation to unbelievers unless He had furnished the means whereby they could believe. His Church is this means; all men must join it. 
  3. Not only did the men chosen by Christ have authority; He gave them extraordinary powers, particularly the twelve special men, the Apostles. “Then having summoned his twelve disciples, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every kind of disease and infirmity” (Matt. 10:1).
       

    1. They had power to sanctify, when Christ bade them: “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). 
    2. They had power to forgive sin, when Christ said to them: “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them” (John 20:23). 
    3. They had power to rule when Christ said: “He who hears you hears me; and he who rejects you rejects me; and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16). And: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven” (Matt. 18:18). 
    4. They had power to offer sacrifice, when at the Last Supper Christ, after instituting the Eucharist, bade them:“Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:24-25).

     

  4. After training the disciples and Apostles to form the organization of His Church, Christ chose Simon Peter, and made him the Chief. Simon, whose name Christ changed to Peter, was the Head of the Church. On Simon Christ promised to build His Church, saying: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” (Matt. 16:18). After the Resurrection He confirmed Peter’s authority over the Church, saying to him: “Feed my lambs; feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17). 
  5. Finally, He promised to remain for all time with the Church He established. If the death of Our Lord were to do good only to a few persons then living in Judea, its merits would have been very limited. But it could do good to future generations only if there were an organization with authority to carry on His teachings and preserve them from all change. This is His Church.
    Why did Jesus Christ found the Church? –Jesus Christ founded the Church to bring all men to eternal salvation.Our Lord Jesus Christ established the Church in order to lead men to heaven by:

       

    1. Continuing His teaching and example; and 
    2. Applying the fruits of His Sacrifice on the cross to all men until the end of the world. Our Lord gave to the Church a three-fold office: the office of teacher, the office of priest or sanctifier, and the office of pastor or ruler. By these offices Christ intended His Church to accomplish the purpose for which He founded it.

     

  1. After Pentecost Sunday the Apostles began to carry out their mission of making disciples of all nations. Through them and their successors this mission continues and will continue to the end of the world. On the first Pentecost about three thousand were received into the Church after St. Peter’s sermon. They were the first members converted and baptized since the Ascension of Our Lord.
    Was the Church founded by Christ a visible organization? –The Church founded by Christ was a visible organization, with certain distinguishing marks. 

  1. No one can deny that Jesus Christ gathered disciples, and out of them chose twelve Apostles, to whom He gave special instruction and orders. He formed them as the foundation of His organization; was this not visible? Speaking of a stubborn man, He said: “If he refuse to hear even the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen” (Matt. 18:17). And He promised his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven” (Matt. 18:18). Surely something must be visible to bind and loose, to be heard and obeyed. And Christ referred to this visible organization as a city set on a mountain, that cannot be hidden (Matt. 5:14). 
  2. From the very beginning the Apostles exercised their authority and powers; these were signs of a very visible organization. They did not advise; they directed, as superiors, and decided, as judges. Thus St. Paul excommunicated the sinful Corinthian; and he commanded the Hebrews: “Obey your superiors, and be subject to them” (Heb. 13: 17). 
  3. The Apostles and Fathers condemned schism. This fact implies a visible organization; for how can there be schism against an invisible body? St. Paul urged the Corinthians: “By the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ … that there be no dissensions among you” (1 Cor. 1:10). And St. Cyprian in the third century wrote: “Whoever is separated from the Church is separated from the promises of Christ … One cannot have God as a Father who has not the Church as his mother.”


This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

Vatican II: worth forgetting, but numbers that cannot be forgotten

For more info on what has been going on to the Catholic Church please see link below:

http://www.traditionalmass.org/issues/

The following statistics via CARA:

As numbers don’t lie, the three charts above show the undeniable slow death of the Church. It also shows the so-called “Francis Effect” has had zero effect on Sunday Mass attendance.

Now, for a glimpse of what the Church was. The numbers of Pius XII, the pontiff preceding the Council, are below. And they are equally as staggering in a good way as the post-Council numbers are devastatingly bad:

THE OATH AGAINST MODERNISM

Given by His Holiness St. Pius X September 1, 1910.

To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:19), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical’ misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili,especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. . .