More Lenten Catechesis from Andy P/Doria2: Only One Church!

As a continuation of Lenten reflections, first I had to show the history of the Church. Now there are many who may feel – which Church? Well there is only one that goes back to Jesus the Christ, Himself. That Church is THEE Church. The Catholic Church.

Now, I’m going to show how He built ONE Church – not the thousands of denominations we have today.

Warts and all, there is only one Church. The Catholic Church. Pass this on to your friends for discussion or just plain ol’ education. Catholic are woefully under catechized. Learn the truth. It really is all that matters –

The Church must be one

Mt 16:18-19 – upon this rock I will build my Church (singular) – 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Mt 18:17 – tell it to THE Church; if he refuses to listen even to THE Church… (must be visible) –

17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Jn 10:16 – there will be one fold and one shepherd. – 16 And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.

Jn 17:17-23 – I pray that they may be one, as we are one – 17 Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. 18 As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. 20 “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.

Jn 17:23 – that they may be brought to perfection as one – 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.

Rom 12:5 – we, though many, are one body in Christ – 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Rom 15:5 – God grant you to think in harmony with one another – 5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 16:17 – I urge that there be no divisions among you – 17 I appeal to you, brethren, to take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them.

Col 3:15 – the peace into which you were called in one body – 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

Eph 4:3-6 – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father – 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.

Eph 4:4 – one body, one Spirit, called to be one hope – 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call,

1Cor 1:10 – I urge that there be no divisions among you – 10 I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

1Cor 12:13 – in one spirit we are baptized into one body – 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

Phil 2:2 – be of same mind, united in heart thinking one thing – 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Editor’s note: For the record … in addition to being One … the Catholic Church is also Holy (of God), Apostolic (established by the men (and their duly ordained successors) who were hand-picked, trained, and empowered by Jesus Christ) … and Universal (for all).

These four “marks” help us to properly identify the Catholic Church, always and everywhere.

One more applicable Bible verse: “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15)

1 Comment

  1. An interesting article but not with a European perspective perhaps? Across the USA especially, we are aware that there are numerous small; mainly singular evangelical protestant churches that have sprung up especially since the nineteenth century. Many of these are wildly anti-Catholic and by attempting to use Scripture to enhance their authenticity may only alienate and confuse both the faithful and all peoples of good will. There is nothing new in the abuse of scripture to validate a certain perspective and whilst many of these “churches” are inaccurate in their beliefs they ironically do not in themselves lead to damnation but rather to seeking eternal glory.

    Indeed the Roman Catholic Church allows over twenty other churches that it accepts as being within The Holy See. That is the Eastern and Orthodox Churches etc. Whilst in historical and cultural difference to the Latin Roman one they are in full doctrinal union and in acceptance of Scripture and Sacramental grace.

    But what is the position towards the Protestant Established Churches? We appreciate that the US Constitution does not allow for a proper established Church as historical reasons for the founding of the States in America from European countries. Therefore across the US the central proposition of Luther and Calvinistic ideology that individuals may find salvation through Scriptures or predestination has undoubtedly encouraged the flowering of a strong protestant ethic. The Bible belt for example is a clear example of smaller based Churches rising to concrete local communities and bond Christian fellowship at a local level. The more recent the church often the more evangelical in nature but in asserting right and perceived truths often the more narrow minded.

    The situation is slightly different in Europe and from a European perspective. Historically here, the Catholic Church and its rivals have often brutalized each other in various massacres but these were often the result of political rather than religious identity. Often ancient hatreds were founded more in political mishandling of old grievances than in the true belief in God. In Northern Ireland for example, segregation of the community led to violence and hatred despite the religious leaders advocating peace. In recent years the political enforcement of British liberal rule has led to vastly better condition and the slow appreciation of old enemies. If not perfect it is far more pleasant for the majority than the contrast from open hostility. God as revealed in Jesus Christ is after all the God of Peace and not of war and violence. It is still shocking and condemnable however that God is used as an excuse to harm other people for any cause whatsoever.

    Across Northern Europe the more established protestant churches have today a much more open and common identity with their traditional Roman enemy. The Roman Catholic Church today does not regard such members as damnable heretics nor as people to be detested or even pitied. Rather we in the Catholic Church, the universal Church see such Protestants as our “Christian brethren”. That by their use of Scripture and their belief in Jesus Christ as Redeemer etc they are saved by grace as well as Catholics. The old historical abuses on both sides that were founded in ignorance and distrust, that permitted horrible acts to be sanctioned have to be confessed and atoned for. We in the Catholic Church recognize that our sinfulness in history has often been woefully less than Christ should expect or demand from us. In that spirit we ask our Protestant brethren to pray for us as we must pray for them.

    In the United Kingdom, the Anglican Communion works very closely with the Catholic one at both local and hierarchal status. Many within the Anglican communion which is not today in full union with the Catholic faith believe much of what the Catholic Church teaches. This is one such reason that recently Pope Benedict has allowed special Ordnances wherein Anglican priests are being accepted quickly back into the Catholic Church. Indeed despite historical objections the theological communion of the Anglican priesthood remains complicated in as much that despite original excommunication the governance of Bishops remains unaltered. Perhaps this is simply a problem for theologians to continue to query.

    Across Europe generally Christians of all main denominations have and continue to come together in common belief and unity against modern threats from atheism and anti-Christian liberalism that attacks the very identity of religion. We as Catholics are obliged to pray for the day when all Christians will be united and as one and not accept division as acceptable to Gods wishes. We must pray for understanding and the ability to understand as well as being understood!

    My critical observation of the comments that we are one Catholic Church over all others, indeed that we are the only Church is therefore raised. I appreciate that theologically we are one Catholic Church and that salvation is only through Jesus Christ and the one Church as above. Yet we hopefully have pointed out that the Universal Church is made from various other beliefs that reflect cultural and historical differences. That is not a contradiction it is a fact. It may be one doctrinally but is far from one culturally or historically. Furthermore, whist we are aware that many new small churches are springing up daily we do not from Europe at least view this as something necessarily demoniacal or problematic for salvation. The use of Scripture does not in itself however bring wisdom or grace and it should always be tampered by understanding and humility.

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