Month: June 2015

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church

Inside St. Peter's Basilica - Bernini's Baldacchino. This bronze canopy is located directly under the dome of St. Peter's and is supposed to mark St. Peter's tomb underneath. Claimed to be the world's largest piece of bronze.

Inside St. Peter’s Basilica – Bernini’s Baldacchino. This bronze canopy is located directly under the dome of St. Peter’s and marks St Peter’s tomb underneath.

The Ninth Article of the Apostles’ Creed continued…

    The Catholic Church established by Christ is also known as the “Universal Sacrament of Salvation“.  All saving grace makes it way to humanity in and through  The Catholic Church  as a result of Christ’s passion and death on the Cross. Whoever  is saved receives the graces necessary to become holy and reach Heaven through  The Catholic Church. Do not be deceived, The Catholic Church is the chosen instrument of God Himself! Do you hear me my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ? Do not be deceived by soul destroying  moral relativism that is corrupting our World. There is no second or third way into Heaven, there is only the Catholic way! The Catholic Church has EVERYTHING we need to help us along on our journey to our ETERNAL DESTINY. Eternity is a really long time even though it is outside of time. This is why Jesus left us with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (daily Mass is available to most), prayer (our Father, Hail Mary), His Mother Mary (now our Mother), Confession (I try to go at least every 2 weeks, sometimes more), the Sacrament of  Matrimony ( Trinitarian), Baptism (Faith, Hope, Charity), Confirmation (strengthening), and Anointing of the Sick (physical and spiritual healing). Christ and His Church meet us at every step of our lives, from birth to death. As Catholics we have so many tools in order to help us on our way.

  The Catholic Church  is necessary for salvation! Jesus very clearly declared that no one can be saved except through faith and Baptism. Here is from St Mark’s Gospel in chapter 16:[16]He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.”  We also read in Lumen Gentium 14 Christ’s affirmation “the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door“.

 Ordinary and Extraordinary Magisterium

     The Catholic Church  utilizes two ways to teach and safeguard the Truths handed down by Christ to His Apostles’. We have the ordinary Magisterium of the Church which is Her day to day universal, worldwide teachings on faith and morals. These are TRUTHS to believed and laws to be obeyed. These TRUTHS and laws are not optional by the way. Some good examples of the Church’s teachings that fit into the category of ordinary magisterial teachings are the Church’s solid stance on the evils of abortion, contraception, and euthanasia. These TRUTHS have not been solemnly defined, but the content (doctrine) of these TRUTHS is fixed. Our consciences are bound to believe these Truths.

  The extraordinary Magisterium  is the exercise of the Church’s teachings in a very exceptional and defined  way. Not only is the content fixed, but we also have a fixed and defined statement that cannot be changed. Therefore, the content and definition are fixed when we are talking about the teachings from the extraordinary Magisterium. An example of an ordinary teaching becoming a part of the extraordinary Magisterium of the Church is in 1854 when Pope Pius IX solemnly declared our Mother Mary’s Immaculate Conception in the papal bull Ineffabilis Deus . The extraordinary Magisterium’s declarations’ are made in the form of ex cathedra pronouncements, or also known as “from the Chair of Peter“. They can also  come from solemn declarations made through Ecumenical Councils (these must be approved and ratified by the Pope). We must note that these DOGMAS/ DOCTRINES are binding on ALL the FAITHFUL. We cannot pick and choose which teachings suit our fancy, or which teachings the World agrees with. We are bound as Catholics to follow, live by, and believe the infallible dogmas of The Catholic Church.

 So, in the case of the ordinary Magisterium we understand that the content of the teaching is fixed but it’s language, or definition is still not solemnly defined. In the case of an extraordinary Magisterial teaching, the content and defined language are both fixed and cannot change. Yes, both ordinary and extraordinary teachings must be believed.

  We will look at infallibility in the next post

  May Almighty God bless us and protect us from the World, the devil, the heretics, and ourselves !

        In  JM+JT,

                Lee

ps  The Church needs Saints ; don’t be afraid to be one !

