Catechism Clip: It is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities.

catechismbook

814     From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God’s gifts and the diversity of those who receive them. Within the unity of the People of God, a multiplicity of peoples and cultures is gathered together. Among the Church’s members, there are different gifts, offices, conditions, and ways of life. “Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions.” The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church’s unity. Yet sin and the burden of its consequences constantly threaten the gift of unity. And so the Apostle has to exhort Christians to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

815     What are these bonds of unity? Above all, charity “binds everything together in perfect harmony.” But the unity of the pilgrim Church is also assured by visible bonds of communion:

  • profession of one faith received from the Apostles;
  • common celebration of divine worship, especially of the sacraments;
  • apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders, maintaining the fraternal concord of God’s family.

816     “The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. … This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.”

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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)

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

One … Holy … Catholic … Apostolic … Plus 2 More?

The Nicene Creed fittingly noted four marks of the True Church: one, holy, catholic and apostolic. These marks identify four essential qualities and characteristics the Church has and they distinguish the True Church from any false claimants. Now we, of course cannot add authoritatively to this venerable list. Nevertheless permit me a couple of “prayerful additions” to the four marks of the Church. These cannot join the official list but I humbly submit these “marks” for your consideration to serve in a similar way to distinguish the True Church from false claimants and to give insight into the Church’s truest identity.

Read more from Msgr. Charles Pope

The main purpose of this site


Learn the Catholic Faith.

Live the Catholic Faith.

Share the Catholic Faith.

Because there is no substitute
for a regular program of Catholic
prayer and study,
along with full, faithful, active participation in
all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions
of the Catholic Church …

the ONLY church that Jesus Christ
EVER personally founded,

for the GLORY of God and
the PURPOSE of our SALVATION.

O n e – H o l y – C a t h o l i c – A p o s t o l i c

Critics who wonder why we don’t leave the Catholic Church just don’t get it!


John 6:61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you?

John 6:64-70 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that did not believe and who he was that would betray him. And he said: Therefore did I say to you that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father. 

After this, many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him.

Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?

And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.

And we have believed and have known that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.

Jesus answered them: Have not I chosen you twelve? And one of you is a devil.

***

Jesus Christ personally founded only one church … a church that is and will remain holy, Catholic and apostolic, until the end of time …  no matter how badly some of us might behave … simply because the church belongs to God … and the power of the one time, once for all, propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ is more than sufficient to atone for even the deadliest sins of all mankind.

This is not to say that anyone will receive a “free pass” or “license” in order to escape God’s justice, which is perfect.

God is love, but his wrath remains real, formidable, and virtually inescapable, since wrath is due not to a lack of love, but to the divine judgment which necessarily falls upon sin in the moral world, over which God most certainly rules.

The entire length of  human history is nothing more than the blink of an eye to the eternal and almighty God.

Those who believe not, or who do not know God, see the current problems in the church as opportunities to tear down that which they are able to neither appreciate or understand, while the truly faithful see those same events as both a test, and a call to action.

True faith in Jesus Christ also demands faith in his universal church, of which he is known to have said, “…Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” – Matthew 16:17-19

Any questions?

The Anti-Christmas Crowd Has Reason On Their Side, While All We Catholics Have, is God.

The anti-Christmas crowd has reason on their side.

It’s not rational for God, the Supreme Being of the entire universe, to care about the lowly inhabitants of an insignificant planet.

It’s not rational for God to condescend to becoming one of us.

It’s not rational to believe that one person could (at the very same time) be both fully God and fully man.

It’s not rational for God to choose a “putrid backwater” of the ancient world, then known as Roman occupied Palestine and Judea, to be the home of his divine son.

It’s not rational for God to choose a lowly Jewish maiden (the sinless, Virgin Mary) to be the mother of his son.

It’s not rational for God to ask the maiden’s consent.

It’s not rational for God to wait patiently for that consent.

It’s not rational to believe that a woman might conceive a child without benefit of some type of physical sex act or medical procedure.

