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Why I am Catholic
#1
Brick 
Why I am Catholic
(A brief excerpt from the booklet “Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth”)

QUOTE:

Among the Christian churches, only the Catholic Church has existed since the time of Jesus. Every other Christian church is an offshoot of the Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox churches broke away from unity with the pope in 1054. The Protestant churches were established during the Reformation, which began in 1517. (Most of today’s Protestant churches are actually offshoots of the original Protestant offshoots.)

Only the Catholic Church existed in the tenth century, in the fifth century, and in the first century, faithfully teaching the doctrines given by Christ to the apostles, omitting nothing. The line of popes can be traced back, in unbroken succession, to Peter himself. This is unequaled by any institution in history.

Even the oldest government is new compared to the papacy, and the churches that send out door-to-door missionaries are young compared to the Catholic Church. Many of these churches began as recently as the nineteenth or twentieth centuries. Some even began during your own lifetime. None of them can claim to be the Church Jesus established.

The Catholic Church has existed for nearly 2,000 years, despite constant opposition from the world. This is testimony to the Church’s divine origin. It must be more than a merely human organization, especially considering that its human members— even some of its leaders—have been unwise, corrupt, or prone to heresy.

Any merely human organization with such members would have collapsed early on. The Catholic Church is today the most vigorous church in the world (and the largest, with a billion members: one sixth of the human race), and that is testimony not to the cleverness of the Church’s leaders, but to the protection of the Holy Spirit.

FOUR MARKS OF THE TRUE CHURCH

If we wish to locate the Church founded by Jesus, we need to locate the one that has the four chief marks or qualities of his Church. The Church we seek must be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.

The Church Is One (Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:17, 12:13)
Jesus established only one Church, not a collection of differing churches. The Bible says the Church is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:23–32). Jesus can have but one spouse, and his spouse is the Catholic Church. His Church also teaches just one set of doctrines, which must be the same as those taught by the apostles (Jude 3). This is the unity of belief to which Scripture calls us (Phil. 1:27, 2:2). Over the centuries, as doctrines are examined more fully, the Church comes to understand them more deeply (John 16:12–13), but it never understands them to mean the opposite of what they once meant.

The Church Is Holy (Eph. 5:25–27, Rev. 19:7–8)
By his grace Jesus makes the Church holy, just as he is holy. This doesn’t mean that each member is always holy. Jesus said there would be both good and bad members in the Church (John 6:70), and not all the members would go to heaven (Matt. 7:21–23). But the Church itself is holy because it is the source of holiness and is the guardian of the special means of grace Jesus established, the sacraments (cf. Eph. 5:26).

The Church Is Catholic (Matt. 28:19–20, Rev. 5:9–10)
Jesus’ Church is called catholic (“universal” in Greek) because it is his gift to all people. He told his apostles to go throughout the world and make disciples of “all nations” (Matt. 28:19–20). For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has carried out this mission, preaching the good news that Christ died for all men and that he wants all of us to be members of his universal family (Gal. 3:28). Nowadays the Catholic Church is found in every country of the world and is still sending out missionaries to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). The Church Jesus established was known by its most common title, “the Catholic Church,” at least as early as the year 107, when Ignatius of Antioch used that title to describe the one Church Jesus founded. The title apparently was old in Ignatius’s time, which means it probably went all the way back to the time of the apostles.

The Church Is Apostolic (Eph. 2:19–20)
The Church Jesus founded is apostolic because he appointed the apostles to be the first leaders of the Church, and their successors were to be its future leaders. The apostles were the first bishops, and, since the first century, there has been an unbroken line of Catholic bishops faithfully handing on what the apostles taught the first Christians in Scripture and oral Tradition (2 Tim. 2:2). These beliefs include the bodily Resurrection of Jesus, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the sacrificial nature of the Mass, the forgiveness of sins through a priest, baptismal regeneration, the existence of purgatory, Mary’s special role, and much more —even the doctrine of apostolic succession itself. Early Christian writings prove the first Christians were thoroughly Catholic in belief and practice and looked to the successors of the apostles as their leaders. What these first Christians believed is still believed by the Catholic Church. No other Church can make that claim.

Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth

Man’s ingenuity cannot account for this. The Church has remained one, holy, catholic, and apostolic—not through man’s effort, but because God preserves the Church he established (Matt. 16:18, 28:20). He guided the Israelites on their escape from Egypt by giving them a pillar of fire to light their way across the dark wilderness (Exod. 13:21). Today he guides us through his Catholic Church.

The Bible, sacred Tradition, and the writings of the earliest Christians testify that the Church teaches with Jesus’ authority. In this age of countless competing religions, each clamoring for attention, one voice rises above the din: the Catholic Church, which the Bible calls “the pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).

Jesus assured the apostles and their successors, the popes and the bishops, “He who listens to you listens to me, and he who rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16). Jesus promised to guide his Church into all truth (John 16:12–13). We can have confidence that his Church teaches only the truth.

END EXCERPT QUOTE

EXCERPT SOURCE: https://www.catholic.com/tract/pillar-of...r-of-truth
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#2
Frim your link:

Quote:Any merely human organization with such members would have collapsed early on. The Catholic Church is today the most vigorous church in the world (and the largest, with a billion members: one sixth of the human race), and that is testimony not to the cleverness of the Church’s leaders, but to the protection of the Holy Spirit.

What about the numerous sex scandals in the Church, have they been resolved?
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#3


(09-13-2020, 03:59 PM)Sunsettommy Wrote: What about the numerous sex scandals in the Church, have they been resolved?

You might as well ask if the issue of MAN and SIN has been resolved.  Men will always sin.

The so-called "scandals" have never been correctly described in the press and have never been correctly reported. 

I would say they have been correctly addressed and that stringent measures have been taken.

It would take a whole page to explain why your question belongs in its own thread. I would have to explain what actually happened as opposed to what reportedly happened, and then I would have to explain the administrative structure of the Church, which is that it is not a single entity as many think but a collection of thousands of independent dioceses. Religiously the Church is ONE, but administratively each diocese is independent, run totally by a bishop. It is much like each sate is run by a governor, and no other governor has anything to say about what goes on in one governor's state. If you found out the Oregon state officials were sex offenders, it would have nothing to do with Texas or Florida.

This thread is about Why I am a Catholic, not about all that stuff.
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#4
(09-13-2020, 04:00 PM)TrumpTrain2 Wrote:

(09-13-2020, 03:59 PM)Sunsettommy Wrote: What about the numerous sex scandals in the Church, have they been resolved?

You might as well ask if the issue of MAN and SIN has been resolved.  Men will always sin.

The so-called "scandals" have never been correctly described in the press and have never been correctly reported. 

I would say they have been correctly addressed and that stringent measures have been taken.

It would take a whole page to explain why your question belongs in its own thread. I would have to explain what actually happened as opposed to what reportedly happened, and then I would have to explain the administrative structure of the Church, which is that it is not a single entity as many think but a collection of thousands of independent dioceses. Religiously the Church is ONE, but administratively each diocese is independent, run totally by a bishop. It is much like each sate is run by a governor, and no other governor has anything to say about what goes on in one governor's state. If you found out the Oregon state officials were sex offenders, it would have nothing to do with Texas or Florida.

This thread is about Why I am a Catholic, not about all that stuff.

Ok, my bad.

You make a good point about it.
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#5
Quote:The Church Is One (Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:17, 12:13)

Jesus established only one Church, not a collection of differing churches. The Bible says the Church is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:23–32). Jesus can have but one spouse, and his spouse is the Catholic Church. His Church also teaches just one set of doctrines, which must be the same as those taught by the apostles (Jude 3). This is the unity of belief to which Scripture calls us (Phil. 1:27, 2:2). Over the centuries, as doctrines are examined more fully, the Church comes to understand them more deeply (John 16:12–13), but it never understands them to mean the opposite of what they once meant.


