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"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Mt 16:18-19)

1 Timothy 3:15


"The Church, instituted by the Lord and confirmed by the Apostles, is one for all men;
but the frantic folly of the diverse impious acts sects has cut them off from her. It cannot
be denied that this tearing asunder of the faith has arisen from the defect of poor intelligence,
which twists what is read to conform to its opinion, instead of adjusting its opinion to the
meaning of what is read. However, while individual parties fight among themselves, the
Church stands revealed not only by her own doctrines, but by those also of her adversaries.
And although they are all arranged against her, she confutes the most wicked error which
they all share, by the very fact that she is alone and One.

All the heretics, therefore, come against the Church; but while all the heretics can conquer
each other, they can win nothing for themselves. For their victory is the triumph of the
Church over all of them. One heresy struggles against that teaching of another, which the
faith of the Church has already condemned in the other heresy, - for there is nothing which
the heretics hold in common, ' and the result is that they affirm our faith while fighting among themselves."
Saint Hilary of Poitiers... The Trinity, 7:4, 356 A.D.. Jurgens 865

Written by Bob Stanley, January 22, 1999

Mark.16 Verses 15 to 17

    [15] And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.
    [16] He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

We know because the Kingdom of GOD promised in Holy Scripture is the Catholic Church*. Note: Saint Matthew most often used the term Kingdom of Heaven instead, as he directed his Gospel to the Jews, and they were forbidden to even say the name of GOD. *Lumen Gentium I,3-5 Why did Jesus Christ become Incarnate in the first place? Was it to leave us with a book, or to establish a Church? Well, He just happened to tell us why: "But He said to them, "To the other towns also I must PROCLAIM THE KINGDOM OF GOD, FOR THIS IS WHY I HAVE BEEN SENT"." Luke 4:43 "But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of GOD." Luke 9:27 Jesus Christ founded His Church shortly after making this statement, and some to whom He spoke will live to see it. Written by bstanley check his site out,what a great here..

Categories of Documents

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Apostolic Constitution
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The weight of authority behind a teaching of the Papal Magisterium depends on the dogmatic history of the teaching and the intention of the Supreme Pontiff. Papal addresses and documents invariably contain teachings in several categories of authority. Some of these teachings will be "of the faith" (de fide),  requiring the assent of Catholics by reason of the virtue of faith's obligation to God revealing. Among such de fide teachings will be those which have been solemnly defined (such as the divinity of Christ, or, the Immaculate Conception of Mary), and those which, while they have not been solemnly defined, belong to the infallible ordinary Magisterium, having been taught "semper et ubique" (always and everywhere). Examples of the latter include the evil of certain sins, such as abortion or adultery, or the restriction of the priesthood to men.

Papal addresses and documents may also contain teachings which come from the common teaching of the Church, but which cannot yet be said to be de fide, and even new insights and explanations which manifest the mind of the Magisterium. Such authentic teaching has a presumption of correctness and deserves the reverence and submission of Catholics. By doing so peaceful communion in matters of the faith is maintained throughout the Church, properly gathered around the principle of unity in faith given by Christ to the Church, Peter and his successors. On this point the Second Vatican Council taught in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium

This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme Magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking. [Lumen gentium 25]

Among the elements mentioned by the Council for determining the mind and intention of the Pontiff is the character of the document. Papal addresses and documents fall into certain recognized categories with levels of authority relative to each other. The following lists those categories from those with the highest weight to those with the least

The One True Church...
By Fr. Arnold Damen S.J.

The One True Church, by Fr. Arnold Damen S.J.(1815-1890)

About this Article and its Author:

Father Arnold Damen was born in the province of North Brabant, Holland, on March 20, 1815. He was admitted to the Society of Jesus, November 21, 1837, and was one of the band of young novices brought over to this country by Father DeSmet, renowned Jesuit missionary to the American Indians. In his illustrious career, which spanned some fifty years of apostolic work before his death on January 1, 1890, Father Damen and his companions conducted missions in nearly every principal city of the United States. He is said to have been more widely known in this country, and at one time to have exercised personally a greater influence than any bishop or priest in the Catholic Church.

Little wonder, for by his majestic presence and force of eloquence, Father Damen as a missionary rose to a success that surpassed anything ever before --- or since --- known in America. The fiery apostolic zeal of this beloved and pious priest can only scarcely be measured by the twelve thousand conversions to Catholicism for which he was responsible, often receiving as many as sixty or seventy souls into the Church in one day. For it must be noted, too, that in the midst of all this remarkable labor, he also managed to found and to organize the great Jesuit institutions of Chicago.

What explains the inspiring achievement of Father Damen? As one writer expressed it, "He cared nothing for applause or criticism. He was working to save souls." In other words, his noble accomplishments were the fruits of immense charity. That is, charity in the truest sense: He loved God and his fellow man so much that he would spare no energy or effort that was necessary to wrest a soul from the spiritual error and darkness which would bring about its eternal loss. And to this saintly Jesuit, such was the certain fate always and everywhere present outside the one true Church.

Father Damen preached in an age quite recent to our own, when Catholics not only still universally believed but lived by the infallibly declared, immutably constant dogma of the Faith, "Outside the Church there is no salvation." This was, in fact, his whole creed and teaching, by which he effectively converted so many.

We are pleased to reprint Father Damen's compelling sermon, "The One True Church," unedited, exactly as it was first published shortly after his death in 1890. In so doing, we have two purposes: One is to recall to our fellow Catholics of whatever rank or dignity within the Church that the unequivocal belief in the doctrine on salvation is not only essential to the recovery of the Faith from the grave errors which now corrupt it, but it is the inseparable mark of the true Church Militant. The second and all important purpose, of course, is to encourage Catholics to place this imperative message in the hands of non-Catholics. By so doing, all of you who help in such apostolic labors will be continuing the blessed work of the venerable priest, Arnold Damen.

Nihil Obstat: T.L. Kinkead, Censor Deputatus. Imprimatur: Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York. "The Only Church That Christ Established Is The Catholic Church." "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be condemned." -- Mark XVI, 16.

From these words of our Divine Saviour, it has already been proved to you, that faith is necessary for salvation, and without faith there is no salvation; without faith there is eternal damnation. Read your own Protestant Bible, 16th verse of St. Mark, and you will find it stronger there than in the Catholic Bible. Now, then, what kind of faith must a man have to be saved? Will any faith do? Why, if any faith will do, the devil himself will be saved, for the Bible says that devils believe and tremble. It is, therefore, not a matter of indifference what religion a man professes; he must profess the right and true religion, and without that there is no hope of salvation, for it stands to reason, my dear people, that if God reveals a thing or teaches a thing, He wants to be believed. Not to believe is to insult God. Doubting His word, or believing even with doubt and hesitation, is an insult to God, because it is doubting His Sacred Word. We must, therefore, believe without doubting, without hesitating.
I have said, out of the Catholic Church there is no divine faith --- can be no divine faith out of that Church. Some of the Protestant friends will be shocked at this, to hear me say that out of the Catholic Church there is no divine faith, and that without faith there is no salvation, but damnation. I will prove all I have said. I have said that out of the Catholic Church there can be no divine faith. What is divine faith? When we believe a thing upon the authority of God, and believe it without doubt, without hesitating.
Now, all our separated brethren outside of the Catholic Church take the private interpretation of the Bible for their guide; but the private interpretation of the Bible can never give them divine faith. Let me, for instance, suppose for a moment, here is a Presbyterian; he reads his Bible; from the reading of his Bible he comes to the conclusion that Jesus Christ is God. Now, you know this is the most essential of all Christian doctrines --- the foundation of all Christianity. From the reading of his Bible he comes to the conclusion that Jesus Christ is God; and he is a sensible man, and intelligent man, and not a presumptuous man.
And he says: "Here is my Unitarian neighbor, who is just as reasonable and intelligent as I am, as honest, as learned and as prayerful as I am, and, from the reading of the Bible, he comes to the conclusion that Christ is not God at all. "Now," says he, "to the best of my opinion and judgment, I am right, and my Unitarian neighbor is wrong; but, after all," says he, "I may be mistaken! Perhaps I have not the right meaning of the text, and if I am wrong, perhaps he is right, after all; but, to the best of my opinion and judgment, I am right and he is wrong." On what does he believe? On what authority? On his own opinion and judgment. And what is that? A human opinion --- human testimony, and, therefore, a human faith. He cannot say positively, "I am sure, positively sure, as sure as there is a God in heaven, that this is the meaning of the text." Therefore, he has no other authority but his own opinion and judgment, and what his preacher tells him. But the preacher is a smart man. There are many smart Unitarian preachers also, but that proves nothing; it is only human authority, and nothing else, and therefore, only human faith. What is human faith? Believing a thing upon the testimony of man. Divine faith is believing a thing on the testimony of God.

