Some practical reasons why many (even some non-Catholics) believe that the Holy Catholic Church is the one, true Church of Jesus Christ

 

Personally Founded By Jesus Christ
Catholicism is a dynamic and enduring faith, personally instituted by Jesus Christ, for the purpose of our salvation; divinely and appropriately structured, in order to effectively to deal with the various challenges presented by all the “ages” of man.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 766 The Church is born primarily of Christ’s total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the cross.
“The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus.”

“For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth the ‘wondrous sacrament of the whole Church.'” As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam’s side, so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the cross.

“Born” on Pentecost, of the Holy Spirit
The one Church of Jesus Christ was “born” on Pentecost, about 34 A.D. and according to Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who lived during the early 2nd century, has been known as “Catholic” – since at least, 107 A.D.

The Holy Catholic Church has always been said to possess four identifying “marks”:

The Church is ONE
Jesus personally founded, authorized, empowered and perpetually guaranteed only ONE Church – The Holy Catholic Church – for the purpose of our salvation.

The Church is HOLY
Thanks to Jesus Christ, its’ founder and head, who embodies holiness, in every possible way. Jesus remains the head of his “Mystical Body”, which is the Church. That which God takes to himself is holy, indeed, for he himself makes it so, by his own, awesome power and grace.

The Church is CATHOLIC
Catholic means “universal”. One bread, one body, one Spirit of God, for all true believers in Jesus Christ.

The Church is APOSTOLIC
The same Apostles who accompanied Jesus Christ on his salvific mission, who were present at the Last Supper, at the foot of the cross, who experienced the risen Christ and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (minus Judas, plus Saint Matthias and Saint Paul) who went out and established all the original Christian congregations, preserving and transmitting all the original, divinely revealed truths, as well as selecting their own duly ordained successors, whose continuing mission was to propagate the true faith of Jesus Christ, until he returns for “The People of God”, at the end of the age.

The (present day) Bishops and the Pope govern the Church and minister to its various needs according to the power and authority personally given to the first Bishops (and priests) of the Church – known as “the Apostles” – by our Holy Lord, Jesus Christ, while he still walked the earth.

The Great Commission
According to that same Christ, the primary purpose of the Bishops – suitably assisted by Priests, Deacons and other, qualified Catholics – is to Evangelize: effectively reach out to share the authentic, Holy Gospel/Christian faith; Teach: faithfully preserve and accurately disseminate/interpret/strive to correctly, charitably and authoritatively apply all the divinely revealed truths; Baptize (and sanctify, in various, other appropriate ways) in the name of God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – in accordance with his awesome power, grace and express will.

Sacred and Apostolic Tradition
Catholics believe that Jesus Christ remains the head of the Catholic Church, with the Holy Spirit as its perpetual advocate; infallibly guiding the Church from generation to generation, to all truth.

The continuous and somewhat mysterious process by which that divine leadership actually occurs is known as “Tradition”.

The Holy Bible
Catholics believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, Holy Spirit inspired, written Word of God. The Catholic Church originally compiled and certified all the authentic, Old Testament sacred texts, wrote and certified all the New Testament sacred texts, and with the extraordinary assistance of Saint Jerome, translated all the original languages into Latin – the common language of the people of that time – by the 4th century. In the year 1455, The Catholic Latin Vulgate Bible became the first mass-produced publication of Johann Gutenberg, the acknowledged inventor of the movable type, printing press. The Latin Vulgate was later translated into the English language, Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible, with the English language New Testament published in 1582, followed by the English Old Testament, in 1609-1610.

The Holy Bible continues to be a perennial, “best seller”

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Catholics believe that The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a real-time, divinely empowered, re-presentation of the Last Supper, as well as Jesus Christ’s one time, once for all, perfect and atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, on the cross, at Calvary.

The Catholic Ministerial Priesthood
Through the power of the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood and the Holy Spirit, the crucified and risen Christ becomes present on the altar for us at Mass, under the auspices of bread and wine – body, blood, soul and divinity – so we Catholics might have the opportunity to personally participate in his propitiatory sacrifice – joining in with him to offer his divine perfection to God the Father, for our needs, for the needs of the Holy Catholic Church and for the whole world.

