​The Living Church

 

In spite of all kinds of persecutions, the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, has continued to spread all over the world. It has obeyed strictly the command of Our Lord to the Apostles: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Everywhere men have listened to its voice, believing the warning of Christ, “He that believeth not shall be condemned.”

 

    Give a short summary of the history of the Church for the almost two thousand years of its existence –The following is a brief summary: 

  1. The first 400 years. The Apostles dispersed to different countries in order to carry out Christ’s command to teach. The Apostles baptized, preached, and ruled in various countries to which they were sent. They appointed bishops and priests to rule and minister to the faithful.In spite of sufferings and persecutions they persevered, until finally they sealed their faith by martyrdom. Peter and Paul were especially interested in the conversion of the Roman Empire, the mightiest and also most wicked empire of ancient days.The morals of the Romans were extremely debased; the evil was spreading from the Imperial City of Rome throughout the vast empire. In Rome alone some 30,000 different “gods” and “goddesses” were worshipped, many of them for their very immorality. So close was the union of the pagan religion and the empire that to attack the religion was to be considered a traitor to Rome. For this reason the full force of the empire was set against the new religion of the Christians. But the Fisherman did not falter: Peter battled with all his might. He and Paul were both martyred; but others rose to continue the battle for Christ, which lasted for nearly 300 years.

    Persecution followed upon persecution, numbering ten unsurpassed in ferocity. The severest were those under Nero (64-68) and Diocletian (303-305). The latter condemned to death some two million Christians. But the more they were persecuted, the faster they increased. Tertullian says: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity.”

    At last, in 313 A.D., the banners of Christianity were flung out in victory; peace was granted by the Edict of Milan. Later, Constantine the Great made Christianity the State religion (324 A. D.) He was led to this step when he conquered in battle after seeing in the heavens a luminous cross with the words In hoc signo vinces (In this sign thou shalt conquer). His saintly mother, St. Helena, had also a great influence on his conversion.

     

  2. The second 400 years. Before sixty years had passed after the Edict of Milan, hordes of barbarian Huns, Goths, Vandals, and Visigoths, numbering millions, started moving from the north into the civilized European countries. City after city surrendered until Rome itself was taken, and the darkness of barbarism covered the continent. But the missionaries and teachers of the Church mingled with the barbarians, returned with them to their countries, and brought light once more out of darkness.St. Patrick was sent to Ireland, and converted that nation to Christianity. St. Augustine in England and St. Boniface in Germany changed those nations into followers of the cross of Christ. The idol worshipping Franks followed their king Clovis into the Christian fold. At the end of four centuries, the cruel and savage barbarians of Italy, Spain, France, Germany, England, and Ireland were Christians, civilized, progressive, settled in peaceful cities, building churches, carrying on trade. 
  3. The third 400 years. In the seventh century Mohammed had begun to propagate his doctrines among the Arabian tribes. His was a conversion by the sword: a great part of Asia, North Africa, Spain, and the islands of the Mediterranean were overrun and conquered to Mohammed’s Allah. At last Mohammedanism broke into France.In a memorable nine-day battle in 732 A. D., the French Christians under Charles Martel defeated the Mohammedans at Tours, and thus stopped their incursions into France. But in the next century the Mohammedans entered and sacked Rome itself, even St. Peter’s. However, the Church carried on and finally repelled the invader.The fall of Jerusalem into the hands of the Mohammedans in the eleventh century gave impetus to the Crusades, during which Christian armies went to free the Holy Places from the infidels. There were seven Crusades in all, from 1095 A.D., to 1254 A.D. Among the outstanding leaders we may mention: Godfrey de Bouillon, Frederick Barbarossa, Richard the Lionhearted, and St. Louis of France.

     

  4. The fourth 400 years. The Christian rulers of Europe, upon becoming more powerful, began to look with envy on the Pope’s authority, and to encroach upon it. Although the Crusades had had good effects, too much interest in material preparations caused a relaxation in spiritual life; heresy often attacked the Church. Berengarius denied the Real Presence; followed the Greek schism, the Albigensian heresy, and the heresies of Wycliff and Huss, who denied the authority of the Church. Finally, in the sixteenth century, the general laxness and spirit of revolt culminated in open defiance against Church authority, and the Protestant Revolt swept Europe.An Augustinian monk, Martin Luther, in 1517 made an open attack on the doctrine of Indulgences. When he was effectively refuted by Doctor John Eck in a public argument, Luther became enraged, and more active in propagating his errors. Because his doctrines appealed to human vanity and weakness, he attracted many followers. The princes. who envied the papal authority, threw in their lot with Luther. The Bible was declared the only rule of faith, so, that no one would any longer be dependent on Church authority, but could interpret the word of God as he pleased for himself. The vicious were readily won over by the doctrine that man cannot prevent sin on account of natural corruption and the absence of free will.Revolt spread from Germany to other countries. In Switzerland John Calvin followed in Luther’s footsteps, and began Calvinism. In Scotland John Knox was the propagator of Protestantism. In England, Henry VIII’s desire to change wives was the immediate cause for the establishment of the Anglican Church. Denmark, Holland, Norway, and Sweden were all swept into heresy by their rulers.

    But out of the pains of the Protestant revolt, the Church came forth stronger and purified. In the meantime, newly discovered countries were converted. The Portuguese and Spaniards were the pioneers in this missionary enterprise. The discoveries of new lands, to which Catholic missionaries went, resulted in the gain of more millions for the Church than had been lost in Protestantism.

