Tag Archives: History

​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!!

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​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!!

In a Nutshell

Here is what I gathered from your email:

1. Do you think Catholicism or Christianity is in competition?

2.  Other lessons/belief systems that offer it’s own wisdom, comfort, and moral guidance?

3.  What is wrong with the idea that every religious tradition offers different, but equally valid lessons about the world?

4.  Could there be more to life than just Catholicism?

5.  Is there something wrong with the person who decides what they truly believe?

My initial thoughts:

1.  Christianity – religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or it’s beliefs and practices (it does not say some beliefs and practices).

2.  The Catholic Church is the main and earliest form of Christianity (there has to be a reason for that like everything else in the universe).

3.  How can something be in competition with itself?

4.  Truths from other “Christian” religions are either natural truths or taken from the Catholic Church and that is an historical fact, repeated over and over.

The first question that comes to my mind is whether or not you believe or recognize Jesus Christ as God (not just another Santa Claus like pretty much everyone treats Him), the 2nd person of the Blessed Trinity, or if you think of Him as another human being with no real significance. 

Let us consider some points that can help us recognize the Divinity of Christ using reason and history. Reason because everyone has it, even those without Faith. And history because everyone lives in it, and it’s applicable, whether you like it or not.

1.  Socrates had no one foretell his birth.  Buddha had no one to pre announce him and his message or tell the day when he would sit under a tree. Confucius did not have the name of his mother and his birthplace recorded.

2.  Search the writings of the Jewish people and the related history of the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. There have been no more prophecies of anyone coming after Christ.

3.  What separates Christ from all men is that first He was expected; even the Gentiles had a longing for a Deliverer, or Redeemer. This fact alone distinguishes Him from all other religious leaders.

4.  A second distinguishing fact is that once He appeared, He struck history with such impact that He split it in two, dividing it into two parts: one before His coming, the other after it. Buddha did not do this, nor any of the great Indian philosophers. Even those who deny  God must date their attacks upon Him A.D. so and so, or so many years after His coming.

5. A third fact is this: every other person who ever came into this world came into it to live. He came to die. Death was a stumbling block to Socrates – it interrupted his teaching. But to Christ, death was the goal and fulfillment of His life, the gold that He was seeking. Few of His words or actions are intelligible without reference to His Cross. He presented Himself as a Savior rather than merely a Teacher. It meant nothing to teach men to be good unless He also gave them the power to be good, after rescuing them from the frustration of guilt.

6. The story of every human life begins with birth and ends with death. In the Person of Christ, however, it was His death that was first and His life that was last. “the Lamb slain as it were, from the beginning of the world.”

7.  A fourth distinguishing fact is that He does not fit, as the other world teachers do, into the established category of a good man. Good men do not lie. But if Christ was not all that He said He was, namely, the Son of the Living God, the Word of God in the flesh, then He was not “just a good man”; then He was a knave, a liar, a charlatan, and the greatest deceiver who ever lived. If He was not what He said He was, the Christ, the Son of God, He was the anti-Christ! If He was only a man, then He was not even a “good” man, but He was not only a man. He would have us either worship Him or despise Him – despise Him as a mere man, or worship Him as true God and true man.

He will not allow us to pick and choose among His words, discarding the hard ones, and accepting the ones that please our fancy. We need a Christ Who will restore moral indignation, who will make us hate evil with a passionate intensity and love goodness to a point where we would drink death like water.

– The Life of Christ, Bishop Fulton Sheen 1958.

“It is thy own lips that have called Me a King. What I was born for, what I came into the world for, Is to bear witness of the Truth. Whoever belongs to the Truth, listens to My Voice.” (JOHN 18:37)

So as Christ is God and easily the most important and only pre-announced person in history, and as the Old Testament is mirrored through His Church in the New Testament. True Catholicism ties the ancient Jewish traditions of sacrifice  (bread and wine for Thanksgiving, and the Pascal lamb for atonement of sins); Christ brought these sacrifices together as the Priest, the Victim, and the Redeemer all at once. With the Last Supper being the first Catholic Mass Christ said:

“And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat : THIS IS MY BODY, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: THIS CHALICE IS THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MY BLOOD: THIS DO YE, AS OFTEN AS YOU SHALL DRINK, FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF ME.