The Seven Sacraments
Catholics believe that each of the Seven Sacraments, which were instituted by Jesus Christ, to give grace, constitutes a unique, personal encounter with the risen Christ that is divinely ordered to the salvation of souls and exquisitely suited to the diverse needs of the People of God, throughout every phase of their earthly existence.

Rooted In the Judeo-Christian Tradition
This basic Catholic theological system has many similarities to that which had previously been employed by the Old Testament Hebrews: A reliance on a combination of Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and Divine Teaching Authority; the three biblical “witnesses” by which the truth might always be properly discerned.

But now, thanks to our Holy Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church also possesses the truly salvific power and grace that was not yet available in times of old.

A Mere COINCIDENCE of Human History?
The fact that the Holy Catholic Church (inexplicably) remains the world’s longest reigning, continuous government (of any kind) and the fact that the Catholic Church still manages to exist at all, in spite of a 2,000 year history of some of the worst internal scandals and leadership failures imaginable (as well as some of mankind’s greatest triumphs) serves to lend serious credibility to the Church’s original and exclusive claim of its’ divine origin in Jesus Christ and of God’s unwavering, perpetual solicitude.

So Just Where is that Epistle to the Children?

When the apostles started out, they knew they had work to do. The whole world needed conversion. Everyone was pagan. That is, the world looked very much like it does today. The apostolic approach to the problem differed from ours.

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Peter, for instance, did not set up a single parochial school. Luke did not write a children’s gospel. Not one of Paul’s epistles were decorated with yellow duckies. In short, according to the Scriptures and Church history, the apostles didn’t bother teaching children the Faith. They taught only the adults. Why?

Because the apostles understood the principle of subsidiarity. Pope Pius XI in his 1931 encyclicalQuadragesimo Anno described the principle succinctly: “Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them.”

The apostles knew they could not replace parents. Through the sacrament of marriage, God endows parents with the ability to teach their own children about Him. The apostles only needed to teach the parents the Faith, it was the parents’ responsibility to teach their own children. So, what has changed in the last two millenia? The answer to that is simple. Nothing.

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Former Protestant minister explains why he quit – to become Catholic

Historically speaking, the idea that the written Word of God is formally sufficient for all things related to faith and practice, such that anyone of normal intelligence and reasonably good intentions could read it and deduce from it what is necessary for orthodoxy and orthopraxy, is not a position that I see reflected in the writings of the early Church fathers. While there are plenty of statements in their writings that speak in glowing terms about the qualitative uniqueness of Scripture, those statements, for them, do not do away with the need for Scripture to be interpreted by the Church in a binding and authoritative way when necessary.

This discovery in the church fathers is unsurprising if the same position can be found in the New Testament itself, which I now believe it can. To cite but one example, the Church in her earliest days was confronted with a question that Jesus had not addressed with any specificity or directness, namely, the question of Gentile inclusion in the family of God. In order to answer this question, the apostles and elders of the Church gathered together in council to hear all sides and reach a verdict. What is especially interesting about Luke’s account of the Jerusalem Council is the role that Scripture played, as well as the nature of the verdict rendered.

Concerning the former, James’s citation of Amos is curious in that the passage in the prophet seems to have little to do with the matter at hand, and yet James cites Amos’s words about the tent of David being rebuilt to demonstrate that full Gentile membership in the Church fulfills that prophecy. Moreover, Scripture functioned for the Bishop of Jerusalem not as the judge that settled the dispute, but rather as a witness that testified to what settled it, namely, the judgment of the apostles and elders.

Rather than saying, “We agree with Scripture,” he says in effect, “Scripture agrees with us” (v. 15, 19). And finally, when the decision is ultimately reached, it is understood by the apostles and elders not as an optional and fallible position with which the faithful may safely disagree if they remain biblically unconvinced, but rather as an authoritative and binding pronouncement that was bound in heaven even as it was on earth (v. 28).