     

  5. The last 400 years. Many in Europe returned to the Church; more were gained in the Americas. Protestantism has continued to attack the Church; the paganism bred from the spirit of laxity and revolt is another enemy. Open warfare goes on in Russia and satellite countries. Still the Church continues to grow, the greatest single religious body in history.In 1954 missionaries of Mother Church can be found in the most remote portions of the globe, working patiently to bring souls to Christ. They go where no other foreigners would go. At present there are about 30,000 priests, 12,000 lay brothers, and 60,000 Sisters working in the foreign missions. The missions are supervised and supported by the Societies for the Propagation of the Faith and the Holy Childhood.At present the Church has a membership of about 425,000,000 in all parts of the world. They are under the direction of some 420,000 priests, 2,200 Prelates, and one Head, the Pope. They form the greatest body having a single religious faith. The different Protestant denominations number about two hundred million all together. The schismatic Eastern Christians total about 150 millions.

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

​The Catholic Church:Catholicity and Apostolicity

 

The apostolicity of the Church receives additional proof from the fact that today it still administers the very same seven sacraments administered by the Apostles. Non-Catholic churches have abandoned most of the sacraments, but the Catholic Church preserves and administers them all. Among the sacraments thus preserved are (1) Confirmation, and (2) Extreme Unction. St. Peter and St. John administered the first (Acts 8:14-17). St. James wrote about the second (Jas. 5:14,15).

 

    Why is the Church catholic or universal? –The Catholic Church is catholic or universal because, destined to last for all time, it never fails to fulfill the divine commandment to teach all nations all the truths revealed by God.“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses for me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the very ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). 

  1. The very name of the Church is Catholic, that is, universal. Even its critics admit that it is catholic. It has existed in all ages since the time of Christ, and teaches all peoples of every nation the same faith.It was St. Ignatius (50-107 A.D.) appointed Bishop of Antioch by Saint Peter, who first used the Greek word Katholicos, meaning “universal,” when referring to the Church founded by Christ; this he did in order to distinguish the True Church, already being preached throughout the world, from heretical churches that had arisen.In the fourth century certain sectarians protested against the True Church, yet still called themselves Christians. And so Catholics began to call themselves “Catholic.” In that same century St. Augustine said: “All heretics wish to call themselves Catholics; yet if you ask any of them to direct you to a Catholic church, he will not direct you to his own!”Wherever we go, whether in Europe, America, Africa, Asia, or Australia, we shall find the Catholic Church established. Everywhere it teaches the same doctrines taught in the United States; everywhere it is ruled by the same Head recognized in the United States: the Pope.

    When we say the Church is Catholic or universal, we understand that wherever it exists it must have the mark of unity. Otherwise it would not be the same body, but many separate bodies. Some heretical churches have branches in different countries, but they are really different bodies, because they change doctrines under different conditions.

     

  2. The Church everywhere teaches all the doctrines that Christ commanded His Apostles to teach.In the Catholic Church is fulfilled the prophecy of Malachy: “From the rising of the sun to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation; for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of Hosts” (Mal. 1:11). 
  3. The True Church must be so organized that it can admit all men into its communion. This the Catholic Church does. Christ founded the Church for all men, not only for a selected few, He died for all men, and wishes the fruits of His death to do good to all men. At present only the Catholic Church is to be found all over the world, ministering to all races and peoples, to all classes of the population, poor or rich, wise or ignorant, saint or sinner. The Catholic Church is the only Church for Everyman.Most denominations are national; all are localized. For example: in Germany the Kaiser used to be the head of the Lutheran Church; in Russia the Czar used to be head of the Russian Church. The Queen of England is head of the Anglican Church.
     

  1. Why is the Catholic Church apostolic? –The Catholic Church is apostolic because it was founded by Christ on the Apostles, and, according to His divine will, has always been governed by their lawful successors.Apostolicity is easily proved by the facts of history. If a church cannot trace back its history lawfully in an unbroken line step by step to the Apostles, it is not the True Church. 
  2. Pope Pius XII, our present Pope, is the direct successor of St. Peter.He is the lawful successor of the Pope who preceded him; and thus each Pope lawfully succeeded the one before him, until we reach St. Peter, the first Pope, chosen by Christ Himself. 
  3. All the sees founded by the Apostles perished or were interrupted, except the See of Peter alone. Where Peter is, there is the True Church founded by Our Lord.Those denominations that broke away from the Church thus lost their connection with the Apostles. They were all begun by individuals who could never have had any authority from either Christ or the Apostles. Most of them came some 1500 years too late. 
  4. Non-Catholic denominations claim that they did not begin new churches, but merely “reformed” the old one. In answer we ask, Did the True Church exist at the time of the founding of these new churches, or not?If it did not, then Christ’s promise to be with His Church always had failed; His Church had died, and no human reform could possibly have resurrected it. If it did exist, then those who invented new doctrines were not reforming it, but founding new churches. 
  5. In the same way, the Church derives all its holy orders, doctrines, and mission from the Apostles. It is “built upon the foundation of the Apostles,” of which Christ is the corner-stone (Eph. 2:20). It holds intact the doctrineand traditions of the Apostles, to whom Christ gave authority to teach.St. Paul says: “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema!” (Gal. 1:8). A church which at any time denies an apostolic doctrine, discards the sacrament of Holy Orders, or breaks away from obedience to the Pope, ceases to be apostolic. It becomes a dead branch broken off from the parent vine which is Christ Himself: “I am the vine: you are the branches” (John 15:5). 

