Just as many of you have shared your faith with me, I’d like to share with you the teachings of the Catholic Church, which, as you might have guessed, I believe was founded by Jesus Christ.
For now, forget everything you’ve heard our Church teaches, and just sit back and start from scratch. No matter how illogical a teaching sounds to your ears, be assured it might seem more rational once you have read the full reasons and evidence the Church offers for holding to them. We do have reasons, and we think they are pretty good.
I know I speak for hundreds of millions of us when I say we believe that our Church, though now much bigger than the mustard seed it grew from, is the same Church that the apostles built up, starting in Rome…..the same visible, bishop-led Church that the Early Church Fathers claimed to be members of….the same authoritative Church they took for granted to be the indivisible Body of Christ….the same Rome-centered Church that was built on St. Peter and led by all his successors up to Pope Benedict XVI….the same living organism in which the early Christians were shepherded by bishops. The first bishops were the Twelve apostles. Ever since then, our bishops have come to us in a direct line of succession from the College of Apostles in the first century. It is our Church that delivered to Christians the exact contents of our Holy Bible in the late 4th century.
When we visit your Bible studies and churches, we see your great faith and love. We hope you find the same when you come to our Bible studies and Masses.
As Catholics, we believe that so much more unites us with other Christian denominations than divides us, and we continue to work hand in hand on so many goals, furthering the work of Christ. We continue to pray for the unity in the Church that Jesus prayed for while hanging on the cross.
"There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church ….” -Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
“Catholicism is a deep matter. You cannot take it up in a teacup.”
– John Cardinal Newman
“I would not believe in the Gospels were it not for the authority of the Catholic Church.”
-St. Augustine (Against the Letter of Mani Called "The Foundation" 5:6).
“In the Catholic
Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The
consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority,
inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by
age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the
Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to
feed His sheep (Jn 21:15-19), down to the present
“And so, lastly, does the very name of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.
“…if I have written anything erroneous concerning this sacrament or other matters, I submit all to the judgment and correction of the Holy Roman Church, in whose obedience I now pass from this life
-Saint Thomas Aquinas (just before death)
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