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Against 'Cafeteria Catholicism'

Against Human 'Progress' in Religion

Against Religious Indifferentism

Against Religious Liberty

Cannot Have God For Father Without Church For Mother

Cannot Live as One Chooses

The Chair of Peter

The Church

The Church is Not Invisible

Good & Bad Persons in the Catholic Church

Heaven Cannot Be Entered Without the Keys

Invincible Ignorance

Liberty of Conscience

Man is Not Free To Embrace Any Religion

Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation

Nothing More Glorious Than Belonging to the Church

Novel Teachings Are Forbidden

One Cannot Find the Way to Salvation in Just Any Religion

Recognizing the True Religion

The Spirit of Christ Refuses to Dwell Through Sanctifying Grace in Those Severed From the Church

Those Not United to the Body of the Church Are Not Her Members or in Communion With Christ

Those Outside the Church Must Desire to Belong to Her

Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ

The True Church Can Be Recognized From Her Origin

True Holiness Belongs to the Catholic Church Alone

True vs. False Church

Who Are Truly Numbered Among the Members of the Church

Misc.

Category
Quotation

Against 'Cafeteria Catholicism'

"But he who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all faith, since he thereby refuses to honor God as the supreme truth and the formal motive of faith. 'In many things they are with me, in a few things not with me; but in those few things in which they are not with me the many things in which they are will not profit them' (S. Augustinus in Psal. liv., n. 19). And this indeed most deservedly; for they, who take from Christian doctrine what they please, lean on their own judgments, not on faith; and not 'bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ' (2 Cor. x., 5), they more truly obey themselves than God. 'You, who believe what you like, believe yourselves rather than the gospel' (S. Augustinus, lib. xvii., Contra Faustum Manichaeum, cap. 3)." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

"Christian faith reposes not on human but on divine authority, for what God has revealed 'we believe not on account of the intrinsic evidence of the truth perceived by the natural light of our reason, but on account of the authority of God revealing, who cannot be deceived nor Himself deceive.' It follows as a consequence that whatever things are manifestly revealed by God we must receive with a similar and equal assent. To refuse to believe any one of them is equivalent to rejecting them all, for those at once destroy the very groundwork of faith who deny that God has spoken to men, or who bring into doubt His infinite truth and wisdom. To determine, however, which are the doctrines divinely revealed belongs to the teaching Church, to whom God has entrusted the safekeeping and interpretation of His utterances. But the supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself. This obedience should, however, be perfect, because it is enjoined by faith itself, and has this in common with faith, that it cannot be given in shreds; nay, were it not absolute and perfect in every particular, it might wear the name of obedience, but its essence would disappear. Christian usage attaches such value to this perfection of obedience that it has been, and will ever be, accounted the distinguishing mark by which we are able to recognize Catholics." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890 A.D.)

Also See:

All Truths Require Assent

Calls to Repentance

Cannot Live as One Chooses

Catholics Not Living Their Faith Will Be Swept Away

Christians Who Do Not Persevere Are Subject To Eternal Punishment

Doing Our Own Will Rather Than God's Will

Fallen Away Catholics

False Opinions Influence / Pervert Actions

Fear of the Lord / Habitual Sins

Greater Knowledge / Greater Blame

Loss of the Fear of God

No One Can Be Certain That He Will Be Saved

One Who Calls Himself Catholic But is Actually No Longer Catholic

Our Solicitude & Our Duty to Correct / Rebuke

Personal Interpretation of Scripture / Rejection of Truth

Sin / Repentance / Forgiveness

Those Not in the State of Grace May Not Receive Holy Communion

Those Who Mention Only Jesus' Clemency

Tips for the Conversion of Sinners

Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections)

Tough Love in the New Testament

Tips for Apologists

Catholic Basics

Feed Your Faith

Can Catholic Dogma Ever Change?

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Against Human 'Progress' in Religion

Also See: Modernism (Topic Page)

"Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching." (St. Paul, cf. Heb. 13:7-9)

"Anyone who is so 'progressive' as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son." (St. John, 2 Jn. 1:9)

"Now I am reminding you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received and in which you also stand. Through it you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 15:1-2)

"Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain." (St. Paul, 1 Tm. 6:3-5)

"I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by (the) grace (of Christ) for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed! Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ. Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not of human origin. For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it, and progressed in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my race, since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions." (St. Paul, cf. Gal. 1:6-14)

"O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid profane babbling and the absurdities of so-called knowledge. By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith. Grace be with all of you." (St. Paul, 1 Tm. 6:20-21)

"Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father." (St. John, 1 Jn. 2:24)

"The Holy Spirit was not promised to the successor of Peter that by the revelation of the Holy Spirit they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the Apostles and the deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth." (First Vatican Council) 

"[N]othing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning."(Pope St. Agatho)

"For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence, but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated. Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding." (First Vatican Council)

"It is with no less deceit, venerable brothers, that other enemies of divine revelation, with reckless and sacrilegious effrontery, want to import the doctrine of human progress into the Catholic religion. They extol it with the highest praise, as if religion itself were not of God but the work of men, or a philosophical discovery which can be perfected by human means... Our holy religion was not invented by human reason, but was most mercifully revealed by God; therefore, one can quite easily understand that religion itself acquires all its power from the authority of God who made the revelation, and that it can never be arrived at or perfected by human reason." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.)

Also See: Novel Teachings Are Forbidden | Against Modernism / Novelty (Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition Reflections) | Duty to Reject Strange Doctrine | Error / Truth | Gospel Doesn't Support False Tolerance | One Should Not Be Open Minded to Error | Heresy/Heretics & Schism/Schismatics | False Opinions Influence / Pervert Actions | Non-Association with Heretics / Schismatics | Our Solicitude & Our Duty to Correct / Rebuke | Truth is Unchanging | Popes as Preservers of Tradition / Against New Doctrines (Vatican View Reflections) | Infallibility (Vatican View) | Catholic Basics | Truth (Topical Scripture) | Unchanging (Topical Scripture) | Heresy / Error (Topical Scripture)

Can Catholic Dogma Ever Change?

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

Top | Reflections: A-Z | Catg. | Scripture: A-Z | Catg. | Help

Against Religious Indifferentism

Also See: Those Outside the Church (Topic Page)

"Also perverse is the shocking theory that it makes no difference to which religion one belongs, a theory which is greatly at variance even with reason. By means of this theory, those crafty men remove all distinction between virtue and vice, truth and error, honorable and vile action. They pretend that men can gain eternal salvation by the practice of any religion, as if there could ever be any sharing between justice and iniquity, any collaboration between light and darkness, or any agreement between Christ and Belial." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.)

"Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion." (Cardinal Newman)

"Again, as all who offer themselves are received whatever may be their form of religion, they thereby teach the great error of this age - that a regard for religion should be held as an indifferent matter, and that all religions are alike. This manner of reasoning is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion, and especially of the Catholic religion, which, as it is the only one that is true, cannot, without great injustice, be regarded as merely equal to other religions." (Pope Leo XIII, "Humanum Genus", 1884 A.D.)

"[I]t is clear that it would be contrary to the faith to consider the Church as one way of salvation alongside those constituted by the other religions, seen as complementary to the Church or substantially equivalent to her... One cannot attribute to these, however, a divine origin or an ex opere operato salvific efficacy, which is proper to the Christian sacraments. Furthermore, it cannot be overlooked that other rituals, insofar as they depend on superstitions or other errors (cf. 1 Cor 10:20-21), constitute an obstacle to salvation." (Conf. by Pope John Paul II, 2000)

"To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God." (Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei", 1885 A.D.)

"Those men...are deceiving themselves whose love for revealed truth does not keep pace with their charity! Such Christianity as that believes as little as it may... Charity, they say, is the queen of virtues; it makes them take everything easily, even lies against truth; to give the same rights to error as to truth is, in their estimation, the highest point of Christian civilization grounded on love! They quite forget that the first object of charity, God, who is substantial Truth, has no greater enemy than a lie; they cannot understand how it is that a Christian does not do a work of love by putting on the same footing the Object beloved and His mortal enemy!" (Liturgical Year)

"Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its teaching and practice - not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion - it is a public crime to act as though there were no God. So, too, is it a sin for the State not to have care for religion as a something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of many forms of religion to adopt that one which chimes in with the fancy; for we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will." (Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei", 1885 A.D.)

"They shall also be on guard lest, on the false pretext that more attention should be paid to the points on which we agree than to those on which we differ, a dangerous indifferentism be encouraged, especially among persons whose training in theology is not deep and whose practice of their faith is not very strong. For care must be taken lest, in the so-called 'irenic' spirit of today, through comparative study and the vain desire for a progressively closer mutual approach among the various professions of faith, Catholic doctrine - either in its dogmas or in the truths which are connected with them - be so conformed or in a way adapted to the doctrines of dissident sects, that the purity of Catholic doctrine be impaired, or its genuine and certain meaning be obscured." (Instruction of the Holy Office, 1949 A.D.)

"For since they hold it for certain that men destitute of all religious sense are very rarely to be found, they seem to have founded on that belief a hope that the nations, although they differ among themselves in certain religious matters, will without much difficulty come to agree as brethren in professing certain doctrines, which form as it were a common basis of the spiritual life. For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission. Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion." (Pope Pius XI, "Mortalium Animos", 1928 A.D.)

"A certain sect, which you surely know, has unjustly arrogated to itself the name of philosophy, and has aroused from the ashes the disorderly ranks of practically every error. Under the gentle appearance of piety and liberality this sect professes what they call tolerance or indifferentism. It preaches that not only in civil affairs, which is not Our concern here, but also in religion, God has given every individual a wide freedom to embrace and adopt without danger to his salvation whatever sect or opinion appeals to him on the basis of his private judgment. The apostle Paul warns us against the impiety of these madmen. 'I beseech you, brethren, to behold those who create dissensions and scandals beyond the teaching which you have learned. Keep away from such men. They do not serve Christ Our Lord but their own belly, and by sweet speeches and blessings they seduce the hearts of the innocent'. Of course this error is not new, but in Our days it rages with a new rashness against the constancy and integrity of the Catholic faith... It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth Itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and the Rewarder of good men, to approve all sects who profess false teachings which are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their members." (Pope Leo XII, "Ubi Primum", 1824 A.D.) 

"But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, 'the reign of love and justice' with workers coming from everywhere, of all religions and of no religion, with or without beliefs, so long as they forego what might divide them - their religious and philosophical convictions; and so long as they share what unites them - a 'generous idealism and moral forces, drawn from whence they can'. When we consider the forces, knowledge, and supernatural virtues which were necessary to establish the Christian City, and the sufferings of millions of martyrs, and the light given by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the self-sacrifice of all the heroes of charity, and a powerful hierarchy ordained in heaven, and the streams of Divine Grace - the whole having been built up, bound together, and impregnated by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Word made Man - when we think, I say, of all this, it is frightening to behold new apostles eagerly attempting to do better by a common interchange of vague idealism and civic virtues. What are they going to produce? What is to come out of this collaboration? A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people." (Pope St. Pius X, "Notre Charge Apostolique", 1910 A.D.)

Also See: Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | One Cannot Find the Way to Salvation in Just Any Religion | Heaven Cannot Be Entered Without the Keys | No Good Hope of Salvation For Those Outside the True Church | Duty to Reject Strange Doctrine | Heresy/Heretics & Schism/Schismatics | Non-Association with Heretics / Schismatics | Gospel Doesn't Support False Tolerance | Error / Truth | False Opinions Influence / Pervert Actions | True vs. False Church | Recognizing the True Religion | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Non-Catholics (apologetics) | Protestantism is Not Another Equally Pleasing Form of the Same Christian Religion | What Jesus Says vs. What Protestantism Says

Can Catholic Dogma Ever Change?

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

Top | Reflections: A-Z | Catg. | Scripture: A-Z | Catg. | Help

Against Religious Liberty

Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors: "Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, This proposition was condemned in the Syllabus of Errors, Dec. 8, 1864 A.D.)

"Experience shows that there is no more direct way of alienating the populace from fidelity and obedience to their leaders than through that indifference to religion propagated by the sect members under the name of religious liberty." (Pope Gregory XVI, "Inter Praecipuas", 1844 A.D.)

"Therefore, heresy is so called from the Greek word meaning 'choice,' by which each chooses according to his own will what he pleases to teach or believe. But we are not permitted to believe whatever we choose, nor to choose whatever someone else has believed. We have the apostles of God as authorities, who did not themselves of their own will choose what they would believe, but faithfully transmitted to the nations the teaching received from Christ. So, even if an angel from heaven should preach otherwise, he shall be called anathema." (St. Isidore, 7th century A.D.)