Despite some superficial similarities, no existing Protestant denomination with an operating norm of Sola Scriptura can replicate the dynamic, or claim the authority of the Jerusalem Council (or of Nicaea, Constantinople, and Chalcedon for that matter).

The fact that the Bible’s own example of how Church courts operate was hamstrung by Protestantism’s view of biblical authority was something I began to find disturbingly ironic.

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On the histority, dating, and veracity of the Gospel accounts

Given the fact that the study of history must be biased, it is much better therefore if the pretense of objectivity is dropped. Much clearer if we know ahead of time that a historical study is written from a particular point of view. We can then make allowances for the bias and read other works from other perspectives to achieve balance. If I know that a particular historian is a Marxist or a feminist or a post-modern atheist I will understand their bias on history and the more they are open about it, while still trying to be as objective as possible, the better will the exercise be.

So, to return to the gospels, we have before us documents that purport to record historical events. The gospel says they are written “so that you might know that Jesus is Christ the Son of God.” They are derived from the experience of the first Christian community and written to help convert people to the Christian faith. Therefore we are well aware of the bias and the intention of the documents. Does this disqualify them completely?

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Seen on the web: Catholicism is not a sect.

In her recent letter to the editor (”Troubling times at St. Joseph,” Times-Standard, Page A4), Ms. Neeva Olson called the Catholic Church a “sect.” That could not be further from the truth. The Church was established 2,000 years ago by Jesus Christ and can trace its roots all the way back to his Apostles. It was not until 1,500 years later that the other thousands of denominations began to form.

In my dictionary a “sect” is called: A religious body that has separated from a larger denomination. That would seem to apply to all the other traditions and certainly not to the Catholic Church.

Ms. Olson would do well to consider that the very book that is the foundation of all the Christian denominations came from the monks of the Catholic Church who painstakingly preserved all the writings during the centuries before the printing press was invented.

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Doubting Thomas

Holy Thursday

More Lenten Catechism from Andy P/Doria2

Just more proof that Jesus Christ came to establish His Church. One Church. He calls it the body and He makes it authoritative. I use Bible verses because when you are questioned by non Catholics they will want to know chapter and verse of anything you say. Well we have that information. In the Bible that the Church designed and put together through the power of the Holy Spirit. Do not be afraid to offer these quotes when asked. Send them on and teach them to family and friends. Teach them especially to your children and grandchildren.

The Church is the body of Christ

Col 1:18* He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.

1 Cor 6:15 – Don’t you know your bodies are members of Christ?

1 Cor 12:20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, 25 that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27* Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Eph 5:30 – we are members of His body.

Rom 12:4* For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, 5* so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Authoritative Church

Mt 28:18* And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19* Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20* teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

Jn 20:21* power to forgive sin – Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” 22* And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23* If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Lk 10:16* power to speak with Christ’s voice – “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

Mt 18:17 – power to discipline 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.

Mt 18:18 – power to legislate – 18* Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Infallible Church

Jn 16:13 – guided by Holy Spirit into all truth – 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14* He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Jn 14:26 – Holy Spirit to teach & remind them of everything – 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Lk 10:16 – speak with Christ’s own voice – 16* “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

1Tim 3:15 – Church called “pillar and foundation of truth” – 15 if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

1Jn 2:26-27 – anointing of Holy Spirit remains in you – 26 I write this to you about those who would deceive you; 27* but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him.

Acts 15:28 – Apostles speak with voice of Holy Spirit – 28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:

Mt 28:20 – I am with you – 18* And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19* Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20* teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

For more visit Bob Stanley’s: The Catholic Treasure Chest

Lenten catechesis on the Catholic Church from AndyP/Doria2

During Lent, I decided to begin a catechesis, or short lessons on the Catholic faith. This is for you and/or people you know who have questions about our faith. I suggest you start a folder on these teachings and save them for when you are asked about what we believe. And one day, you will be asked. Especially from those who seek to get you to leave this “false Church.”

Also especially important is the truth you pass on to your children, grandchildren, and other family members most of whom are woefully, inadequately educated in the most important facet of their lives. Their eternity.

