What does Catholic mean or to be a member of the Catholic Church? Click on the symbol above to discover that "catholic" goes back before Christ and before Abraham, Moses and Noah to Adam. After you review the document in the link about, continue on below.
Knowing this, you would think it would be considered an honor to be a Catholic following Christ as did His apostles. But from the beginning, Jesus had a "diabolical adversary" SATAN, who conspired to stop Jesus and stop His Holy apostolic "universal" Church, the Catholic Church. Jesus commanded His disciples to preach the "Gospel of the kingdom" for a testimony to all nations, baptizing them. Matt. 24:14.
While this was good news to those who seek God (Matt. 7:7) Jesus warned His followers that those who follow Him by becoming a Catholic would become objects of hatred because of their adversary SATAN along with the ones who pushed for His crucifixion; i.e., the apostate Talmudic Jews like King Herod and the false religious leaders.
"Do not think I came to bring peace on earth. I came to put a sword. I came to set a man against his father, the daughter against her mother. A man's enemies will be those of his own household. He who loves father, mother, daughter or son more than me is not worthy of me. He that does not take up my cross and follow me is not worthy of me." Matt. 10:34-38
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Christ and His Catholic Church as a body and as individual Catholics have been objects of hatred, persecuted and viewed as enemies of non-Catholics throughout the world since His passion. Jesus was hated, persecuted and eventually put to death. Why? "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own, but because ye are not of the world, the world hates you. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you." John 15:18-21. And James 4:4; "...friendship with the world is enmity with God." And Why? "The god of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers of the world." 2 Corinthians 4:4; and John 5:19, "The world lies in the seat of the wicked one (SATAN)." Who are of the world?
In the first three centuries virtually all the Popes died a martyr's death because the world hated them on account of Christ. Since then Catholics have been hated, persecuted and murdered by non-Catholics. But why? Again, SATAN and anti-Catholics.
FOUNDATIONS OF CATHOLICISM
The Apostle’s Creed 12 statements - instituted into the Church in the 4th century shortly after St Jerome completed compiling the 73 books of the canon scriptures.
1. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;
2. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord;
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead;
6. He ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
7. From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. The Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints,
10. The forgiveness of sins,
11. The resurrection of the body,
12. And life everlasting. Amen. (Click on photo below)
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name (I AM)
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
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The Holy Sacraments
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"Go therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Matthew 18:19 "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John 3:5
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CONFESSION - PENANCE
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful, He will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all iniquity.." 1 John 1:9
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"And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me." Luke 22:19 (Click on photo below)
The first communion at the "Lord's Supper"
"Eat my body and drink my blood"
THE HOLY ORDERS
A manifestations in the Catholic Church is the holy orders of the clergy of the Church beginning with Jesus appointing as head and ruler of the Church and the first Pope.
"Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven." Matt. 16:18-19
St Peter - First Monarch, Bishop and Pontiff of the Church
"Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: FEED MY LAMBS." (John 21:15)
Jesus told Peter to TEACH His followers to observe ALL His commands; and in doing so, He would be with them until the consummation of the world. (Matt. 28:20)
Peter was the "Vicar" (representative) of Christ, His primary bishop, His chief apostle and as such Jesus anointed Peter with "infallibility" in matters of faith and morals. Whatever Peter bound on earth would be bound in heaven and whatever Peter loosed on earth would be loosed in heaven. Though Peter counselled (discussed) with all the other apostles, Peter alone had the final word on all matters regarding Church teachings, and the other apostles recognized the supremacy of the office, the throne of Peter when they met; after all, Peter held the keys Jesus gave him.
Before Jesus died and ascended back to heaven, He arranged to turn over "ALL His earthly belongings" to Peter and His other apostles. (Matt. 24:45)
(More on "infallibility" on the next page "Vatican II" on this site.)
When Peter died a martyr's death in 66 A.D., because He promised to be with His Church until the consummation of the world, Christ instructed Peter to pass the keys of His Kingdom, His Church, to Peter's successor to continue with governing His Church. Although there is little written about Linus, Church tradition has Linus as the successor to Peter. See Philippians 4:3.