Also See: Religious Liberty (Catholic Life Reflections) | Duty to Profess / Defend the Faith | Duty to Reject Strange Doctrine | Against Religious Indifferentism | Gospel Doesn't Support False Tolerance | One Should Not Be Open Minded to Error | Our Solicitude & Our Duty to Correct / Rebuke | Heresy/Heretics & Schism/Schismatics | Error / Truth | Liberty of Conscience | Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections)  | One Cannot Find the Way to Salvation in Just Any Religion | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | Recognizing the True Religion | True vs. False Church | Unlawful to Force Others to Embrace the Catholic Faith

Can Catholic Dogma Ever Change?

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Cannot Have God For Father Without Church For Mother

Also See: Those Outside the Church (Topic Page)

"He has not God for father who refuses to have the Church as mother." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"He cannot have God for his Father who has not the Church for his mother." (St. Cypriran, 3rd century A.D.)

"...none can have God for his father who will not have this [Catholic] Church for his mother." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"With good reason then does St. Augustine maintain: 'He has not God for father who refuses to have the Church as mother.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Illius Magistri", 1929 A.D.)

Also See: Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Heaven Cannot Be Entered Without the Keys | Cannot Live Without the Root | Against Religious Indifferentism | Heresy/Heretics & Schism/Schismatics | Recognizing the True Religion | The Spirit of Christ Refuses to Dwell Through Sanctifying Grace in Those Severed From the Church | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | Those Who Say They Are Not Confided to Peter Confess That They Are Not Christ's Sheep | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Non-Catholics (apologetics)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Cannot Live as One Chooses

"The organization and constitution of Christian society can in no wise be changed, neither can any one of its members live as he may choose, nor elect that mode of fighting which best pleases him. For, in effect, he scatters and gathers not who gathers not with the Church and with Jesus Christ, and all who fight not jointly with him and with the Church are in very truth contending against God." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890 A.D.)

Also See: Catholics Not Living Their Faith Will Be Swept Away | Christians Who Do Not Persevere Are Subject To Eternal Punishment | Doing Our Own Will Rather Than God's Will | Against 'Cafeteria Catholicism' | All Truths Require Assent | Calls to Repentance | Good & Bad Persons in the Catholic Church | Loss of the Fear of God | No Repentance is Too Late | Scandals in the Church / Bad Catholics | Sin / Repentance / Forgiveness | Those Who Mention Only Jesus' Clemency | We Must Persevere | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Tough Love in the New Testament

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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The Chair of Peter

Also See: The Pope (Topic Page)

"When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, 'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?' They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter said in reply, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.' Jesus said to him in reply, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.'" (Mt. 16:13-19)

"Where Peter is, there is the Church." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"The rejection of the primacy of St. Peter has driven men on to a slippery course, where all the steps are downwards." (Acton)

"They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous error who believe that they can accept Christ as the Head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to His Vicar on earth. They have taken away the visible head, broken the visible bonds of unity and left the Mystical Body of the Redeemer so obscured and so maimed, that those who are seeking the haven of eternal salvation can neither see it nor find it." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943 A.D.)

"For this mother and teacher of all the churches has always preserved entire and unharmed the faith entrusted to it by Christ the Lord. Furthermore, it has taught it to the faithful, showing all men truth and the path of salvation. Since all priesthood originates in this church, the entire substance of the Christian religion resides there also. The leadership of the Apostolic See has always been active, and therefore because of its preeminent authority, the whole Church must agree with it." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.

"He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair... If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (St. Cyprian of Carthage, c. 251 A.D.)

 "The first thing required for salvation is to keep the norm of correct faith and to deviate in no way from what the Fathers have established, because it is not possible to lay aside the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, 'You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church.' These words are proved true by their effects because, in the Apostolic See, the Catholic religion has always been preserved immaculate." (Pope Hadrian II/Council of Constantinople IV, Ninth Century A.D.)

"For since the Mystical Body of Christ, like His physical body, is one (1 Cor. 12:12), compacted and fitly joined together (Eph. 4:16), it were foolish to say that the Mystical Body is composed of disjointed and scattered members. Whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member thereof, neither is he in communion with Christ its Head. Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors." (Pope Pius XI, "Mortalium Animos")

"The universal ordering of the Church at its birth took its origin from the office of blessed Peter, in which is found both its directing power and its supreme authority. From him as from its source, at the time when our religion was in the stage of growth, all churches received their common order. This much is shown by the injunctions of the council of Nicaea, since it did not venture to make a decree in his regard, recognizing that nothing could be added to his dignity: in fact it knew that all had been assigned to him by the word of the Lord. So it is clear that this church is to all churches throughout the world as the head is to the members, and that whoever separates himself from it becomes an exile from the Christian religion, since he ceases to belong to its fellowship." (Pope Boniface I, 422 A.D.)

"Our Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, so established the worship of divine religion, which He wanted to shine out by God's grace unto all nations and peoples, that the truth, previously contained in the proclamation of the Law and the Prophets, might go forth through the apostolic trumpet to the salvation of all, as it is written: 'Their sound has gone forth to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the earth.' But the Lord desired that the sacrament of this gift should pertain to all the Apostles in such a way that it might be found principally in the most blessed Peter, the highest of all the Apostles. And He wanted His gifts to flow into the entire body from Peter himself, as it from the head, in such a way that anyone who had dared to separate himself from the solidarity of Peter would realize that he has himself no longer a sharer in the divine mystery" (Pope St. Leo I the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 445 A.D.)

"The eternal Father, who will never abandon his flock up to the close of the age, so loved obedience, as the Apostle testifies, that to make expiation for the sin of disobedience of the first parent, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death. Moreover, when he was about to depart from the world to the Father, he established Peter and his successors as his own representatives on the firmness of a rock. It is necessary to obey them as the book of the Kings testifies, so that whoever does not obey, incurs death. As we read in another place, the person who abandons the teaching of the Roman pontiff cannot be within the Church; for, on the authority of Augustine and Gregory, obedience alone is the mother and protector of all virtues, it alone possessing the reward of faith. Therefore, on the teaching of the same Peter, we ought to be careful that what has been introduced in due season and for sound reasons by our predecessors the Roman pontiffs, especially in sacred councils, for the defense of obedience of this kind, of ecclesiastical authority and freedom, and of the apostolic see, should be duly discharged by our effort, devotion and diligence and be brought to the desired conclusion." (Fifth Lateran Council)

