The Church, from the very Beginning…was Catholic!

They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. ~ Acts 2:42

Many “Bible Alone” Christians will say that the Church of the Bible looks nothing like the Catholic Church. If that were true, then we would expect to find evidence of the first few hundred years of Christianity to support this claim. However, what we do find is evidence to show that the Early Church was indeed Catholic in every way! Many Protestants claim that the Church of the first three centuries was a “pure” Church and base that on a modern reading of Acts 2:42, ignoring that writings of the earliest Christians. They will also claim that it was only after the legalization of Christianity by Roman Emperor Constantine (313 AD) did the Church become “Catholic” and corrupt. However, the doctrines of Post-Constantine Catholicism are the same doctrines that were held by Christians for the preceding three centuries. In fact, the evidence below clearly shows that the beliefs of the Early Church are the same as those of the Catholic Church today in the 3rd millennium.

Again, The Early Church Fathers are so important because: 1) their testimonies prove that the Early Church was Catholic; 2) the councils of Trent and Vatican I declared that no-one may interpret Scripture in a manner contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers; 3) all the Fathers were convinced that the original texts of the Bible were absolutely immune from all error. IF, Catholic doctrine had changed “many times” from that of the earliest writings, then the record should reflect this. However, the record shows that the writings of the Early Church Fathers are consistent with the teachings of the modern Catholic Church. Nothing has changed! This is why the councils of Trent and Vatican I attest that the writings of the Early Church are to be regarded as authoritative in respect to the interpretation of scripture. Any interpretation of scripture cannot be in conflict of the testament of the unanimous teachings of Early Church on doctrine. Again, let me clarify…doctrines are those teachings from scripture that deal with items of Faith and Morals, not practices, customs and disciplines which so many anti-Catholics try to say are doctrines. Example, Baptism by sprinkling vs immersion, this is a practice.

The early Church was the Catholic Church. It taught infallibly, gave us the New Testament and was made up of three ranks of clergy, bishop, priest and deacon. The idea of “Scripture Alone” didn’t exist nor could it have as the printing press would not be invented for more than a thousand years. The earliest Christians didn’t even have a New Testament yet. It was a NEW Church. They had to rely upon verbal teaching that was passed down from the Apostles as Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:15.

Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

Before there was a Bible, there was a Church…

To make sure that the apostolic tradition would be passed down after the deaths of the apostles, Paul also told Timothy, “What you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Tim. 2:2). In other words, he was telling Timothy that it was necessary to keep the traditions and teachings alive. Yes, he was writing letters, but every place a church had been established did not instantly get a copy of those letters. It would take many, many years before they all would be compiled into what we now know as the New Testament. No written Bibles as we know them today existed. This is important to understand.

In the first four centuries of the Church many books, such as the seven letters of Ignatius, the Letter of Clement [the fourth pope] to the Corinthians, the Didache, and The Shepherd were revered by many Christians as inspired but were later shown to be non-inspired. Keep in mind, non-inspired does not imply not important or not authoritative, it just means that they did not see that those writings to be on level with the inspired writings of the Apostles.

The Bible as we know it today didn’t come into being until the Councils of Hippo and Carthage. That is when the Catholic Church defined which books made it into the New Testament and which didn’t. There were many letters and writings that were floating around and they saw a need to settle which were to be considered as inspired, which were important but not inspired, and which were even heretical. The council fathers studied many documents, including, of course, the writings of the Apostles themselves, but it was not until these councils that the Church officially settled the issue of what should be included in the Canon of Scripture.

What did the Early Church look like?

That being said, what did the early Church really look like? Let’s look at the writings of the Early Church Fathers to see the Church that they knew. I bet all the Catholic Christians reading this will recognize their Church, and I’m guessing that most Protestants will not see theirs. But, let’s find out.

In the year A.D 80, we see Saint Clement of Rome, the fourth in line of succession from Peter, who was also a disciple of Peter and Paul, sending a letter to Corinth. Exhorting them to get it together or they would have severe repercussions. Those Corinthians had been causing the Church fits since Saint Paul. Now why was a bishop in Rome telling the Church in Corinth what to do? Because he had authority to do so and that authority was recognized. He is recognized as the fourth Bishop of Rome, the fourth Pope!