    Catholics Do Not Believe:

    That the Pope is God and can do no wrong;
    That anybody or anything may be
        worshipped or adored besides the True God;
    That the Blessed Virgin is equal to God;
    That images may be worshipped;
    That indulgences give permission to
        commit sin;
    That a Mass can be bought;
    That forgiveness of sin can be bought;
    That sin can be forgiven without true sorrow;
    That scapulars, medals, crucifixes, and
        other sacramentals can give graces without
        proper dispositions on the part of the user;
    That non-Catholics will all be damned;
    That all Catholics will go to heaven;
    That the Bible is the only rule of faith;
    That anybody may interpret the Bible;
    That Our Lord Jesus Christ established many Churches;
    That outward piety is profitable without charity of the spirit;
    That all religions are the same.
     


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

    ​The Catholic Church: Unity and Holiness

     

    The Catholic Church is One, because it has one Divine Founder, God Himself, Who cannot be divided. All its members hear and obey the voice of their Shepherd. The Catholic Church is Holy, because it imitates its Holy Founder, the Incarnate Son of God. Its members strive for holiness, aided by divine sacraments instituted by Christ Himself.

     

      Why is the Catholic Church one? –The Catholic Church is one because all its members, according to the will of Christ, profess the same faith, have the same sacrifice and sacraments, and are united under one and the same visible head, the Pope. 

    1. They have unity in doctrine, worship, and government. They have “One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism.” There has never been any other society, religion, or government whose members are so closely united.If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand” (Mark 3:24). “Holy Father, keep in thy name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one even as we are” (John 17: 11). 
    2. There are about 425 million Catholics united in doctrine. This unity is evident and admitted by all. All Catholics every where believe each and every article of faith proclaimed by the Church. Wherever a Catholic goes throughout the world, he will find his home in the Catholic Church. There he will find his brethren in Christ all believing as he does. If he deliberately denies even one article of faith of the Church, he ceases to belong to it.International Eucharistic Congresses, held in different countries, in different parts of the world, every other year, are a good proof of the unity of the Church. In such Congresses the faithful from all nations-African, American, -Australian, Chinese, English, Filipino, French, German, Indian, Irish, Japanese, Russian, Spaniard,-one and all bow down in adoration of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Eucharist. 
    3. All Catholics today hold the same faith that Catholics in the past held.The same Gospel of peace that Jesus Christ preached in Judea, the same that St. Peter preached in Antioch and Rome, the same that St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians and the Ephesians, the same that apostles of all nations have been preaching for the last 1900 years, is preached today and taught in the Catholic Church throughout the world, from January to December-“Jesus Christ yesterday, and today, and the same forever” (Heb. 13:8). 
    4. The Catholic Church is one in worship. All members make use of the same Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and receive the same sacraments. Although rites vary, the essentials of worship laid down by Christ form the foundation of all. Certain ceremonies have been appointed by the Church, to show more clearly in outward form the spiritual significance of whatever act is being done, and to increase the devotion of those who are present or take part in tht religious acts. The ritual varies in various places, certain ancient rituals from the early days of the Church being preserved. But in general the Roman ritual, the one followed by the diocese of Rome, is the one followed. The change of ritual does not change the substance of the religious act, which is preserved in its entirety. 
    5. All Catholics are united in governmentEverywhere the faithful obey their pastors, the pastors obey the bishops, and the bishops obey the Pope. The Catholic Church is truly “one fold and one Shepherd”, its unity standing out unequalled in all history.
      Why is the Catholic Church holy? –The Catholic Church is holy because it was founded by Jesus Christ, who is all-holy, and because it teaches, according to the will of Christ, holy doctrines, and provides the means of leading a holy life, thereby giving holy members to every age.St. Peter called the Christians of his time “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” (1 Pet. 2:9). 

    1. The Founder of the Catholic Church, Jesus Christ, is holy. The Church exhorts its children to imitate its Divine Founder. No founder of any other church is as holy as Jesus Christ, Son of God. And among the children of the Church we may mention as examples of holiness the canonized Saints. 
    2. The Catholic Church teaches the highest and holiest doctrine ever presented to any people, a standard of perfection. The same precepts delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai, the same warnings uttered by the prophets in Judea, the same sublime lessons taught by Our Lord: these the Church teaches from year to year.The Church teaches its children to know, love, and serve God, and thus to become saints. It urges on them the truth: “What does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26). It exhorts them to imitate Christ. 
    3. The Catholic Church provides powerful means for holiness, in prayer and the Sacraments. By the Sacraments a Catholic receives abundant graces. One who is faithful in the reception of the Sacraments will never fail to live a righteous life and die a happy death. Every Catholic is obliged to my his morning and night prayers, and to resort to prayer in every necessity and temptation, as well as to prayer of thanksgiving. He is required under pain of sin to hear Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation. 
    4. The Catholic Church produces holy members in its saints and martyrs. In every age and country the Church is the Mother of saints, martyrs, confessors, and holy men and women who live in Christ. We do not, however, maintain that all Catholics are holy. Unfortunately, some do not live up to the teachings of the Church; that will be their condemnation. We must remember that even among the Apostles there was one Judas. Our Lord Himself taught in the parable of the wheat and the cockle that the good and the bad will grow up side by side in His Church. 
    5. The Catholic Church still has the gift of miracles. Christ promised His Church the gift of miracles, a sign of holiness. “He who believes in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these he shall do” (John 14:12). Each holy soul proposed for canonization must have worked two miracles before beatification, and two more before canonization. We constantly read of miracles at Lourdes and other shrines. The cures at Lourdes are declared genuine by a board of physicians, many of whom are non-Catholic. 
    6. The Catholic Church carries on numberless works of holiness. It is the great Mother of Mercy and Charity to the helpless. It instructs children in school, cares for the poor, the sick, the lepers, the deaf, blind, dumb, the old, the orphaned and abandoned. It engages in all kinds of missionary and charitable activity.