"Union with the Roman See of Peter is to [St. Jerome] always the public criterion of a Catholic. 'I acknowledge everyone who is united with the See of Peter' (Ep. xvi., ad Damasum, n. 2). And for a like reason St. Augustine publicly attests that, 'the primacy of the Apostolic chair always existed in the Roman Church' (Ep. xliii., n. 7); and he denies that anyone who dissents from the Roman faith can be a Catholic. 'You are not to be looked upon as holding the true Catholic faith if you do not teach that the faith of Rome is to be held' (Sermo cxx., n. 13). So, too, St. Cyprian: 'To be in communion with Cornelius [the Pope] is to be in communion with the Catholic Church' (Ep. lv., n. 1). In the same way Maximus the Abbot teaches that obedience to the Roman Pontiff is the proof of the true faith and of legitimate communion. 'Therefore if a man does not want to be, or to be called, a heretic, let him not strive to please this or that man...but let him hasten before all things to be in communion with the Roman See. If he be in communion with it, he should be acknowledged by all and everywhere as faithful and orthodox. He speaks in vain who tries to persuade me of the orthodoxy of those who, like himself, refuse obedience to His Holiness the Pope of the most holy Church of Rome: that is to the Apostolic See.' The reason and motive of this he explains to be that 'the Apostolic See has received and hath government, authority, and power of binding and loosing from the Incarnate Word Himself; and, according to all holy synods, sacred canons and decrees, in all things and through all things, in respect of all the holy churches of God throughout the whole world, since the Word in Heaven who rules the Heavenly powers binds and loosens there' (Defloratio ex Epistola ad Petrum illustrem). Wherefore what was acknowledged and observed as Christian faith, not by one nation only nor in one age, but by the East and by the West, and through all ages, this Philip, the priest, the Pontifical legate at the Council of Ephesus, no voice being raised in dissent, recalls: 'No one can doubt, yea, it is known unto all ages, that St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, the pillar of the faith and the ground of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the Kingdom from Our Lord Jesus Christ. That is: the power of forgiving and retaining sins was given to him who, up to the present time, lives and exercises judgment in the persons of his successors' (Actio iii.). The pronouncement of the Council of Chalcedon on the same matter is present to the minds of all: 'Peter has spoken through Leo' (Actio ii.), to which the voice of the Third Council of Constantinople responds as an echo: 'The chief Prince of the Apostles was fighting on our side: for we have had as our ally his follower and the successor to his See: and the paper and the ink were seen, and Peter spoke through Agatho' (Actio xviii.). In the formula of Catholic faith drawn up and proposed by Hormisdas, which was subscribed at the beginning of the sixth century in the great Eighth Council by the Emperor Justinian, by Epiphanius, John and Menna, the Patriarchs, this same is declared with great weight and solemnity. 'For the pronouncement of Our Lord Jesus Christ saying: 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church...' cannot be passed over. What is said is proved by the result, because Catholic faith has always been preserved without stain in the Apostolic See' (Post Epistolam, xxvi., ad omnes Episc. Hispan., n. 4). We have no wish to quote every available declaration; but it is well to recall the formula of faith which Michael Paleologus professed in the Second Council of Lyons: 'The same holy Roman Church possesses the sovereign and plenary primacy and authority over the whole Catholic Church, which, truly and humbly, it acknowledges to have received together with the plenitude of power from the Lord Himself, in the person of St. Peter, the Prince or Head of the Apostles, of whom the Roman Pontiff is the successor. And as it is bound to defend the truth of faith beyond all others, so also if any question should arise concerning the faith it must be determined by its judgment' (Actio iv.)." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

Also See: Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Those Who Say They Are Not Confided to Peter Confess That They Are Not Christ's Sheep | Popes as Preservers of Tradition / Against New Doctrines Vatican View (Reflections) | Infallibility (Vatican View) | Vatican View Section | Pope (Topical Scripture) | Heaven Cannot Be Entered Without the Keys | Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | The Church | The Church is Not Invisible

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The Church

"Christ says not: 'I will build my Churches'; he speaks but of One." (Gueranger)

"Where Peter is, there is the Church." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"She [the Catholic Church] is the entrance to life; all the others are thieves and robbers." (St. Irenaeus of Lyons)

"Our holy religion is not invented by human reason but mercifully revealed by God to men." (Bl. Pope Pius IX)

"[The Church] alone has been given by God the mandate and the right to teach with authority" (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922 A.D.)

"[I]t is a fact that the Church is called Catholic because it truly embraces the whole of that truth" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 408 A.D.)

"[T]he Church is the safe and sure guide to conscience, for to her safe-keeping alone there has been confided the doctrines and the promise of the assistance of Christ" (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922 A.D.)

"Separate a ray of the sun from its source of light, and its unity will not allow such a division of light. Break a branch from a tree; when broken, it will not be able to bud. Cut off the stream from its spring, and the stream will dry up. Thus also with the Church." (St. Cyprian of Carthage)

"It is clear that this Church [of Rome] is to all churches throughout the world as the head is to the members, and that whoever separates himself from it becomes an exile from the Christian religion." (Pope St. Boniface I, 422 A.D.)

"One thing in this world is different from all other. It has a personality and a force. It is recognized, and (when recognized) most violently loved or hated. It is the Catholic Church. Within that household the human spirit has roof and hearth. Outside it, is the Night." (Belloc)

"Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communions present themselves to men as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided. Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature." (Second Vatican Council)

"The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her; in fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing... Again, errors have assailed her; but in fact, the greater number of errors that have arisen, the more has the truth been made manifest... Nor has the Church failed before the assaults of demons: for she is like a tower of refuge to all who fight against the devil." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | The True Church Can Be Recognized From Her Origin | True Holiness Belongs to the Catholic Church Alone | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | The Visible Church (Vatican View Reflections) | The Chair of Peter | Popes as Preservers of Tradition / Against New Doctrines (Vatican View Reflections) | Infallibility (Vatican View) | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | The Church is Not Invisible | The Church Can Forgive All Sin | Catholic Basics (Reflections) | Vatican View Section | Non-Catholics (apologetics) | Catholic Basics | Church (Topical Scripture)

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The Church is Not Invisible

"That the Church is a body is frequently asserted in the Sacred Scriptures... But it is not enough that the body of the Church should be an unbroken unity; it must also be something definite and perceptible to the senses... hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, as something merely 'pneumatological as they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are united by an invisible bond. But a body calls also for a multiplicity of members, which are linked together in such a way to help each other... Again, as in nature a body is not formed by any haphazard grouping of members but must be constituted of organs, that is of members, that have not the same function and are arranged in due order... Now we see that the human body is given the proper means to provide for its own life, health and growth, and for that of its members. Similarly the Savior of mankind out of his infinite goodness has provided in a wonderful way for his Mystical Body, endowing it with the Sacraments" (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi")

Also See: The Visible Church (Vatican View Reflections) | The True Church Can Be Recognized From Her Origin | The Church | The Chair of Peter | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Vatican View Section | Sacraments Section | Church (Topical Scripture) 

