What does the word, "Catholic" mean or to be a member of the Catholic Church? Click on the symbol above to discover more about the word "catholic", going back before Christ and before Abraham, Moses and Noah to Adam. After you review the document in the link above, continue.
For 2000 years there has been only one Holy Catholic Church; Roman, Eastern, Russian or Byzantine, all part of the Catholic Church with one central magisterium in Rome. On the other hand, the Eastern Orthodox Church has been in schism with Rome since 1054 A.D. Although the Eastern Orthodox Churches have maintained much of the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, they no longer submit to the chair of St Peter and are therefore, outside the Roman Catholic Church. See more on the Eastern Orthodox Church on page 9 herein.
Christ command was to preach the "gospel of His kingdom" to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, the son and holy ghost. (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 part of His Church, would become objects of hatred by His enemies. The apostate Jewish leaders of His day, the Pharisees, were responsible for orchestrating Jesus crucifixion He warned His followers that the Jews oo would be persecuted and some even martyred to death.
"Do not think I came to bring peace on earth. I came to put, not peace but 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
Why have Catholics always been ridiculed, hated, persecute and martyred to death by non-Catholics?
"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)
"...friendship with the world is enmity with God." (James 4:4)
Why? "The god of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers of the world."
(2 Corinthians 4:4)
"The world lies in the seat of the wicked one (SATAN)." (John 5:19)
For the first three centuries virtually every Pope and many Catholics died a martyr's death because of the great persecutions that began with St Stephen in 36 A.D. In 326 A.D. during the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great, the persecution of Catholics ended allowing them to come out of the catacombs in 311 A.D. and in 325 A.D. Pope St Sylvester I convened the Council of Nicea and the Nicaean Creed was adopted, later called the "Apostles Creed" that Catholics recite to this day. The Catholic Church flourished for 2000 years by following tradition and sacred scripture.
The Lord’s Prayer
"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name (I AM), God the Father;
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."
Note: "For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever" does not appear in the gospels anywhere. This is called a "doxology" (from the Greek word, 'opinion') and was added by King Henry VIII in the 16th century. It was not included in St Jerome's original canon of the Latin Vulgate of the 4th century. After the doxology was added, all Protestants include it in their version of the Lord's prayer. This is in direct opposition to Revelations 22:18-19; "do not add to or take away anything in scripture", (specially "our Lord's prayer"). Heresy is a belief or opinion contrary to scripture and contrary to Catholic Church tradition Jesus established. (Click on photo)
The Seven Sacraments
(Study the picture below)
Sacrament of Baptism
"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 (water) See the 'EENS' page.
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
(priests receive Holy Orders to stand in Christ's place during confession; Council of Trent)
The Holy Eucharist
"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)
"First Holy Communion, "Eucharist"
"He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. "
(This is Christ "presence", during Holy Communion, the Eucharist, when Christ changes or converts the substance of the host, the bread, into His body as it enters our body; called tran-substantiation)
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 (Click)
St Peter - First Bishop and Pontiff of the Roman Catholic 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, "Angelic Doctor of the Church". (Many saints and 33 doctors of the Church) (Click on photos)
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.
St Linus, then St Clement - 88 A.D., St 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)
Pope St. 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 several centuries. Therefore, faithful Catholics had only the oral word(s) spoken to them by bishops, priests and the Holy Fathers; the Popes on matters of faith and morals. Even after St Jerome compiled all the 73 original books of canon scriptures, the only copies existed in the hands of bishops and Popes. So, the teaching and guidance came primarily by word(s) of the local priests following the magisterium of the Church Fathers; the Popes for centuries, as described on the home page.
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)
EXTRA ECCLESSIAM NULLA SALUS
"No Salvation outside the Church"
See page 7 EENS
(Click on photos)
ARE CATHOLICS ANTI-SEMITIC ~ ANTI-JEWS?
["anti-semitic" is a misnomer (wrong name) applying only to Jews. The origin of "Semite" applies to all descendants of Noah's son Shem. The Israel nation had not even been born yet. All Arabs are semites. All middle-Easterners are semites, as are Jews. Be careful accusing your neighbor. Words can cause harm.]
St Paul said at Romans 12:9, "...hate what is evil (bad), cleave (cling) to what is good." Catholics cling to Jesus words as outlined in Matthew 23 below; ANYONE, Jews or otherwise, who reject Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, are God's enemies, therefore bad (evil). The Jews have a long history of showing bad-will (evil) toward God and His prophets sent forth to correct the Jews ever since leaving Egypt when God made a covenant (agreement) with them. Because the nation of Israel broke the covenant immediately (Golden-Calf worship) they were enslaved to every world power since Egypt. When their promised Messiah came (Jesus) to introduce them to a new covenant for a heavenly kingdom, the Jews rejected Him and His promises (evil). God extended His grace to the nation of Israel first, but the Jews rejected His grace and crucified Him instead. (Romans 11) Therefore, Jesus said, "your house is abandoned to you". (Matthew 23:38) The Jews today are not the descendants of Abraham or King David. Jesus own words identify who their god is, (John 8:44) "your father the devil".
The Catholic Church's position is that if Jews continue to reject Jesus as the Messiah and God the Son, they fit this scripture, "If you are not for me, you are against me." Matthew 12:30.
" Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of them that killed the prophets.  Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.  You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of hell?  Therefore behold I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify them, (such as St Peter crucified upside down) and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city:  That upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar.  Amen I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation.  Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not?  Behold, your house (Jews) shall be left to you, desolate (abandoned to you)." (They brought it on themselves by their rejection of the Messiah.)
PROOF JESUS WAS THE FORETOLD MESSIAH?
HE FULFILLED 360 PROPHESIES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
(Click on painting)
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
(Click on book below)
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?
Our Lord Jesus Christ made it clear that SATAN the devil is the god of this world and he has blinded people's minds to the truth. To dismiss the reality of this would be a fatal mistake.
2 Corinthians 4:4 & 1 Peter 5:8-10