The Catholic has divine faith, and why? Because the Catholic says: "I believe in such and such a thing." Why? "Because the Church teaches me so." And why do you believe the Church? "Because God has commanded me to believe the teaching of the Church; and God has threatened me with damnation if I do not believe the Church, and we are taught by St. Peter, in his epistle, that there is no private prophecy or interpretation of the Scriptures, for the unlearned and unstable wrest the very Scriptures, the Bible, to their own damnation." That is strong language, my dear people, but that is the language of St. Peter, the head of the Apostles.
The unlearned and unstable wrest the Bible to their own damnation! And yet, after all, the Bible is the book of God, the language of inspiration; at least, when we have a true Bible, as we Catholics have, and you Protestants have not. But, my dearly beloved Protestant friends, do not be offended at me for saying that. Your own most learned preachers and bishops tell you that, and some have written whole volumes in order to prove that the English translation, which you have, is a very faulty and false translation. Now, therefore, I say that the true Bible is as the Catholics have it, the Latin Vulgate; and the most learned among the Protestants themselves have agreed that the Latin Vulgate Bible, which the Catholic Church always makes use of, is the best in existence; and, therefore, it is, as you may have perceived, that when I preach I give the text in Latin, because the Latin text of the Vulgate is the best extant.

Now, they may say that Catholics acknowledge the Word of God; that it is the language of inspiration; and that, therefore, we are sure that we have the Word of God; but, my dear people, the very best thing may be abused, the very best thing; and, therefore, our Divine Saviour has given us a living teacher, that is to give us the true meaning of the Bible. And He has provided a teacher with infallibility; and this was absolutely necessary, for without this --- without infallibility we could never be sure of our faith.
There must be an infallibility; and we see that in every well-ordered government, in every government --- in England, in the United States, and in every country, empire and republic, there is a Constitution and a supreme law. But you are not at liberty to explain that Constitution and supreme law as you think proper, for then there would be no more law if every man were allowed to explain the law and Constitution as he should think proper. Therefore, in all governments there is a supreme judge and supreme court, and to the supreme judge is referred all different understandings of the law and the Constitution. By the decisions of the supreme judge all have to abide, and if they did not abide by that decision why, my dear people, there would be no law any more, but anarchy, disorder and confusion.
Again, suppose for a moment that the Blessed Saviour has been less wise than human governments, and that He had not provided for the understanding of His Constitution, and of His Law of the Church of God. If He had not, my dear people, it would never have stood as it has stood for the last eighteen hundred and fifty-four years. He has then established a Supreme Court, a Supreme Judge in the Church of the Living God.

It is admitted on all sides, by Protestants and Catholics alike acknowledged, that Christ has established a Church; and, strange to say, all our Protestant friends acknowledge, too, that He has established but one Church --- but one Church --- for, whenever Christ speaks of His Church, it is always in the singular. Bible readers, remember that; my Protestant friends, pay attention. He says: "Hear the Church," --- not hear the churches --- "I have built My Church upon a rock" --- not My churches. Whenever He speaks, whether in figures or parables of His Church, He always conveys to the mind a oneness, a union, a unity.
He speaks of His Church as a sheepfold, in which there is but one shepherd --- that is the head of all, and the sheep are made to follow his voice; "other sheep I have who are not of this fold." One fold, you see. He speaks of His Church as of a kingdom, in which there is but one king to rule all; speaks of His Church as a family in which there is but one father at the head; speaks of His Church as a tree, and all the branches of that tree are connected with the trunk, and the trunk with the roots; and Christ is the root, and the trunk is Peter and the Popes, and the large branches are the bishops, and the smaller branches the priests, and the fruit upon that tree are the faithful throughout the world; and the branch, says He, that is cut off from that tree shall wither away, produce no fruit, and is only fit to be cast into the fire --- that is, damnation.
This is plain speaking, me dear people; but there is no use in covering the truth. I want to speak the truth to you, as the Apostles preached it in their time --- no salvation out of the Church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Now, which is that Church? There are now three hundred and fifty different Protestant churches in existence, and almost every year one or two more are added; and besides this number there is the Catholic Church. Now, which of all these varied churches is the one Church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? All claim to be the Church of Jesus. But, my dear beloved people, it is evident no church can be the Church of Jesus except the one that was established by Jesus. And when did Jesus establish His Church? When? When He was here upon earth. And how long ago is it that Christ was upon earth? You know our Christian era dates from Him. He was born many centuries ago. That is an historical fact admitted by all. He lived on earth thirty-three years. That was about nineteen centuries before our time. That is the time Christ established His Church on earth.
Any Church, then, that has not existed thus long, is not the Church of Jesus Christ, but is the institution or invention of some man or other; not of God, Not of Christ, but of man.
Now, where is the Church, and which is the Church that has existed thus long? All history inform you that is the Catholic Church; she, and she only among all Christian denominations on the face of the earth, has existed so long. All history, I say, bears testimony to this; not only Catholic history, but Pagan history, Jewish history and Protestant history, indirectly. The history, then, of all nations, of all people, bears testimony that the Catholic Church is the oldest, the first; is the one established by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
If there be any Protestant preacher who can prove that the Catholic Church has come into existence since that time, let him come to see me, and I will give him a thousand dollars. My dear preachers, here is a chance of making money --- a thousand dollars for you. Not only all history, but all the monuments of antiquity bear testimony to this, and all the nations of the earth proclaim it. Call on one of your preachers and ask him which was the first church --- the first Christian Church. Was it the Presbyterian, the Episcopalian, the Church of England, the Methodist, the Universalist or the Unitarian? And they will answer you it was the Catholic Church. But, my dear friend, if you admit that the Catholic Church is the first and the oldest --- the Church established by Christ --- why are you not a Catholic?
To this they answer that the Catholic Church has become corrupted; has fallen into error, and that, therefore, it was necessary to establish a new church. A new church, a new religion. And to this we answer: that if the Catholic Church had been once the true church, then she is true yet, and shall be the true Church of God to the end of time, or Jesus Christ has deceived us. Hear me, Jesus, hear what I say! I say that if the Catholic Church now, in the nineteenth century, is not the true Church of God as she was 1854 years ago, then I say, Jesus, Thou has deceived us, and Thou art an imposter! And if I do not speak the truth, Jesus, strike me dead in the pulpit --- let me fall dead in the pulpit, for I do not want to be a preacher of a false religion!

I will prove what I have said. If the Catholic Church has been once the true Church of God, as is admitted by all, then she is the true Church yet, and shall be the true Church of God until the end of time, for Christ has promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. He says that He has built it upon a rock, and that the gates of hell shall never prevail against it.
Now, my dear people, if the Catholic Church has fallen into error, then the gates of hell have prevailed against her; and if the gates of hell have prevailed against her, then Christ has not kept His promise, then He has deceived us, and if He has deceived us, then He is an imposter! If He be an imposter, then He is not God, and if He be not God, then all Christianity is a cheat and an imposition.
Again, in St. Matthew, 28th chapter and verses XIX and XX., our Divine Saviour says to His Apostles: "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe whatsoever I have commanded you." "Lo," says He, "I, Jesus, the Son of the Living God, I, the Infinite Wisdom, the Eternal Truth, am with you all days, even until the end of the world." Christ, then, solemnly swears that He shall be with His Church all days to the end of time, to the consummation of the world.
But Christ cannot remain with the Church that teaches error, or falsehood, or corruption. If, therefore, the Catholic Church has fallen into error and corruption, as our Protestant friends say she has, then Christ must have abandoned her; if so, He has broken His oath; if He has broken His oath He is a perjurer, and there is no Christianity at all.
Again, our Divine Saviour (St. John, 14th chapter) has promised that He would send to His Church the Spirit of Truth, to abide with her forever. If, then, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, teaches the Church all truth, and teaches her all truth forever, then there never has been, and never can be, one single error in the Church of God, for where there is all truth there is no error whatsoever. Christ has solemnly promised that He will send to the Church the Spirit of Truth, who shall teach all truth forever; therefore, there has never been a single error in the Church of God, or Christ has failed in His promises if there has.
Again, Christ commands us to hear and believe the teachings of the Church in all things; at all times and in all places. He does not say hear the Church for a thousand years or for fifteen hundred years, but hear the Church, without any limitation, without any reservation, or any restriction of time whatever. That is, at all times; in all things until the end of time, and he that does not hear the Church let him be unto thee, says Christ, as a heathen and as a publican.
Therefore, Christ says that those who refuse to hear the Church must be looked upon as heathens; and what is a heathen? One that does not worship the true God; and a publican is a public sinner. This is strong language. Could Christ command me to believe the Church if the Church could have led me astray --- could lead me into error? If the teaching of the Church be corrupt, could He, the God of truth, command me without any restriction or limitation to hear and believe the teachings of the Church which He has established?
Again: Our Divine Saviour commands me to hear and believe the teaching of the Church in the same manner as if He Himself were to speak to us. "He that heareth you," says He, in His charge to the Apostles, "heareth Me, and he that despiseth you despiseth Me." So then, when I believe what the Church teaches I believe what God teaches. If I refuse what the Church teaches I refuse what God teaches. So that Christ has made the Church the organ by which He speaks to man, and tells us positively that we must believe the teaching of the Church as if He himself were to speak to us. Therefore, says St. Paul, in his Epistle to Timothy, "the Church is the ground" --- that is, the strong foundation --- "and the pillar of the truth." Take the ground or foundation of this edifice away, and it crumbles down; so with regard to these pillars upon which the roof rests; take them away and the roof will fall in; so St. Paul says, "the Church is the ground and the pillar of truth," and the moment you take away the authority of the Church of God you induce all kinds of errors and blasphemous doctrines. Do we not see it?

