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CARITAS IN VERITATE Charity in truth, to which
Jesus Christ bore witness . . .
DIGNITAS PERSONAE On Certain Bioethical
DOMINUS IESUS Jesus Christ and the Church.
SPE SALVI On Christian Hope.
DEUS CARITAS EST ". . . God is love, and he who
abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him " (1 Jn 4:16).
These words from the First Letter of John express with remarkable
clarity the heart of the Christian faith: the Christian image of
God and the resulting image of mankind and its destiny. In the same
verse, Saint John also offers a kind of summary of the Christian
we have come to know and to believe in the love God has
for usWe have come to believe in Gods love: in these words the
Christian can express the fundamental decision of his life. Being
Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea,
but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new
horizon and a decisive direction. . ."
Christi FIDELES LAICI ". . . Do not be afraid!
Open, in deed, open wide the doors to Christ! . . . Open to his
saving power . . . Too often people are uncertain about a sense of
life on earth. Invaded by doubts they are led into despair.
Therefore - with humility and trust I beg and implore you - allow
Christ to speak to the person in you. Only he has the words of
life, yes, eternal life . . . "
Church LUMEN GENTIUM
14. "This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to
the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and
Tradition, it teaches that the Church now sojourning on earth as
an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His
Body, which is the Church is the one Mediator and the unique way
of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity
of faith and baptism(124) and thereby affirmed also the necessity
of the Church for through baptism as through a door men enter the
Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was
made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it,
could not be saved."
Doctrine of the Faith
RESPONSES TO SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE
Doctrine ON THE Church
EXEUNTE IAM ANNO ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON
THE RIGHT ORDERING OF Christian LIFE, Given at Rome at St. Peters,
on the birthday of Our Lord Jesus Christ; in the year 1888 . .
ECCLESIAM SUAM ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PAUL VI ON
THE Church AUGUST 6, 1964 To His Venerable Brethren the Patriarchs,
Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and other Local Ordinaries who are
at Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See, to the Clergy and
faithful of the entire world, and to all men of good will.
HUMANAE VITAE ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PAUL VI ON THE
REGULATION OF BIRTH JULY 25, 1968
Our Mission: This Catholic lay apostolate serves to build
up the Body of Christ which is the Church.
Catholic Evangelism is a lay
apostolate in service to Jesus Christ, the Word of God (
Ap 19:13 ) ( Jn 1:1 ) incarnate. Christ founded one Church, which
is the universal family of God. God created man in his own image (
Gn 1:26-28 ), and Christ extends to humanity a new covenant ( Mt
26:26-29 ) ( Lk 22:15-20 ) ( Jn 3:3-8 ) ( Mt 12:46-50 ) ( Mt
7:19-23 ) ( Rm 6:3-23 ) ( Ap 20: 11-15 ) ( 1 Co 11:23-29 ) to share
in the very life of the Trinity ( Rm 8:13-23 ) within His mystical
body the Church.( 1 Co 12: 20-27 ) ( Cl 1:15-23 ) ( Rm 12:1-8 ) (
Ep 5:23-24 ) ( Ep 2:11-22 ). We continue as disciples, and "as sons
in the Son" ( Ep 1:3-14 ) ( 1 Pt 1: 3-6 ) ( Lk 9:23-26 ) ( Mt
16:24-27 ) ( Gl 2:20-21 ) in spirit, truth, ( Jn 4:23-26 ), and
love, ( 1 Co 13 ) ( Rm 12:1-21 ) the mission of Jesus Christ in
reconciling humanity to God the Father ( Rm 5:11 ) ( Jn 12:32 ) (
Jn 17:17-26 ) ( Mt 6:5-13 ) ( Hb 2:1-18 ) ( Hb 3:6 ) ( Hb 12:1-29 )
( 1 Tm 2:1-6 ). Christ prayed "...that all of them may be one,
Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in
us..." ( Jn 17:21-26 ) ( NIV ). Welcome to the universal family of
God the Church. God knew us before the creation of the world
according to His plan. ( Ep 1:1-14 ) Frederick Pogorzelski,
The Profession of The Christian Faith - I believe . .
