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Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
Why The Catholic Church
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Why The Catholic Church

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  • 1. Why the Catholic Church?
  • 2. What is Church?
    • The word “Church” (Latin ecclesia ) originally meant a convocation or assembly gathered for a religious purpose.
    • In Christian usage the word “church” refers to the worshipping community, the local community or “parish” and the entire universal community of believers. (CCC, 751 – 752)
  • 3. Why Church?
    • In the Old Testament God called the chosen people of Israel to be his holy people.
    • In the New Testament, Jesus calls his disciples to form a community of faith as the people of the New Covenant. Jesus inaugurates the Church through his preaching and teaching and in His total self-giving on the cross (CCC, 763 – 766)
    • Eph 2: 19-22
  • 4. Why the Catholic Church?
    • Today this community of faith, hope and love is continued in the Catholic Church. The Church is a mystery that is both visible and spiritual, human and divine, a hierarchical society and the Mystical Body of Christ (CCC, 771, 779)
  • 5. Petros, Cephas, Rock
    • “ You are to be called Cephas” – Jesus to Peter in John 1:42
    • Cephas in Aramaic (language spoken in Jesus’ time and by Jesus) = Rock
    • “ You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (Matt 16:18)
  • 6. Peter the first Pope
    • The early Christians, who were close to the apostles in time, culture and theological background, clearly understood that Jesus promised to build the Church on Peter
    • The intent of the Lord was clear when he conferred personally upon Peter…Upon you I will build my Church and I will give you the key the keys
  • 7. An Apostolic Church
    • The first Christians traced their beliefs, doctrines and their Church back to the true teachings of Christ
    • How?
    • Because there was a clear link from their leaders (bishops) back to the apostles
  • 8. Handing down of teachings
    • Clearly mentioned in Scripture – 2 Tim (2:2)
    • Teachings were handed down orally and publicly
    • The unbroken succession of bishops see the original revelation going back lineally to the apostles
  • 9. Reformation
    • 1300-1500 AD - Popes and bishops became great political powers and were obsessed with wealth. Thus they became poor faith leaders
    • Martin Luther set out to reform (change) the Church, finally breaking away from his priestly vows and the Church to marry and start a new church
  • 10. Reformation – Martin Luther
    • Catholic Church
    • Earning of salvation by good works and faith
    • Sale of indulgences
    • Papacy – divine intervention
    • Papal authority
    • Martin Luther
    • Earning or salvation by faith alone
    • Against sale of indulgences
    • Papacy – human intervention
    • Diminished papal authority
  • 11. Those of other faiths
    • What of those of other faiths?
    • It has been said – “Outside the Church, there is no salvation.”
    • Hence they could not be saved, who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it. (CCC 846)
  • 12. But there is still salvation
    • Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation. (CCC 847)
  • 13. Why salvation for those of other faiths?
    • The Catholic Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they at length have life. (CCC 843)
  • 14. Sharing and reflection
    • 1. Why is belonging to a community of faith so necessary in our personal relationship with God? [I.e. why can’t I pray alone? Why must I join other Catholics in church?]
    • 2. How is Jesus Christ at the center of our understanding of the Church?

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