Category Archives: Vatican 2

​Schism and Heresy

 

Our Lord said; “Everyone therefore who hears these my words and acts upon them, shall be likened to a wise man who built his house on rock. And the rain fell, and the floods come, and the winds blew and beat against that house, but it did not fall, because it was founded on rock. And everyone who hears these my words and does not act upon them, shall be likened to a foolish man who built his house on sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and was utterly ruined” (Matt. 7:24-27). Non-Catholic churches are the “house upon sand”; they rise up and fall. The Catholic Church is the “house upon rock”; it will last forever.

    What is schism; and what is heresy? –Schism is the refusal to submit to the authority of the Pope; heresy is the formal denial or doubt by a baptized person of any revealed truth of the Catholic Faith.Apostasy is the total rejection of his Faith by a baptized Christian. With heresy and schism, and supported by persecution, it has caused divisions in the True Church, and the rise of other churches. 

  1. Christ predicted divisions in the Church, and the rise of other churches. From the time of the Apostles new denominations have sprung up, and have divided and subdivided, to form other denominations. With other churches that are non-Christian, the Christian denominations have opposed the Apostolic Church.“For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24) 
  2. After some time, separated as it is from the authority of the Pope,. a schismatical church is led into errors in doctrine. Today schismatical churches deny the infallibility of the Pope.
    What were the most important schisms and heresies that have tried to destroy the Church? –Of the numerous schisms and heresies, the following may be mentioned: 

  1. Arius was a priest of Alexandria who taught that Jesus Christ was not God. The heresy of Arius spread rapidly, and was supported by the Roman emperors. He was condemned by the First General Council of the Church at Nicea, in the year 325; the Council declared the divinity of Christ.In a few centuries the Arian sect was divided and swept away by other errors. Today we know Arius only by name: he has passed on, but the Church he fought still lives, upholding Christ’s divinity.Another heretic of the early days was Macedonius, who denied the divinity of the Holy Ghost. His theories were condemned by the Council of Constantinople in the year 381.In the fifth century Pelagius denied original sin, and declared grace not necessary for salvation. The doctrines were condemned by the synods of Milevi and Carthage, and the decision ratified by the Pope.

    Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, in the fifth century taught the doctrine that Jesus Christ was two persons: a man and God the Son; only the man Jesus was born of Mary and died on the cross. As a consequence the Nestorians rejected the title “Mother of God” for the Blessed Virgin. The Third Council in Ephesus, 431, condemned the heresies.

    As a form of extreme reaction from Nestorianism, the Monophysites, held that Jesus Christ had only one nature, his divinity totally engulfing his humanity. Dioscoros, Patriarch of Alexandria, was the chief propagator of the heresy, which was condemned by the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

    In an effort to call back the Monophysites to the Church, the heresy of Monothelitism arose. The chief doctrine was that Christ had a single will; the heresy was condemned by the Council of Constantinople in 681.

    In the year 727, the Greek emperor Leo forbade all veneration to images on the ground that such veneration was idolatry. The heresy spread, and mobs entered churches to break images, to burn and destroy priceless works of art. Great harm was done to the people and their faith, before this heresy, called Iconoclasm (image-breaking) , died out. The Council of Nicea in 787 defined the true doctrine of the Church.

     

  2. The greatest schism suffered by the Christian Church was that of the East, resulting in the establishment of the Orthodox Eastern Church. The Eastern emperors, desiring more power in the Church, tried to make the patriarchs of Constantinople independent of Rome. Finally, Photius, with the support of the emperor, held a council of Eastern bishops in the year 867, and broke from Rome.The cause of the schism was not doctrinal, but rather political and material,-jealousy between the East and the West. It has resulted in the separation from Rome of 145 million people with valid priesthood and sacraments. In the United States there are a number of schismatical churches, among them the Greek Orthodox, and the Russian Church.
       

    1. After minor schisms and misunderstandings between East and West in 1054 there was a final break by Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople, continuing today.Today the Orthodox Eastern Church remains in schism, but does not spread. It is a withered branch, having cut itself off from the parent tree. 
    2. The Orthodox Eastern Church denies the Catholic dognia that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son. It also teaches that the souls of the just will not attain complete happiness till the end of the world, when they will be joined to their bodies; and that the souls of the wicked will not suffer complete torture in hell until that last day. These are heresies against the doctrines of the Church.Thus it can be seen that today the Orthodox Eastern Church is not merely schismatical, but truly heretical; for it holds primary doctrines in a different light. But it has valid orders. 

     

  3. In the 12th century Albigensianism arose in southern France. It upheld dualism: two opposing creative principles, the good creating the spiritual world, and the evil creating the material world.The Albigenses went to excesses, recommending suicide, forbidding marriage, asserting that Our Lord did not have a human body, denying the resurrection of the body. The heresy was condemned by the Fourth Lateran Council, 1215. 
  4. As an offshoot of Albigensianism, Waldensianism spread throughout Spain, Lombardy, Bohemia, and neighboring countries. The heresy continued until the outbreak of Protestantism, when it merged with this.The Waldenses denied the existence of Purgatory, combatted indulgences, asserted that laymen could preach and absolve, oaths were unlawful, sinful priests had no valid power of ministry, etc.But out of evil God has often drawn good. Each schism and heresy has led to profound study in the Church, study of Scholars to discover the correct interpretation of doctrine under dispute. In this way light came from darkness. As wise St. Augustine said: “Those who err in doctrine only serve to show forth more clearly the soundness of those who believe aright.” 
  5. In the fourteenth century, Wycliff in England taught that the Bible was the sole rule of faith, that there was no freedom of the will, that confession was useless, that the Pope had no primacy.Adopting the theories of Wycliff, Huss in Bohemia spread the errors. Political considerations complicated the heresy; fighting broke out, lasting years.Comments by Roger Owen(RMO):NOTE: The greatest schism of the Catholic Church occurred at Vatican II in the 1960s that hijacked almost all those who were once truly Catholic. The primary heresies introduced by Vatican II and afterwards are: false religious freedom/liberty, collegiality, there is salvation outside the Church implying that differences in doctrine do not matter in attaining salvation, false ecumenism, implying with the use of the word “subsists” that separated churches subsist in the Catholic Church and that the Church Christ founded is NOT one and the same as the Catholic Church, but two separa ies, a new definition of the Mass ignoring Christ’s Real Presence and excessively focusing on His mystical presence, natural family planning (NFP) practiced erroneously, and sex education in the schools instead of by the parents in the home.