In the sixteenth century Protestantism did away with the authority of the Church and constituted every man his own judge of the Bible, and what was the consequence? Religion upon religion, church upon church, sprang into existence, and has never stopped springing up new churches to this day.
When I gave my Mission in Flint, Michigan, I invited, as I have done here, my Protestant friends to come and see me. A good and intelligent man came to me and said: "I will avail myself of this opportunity to converse with you." "What Church do you belong to, my friend," said I. "To the Church of the Twelve Apostles," said he. "Ha! ha!" said I, "I belong to that Church too. But, tell me, my friend, where was you Church started?" "In Terre Haute, Indiana," said he. "Who started the Church, and who were the Twelve Apostles, my friend?" said I. "They were twelve farmers," said he; "we all belonged to the same Church --- the Presbyterian --- but we quarreled with our preacher, separated from him, and started a Church of our own." "And that," said I, "is the Twelve Apostles you belonged to --- twelve farmers of Indiana! The Church came into existence about thirty years ago." A few years ago, when I was in Terre Haute, I asked to be shown the Church of the Twelve Apostles. I was taken to a window and it was pointed out to me, "but it is not in existence any more," said my informant, "it is used as a wagonmaker's shop now."
Again, St. Paul, in his Epistles to the Galatians, says: "Though we Apostles, or even an angel from heaven were to come an preach to you a different Gospel from what we have preached, let him be anathema." That is the language of St. Paul, because, my dearly beloved people, religion must come from God, not from man. No man has a right to establish a religion; no man has a right to dictate to his fellow-man what he shall believe and what he shall do to save his soul. Religion must come from God, and any religion that is not established by God is a false religion, a human institution, and not an institution of God; and therefore did St. Paul say in his Epistles to the Galatians, "Though we Apostles or even an angel from heaven were to come and preach to you a new Gospel, a new religion, let them be anathema."

You see then, my dearly beloved people, from the text of the Scripture I have quoted that, if the Catholic Church has been once the true Church, then she is yet the true Church. You have also seen from what I have said that the Catholic Church is the institution of God, and not of man, and this is a fact --- a fact of history, and no fact of history so well supported, so well proved, as that the Catholic Church is the first, the Church established by Jesus Christ.
So, in like manner, it is an historical fact that all the Protestant churches are the institutions of man --- every one of them. And I will give you their dates, and the names of their founders or institutors. In the year 1520 --- 368 years ago --- the first Protestant came into the world. Before that one there was not a Protestant in the world, not one on the face of the whole earth; and that one, as all history tells us, was Martin Luther, who was a Catholic priest, who fell away from the Church through pride, and married a nun. He was excommunicated from the Church, cut off, banished, and made a new religion of his own. Before Martin Luther there was not a Protestant in the world; he was the first to raise the standard of rebellion and revolt against the Church of God. He said to his disciples that they should take the Bible for their guide, and they did so.
But they soon quarreled with him; Zuinglius, and a number of others, and every one of them started a new religion of his own. After the disciples of Martin Luther came John Calvin, who in Geneva established the Presbyterian religion, and hence, almost all of those religions go by the name of their founder.
I ask the Protestant, "Why are you a Lutheran, my friend?" "Well," says he, "because in believe in the doctrine of good Martin Luther." Hence, not of Christ, but of man --- Martin Luther. And what kind of man was he? A man who had broken the solemn oath he had made at the altar of God, at his ordination, ever to lead a pure, single, and virginal life. He broke that solemn oath, and married a Sister Catherine, who had also taken the same oath of chastity and virtue. And this is the first founder of Protestantism in the world. The very name by which they are known tells you they came from Martin Luther. So the Presbyterians are sometimes called Calvinists because they come from, or profess to believe in, John Calvin.

After them came Henry VIII. He was a Catholic, and defended the Catholic religion; he wrote a book against Martin Luther in defense of the Catholic doctrine. That book I have myself seen in the library of the Vatican at Rome a few years ago. Henry VIII defended the religion, and for doing so was titled by the Pope "Defender of the Faith." It came down with his successors, and Queen Victoria inherits it to-day.
He was married to Catherine of Aragon; but there was at his court a maid of honor to the Queen, named Ann Boleyn, who was a beautiful woman, and captivating in appearance. Henry was determined to have her. But he was a married man. He put in a petition to the Pope to be allowed to marry her --- and a foolish petition it was, for the Pope had no power to grant the prayer of it. The Pope and all the bishops in the world cannot go against the will of God.
Christ says: "If a man putteth away his wife and marrieth another, he committeth adultery, and he that marrieth her who is put away committeth adultery also." As the Pope would not grant the prayer of Henry's petition he took Ann Boleyn anyhow, and was excommunicated from the Church. After a while there was another maid of honor, prettier than the first, more beautiful an charming in the eyes of Henry, and he said he must have her, too. He took the third wife, and a fourth, fifth and sixth followed.
Now this is the founder of the Anglican Church, the Church of England; and, therefore, it is that it goes by the name of the Church of England. Our Episcopalian friends are making great efforts nowadays to call themselves Catholic, but they shall never come to it. They own that the name Catholic is a glorious one, and they would like to possess it.
The Apostles said: "I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church" --- they never said, in the Anglican Church. The Anglicans deny their religion, for they say they believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church. Ask them are they Catholics, and they say, "Yes, but not Roman Catholics; we are English Catholics." What is the meaning of the word Catholic? I comes from the Greek word "Catholicus" --- universal --- spread all over the earth, and everywhere the same. Now, first of all, the Anglican Church is not spread all over the earth; it only exists in a few countries, and chiefly only where the English language is spoken. Secondly, they are not the same all over the earth, for there are now four different Anglican churches: The Low Church, the High Church, the Ritualist Church and the Puseyite Church.
"Catholicus" means more than this, not only spread all over the earth and everywhere the same, but it means, moreover, at all times the same, from Christ up to the present day. Now, then, they have not been in existence from the time of Christ. There never was an Episcopalian Church or an Anglican Church before Henry VIII. The Catholic Church had already existed fifteen hundred years before the Episcopal came into the world.
After Episcopalianism different other churches sprang up. Next came the Methodist, about one hundred and fifty years ago. It was started by John Wesley, who was at first a member of the Episcopalian Church; subsequently he joined the Moravian Brethren, but not liking them, he made a religion of his own --- the Methodist Church. After John Wesley several others sprang up; and finally came the Campbellites, about sixty years ago. This Church was established by Alexander Campbell, a Scotchman.