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

    The One True Church

    Principal Christian Religious Bodies in the U.S.

     

    NAME PLACE OF ORIGIN FOUNDER YEAR
    CATHOLIC CHURCH
    _____________________________
    Eastern Orthodox (19 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Lutheran (21 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Mennonite (15 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Protestant Episcopal
    _____________________________
    Presbyterian (10 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Congregational
    _____________________________
    Bapist (24 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Unitarian
    _____________________________
    Friends or Ouakers (4 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Reformed Churches (4 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Baptist, German (4 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Methodist (22 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Universalists
    _____________________________
    United Brethren (2 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Evangelical
    _____________________________
    Churches of Christ
    _____________________________
    Latter-Day Saints (7 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Adventist (5 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Salvation Army
    _____________________________
    Christian Scientists
    _____________________________
    Assemblies of God
    _____________________________
    Church of the Nazarene
    _____________________________
    Evangelical, Reformed
     
    JERUSALEM
    _____________
    Near East
    _____________
    Germany
    _____________
    Switzerland
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Scotland
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Amsterdam
    _____________
    London
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Holland
    _____________
    Germany
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    New Jersey
    _____________
    Maryland
    _____________
    Pennsylvania
    _____________
    Kentucky
    _____________
    New York
    _____________
    New York
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Massachusetts
    _____________
    Arkansas
    _____________
    U.S.
    _____________
    Ohio
     
    JESUS CHRIST
    ___________________________
    Schism from Catholic Church
    ___________________________
    Martin Luther
    ___________________________
    Grebel, Mantz, Blaurock
    ___________________________
    Henry VIII
    ___________________________
    John Knox
    ___________________________
    Robert Browne
    ___________________________
    John Smyth
    ___________________________
    John Biddle
    ___________________________
    George Fox
    ___________________________
    Assembly
    ___________________________
    A. Mack
    ___________________________
    John and Charles Wesley
    ___________________________
    John Murray
    ___________________________
    Otterbein and Boehm
    ___________________________
    Jacob Albright
    ___________________________
    Thos. and Alex. Campbell
    ___________________________
    Joseph Smith
    ___________________________
    William Miller
    ___________________________
    William Booth
    ___________________________
    Mary Baker Eddy
    ___________________________
    General Meeting
    ___________________________
    Union at General Assembly
    ___________________________
    Union at General Assembly
     
    33
    _______
    1054
    _______
    1517
    _______
    1525
    _______
    1534
    _______
    1560
    _______
    1583
    _______
    1600
    _______
    1645
    _______
    1647
    _______
    17th c.
    _______
    1708
    _______
    1739
    _______
    1770
    _______
    1800
    _______
    1803
    _______
    1827
    _______
    1830
    _______
    1831
    _______
    1865
    _______
    1879
    _______
    1914
    _______
    1919
    _______
    1934
     

     

    There are over 200 different Protestant bodies existing in the United States alone. In the above list a few of the best-known are enumerated, in comparison with the Catholic Church. This comparative list indicates this fact: none of these denominations can ever become the True Church founded by Christ, Son of God. It is well known that many heretics, at the hour of death, return to the Catholic Church. But what Catholic at that hour has ever denied his religion to seek admission into a sect? As the heretic Melancthon wrote to his Catholic mother: “The Protestant is the best faith to live in, but the Catholic Faith is the best one to die in.”

     

      What is the Church? –The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him. 

    1. Even considering it only as a visible society, the Church is a perfect religious body.All members are subject to the same religious authority, possess identical religious doctrines, live a common religious life, and use the same means of grace, the sacraments. 
    2. The Church is divided into the “teaching Church” and the “hearing Church”; for each Christ laid down powers and duties.The priests, with their bishops and the Pope, compose the “teaching Church”; the faithful, who believe and obey, and are admitted into membership through the Sacrament of Baptism, compose the “hearing Church”.
      How is the Church enabled to lead men to salvation? –The Church is enabled to lead men to salvation by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, who gives it life. 

    1. God the Father and God the Son sent the Holy Ghost to dwell in the Church. The indwelling of the Holy Ghost enables the Church to teach, to sanctify, and to rule the faithful in the name of Christ.The Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles to enlighten, strengthen, and sanctify them, so that they could preach the Gospel and spread the Church all over the world. On the Feast of Pentecost, in remembrance of God the Holy Ghost, we celebrate a mystery which is forever renewed in the Church and in our souls: the mystery of the indwelling of God, the reign of the law of love which succeeded the law of bondage and fear (Rom. 8: 15). 
    2. The Holy Ghost guides the rulers of the Church, especially the Pope, and helps them in their duties.Before the descent of the Holy Ghost, the Apostles had been timid and afraid. After His coming they went forth to teach, whatever hardships carne; they remembered and understood all the teaching of Christ. 
    3. The Holy Ghost preserves the Church from all error in its teaching; in times of danger, He raises up able defenders of its doctrines.St. Athanasius defended the Church in the time of the Arian heretics; Pope Gregory VII during a period of great disorder; St. Dominic, during the time of the Albigenses; and St. Ignatius of Loyola, after the Protestant outbreak. 
    4. The Holy Ghost raises up Saints in the Church throughout all generations.The members of the Church strive to imitate its Divine Founder, and in all countries and all times it has produced saints, canonized and uncanonized, martyrs, confessors, hidden souls that burn with the love of God and their fellowmen.
      Are not all religions the same? –No for truth and error are not the same; faith and unbelief are not the same. 