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

Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Enjoy these in depth sermons as well the efficacious prayer shared below. God Bless You!


http://www.traditionalcatholicsermons.org/MiscArchives/FrVia_IHM_Part1_2007.mp3

http://www.traditionalcatholicsermons.org/MiscArchives/FrVia_IHM_Part2_2007.mp3

http://www.traditionalcatholicsermons.org/MiscArchives/FrVia_IHM_Part3_2007.mp3

http://www.traditionalcatholicsermons.org/MiscArchives/FrVia_IHM_Part4_2007.mp3


St. Athanasius Church, Vienna, Virginia (USA) May 12, 2017

Most Holy Mother of God, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Seat of Mercy, Seat of Goodness, Seat of Pardon, sure door by which souls are to enter Heaven, see on their knees before you four sons of Archbishop Lefebvre, four bishops striving to do what they can to help you to obtain from the Pope and bishops of your Divine Son’s one true Church that Consecration of Russia to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart which can alone obtain peace for mankind, now in the shadow of a frightful third World War.
In Fatima, Portugal, one hundred years ago, you first warned mankind of the Second World War to come, of famine and persecutions, if people would not cease offending God. To prevent these disasters, you promised to return to ask for the Consecration of Russia to your Immaculate Heart, and for the Communion of Reparation of First Saturdays. If your requests were heeded, Russia would be converted, and there would be peace. If not, disasters would follow and Russia would spread its errors throughout the world. Twelve years later you returned as you had promised, and you made the double request.
However, trusting in human means to solve the Church’s grave problems, the Catholic churchmen did not immediately do what you had requested. Two years later your Divine Son Himself warned mankind through Sister Lucy of Fatima, that since His ministers were delaying to carry out His command, they would suffer grave consequences: Russia would spread its errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church, and the Pope would suffer greatly. Still the Pope perferres his human means of dealing with Russia.
In 1936 Our Lord explained to Sister Lucy that Russia’s conversion depended upon its consecration to your Immaculate Heart because He wanted the whole Church to recognize that, that conversion was a triumph of your Heart, so that devotion to your Heart would rank alongside devotion to His own Sacred Heart.

Still the churchmen hesitated, so that in 1939 the terrible Second World War broke out, and all over the world Communism extended its power. Immediately after the war your pilgrim statues of Fatima had great success, but still the churchmen would not do exactly as you had requested, and so in 1957 before Sister Lucy was silenced by the churchmen, she expressed your own sadness that neither good people nor bad people had paid attention to the message of Fatima. You said that the good people gave it no importance, while the bad cared nothing about it. But you warned us once more that a terrible punishment was imminent.
Just three years later that punishment began with the churchmen’s refusal to make public the third part of your Secret message of Fatima, which you had asked them to publish at the latest in 1960. By an almost unpardonable lie they pretended that you had told them, that from 1960 onwards they might publish it, and this effort of theirs to stifle your message of Fatima has continued ever since, culminating in the year 2000. But you have never given up your attempts to save us, while the churchmen were even mire severely punished by the blindness which overwhelmed them at the Second Vatican Council. In the third part of the Secret it is most likely that you had warned against exactly the errors which prevailed at that Council. And now the entire Church is in darkness, and the world is in the brink of the third and most terrible World War.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, most Holy Mother of God, we cry to you in our distress. Help of Christians, Refugee of Sinners, Comforter of the Afflicted we trust in you. Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Mother of the Church, we implore your most loving, maternal and Immaculate Heart to have mercy upon us poor sinners, your children; hear and answer our plea. We beg of you to obtain from your Divine Son, the graces necessary for the Holy Father and the bishops to fulfill without further delay the long standing-command of Heaven, by consecrating with the bishops of the entire world, Holy Russia to your Immaculate Heart, as was requested and in the manner requested by you, on behalf of the Most Holy Trinity so long ago, and which has yet to be accomplished. 
Immaculate Heart of Mary, you know-how much suffering mankind would have avoided over the last ninety years if only one of the Popes during that time had heeded your request for the Consecration of Russia. Mother of God, you had heeded your request for the Consecration of Russia. Mother of God, you and your Divine Son alone know what a frightful chastisement is now hanging over the heads of mankind if the Popes, for whatever inadequate human reasons, still refuse your request. If it depends upon them, they are liable to prevaricate, although you told us one hundred years ago how much that would make them suffer. Mother of God, your Divine Son can refuse you nothing that you ask of Him. He wishes the Consecration to depend on you, because He wishes your Immaculate Heart to be honored a the source of the Consecration’s triumph. Holy Mother of God, most humbly upon our knees we beg of you to obtainthose graces needed by the Pope to perform the Consecration. 
Meanwhile before you here today, we command, we entrust, and we do whatever lies within our power, to consecrate Russia to your Immaculate Heart, not because we can remotely take the place of the Pope and the bishops of the whole world, but because we wish to honor your requests as far as we can. If only Holy Russia became Catholic once more, the Eastern Church might resurrect the Western Church, presently devasted by materialism and atheism. Mother of God, we commend our own selves also to your protect ton and to your all-powerful intercession with Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, but who is at the same time a Son who infinitely loves His Mother, and will do anything she asks. Beloved and Blessed Mother, we have not a shadow of doubt that in the end your Immaculate Heart will triumph.

​Indefectibility of the Church

 

The Catholic Church will endure to the end of time, for it is founded on a rock. The powers of evil will beat in vain against it. They will break themselves and perish, but the Church will remain, indefectible. The testimony of almost two thousand years proves the perpetuity of the Church. Nothing that malice and envy could invent; nothing that the world, the flesh; and the devil could do have been left untried in the past 1900 years. Still the Church is with us, exactly as Christ founded it, and stronger than ever.