Only one Church goes back to Jesus The Christ and the Apostles. Sure there were many heresies throughout history but the one that has done and continues to do the most damage are the 25 – 30,000 Protestant groups out there who constantly attack our faith.

There is only one Church. See here why:

First from the Bible:

THE CHURCH

Mt 16:18 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.”

Jesus Christ came to die for us all and yes, to build a Church. The only Church that goes back to the 30’s AD. The Catholic Church.

Mt 18:15* “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 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. 18* Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

You see. If all else fails, “tell it to the Church”

Mt 28:18* And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19* Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20* teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

And He promised to be with us forever. Anyone who believes that His Church failed is calling our lord a liar.

Lk 10:16* “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

Our Lord is speaking to the early Church leaders here. Anyone who rejects His Church rejects Him.

Jn 16:13 – Spirit of truth will guide you to all truth. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14* He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Declare to whom? Who is our Lord speaking to? The Apostles. The early church.

1Tim 3:14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, 15 if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

The Church. The pillar and bulwark or foundation of truth. When did this Church disappear? Who too it’s place? Why did Jesus say He would be with us forever? Did He lie?

ONE CHURCH!!!

Now from the very earliest giants of Catholic thought. Notice the dates after the quotes:

Ignatius of Antioch

“Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop or by one whom he ordains [i.e., a presbyter]. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church” (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]).

Irenaeus

“But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul—that church which has the tradition and the faith with which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world. And it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition”. (Against Heresies 3:3:1 [A.D. 189]).

Augustine

“We must hold to the Christian religion and to communication in her Church, which is catholic and which is called catholic not only by her own members but even by all her enemies. For when heretics or the adherents of schisms talk about her, not among themselves but with strangers, willy-nilly they call her nothing else but Catholic. For they will not be understood unless they distinguish her by this name which the whole world employs in her regard” (The True Religion 7:12 [A.D. 390]).

“We believe in the holy Church, that is, the Catholic Church; for heretics and schismatics call their own congregations churches. But heretics violate the faith itself by a false opinion about God; schismatics, however, withdraw from fraternal love by hostile separations, although they believe the same things we do. Consequently, neither heretics nor schismatics belong to the Catholic Church; not heretics, because the Church loves God, and not schismatics, because the Church loves neighbor” (Faith and Creed 10:21 [A.D. 393]).

“If you should find someone who does not yet believe in the gospel, what would you [Mani] answer him when he says, ‘I do not believe’? Indeed, I would not believe in the gospel myself if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so” (ibid., 5:6).

“There are many other things which most properly can keep me in [the Catholic Church’s] bosom. The unanimity of peoples and nations keeps me here. Her authority, inaugurated in miracles, nourished by hope, augmented by love, and confirmed by her age, keeps me here. The succession of priests, from the very see of the apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after his resurrection, gave the charge of feeding his sheep [John 21:15–17], up to the present episcopate, keeps me here. And last, the very name Catholic, which, not without reason, belongs to this Church alone, in the face of so many heretics, so much so that, although all heretics want to be called ‘Catholic,’ when a stranger inquires where the Catholic Church meets, none of the heretics would dare to point out his own basilica or house” (Against the Letter of Mani Called “The Foundation” 4:5 [A.D. 397]).

Hope you find this useful.

Your brother in Christ,

AndyP/Doria2

A short illustrated study guide

Same old, same old: A plethora of Christian churches teaching widely varying “truths”.

In his famous work Against the Heresies Irenaeus–the saintly Bishop of Lyon wrote about all the different little groups who made claims to authenticity and gave them a sure fire way of knowing the truth:

“It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors to our own times—men who neither knew nor taught anything like these heretics rave about.

“But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles.”
“With this church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agree—that is, all the faithful in the whole world—and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition”
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This Week’s Ask Alice: Why the Vatican?



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer your Catholic questions
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Roy writes: Jesus wasn’t born and raised in the Vatican, so why the Vatican is your holy city?

Alice explains: Catholics recognize Rome as our holy city since it is the place where Peter, Christ’s successor and our first pope, was martyred. Peter was given the keys to the kingdom by Jesus. Catholics acknowledge Peter as the earthly head of our Church.