It’s not rational for humans to believe in angels (or devils).

It’s not rational for a lowly human to even consider being part and party to such an unimaginable, boldly metaphysical, wholly unlikely and totally unparalleled event.

It’s not rational for the here-to-fore unseen, unknowable, ineffable God to expect anyone of sound mind to agree to take part in such a thing.

It’s not rational for the Son of God to be born after the usual nine months of gestation, without loss of the woman’s virginity.

It’s not rational for the Son of God to be born in a stable, because no room was available elsewhere.

It’s not rational for “Kings of the East” to set out on extended pilgrimage based primarily on their limited understanding of ancient and obscure Hebrew prophecy.

It’s not rational to believe that the same Kings were guided to their destination by the appearance of a mysterious, dedicated, still unexplained and unidentified heavenly light (star).

It’s not rational for the Son of God to have to flee the country of his birth in order to foil an assassination attempt on his person, by an earthly king.

It’s not rational for the Son of God to be raised by a decidedly “middle-class” foster-father, in an indistinct and virtually unknown little town called Nazareth, and to eventually become a carpenter.

It’s not rational for a married couple to voluntarily and permanently fore-go sexual relations with each other.

It’s not rational to believe in Scripture/Bible prophecy.

It’s not rational to believe that one man could, during the course of his short, thirty-three years of earthly existence, perfectly fulfill all of the hundreds of Bible prophecies that were written about him.

It’s not rational to believe that the atoning death of the Son of God at the hands of sinful mankind, could somehow ultimately result in the successful reconciliation of mankind with God.

It’s not rational to believe that God so loved the world, that he gave us his only begotten Son: that whoever believes in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting.

It’s not rational to believe that it is possible for a man to raise himself up again from the dead.

It’s not rational to believe that, having risen, that same man could give us his glorified flesh and blood to eat, as true food and true drink, and as the antidote to eternal death and hell.

It’s not rational to believe that a little group of eleven apostles and a few hundred disciples could establish one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church that would eventually convert the pagan Roman Emperor, then the entire Roman Empire, and one day, go on to encompass most of the known world.

It is not rational to believe that having reconciled the world to God by his life, death and resurrection, that Jesus Christ will one day return to judge the living and the dead, and that his kingdom will have no end.

It may not be rational, but the bulk of the above events have already occurred and passed into history, while our Christian faith informs us that the last will also truly come to pass, in God’s good time.

Merry Christmas!

More on this here

How many Churches did Jesus Christ found?

petersheep

Q: How many Churches did Jesus Christ found?

A:  He founded only one Church.
And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” – Matthew 16:18

Notice that it is only ONE CHURCH in that verse. He did say Church, and not churches, did He not?

Thanks to Bob Stanley, of the Catholic Treasure Chest

Click here to read more

Divine Providence and the Catholic Church

 hspiritenhcls

Someone recently wrote:

“Absolutely no church in this world is The Church as you so think that the catholic is. You personally are but a part of the body of Christ. Just as each of us make up the complete body of the living God, Jesus Christ.”

My reply:

I know precisely who I am in Christ, since Jesus and the Church have clearly defined the rights, responsibilities, and privileges that go along with Church membership.

I strongly suspect that no one has ever explained to you how awesome God and his authentic Church really are.

Jesus refers to the Church as his, and he gave his life for it. That makes it holy.

Jesus founded the Catholic Church and no other. That makes it one.

Jesus gave the apostles the “Great Commission” and sent them out into the world to establish the Church and to save souls. That makes it apostolic.

Jesus expressed his fervent desire that all should be one in his authentic Church, even as he and God the Father are one. That makes it catholic (universal).

Jesus gave awesome power to the men he hand-picked and personally trained, so that the fruits of his redemptive work could be freely and properly distributed. That’s authority.

Jesus appointed certain men to offer perfect sacrifice to God for the people, always and everywhere, without fail. That’s  authentic ministerial priesthood and holy communion. 