 

    What is meant by the indefectibility of the Catholic Church? –By the indefectibility of the Catholic Church is meant that the Church, as Christ founded it, will last until the end of time.The Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that Christ “shall be king over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33) 

  1. Christ meant His Church to endure to the end of the world. It is to be indestructible and unchanging,-to possess indefectibility. Christ, God Himself, could scarcely have come, and with such incredible pain and labor have founded a Church which would die with the Apostles.He came to save all men. Those to live in future ages needed salvation as much as the people of Apostolic times. 
  2. Christ said to Peter: “Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). By the “gates of hell”, He meant all the power of the devil-all kinds of attacks, physical violence as well as false teaching.Christ promises here that the Church would be assailed always, but never overcome. This promise of Our Lord has been proved for almost 2000 years by the facts of history. Not one of the persecutors of the Church has prevailed over it. On the contrary, many of them have come to a fearful end. There will always be Popes, bishops, and laity, to Compose the Church; the truths taught by Our Lord will always be found in His Church. 
  3. After telling His Apostles to teach, all nations, Christ said: “Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28:20).As the Apostles were not to live to the end of the world, Christ must have been addressing them as representatives of a perpetual Church. 
  4. The Apostles themselves understood Christ to mean that His Church should endure. After organizing Christian communities, they appointed successors in their place, to live after them and carry on the Church.The Apostles instructed these successors to ordain in turn other bishops and priests. All these acts were to assure the perpetuity of the Church. 
  5. Christ intended the Church to remain as He founded it, to preserve the whole of what He taught, and the shining marks which He gave it in the beginning. If the Church lost any of the qualities that God gave it, it could not be said to be indefectible, because it would not be the same institution. Indefectibility implies unchangeability.Our Lord promised to abide by the Church, to assist it, and to send the Holy Ghost to remain in it. God does not change: “Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28:20). 
  6. Because of its indefectibility the truths revealed by God will always be taught in the Catholic Church. St. Ambrose said: “The Church is like the moon; it may wane, but never be destroyed; it may be darkened, but it can never disappear.”St. Anselm said that the bark of the Church may be swept by the waves, but it can never sink, because Christ is there. When the Church is in greatest need, Christ comes to its help by miracles, or by raising up saintly men to strengthen and purify it. It is the bark of Peter; when the storm threatens to sink it, the Lord awakens from His sleep, and commands the winds and the waves into calm: “Peace; be still!”
    Has the Catholic Church actually proved itself indefectible? –The Catholic Church has, throughout its long history, proved itself indefectible, against all kinds of attack from within and without, against every persecution and every heresy and schism.As its Founder was persecuted, so the Catholic Church has been and ever will be persecuted. “You will be brought before governors and kings for my sake” (Matt. 10:18). “And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake” (Matt. 10:22). “No disciple is above his teacher, nor is the servant above his master” (Matt. 10:24).They will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues” (Mark 13:9). “They will arrest you, and persecute you” (Luke 21:12).

     

  1. The Church survived three hundred years of incredible persecution under pagan Rome. Of the 33 Popes that ruled before the Edict of Milan, 30 died as martyrs. That mighty Empire, with its colossal strength, before whose standard the nations quailed, could not kill the infant Church or stop its progress. In a short time the Popes were ruling where the imperial Caesars had issued edicts against the Christian Church.The Roman Empire waged ten fierce persecutions against the Church, but could not destroy it. In the year 313 the Emperor Constantine was converted, and granted the Church freedom by the Edict of Milan. 
  2. Then for two centuries hordes of barbarians swept upon civilized Europe, destroying the old Roman Empire. The Church not only survived, but converted and civilized the barbarians.God’s ever-watchful providence brought about the conversion of the Frankish king Clovis, with a great number of his warriors. This was the beginning of the firm establishment of the Church in the Frankish kingdom, although missionaries had gone there from the first century. In the eighth century St. Boniface converted Middle and Northern Germany, until then the home of violent paganism. 
  3. For nine centuries Mohammedanism threatened Christian civilization. It was the Church under the Popes that urged the nations to league against Mohammedanism.In the sixteenth century the Mohammedan menace was removed. 
  4. Not only non-Christians, but its own rebellious children have persecuted the Church. From the beginning heresy has attacked it from within. And still the Church lives, greater than ever, changeless, indefectible.The long history of the Catholic Church is attended by schism and heresy, but each attack has only strengthened it. It has continued to live and spread in spite of everything and everybody. 
  5. The Church is the Bride of Christ, cast into prison, starved, thrown to the beasts, trampled underfoot, hacked, tortured, crucified, and burned. But this fair Bride emerges from it all in the bloom and freshness of youth, serene, calm, immortal.

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

​Sphere of Infallibility

 

Since the time of Christ, from the first council of the Apostles in Jerusalem in the year 50, to the last Vatican Council in 1870, there have been held in all twenty-one general or ecumenical councils. The Vatican Council, shown above, declared the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope.

 

    When does the Church teach infallibly? –The Church teaches infallibly when it defines, through the Pope alone, as the teacher of all Christians, or through the Pope and the bishops, a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by all the faithful.The Church, as the representative or substitute of Jesus Christ on earth, is infallible, and speaks with His own words: “This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). 

  1. When the Church makes an infallible pronouncement, we are not to suppose that a new doctrine is being introduced. For instance, when the Holy Father in 1854 defined the Blessed Virgin’s Immaculate Conception as an article of faith, the infallible definition was not a proclamation of a new doctrine, but was merely an announcement of an article of faith true from the very beginning, and publicly defined only in order to make the dogma clear to all and to be believed as part of the deposit of faith left to the Church.Another example is the definition of the Holy Father’s infallibility, made in 1870 by the Vatican Council. The dogma was true from the very beginning, and had been universally held. But as in recent times many objections were being made against it, the Bishops in the Vatican Council thought it best, in order to make clear the stand of the Church, to make an infallible definition. 
  2. The Church makes infallible pronouncements on doctrines of faith and morals, on their interpretation, on the Bible and Tradition, and the interpretation of any part or parts of these. The dogma of the Inmaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin was an interpretation of a long-standing Tradition in the Church.The Church also pronounces on the truth or falsity of opinions, teachings, customs, etc., with relation to fundamental doctrines. Another subject on which the Church makes infallible declarations is in the canonization of Saints. All whom the Church has raised to the glory of the altar by a solemn canonization are undoubtedly now in heaven, enjoying eternal bliss in the presence of God.
    When does the Church teach infallibly through the Pope alone? –The Church teaches infallibly through the Pope alone, when he speaks officially (ex cathedra) as the Supreme Head, for the entire universal Church.As the Pope has authority over the Church, he could not err in his official teaching without leading the Church into error. As Our Lord said to Peter, the first Pope: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32).In order to speak infallibly, the Pope must speak ex-cathedra, or officially, under the following conditions: 