“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the powers of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)

Jesus instructed his apostles to preach the gospel all over the world, which meant spreading their efforts outward far past Jerusalem.

“It is not for you to know the times orasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The disciples felt called to travel and preach the gospel in Rome. “There we found some brothers and were urged to stay with them for seven days. And thus we came to Rome.” (Acts 28:14)

Since God is omniscient (all knowing) and exists outside of time, He certainly knew what He was doing when moving our holy city from Jerusalem to Rome. Considering that Jerusalem has been a lit firecracker in the Middle East for centuries, the Holy Spirit wisely inspired Church leaders to choose a sacred city that’s removed from the fighting fray.

From 70 to 130 A.D., Jerusalem was the scene of terrible persecution. Through the centuries Jerusalem has been conquered and ruled by Muslims. Geographically, Rome sits by itself rather than in the midst of the troubled Middle East.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

*****

Doug Lawrence Adds:  I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “All roads lead to Rome.”

In the early days of Christianity, that was literally true … and also, the reverse.

Rome was then the very heart of the civilized world’s system of government, commerce and industry. A network of excellent roads, coupled with easy, reliable connections by sea, made Rome the literal “center” of the earth.

With new Christian communities constantly popping up throughout the world, all of them in need of inspired, timely, and expert guidance, there was truly “no place like Rome” from which to stay in constant contact, with the Holy See of Peter effectively leading the budding church, in all things Catholic.

During the 4th century, with the rise of Emperor Constantine, who at once ended the persecutions, became a dedicated supporter of the Catholic Church, and eventually, a Catholic himself.

The wisdom behind the selection of Rome for the location of the Holy See soon became even more apparent, as the Catholic Church continued to greatly benefit from the dedicated patronage of both the Emperor Constantine and his mother, St. Helena.

The contemporary writings of the Roman historian and Catholic Bishop Eusebius, aptly chronicle those events (and more.)

Read all about that here (particularly in Books IX and X.)

When the Empire eventually fell, the Roman Catholic Church found itself in a unique position, charged with rebuilding modern western civilization in the image of heaven … a daunting task that was eventually accomplished with a very high degree of success … through the grace of God … and the holy, inspired work of generations of dedicated Catholic men and women.

Book Selection: How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

It’s also interesting to note that the Jews, as a nation or people, have never accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah … while the formerly pagan Romans … the ones who actually nailed Jesus to the cross and thrust the spear through his heart … did indeed convert … and they have remained staunchly Catholic for (at least) the last 1500 years.

All the more reason to choose Rome, rather than Jerusalem, as the headquarters of the universal church … at least, until Jesus comes again … bringing with him the “New Jerusalem”.

(Revelation 3:12)  He that shall overcome, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God: and he shall go out no more. And I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and my new name.

(Revelation 21:2)  And I, John, saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Besides … “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it.” (Psalms 127:1)

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

A great example of “circular reasoning” and Protestant denial, in the face of irrefutable Catholic truth.

You asserted the Bible was your ONLY divine authority. I asked you to show me where the Bible teaches that assertion. You didn’t give me one. Instead, you gave me a lot of verses extolling the greatness of Scripture. I already know it’s great. I use it all the time. Hence, if you’re not going to answer my specific request, there is no sense in continuing a discussion with someone who can’t prove from the Bible what she claims from the Bible.

Or perhaps you don’t understand the question (and it wouldn’t be the first time). I had a similar discussion with a Protestant a few years ago, and it took him about a month to understand what I was really asking him. Prior to that, he did the same thing you are doing now, that is, he would quote verses indicting the greatness of Scripture. Then one day it finally dawned on him. Unfortunately, he was not able to come up with a verse, and then the discussion stopped. That is where we are right now.

So, here goes. If you find a verse of Scripture that says the Bible is the ONLY divine authority, I will forsake Catholicism in a heartbeat, because you will have proved it to be a false religion. No kidding, Cheryl. Just one verse will do, and I will disown Catholicism faster than you can say “John Paul II.”

