but never from theories!
This problem is not found in The Universal Church, Whose Commandments are quite unable to do anything except lead the faithful to Heaven.Obedience to The Church
means Salvation to the same degree
as obedience to Jesus Christ, for that obedience
is the one and the same obedience;
for The Church is The Mystical Body of Christ.
Is there something wrong in this statement?but in spite of the notoriously awful leaders
Is The Mystical Body different to Christ?
Is The Catholic Church which descends directly from Peter and the Apostles in an unbroken line, not the original Catholic Church?
Many people think so, for time and again, there are those who break away from The Church for every conceivable reason - history is full of heresies and apostasies whereby divisions are caused.
There is no surprise about this, for the devil is a master in causing division and bringing about deception and confusion.
But history proves that Catholicism has remained steadfast in an unbroken line from Jesus Christ Himself. Not that Her leaders and many of the faithful have been living-Saints,
we have had,
even though so very few in number,
and of the great numbers of people
who have been deceived or hurt or scandalised by them,
there has always been a remnant of true-Catholics down the ages from Jesus Christ, who have remained faithful to Truth as set forth by the Pope and the Bishops united to him. P Summary of Christian Doctrine
And there always will be, thanks be to God.
And when I picked up the little booklet A Simple Prayer Book (London Catholic Truth Society - First published in 1886. This edition was first issued in 1962) and flicked through the pages to stop at page 77, I read with great interest:-
We are bound to know and believe: (i) that there is one supreme, eternal, infinite God, The Creator of heaven and earth; and that the good will be rewarded by Him for ever in Heaven and the wicked, who die unrepentant, will be punished for ever in hell. (ii) that in God there are three Persons, co-eternal, co-equal; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. (iii) that God the Son, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity was made Man and died upon The Cross to save us.
Simple. Common sense.
We are bound also to know and to believe the Apostles Creed; to have a knowledge of The Commandments of God and of The Church, and of the Holy Sacraments; and to know the Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary.
We are bound moreover, to believe whatever God teaches us by His Holy Church who in Her teaching cannot deceive us nor be deceived. Her teaching is among other ways, infallibly made known to us by the Pope when he speaks 'ex cathedra' - that is, when discharging the office of Pastor and Teacher of all Christians, he defines by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, a doctrine regarding faith and morals. P
I have mentioned before, those members of other religions including those claiming the name Christian, and have been astounded about their rejection of the Catholic requirement and realisation of infallibility!
Do they not think their own religion infallible?
If they do not think their religion
is the one and only true religion
of the One and Only God,
and that their religion is infallible,
why do they attach themselves to such a religion
that has no faith in itself?
If they do think their religion is the one and only true religion, (and therefore infallible) then why do they criticise The Catholic Church when She claims to be infallible?The true Church
Certainly, they are really claiming to be infallible, by the claim of being the one, true religion but - betraying themselves in this hypocritical claim - they would belittle The Real-Church of Jesus Christ, because She claims infallibility!!
But those religions who do not claim to be the one, true religion would then have to acknowledge that all religions are equal and of the same worth; perhaps even superior to their own!
They would then have to explain how this can be, when innumerable religions have opposing beliefs - in fact, so many religions are actually taught to hate other religions and to despise their teachings!
Because the innumerable teachings are incompatible from one religion to another and in direct opposition.
Therefore, if you believe one religious 'truth' you can not honestly believe another religious 'truth' that is different! Can you?
So if one believes that Jesus Christ is God-made-man and another believes He is merely a Prophet, one is right and the other is wrong!
Isn't that common-sense? You can't have it both ways!
It is the same with everything about Catholicism. True history proves Her correct. Scientific facts prove Her correct.
Personal experience proves Her correct.
The miracles of Her Founder, Jesus Christ, and His Resurrection from the dead, prove Her correct.
The miracles of Her Saints - the fruit of The Church - innumerable in their number - of every generation, prove Her correct.
And I have to quote that most beautiful answer in the Penny Catechism, in this regard:-
P 63. What are the marks or signs by which people may know the true Church of Christ?
Christ's words and our own common sense tells us that there are four chief marks or signs by which the true Church can be known.