The Catholic Church is Apostolic

The Catholic Church is Apostolic

Perugino_-_Entrega_de_las_llaves_a_San_Pedro_(Capilla_Sixtina,_1481-82)

Ninth Article of the Apostles’ Creed continued…

  The Catholic Church is Apostolic. What exactly does this mean? This means that the Pope and the Bishops of the Catholic Church can all trace their actual lineage back to St Peter and the Apostles. That’s right, the Pope and Bishops are directly related through the succession of office. This isn’t an opinion, this is a fact, a De fide found in the Nicene CreedCredo in…apostolicam Ecclesiam (D 86) D 14, 1686. This from Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr Ludwig Ott the dogma asserts  : In its origin the Church goes back to the Apostles. She has always adhered to the teaching which she received from the Apostles. The pastors of the Church, the Pope and the Bishops are connected with the Apostles by succession of office. The apostolicity of the succession guarantees the unfalsified transmission of doctrine and makes manifest the organic connection between the Church of the present day and the Church of the Apostles.

  The Church is apostolic because the ordination at the Last Supper by Christ ( the Sacrament of Holy Orders ) was passed on by the laying on of hands by the Apostles to their successors, the Bishops. Is this actually in the Bible a protestant may ask? Where does this succession take place?  We find grounds for succession in the Old Testament, especially in Chapter 22 of the Book of Isaiah. I will summarize : The prefect ( this could be our Pope ) of the High Priest ( typologically this represents Jesus ) was not doing a very good job. In fact, God was displeased with Sobna’s action and wanted his office and his “keys”  transferred  to Eliacim the son of Helcias. The job of the prefect ( type of Pope ) was also to be responsible for the “keys” to the Temple. The prefect of the High Priest was like the prime minister and had sweeping power and authority. Also take note that God allowed for a time to have a Prefect or Prime Minister ( or Pope ) who was not doing a good job and was a great sinner. Isn’t that interesting? Also, where have we seen these  keys”  before? Jesus mentioned  “keys”  here in Matthew Chapter 16: [19] And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. This looks really close to what God revealed in Isaiah Chapter 22:[21] And I will clothe him with thy robe, and will strengthen him with thy girdle, and will give thy power into his hand: and he shall be as a father (or Pope) to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Juda. [22] And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open. [23] And I will fasten him as a peg in a sure place, and he shall be for a throne of glory to the house of his father.( Once again, my emphasis added) Here we see an excellent example of the New being hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament (covenant) fulfilled, revealed, and perfected in the New Testament by Jesus Christ !

  In the book of Acts we also find that the Holy Spirit did not come to the Apostles until the office of Judas Iscariot was filled! This office of Judas Iscariot, this Bishopric was filled by Matthias here in Acts Chapter 1:[20] For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take.[25] To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place.[26] And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. ( My emphasis added ) .  Let no one dare say that the Catholic Church is not Apostolic in its origin or that it is not in Holy Scripture.

  Here we have three great Saints who speak of the Apostolic succession being True Marks of the Catholic Church.

 St Jerome

“Far be it from me to speak adversely of any of these clergy who, in succession from the apostles, confect by their sacred word the Body of Christ and through whose efforts also it is that we are Christians” (Letters 14:8 [A.D. 396]).

St Augustine

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

  St Cyprian of Carthage

“[T]he Church is one, and as she is one, cannot be both within and without. For if she is with [the heretic] Novatian, she was not with [Pope] Cornelius. But if she was with Cornelius, who succeeded the bishop [of Rome], Fabian, by lawful ordination, and whom, beside the honor of the priesthood the Lord glorified also with martyrdom, Novatian is not in the Church; nor can he be reckoned as a bishop, who, succeeding to no one, and despising the evangelical and apostolic tradition, sprang from himself. For he who has not been ordained in the Church can neither have nor hold to the Church in any way” (Letters 69[75]:3 [A.D. 253]).

May God Bless us and protect us from the World, the devil, and ourselves

 

In  JM+JT,

Lee