Well, now, my dear beloved people, you may think that the act of the twelve apostles of Indiana was a ridiculous one, but they had as much right to establish a church as had Henry VIII, or Martin Luther, or John Calvin. They had no right at all, and neither had Henry VIII, or the rest of them any right whatsoever.
Christ had established His Church and given His solemn oath that His Church should stand to the end of time; promised that He had built it upon rock, and that the gates of hell should never prevail against it --- hence, me dear people, all those different denominations of religion are the invention of man; and I ask you can man save the soul of his fellow-man by any institution he can make? Must not religion come from God?
And, therefore, my dearly beloved separated brethren, think over it seriously. You have a soul to be saved, and that soul must be saved or damned; either one or the other, it will dwell with God in heaven or with the devil in hell; therefore, seriously meditate upon it.
When I gave my Mission in Brooklyn several Protestants became Catholics. Among them there was a very highly educated and intelligent Virginian. He was a Presbyterian. After he had listened to my lecture he went to see his minister, and he asked him to be kind enough to explain a text of the Bible. The minister gave him the meaning. "Well, now," said the gentleman, "are you positive and sure that is the meaning of the text, for several other Protestants explain it differently?" "Why, my dear young man," says the preacher, "we never can be certain of our faith." "Well, then," says the young man, "good-bye to you: If I cannot be sure of my faith in the Protestant Church, I will go where I can," and he became a Catholic. We are sure of our faith in the Catholic Church, and if our faith is not true, Christ has deceived us. I would, therefore, beg you, my separated brethren, to procure yourselves Catholic books. You have read a great deal against the Catholic Church, now read something in favor of it.
You can never pass an impartial sentence if you do not hear both sides of the question. What would you think of a judge before whom a policeman would bring a poor offender, and who on the charge of the policeman, without hearing the prisoner, would order him to be hung? "Give me a hearing," says the poor man, "and I will prove my innocence. I am not guilty," says he. The policeman says he is guilty. "Well, hang him anyhow," says the judge. What would you say of that judge? Criminal judge! unfair man; you are guilty of the blood of the innocent! Would not you say that? Of course you would. Well now, my dearly beloved Protestant friends, that is what you have been doing all along; you have been hearing one side of the question and condemning us Catholics as a superstitious lot of people, poor ignorant people, idolatrous people, non-sensical people, going and telling their sins to the priest; and what, after all, is the priest more than any other man?
My dear friends, have you examined the other side of the question? No, you do not think it worth your while; but this is the way the Jews dealt with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and this is the way the Pagans and Jews dealt with the Apostles, the ministers of the Church, and with the primitive Christians.
Allow me to tell you, my friends, that you have been treating us precisely in the same way the Jews and Pagans treated Jesus Christ and His Apostles. I have said this evening hard things, but if St. Paul were here tonight, in this pulpit, he would have said harder things still. I have said them, however, not through a spirit of unkindness, but through a spirit of love, and a spirit of charity, in the hope of opening your eyes that your souls may be saved. It is love for your salvation, my dearly beloved Protestant brethren --- for which I would gladly give my heart's blood --- my love for your salvation that has made me preach to you as I have done.

"Well," say my Protestant friends, "if a man thinks he is right would not he be right?" Let us suppose now a man in Ottawa, who wants to go to Chicago, but takes a car for New York; the conductor asks for his ticket; and he at once says: "You are in the wrong car; you ticket is for Chicago, but you are going to New York." "Well, what of that?" says the passenger. "I mean well." "Your meaning will not go well with you in the end," says the conductor, "for you will come out at New York instead of Chicago."
You say you mean well, my dear friends; your meaning will not take you to heaven; you must do well also. "He that doeth the will of My Father," says Jesus, "he alone shall be saved." There are millions in hell who meant well. You must do well, and be sure you are doing well, to be saved. I thank my separated brethren for their kindness in coming to these controversial lectures. I hope I have said nothing to offend them. Of course, it would be nonsense for me not to preach Catholic doctrines.




Church History Study Helps:


A superb Latin stylist, a careful linguist, and an eloquent and unscrupulous polemicist, St. Jerome (Eusebius Hieronymus) was the greatest scholar whom the ancient western church produced. Born in 331 of a prosperous landed family whose home was at Stridon in Dalmation (now Yugoslavia), Jerome was schooled at Rome in grammar, rhetoric, and the classics of Latin literature. In 382 in Rome, Jerome became a kind of secretary to Pope Damascus and there undertook with the pope's encouragement the greatest translation project of all: a revision of the crude Old Latin version of the Bible. Over a period of 22 years, he completed the Gospels of the New Testament (in Rome) and the Old testament (in Palestine). The latter he translated from the Hebrew original, having become persuaded that the Hebrew text and canon, and not those of the Greek Septuagint, were the proper authorities for the church.



Church History Study Helps:


1. About three years after Irenaeus was chosen bishop of Lyon, in July of 180 AD, there occurred an event whose record provides our first knowledge of Christianity in the province of North Africa: the martyrdom in the capital city Carthage, of twelve believers from the town of Scillium. This event so impacted the outlook of Christianity in this region, that the area long thereafter viewed itself as a church of martyrs. This very outlook is found in the many tracts we have of Tertullian, the first Christian writer of note to use Latin, and the man who gave to Latin theology its vocabulary and basic agenda.

2. Tertullian was a convert to Christianity, a native of Carthage who probably never strayed far from home, and a man whose professional education was in rhetoric. Tertullian bursts on the scene in North Africa in 197 with the appearance of his Apology. He seems to have died around 225. In between these two dates, he published eloquent, witty and argumentative tracts on doctrine and morals which reveal him to have been a masterful debater as well as a Christian of radical and uncompromising spirit.

3. At the heart of Tertullian's theology lies his concern for the purity and holiness of the church, the practical authenticity of its life and teaching. Keeping God's words meant for Tertullian existence in separation from the world, which he saw as having the idolatrous subordination to demons built into the very structure of society. In Tertullian's view, then, Christians had no business serving in the army, in government, in educational institutions, or in any business which directly or indirectly supported pagan religion. Tertullian had little use for believers who fell into serious sin after baptism. In his treatise On Penitence he argued that one, and only one, such fall might be compensated for by a "second repentance". Later, however, reflection on the constant failure of Christians drove him into the sterner position of the Montanists. In his Montanist period, he denied the possibility of any repentance and restoration at all after baptism. There was no room in the church or in Christian life for a serious and deliberate failure to live by the precepts of the Gospel.

4. According to Tertullian, the business of the church was to adhere unquestioningly to the "rule of faith" which was the one key to the Scriptures. Tertullian accordingly turned his rhetorical skills against the heretics of his day, and wrote five books entitled Against Marcion, and another treatise, Against the Valentinians (i.e., Gnostics). He defended the doctrines of creation, of the fleshly incarnation of the Logos, and of the resurrection of the flesh. His most notable contribution to theology was made in the tract Against Praxeas in which he mounted an attack on a "monarchian" teacher who had denied the substantive reality of the Logos as distinct from the father (see II.8). In this work Tertullian evolved the earliest systematic form of the doctrine of the Trinity, arguing that there is one divine "substance" which is articulated or "administered" into three distinct but continuous "persons": Father, Logos/Son, and Spirit. At the same time he offered a reflective account of the incarnation, explaining that the person of Christ is a union of two distinct, unconfused "substances", divine and human, in a single "person". This terminology, hard to interpret by reason of the differences between the meaning of Tertullian's Latin terms and those of their modern English derivatives, became the basis of all later Latin and western trinitarian and Christological discourse and formulations.

Jesus Christ declared in Matthew 16:18, that He will build His Church on solid rock, the rock of Simon-Peter.
It is generally recognized that the point of actual founding of the Catholic Church is at the cross in John 19:34, "...but one of the soldiers opened His side with a lance, and immediately there came out blood and water."
At Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4, the Apostles were given the authority, and the power, by the Holy Spirit with which to commence the building of the Church. Notice in Acts 2:14-36 that Peter, the same Peter who denied Christ three times and ran off and wept (Matt 26:69-75), is immediately emboldened and gives his first discourse.


The true Church of Jesus Christ must have holiness. Holiness in its founder, holiness in its principles, holiness in its members, and holiness in its miracles. The Bible tells us that Jesus prayed for the holiness of His Church, to "Sanctify them" (John 17:17), "consecrated in truth" (John 17:19). Jesus Christ desires that the Church consist of His own sheep who have been purified for Him as an acceptable people (Titus 2:14). However, we must expect that there will be unworthy members in His Church as well. To demonstrate this, Jesus gave us some parables to help in our understanding. In the parable of the sower of seed, Jesus shows us the good and bad dispositions with which various men hear the word of God (Matthew 13:3-8). In the parable of the weeds and the wheat, He said that we must allow both the weeds and the wheat to grow together in the field until it is time for the harvest (Matthew 13:24-30). In another parable, he likened the kingdom of heaven to a net full of good fish and bad fish which will be separated by the angels at the close of the age (Matthew 13:47-50). Jesus also tells the story of the king who saw one of his guests without a wedding garment. When asked how he got there, the man was speechless and the king had him cast into the outer darkness (Matthew 22:11-14). All of these parables point to the fact that there will be both holy and unholy people together in the Church until the final judgment when the unholy members will be cast out (Matthew 7:16-17). Indeed, scandalous crimes have been committed by some members of the Catholic Church. Sometimes these mistakes have involved not only the laity, but also priests, bishops, and on occasion even a pope. These scandals do not prove that the Catholic Church is false, only that the Church contains sinners as well as saints. Paul's words concerning the Jews also applies to Christians. (Romans 3:3-4) (see also 2 Timothy 2:13)


Church History Study Helps:


A younger contemporary of Jerome, St. Augustine of Hippo (Aurelius Augustinus) was born in the Numidian city of Thagaste on November 13, 354. While his father, Patricius, was a pagan, his mother, Monica, was a pious Christian in the devout and perhaps slightly superstitious North African style. His move to Carthage marked the beginning of his religious and philosophical quest. There he read and studies Cicero's "Hortensius" and by it was converted to the quest for wisdom and the fulfilled human life. Around 373 he joined the Manichean movement which was widespread and popular in North Africa and which appealed to him because of their apparent solution to the problem of evil, a systematic dualism. In 384 he moved to Milan and there began to hear the preaching of the great Ambrose. Through Ambrose's treatment of Scripture much of the crudeness with which Augustine has characterized Christian Scripture seemed to be overcome. Gradually the inconsistency between his pursuit of a spiritual life and his absorption in immorality created a great tension which was overcome in a garden in Milan when he overheard a child chanting the jingle "Take and read. take and read.". He immediately took Paul's letter to the Romans , opened it, and there read: "...not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires" (Rom 13:13-14). This brought about an immediate conversion and turned him to a form of the ascetic life. Augustine was baptized at Easter in 387, and returned to Africa where he spent the rest of his life. In 391, on a visit to the port city of Hippo in Numidia, he was seized by the people and despite his own tears and protests was ordained presbyter by the bishop Valerius. Shortly after 396 Valerius died and Augustine succeeded him. He remained the bishop of Hippo until his death in 439



Church History Study Helps:
     Growth and Persecutions

Growth and Persecutions

1. In the year 260, the emperor Valerian (253-260), campaigning against the Persians, was defeated and captured by Sapor I (234-270). His son, colleague, and successor, Gallienus (253-268), thereupon revoked his father's edict of persecution, and for the next 44 years the Christian churches enjoyed a period of respite from official persecution. By the end of this period, Christianity was represented in all parts of the empire and its adherents may have numbered as many as five million, a significant if not large minority of the population. Its greatest concentrations were in Asia Minor, Egypt, Syria, North Africa, and central Italy. The last half of the third century, however, seems to have produced little in the way of original theological thought.

2. In the third century, Paganism itself experienced a shift in religious mood. Attention was less focused on the many gods of the classic religion, but gave more attention to the transcendently holy and life giving God whose power the lesser Gods represented. This development is manifest particularly on the imperial cult. Emperors, human beings as they were, were no longer seen as gods. Rather they were seen as persons who, in virtue of their office, were "begotten of the gods", sharing in their mortal way in the holiness of the Divine and enjoying its protection. Behind this shift in the sense of the imperial cult lay the third century development of solar monotheism, worship of the life-giving sun as a symbol of the ultimate God who is the source of all things. The emperor Aurelian built a great temple to the Unconquered Sun, which he intended to be the center of the empire's religious life. Christians in the fourth century could find no better way of rivaling this popular deity than by using his birthday, December 25 (the winter solstice), to celebrate the birth of Christ, the Sun of Righteousness.

3. In 284, Diocletian succeeded the imperial throne, and turned toward internal reconstruction of the empire. The first step of his program, which evolved gradually, was to appoint, in 285 AD, a second emperor, Maximian, to share his authority and to supervise affairs in the western portion of the empire. His next step, taken a few years later, was to associate with these two "Augusti", two junior emperors called "Caesars", who were assigned sections of the empire to rule and defend and were designated heirs apparent to the two Augusti. As his own Caesar, Diocletian selected Galerius the soldier. Maximiam was assigned Constantius I, father of Constantine the Great. Diocletian also doubled the number of provinces by redrawing the map and grouped these new provinces into large administrative area called "diocese", each of which was put under a "vicar" or governor general.

4. During most of his reign Diocletian exhibited the same toleration which had marked the policy of his predecessors. Toward the end of his reign, however, circumstances convinced him that the existence of Christianity was rupturing the covenant between Rome and her protectorate gods. Not only were Christians in the army insulting the gods by refusing to acknowledge them, but Diocletian was informed by his priests that, because of the presence in his court of "profane men" (presumably Christians), the traditional divinations by which the emperors learned the will of the gods, were void of effect: the gods were no longer answering. And when Diocletian sent to the oracle of Apollo at Miletus to inquire what course he should take in the face of this situation, the answer was unfavorable to the Christians. Thus Diocletian began a series of actions which were calculated to rid first the court and the army, and then the empire as a whole, of Christians.

5. Beginning in February 303, three edicts of persecution came i rapid succession. Churches were to be destroyed, sacred books were to be confiscated, and finally, clergy were to be imprisoned and compelled to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods. In 304, a fourth edict required all Christians to offer sacrifice. Some believers were martyred, many suffered, and many lapsed and made the sacrifice. In 305, troubled by ill health, Diocletian retired from his office as August and compelled the simultaneous resignation of Maximian. Thus Galerius rose to greater power in the West and continued the persecution of Christians, while in the East Constantius I eased somewhat the oppression. In 306 Constantius I died suddenly and was succeeded by his son Constantine (the Great). In 311, from his deathbed, Galerius issued an edict of toleration which ended the persecution of the Eastern Christians.

5. Constantine, like his father, had been a firm opponent of the persecution of the Christians. On the eve of the battle at the Mulvian Bridge, Constantine had a dream in which he saw the initial letters of the name of Christ with the words, "By this sign you will conquer." Taking this as an omen, he resolved to trust his cause to the God of the Christians and had the Chi-Ro (greek letters) monogram painted on the shields of his soldiers. In the ensuing struggle, Maxentius, the opposing leader, lost the battle and his life, and Constantine had won control of the west. When he entered Rome in triumph, Constantine remembered to whom he owed his victory. The customary tributes of thanks to the gods of Rome were omitted. The emperor henceforth regarded the Christian God as the protector of the empire and the sponsor of his own mission of reform and reconstruction.

Welcome to Scripture – one of the most comprehensive Catholic apologetic websites on the internet. Scripture provides over 2,000 Scripture citations from the Old and New Testament that explain and defend the teachings of the Catholic Church. This site also provides hundreds of excerpts from the writings of the early Church Fathers (1st through 8th centuries). These writings explain the Fathers’ interpretation of Scripture and demonstrate that the early Church was unequivocally Catholic. Through the study of Scripture and the Church Fathers, we see that, not only is the Catholic faith biblical, Catholicism is Bible Christianity par excellence.

Because the Old and New Testament Scriptures are the divinely-revealed, written Word of God, Catholics venerate the Scriptures as they venerate the Lord’s body. But Catholics do not believe that God has given us His divine Revelation in Christ exclusively through Scripture. Catholics also believe that God’s Revelation comes to us through the Apostolic Tradition and teaching authority of the Church.

What Church? Scripture reveals this Church to be the one Jesus Christ built upon the rock of Saint Peter (Matt. 16:18). By giving Peter the keys of authority (Matt. 16:19), Jesus appointed Peter as the chief steward over His earthly kingdom (cf. Isaiah. 22:19-22). Jesus also charged Peter to be the source of strength for the rest of the apostles (Luke 22:32) and the earthly shepherd of Jesus' flock (John 21:15-17). Jesus further gave Peter, and the apostles and elders in union with him, the power to bind and loose in heaven what they bound and loosed on earth. (Matt. 16:19; 18:18). This teaching authority did not die with Peter and the apostles, but was transferred to future bishops through the laying on of hands (e.g., Acts 1:20; 6:6; 13:3; 8:18; 9:17; 1 Tim. 4:14; 5:22; 2 Tim. 1:6).

By virtue of this divinely-appointed authority, the Catholic Church determined the canon of Scripture (what books belong in the Bible) at the end of the fourth century. We therefore believe in the Scriptures by the authority of the Catholic Church. After all, nothing in Scripture tells us what Scriptures are inspired, what books belong in the Bible, or that Scripture is the final authority on questions concerning the Christian faith. Instead, the Bible says that the Church, not the Scriptures, is the pinnacle and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15) and the final arbiter on questions of the Christian faith (Matt. 18:17). It is through the teaching authority and Apostolic Tradition (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6; 1 Cor. 11:2) of this Church, who is guided by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,26; 16:13), that we know of the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and the manifold wisdom of God. (cf. Ephesians 3:10).

I hope that this site gives Catholics the biblical knowledge they need to answer questions about their faith, and helps them rediscover the truth of their faith as taught by Sacred Scripture. I further pray that our Christian family outside the Church recognizes that the fullness of truth in Christ can only be found inside the Church. I also pray that each one of us grows more deeply in love with Jesus as we become better Bible Christians (or, rather, “Scripture Catholics”).

Outside The Church There Is No Salvation

The doctrine that "Outside the Church there is no salvation" is one that is constantly misinterpreted by those who won't submit to the Magisterium of the Church. Faith does not depend upon our ability to reason to the truth but on our humility before the Truth presented to us by those to whom Christ entrusted that task. This is why the First Vatican Council taught that it is the task of the Magisterium ALONE to determine and expound the meaning of the Tradition - including "outside the Church no salvation."