  1. He must pronounce himself on a subject of faith or morals. Infallibility is restricted to questions regarding faith and morals. The Church pronounces on natural sciences and on legislation only when the perversity of men makes of them instruments for opposing revealed truths.If the Pope should make judgments on mathematics or civil governments, he is as liable to error as any other man with the same experience. Letters to kings and other rulers are not infallible pronouncements. However, we should hold the Pope’s opinions on any subject with great respect, on account of his position and experience. 
  2. He must speak as the Vicar of Christ, in his office as Pope, and to the whole Church, to all the faithful throughout the world. In his capacity as private teacher, for example, in his encyclical letters, he is as any other teacher of the Church.Should the Pope, like Benedict XIV, write a treatise on Canon Law, his book would be written in a private capacity, and liable to error, just as the books of other theologians. We accept, not on faith, but in obedience to his authority, out of respect for his experience and wisdom. 
  3. He must make clear by certain words his intention to speak ex-cathedra. These words are most often used: “We proclaim,” “we define,” etc.The Pope’s infallible decrees are termed “doctrinal,” since they involve doctrine. From the earliest days of the Church, the infallibility of the Pope has been acknowledged. In the year 417 the Holy See condemned the Pelagian errors; St. Augustine cried out the famous words, “Rome has spoken; the cause is ended!” The Council of Florence in 1439 called the Pope “the Father and Teacher of Christians.”
    When does the Church teach infallibly through the Pope and the bishops? –The Church teaches infallibly through the Pope and the bishops when convened in a general (or ecumenical) council. [when they INTEND to teach infallibly(RMO)] 

  1. A General Council is an assembly convened by the Holy See, of all the bishops of the world, and others entitled to vote. It represents the teaching body of the Church, and must be infallible.In the year 50 the Apostles held the first General Council in Jerusalem. Its decisions were proclaimed as coming from God, the final decree beginning with these words: “For the Holy Spirit and we have decided to lay no further burden upon you” (Acts 15:28) 
  2. Over a General Council, the Pope or his legate presides; a representative number of bishops and others entitled to vote, such as cardinals, abbots, and generals of certain religious orders, must be present. Upon confirmation by the Pope, a General Council’s decrees are binding on all Christians.It must be understood that the decrees of a General Council have no binding authority until confirmed by the Pope. There is no appeal from the Pope to a General Council. 
  3. A unanimous vote is not necessary for an infallible decision of a general council; a great majority is sufficient.The most notable of the General Councils so far held following the Council of Jerusalem have been: (1) the Council of Nicea, in the year 325, which pronounced against the heresy of Arius; (2) the Council of Ephesus, in the year 425, which declared Mary the Mother of God; (3) the Council of Nicea. in 787, which declared the veneration of images as lawful and profitable; (4) the Council of Trent, 1545-1563, which declared against the heresies of Luther; (5) the Council of the Vatican, 1870, which defined as an article of faith the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope. 
  4. Even when the bishops are not gathercd together in one place, they form the teaching body of the Church, united with the Pope. Therefore their voice must be infallible, otherwise the universal Church would be led into error. For the same reason as above, the daily ordinary uniform teaching of the Church in every place in the whole World is infallibly true.“Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

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

​Infallibility of the Church

 

The Church cannot teach error, because it was founded by Christ, God Himself. He sent forth His Apostles with full powers to preach His Gospel. He said. “As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20:21). “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever. . . . But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your mind whatever I have said to you” (John 14:16,26).

 

    What is meant by the infallibility of the Catholic Church? –By the infallibility of the Catholic Church is meant that the Church, by the special assistance of the Holy Ghost, cannot err when it teaches or believes a doctrine of faith and morals.Christ promised: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and teach all nations … teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28:20). If Christ is with the Church all days, it cannot err in teaching; it cannot lead men away from God. 

  1. “Infallibility” is often distorted by enemies of the Church to mean “impeccability”, and therefore derided. Infallibility is freedom from error; impeccability is freedom from sin. In an institution established by God for the salvation of men, error in doctrine is unthinkable.Every teacher in the Church, from the Pope down to the humblest priest, like all of the faithful, is capable of falling into sin. But in the Catholic Church, because of the promise of Infallibility, the Holy Ghost cannot permit the purity of a single doctrine to be stained. 
  2. Jesus Christ promised to preserve the Church from error. If His prediction and promises were false, then He would not be God, since God cannot lie. Christ said: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” If therefore the Church falls into error, the gates of hell certainly would prevail against it.Christ promised: “I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever … He will teach you all the truth” (John 14). If the Church can err, then the Holy Ghost cannot abide in it and Christ has failed to keep His promise-a thing absolutely impossible. 
  3. A doctrine of faith is something we must believe in order to be saved. A doctrine of morals is something we must do in order to be saved.For example, we must believe the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity: that there are Three Divine Persons in One God. We must believe that Jesus Christ is God. We must believe in the Blessed Virgin Mary’s immaculate conception.Of things we must do are these: we must go to Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation; we must fast and abstain when our bishops so order; we must receive Holy Communion at least once a year. We must obey the Ten Commandments. 
  4. Jesus Christ commanded all men to listen to and obey the Church, under pain of damnation. If His Church can teach error, then He is responsible for the error, by commanding all to obey.Jesus sent forth His Apostles with full powers to preach His Gospel: “As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you.” – “Make disciples of all nations teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” – “Preach the Gospel to every creature.”
       

    1. Christ said: “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who does Hot believe shall be condemned” (Mark 16: 16). A just God could not command men under penalty of damnation to believe what is false. So the teaching of the Church must be infallibly true.He said: “You shall be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the very ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Since it was physically impossible for the Apostles to preach to the whole world, the mission must have been intended also for their successors to the end of time, our Catholic Bishops and priests. 
    2. Christ said: “If he refuse to hear even the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican” (Matt. 18:17) “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) .He said, “And whoever does not receive you, or listen to your words-go forth outside that house or town, and shake off the dust from your feet. Amen I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that town” (Matt. 10:14-16).

     

  5. No Christian denies that the Apostles were infallible. In fact, in the first century, they were the only authority in the Church. The Bible was not completed till the end of that century, not within reach of all.But God loves the Christians of today as much as He did the primitive Christians. We have as much need of unerring teachers as they. The Apostolic Church of the 20th century must therefore be as infallible as the Apostolic Church. 
  6. An infallible Bible is no use without an infallible interpreter. History has proved this, in the multiplication of the innumerable denominations that deny the infallibility of the Church. By infallibility, the faithful know exactly what to believe and what to do in order that they may be pleasing to God and save their souls. They have surety; they need suffer no doctrinal doubt.It is a great blessing that, in the midst of the everchanging views of men and the conflict of human opinion, there is one voice crying out in unerring tones: “Thus saith the Lord.”
    Has the Church in fact proved itself infallible? –It is a historical fact that the Catholic Church, from the twentieth century back to the first, has not once ceased to teach a doctrine on faith or morals previously held, and with the same interpretation; the Church has proved itself infallible. 