For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily  (hence the Sacrament of Confession), shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself, not discerning (believing, reverence towards the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine, the whole of the Catholic Faith, and everything Protestants and everyone else aims to destroy), the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep.”

What it comes down to is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the same exact sacrifice offered to God the Father by His only begotten Son but in an unbloody manner. And the whole of the Faith depends on whether or not the person really and truly believe that after the bread and wine are transubstantiated they are completely and wholly, the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. Because it was given from Christ to His Apostles and passed down through the imposition of hands to the Bishops and priests of the true church today.

Nothing else that any human being has ever done comes even close to this importance. That is God on the Altar right in front of your eyes! He did it for the Jews in the Old Testament when they wandered the desert for 40 years. He was a white mana that came down for them every morning to satisfy all their physical needs. And now His precious Body and Blood are our spiritual food if we want an eternity of happiness with God and it’s the only way we get to Heaven. Everything else is made up because ex-Catholics could not live up to the moral standards Christ instituted to His Apostles.

Just as a father has love for his children and does things that may at first seem harsh but ultimately is out of love of his children, so Christ gave us His Church, and promised to be with us until the end of time if we only adhere to the truth and everything He has commanded of us. Not just the things WE want to do or believe in, because history is full of that. It is daily obedience to the Will of God. Baptism for the washing of the soul from the stains of original sin, frequent reception of the Sacraments, keeping the commandments, observing sundays and holy days of obligation, as long as we are alive on this Earth we can turn to God and repent and start living the way we are supposed to be living. Denouncing the world, and all its enticing material things, dying to our physical senses, and seeking only the solicitation of the things that are of God’s Will for us. Obedience is paramount in making it into the Ark of the New Testament. We cannot get to Heaven by ourselves, you need the Holy Ghost dwelling in your soul and you receive that through His Church not anyone else’s. Just as Faith without works is dead, works without Faith are useless. Christ’s Presence in the Holy Eucharist IS the Catholic Faith, and it IS Christianity.

“If any man eat of this bread, He shall live forever; and the bread that I will give, IS MY FLESH, for the life of the world.”

John 6:52

What could be more important, efficacious for the salvation of our souls, than adherence to what the Creator of the Universe has commanded us to do? And who else has such a love for us, as to make themselves one with Him by offering us the bread of His flesh for our salvation? How important is it to you? If one believes they are a good person, is that simply enough? Because if one were truly a good person would they not follow and listen to the Source of all Good, God made man, Christ Himself?

​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 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!!

​The Resurrection

Fifth Article of the Apostles’ Creed

 

 

“Now late in the night of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary come to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord come down from heaven, and drawing near rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment like snow. And for fear of him the guards were terrified, and became like dead men. But the angel spoke and said to the women, Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen even as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord was laid’ ” (Matt. 28:1-7).

    What do we mean when we say in the Apostles’ Creed that Christ descended into hell? –When we say that Christ descended into hell, we mean that, after He died, the soul of Christ descended into a place or state of rest, called limbo, where the souls of the just were waiting for Him.

     

  1. Christ did not go to the hell of the damned, but to the “hell” of the just. In Holy Scripture, it was called “Abraham’s bosom”. St. Peter called it “a prison”. We call it limbo.

    Among the souls in limbo were Adam, Eve, Abel, Noe, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob; Joseph, David, Isaias, Daniel, Job, Tobias, St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist. They went to heaven at Our Lord’s entrance upon His Ascension.

     

  2. Christ went to limbo to announce to the souls waiting there the joyful news that He had reopened heaven to mankind.

    “He was brought to life in the spirit, in which also he went and preached to those spirits that were in prison” (1 Pet. 3:19). The souls in limbo could not go to heaven, which had been closed by Adam’s sin. It was only reopened to man by the death of Our Lord, by the Redemption. The souls in limbo did not suffer pain, but they longed for heaven. After the release of these souls from Limbo, and their entrance into heaven, this Limbo for the just souls ceased to exist.