Concerning this doctrine the Pope of Vatican I, Pius IX, spoke on two different occasions. In an allocution (address to an audience) on December 9th, 1854 he said:

We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge; we must also, on the other hand, recognize with certainty that those who are invincible in ignorance of the true religion are not guilty for this in the eyes of the Lord. And who would presume to mark out the limits of this ignorance according to the character and diversity of peoples, countries, minds and the rest?

Again, in his encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore of 10 August, 1863 addressed to the Italian bishops, he said:

It is known to us and to you that those who are in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion, but who observe carefully the natural law, and the precepts graven by God upon the hearts of all men, and who being disposed to obey God lead an honest and upright life, may, aided by the light of divine grace, attain to eternal life; for God who sees clearly, searches and knows the heart, the disposition, the thoughts and intentions of each, in His supreme mercy and goodness by no means permits that anyone suffer eternal punishment, who has not of his own free will fallen into sin.

These statements are consistent with the understanding of the Church contained in the documents of Vatican II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as explaining why the rigorist position of Fr. Feeney (that all must be actual members of the Catholic Church to be saved) has been condemned by the Magisterium. It is ironic that precisely those who know their obligation to remain united to the Magisterium, and thus on whom this doctrine is morally binding, keep themselves from union with the Roman See on this point.

50 New Testament verses which show the 'primacy' of St. Peter....

* Matthew 16:18: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The "rock" (Greek, "petra") referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the foundation, but as the architect who "builds." The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors - living men (see 1 Pt 2:5). Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God - that is, the seed of the doctrine of the papacy. Moreover, "Rock" embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (see 1 Pt 2:4-8; Mt 21:42). Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church; administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Eph 4:11).

* Matthew 16:19: "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven." The "power" of the keys has to do with ecclesiastical discipline and administrative authority with regard to the requirements of the faith, as in Isaiah 22:22 (see Is 9:6; Job 12:14; Rev 3:7). From this power flows the use of censures, excommunication, absolution, baptismal discipline, the imposition of penances and legislative powers. In the Old Testament, a steward, or prime minister, is a man who is "over a house" (Gen 41:40; Gen 43:19;44:4; 1 King 4:6;16:9;18:3; 2 King 10:5;15:5;18:18; Isa 22:15,
Isa 20-21).

* Matthew 16:19: "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." "Binding" and "loosing" were technical rabbinical terms, which meant to "forbid" and "permit" with reference to the interpretation of the law and, secondarily, to "condemn," "place under the ban" or "acquit." Thus St. Peter and the popes are given the authority to determine the rules for doctrine and life by virtue of revelation and the Spirit's leading (see Jn 16:13), as well as to demand obedience from the Church. "Binding and loosing" represent the legislative and judicial powers of the papacy and the bishops (Mt 18:17-18; Jn 20:23). St. Peter, however, is the only apostle who receives these powers by name and in the singular, making him pre-eminent.

* Peter's name occurs first in all lists of apostles (see Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him "the first" (10:2). (Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last.)

* Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In one example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he is listed after James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (see, for example, Gal 1:18-19; 2:7-8). Taken in context, Paul is in Jerusalem (2:1), the See of James. Protocol, even to this day is for the Bishop of the diocese to be mentioned first before any visitor is mentioned, even for the Pope. Saint Paul is merely following proper protocol in vs 2:9.

* Peter alone among the apostles receives a new name, "Rock," solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42;
Mt 16:18).

* Peter is asked three times by Christ to feed His lambs, is regarded by Jesus as the chief shepherd after himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28; 1 Pt 5:2).

* Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his "faith fail not" (Lk 22:32).

* Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to "strengthen your brethren" (Lk 22:32).

* Peter first confesses Christ's divinity (Mt 16:16).

* Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).

* Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.

* Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Act 2:37-41;5:15).

* Jesus Christ uniquely associates himself and Peter in the miracle of the tribute money
(Mt 17:24-27).

* Christ teaches from Peter's boat, and the miraculous catch of fish follows (Lk 5:1-11) perhaps a metaphor for the pope as a "fisher of men" (Mt 4:19).

* Peter was the first apostle to set out for, and enter, the empty tomb (Lk 24:12; Jn 20:6).

* Peter is specified by an angel as the leader and representative of the apostles (Mk 16:7).

* Peter leads the apostles in fishing (Jn 21:2-3,11). The "bark" (boat) of Peter has been regarded by Catholics as a figure of the Church, with Peter at the helm.

* Peter alone casts himself into the sea to come to Jesus (Jn 21:7).

* Peter's words are the first recorded and most important in the Upper Room before Pentecost
(Acts 1:15-22).

* Peter takes the lead in calling for a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:22).

* Peter is the first person to speak (and only one recorded) after Pentecost, so he was the first Christian to "preach the Gospel" in the Church era (Acts 2:14-36).

* Peter works the first miracle of the Church Age, healing a lame man (Acts 3:6-12).

* Peter utters the first anathema (Ananias and Sapphira) emphatically affirmed by God
(Acts 5:2-11).

* Peter's shadow works miracles (Acts 5:15).

* Peter is the first person after Christ to raise the dead (Acts 9:40).

* Cornelius is told by an angel to seek out Peter for instruction in Christianity (Acts 10:1- 6).

* Peter is the first to receive the Gentiles, after a revelation from God (Acts 10:9-48).

* Peter instructs the other apostles on the catholicity (universality) of the Church (Acts 11:5-17).

* Peter is the object of the first divine interposition on behalf of an individual in the Church Age
(an angel delivers him from prison - Acts 12:1-17).

* The whole Church (strongly implied) prays for Peter "without ceasing" when he is imprisoned (Acts 12:5).

* Peter presides over and opens the first council of Christianity, and lays down principles afterward accepted by it (Acts 15:7-11).

* Paul distinguishes the Lord's post-resurrection appearances to Peter from those to other apostles
(1 Cor 15:4-5).

* Peter is often spoken of as distinct among apostles (Mk 1:36; Lk 9:28,32; Acts 2:37; 5:29;
1 Cor 9:5).

* Peter is often spokesman for the other apostles, especially at climactic moments
(Mk 8:29; Mt 18:21; Lk 9:5; 12:41; Jn 6:67).

* Peter's name is always the first listed of the "inner circle" of the disciples
(Peter, James and John - Mt 17:1; 26:37,40; Mk 5:37; 14:37).

* Peter is often the central figure relating to Jesus in dramatic Gospel scenes such as walking on the water (Mt 14:28-32; Lk 5:1, Mk 10:28; Mt 17:24).

* Peter is the first to recognize and refute heresy, in Simon Magus (Acts 8:14-24).

* Peter's name is mentioned more often than all the other disciples put together: 191 times
(162 as Peter or Simon Peter, 23 as Simon and 6 as Cephas).
John is next in frequency with only 48 appearances, and Peter is present 50 percent of the time we find John in the Bible. Archbishop Fulton Sheen reckoned that all the other disciples combined were mentioned 130 times. If this is correct, Peter is named a remarkable 60 percent of the time any disciple is referred to.

* Peter's proclamation at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41) contains a fully authoritative interpretation of Scripture, a doctrinal decision and a disciplinary decree concerning members of the "House of Israel" - an example of "binding and loosing."

* Peter was the first "charismatic," having judged authoritatively the first instance of the gift of tongues as genuine (Acts 2:14-21).

* Peter is the first to preach Christian repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).

* Peter (presumably) takes the lead in the first recorded mass baptism (Acts 2:41).

* Peter commanded the first Gentile Christians to be baptized (Act 10:44-48).

* Peter was the first traveling missionary, and first exercised what would now be called "visitation of the churches" (Acts 9:32-38,43). Paul preached at Damascus immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:20), but had not traveled there for that purpose (God changed his plans). His missionary journeys begin in Acts 13:2.

* Paul went to Jerusalem specifically to see Peter for 15 days at the beginning of his ministry (Gal 1:18), and was commissioned by Peter, James and John (Gal 2:9) to preach to the Gentiles.

* Peter acts, by strong implication, as the chief bishop/shepherd of the Church (1 Pet 5:1), since he exhorts all the other bishops, or "elders."

* Peter interprets prophecy (2 Pet 1:16-21).

* Peter corrects those who misuse Paul's writings (2 Pt 3:15-16).

* Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (pope) of the early Church, according to most scholars. "Babylon" (1 Pet 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.

This section of the 50 New Testament Verses was written by:
Dave Armstrong - a convert to Catholicism from Evangelicalism.