  1. It is a historical fact that not one Pope, whatever he was in his private life, has ever taught error.“The Scribes and the Pharisees have sat on the chair of Moses. All things, therefore, that they command you, observe and do. But do not act according to their works.” By obeying the Pope, every Christian can live as Christ commanded, in any age. 
  2. True, some high rulers of the Church have gravely sinned. Nevertheless, enemies of the Church have exaggerated even the lack of impeccability. In the long line of Popes the vast majority led virtuous lives. Many of them are honored as Saints and martyrs. The enemies of the Church can bring charges against only five or six Popes: Most of the charges are calumnies or exaggerations. But even if the charges were true, they prove nothing against infallibility.Of the Sovereign Pontiffs that have succeeded Peter, 84 are canonized Saints, of whom 32 were martyrs. However holy the Pope, he regularly goes to confession to a priest. No Pope ever considers himself above the laws of the Church and of God. 
  3. The Church cannot change its teachings on faith and morals. But it may restate the doctrines more clearly and completely. Year after year the Church proclaims the same unchanging doctrines. Her doctrines need no reform, for they are of Divine origin, the work of the Incarnate God.No Pope or general Council in almost two thousand years has annulled or revoked a single decree of faith or morals enacted by a previous Pope or Council. This is history.

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

The Laity

 

“I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, even as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold. Them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:14-16). All those not baptized are sheep of Christ that have not yet heard His voice. They must also be brought into the Church. Protestants are sheep that have left the fold of Christ. They must return to the Church, if they would hear the voice of Christ, the Good Shepherd, Who lovingly calls them to His True Church.

 

    Who are the laity of the Church? –The. laity of the Church are all its members who do not belong to the clerical or to the religious state. 

  1. All members of the Church, whether clerical, religious, or lay, are termed “the faithful.” After Baptism we join the ranks.The laity must remember that they are part of the Church. They must understand that when anyone speaks of the “Church” they are included, as we include the heart and mind of a man with his soul when we speak of him. The Church is you and I. 
  2. The clerical state includes all priests and aspirants to the priesthood who have received tonsure. Students of seminaries are aspirants to the priesthood.“Tonsure” is the rite by which a layman is initiated into the clerical state. The bishop, or any delegated prelate, cuts the candidate’s hair in some prescribed form, and invests him with a surplice. 
  3. The religious state includes those who are members of religious orders or congregations, bound by either temporary or perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, obedience.Aspirants, postulants, and novices are preparing to embrace the religious state.
    Do Catholic Sinners continue to belong to the Church? –Yes. 

  1. Unless one cuts himself off by heresy, apostasy, or excommunication, a Catholic sinner continues to be a member of the Church. Those in mortal sin are called “dead members”, for their soul dead in sin.Indeed the Church is the Church of Saints; but the greatest part of its activities has to be for sinners. Perhaps we may say, without fear of contradiction, that most of the members of the Church are sinners. We all fall away from the ideal, at some time or other; then the Church calls, to bring us back. 
  2. Until we attain heavenly bliss, there will always be the darkness of sin, the pain of evil. Christ Himself spoke of bad fish with the good, of cockle among the wheat.Of the sheep in the fold, one wanders out. But Our Lord longs for the wanderer, let us help bring him back. 
  3. God gave Catholics the grace of their holy religion. But He also gave them their free will. And they are free to choose: whether to act in full accordance with His commands and counsels, or whether to practice only a part, or whether to violate those commands.There is a wide gap between belief and practice; it is that gap that divides Catholics into practical and nominal Catholics.
    Must the faithful think and act alike? –No. 

  1. The faithful must believe in all the doctrines entrusted by Christ to His Church, and act in accordance with those doctrines; but these pertain to the field of faith and morals, not to other matters. Therefore there is no question about “thinking and acting alike,” among the 425,000,000 Catholics in the world.Each Catholic is an individual. He must believe that Jesus Christ is God; but with one of his Catholic friends he may differ concerning the best political party to join. He must not deny his Church, but he may argue with the parish priest about who should be one’s favorite Saints. 
  2. The Church is for no particular class, whether millionaires, or laborers, scientists or children; the Church is classless, and for all classes, for all men. These cannot all act and think in one uniform pattern.The different classes among Catholics arise from causes apart from the Church, such as racial, cultural, and social causes. But anywhere and everywhere one can be a good Catholic. 
  3. Good Catholics believe alike in this: that they are members of a divinely-established Church, the well-being of which it is their duty to further, by striving to attain the perfection indicated by Christ.The Church presents us with the ideal, and provides the means to reach that ideal, inviting and urging us, feeding and shepherding the flock. But the Church does not guarantee salvation for all the faithful; because among its doctrines the freedom of the will is as fundamental as the divine authority of the Church.
    How can the laity help the Church in the care of souls? –The laity can help the Church in the care of souls by leading lives that will reflect credit on the Church, and by cooperating with their bishops and priests, especially through Catholic Action.“Even so, let your light shine before men, in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). 

  1. A good Catholic makes serious efforts to save his soul. He keeps the commandments of God and the Church. He receives the sacraments. He does all things prescribed by Christ through the Church.Therefore, he must know his religion. He must not be ignorant of Christian doctrine, for by it he learns how to save his soul. By it he learns what to believe, and what to do. 
  2. A good Catholic obeys his ecclesiastical superiors in spiritual matters, and gives them due respect. He sees in his lawful superiors Christ’s representatives on earth.He is loyal to the Church in word and deed. He does not criticise it, or make derogatory remark about it. Even if his priests may have faults, he tries his best not to bring them and the Church into contempt. If the faults are public and grievous, he may bring the matter to the attention of lawful authority, but always with great prudence. 
  3. According to his means, he contributes towards the support of the Church.This is a serious obligation which too many Catholics neglect. The Church needs support as much as the civil government. It cannot subsist on air. Religion makes no progress where Catholics are so indifferent as to begrudge their material support. 
  4. A good Catholic has before him a wide scope of activity if he wishes to participate in the work of the Church; there are no barriers between man and God.Should a Catholic be moved by a spirit of reform, he need not cut himself off from the Church by founding a new sect. He busies himself within the Fold of the Church, taking active steps to attain the reform he desires. For always there is need of reform in practices and current conditions, though never in fundamental doctrine.