CATECHISM of The Catholic Church PART ONE THE
PROFESSION OF FAITH
The Nicene Creed (
4th Century A.D. )
and Recommended Resources.
UPDATED according to the English translation of The Roman Missal 2010
CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSES FOR MASS
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit
was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake
he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated
at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord,
the giver of life, who proceeds from
the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic
and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection
of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Catholic Church History
Jesus Christ in the Creeds and Councils.
Studying Catholic Church History especially the
early centuries, it is apparent how precarious and difficult is the
balance between clear correct theological definitions, dogma, and
formal heresy. Indeed, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit (
Matt 28:20 ), the Church ( Bark of Peter - also spelled barque ),
would have become shipwrecked. With all the possibilities of
doctrinal error over the centuries, the Catholic Church, under the
guidance of the Holy Spirit, has been preserved from falling into
doctrinal error on matters of faith and morals. The true Church
founded by Jesus Christ, is the pillar and foundation of the truth
( 1 Tim 3:15 ).
The historical details of the early centuries of
the Church founded by Jesus Christ ( 29 A.D., day of Pentecost,
birthday of the Catholic Church, Acts 2. ) and the development of
Catholic Church dogma ( dogma = scripture interpretation.
) are fascinating. There were many possible dogmatic,
theological, and philosophical permutations. There were formal and
near formal heresies ( heresy = a theological doctrine or
system rejected as false by ecclesiastical authority.)
Heresies will re-emerge throughout the centuries often under a
different name and in modified form - sometimes even more virulent.
Answer: Christians - Muslims - Jews - World Peace!
Catholic Church History. . . what the Early Church Fathers
In the ( Profit of Believing, section 35, about 391
A.D. ) Saint Augustine wrote: "...This hath been
brought to pass by the Divine Providence, ...When therefore we see
so great help of God, so great progress and fruit, shall we doubt
to hide ourselves in the bosom of that Church, which even unto the
confession of the human race from [the] apostolic chair through the
succession of Bishops, ( heretics in vain lurking around her and
being condemned, partly by the judgment of the very people, partly
by the weight of councils, partly also by the majesty of miracles
), hath held the summit of authority..."
In his seven books, ( Stromate is, VII, XVI, 107,
before 215 A. D. ), Early Greek Theologian, Clement of
Alexandria, head of the catechetical school in Alexandria, Egypt
wrote: " . . . There is one true Church, the really
ancient Church into which are enrolled those who are righteous [
holy ] according to Gods ordinance.... In essence, in idea, in
origin, in preeminence we say that the ancient Catholic Church is
the only Church. The Church brings together [ the faithful ] by the
will of the one God through the one Lord, into the unity of the one
faith . . . "
In ( Against Heresies, Book 3, Chap. 3, before approx.
195 A.D. ) Saint Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, wrote: "
. . . The blessed Apostles, then, having founded and built up the
Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of episcopate.
Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To
him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the
Apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had
seen the blessed Apostles, and had been conversant with them, might
be said to have the preaching of the Apostles still echoing [ in
his ears ], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone
[ in this ], for there were many still remaining who had received
instructions from the Apostles. In the time of this Clement, no
small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the
Church in Rome dispatched a most powerful letter to the
Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and
declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the
Apostles . . . "
In his ( Letter to The Philadelphians, Chap. 3, about
50-117 A.D. ) Saint Ignatius of Antioch, wrote: " . .
. For, all who belong to God and Jesus Christ are with the bishop.
And those, too, will belong to God who have returned, repentant, to
the unity of the Church so as to live in accordance with Jesus
Christ. Make no mistake, brethren. No one who follows another into
schism inherits the kingdom of God ( 1 Cor. 6:9 ). No one who
follows heretical doctrine is on the side of the passion . . .
In a ( Letter to Damasus, before 379 A.D.) Saint
Jerome, Father of Biblical Science, wrote: " . . . As I
follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your
blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is
the rock on which the Church is built! This is the house where
alone the paschal lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the ark of
Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood
prevails . . . "
In ( Catecheses, No.17:14, before 386 A.D. ) Saint
Cyril of Jerusalem, wrote: " . . . And if ever you are
sojourning in cities, inquire not simply where the Lords House is
(for the other sects of the profane also attempt to call their own
dens houses of the Lord), nor merely where the Church is, but where
is the Catholic Church. For this is the peculiar name of this Holy
Church, the mother of us all . . . "
In ( Homilies on Second Thessalonians, before 407 A.D.
