THE UNIQUENESS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH-RCIA-SFX-PJ-08
<ul><li>The word “Church” (Latin ecclesia ) originally meant a convocation or assembly gathered for a religious purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>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) </li></ul>
<ul><li>In the Old Testament God called the chosen people of Israel to be his holy people. </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
<ul><li>Pope Pius XII –Encyclical on the Mystical Body, said “it is the society of those who have been baptized, and who profess the faith of Christ, and who are governed by their bishops under the visible head, the Pope, the Bishop of Rome.” </li></ul><ul><li>St. Paul speaks of all Christians as members of Christ, so that with Him, they form one Mystical Body (Cf. 1 Cor 12:12-31; Col 1:18; 2:18-20; Eph. 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:13) </li></ul>
This expression also refers to the communion between holy persons (sancti) ; that is, between those who by grace are united to the dead and risen Christ. Some are pilgrims on the earth ; others, having passed from this life, are undergoing purification and are helped also by our prayers. Others already enjoy the glory of God and intercede for us. All of these together form in Christ one family, the Church, to the praise and glory of the Trinity – CCC 961-962
For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 2 COR 10:4
HE AUTHORISED AND EMPOWERED THEM TO TEACH, SANCTIFY & GOVERN ( Luke 9:1-6; Matt. 28:19-20; 18:17-18; John 20:23 Mark 16:15-16)
The Church’s Facets <ul><li>The Church as an institution has two dimensions: </li></ul><ul><li>A. Temporal: dealing with the affairs of this world. </li></ul><ul><li>B. Spiritual : </li></ul><ul><li>The Pastoral Care of souls </li></ul><ul><li>The preaching of the Gospel. </li></ul><ul><li>The sanctification of the People of God. </li></ul>
The Pope and the Cardinals delegated by the Pope supervise the functions of the Roman Curia. The Administrative apparatus of the Vatican. The Roman Curia is divided into discasteries (congregations, tribunals, offices, secretariat of state, agencies). All these different departments ensure the administration of the Holy See.
<ul><li>“ MAGISTERIUM” in Latin means “duty or office of Teacher”’ – used in the Church to mean the “Teaching Authority” of the Church . </li></ul><ul><li>( CCC 85-87, 888-892) </li></ul><ul><li>Comprises of The Pope and Bishops in union with him; </li></ul>
Men & Women Consecrated their life <ul><li>Diocesan & Religious Priests – 406,411 </li></ul><ul><li>Deacons – 33,391 </li></ul><ul><li>Religious Brothers – 54,708 </li></ul><ul><li>Religious Sisters -760,529 </li></ul><ul><li>Seminarians – 58,538 </li></ul>Total of 1,255,039 Clergy & Religious consecrated their lives to serve the Lord Total :More than 10,000 Saints & Beati Martyrs : Last Century 170 millions
Nicene Creed We believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
There is one body and one Spirit , just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith , one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6
By his grace Jesus makes the Church holy, just as he is holy. This doesn’t mean that each member is always holy. Jesus said there would be both good and bad members in the Church (John 6:70).
But the Church itself is Holy because it is the source of Holiness and is the guardian of the special means of grace Jesus established, the sacraments (Eph. 5:26).
The Holy Spirit, whom Christ the head pours out on his members, builds, animates, and sanctifies the Church . She is the sacrament of the Holy Trinity's communion with men. CCC 747
Jesus’ Church is called catholic ("universal" in Greek) because it is his gift to all people. He told his apostles to go throughout the world and make disciples of "all nations“ (Matt. 28:19–20).
For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has carried out this mission, preaching the good news that Christ died for all men and that he wants all of us to be members of his universal family (Gal. 3:28).
Today the Catholic Church is found in every country of the world and is still sending out missionaries to "make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19).
“ This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God, who desires everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of Truth” (1 Tim 2:4).
"The Church is catholic because she proclaims the fullness of the faith. She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompasses all times. She is 'missionary of her very nature' " (CCC no. 868).