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

​The Roman Curia

    What is the Roman Curia? –It is the organization of various bodies to which the Pope has delegated the exercise of his jurisdiction.

    Almost all the heads of the bodies in the Roman Curia are cardinals.

    The Roman Curia is the papal court; it is the core of the government of the Church. The Holy Father possesses complete and absolute power over the government of the Church; but it is not possible for him to exercise his authority personally and directly over every detail in the worldwide Church. A great deal of the jurisdiction has therefore been delegated to the Roman Curia, which should  consist of:

     

  1. Twelve Congregations, namely: Of the Holy Office, of the Consistory, for the Oriental Church, of the Sacraments, of the Council, of Religious, for the Propagation of the Faith, of Sacred Rites, of Ceremonies, of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, of Seminaries and Universities, and of the Basilica of St. Peter.

     

  2. Three Tribunals, namely: Sacred Penitentiary, Sacred Roman Rota, and Apostolic Signature.

     

  3. Five Offices, namely: Apostolic Chancery, Apostolic Datary, Apostolic Camera, Secretarfate of State, and Secretariate of Briefs to Princes and Latin Letters.

    What in general are the duties of the twelve Congregations of the Roman Curia? –Their duties are summarized below:

     

  1. The Congregation of the Holy Office guards Catholic doctrine in faith and morals, protects sacramental dogma, acts on heresy and heretics, decides matters related to the condemnation of books, the doctrine of indulgences, new prayers and devotions.

    Unlike all other Congregations, it has judicial, as well as administrative powers. The importance of this sacred congregation is shown by the fact that the Holy Father Himself is its Prefect, acting with a Cardinal-Secretary. This, the Consistorial Congregation, and that for the Oriental Church are the only administrative Departments thus personally headed by the Pope himself. All other congregations have cardinal-prefects, and the tribunals and offices have cardinal or other prelates at their head.

     

  2. The Consistorial Congregation prepares subjects of discussion at the papal consistories, where the College of Cardinals with the Pope deliberate on important matters. It judges the competency of all the Congregations with the exception of that of the Holy Office.

    It is this Congregation through which the Pope nominates bishops and other high officials, after inquiring into their qualifications; it forms new dioceses, provinces, etc. that are not under the Propagation of the Faith or of the Congregation for the Oriental Church, and looks after their preservation.

     

  3. The Congregation for the Oriental Church takes care of all matters related to the Eastern Church.

     

  4. The Congregation of the Sacraments looks after the external regulations of the seven sacraments, ordains decrees and grants dispensations; it has charge of matters related to the validity of Orders or Matrimony.

     

  5. The Congregation of the Council has supervision over secular clergy and laymen, including parish priests, religious associations (even those under religious) , taxes, etc.; it has charge of episcopal conferences. It deals with matters related to the observence of the laws of the Church.

     

  6. The Congregation of Religious has authority over matters related to all religious, including lay members of Third Orders; it takes up their government, discipline, and privileges, and supervises their property and studies.

     

  7. The Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith has charge of all matters related to the missions; missionary societies and seminaries are under its jurisdiction.

     

  8. The Congregation of Sacred Rites acts upon matters pertaining to rites and ceremonies; it considers the beatification and canonization of departed holy souls; it bestows insignia and marks of honor.

     

  9. The Congregation of Ceremonies has control of ceremonies in the papal chapel and court, and of functions performed by cardinals outside of the papal chapel; it judges matters of precedence of cardinals and legates.

     

  10. The Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs has charge of matters related to civil laws and governments; its prefect is the Cardinal Secretary of State. Whenever a settlement is necessary in conjunction with civil authority, this Congregation has charge of the formation and division of dioceses, the appointment of bishops and other prelates, etc.

     

  11. The Congregation of Seminaries and Universities supervises seminaries and universities, even those under religious orders, inquiring not only into government, but also into curricula; it establishes standards and confers academic degrees.

     

  12. The Congregation of the Basilica of St. Peter looks after the upkeep of that Basilica.

    What is the jurisdiction of each of the three Tribunals of the Curia? –The Jurisdiction of each of the three Tribunals of the Curia may be summarized thus:

     

  1. The Sacred Penitentiary judges all cases involving conscience, whether sacramental or not, and all cases concerning the granting and use of indulgences, outside of the rights of the Holy Office on the subject of dogmatic doctrine.

     

  2. The Sacred Roman Rota has charge of matters involving judicial procedure, outside of the rights of the Holy Office and the Congregation of Sacred Rites.

     

  3. The Apostolic Signature is the supreme court of the Roman Curia. It has charge of all appeals, and settles all cases regarding jurisdiction of inferior tribunals.

    Summarize briefly the duties of the five Offices of the Roman Curia. –This is a brief summary:

     

  1. The Apostolic Chancery sends out Apostolic Letters and Bulls on matters of major importance.

     

  2. The Apostolic Datary takes care of the appointment of candidates to benefices, and their due taxation.

     

  3. The Apostolic Camera has charge over all temporal goods and rights of the Holy See, especially when the See is vacant. It corresponds to the Treasury of the Church. Its head, the camerlengo assumes the regency upon the death of a Pope, and makes arrangements for the election.

     

  4. The Secretariate of State prepares matters for the consideration of the Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. The Cardinal-Secretary of State may be said to be the Prime Minister of the Pope.

     

  5. The Secretariate of Briefs to Princes and Latin Letters transcribes into Latin all acts of the Pope that he endorses to it.

     


    The Papal Elections


     

    When the Dean of the College of Cardinals publicly announces the death of the Pope, all the cardinals throughout the world are convoked to a solemn conclave, for the election of a new Supreme Pontiff. The conclave is held within fifteen to eighteen days after the death of the Holy Father.If all the cardinals are present on the fifteenth day after the death of the Pope, then the conclave begins. If not all the cardinals are present, the conclave is postponed until the eighteenth day. Then the cardinals, after celebrating Holy Mass, gather in the Sistine Chapel, for the elections. And until they have made a choice, they remain in seclusion within a part of the Vatican, reserved for them.Any male Catholic of whatever country or race, even a layman, may be elected Pope. Should a layman be chosen, he would have to be ordained priest and consecrated bishop, before he may assume the duties of his office. To be validly the Supreme Pontiff, the elected one is required to accept the office. The Pope is elected for life; however, if he wishes, he may resign, and a new Pope would then be elected.