    While His soul was in limbo, Christ’s body was in the holy sepulchre. When man dies, his soul is separated from the body. When Jesus died, His body and soul were separated, but His divinity remained united to both body and soul.

    Christ’s body did not corrupt in the tomb. It was in the holy sepulchre from Friday evening when He was buried, to Sunday morning, when He arose from the grave. This is why we say Christ rose on the third day, although He was in the grave for only three incomplete days.

    When did Christ rise from the dead? –Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal, on Easter Sunday, the third day after His death.

     

  1. Christ had often foretold His resurrection.

    He said of His own body; “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). Before entering Jerusalem He said to His Apostles that He would be put to death and “rise again on the third day” (Matt. 20:19). On the night of the Last Supper He said: “But after I have risen, I will go before you into Galilee” (Matt. 26:32).

     

  2. Even His enemies knew that He had predicted His resurrection. This is why they obtained Pilate’s permission to seal the sepulchre and set guards to watch it.

    They said to Pilate: “Sir, we have remembered how that deceiver said, while he was yet alive. ‘After three days I will rise again'” (Matt. 27:63).

     

  3. Today the entire Christendom celebrates Easter Sunday in memory of the Resurrection. It is the Feast of feasts, commemorating the completion of our redemption by Christ.

    Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon of spring; the feast therefore is moveable, and can fall between March 22 and April 25, The Paschal season lasts till Trinity Sunday; till then the joyous alleluia resounds.

    Why did Christ remain on earth forty days after His Resurrection? –Christ remained on earth forty days after His Resurrection to prove that He had truly risen from the dead, and to complete the instruction of the Apostles.

     

  1. Christ’s resurrection is an undoubted fact on which rests the Christian faith.

    St. Paul says: “If Christ has not risen,”vain then is our preaching, vain too is your faith” (1 Cor. 15:14). And according to St. John, an eyewitness: “Many other signs also Jesus worked in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:30-31)

     

  2. In the first place, Christ really died. His death was witnessed by many, both friends and enemies. It was proved by the soldier who plunged his spear into His side. It was communicated officially to Pilate. His bones were not broken, because He was found already dead. His Mother and disciples would never have buried Him had they suspected the least chance of life.

    Some unbelievers urge that Christ was dead only in appearance and after an interval recovered from His swoon and left the grave. The loss of blood following the scourging alone would have been enough to cause death, not to mention the wounds He received on the cross.

     

  3. In the second place, Christ really came to life. On the first Easter morning He appeared to Mary Magdalen and the other women who sought Him at the sepulchre. Then He appeared to Peter. In the evening He walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. At night He appeared to the assembled Apostles.

    Nor were these witnesses easily deceived. The Apostles did not at first believe the women who told them the Lord had risen. They would not even believe their own senses, thinking the risen Saviour was a ghost. Christ had to call for something to eat, to prove that He was not a ghost. St. Thomas refused to believe the other ten Apostles, who had seen Christ first. He only believed when Our Lord appeared to him and bade him touch His wounds.

     

  4. The Jews bribed the guards to say that while they were asleep, the disciples had stolen the body of Christ.

    Such an act was made impossible by Christ’s enemies themselves. They had sealed and guarded the tomb. “So they went and made the sepulchre secure, sealing the stone, and setting the guard” (Matt. 27:66). Even supposing the guards to have fallen asleep, the great stone which covered the sepulchre could not have been moved without waking some at least of the guards. Finally, it is a remarkable circumstance that the guards were not punished for this breach of duty.

     

  5. Christ really arose from the dead. For forty days He appeared to many. He conversed, walked, and even ate with them. He spent much time instructing the Apostles.

    One of His most important appearances was to five hundred disciples on a mountain in Galilee, when He gave the Apostles the command to go forth into the world and teach. The Evangelists have recorded nine apparitions: but it is evident from their writings (for example, Acts 1:3) that there were other and unrecorded occasions when Christ appeared. Countless of Christ’s followers laid down their lives in testimony of the truth of the resurrection. “During forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

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