Jesus established teachings and ministries, not an organizational structure, Ephesians 4:11, Romans 12:4-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. The leadership gift Jesus gave was at the congregation level, pastors. Organizational structures above that are of man's creation, not of Jesus' establishment. As such they must be recognized as such and judged by their usefulness and faithfulness to the teachings of the Bible, not as having Jesus' authority.


Quote:The Church Is Holy (Eph. 5:25–27, Rev. 19:7–8)

By his grace Jesus makes the Church holy, just as he is holy. This doesn’t mean that each member is always holy. Jesus said there would be both good and bad members in the Church (John 6:70), and not all the members would go to heaven (Matt. 7:21–23). But the Church itself is holy because it is the source of holiness and is the guardian of the special means of grace Jesus established, the sacraments (cf. Eph. 5:26).


Whatever righteousness believers have is given them by Jesus. The other side of that coin is that leaders are not above consequences for being unrighteous, removal from leadership (and being handed over to civil authorities if laws were broken). The Roman church (using the term for distinction rather than as pejorative) has often not done this with its Popes and lower hierarchy. For example, many 15th and 16th Century Popes were moral horrors and/or extremely corrupt, yet their authority within the Roman church is fully recognized and any official doctrinal statements they may have made are to be considered infallible.

What of the conflict that includes the "Corpse Synod"? A Pope condemning a dead former Pope as a heretic? What of Pope Francis who seems to have embraced socialism, which is contrary to one of the Ten Commandments? These men have the full authority of being Pope? And their official doctrinal statements are to be considered infallible?


Quote:The Church Is Catholic (Matt. 28:19–20, Rev. 5:9–10)

Jesus’ Church is called catholic (“universal” in Greek) because it is his gift to all people. He told his apostles to go throughout the world and make disciples of “all nations” (Matt. 28:19–20). For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has carried out this mission, preaching the good news that Christ died for all men and that he wants all of us to be members of his universal family (Gal. 3:28). Nowadays the Catholic Church is found in every country of the world and is still sending out missionaries to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). The Church Jesus established was known by its most common title, “the Catholic Church,” at least as early as the year 107, when Ignatius of Antioch used that title to describe the one Church Jesus founded. The title apparently was old in Ignatius’s time, which means it probably went all the way back to the time of the apostles.


Using the word "catholic" as part of its official name does not make the Roman church actually catholic (universal). The Roman church cut off, ceased to recognize, believers in the Greek church (distinction, not pejorative) many centuries ago. Yet they were - and their spiritual descendants still are - Christian believers. The Roman church cut off, ceased to recognize, believers who have come to be called "Protestant". The start of the break with Luther was his calling out abuses that he did not realized were part of a deal between Albert of Mainz and Pope Leo X to finance Albert's debt from having purchased an archbishopric (aka "Simony") and Leo's building projects. Leo's authoritarian response defending his financial corruption forced a centuries-long break that a spiritual leader might have been able to avoid and leverage to reform many corruptions common in the Medieval Roman church.

History lesson aside, the big point is that the Roman church is NOT catholic. It either rejects or regards as second-class 100s of millions of Christian believers.


Quote:The Church Is Apostolic (Eph. 2:19–20)

The Church Jesus founded is apostolic because he appointed the apostles to be the first leaders of the Church, and their successors were to be its future leaders. The apostles were the first bishops, and, since the first century, there has been an unbroken line of Catholic bishops faithfully handing on what the apostles taught the first Christians in Scripture and oral Tradition (2 Tim. 2:2). These beliefs include the bodily Resurrection of Jesus, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the sacrificial nature of the Mass, the forgiveness of sins through a priest, baptismal regeneration, the existence of purgatory, Mary’s special role, and much more —even the doctrine of apostolic succession itself. Early Christian writings prove the first Christians were thoroughly Catholic in belief and practice and looked to the successors of the apostles as their leaders. What these first Christians believed is still believed by the Catholic Church. No other Church can make that claim.