    1. God is not divided. He revealed only one religion. We either believe that religion, or do not believe it. There is no middle way. “He who is not with me is against me” (Matt. 12:30)Anything that is not the whole truth is not truth. Christ said: “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6).No one will assert that glass is as good as diamonds, nor that brass is as good as gold. No one claims that an imitation is just as good as the authentic thing. More unreasonable then would it be to claim that a religion established by a man is as good as that founded by the Incarnate God. 
    2. From the very beginning of mankind there has been one true religion. From Adam to the coming of Christ this religion was preserved by the patriarchs, prophets, and others chosen by God to keep the knowledge of the promised Redeemer intact.Before the coming of Christ, this true religion was not universal, but limited to one people, the Jews, the,“chosen people.” All other nations had degenerated and worshipped idols, false gods. In spite of the imperfections of the old religion preserved among the Jews; it was always the true religion, the one true religion. It forshadowed the coming of the perfect religion, that established by the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Who then abrogated the Jewish Faith, the Old Law, in favor of the New Faith, the New Law. 
    3. It is absurd to suppose that God does not care whether men denounce His Son as an impostor and blasphemer, or worship Him as God.Why should Christ, and after Him the Apostles, and after them a long line of believers, have suffered so much and resisted persecution so firmly, if it were of no importance what a man believed? The Apostle said, “There is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)
      How can we prove that the only true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church? –We can prove that the only true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church, because: 

    1. Only the Catholic Church possesses the marks of the Church established by Christ; that is, Unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity. As a matter of fact, only the Catholic Church claims to have all these four marks of the True Church, the marks so evidently set by Christ. 
    2. The history of the Catholic Church gives evidence of miraculous strength, permanence, and unchangeableness, so showing the world that it is under the special protection of God. The Catholic Church has proved itself indestructible for almost two thousand years, against every variety and number of formidable enemies. The Church suffered from persecution and outside attacks, and from schism and heresy within its own ranks, yet still lives.In spite of corruption and persecution, in spite of the combined forces of error and evil, the Catholic Church has continued to live and to carry out its purpose, as its Founder promised. The indestructibility of the Church, as has been proved by history, is alone enough to mark it as divine. God alone could have preserved it so long. The Church is the only institution which has proved itself an exception to the law of decay and death. It has watched the birth and decay of every government on earth for almost 2000 years. After every attack against it, it rises, the Bride of Christ, ever fresh and fair.

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

    The One True Church

    Principal Christian Religious Bodies in the U.S.

     

    NAME PLACE OF ORIGIN FOUNDER YEAR
    CATHOLIC CHURCH
    _____________________________
    Eastern Orthodox (19 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Lutheran (21 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Mennonite (15 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Protestant Episcopal
    _____________________________
    Presbyterian (10 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Congregational
    _____________________________
    Bapist (24 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Unitarian
    _____________________________
    Friends or Ouakers (4 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Reformed Churches (4 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Baptist, German (4 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Methodist (22 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Universalists
    _____________________________
    United Brethren (2 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Evangelical
    _____________________________
    Churches of Christ
    _____________________________
    Latter-Day Saints (7 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Adventist (5 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Salvation Army
    _____________________________
    Christian Scientists
    _____________________________
    Assemblies of God
    _____________________________
    Church of the Nazarene
    _____________________________
    Evangelical, Reformed
     
    JERUSALEM
    _____________
    Near East
    _____________
    Germany
    _____________
    Switzerland
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Scotland
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Amsterdam
    _____________
    London
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Holland
    _____________
    Germany
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    New Jersey
    _____________
    Maryland
    _____________
    Pennsylvania
    _____________
    Kentucky
    _____________
    New York
    _____________
    New York
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Massachusetts
    _____________
    Arkansas
    _____________
    U.S.
    _____________
    Ohio
     
    JESUS CHRIST
    ___________________________
    Schism from Catholic Church
    ___________________________
    Martin Luther
    ___________________________
    Grebel, Mantz, Blaurock
    ___________________________
    Henry VIII
    ___________________________
    John Knox
    ___________________________
    Robert Browne
    ___________________________
    John Smyth
    ___________________________
    John Biddle
    ___________________________
    George Fox
    ___________________________
    Assembly
    ___________________________
    A. Mack
    ___________________________
    John and Charles Wesley
    ___________________________
    John Murray
    ___________________________
    Otterbein and Boehm
    ___________________________
    Jacob Albright
    ___________________________
    Thos. and Alex. Campbell
    ___________________________
    Joseph Smith
    ___________________________
    William Miller
    ___________________________
    William Booth
    ___________________________
    Mary Baker Eddy
    ___________________________
    General Meeting
    ___________________________
    Union at General Assembly
    ___________________________
    Union at General Assembly
     
    33
    _______
    1054
    _______
    1517
    _______
    1525
    _______
    1534
    _______
    1560
    _______
    1583
    _______
    1600
    _______
    1645
    _______
    1647
    _______
    17th c.
    _______
    1708
    _______
    1739
    _______
    1770
    _______
    1800
    _______
    1803
    _______
    1827
    _______
    1830
    _______
    1831
    _______
    1865
    _______
    1879
    _______
    1914
    _______
    1919
    _______
    1934
     

     

    There are over 200 different Protestant bodies existing in the United States alone. In the above list a few of the best-known are enumerated, in comparison with the Catholic Church. This comparative list indicates this fact: none of these denominations can ever become the True Church founded by Christ, Son of God. It is well known that many heretics, at the hour of death, return to the Catholic Church. But what Catholic at that hour has ever denied his religion to seek admission into a sect? As the heretic Melancthon wrote to his Catholic mother: “The Protestant is the best faith to live in, but the Catholic Faith is the best one to die in.”