) Saint John Chrysostom wrote: " . . . So then
brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you were
taught, whether by word, or by Epistle of ours'
(2 Th 2:15). Hence it is manifest, that they did not deliver all
things by Epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like
manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit. Therefore
let us think the tradition of the Church also worthy of credit. It
is tradition, seek no further . . . "
In ( Against Eunomius, 4:6 about 330-395 A.D. )
Saint Gregory of Nyssa wrote: " . . . For it is enough for
proof of our statement, that the tradition has come down to us from
our fathers, handed on, like some inheritance, by succession from
the Apostles and the saints who came after them . . . "
Clement of Alexandria, ( 150-215 A.D.) theologian
wrote: " . . . The earthly Church is the image of the
heavenly . . . "
Saint Cyprian, (before 258 A.D.) bishop of Carthage
wrote: " . . . The house of God is one, and there can be
no salvation to anyone except in the Church . . . "
In ( Ad Serapion 1:28, about 297-373 A.D. )
Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, Father of Orthodoxy
wrote: " . . . But beyond these [Scriptural] sayings, let
us look at the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic
Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, the Apostles
preached, and the fathers kept. Upon this the Church is founded,
and he who should fall away from it would not be Christian, and
should no longer be called . . . "
Development of Catholic Dogma.
Dogma = Scripture Interpretation.
In 313 A.D., Constantine I ( The Great ) the first Roman
Emperor to become a Christian, issued the Edict of Milan tolerating
Christian worship. He did this in gratitude to the God of
the Christians when he faced and defeated a numerically superior
military force at the Milvian Bridge ( Oct. 312 A.D., ). This
bridge crosses the Tiber River leading to Rome. A vision had
assured him he would conquer in the name of Christ, and therefore
his mostly pagan army carried a familiar Christian symbol Perhaps
Sign of the Cross on their shields. This Edict of Milan, the
conversion of Constantine I, and that Christianity gradually became
the official religion of the Roman Empire, set a favorable
political climate that allowed the Church to form local synods and
ecumenical ( universal ) councils. In Brief on Saint Sylvester, Pope (? - 335)
There was now a relatively safe political environment ( relatively
free from official state persecutions ) that allowed the Church to
What followed then was a clarification and development of
dogma, doctrine, and terminology.
Holy Bible - The Canon of Sacred Scripture also came out of the
Catholic Church around the end of the 4th century. ( No
small feat! ) The Synods of Hippo, 393 A.D., and Carthage, 397 A.D., and later, Carthage 419
A.D., ( along with the Traditional Bible or Latin Vulgate ( LV ),
406 A.D., by Saint Jerome ), gave us the
canon of Sacred Scripture as Catholics know it today.
Relatively recent archeological findings and analysis of
the Dead Sea scrolls (Qumran) of 1947 revealed that several
deuterocanonical books were originally composed in Hebrew or
Aramaic. [ This is very relevant and significant because
earlier Protestant reformers of the 16th century, were very
suspicious of, and rejected books, only available to them in the
Greek Language. In part therefore, the Protestant canon of 66 books
of Sacred Scripture is deficient - short seven (7) books.
The Emperor of Rome, Constantine I convened The Council of
Nicaea in 325 A.D., Pope Sylvester I, 314-335 A.D., approved the
Council of Nicaea and the Nicene Creed began.
It was actually the Council of Constantinople held in 381
A.D., convoked by Emperor Theodosius 1, which expanded the
Nicene Creed, and gave further definition to the personhood and
equal divinity of the Holy Spirit. The Council of Constantinople
condemned subordinationism, and modalism. They also condemned the
Macedonians who denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. The
Catholic Church decided at the Council of Nicea, that Jesus Christ
is "one in being"(homo-ousios ) with God the
Father. Saint Basil the Great, Bishop of
Caesarea, and Doctor of the Church who had long time friends, Saint
Athanasius and Saint Gregory Nazianzuz, attended this council.
Saint Basil the Great did much to help the poor in times of famine.