Jesus provided for His Church in many ways: "He (Jesus) gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizes, some as doctors and some as saints..." (See Ephesians 4:11-13)
An example of such a "saint" and "doctor" of the Church was St Thomas Aquinas in the 13th Century, referred to as "the angelic Doctor of the Church". (And there were hundreds of Saints before Aquinas)
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Notice, St Thomas Aquinas holds a copy of the Bible, no doubt the Latin Vulgate, in one hand and what appears to be a model of the Church in his other hand, symbolizing the teachings of the Church. In a very real way, like Peter, St Thomas Aquinas is holding representations of Peter's keys.
St Aquinas not only commented on scripture; he also commented all Church teachings, including what was taught in the Ecumenical Council's teachings up to that time. See "Vatican" page.
Below are just a few of the early Church fathers and theologians.
Linus, then Clement - 88 A.D., Ignatius 108, Justin Martyr 155 and Pope St Siricius 350. The list of bishops, Church leaders, historians and Saints of the Church seems endless providing great enlightenment on the meaning of scripture and church traditions. (Click on photos)
St Pope Siricius of the 4th century, the 38th Bishop of Rome left behind his original handwritten decrees that is now preserved in Rome. This document provides clear guidance on a significant issue that is crucial for faithful Catholics today. (Click on photo)
THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The Bible or Church teachings and tradition?
2 Thessalonians 2:14, "Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle." The "epistle" implied the letters of scripture; i.e., the various handwritten documents of the gospels and all other sacred "written" scriptures including the Old and New Testaments. And the "word" implied any and all words of the apostles including the chief apostle Peter and his successors, the Popes including their holy writings, papal decrees and documents to become part of "Dogma of the Faith" of Christ Church. Think about it; sacred canon scripture was not even completed until 405 AD, 23 years after Pope St Damasus I instructed St Jerome in 382 AD to compile the sacred books of scripture in 382 into one book we now call the "Holy Bible". So, until then the "faithful" of the Church were following the "word(s)" of the apostles. Many of the "epistles" of Paul, for example, were not even available to read and review by most in the first and second centuries yet. Therefore, the faithful Catholics of the first several centuries had only the word(s) of the apostles, the Popes, bishops and priests to guide them on matters of faith and morals. Even after St Jerome compiled the 73 books of canon scriptures, very few copies existed for centuries after that. So, the teaching and guidance came primarily by word(s) of the local priests and clergy following the magisterium of the Church Fathers; the Popes.
Below is a photo of one of the oldest complete Latin Vulgate Bible of St Jerome in 405 AD. as directed by Pope St Damasus I in 382 A.D., the 37th Catholic Pontiff in Rome. (Click photo)
Prior to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century the Holy Catholic Church was the only "Church" written about in tradition and in sacred scripture; why it's mentioned in the Apostle's Creed since 380 A.D. Acts 9:31.
Jesus gave us a warning as to what happened in Noah's day. (Click on photo)
Genesis 6: “And the earth was corrupted before God and filled with sin; and God said; The end of all flesh is come before me... and I WILL DESTROY THEM….” (OUTSIDE Noah's Ark)
Matthew 24, “Jesus ... said…As it was in the days of Noah, SO IT SHALL BE IN THE COMING DAY OF THE SON OF MAN.” No one will survive. (OUTSIDE His Church)
EENS - EXTRA ECCLESSIAM NULLA SALUS
"No Salvation outside the Church"
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THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
THE CATHOLIC CATECHISM
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
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Ask yourself the following probing questions:
1. Who do you rely on for final authority on these matters?
2. How many quotes are necessary to make it clear what Our Lord Jesus said and the Holy Fathers that it’is absolutely necessary to be baptized into His Holy Apostolic Catholic Church in order to be saved and enter the kingdom of God?
3. A parent shouldn't have to tell his child more than one time to obey them in crossing the street lest they put their lives in danger. Why is it any different with our heavenly Father? Did our Lord not admonish us to be like little children, not haughty self-important "adults"?
4. One scripture and one Papal decree lead by Holy Spirit telling us we must be baptized into Christ Church to be saved should be enough. If it's not enough, we really need to ask ourselves why, if we are truly a Catholic Christian trying to follow Our Lord’s commands. Do we truly trust Our Lord and the traditions of the Church He established with Peter as the first father of the Church, the Pope?
Footnote: Jesus made it clear that SATAN the devil is a demon and a god of this world who has blinded people's minds to his ways. To dismiss the reality of this would be a fatal mistake.
Read 2 Corinthians 4:4 & 1 Peter 5:8-10 for starters.