    The voting by the cardinals is done on specially-printed ballots. A two-thirds majority plus one is required to elect. Two ballots are taken every morning and evening until a selection is made. As long as no choice is made, the ballots are burned with damp straw; the heavy black smoke coming out from the chimney is a sign to the public usually assembled in the plaza outside that no decision has been reached. But when a candidate receives a two-thirds majority plus one, then he is elected, and the ballots are burned without the damp straw. Light smoke issuing from the chimney notifies the eager public that they have a new Holy Father.

     

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

​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 One True Church

Principal Christian Religious Bodies in the U.S.

 

NAME PLACE OF ORIGIN FOUNDER YEAR
CATHOLIC CHURCH
_____________________________
Eastern Orthodox (19 bodies)
_____________________________
Lutheran (21 bodies)
_____________________________
Mennonite (15 bodies)
_____________________________
Protestant Episcopal
_____________________________
Presbyterian (10 bodies)
_____________________________
Congregational
_____________________________
Bapist (24 bodies)
_____________________________
Unitarian
_____________________________
Friends or Ouakers (4 bodies)
_____________________________
Reformed Churches (4 bodies)
_____________________________
Baptist, German (4 bodies)
_____________________________
Methodist (22 bodies)
_____________________________
Universalists
_____________________________
United Brethren (2 bodies)
_____________________________
Evangelical
_____________________________
Churches of Christ
_____________________________
Latter-Day Saints (7 bodies)
_____________________________
Adventist (5 bodies)
_____________________________
Salvation Army
_____________________________
Christian Scientists
_____________________________
Assemblies of God
_____________________________
Church of the Nazarene
_____________________________
Evangelical, Reformed
 
JERUSALEM
_____________
Near East
_____________
Germany
_____________
Switzerland
_____________
England
_____________
Scotland
_____________
England
_____________
Amsterdam
_____________
London
_____________
England
_____________
Holland
_____________
Germany
_____________
England
_____________
New Jersey
_____________
Maryland
_____________
Pennsylvania
_____________
Kentucky
_____________
New York
_____________
New York
_____________
England
_____________
Massachusetts
_____________
Arkansas
_____________
U.S.
_____________
Ohio
 
JESUS CHRIST
___________________________
Schism from Catholic Church
___________________________
Martin Luther
___________________________
Grebel, Mantz, Blaurock
___________________________
Henry VIII
___________________________
John Knox
___________________________
Robert Browne
___________________________
John Smyth
___________________________
John Biddle
___________________________
George Fox
___________________________
Assembly
___________________________
A. Mack
___________________________
John and Charles Wesley
___________________________
John Murray
___________________________
Otterbein and Boehm
___________________________
Jacob Albright
___________________________
Thos. and Alex. Campbell
___________________________
Joseph Smith
___________________________
William Miller
___________________________
William Booth
___________________________
Mary Baker Eddy
___________________________
General Meeting
___________________________
Union at General Assembly
___________________________
Union at General Assembly
 
33
_______
1054
_______
1517
_______
1525
_______
1534
_______
1560
_______
1583
_______
1600
_______
1645
_______
1647
_______
17th c.
_______
1708
_______
1739
_______
1770
_______
1800
_______
1803
_______
1827
_______
1830
_______
1831
_______
1865
_______
1879
_______
1914
_______
1919
_______
1934
 

 

There are over 200 different Protestant bodies existing in the United States alone. In the above list a few of the best-known are enumerated, in comparison with the Catholic Church. This comparative list indicates this fact: none of these denominations can ever become the True Church founded by Christ, Son of God. It is well known that many heretics, at the hour of death, return to the Catholic Church. But what Catholic at that hour has ever denied his religion to seek admission into a sect? As the heretic Melancthon wrote to his Catholic mother: “The Protestant is the best faith to live in, but the Catholic Faith is the best one to die in.”

 

    What is the Church? –The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him. 

  1. Even considering it only as a visible society, the Church is a perfect religious body.All members are subject to the same religious authority, possess identical religious doctrines, live a common religious life, and use the same means of grace, the sacraments. 
  2. The Church is divided into the “teaching Church” and the “hearing Church”; for each Christ laid down powers and duties.The priests, with their bishops and the Pope, compose the “teaching Church”; the faithful, who believe and obey, and are admitted into membership through the Sacrament of Baptism, compose the “hearing Church”.
    How is the Church enabled to lead men to salvation? –The Church is enabled to lead men to salvation by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, who gives it life. 

  1. God the Father and God the Son sent the Holy Ghost to dwell in the Church. The indwelling of the Holy Ghost enables the Church to teach, to sanctify, and to rule the faithful in the name of Christ.The Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles to enlighten, strengthen, and sanctify them, so that they could preach the Gospel and spread the Church all over the world. On the Feast of Pentecost, in remembrance of God the Holy Ghost, we celebrate a mystery which is forever renewed in the Church and in our souls: the mystery of the indwelling of God, the reign of the law of love which succeeded the law of bondage and fear (Rom. 8: 15). 
  2. The Holy Ghost guides the rulers of the Church, especially the Pope, and helps them in their duties.Before the descent of the Holy Ghost, the Apostles had been timid and afraid. After His coming they went forth to teach, whatever hardships carne; they remembered and understood all the teaching of Christ. 
  3. The Holy Ghost preserves the Church from all error in its teaching; in times of danger, He raises up able defenders of its doctrines.St. Athanasius defended the Church in the time of the Arian heretics; Pope Gregory VII during a period of great disorder; St. Dominic, during the time of the Albigenses; and St. Ignatius of Loyola, after the Protestant outbreak. 
  4. The Holy Ghost raises up Saints in the Church throughout all generations.The members of the Church strive to imitate its Divine Founder, and in all countries and all times it has produced saints, canonized and uncanonized, martyrs, confessors, hidden souls that burn with the love of God and their fellowmen.
    Are not all religions the same? –No for truth and error are not the same; faith and unbelief are not the same. 