Church History Study Helps:
     The Arian Controversy and the Nicean Council

The Arian Controversy and the Nicean Councli

1. In 324 Constantine defeated Licinius and assumed control of both eastern and western halves of the empire. He soon found that in the East had been raging a theological controvery over the nature or status of the Son/Logos and its relation to the nature of God. The controversy had begun in Alexandrai, probably in 318, when a presbyter named Arius began propounding the view that the Logos was a creature, begotten by God out of "non-existence", and thereby was subject to change, capable of vice and virtue just as human beings were. This implied, taught Arius, that there was a time when the Logo/Son did not exist. The pope of Alexandria heard Arius' views in a debate and decided that his position was erroneous, and commanded Arius to cease this teaching. Arius, however, made clear his intention to continue expressing his views, and so the controversy gradually grew until, in 320, Alexander deposed Arius and his associates through a council of about 100 Egyptian bishops. But by this time Arius had fled to palestine convinced that once outside of Egypt he would find sympathy and support for his views, which he did indeed find, most notably in Eusebius of Nicomedia, bishop of the eastern imperial city. Between them, Arius and Eusebius, through a campaign of letters, brought pressure to bear on Alexander to reinstate Arius. In ressponse Alexander began his own letter campaign claiming that Arius' denial of the divinity of the Logos/Son was blasphemous. Alexander held that the Logos/Son was eternally generated from the Father, irrespective of time, comes "from God himself" rather than from "non-existence", and is changeless and perfect. This position evoked from the Arians the accusation that Alexander was teaching two coequal Gods, two "unbegottens".

2. Constantine, in an effort to provide a peaceful and successful resolution to this debate summoned all the empires's bishops to the city of Nicea in Asia Minor for what was to become the first universal council of the church. This council, assembled in May 325, has lived in Christian tradition as the one whose confession of faith defined the very foundation of orthodoxy. The great majority of the bishops who attended wrer from the East. Of about the 200 or 300 which attended, only six were westerners. The bishops represented three schools of thought. A small number led by Eusebius of Nicomedia were thoroughgoing Arians. Another small group were fervent supporters of Alexander. The majority, the most prominent of whom was perhaps Eusebius of Caesarea, the church historian, were conservatives in the sense that they represented the pluralism and subordinationism of the eastern tradition. The emperor himself was present at the assembly and dominated its proceedings.

3. Soon after it opened, the assembly showed the direction it was going to take by rejecting a confession of faith presented by the Arians. Accordingly they took another baptismal creed and altered its text, in the process creating a new, non-liturgical type of confession. At its end they added a short series of anathemas which directly condemned the basic propositions affirmed by the Arians. In the text itself they inserted the significant expressions "true God from true God", "begotten not made," "from the substance [ousia] of the Father," and most important of all, as it turned out, "of one substance [homoousia] with the father". The general force of these expressions was plain: They excluded absolutely the idea that the Logos is a creature, they asserted that he is truly the eternally generated "Son" of God, and they insisted that he belongs to the same order of being as God.



Church History Study Helps:
     The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church

1. Emerging from the theological conflicts with Gnosticism and Montanism was a normative "early catholicism" which represented a fresh development of Christian tradition. One sign and form of this development was the increased prominence and authority given to credal or confessional formulas. Up to this time, of course, such formulas had played a role in the church and had been taken from the teaching of Paul (1 Cor 15:3ff) or the writing of Justin Martyr (1 Apol 42.4). Most central was the confession of faith which constituted the formula of baptism. By the middle of the second century, the baptismal confession was triadic in shape: Candidates were asked three questions, to each of which they replied "I believe", and with each of these affirmations and the washings which accompanied them, the candidates were understood to be baptized "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt 28:19).

2. It is not surprising then that in second century debates about the meaning of the Christian belief appeal was made to the baptismal confession as embodying necessary commitments in formulation. This appeal took the form of insistence upon a "rule" (greek: kanon), and was variously called the "rule of truth", "rule of faith", "ecclesiastical rule", "tradition" and "kerygma". The "rule" was essentially the syllabus of the instruction through which new believers learned the meaning of the church's baptismal faith. Not surprisingly, such the structure of such "rules" often followed the triadic formulation of the baptismal confession.

3. Alongside the Kanon or rule provided by traditional confessional formulas, the second century church, through its debates with Gnosticism and Marcionites established the core of another rule, namely the "canon" of New Testament Scriptures. The procedure by which the formulation of this collection came about was informal and decentralized, a drawn out affair of increasing consensus which was completed in the fourth century. This development involved three simultaneous processes. The first was a growing recognition of the need for a fixed written tradition, especially where the teachings of Jesus were concerned. The second was a process by which such Christian writings as the Gospels and the apostolic letters were acknowledged to have the same essential place in the life of the churches as the Jewish Scriptures and so came to be cited and treated in the same way (i.e., as God's inspired Word). The third was the complex business of deciding which Christian writings qualified for this status. On this last issue, two criteria were employed. Books were established as "canonical" if they were regularly read at the liturgical assemblies of the churches, and if they were thought to be apostolic, that is, if they could reasonably be regarded as written by an apostle or by some other person of the founding generation whose testimony was identical with that of the apostles. These two criteria did not always agree, and there were debates about such writings as the Epistle to the Hebrews (which the Roman church rightly suspected of not being an authentic Pauline letter) or Hermas' Shepherd, which, while clearly not apostolic was established in liturgical use. A third more informal criterion was that of doctrine. The Fourth Gospel (John) was for a time suspect because of the delight Gnostics and followers of the New Prophecy had taken in it. Its establishment as canonical was no doubt owed both to its widespread use and to the fact that an apostolic name was associated with it.

4. The central core of this developing canon of the New testament were the Pauline letters and the four Gospels, together with the Acts of the Apostles (the second volume of Luke's writings, the first being the Gospel of Luke). There was apparently a collection of Pauline letters in use fairly early in the second century and they were already (by some) being thought as "scriptures" and as "hard to understand" (2 Peter 3:15-16).

5. From evidence we find in 1 Clement, even after the four Gospels had been composed, people continued to appeal to oral tradition rather than to the written documents regarding the teachings of Jesus. By the time of Justin Martyr, at least the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) were in liturgical use at Rome, and it seems probable that by the opening of the last third of the second century, all four Gospels were widespread in use.

6. By the turn of the third century the basic canon of the New testament was firmly established, and in fact churches also knew and used others of the books which finally came to be included in the canon. In the end, the New testament included works that represented most of the significant streams of tradition in primitive Christianity, though it excluded books which were explicitly Gnostic.


Church History Study Helps:
     The Organizational Development of the Church

The Organizational Development of the Church

1. Throughout the second and third centuries, the word "church" continued to denote primarily the assembly of Christians in a particular place or "polis". Whatever the size and complexity of the congregation, its unity was represented in the fact that the local bishop was the leader and pastor of the entire congregation. Chosen by the congregation, the bishop was ordained with laying-on of hands by neighboring bishops, an indication of the fact that in this pastoral charge he was the representative not only of the community to which he belonged but also the universal church. Once elected and ordained, he was the ruler in the congregation, and administered the community's financial affairs, was its principal teacher, chose and ordained its other ministers (presbyters, deacons, and others), enforced its discipline, and presided at its baptismal and eucharistic assemblies.

2. the third century saw a growth in the number of offices or orders that served the churches. Increasingly distinguished from the laity, the occupants of these offices and orders included not only bishop, deacons and presbyters, but also from time to time, lectors, widows, sub-deacons, virgins, deaconesses, catechists, acolytes, exorcists, and doorkeepers. Most prominent among these officeholders were undoubtedly the deacons, who, as the bishop's personal assistants, not only played an important liturgical role but also were in the direct charge of carrying out the community's charitable work. Their number was often limited to seven in accordance with Acts 6:3


Church History Study Helps:
     Irenaus of Lyon

Irenaus of Lyon

1. The earliest theological leader of distinction in the debate with Marcion and the Gnostics was a bishop of a relatively new and obscure church in Gaul, Irenaeus of Lyon, an immigrant to the West from Asia Minor. Born around 135 AD, he is first known as a presbyter of the church at Lyon. During the great persecution which occurred there in 177 AD, he was absent in Rome on an official mission. On his return, he was chosen bishop in succession to the martyred Pothinus. It was at Lyon that he wrote the two works which we now possess: Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, which was first published in the early twentieth century, and the much lengthier work in five books which he called An Ancient Indictment and Overthrow of the Falsely Named "Knowledge". Tradition has more conveniently named this later work Against Heresies. This work was probably completed around 185. Irenaeus died in about 200 AD, according to tradition, a martyr.

2. It was Irenaeus who first developed the appeal to tradition (the "rule of faith") and to the succession of bishops and presbyters who had transmitted it. The great weight of his argument was based on an appeal to the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures, which, he was convinced, would themselves confute heretical teaching directly if attention were paid to their plain sense and if their obscure passages were understood in the light of those whose meaning was obvious.