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Good & Bad Persons in the Catholic Church

"The Church militant is composed of two classes of persons, the good and the bad, both professing the same faith and partaking of the same Sacraments, yet differing in their manner of life and morality... That the Church is composed of the good and the bad we learn from many parables contained in the Gospel... But although the Catholic faith uniformly and truly teaches that the good and the bad belong to the Church, yet the same faith declares that the condition of both is very different. The wicked are contained in the Church, as the chaff is mingled with the grain on the threshing floor, or as dead member sometimes remain attached to a living body." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Also See: Bad Examples Undermine Our Teachings | Scandals in the Church / Bad Catholics | Catholics Not Living Their Faith Will Be Swept Away | Christians Who Do Not Persevere Are Subject To Eternal Punishment | Fallen Away Catholics | Conversion / Repentance | Doing Our Own Will Rather Than God's Will | Greater Knowledge / Greater Blame | No Peace When We Wander From God | No Repentance is Too Late | One Who Calls Himself Catholic But is Actually No Longer Catholic | Our Solicitude & Our Duty to Correct / Rebuke | Those Not in the State of Grace May Not Receive Holy Communion | Tips for the Conversion of Sinners | Penance (Sacraments/Reflections) | Tough Love in the New Testament  

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Heaven Cannot Be Entered Without the Keys

Also See: Heaven / Salvation (Topic Page)

"This truth is clearly conveyed by our Lord Himself, when, by a most beautiful metaphor, He calls the power of administering this Sacrament, the key of the kingdom of heaven. Just as no one can enter any place without the help of him who has the keys, so no one is admitted to heaven unless its gates be unlocked by the priests to whose custody the Lord gave the keys. This power would otherwise be of no use in the Church. If heaven can be entered without the power of the keys, in vain would they to whom the keys were given seek to prevent entrance within its portals. This thought was familiar to the mind of St. Augustine. Let no man, he says, say within himself: 'I repent in secret to the Lord. God, who has power to pardon me, knows the inmost sentiments of my heart.' Was there then no reason for saying 'whatsoever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven'; no reason why the keys were given to the Church of God? This same doctrine is taught by St. Ambrose in his treatise On Penance, when refuting the heresy of the Novatians who asserted that the power of forgiving sins belonged solely to God. Who, says he, yields greater reverence to God, he who obeys or he who resists His commands? God commands us to obey his ministers; and by obeying them, we honor God alone." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Also See: Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | One Cannot Find the Way to Salvation in Just Any Religion | The Chair of Peter | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Those Who Say They Are Not Confided to Peter Confess That They Are Not Christ's Sheep | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | The True Church Can Be Recognized From Her Origin | True Holiness Belongs to the Catholic Church Alone | Vatican View Section | Sacraments Section | Church (Topical Scripture)

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Invincible Ignorance

Note: It should be noted that invincible ignorance may excuse one from the guilt of / punishment for certain sins (e.g. heresy), it is not on that account a "means of salvation".

"For, it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not stained by any guilt in this matter in the eyes of God. Now, in truth, who would arrogate so much to himself as to mark the limits of such an ignorance, because of the nature and variety of peoples, regions, innate dispositions, and of so many other things? For, in truth, when released from these corporeal chains 'we shall see God as He is' (1 John 3:2), we shall understand perfectly by how close and beautiful a bond divine mercy and justice are united; but, as long as we are on earth, weighed down by this mortal mass which blunts the soul, let us hold most firmly that, in accordance with Catholic teaching, there is 'one God, one faith, one baptism' (Eph. 4:5); it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, "Singulari quadem," 1854 A.D.)

"And here, beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, We should mention again and censure a very grave error in which some Catholics are unhappily engaged, who believe that men living in error, and separated from the true faith and from Catholic unity, can attain eternal life. Indeed, this is certainly quite contrary to Catholic teaching. It is known to Us and to you that they who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion and who, zealously keeping the natural law and its precepts engraved in the hearts of all by God, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, by the operating power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life, since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin. But, the Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church is well-known; and also that those who are obstinate toward the authority and definitions of the same Church, and who persistently separate themselves from the unity of the Church, and from the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, to whom 'the guardianship of the vine has been entrusted by the Savior,' cannot obtain eternal salvation. But, God forbid that the sons of the Catholic Church ever in any way be hostile to those who are not joined with us in the same bonds of faith and love; but rather they should always be zealous to seek them out and aid them, whether poor, or sick, or afflicted with any other burdens, with all the offices of Christian charity; and they should especially endeavor to snatch them from the darkness of error in which they unhappily lie, and lead them back to Catholic truth and to the most loving Mother the Church, who never ceases to stretch out her maternal hands lovingly to them, and to call them back to her bosom so that, established and firm in faith, hope, and charity, and 'being fruitful in every good work' (Col. 1:10), they may attain eternal salvation." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, "Quanto conficiamur moerore", 1863)

Also See: Ignorance | Ignorance / Sin | Truth / Error / Nature of Man | False Opinions Influence / Pervert Actions | Our Solicitude & Our Duty to Correct / Rebuke | Duty to Profess / Defend the Faith | Duty to Reject Strange Doctrine | Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Truth (Topical Scripture)

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Liberty of Conscience

"Another liberty is widely advocated, namely, liberty of conscience. If by this is meant that everyone may, as he chooses, worship God or not, it is sufficiently refuted by the arguments already adduced. But it may also be taken to mean that every man in the State may follow the will of God and, from a consciousness of duty and free from every obstacle, obey His commands. This, indeed, is true liberty, a liberty worthy of the sons of God, which nobly maintains the dignity of man and is stronger than all violence or wrong - a liberty which the Church has always desired and held most dear." (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas Praestantissimum", 1888 A.D.)

"Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care. With the admonition of the apostle that 'there is one God, one faith, one baptism' may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that 'those who are not with Christ are against Him,' and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore 'without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate.' Let them hear Jerome who, while the Church was torn into three parts by schism, tells us that whenever someone tried to persuade him to join his group he always exclaimed: 'He who is for the See of Peter is for me.' A schismatic flatters himself falsely if he asserts that he, too, has been washed in the waters of regeneration. Indeed Augustine would reply to such a man: 'The branch has the same form when it has been cut off from the vine; but of what profit for it is the form, if it does not live from the root?' This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. 'But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error,' as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly 'the bottomless pit' is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws - in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty." (Pope Gregory XVI, "Mirari vos arbitramur", 1832 A.D.)

