Sunday 23rd July 2017

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The Church Of Jesus Christ… Christ Founded The Catholic Church

July 16, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM

Part 1

Suppose that you meet a man from a country where Christianity is little known. He had heard about Jesus Christ, but in a rather vague manner. He was also told that Jesus founded a church, and that church was the one he should join if he wanted to be saved.
Very well. But the problem is that he had met people from various different self-assigned Christian churches before, each one holding a creed of its own, different from the one on the left-hand side of the street, and even contradictory to the other church on the right-hand side of the street.
How will this poor man decide which church is the true one, among so many? Just think about the World Council of Churches, a real supermarket of religion, made to satisfy every preference, taste, and whim, in an explosion of religious and moral relativism.
But you are trying to get that man to know the Catholic Church. So, how will you show to him that your church is the only true one, the real McCoy? (I don’t know who this famous Mr. McCoy was, and how he fits into the conversation, but you get the idea: We are looking for a way to prove that the Catholic Church is the real Church of Christ, no imitations accepted. Period).
First of all, we have to clarify the terms we use. This is important, because today many people use words in different ways and meanings, which increase the mental cacophony of our times — but I digress.
In itself, the word “church” means convocation or assembly. In the Old Testament, the Hebrews, as God’s Chosen People, were known, among other names, as “the Church of God.” In the New Testament, the first community of Christians, that is, the new chosen people of God, called itself “the Church,” thus showing that it recognized itself as heir to that original assembly.
The Church of Christ is, therefore, just like the Hebrews of old and the early Christians, One body of people, undivided and visible. The Sacred Scriptures assert several times that the Church is a Body: “For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:4-5).
Let us investigate further into the concept of Church as the Body of Christ. All Christian “churches” in America and in the world today state that Christ is their Head. Fine. But it is just a claim, because, unfortunately for them, they cannot prove it from history. Every Christian “church” around the neighborhood was founded by some man who went down in history as its founder (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Ellen G. White, Joseph Smith, Charles Russell, and every Tom, Dick, and Harriet who has founded a church that boasts his or her name as the founder).
The Catholic Church asserts the same concept, but we can prove that Christ founded the Catholic Church. That makes the crucial difference. Besides, Christ provides for the life, health, and growth of the Catholic Church and each of her members by means of the seven sacraments.
By Baptism, new members are reborn in Christ and enter the Church. By Confirmation, believers are strengthened to guard the faith and defend Holy Mother Church. In the Eucharist, the faithful are nourished and fortified at a heavenly banquet, and united by heavenly bonds to one another and to the Head of the whole Body. By Penance, sinful members are delivered from their sins and their fellow-members are saved from the danger of contagion.
When members are mortally ill, the Church anoints them to heal the body, if God so wills, and strengthen the wounded soul, so that Heaven may receive new citizens and the Church receive the benefit of new intercessors. That’s Extreme Unction, or the “Anointing of the Sick,” as it is called these days.
The Sacrament of Matrimony, in which husband and wife become the ministers of grace to each other, ensures the regular numerical increase of the Christian community, and the religious education of the youngest members. Holy Orders consecrates to the perpetual service of God those destined to offer the Eucharistic Victim, to nourish the flock of the faithful with the Bread of Life and the food of doctrine, to guide them by the divine Commandments and counsels, and to sanctify them by other holy ministrations.
Many founders of so-called Christian churches have abolished this or that sacrament, according to their whims and caprices. Luther himself abolished four of the sacraments and kept only three, but even so according to his own private interpretation.
It was King Henry VIII who refuted the heresiarch in chapter and in verse in his famous book Defence of the Seven Sacraments Against Martin Luther, whose New Millennium Edition I had the privilege to edit. It is available from my website, www.Raymondde
Souza.com. But I see that I digress again.
How will your friend who is interested in the Church of Christ become a member of His Church? He can become a member of the Church of Christ by Baptism, and since he has reached the age of reason, he demonstrates this membership by three things:
1) Profession of the Catholic faith; in the Church of Christ you do not interpret the Bible as you see fit, but as the Church teaches, following the mandate and authority given by Christ Himself. The Church of Christ is not Protestant.
2) Acceptance of all the means of salvation, chiefly the sacraments. In the Church of Christ, you are not saved by your faith alone: The sola fide heresy invented by Luther is unscriptural, unreasonable, unhistorical, and unworkable. No, we are saved by the grace that God gives to us by prayer and the sacraments instituted by Christ.
3) By union with the pastors of the Church, and in particular, the Chief Pastor, the Pope. In the Church of Christ, you are not the authority, interpreting the Bible as you like, not at all. Christ did establish His apostles as the authorities and guides of the people, and they have handed on their mission to other apostles and pastors across thee centuries.
Therefore, we must be united with the Church of Christ, otherwise, if there is no union with the Church, we commit a sin against the faith, by heresy, apostasy, or schism. Let us define the terms: heresy, i.e., the obstinate denial or doubt of a revealed Catholic truth (like becoming a Protestant in any sect); apostasy, which is the total repudiation of the Christian faith (like becoming a Muslim); schism, i.e., by withdrawal of submission to the Pope or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him (like joining the so-called Orthodox Church of any country).
Yes, friends, to belong to the Church of Christ does include a certain number of strings attached, strings attached to Him, mind you, Christ. It is not a free-for-all situation as Luther and other heretics wanted it.

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(Raymond de Souza, KM, is available to speak at Catholic events anywhere in the free world in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Please email SacredHeartMedia@Outlook.com or visit www.RaymonddeSou
za.com or phone 507-450-4196 in the United States.)

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