With Jesus at the head of the Church, and with the Holy Spirit as the official arbiter of all divine truth, the frailties and foibles of the sinful men who govern the Church pose no effective barrier to salvation. That’s divine providence.

Praise God!

Is the Roman Catholic Church the one true holy church of Jesus Christ?

Q: Is the Roman Catholic Church the one true holy church of Jesus Christ?

A: Jesus founded only one Church for the purpose of our salvation … the Church that has been known as Catholic since at least 107 AD.

Jesus authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed the Catholic Church until the end of time, and he did it personally, while he still walked the earth.

Not surprisingly, the Catholic Church remains constituted precisely as Jesus originally set it up … one, holy, catholic, and apostolic … in spite of the 50 or so generations of more or less corrupt men who governed it.

The Catholic Church survived the destruction of Jerusalem, the fall of Rome, and every other type of challenge and persecution the world could throw at it, while it literally converted the whole world for Christ.
The Catholic Church compiled, wrote, translated, and certified the Bible, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and it continues to preserve and defend the entire sacred deposit of faith today.

It is also the longest reigning world government of any kind on earth, responsible for saving the world after the fall of Rome, and for contributing all that’s good to modern western civilization.

The Catholic Church has led countless souls to Heaven by witnessing for Christ, baptizing, and faithfully preaching the Gospel to people of every nation and every generation.

None of this was done in secret. Not even one small part of Catholic doctrine is less than fully documented, not properly explained, or less than completely correlated with the holy scriptures.

Indeed, the Catholic Church maintains a tradition of the world’s finest and most complete theological scholarship and practical philosophy, available freely to all, the likes of which is unrivaled by any other group or faith tradition, anywhere.

Finally, and since the very beginning, the Catholic Church has enjoyed the real and substantial presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist … body, blood, soul and divinity … the one time, once for all, eternal sacrifice for the sins of the world … available to all … right here and right now … not to mention all the other sacraments, which are in themselves close, personal, and intimate encounters with the risen Christ.

I could go on.

Let anyone who chooses to try to refute any or all of the above lodge his objections with Jesus Christ, who remains the head of the Catholic Church .. the only Church for which he suffered and died, and the only Church which is betrothed to him, as his bride.

https://douglawrence.wordpress.com/a-shor…

Here you go Doug – I’m very interested to hear by what means are you saved.

This is a follow up to the earlier post on Catholics and the Eucharist:

Q: Here you go Doug – I’m very interested to hear by what means are you saved.
is it your association with the Catholic Church …
is it the completion of the sacraments …
is it the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross …
or some other means?

A: I’m “saved” by God’s total self-giving for my salvation, and by my personal decision to cooperate with him, his grace, and his plan.

God’s plan for our salvation obviously includes the following:

First and most essentially,  Jesus the Messiah, and all his great works …

Next, the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church which Jesus personally founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed, for the purpose of our salvation …

Next, the sacraments of the Church, which were instituted by Jesus Christ to give grace …

And finally, the faith and the works of all the People of God, who remain part of the mystical body of Christ, of which Jesus remains the head.

There typically is no other way. (And please note that Jesus is first and foremost in each of the above.)

Click here for a study of salvation, searching the Catholic Catechism

Which church is the only true church on earth?

Q: Which church is the only true church on earth?

A: The true Church is the one that Jesus Christ personally founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed, while he still walked the earth.

The true Church remains one, holy, universal, and apostolic to this day, as it will remain until the end of time.

 The true Church is both a supernatural institution that remains a “pilgrim” on the earth, and the Kingdom of God, made up of all the faithful “People of God”.

The true Church was first established in Jerusalem by the apostles, on Pentecost, courtesy of the Holy Spirit, and it was later established in Rome by St. Peter, around 42 AD. It has existed there continuously, ever since.

The true Church converted many of the local Jews and pagans for Christ, it converted the Roman emperor Constantine for Christ, it converted the Roman empire for Christ, and then went on to convert most of the known world for Christ.

The true Church saved the world after the fall of the Roman empire, stepping up to become the world’s only effective government, during some of the worst times the world has ever seen.