Why stay in the church, Benedict VXI?
Author Fr. Johann G. Roten, S.M.
Date 4/26/2005

Would you ask a Pope why he is still a Christian or why he is still in the Church? The question was put to Benedict XVI. Not recently, of course. The year was 1971, and Josef Ratzinger was a professor of dogmatics at the University of Regensburg. Remember, those were the years of "Man of La Mancha," the times of an "impossible dream" come true or, hopefully, at hand. Those were also years of high-riding criticism and cheerful iconoclasm. In sum, the Church was on the verge of a new Pentecost, for some, whereas for others it remained chained and enslaved, the victim of a new-old Babylonian captivity. It is against this backdrop of questioning and questioned identities that Josef Ratzinger was asked the question: Why are you still in the Church

Culture Religion

Like the Moon

His initial answer holds in an age-old image of the Church, widely popular among Church Fathers. He uses a lunar symbolism to describe the Church. Why would we compare the Church to the moon? There exists, first of all, a frequently used association of the moon with woman. The Church is compared to a feminine figure, a mother. But the moon symbol also stands for all of humanity. It is receptive and fruitful from the power and riches given to it. A second characteristic necessarily follows: the light of the moon is "borrowed light." Without Helios, the sun, the moon would be darkness. The same applies to the Church: "In itself it is darkness, but it sends out light from another." The Church receives light from the true sun, from Jesus Christ.

His Church

Jesus Christ is the real reason why Josef Ratzinger is still a member of the Church. Our Church is first and foremost His Church. In the words of our Pope: "I am in the Church because I believe that now as formerly, and inexorably through us, behind our Church, His Church lives, and that I cannot remain with him except by remaining in His Church. I am in the Church because, in spite of everything, I believe that at the deepest level it is not our, but His Church." The Church and Jesus Christ cannot be divided up or separated. Jesus Christ goes on living through the Church. He speaks through the Church. He is united to us through the Church. He is our master, Lord and brother in and through the Church. Does that mean that the Church alone gives us Jesus? Ratzinger is quite explicit in affirming that "whoever wants Christ to be present in mankind will not find him there against the Church, but only in it."

A Venture of Love

Where does Pope Benedict get the courage to pronounce words of such magnitude and bravery? The answer is faith. Faith is a "power of union." It requires a community, and breaks through the frontiers of our ego. Thus, a self-made Church is a self-contradiction: "If faith requires a community, it must be one that possesses a power that comes to meet me, not one that is my own creation." And it is quite obvious who this "power" is: "What would the world be without Christ, without a God who speaks and knows men, and whom, therefore, men can come to know?" We see and understand to the extent that we love. According to the Pope: "The venture of love is the precondition of faith." Faith is an experiment, the Church is an experiment. Commit yourself, he tells us, and they will become a positive experiment, for "whoever does not commit himself at least a little ... will only distress himself." Looking at the Church and ourselves, with eyes of love, we will discover that in the Church there are not only scandals, but "a history, too, of liberating grace," and a host of witnesses to this "liberating power of Christian faith." It is in this context that he speaks of the beauty of the Church. Beauty is the shining radiance of truth (Aquinas). The Church is beautiful because from her shines forth the truth of Jesus Christ.


A professor is bound to teach, and a pastor is led by professional commitment to expound and exhort. But they are both human beings, individuals, with a personal history and its share of mixed experience. Speaking as professor and pastor, it would seem like children's play to juggle all the right theological answers, and to avoid with some dexterity the more obvious potholes of Church criticism. Benedict XVI is a master theologian. But where does the man Ratzinger stand, when it comes to witnessing his personal belief? What is the weight of his personal and existential truth regarding the Church? Answering the question, "Why am I still in the Church," professor Ratzinger in 1971 had three highly personal reasons for staying and remaining in the Church:

1) "I stay in the Church because I recognize the faith that in the end we can acquire only in the Church, and not in opposition to it, as a necessity for men and for the world, for by this the world lives, even when it does not share it."

2) "I remain in the Church because only the Church's faith can redeem mankind. This sounds terribly traditional, dogmatic, unreal, and yet it is said soberly, and meant to be taken seriously ... In truth, man will be redeemed only through the cross, through accepting his own and the world's passion which, in the passion of God, has become the place of liberating meaning."

3) "To remain in the Church because it is itself worthy to remain; to remain in it because it is worthy of our love, and will constantly, through love, transform itself into its truer self."

Then and Now

Was Benedict XVI ever tempted to change his Christian allegiance? "Never!" he exclaimed--according to Messori. "The Catholicism of my native Bavaria knew how to provide room for all that was human, both prayer and festivities, penance and joy. A joyful, human Christianity" (Messori, 166). Has this joy survived the rigors of watching over Catholic orthodoxy? Asked only recently if--now Benedict XVI--would agree with John XXIII that the Church is "alive and young ... and carrying her work on fearlessly into the future," he had this comment: "Yes! I can say that with joy. I can indeed see many old and dying branches in the Church ... but above all else I can see the youth of the Church. And this enthusiasm cannot be shaken by any of the criticisms of the Church--which always have some basis--because their joy in Christ is just simply greater than that" (Seewald, 460).

In his recent address to the College of Cardinals, on the day after his election, Pope Benedict XVI offered this inspiring assessment of the Church: "He (John Paul II) has left a more courageous, free and young Church. A Church that, according to his leading and example, looks with serenity to the past and has no fear of the future" (#3).

Ps.127 Verses 1 to 2

    [1] Unless the LORD builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.
    Unless the LORD watches over the city,
    the watchman stays awake in vain.

    [2] It is in vain that you rise up early
    and go late to rest,
    eating the bread of anxious toil;
    for he gives to his beloved sleep.

The Church Is One (Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:17, 12:13, CCC 813-822)

Jesus established only one Church, not a collection of differing churches (Lutheran, Baptist, Anglican, and so on). The Bible says the Church is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:23-32). Jesus can have but one spouse, and his spouse is the Catholic Church.

His Church also teaches just one set of doctrines, which must be the same as those taught by the apostles (Jude 3). This is the unity of belief to which Scripture calls us (Phil. 1:27, 2:2).

Although some Catholics dissent from officially-taught doctrines, the Church's official teachers- the pope and the bishops united with him- have never changed any doctrine. Over the centuries, as doctrines are examined more fully, the Church comes to understand them more deeply (John 16:12-13), but it never understands them to mean the opposite of what they once meant.


Jesus predicted there'd be false prophets, teachers and divisions among believers (cf. Mt. 24:11-12). Still He prayed His followers "may all be one" (Jn. 17:21). Jesus didn't promise a 'perfect church,' rather He told His Disciples: "He who hears you, hears Me, and he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me." (Lk. 10:16); "But when He comes, the Spirit of truth, He will guide you into all truth." (Jn. 16:13). Our Savior prays for His Apostles: "I gave them your word...Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world...I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word...that the world may believe that You sent Me." (Jn. 17:14,17,20,21). What do these verses tell us? That people can err, but Jesus' Church is a trustworthy teacher of spiritual truth.


The Bible...
The New Testament lies hidden in the Old.
The Old Testament is revealed in the New.

Doctrines or Dogmas of the Catholic Church

  1. This article is offered by Our Lady of the Rosary Library Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (No Salvation Outside the Church) (13K) - A 2 page article defending this dogma of the Church with quotes from Scripture, the Popes, Doctors of the Church and the saints.
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  3. The "Catholic" Charismatic Movement (13.3K) - addresses the crazy Pentecostal movement which has so recently taken a foothold in the Church as a natural progression to the changes of Vatican II and has increased in popularity at an alarming rate. The article points out the marked differences between the behavior of the Pentecostals and the teachings and actions of Our Lord, the Apostles, and the saints. The incompatibility of the spirit of Pentecostalism with Church doctrine is also stressed.
  4. Quotes proving the authority of Tradition (5.5K) - Popes, saints, doctors of the Church, etc... all take up the defense.
  5. Three Errors of the Feeneyite Movement (18K) This article presents the Church's teaching on Baptism of Blood and Desire as expressed by the Fathers, Doctors, Popes and theologians as well as The Council of Trent.
  6. Hell
  7. Catholicism vs. Freemasonry: Irreconcilable Forever (16K) - Learn about the Church's stance on Freemasonry, now and forever

Blessings and Curses of God

Links: Canada CBS Canada USA supreme court repercussions Bush
Familiaris Consortio, Apostolic Exhortation of John Paul II, 1981
The Gospel of Life, Culture of Death and Culture of Life, Encyclical Letter of John Paul II, 1995,,PTID4211|CHID104459|CIID289862,00.html culture of life culture of death   

Chapter 18: The Third Sermon of Jesus:
The 8 Parables of the Kingdom of God - The Pearl of Great Price

~The Kingdom Of God Is The Catholic Church Click On The Text On The Bottom By Bob Stanley,This Man Has One Of The Best Web Site On The World Wide Web,Check It Out.I Use A Lot Of His WorK For My Bible Classes.