     

      What is the Church? –The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him. 

    1. Even considering it only as a visible society, the Church is a perfect religious body.All members are subject to the same religious authority, possess identical religious doctrines, live a common religious life, and use the same means of grace, the sacraments. 
    2. The Church is divided into the “teaching Church” and the “hearing Church”; for each Christ laid down powers and duties.The priests, with their bishops and the Pope, compose the “teaching Church”; the faithful, who believe and obey, and are admitted into membership through the Sacrament of Baptism, compose the “hearing Church”.
      How is the Church enabled to lead men to salvation? –The Church is enabled to lead men to salvation by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, who gives it life. 

    1. God the Father and God the Son sent the Holy Ghost to dwell in the Church. The indwelling of the Holy Ghost enables the Church to teach, to sanctify, and to rule the faithful in the name of Christ.The Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles to enlighten, strengthen, and sanctify them, so that they could preach the Gospel and spread the Church all over the world. On the Feast of Pentecost, in remembrance of God the Holy Ghost, we celebrate a mystery which is forever renewed in the Church and in our souls: the mystery of the indwelling of God, the reign of the law of love which succeeded the law of bondage and fear (Rom. 8: 15). 
    2. The Holy Ghost guides the rulers of the Church, especially the Pope, and helps them in their duties.Before the descent of the Holy Ghost, the Apostles had been timid and afraid. After His coming they went forth to teach, whatever hardships carne; they remembered and understood all the teaching of Christ. 
    3. The Holy Ghost preserves the Church from all error in its teaching; in times of danger, He raises up able defenders of its doctrines.St. Athanasius defended the Church in the time of the Arian heretics; Pope Gregory VII during a period of great disorder; St. Dominic, during the time of the Albigenses; and St. Ignatius of Loyola, after the Protestant outbreak. 
    4. The Holy Ghost raises up Saints in the Church throughout all generations.The members of the Church strive to imitate its Divine Founder, and in all countries and all times it has produced saints, canonized and uncanonized, martyrs, confessors, hidden souls that burn with the love of God and their fellowmen.
      Are not all religions the same? –No for truth and error are not the same; faith and unbelief are not the same. 

    1. God is not divided. He revealed only one religion. We either believe that religion, or do not believe it. There is no middle way. “He who is not with me is against me” (Matt. 12:30)Anything that is not the whole truth is not truth. Christ said: “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6).No one will assert that glass is as good as diamonds, nor that brass is as good as gold. No one claims that an imitation is just as good as the authentic thing. More unreasonable then would it be to claim that a religion established by a man is as good as that founded by the Incarnate God. 
    2. From the very beginning of mankind there has been one true religion. From Adam to the coming of Christ this religion was preserved by the patriarchs, prophets, and others chosen by God to keep the knowledge of the promised Redeemer intact.Before the coming of Christ, this true religion was not universal, but limited to one people, the Jews, the,“chosen people.” All other nations had degenerated and worshipped idols, false gods. In spite of the imperfections of the old religion preserved among the Jews; it was always the true religion, the one true religion. It forshadowed the coming of the perfect religion, that established by the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Who then abrogated the Jewish Faith, the Old Law, in favor of the New Faith, the New Law. 
    3. It is absurd to suppose that God does not care whether men denounce His Son as an impostor and blasphemer, or worship Him as God.Why should Christ, and after Him the Apostles, and after them a long line of believers, have suffered so much and resisted persecution so firmly, if it were of no importance what a man believed? The Apostle said, “There is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)
      How can we prove that the only true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church? –We can prove that the only true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church, because: 

    1. Only the Catholic Church possesses the marks of the Church established by Christ; that is, Unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity. As a matter of fact, only the Catholic Church claims to have all these four marks of the True Church, the marks so evidently set by Christ. 
    2. The history of the Catholic Church gives evidence of miraculous strength, permanence, and unchangeableness, so showing the world that it is under the special protection of God. The Catholic Church has proved itself indestructible for almost two thousand years, against every variety and number of formidable enemies. The Church suffered from persecution and outside attacks, and from schism and heresy within its own ranks, yet still lives.In spite of corruption and persecution, in spite of the combined forces of error and evil, the Catholic Church has continued to live and to carry out its purpose, as its Founder promised. The indestructibility of the Church, as has been proved by history, is alone enough to mark it as divine. God alone could have preserved it so long. The Church is the only institution which has proved itself an exception to the law of decay and death. It has watched the birth and decay of every government on earth for almost 2000 years. After every attack against it, it rises, the Bride of Christ, ever fresh and fair.

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

    The One True Church

    Principal Christian Religious Bodies in the U.S.