Clement of Rome

If anyone disobey the things which have been said by Him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. We, however, shall be innocent of this sin, and will pray with earnest entreaty and supplication that the Creator of all may keep unharmed the number of His elect, which have been counted up in the whole world, through His beloved child Jesus Christ, through whom He has called us from darkness to light, and from ignorance to the full knowledge of the glory of His name.(Letter to the Corinthians 28a [A.D. 80]). –> Read online in its entirety here

We can see by the year A.D. 110, in the writings of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of Saint John, yes “that” John, that the Church had bishops that had authority. That they were to obey the clergy and deacons, just as they would the apostles. They were also supposed to regard the bishop as a “type” of the Father. (…hmmm, sound familiar?) Also note that the Eucharist was only valid if the bishop or by a person authorized by the bishop were to celebrate it. They had a council and a college of apostles and without these it could not be called a church. Why? Because Jesus provided an authoritative teaching body in the Church to maintain the Truth, guided by the Holy Spirit. Ignatius even calls the Church, the Catholic Church! Sounds like what we refer to today as the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Read for yourself.

Ignatius of Antioch

Follow your bishop, every one of you, as obediently as Jesus Christ followed the Father. Obey your clergy too as you would the apostles; give your deacons the same reverence that you would to a command of God. Make sure that no step affecting the Church is ever taken by anyone without the bishop’s sanction. The sole Eucharist you should consider valid is one that is celebrated by the bishop himself, or by some person authorized by him. Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as, wherever Jesus Christ is present, there is the Catholic Church (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]). –> Read online in its entirety here

For, since you are subject to the bishop as to Jesus Christ, you appear to me to live not after the manner of men, but according to Jesus Christ, who died for us, in order, by believing in His death, you may escape from death. It is therefore necessary that, as you indeed do, so without the bishop you should do nothing, but should also be subject to the presbytery 1, as to the apostle of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, in whom, if we live, we shall [at last] be found. It is fitting also that the deacons, as being [the ministers] of the mysteries 2 of Jesus Christ, should in every respect be pleasing to all. For they are not ministers of meat and drink, but servants of the Church of God. They are bound, therefore, to avoid all grounds of accusation [against them], as they would do fire.

Be you subject to the bishop as to the Lord, for “he watches for your souls, as one that shall give account to God.” (Heb 13:17) Wherefore also, you appear to me to live not after the manner of men, but according to Jesus Christ, who died for us, in order that, by believing in His death, you may by baptism be made partakers of His resurrection. It is therefore necessary, whatsoever things you do, to do nothing without the bishop. And be you subject also to the presbytery, as to the apostles of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, in whom, if we live, we shall be found in Him. It behooves you also, in every way, to please the deacons, who are [ministers] of the mysteries of Christ Jesus; for they are not ministers of meat and drink, but servants of the Church of God. They are bound, therefore, to avoid all grounds of accusation [against them], as they would a burning fire. Let them, then, prove themselves to be such. (Letter to the Trallians 2:1-2 [A. D. 110]). –> Read online in its entirety here

1- presbytery translates in English as priest, ministers.
2- Mysteries of Christ, also translated as Sacraments 

In like manner let everyone respect the deacons as they would respect Jesus Christ, and just as they respect the bishop as a type of the Father, and the presbyters as the council of God and college of the apostles. Without these, it cannot be called a Church. I am confident that you accept this, for I have received the exemplar of your love and have it with me in the person of your bishop. His very demeanor is a great lesson and his meekness is his strength. I believe that even the godless do respect him (Letter to the Trallians 3:1-2 [A. D. 110]). –> Read online in its entirety here

The early church was NOT an unorganized band of Christian followers, but a very organized group, even though they were most of the time practicing their faith “underground” due to persecution. There were no factions or splinter groups that were allowed to stay in operation, but as Ignatius points out, if you were not in union with and under the authority of the bishops, then you were not following the Church that Jesus Christ established.

In the Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp, also a disciple of John the Apostle, written around A.D. 160 we can see that the Church at the time was Catholic and shows that the church was seen as a unified Church.

The Martyrdom of Polycarp

When finally he concluded his prayer, after remembering all who had at any time come his way – small folk and great folk, distinguished and undistinguished, and the whole Catholic Church throughout the world – the time for departure came. So they placed him on an ass, and brought him into the city on a great Sabbath (The Martyrdom of Polycarp 8 [A.D. 160]). –> Read online in its entirety here

We also see in the writings of Saint Irenaeus in A.D. 189 that he refers to a unified Church. Of important note, this writing comes from his Letter Against Heresies. He is pointing out in the letter that any who teach a gospel outside of the unity of the Catholic Church are teaching heresy.