Jesus appointed 12 apostles, one of them being Judas who betrayed Jesus. Matthias was chosen (Acts chapter 1?) to replace Judas (and if there are just 12 apostles, was Matthias the 12th, or Paul?). However, if one looks at the Greek of the NT there were several others who were called apostles, with no first-class vs. second-class distinctions made; many more than 12, and I believe at least one was a woman. "Apostle" was a function, not an office, a gift of ministry (Ephesians 4:11). 

Apostles were "sent out" (the meaning of the word) to carry the Gospel where it had not yet reached, to nurture new believers in new congregations, and to disciple leaders for those new congregations. While they might, as Paul sometimes did, remain in a city or area for a year or two or ??, the big picture . Pretty much what nowadays might be called a missionary. "The apostles were the first bishops" ... where is this in Scripture? "(S)ince the first century, there has been an unbroken line of Catholic bishops" ... where is this "succession" concept in Scripture? Where in Scripture are regional "Archbishops" found? Or any authority structure beyond a city's metro area in which there were multiple congregations. Where in Scripture can be found that there would be a sort of supreme bishop over all Christian believers?
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#6
Well Pete, needless to say, I disagree with all of that. You state the protestant party line well. Unfortunately none of it is true. I won't elaborate at this time, because my only other alternative is to write several pages taking down each of the many erroneous points you made. Perhaps we will debate each point in their own thread in the future.

Right now I will continue on with the topic "Why I am Catholic", which by the way, is not subtitled Why Pete is not Catholic. LOL
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#7
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#8
Continuing from the first post.....

THE STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH
Jesus chose the apostles to be the earthly leaders of the Church. He gave them his own authority to teach and to govern—not as dictators, but as loving pastors and fathers. That is why Catholics call their spiritual leaders “father.” In doing so we follow Paul’s example: “I became your father in Jesus Christ through the gospel” (1 Cor. 4:15).

The apostles, fulfilling Jesus’ will, ordained bishops, priests, and deacons and thus handed on their apostolic ministry to them—the fullest degree of ordination to the bishops, lesser degrees to the priests and deacons.

The Pope and Bishops (CCC 880–883)
Jesus gave Peter special authority among the apostles (John 21:15–17) and signified this by changing his name from Simon to Peter, which means “rock” (John 1:42). He said Peter was to be the rock on which he would build his Church (Matt. 16:18).

In Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, Simon’s new name was Kepha (which means a massive rock). Later this name was translated into Greek as Petros (John 1:42) and into English as Peter. Christ gave Peter alone the “keys of the kingdom” (Matt. 16:19) and promised that Peter’s decisions would be binding in heaven. He also gave similar power to the other apostles (Matt. 18:18), but only Peter was given the keys, symbols of his authority to rule the Church on earth in Jesus’ absence.

Christ, the Good Shepherd, called Peter to be the chief shepherd of his Church (John 21:15–17). He gave Peter the task of strengthening the other apostles in their faith, ensuring that they taught only what was true (Luke 22:31–32). Peter led the Church in proclaiming the gospel and making decisions (Acts 2:1– 41, 15:7–12).

Early Christian writings tell us that Peter’s successors, the bishops of Rome (who from the earliest times have been called by the affectionate title of “pope,” which means “papa”), continued to exercise Peter’s ministry in the Church.

The pope is the successor to Peter as bishop of Rome. The world’s other bishops are successors to the apostles in general.

EXCERPT QUOTE: https://www.catholic.com/tract/pillar-of...r-of-truth
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#9
I do not see any problem with that. I read read the Holy Quoran and yet I am a Catholic. We even study Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist religion in a Catholic High School. Afterall, we all call on to the same God.
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