The true Church eventually rebuilt western civilization, in the image of Heaven.

The true Church provided the scholarship, theology, law, and philosophy that forms the basis for our present western system of law, justice, and higher education.

The true Church is still converting the world, one soul at a time, while giving correct praise and proper worship to God, 24/7 and 365, every hour of every day, all around the globe, as it will continue to do, until the end of time.

The true Church … because there is only one … incorporates within it all of the Orthodox Churches, and all of the authentically Christian denominations … whether they know it … or whether they agree with it … or not.

The true Church has Jesus as CEO, and the Holy Spirit as its’ full-time advocate and constant arbiter of all divine truth.

The true Church is the authentic earthly distributor of all God’s grace, truth, and salvation.

The true Church miraculously manages to carry on while populated, governed, and staffed by some who are heinous sinners, some who are corrupt officials, and some who are deviant criminals.

At the same time, the true Church remains the spiritual “homeland” of countless holy priests and blessed souls, some presently alive on earth, and some already dwelling eternally in heaven.

The true Church looks forward to the imminent return of Jesus Christ, the Judgment of all mankind, and the life of the world to come.

The true Church has been known as Catholic, since at least 107 AD.

Someone please explain Catholicism to me?

Q: Someone please explain Catholicism to me?

My girlfriend is catholic and I’m protestant, so I want to know a bit about it like:
What was the origin of the pope and having a hierarchy within the church. What do you believe exactly leads to salvation? What would a catholic probably think about being married to a protestant. What is mass and confessions like. What’s with hail Marys and the other prayers, etc.

Plus do they believe you have to be baptised in order to be saved and anything else that might be interesting to know.

I’ve never been to a catholic church in my life.

A: It would be impossible to answer all your questions here, but there’s a link to the Catechism at the bottom, and plenty of links to other Catholic resources on this site.

Here’s a fairly comprehensive overview:

Catholicism is based on all the original authority, grace, and truth that Jesus obtained for us and and willed to us, and that the Holy Spirit delivered to the Church, the “People of God” and the “Mystical Body of Christ” at its’ birth, on Pentecost.

The authentic Church has been known as Catholic since at least 107 AD.

St. Peter was selected by God the Father to lead the Church, sworn in by Jesus, and accepted as the leader of the Church, by all the apostles.

The apostles shared the awesome power of binding and loosing, on earth and in heaven, and in governing the Church, but the holy office of Pope is charged with making the final decision, and the Pope remains at the top of the earthly hierarchy.

The authentic Christian Church was originally and eternally constituted by Jesus Christ as one (there are no other authentic Christian churches), holy (it belongs to God), catholic (universal – one for all) and apostolic (established and governed by the apostles, and later, by their duly ordained successors).

Absent all of these four marks, no church can claim to be the “true” church.

Jesus founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed the Catholic Church to lead all to salvation in his grace.

The Holy Spirit is the eternal advocate of the Church, and the arbiter of all divine truth. The Holy Spirit guides the Church from age to age, by means of sacred Tradition.

“Tradition” defines how Catholics should live and worship. Tradition may be written or oral. The Bible is a portion of authentic Catholic Church Tradition reduced to writing, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Catholics, by nature of their baptism, are part of the Royal Priesthood of all believers in Christ.

Catholics are typically baptized as infants, relying on the faith of the Church and the power of God for their sanctification and their salvation. Baptism may be conferred at any age, but when received by infants, Baptism serves as the ultimate demonstration of personal salvation in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, according to the will of God the Father, with absolutely NO works at all.

Baptism serves to remove all traces of sin … original sin and other … makes one a temple of the Holy Spirit, an adopted child of God, a citizen of Heaven, co-heir with Jesus Christ, and a member of the Church.

The Ministerial Priesthood is ordered towards service to the faith community, and sacrifice to God, and it complements the work and the mission of the Royal Priesthood.

The primary duty of the ministerial priesthood is pastoral in nature, and sacramental in application.