Also See: One Should Not Be Open Minded to Error | Gospel Doesn't Support False Tolerance | False Opinions Influence / Pervert Actions | Duty to Profess / Defend the Faith | Duty to Reject Strange Doctrine | All Truths Require Assent | Against Religious Indifferentism | Against Religious Liberty | Heresy/Heretics & Schism/Schismatics | Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | Truth / Error / Nature of Man | Tough Love in the New Testament | Unlawful to Force Others to Embrace the Catholic Faith

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Man is Not Free To Embrace Any Religion

Also See: Those Outside the Church (Topic Page)

Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors: "Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which he, led by the light of reason, thinks to be the true religion." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, This proposition was condemned in the Syllabus of Errors, Dec. 8, 1864 A.D.)

Also See: Against Religious Liberty | Against Religious Indifferentism | Duty to Profess / Defend the Faith | Duty to Reject Strange Doctrine | False Opinions Influence / Pervert Actions | Gospel Doesn't Support False Tolerance | Liberty of Conscience | Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Recognizing the True Religion | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | Truth / Error / Nature of Man | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Unlawful to Force Others to Embrace the Catholic Faith

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Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation

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Nothing More Glorious Than Belonging to the Church

"For nothing more glorious, nothing nobler, nothing surely more honorable can be imagined than to belong to the One, Holy Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, in which we become members of one Body as venerable as it is unique; are guided by one supreme Head; are filled with one divine Spirit; are nourished during our earthly exile by one doctrine and one heavenly Bread, until at last we enter into the one, unending blessedness of heaven. But lest we be deceived by the angel of darkness who transforms himself into an angel of light, let this be the supreme law of our love: to love the Spouse of Christ as Christ willed her to be, and as He purchased her with His blood." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943 A.D.)

Also See: Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | True Holiness Belongs to the Catholic Church Alone | Religion and Peace / Happiness | Why I Love Being Catholic (Reflections) | Sacraments Section | Why I Love Being Catholic | Truth & the Nature of Man | Infallibility (Vatican View)

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Novel Teachings Are Forbidden

Also See: Modernism (Topic Page)

"These things, therefore, having been determined by us with all caution and diligence, we declare that no one is permitted to introduce, or to describe, or to compare, or to study, or otherwise to teach another faith. But whoever presumes to compare or to introduce or to teach or to pass on another creed to those wishing to turn from the belief of the Gentiles or of the Jews or from any heresy whatsoever to the acknowledgement of truth, or who (presumes) to introduce a novel doctrine or an invention of discourse to the subversion of those things which now have been determined by us, (we declare) these, whether they are bishops or clerics, to be excommunicated, bishops indeed from the bishopric, but priests from the priesthood; but if they are monks or laymen, to be anathematized." (Council of Constantinople III, 7th Century A.D.)

"Can. 20. If anyone according to the wicked heretics in any manner whatsoever, by any word whatsoever, or at any time or place whatsoever illicitly removing the bounds which the holy Fathers of the Catholic Church have rather firmly established (Prov. 22:28), that is, the five holy and universal Synods, in order rashly to seek for novelties and expositions of another faith; or books, or letters, or writings, or subscriptions, or false testimonies, or synods, or records of deeds, or vain ordinations unknown to ecclesiastical rule; or unsuitable and irrational tenures of place; and briefly, if it is customary for the most impious heretics to do anything else, (if anyone) through diabolical operation crookedly and cunningly acts contrary to the pious preachings of the orthodox (teachers) of the Catholic Church, that is to say, its paternal and synodal proclamations, to the destruction of the most sincere confession unto the Lord our God, and persists without repentance unto the end impiously doing these things, let such a person be condemned forever, and let all the people say: so be it, so be it (Ps. 105:48)." (Lateran Council, 649 A.D.)

"'Guard.' [St. Paul] says, 'what has been committed' (1 Tm. 6:20). What does it mean, 'what has been committed'? It is what has been faithfully entrusted to you, not what has been discovered by you; what you have received, not what you have thought up; a matter not of ingenuity, but of doctrine; not of private acquisition, but of public Tradition; a matter brought to you, not put forth by you, in which you must not be the author but the guardian, not the founder but the sharer, not the leader, but the follower. 'Guard,' he says, 'what has been committed.' Keep the talent (cf. Mt. 25:14-30) of the Catholic Faith inviolate and unimpaired. What has been faithfully entrusted, let it remain in your possession, let it be handed on by you. You have received gold, so give gold. For my part, I do not want you to substitute on thing for another; I do not want you imprudently to put lead in place of gold, or fraudulently, brass. I do not want the appearance of gold, but the real thing. O Timothy, O priest, O interpreter, O teacher, if a divine gift has made you suitable in genius, in experience, in doctrine to be the Bezalel [i.e. "master craftsman"] of the spiritual tabernacle, cut out the precious gems of divine dogma, shape them faithfully, ornament them wisely, add splendor, grace and beauty to them! By your expounding it, may that now be understood more clearly which formerly was believed even in its obscurity. May posterity, be means of you, rejoice in understanding what in times past was venerated without understanding. Nevertheless, teach the same that you have learned, so that if you say something anew, it is not something new that you say." (St. Vincent of Lerins, c. 434 A.D.)

"But it is a very mournful thing, by which the ravings of human reason go to ruin when someone is eager for revolution and, against the advice of the Apostle, strives 'to be more wise than it behooveth to be wise' (cf. Rom. 12:3), and trusting too much in himself, affirms that truth must be sought outside of the Catholic Church in which truth itself is found far from even the slightest defilement of error, and which therefore, is called and is 'the pillar and ground of the truth' (1 Tim. 3 15). But you well understand, Venerable Brothers, that We are here speaking in open disapproval of that false system of philosophy, not so long ago introduced, by which, because of an extended and unbridled desire of novelty, truth is not sought where it truly resides, and, with a disregard for the holy and apostolic traditions, other vain, futile, uncertain doctrines, not approved by the Church are accepted as true, on which very vain men mistakenly think that truth itself is supported and sustained." (Pope Gregory XVI, 1834 A.D.)