     

    NAME PLACE OF ORIGIN FOUNDER YEAR
    CATHOLIC CHURCH
    _____________________________
    Eastern Orthodox (19 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Lutheran (21 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Mennonite (15 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Protestant Episcopal
    _____________________________
    Presbyterian (10 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Congregational
    _____________________________
    Bapist (24 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Unitarian
    _____________________________
    Friends or Ouakers (4 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Reformed Churches (4 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Baptist, German (4 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Methodist (22 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Universalists
    _____________________________
    United Brethren (2 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Evangelical
    _____________________________
    Churches of Christ
    _____________________________
    Latter-Day Saints (7 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Adventist (5 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Salvation Army
    _____________________________
    Christian Scientists
    _____________________________
    Assemblies of God
    _____________________________
    Church of the Nazarene
    _____________________________
    Evangelical, Reformed
     
    JERUSALEM
    _____________
    Near East
    _____________
    Germany
    _____________
    Switzerland
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Scotland
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Amsterdam
    _____________
    London
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Holland
    _____________
    Germany
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    New Jersey
    _____________
    Maryland
    _____________
    Pennsylvania
    _____________
    Kentucky
    _____________
    New York
    _____________
    New York
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Massachusetts
    _____________
    Arkansas
    _____________
    U.S.
    _____________
    Ohio
     
    JESUS CHRIST
    ___________________________
    Schism from Catholic Church
    ___________________________
    Martin Luther
    ___________________________
    Grebel, Mantz, Blaurock
    ___________________________
    Henry VIII
    ___________________________
    John Knox
    ___________________________
    Robert Browne
    ___________________________
    John Smyth
    ___________________________
    John Biddle
    ___________________________
    George Fox
    ___________________________
    Assembly
    ___________________________
    A. Mack
    ___________________________
    John and Charles Wesley
    ___________________________
    John Murray
    ___________________________
    Otterbein and Boehm
    ___________________________
    Jacob Albright
    ___________________________
    Thos. and Alex. Campbell
    ___________________________
    Joseph Smith
    ___________________________
    William Miller
    ___________________________
    William Booth
    ___________________________
    Mary Baker Eddy
    ___________________________
    General Meeting
    ___________________________
    Union at General Assembly
    ___________________________
    Union at General Assembly
     
    33
    _______
    1054
    _______
    1517
    _______
    1525
    _______
    1534
    _______
    1560
    _______
    1583
    _______
    1600
    _______
    1645
    _______
    1647
    _______
    17th c.
    _______
    1708
    _______
    1739
    _______
    1770
    _______
    1800
    _______
    1803
    _______
    1827
    _______
    1830
    _______
    1831
    _______
    1865
    _______
    1879
    _______
    1914
    _______
    1919
    _______
    1934
     

     

    There are over 200 different Protestant bodies existing in the United States alone. In the above list a few of the best-known are enumerated, in comparison with the Catholic Church. This comparative list indicates this fact: none of these denominations can ever become the True Church founded by Christ, Son of God. It is well known that many heretics, at the hour of death, return to the Catholic Church. But what Catholic at that hour has ever denied his religion to seek admission into a sect? As the heretic Melancthon wrote to his Catholic mother: “The Protestant is the best faith to live in, but the Catholic Faith is the best one to die in.”

     

      What is the Church? –The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him. 

    1. Even considering it only as a visible society, the Church is a perfect religious body.All members are subject to the same religious authority, possess identical religious doctrines, live a common religious life, and use the same means of grace, the sacraments. 
    2. The Church is divided into the “teaching Church” and the “hearing Church”; for each Christ laid down powers and duties.The priests, with their bishops and the Pope, compose the “teaching Church”; the faithful, who believe and obey, and are admitted into membership through the Sacrament of Baptism, compose the “hearing Church”.
      How is the Church enabled to lead men to salvation? –The Church is enabled to lead men to salvation by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, who gives it life. 

    1. God the Father and God the Son sent the Holy Ghost to dwell in the Church. The indwelling of the Holy Ghost enables the Church to teach, to sanctify, and to rule the faithful in the name of Christ.The Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles to enlighten, strengthen, and sanctify them, so that they could preach the Gospel and spread the Church all over the world. On the Feast of Pentecost, in remembrance of God the Holy Ghost, we celebrate a mystery which is forever renewed in the Church and in our souls: the mystery of the indwelling of God, the reign of the law of love which succeeded the law of bondage and fear (Rom. 8: 15). 
    2. The Holy Ghost guides the rulers of the Church, especially the Pope, and helps them in their duties.Before the descent of the Holy Ghost, the Apostles had been timid and afraid. After His coming they went forth to teach, whatever hardships carne; they remembered and understood all the teaching of Christ. 
    3. The Holy Ghost preserves the Church from all error in its teaching; in times of danger, He raises up able defenders of its doctrines.St. Athanasius defended the Church in the time of the Arian heretics; Pope Gregory VII during a period of great disorder; St. Dominic, during the time of the Albigenses; and St. Ignatius of Loyola, after the Protestant outbreak. 
    4. The Holy Ghost raises up Saints in the Church throughout all generations.The members of the Church strive to imitate its Divine Founder, and in all countries and all times it has produced saints, canonized and uncanonized, martyrs, confessors, hidden souls that burn with the love of God and their fellowmen.
      Are not all religions the same? –No for truth and error are not the same; faith and unbelief are not the same. 

    1. God is not divided. He revealed only one religion. We either believe that religion, or do not believe it. There is no middle way. “He who is not with me is against me” (Matt. 12:30)Anything that is not the whole truth is not truth. Christ said: “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6).No one will assert that glass is as good as diamonds, nor that brass is as good as gold. No one claims that an imitation is just as good as the authentic thing. More unreasonable then would it be to claim that a religion established by a man is as good as that founded by the Incarnate God.