Catholics rely on 7 sacraments, each of them personally instituted by Jesus Christ, as the primary channels of God’s grace and peace, in this sphere of existence:

Baptism, Reconciliation, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick.

All of these are biblical, and most are essential to the salvation of the believer. All constitute a close encounter with the risen Christ, courtesy of the power of the Holy Spirit, working through the Church, and through the ministerial priesthood.

The Mass … where Jesus becomes truly present for us on the altar, and Holy Communion, where we personally receive the risen Christ … body, blood, soul, and divinity, constitutes the source and summit of all Catholic worship.

The Mass constitutes the eternal fulfillment of the Jewish Passover, and it also fulfills the command that Jesus gave us at the Last Supper, to “Do this in memory of me.”

The Mass also re-presents Christ’s one time, once for all, eternal sacrifice for sin, and makes possible our current day participation in that very same sacrifice … as well as our regular reception of all the graces that continue to flow from it.

The Catholic Church celebrates Mass every hour of every day, every day of every year, all around the world, as a holy propitiation for the sins of the whole world.

Catholics are blessed to receive the real and substantial body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, as often as two times each day … three times in a day, if in danger of death.

Holy Communion constitutes the central point of our participation in the Catholic faith, personally uniting every Catholic with Jesus Christ, with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, and with every other faithful member of the Christian Church, whether they might be alive here on earth, awaiting admittance to heaven in purgatory, or already enjoying their eternal reward, in heaven.

First among these holy people of God, according to the order of grace, is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, the New Eve, and Jesus’ first, best, and most constant disciple.

God honored Mary in a totally unique, equisite, and infinitely perfect way when he chose her to be the mother of his divine Son, Jesus. Any honors we Catholics might give to the Blessed Virgin, who remains a creature, as we are, pale in comparison to that which God has already given her. 

Catholics believe that Mary has already been admitted to Heaven, and that she has already received all of the rewards and promises that Jesus desires to share with those who manage to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, with the help of his grace.

Catholics rightly understand that Mary, though still a mere creature, already dwells with her divine Son in the eternal glory of Heaven, and that she has already received the recognition, the power, and the fullness of the eternal rewards that God generously offers to each and every one of the faithful. 

For specific details on all of these “rewards” read the Book of Revelation, Chapters 2,3,11,13,15,21, and see exactly what has been promised to all of “those that shall overcome”.

Catholics also understand that no one is truly “saved” until Jesus personally and finally invites them into heaven.

Until then, we remain in blessed hope, relying on a lifetime of full, active, and charitable participation in all the work, worship, sacraments, and devotions of the Catholic Church, to guide and sanctify us.

The Catholic Church is the ONLY Church that Jesus ever founded, authorized, and eternally guaranteed, for the purpose of our salvation.

Jesus remains the head of the Catholic Church, and faith in Christ necessitates faith in his authentic Church, even if some of those who belong to, and even govern the Church, are terrible sinners.

Catholics understand all this by means of a 2000 year old tradition of some of the finest theological scholarship and philosophy that the world has ever known. Scholarship, theology, and philosophy that is freely available to all.

The Catholic faith is clearly defined through Scripture, through Tradition, and through the authentic teachings of the Pope and the Bishops, who were charged with that sacred duty by Jesus Christ, himself.

These “3 witnesses” have always been in complete agreement, and are impossible to refute. This is itself a biblical concept.

For all these reasons and many more, the Catholic faith remains the most practical, complete, truthful, and fully documented faith on earth … or for that matter … ANYWHERE else.

The final proof of this divine practicality can be found in the broad, comforting, and remarkably effective array of pastoral and sacramental care that is available to the sick and the dying … care that is more than powerful enough to literally snatch the soul of even a heinous sinner away from Satan the devil, before he’s even had time to notice.

In short, from conception until natural death, Catholics enjoy all the best that God has to give, and we look forward with blessed hope, to someday receiving all that Jesus Christ has promised us, in the next life.

We Catholics like to do all this In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Link to the Catholic Catechism