"Those genuine and clear [truths] which flow from the very pure fountains of the Scriptures cannot be disturbed by any arguments of misty subtlety. For this same norm of apostolic doctrine endures in the successors of him upon whom the Lord imposed the care of the whole sheepfold (John 21:15 ff.), whom [He promised] He would not fail even to the end of the world (Matt. 28:20), against whom He promised that the gates of hell would never prevail, by whose judgment He testified that what was bound on earth could not be loosed in heaven (Matt. 16:18 ff.) ... Let whoever, as the Apostle proclaimed, attempts to disseminate something other, than what we have received, be anathema (Gal. 1:8 f.). Let no approach to your ears be thrown open to the pernicious plans of undermining, let no pledge of revising any of the old definitions be granted, because, as it must be repeated very often, what has deserved to be cut away with the sharp edge of the evangelical pruning-hook by apostolic hands with the approval of the universal Church, cannot acquire the strength for a rebirth nor is it able to return to the fruitful shoot of the master's vine, because it is evident that it has been destined to eternal fire. Thus, finally, the machinations of all heresies laid down by decrees of the Church are never allowed to renew the struggles of their crushed attack." (Pope St. Simplicius, 476 A.D.)

Also See: Duty to Reject Strange Doctrine | Against Human 'Progress' in Religion | One Should Not Be Open Minded to Error | Gospel Doesn't Support False Tolerance | False Opinions Influence / Pervert Actions | Defense of the Faithful Against Errors & Temptations is Greater Than Bodily Protection | Error / Truth | Heresy/Heretics & Schism/Schismatics | Those Who Make Scripture Mean What They Want it to Mean | Popes as Preservers of Tradition / Against New Doctrines (Vatican View Reflections) | Against Modernism / Novelty (Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition Reflections) | Infallibility (Vatican View) | Truth (Topical Scripture) | Heresy / Error (Topical Scripture)

Can Catholic Dogma Ever Change?

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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One Cannot Find the Way to Salvation in Just Any Religion

Also See: Those Outside the Church (Topic Page)

Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors: "In the worship of any religion whatever, men can find the way to eternal salvation, and can attain eternal salvation." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, This proposition was condemned in the Syllabus of Errors, Dec. 8, 1864 A.D.)

"Not without sorrow we have learned that another error, no less destructive, has taken possession of some parts of the Catholic world, and has taken up its abode in the souls of many Catholics who think that one should have good hope of the eternal salvation of all those who have never lived in the true Church of Christ. Therefore, they are wont to ask very often what will be the lot and condition after death of those who have not submitted in any way to the Catholic faith, and, by bringing forward most vain reasons, they make a response favorable to their false opinion. Far be it from Us, Venerable Brethren, to presume on the limits of the divine mercy which is infinite; far from Us, to wish to scrutinize the hidden counsel and 'judgments of God' which are 'a great deep' (Ps. 35:7) and cannot be penetrated by human thought. But, as is Our Apostolic duty, we wish your episcopal solicitude and vigilance to be aroused, so that you will strive as much as you can to drive from the mind of men that impious and equally fatal opinion, namely, that the way of eternal salvation can be found in any religion whatsoever." (Pope Pius IX, "Singulari quadem," 1854 A.D.)

Also See: Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | No Good Hope of Salvation For Those Outside the True Church | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | Against Religious Indifferentism | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Duty to Profess / Defend the Faith | Duty to Reject Strange Doctrine | Error / Truth | False Opinions Influence / Pervert Actions | Gospel Doesn't Support False Tolerance | Heaven Cannot Be Entered Without the Keys | Heresy/Heretics & Schism/Schismatics

Can Catholic Dogma Ever Change?

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Recognizing the True Religion

Also See: Catholic Apologetics (Topic Page)

"Now, it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiased mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfillment of prophecies, miracles in great numbers, the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles, the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate. For the only-begotten Son of God established on earth a society which is called the Church, and to it He handed over the exalted and divine office which He had received from His Father, to be continued through the ages to come. 'As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you.' 'Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.' Consequently, as Jesus Christ came into the world that men 'might have life and have it more abundantly,' so also has the Church for its aim and end the eternal salvation of souls, and hence it is so constituted as to open wide its arms to all mankind, unhampered by any limit of either time or place. 'Preach ye the Gospel to every creature.' Over this mighty multitude God has Himself set rulers with power to govern, and He has willed that one should be the head of all, and the chief and unerring teacher of truth, to whom He has given 'the keys of the kingdom of heaven.' 'Feed My lambs, feed My sheep.' 'I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei", 1885 A.D.)

Also See: The True Church Can Be Recognized From Her Origin | True vs. False Church | The Chair of Peter | The Visible Church (Vatican View Reflections) | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Catholic Basics

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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The Spirit of Christ Refuses to Dwell Through Sanctifying Grace in Those Severed From the Church

Also See: Those Outside the Church (Topic Page)

"While by His grace He provides for the continual growth of the Church, He yet refuses to dwell though sanctifying grace in those members that are wholly severed from the body" (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi")

Also See: Cannot Live Without the Root | Cannot Have God For Father Without Church For Mother | Those Not United to the Body of the Church Are Not Her Members or in Communion With Christ | Heresy/Heretics & Schism/Schismatics | Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Those Gathered Outside the Church of Christ | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | Those Who Say They Are Not Confided to Peter Confess That They Are Not Christ's Sheep | Who Are Truly Numbered Among the Members of the Church | Who Really is a Christian / Truly Following & Believing in Christ 

Can Catholic Dogma Ever Change?

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Those Not United to the Body of the Church Are Not Her Members or in Communion With Christ

Also See: Those Outside the Church (Topic Page)

"For since the Mystical Body of Christ, like His physical body, is one (1 Cor. 12:12), compacted and fitly joined together (Eph. 4:16), it were foolish to say that the Mystical Body is composed of disjointed and scattered members. Whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member thereof, neither is he in communion with Christ its Head. Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors." (Pope Pius XI, "Mortalium Animos")

Also See: Who Are Truly Numbered Among the Members of the Church | Cannot Live Without the Root | The Spirit of Christ Refuses to Dwell Through Sanctifying Grace in Those Severed From the Church | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | Those Who Say They Are Not Confided to Peter Confess That They Are Not Christ's Sheep | Cannot Have God For Father Without Church For Mother | The Church is Not Invisible | Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Heresy/Heretics & Schism/Schismatics | Those Gathered Outside the Church of Christ | Who Really is a Christian / Truly Following & Believing in Christ 

Can Catholic Dogma Ever Change?

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Those Outside the Church Must Desire to Belong to Her

Also See: Those Outside the Church (Topic Page)

"To gain eternal salvation it is not always required that a person be incorporated in fact as a member of the Church, but it is required that he belong to it at least in desire and longing." (Letter of the Holy Office, 8/8/1949)

Also See: Nothing More Glorious Than Belonging to the Church | The True Church Can Be Recognized From Her Origin | True Holiness Belongs to the Catholic Church Alone | Against Religious Indifferentism | Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Cannot Have God For Father Without Church For Mother | Heaven Cannot Be Entered Without the Keys | Heresy/Heretics & Schism/Schismatics

Can Catholic Dogma Ever Change?