Until then, there is nothing else to talk about. You are the one who initiated this conversation, and you are the one who insisted that we deal with Scripture first. I obliged on both counts. But if you’re going to deal with Scripture, then deal with it. Stop putzing around with verses that don’t prove your point. I hope you understand.

Read the entire exchange

Father Corapi and the Judas Ratio

As I have postulated for years here on POWIP, there is a Judas Ratio.

The Judas Ratio can be thought to be the 8% (1/12) of any demographic segment (whether professional or otherwise) that can be expected to be complete scoundrels.

The concept originated with my father, Dan Sr., who postulated the thought to explain the “radical priests” during the pedophilia outing that occurred some years back. He said something along these lines: “If the Master Himself had one among his group who would sell Him and his own soul for a bag of cash, isn’t it likely the rest of us will have to suffer the same?” That goes for the Church, our schools, our bureaucrats, our politicians, our businesses (managers and employees alike), our neighbors, our family members, et cetera.

I think there is something to this Judas Ratio business. It may be that some of the 8% are never found out, while others are eventually dis-covered. But, nonetheless, I think it holds.

Let us Hypocrites acknowledge it and be on guard – vigilant. Will we deny Him like Peter? Yes. Will we condemn Him as Pilate? Yes. Will we betray Him with a Kiss? Yes. And in fact, we have done this and more to the Eternally crucified Christ.

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What is the difference between a disciple and an Apostle?


What is the difference between a disciple and an Apostle?

Jesus separated those two terms here:

Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles;

Here is an excerpt from the Haydock Bible Commentary:

Re: Verse 13 – These twelve Christ chose as individual companions and domestics. To these he committed the charge of founding and governing his Church. He sent them as legates, or ambassadors, (for this is the import of the word apostle) to all the world. Hence their power was more universal than that of bishops, which is confined to their own dioceses or districts. The jurisdiction of the apostles was not limited to place. (Tirinus) — This power which Jesus Christ delegated to his apostles, and which was for the benefit and regulation of the universal Church in all future ages, the apostles, in their turn, delegated to their successors in the ministry, with such regulations and limitations as have been judged in the Holy Ghost necessary for the proper government of the spiritual kingdom of God upon earth.

And it is the height of presumption to question any ordinations that come to us with the authority of the Catholic Church: for, “whatever the Church says, is true; whatever she permits is lawful; whatever she forbids, is evil; whatever she ordains, is holy; whatever she institutes, is good.” (St. Augustine) — How futile then is the objection of Calvin, who pretends, that an apostle, being nothing but a legate, can make no laws, nor prescribe or teach any thing not expressed in his mandatum! -Calvin, Institutes lib. iv. chap. 8

GOD Bless,

Submitted by Bob Stanley

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Some very important things that Jesus Christ never said or taught

From: The Church or the Bible by Fr. Arnold Damen, S.J. (1815-1890)

Christ did not say,
“Sit down and write Bibles and scatter them over the earth, and let every man read his Bible and judge for himself.”

If Christ had said that, there would never have been a Christianity on the earth at all, but a Babylon and confusion instead, and never one Church, the union of one body.

Hence, Christ never said to His Apostles,
“Go and write Bibles and distribute them, and let everyone judge for himself.”

That injunction was reserved for the Sixteenth Century, and we have seen the result of it. Ever since the Sixteenth Century there have been springing up religion upon religion, and churches upon churches, all fighting and quarreling with one another. And all because of the private interpretation of the Bible.

Christ sent His Apostles with authority to teach all nations, and never gave them any command of writing the Bible. And the Apostles went forth and preached everywhere, and planted the Church of God throughout the earth, but never thought of writing.

The first word written was by Saint Matthew, and he wrote for the benefit of a few individuals. He wrote the Gospel about seven years after Christ left this earth, so that the Church of God, established by Christ, existed seven years before a line was written of the New Testament. Saint Mark wrote about ten years after Christ left this earth; Saint Luke about twenty-five years, and Saint John about sixty-three years after Christ had established the Church of God. Saint John wrote the last portion of the Bible — the Book of Revelation — about sixty-five years after Christ had left this earth and the Church of God had been established.