He was a strongly opposed to Arianism, and was in conflict with a
powerful Arian, Eastern Roman Emperor Flavius Valens, before 378
A.D., who once tried to drive him into exile. In Brief on Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory
Nazianzen Bishops and Doctors of the Church
The Council of Chalcedon, 451 A.D., convoked by the Eastern
Roman Emperor Marcian [approved later by Pope] ( he refused to pay
subsidies to Attila the Hun ) approved the creed of Nicaea, 325
A.D., and the Creed of Constantinople, 381 A.D., which subsequently
became know as the Nicene Creed.
The Council of Chalcedon, 451 A.D., condemns
simony, mixed marriages, heretic baptisms, and "absolute"
ordinations, that is; those ordinations without specific pastoral
functions. The Council of Chalcedon approved the Tome ( letter ) of
Eastern Roman Emperor Pope Leo I, 457 to 474 A.D. He became Pope
Leo I in 440 A.D., to 461 A.D., and in his famous Tome of 449 A.D.,
to Flavian, Patriarch of Constantinople, he affirmed two distinct
natures in Christ. The Council of Chalcedon 451 A.D. stated
that Jesus Christ is "truly God and truly man,...one and the
same...in two natures without confusion, change, division, or
separation". In 449 A.D., Emperor Theodosis II, convened a
council ( called the Robber Synod by Pope Leo I; it had also tried
to excommunicate him - the Pope ) upholding the heretic Eutyches a
Monophysite, against Flavian. Flavian was condemned, deposed,
beaten, and went into exile were he died in three days. In Brief on Saint Flavian Saint
Flavian was repeatedly vindicated by Pope Leo l, whose
epistle honoring him failed to reach him before his death.
Pope Leo I also meet face to face with the Mongolian King,
Attila the Hun ( Scourge of God ) in 452 A.D., near the
rivers Po and Mincio in Italy, and convinced him to turn away from
Catholic Church Dogma Developed over the Centuries.
Pope Saint Leo The Great wrote: " . . . My respect
for the Nicene canons is such that I never have allowed nor ever
will the institutions of the holy fathers to be violated by any
innovation . . . "
In a ( letter to Emperor Valentinian, before 397 A.D.,
) Saint Ambrose wrote: " . . . for I follow the rule
of the Council of Nicaea from which neither nor the sword can
separate me . . . "
The Council of Ephesus 431 A.D., declared Mary the Mother
of God ( theotokos ) against Nestorius, Bishop of
Constantinople. Nestorius had denied that Mary was the Mother of
God. The Council of Ephesus condemned Messalianism and Pelagianism.
Pope Zosimus approx. 418 A.D. also strongly condemned
Pelagianism. Pope Saint Celestine 1 confirmed the
In a homily, Cyril of Alexandria, before approx. 444 A.D.,
wrote: " . . . Hail, Mary, you are the most precious
creature in the whole world; hail, Mary, uncorrupt dove; hail,
Mary, inextinguishable lamp; for from you was born the Son of
Justice . . . "
Pope Leo The Great wrote: " . . . The earth of
human nature was already cursed in the first liar. Only in this
birth from the Blessed Virgin did it produce a blessed shoot, an
exception to the vice of its roots. Its spiritual origin is
acquired by anyone who is regenerated. And for every man who is
born again, the water of baptism is like the virginal womb. The
same Spirit that filled the Virgin now fills the baptismal font;
hence, that sin, which was once removed by a holy conception, is
now taken away by a mystic ablution . . . ". Pope Leo The
Great wrote: " . . . By the Spirit, Christ is born from
the body of his unsullied Mother; by the same Spirit, the Christian
is reborn from the womb of holy Church . . . "
Catholic Church Dogma developed over the centuries
- not everything all at once. ( A large beautiful Oak Tree was once
only a little acorn. ) For example, later on, before approx.
750 A.D., Saint John Damascene, an outstanding Father of the Greek
Church, would see Mary as a lofty ladder, planted between
heaven and earth. Saint John Damascene wrote: " .
. . Today [ Christ ]...built himself a living ladder, whose base is
planted in the earth and whose tip reaches heaven. God rests upon
it. Jacob saw a figure of it. God, unchanged, came down it...He was
made manifest on earth and lived among men . . . "
The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.