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ

Also See: Those Outside the Church (Topic Page)

"Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 10:16)

"[N]ot without sorrow we can hear people - whom we wish to believe are well-intentioned but who are certainly misguided in their attitude - continually claiming to love Christ but without the Church, to listen to Christ but not the Church, to belong to Christ but outside the Church. The absurdity of this dichotomy is clearly evident in this phrase of the Gospel: 'Anyone who rejects you rejects me.' And how can one wish to love Christ without loving the Church, if the finest witness to Christ is that of St. Paul: 'Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her'?" (Pope Paul VI, 1975)

Also See: The Spirit of Christ Refuses to Dwell Through Sanctifying Grace in Those Severed From the Church | Cannot Live Without the Root | Cannot Have God For Father Without Church For Mother | Those Not United to the Body of the Church Are Not Her Members or in Communion With Christ | Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Heresy/Heretics & Schism/Schismatics | One Cannot Find the Way to Salvation in Just Any Religion | Those Gathered Outside the Church of Christ | Who Really is a Christian / Truly Following & Believing in Christ

Can Catholic Dogma Ever Change?

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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The True Church Can Be Recognized From Her Origin

Also See: Catholic Apologetics (Topic Page)

"The true Church is also to be recognized from her origin, which can be traced back under the law of grace to the Apostles; for her doctrine is the truth not recently given, nor now first heard of, but delivered of old by the Apostles, and disseminated throughout the entire world. Hence no one can doubt that the impious opinions which heresy invents, opposed as they are to the doctrines taught by the Church from the days of the Apostles to the present time, are very different from the faith of the true Church." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Also See: Recognizing the True Religion | True vs. False Church | The Church | The Chair of Peter | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | The Church is Not Invisible | Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Those Gathered Outside the Church of Christ | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | Those Who Say They Are Not Confided to Peter Confess That They Are Not Christ's Sheep | Vatican View Section | Non-Catholics (apologetics) | Catholic Basics | Church (Topical Scripture)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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True Holiness Belongs to the Catholic Church Alone

"It should not be deemed a matter of surprise that the Church, although numbering among her children many sinners, is called holy. For as those who profess any art, even though they depart from its rules, are still called artists, so in like manner the faithful, although offending in many things and violating the engagements to which they had pledged themselves, are still called holy, because they have been made the people of God and have consecrated themselves to Christ by faith and Baptism. Hence, St. Paul. calls the Corinthians sanctified and holy, although it is certain that among them there were some whom he severely rebuked as carnal, and also charged with grosser crimes. The Church is also to be called holy because she is united to her holy Head, as His body; that is, to Christ the Lord, the fountain of all holiness, from whom flow the graces of the Holy Spirit and the riches of the divine bounty... Moreover, the church alone has the legitimate worship of sacrifice, and the salutary use of the Sacraments, which are the efficacious instruments of divine grace, used by God to produce true holiness. Hence, to possess true holiness, we must belong to this Church. The Church, therefore, it is clear, is holy, and holy because she is the body of Christ, by whom she is sanctified, and in whose blood she is washed." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Also See: Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | The Church | The True Church Can Be Recognized From Her Origin | Recognizing the True Religion | Catholic Basics | Church (Topical Scripture)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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True vs. False Church

Also See: Catholic Apologetics (Topic Page)

"The third mark of the Church is that she is Catholic; that is, universal. And justly is she called Catholic, because, as St. Augustine says, she is diffused by the splendor of one faith from the rising to the setting sun. Unlike states of human institutions of the sects of heretics, she is not confined to any one country or class of men, but embraces within the amplitude of her love all mankind, whether barbarians or Scythians, slaves or freemen, male or female... Moreover to this Church, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets belong all the faithful who have existed from Adam to the present day, or who shall exist, in the profession of the true faith, to the end of time... She is also called universal, because all who desire eternal salvation must cling to and embrace her, like those who entered the ark to escape perishing in the flood. This (note of catholicity), therefore, is to be taught as a most reliable criterion, by which to distinguish the true from a false Church." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"It is so evident from the clear and frequent testimonies of Holy Writ that the true Church of Jesus Christ is one, that no Christian can dare to deny it. But in judging and determining the nature of this unity many have erred in various ways. Not the foundation of the Church alone, but its whole constitution, belongs to the class of things effected by Christ's free choice. For this reason the entire case must be judged by what was actually done. We must consequently investigate not how the Church may possibly be one, but how He, who founded it, willed that it should be one. But when we consider what was actually done we find that Jesus Christ did not, in point of fact, institute a Church to embrace several communities similar in nature, but in themselves distinct, and lacking those bonds which render the Church unique and indivisible after that manner in which in the symbol of our faith we profess: 'I believe in one Church.' 'The Church in respect of its unity belongs to the category of things indivisible by nature, though heretics try to divide it into many parts... We say, therefore, that the Catholic Church is unique in its essence, in its doctrine, in its origin, and in its excellence... Furthermore, the eminence of the Church arises from its unity, as the principle of its constitution - a unity surpassing all else, and having nothing like unto it or equal to it' (S. Clemens Alexandrinus, Stronmatum lib. viii., c. 17). For this reason Christ, speaking of the mystical edifice, mentions only one Church, which he calls His own - 'I will build my church;' any other Church except this one, since it has not been founded by Christ, cannot be the true Church." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

Also See: The True Church Can Be Recognized From Her Origin | The Church | Recognizing the True Religion | Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | Those Who Reject the Church Reject Christ | True Holiness Belongs to the Catholic Church Alone | Truth / Error / Nature of Man | Non-Catholics (apologetics) | Catholic Basics | Church (Topical Scripture)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Who Are Truly Numbered Among the Members of the Church

Also See: Those Outside the Church (Topic Page)

"Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. 'For in one spirit' says the Apostle, 'were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free.' As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And therefore, if a man refuse to hear the Church, let him be considered - so the Lord commands - as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943 A.D.)

"He cannot be accounted a Catholic who does not agree with the Roman Church" (Pope St. Gregory VII, 11th century A.D.)

Also See: Those Not United to the Body of the Church Are Not Her Members or in Communion With Christ | Who Really is a Christian / Truly Following & Believing in Christ | One Who Calls Himself Catholic But is Actually No Longer Catholic | Necessity of Being Catholic For Salvation | Necessity of Union With the Roman Pontiff (Vatican View Reflections) | The Spirit of Christ Refuses to Dwell Through Sanctifying Grace in Those Severed From the Church

Can Catholic Dogma Ever Change?

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