The Catholic religion had existed sixty-five years before the Bible was completed, before it was written.

Now, I ask you, my dearly beloved separated brethren, were these Christian people, who lived during the period between the establishment of the Church of Jesus and the finishing of the Bible, were they really Christians, good Christians, enlightened Christians? Did they know the religion of Jesus?

Where is the man that will dare to say that those who lived from the time that Christ went up to Heaven to the time that the Bible was completed were not Christians?

It is admitted on all sides, by all denominations, that they were the very best of Christians, the first fruit of the Blood of Jesus Christ. But how did they know what they had to do to save their souls? Was it from the Bible that they learned it? No, because the Bible was not written.

Would our Divine Savior have left His Church for sixty-five years without a teacher, if the Bible is the teacher of man? Most assuredly not.

Were the Apostles Christians, I ask you, my dear Protestant friends? You say, “Yes, sir; they were the very founders of Christianity.”

Now, my dear friends, none of the Apostles
ever read the Bible;
not one of them except perhaps, Saint John. For all of them had died martyrs for the Faith of Jesus Christ and never saw the cover of a Bible. Every one of them died martyrs and heroes for the Church of Jesus before the Bible was completed.

How, then, did those Christians that lived in the first sixty-five years after Christ ascended — how did they know what they had to do to save their souls?

They knew it precisely in the same way that you know it, my dear Catholic friends. You know it from the teachings of the Church of God, and so did the primitive Christians know it.

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What the Catholic Church teaches about the Bible

Thursday of Holy Week: Jesus Institutes the Eucharist – the definitive sacrifice of the New Covenant.


HOLY THURSDAY, marks the beginning of the sacred Triduum, or “three days.” Earlier this day Jesus had given instructions to the disciples on how to prepare for this most holy meal, which will be his last supper.

Through the day they make these preparations (cf Mt 26:17). In the Mass of the Lord’s Supper conducted at our parishes, we remember and make present that Last Supper which Jesus shared with his disciples. We are in the upper room with Jesus and the Apostles and do what they did. Through the ritual of washing the feet (Jn 13:1) of 12 parishioners, we unite in service to one another. Through our celebration of this first Mass and Holy Eucharist (Mt 26:26), we unite ourselves to Jesus and receive his Body and Blood as if for the first time.

At this Eucharist, we especially thank God for his gift of the ministerial priesthood.

After the Last Supper (First Mass) the apostles and Jesus made a short journey across the Kidron Valley to the Garden where he asks them to pray and he experiences his agony (cf Mt 26:30). We too will process in Church with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to a garden (the altar of repose) which has been prepared.

The liturgy ends in silence.

It is an ancient custom to spend an hour before the reposed Blessed Sacrament tonight. We are with Jesus in the Garden and pray as he goes through his agony. Most of our parish churches remain open until close to midnight. It was near Midnight that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, was arrested and taken to the house of the High Priest.

Matthew 26:36-50  Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani. And he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death. Stay you here and watch with me.

And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt.  And he cometh to his disciples and findeth them asleep. And he saith to Peter: What? Could you not watch one hour with me?

Watch ye: and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Again the second time, he went and prayed, saying: My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done. And he cometh again and findeth them sleeping: for their eyes were heavy.  And leaving them, he went again: and he prayed the third time, saying the selfsame word. Then he cometh to his disciples and said to them: Sleep ye now and take your rest.

Behold the hour is at hand: and the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise: let us go. Behold he is at hand that will betray me. As he yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people. And he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he. Hold him fast. And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: Hail, Rabbi. And he kissed him. And Jesus said to him: Friend, whereto art thou come? Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and held him.

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The Catholic Church Is ISRAEL

The Church, particularly the Catholic Church, is Israel. There is no other Israel today, in a Biblical sense, than the Church. The Church is also Zion. There is no other Zion, in a spiritual sense, than the Church. The Church is also the New Jerusalem.  There is no other “Jerusalem,” in a spiritual sense than the Church.  This is a fundamental teaching of the New Testament. Without this understanding, everything becomes convoluted. If you read Israel and the Church as being two separate entities than you’ve missed the boat, and one of the most fundamental teachings of the New Testament just went right over your head.