  1. God is not divided. He revealed only one religion. We either believe that religion, or do not believe it. There is no middle way. “He who is not with me is against me” (Matt. 12:30)Anything that is not the whole truth is not truth. Christ said: “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6).No one will assert that glass is as good as diamonds, nor that brass is as good as gold. No one claims that an imitation is just as good as the authentic thing. More unreasonable then would it be to claim that a religion established by a man is as good as that founded by the Incarnate God. 
  2. From the very beginning of mankind there has been one true religion. From Adam to the coming of Christ this religion was preserved by the patriarchs, prophets, and others chosen by God to keep the knowledge of the promised Redeemer intact.Before the coming of Christ, this true religion was not universal, but limited to one people, the Jews, the,“chosen people.” All other nations had degenerated and worshipped idols, false gods. In spite of the imperfections of the old religion preserved among the Jews; it was always the true religion, the one true religion. It forshadowed the coming of the perfect religion, that established by the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Who then abrogated the Jewish Faith, the Old Law, in favor of the New Faith, the New Law. 
  3. It is absurd to suppose that God does not care whether men denounce His Son as an impostor and blasphemer, or worship Him as God.Why should Christ, and after Him the Apostles, and after them a long line of believers, have suffered so much and resisted persecution so firmly, if it were of no importance what a man believed? The Apostle said, “There is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)
    How can we prove that the only true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church? –We can prove that the only true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church, because: 

  1. Only the Catholic Church possesses the marks of the Church established by Christ; that is, Unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity. As a matter of fact, only the Catholic Church claims to have all these four marks of the True Church, the marks so evidently set by Christ. 
  2. The history of the Catholic Church gives evidence of miraculous strength, permanence, and unchangeableness, so showing the world that it is under the special protection of God. The Catholic Church has proved itself indestructible for almost two thousand years, against every variety and number of formidable enemies. The Church suffered from persecution and outside attacks, and from schism and heresy within its own ranks, yet still lives.In spite of corruption and persecution, in spite of the combined forces of error and evil, the Catholic Church has continued to live and to carry out its purpose, as its Founder promised. The indestructibility of the Church, as has been proved by history, is alone enough to mark it as divine. God alone could have preserved it so long. The Church is the only institution which has proved itself an exception to the law of decay and death. It has watched the birth and decay of every government on earth for almost 2000 years. After every attack against it, it rises, the Bride of Christ, ever fresh and fair.

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

​Marks of the True Church

 

The True Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The Church that possesses all the shining marks which Our Lord gave is the Church of God, the True Church. Any church that lacks even one of these marks is an imitation, a false church, and not the one founded by Our Lord. The True Church must possess all these marks. It is the Church which Christ commanded all to hear and obey.

 

    Did Christ establish many Churches? –Christ established only one Church, to continue till the end of time. 

  1. As God is one, He established one Church, which He commanded all men to obey and to follow in the way of salvation.God is essentially one. He is Truth itself. How can He say to one group of men that there are three Persons in one God, and to another that there is only one Person? How can He say to one body that the Holy Eucharist is Himself, and to another that it is mere bread? God cannot contradict Himself. “He who hears you hears me” (Luke 10:16). “There shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16). 
  2. Christ never referred to His Churches, but to His Church. Christ chose only one Head for His Church. Peter could not have been the Head of conflicting churches.Christ said: “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” (Matt. 16:18). Christ did not say: “Upon this rock I will build My Churches,” it was clearly not His intention to establish various conflicting churches. 
  3. Christ, even in His prayers, spoke of unity among His followers. There would evidently be no unity if He had founded many churches.Immediately before His passion, He prayed: “Yet not for these only do I pray, but for those also who through their word are to believe in me, that all may be one, even as thou, Father, in me and I in thee; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:20-21).

      Is there any way by which we can distinguish the Church that Christ founded from all other churches? –We can distinguish the Church founded by Christ from all other churches by the marks or signs that Our Lord gave to it.

      mark is a sign by which something may be distinguished from all others of the same kind. By its marks we can recognize the True Church as the one founded by Jesus Christ, distinguishing it from all other churches, however similar.

       

    1. It is important that we know which is the Church established by Christ, in order that we may obey it, as God commands. Then shall we also be certain what to believe and do in order to be saved; the Church, that True Church, will be our guide to heaven.We must distinguish the True Church from false churches, because today there are many imitations of the Church founded by Christ. 
    2. The True Church must be that which Christ personally founded, and the Apostles propagated. It must have existed continuously since the time of Christ. It must teach in their entirety all the doctrines commanded by the Divine Founder while He was still on earth; and all its members must profess those fundamental doctrines. It must be a visible organization, discernible and discoverable, evidently existing, with clear marks or signs distinguishing it as the True Church.It was through a common bond of faith that the faithful throughout the world were, to be united in one body, the Church, their heritage from the Son of God. Our Lord therefore before His Ascension made the necessary provision so that all men might from thenceforth recognize the Church which He established, and which He commanded all to join.
      What are the chief marks of the True Church? –The chief marks of the True Church are four: It is one, holy, catholic or universal, and apostolic. 

    1. Christ intended His Church to be One; therefore the True Church must be One. Its members must be united in doctrine, in worship, and in government. Christ said:“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand” (Mark 3:24). “There shall be one fold and one Shepherd” (John 10:16). 
    2. Christ intended His Church to be Holy; therefore the True Church must be Holy. It must teach a holy doctrine in faith and morals, because its Founder is holy. It must provide the means for its members to lead a holy life.“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. … Therefore, by their fruits you will know them” (Matt. 7:15-17,20).Christ promised His Church the gift of miracles, a sign of holiness: “Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he also shall do, and greater than these he shall do” (John 14:12). He said: “You therefore are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is Perfect” (Matt. 5:48). 
    3. Christ intended His Church to be universal, that is, catholic; and therefore the True Church must be Universal, or Catholic. It must be for all peoples of every nation and for all times and teach the same faith everywhere. Christ commanded His disciples:“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). “Go into the whole world. and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). “You shall be witnesses for me … even to the very ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). 
    4. Christ intended His Church to be propagated by His Apostles; and therefore the True Church must be Apostolic. It must be the Church propagated by the Apostles. Its rulers must derive their office and authority by lawful succession from the Apostles. It must hold intact the doctrine and traditions of the Apostles, to whom Christ gave authority to teach.It was Christ Himself, and no one else, Who chose His Apostles and disciples, and commanded them to teach His doctrines to all the world. St. Paul says: “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a Gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8). St. Paul himself refers to the Church as “built upon the foundation of the Apostles” (Eph. 2:20).

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