In the early centuries of the Church there were deliberate
communication errors. To cite one example: Pope Saint
Innocent I, sent legates with letters for Eastern Emperor Arcadius
in an attempt to form a new synod to judge Saint John
Chrysostom prior to 407 A.D. Saint John had been condemned
by the Synod of the Oak, convened by his enemies. The Papal legates
were imprisoned, and later sent home, without being able to present
the letters to Emperor Arcadius. Saint John Chrysostom was banished
from Constantinople, severely maltreated, and died in 407 A. D.
Pope Innocent I, excommunicated Emperor Arcadius and several
bishops for their part in the injustice they had done to Saint John
Under divine protection and guidance ( Mt 28:20 ), the
Catholic Church, had grown and developed and found a
method of dealing with serious heresies. The Catholic Church is
developing, and spreading geographically, across many cultures.
With Christ as its head, the Holy Spirit as i ts soul, and the
people as the body, the organized hierarchy of the Catholic Church,
instituted by Christ, was well established, separate from the
state. ( Catholic Church hierarchy = a sacred order of
servants of the People of God. Christ, our one High Priest, came to
serve not to be served - cf. Mk 10:45; Mt 20:28 ).
Throughout its history there were, those persons, not led by the
Holy Spirit of truth, who thought that they had a better idea than
Jesus Christ and His Church. They established their own "church".
These, in violation of Natural Law, tried to "re-define" what is
"truth." They will face judgment.
Overcoming the Divisiveness of Heresies,
the Catholic Church is now fit for
The Propagation of an Invigorated Faith.
Overcoming the divisiveness of heresies, the Catholic
Church is being acculturated, and is spreading in Church
communities through-out the earth. The divinely instituted,
protected, and [ Universal ] Catholic Church is the one Bride of
Christ. the Church which is the Family of God, is the
pillar and foundation of truth ( 1 Tim. 3:15 ). Under divine
protection and guidance ( Mt 28:20 ), it helped to found
civilization, like the Roman Empire never could. Saint
Pachomius, approx. 346 A.D., who had once been a pagan and Roman
soldier, converted to Christianity, and helped to found
communal monasticism. Soon there would be more than three thousand
monks and nuns living in nine monasteries and two convents under
Pachomius. Saint Patrick, approx. 461 A.D., was a missionary
Bishop sent to Ireland, by Pope Saint Celestine 1. Saint
Patrick wrote: "Hence, did it come to pass in Ireland that those
who never had a knowledge of God...have now been made a people of
the Lord, and are called Sons of God." Saint Patrick was able to
acculturate Christianity into the local Celtic culture.
Traditionally, Saint Patrick is credited with converting almost all
of Ireland by using a simple, sincere, Biblical style of preaching.
One Head of One Church with one body.
There are not multiple
Bodies of Christ!
Catholic Church teaching is centered on Jesus
Christ. Why One Baptism? We can only be born once
spiritually. We who are baptized into Christ are baptized in Christ
and into the only true Church there is. To be closely united to
Christ and His body as possible join the One, Holy, Catholic, and
One Bread. One Body. One Bride of Christ. One Head of One
Church. One Baptism. One family of God.
One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. One Shepherd of One
Fold. One Truth - Jesus Christ ( Jn 14:6 ).
The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ. It's head
is Jesus Christ. It's members are the faithful. It's soul is the
Holy Spirit. It's life is grace ( Luke 10:16 ) ( Acts 5:12-42
). One Lord of all, one cup of blessing which we bless.
And we, though many, through-out the earth, we are one body in this
one Lord. Gentile or Jew, servant or free, woman or man no
more. Many the gifts, many the works, one in the Lord of all. ( 1
Corinthians 10:14-18; 12:1-31 ) ( Galatians 3:23-29 )
( Ephesians 1:15-23; 2:1-22; 5:1-33 )
"I have never been able to convince myself that someone could be
saved, if he has never done anything for the salvation of his
brethren . . . " Saint John Chrysostom.
Finally, brothers and sisters. . . Agree with one another, live in
peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.
( 2 Corinthians 13:11 )