<ul><li>"Do you love me, Peter. Feed my sheep“; </li></ul><ul><li>"I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith may not fail. You in turn must confirm your brethren", </li></ul><ul><li>a special role for Peter in the establishment of the Church, and special divine protection for Peter in the exercise of his authority. </li></ul>Peter the first Pope
AUTHORITY AND INFALLIBILITY <ul><li>I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven , and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven , and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven ." </li></ul><ul><li>Matthew 16:19 </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you…” </li></ul><ul><li>1 Cor 11:23 </li></ul><ul><li>“ For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received” </li></ul><ul><li>1 Cor 15:3 </li></ul>
This is the most basic meaning of Catholic Tradition; it is the true faith itself, given to apostle by Christ and faithfully transmitted to each new generation. CCC 77-78
<ul><li>All magisterial teaching is derived from Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture (i.e., the Bible ). The belief that God reveals his teachings to humanity via infallible Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture is one basis for infallibility; another basis is that the Holy Spirit guides the Magisterium. Catholics are obliged to believe all that is taught infallibly by the Magisterium with the assent of faith (fides divina), i.e. with the fullness of their faith. </li></ul><ul><li>“ These remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles….” - Acts 2:42 </li></ul>
<ul><li>The Magisterium is protected from error and guided by the Holy Spirit who “reminds and guides to all truth” thereby gives us certainty in matters of doctrine ; (John 16:12-13) </li></ul><ul><li>“ and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." </li></ul><ul><li>Matthew 16:19 </li></ul>
<ul><li>The Magisterium teaches on Morals and Faith that are necessary for Salvation ; </li></ul><ul><li>The Church existed before the New Testament – All Teachings on faith and morals necessary for Salvation came from the Church; </li></ul>
<ul><li>According to the teaching of the First Vatican Council and Catholic tradition, the conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are as follows: </li></ul><ul><li>"the Roman Pontiff“ </li></ul><ul><li>"speaks ex cathedra" ("that is, when in the discharge of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, and by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority….") </li></ul><ul><li>"he defines“ </li></ul><ul><li>"that a doctrine concerning faith or morals" </li></ul><ul><li>"must be held by the whole Church" </li></ul>
In Catholic theology, the Latin phrase ex cathedra , literally means "from the chair", refers to a teaching by the pope that is considered to be made with the intention of invoking infallibility. The "chair" referred to is not a literal chair, but refers metaphorically to the pope's position, or office, as the official teacher of Catholic doctrine: the chair was the symbol of the teacher in the ancient world, and bishops to this day have a cathedra , a seat or throne, as a symbol of their teaching and governing authority
<ul><li>DEPOSIT OF FAITH; </li></ul><ul><li>DOGMAS; </li></ul><ul><li>DOCTRINES; </li></ul><ul><li>DISCIPLINES; </li></ul><ul><li>DEVOTIONS. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Holy Scripture AND Sacred Tradition, recognized and deliniated by </li></ul><ul><li>the Magisterium. </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot be added to or subtracted from. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Teaching of Faith or Morals, </li></ul><ul><li>derived from the Deposit of Faith. </li></ul><ul><li>Propagated by ex cathedra pronouncement of reigning Pontiff or by a ecumenical council of the Church's bishops in turn ratified by reigning Pontiff. </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot contradict Deposit of Faith or prior Dogma. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Teaching of the Church on Faith and Morals. </li></ul><ul><li>Binding on all Catholics while propagated. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be altered, modified, abandoned, even condemned. </li></ul><ul><li>Doctrine RARELY becomes Dogma. </li></ul>
<ul><li>NOT infallible rules of behavior, </li></ul><ul><li>binding on all Catholics while propagated, designed with the intent to keep believers </li></ul><ul><li>"on the straight and narrow". </li></ul><ul><li>Includes Lenten rules of fasting & priestly celibacy. Can be relaxed, altered, or abolished. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Private practice of prayers, meditations, </li></ul><ul><li>and disciplines, in accordance to Church approval. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes 99% of Marian devotions, belief in approved apparitions or visions (Private Revelation), First Saturdays, Stations of the Cross, etc... </li></ul>
<ul><li>Encyclical Letter — This, by definition, is a letter addressed primarily to the bishops of the Universal Church and through them as teachers of the Faith to the whole People of God. It may address questions of faith and morals, an event or the memorial of an event or previous encyclical, or even the situation of a particular group or country. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Encyclical Epistle — This type of document is more rarely issued than an encyclical letter, but it is very similar. The primary difference is that instead of being addressed to all the bishops, it is usually addressed to the bishops of a particular region or country. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Apostolic Exhortation — This type of papal writing is, as it conveys, an exhortation. This means that it addresses a particular audience and is an encouragement to some particular good. A perfect example is Familiaris Consortio, by John Paul II. This was a letter to families “exhorting” them to live the message of the Gospel in their vocation as a family. As such, it contained a beautiful, rich teaching on what it means to live out the vocation of marriage. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Apostolic Letter — An apostolic letter can be addressed to anyone, often the whole People of God explicitly and can be on a variety of themes. It may concern the erection of a basilica. Another good example is John Paul II’s apostolic letter, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, which was a letter from the Pope to the whole Church relating his wishes and instructions on how to prepare for the year 2000, a year he was proclaiming to be a Jubilee year. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Apostolic Constitution — This type of writing is used to promulgate some official document. It is often considered a legislative in nature. Two ideal examples of these are Fidei Depositum, which promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Sacrae Disciplinae Leges, which promulgated the 1983 Code of Canon Law. </li></ul>
“ gates of hades will not prevail against the Church” (Matt. 16:18) and the Church is "the household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth ” (1 Tim. 3:15).
He guided the Israelites on their escape from Egypt by giving them a Pillar of fire to light their way across the dark wilderness (Exodus. 13:21). Today he guides us through the darkness of this world with his Pillar of Truth, The Catholic Church. (1 Tim 3:15)
<ul><li>"But the word of the Lord abides for ever.’ That word is the good news which was preached to you" (1 Pet. 1:25) St. Peter </li></ul><ul><li>"So faith comes from what is </li></ul><ul><li>heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ" </li></ul><ul><li>(Rom. 10:17). </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ And what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well” </li></ul><ul><li>( 2 Tim 2:2) </li></ul><ul><li>"stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess. 2:15). </li></ul>
First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation. ( 2 Peter 1:20) There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. (2 Peter 3 :16)
So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless some one guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Acts 8:31-31 Council of Jerusalem – Acts 15
Traditions of the Church Teachings of the Church Fount of God’s abundant Graces
<ul><li>she proclaims the fullness of the faith.; </li></ul><ul><li>She administers the totality of the means of salvation in the 7 Sacraments; </li></ul><ul><li>She is sent out to all peoples. </li></ul><ul><li>She speaks to all men. </li></ul><ul><li>She encompasses all times. </li></ul><ul><li>She is 'missionary of her very nature' " (CCC no. 868). </li></ul>
<ul><li>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) </li></ul>
<ul><li>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) </li></ul>
<ul><li>"Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."(CCC 848) </li></ul>
“ So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling . Phil 2:12 ‘ Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord" shall enter the Kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 7:21)."
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith . Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day" (2 Tim. 4:7-8)