       

    2. From the very beginning of mankind there has been one true religion. From Adam to the coming of Christ this religion was preserved by the patriarchs, prophets, and others chosen by God to keep the knowledge of the promised Redeemer intact.Before the coming of Christ, this true religion was not universal, but limited to one people, the Jews, the,“chosen people.” All other nations had degenerated and worshipped idols, false gods. In spite of the imperfections of the old religion preserved among the Jews; it was always the true religion, the one true religion. It forshadowed the coming of the perfect religion, that established by the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Who then abrogated the Jewish Faith, the Old Law, in favor of the New Faith, the New Law. 
    3. It is absurd to suppose that God does not care whether men denounce His Son as an impostor and blasphemer, or worship Him as God.Why should Christ, and after Him the Apostles, and after them a long line of believers, have suffered so much and resisted persecution so firmly, if it were of no importance what a man believed? The Apostle said, “There is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)
      How can we prove that the only true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church? –We can prove that the only true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church, because: 

    1. Only the Catholic Church possesses the marks of the Church established by Christ; that is, Unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity. As a matter of fact, only the Catholic Church claims to have all these four marks of the True Church, the marks so evidently set by Christ. 
    2. The history of the Catholic Church gives evidence of miraculous strength, permanence, and unchangeableness, so showing the world that it is under the special protection of God. The Catholic Church has proved itself indestructible for almost two thousand years, against every variety and number of formidable enemies. The Church suffered from persecution and outside attacks, and from schism and heresy within its own ranks, yet still lives.In spite of corruption and persecution, in spite of the combined forces of error and evil, the Catholic Church has continued to live and to carry out its purpose, as its Founder promised. The indestructibility of the Church, as has been proved by history, is alone enough to mark it as divine. God alone could have preserved it so long. The Church is the only institution which has proved itself an exception to the law of decay and death. It has watched the birth and decay of every government on earth for almost 2000 years. After every attack against it, it rises, the Bride of Christ, ever fresh and fair.

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

    ​Marks of the True Church

     

    The True Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The Church that possesses all the shining marks which Our Lord gave is the Church of God, the True Church. Any church that lacks even one of these marks is an imitation, a false church, and not the one founded by Our Lord. The True Church must possess all these marks. It is the Church which Christ commanded all to hear and obey.

     

      Did Christ establish many Churches? –Christ established only one Church, to continue till the end of time. 

    1. As God is one, He established one Church, which He commanded all men to obey and to follow in the way of salvation.God is essentially one. He is Truth itself. How can He say to one group of men that there are three Persons in one God, and to another that there is only one Person? How can He say to one body that the Holy Eucharist is Himself, and to another that it is mere bread? God cannot contradict Himself. “He who hears you hears me” (Luke 10:16). “There shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16). 
    2. Christ never referred to His Churches, but to His Church. Christ chose only one Head for His Church. Peter could not have been the Head of conflicting churches.Christ said: “And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). Christ did not say: “Upon this rock I will build My Churches,” it was clearly not His intention to establish various conflicting churches. 
    3. Christ, even in His prayers, spoke of unity among His followers. There would evidently be no unity if He had founded many churches.Immediately before His passion, He prayed: “Yet not for these only do I pray, but for those also who through their word are to believe in me, that all may be one, even as thou, Father, in me and I in thee; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:20-21).

        Is there any way by which we can distinguish the Church that Christ founded from all other churches? –We can distinguish the Church founded by Christ from all other churches by the marks or signs that Our Lord gave to it.

        mark is a sign by which something may be distinguished from all others of the same kind. By its marks we can recognize the True Church as the one founded by Jesus Christ, distinguishing it from all other churches, however similar.

         

      1. It is important that we know which is the Church established by Christ, in order that we may obey it, as God commands. Then shall we also be certain what to believe and do in order to be saved; the Church, that True Church, will be our guide to heaven.We must distinguish the True Church from false churches, because today there are many imitations of the Church founded by Christ. 
      2. The True Church must be that which Christ personally founded, and the Apostles propagated. It must have existed continuously since the time of Christ. It must teach in their entirety all the doctrines commanded by the Divine Founder while He was still on earth; and all its members must profess those fundamental doctrines. It must be a visible organization, discernible and discoverable, evidently existing, with clear marks or signs distinguishing it as the True Church.It was through a common bond of faith that the faithful throughout the world were, to be united in one body, the Church, their heritage from the Son of God. Our Lord therefore before His Ascension made the necessary provision so that all men might from thenceforth recognize the Church which He established, and which He commanded all to join.
        What are the chief marks of the True Church? –The chief marks of the True Church are four: It is one, holy, catholic or universal, and apostolic. 

      1. Christ intended His Church to be One; therefore the True Church must be One. Its members must be united in doctrine, in worship, and in government. Christ said:“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand” (Mark 3:24). “There shall be one fold and one Shepherd” (John 10:16). 
      2. Christ intended His Church to be Holy; therefore the True Church must be Holy. It must teach a holy doctrine in faith and morals, because its Founder is holy. It must provide the means for its members to lead a holy life.“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. … Therefore, by their fruits you will know them” (Matt. 7:15-17,20).Christ promised His Church the gift of miracles, a sign of holiness: “Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he also shall do, and greater than these he shall do” (John 14:12). He said: “You therefore are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is Perfect” (Matt. 5:48). 
      3. Christ intended His Church to be universal, that is, catholic; and therefore the True Church must be Universal, or Catholic. It must be for all peoples of every nation and for all times and teach the same faith everywhere. Christ commanded His disciples:“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). “Go into the whole world. and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). “You shall be witnesses for me … even to the very ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). 
      4. Christ intended His Church to be propagated by His Apostles; and therefore the True Church must be Apostolic. It must be the Church propagated by the Apostles. Its rulers must derive their office and authority by lawful succession from the Apostles. It must hold intact the doctrine and traditions of the Apostles, to whom Christ gave authority to teach.It was Christ Himself, and no one else, Who chose His Apostles and disciples, and commanded them to teach His doctrines to all the world. St. Paul says: “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a Gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8). St. Paul himself refers to the Church as “built upon the foundation of the Apostles” (Eph. 2:20).

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