In the eleventh chapter of St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans he uses the illustration of an olive tree to make his point. He compares the Church to a tree that has it’s roots in the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), and it’s trunk representing the Law and Prophets in the Old Testament. No tree trunk grows upward into infinity. At some point it must sprout branches, and so St. Paul’s “olive tree” does the same. These branches make up the modern Church in Jesus Christ.

Some branches are Jewish Christians. Many branches are Gentile Christians. Both are precious in the eyes of God.  This is the “Israel of God.”

What about those Jews who refused to believe in Jesus Christ? St. Paul himself tells us those are the branches that were cut off from the tree – at least for the time being. These branches can however be grafted back in at any time, and indeed he assures us that someday they all will be, in the fullness of time. As far as we’re concerned anyway, Christianity (neither Judaism nor some piece of real estate in the Middle East) makes up the new “Israel of God,” and it’s been this way ever since Christ initiated the New Covenant some 2,000 years ago.

This is how we Christians are to understand ourselves, and the Church, in the context of Israel and the Old Testament. I cannot stress how incredibly important this is, because if it is not understood, the errors that will arise from it will be nothing short of monumental!

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Great Salvation Mysteries: A small group of well trained but otherwise corrupt men receive power from Heaven to save souls.


Pentecost

Acts 2:38-43  But Peter said to them: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.  And with very many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying: Save yourselves from this perverse generation. They therefore that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles and in the communication of the breaking of bread and in prayers.  And fear came upon every soul. Many wonders also and signs were done by the apostles in Jerusalem: and there was great fervor in all.

Editor’s note: The Blessed Virgin Mary is featured, front and center, in the painting above, primarily because: 1) By special privilege of God, she was never touched by corruption or sin, in any way; 2) Mary is the Mother of God and hence, the Mother of the Church, according to the grace of her divine Son, Jesus Christ; 3) Mary is Christ’s first, best, and most constant disciple; 4) Who better to greet the Holy Spirit than the one whom the Spirit of the Most High God had earlier overshadowed, when Jesus (Yahweh’s Savior) was conceived in her blessed womb?

Every great religious mind, as well as almost every political mind (until about the year 2000) would have to be wrong for same- sex marriage to be right.

Many who disagree with the Catholic Church tend to forget that homosexuality was much more common and approved of by the Roman government in the early Christian era than it is even in 2010. Many in the upper echelons of Greek and Roman culture experimented with all sorts of sexual practices. It would have been far easier for Jesus, the apostles, saints and popes to approve of this conduct than it would to disapprove of it. Christianity might have grown at a faster pace. However, there was a reason for this swimming against the tide, and the faithful accepted it.

This does not appear to be the case today when so many truths are replaced by the whims of the modern world, hence Pope Benedict XVI’s favorite line; “The Dictatorship of Relativism.”  Many on the left howl when the Holy Father uses these words, and yet those churches that have succumbed to these whims of the modern world have seen their numbers plummet, even as their positive mainstream media coverage increases.

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How the Apostles Were Martyred


…Have you recalled that martyrs died so you could have this faith? Every one of the Apostles except St. John the Evangelist died a martyr’s death for our capacity to know that Jesus is Lord and that he died and rose for us.

Andrew was crucified on an X shaped cross after being scourged. He preached to his tormentors to his last breath.

Bartholomew had his skin flayed off.

James the Great (Son of Zebedee) was beheaded.

James the Younger was cast off the Southeast pinnacle of the Temple. When the 100 foot drop did not fully kill him he was beat to death with clubs.

John the Evangelist was thrown into a vat of boiling oil and when he miraculously survived he was sent to prison on the Isle where Patmos where he died years later.

Jude was shot through with arrows.

Mark was dragged to death by horses.

Matthew was killed with a sword.

Phillip was beheaded.

Peter was crucified upside down.

Thomas was stabbed to death with a spear

St. Matthias was stoned then beheaded.

Paul was beheaded.

Luke was Hanged to death.

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