Irenaeus

The Catholic Church possesses one and the same faith throughout the whole world, as we have already said (Against Heresies 1:10 [A.D. 189]). –> Read online in its entirety here

Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life. For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account we are bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the things pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. For how stands the case? Suppose there should arise a dispute relative to some important question among us. Should we not have recourse to the most ancient churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary [in that case] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the church? (ibid. 3:4). –> Read online in its entirety here

Did he say that we are to lay hold of the tradition of the truth? Yes, he did. And how did he say we should solve disputes and questions about what we should believe? We should have recourse to the ancient churches, which at this point in history were only around 200 years old. Still, that is a long time. Yet, here we are 2000 years later, and yet those outside of the Catholic Church, do not follow his advice.

So now we move on to Tertullian. He shows here in his writing “The Prescription Against Heretics” around A.D. 200 that the Church is referred to as the Catholic Church. It’s been 100 years since Ignatius of Antioch first recorded the Church being called Catholic. Too bad Tertullian didn’t heed his own advice when he later succumbed to the heresy of Montanism, a heresy that claimed the revelation of Truth was continuing past the Apostolic age.

Tertullian

Where was Marcion then, that shipmaster of Pontus, the zealous student of Stoicism? Where was Valentinus then, the disciple of Platonism? For it is evident that those men lived not so long ago – in the reign of Antoninus for the most part – and that they at first were believers in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in the church of Rome under the episcopate of the blessed Eleutherus, until on account of their ever restless curiosity, with which they even infected the brethren, they were more than once expelled (The Prescription Against Heretics 22,30 [A.D.200])  –> Read online in its entirety here

Saint Clement of Alexandria, near the end of the second century and the beginning of the third talks about how the Church has a hierarchy of bishops, priest and deacons. Again, this is before the claimed corruption of the Church by Constantine. Just sayin’.

Clement of Alexandria

A multitude of other pieces of advice to particular persons is written in the holy books: some for presbyters, some for bishops and deacons; and others for widows, of whom we shall have opportunity to speak elsewhere (The Instructor of Children 3:12:97:2 [A.D. 191]).  –> Read online in its entirety here

Even here in the Church the gradations of bishops, presbyters, and deacons happen to be imitations, in my opinion, of the angelic glory and of that arrangement which, the Scriptures say, awaits those who have followed in the footsteps of the apostles and who have lived in complete righteousness according to the gospel (Stromateis 6:13:107:2 [post-A.D. 202]).  –> Read online in its entirety here

In the following, Saint Hippolytus discusses how the bishop is to ordain priests and deacons by the laying on of hands, and how only bishops have the authority to do so. Again, this is 100 years before Constantine ever became Emperor. This is important to remember as this is exactly as the bishops today ordain priest. I have been to a couple of ordinations and yep, it’s the same.

Hippolytus

When a deacon is to be ordained, he is chosen after the fashion of those things said above, the bishop alone in like manner imposing his hands upon him as we have prescribed. In the ordaining of a deacon, this is the reason why the bishop alone is to impose his hands upon him: He is not ordained to the priesthood, but to serve the bishop and to fulfill the bishop’s command. He has no part in the council of the clergy, but is to attend to his own duties and is to acquaint the bishop with such matters as are needful. . . . On a presbyter [priest], however, let the presbyters impose their hands because of the common and like Spirit of the clergy. Even so, the presbyter has only the power to receive [the Spirit], and not the power to give [the Spirit]. That is why a presbyter does not ordain the clergy; for at the ordaining of a presbyter, he but seals while the bishop ordains. (Apostolic Tradition 9 [ca. A.D. 215]).  –> Read online in its entirety here

Last but not least, we arrive at Saint Cyprian of Carthage who is writing on the unity of the Church in the year A.D. 251. You can also see that he is referring to Matthew 16:18-19 speaking of how the Church will be protected by the Holy Spirit from ever being overcome by separations and divisions and from teaching error.  Notice, that even though the Church has experienced separations and divisions through the Protestant revolt and the Schisms that split the East from the West, the One Catholic Church is still standing and is without any doubt the greatest pillar of Truth in the world.

Cyprian of Carthage

The spouse of Christ cannot be defiled; she is uncorrupted and chaste. She knows one home . . . Does anyone believe that this unity which comes from divine strength, which is closely connected with the divine sacraments, can be broken asunder in the Church and be separated by the divisions of colliding wills? He who does not hold this unity, does not hold the law of God, does not hold the faith of the Father and the Son, does not hold life and salvation (On the Unity of the Catholic Church 6 [A.D. 251]).  –> Read online in its entirety here

Peter speaks there, on whom the Church was to be built, teaching and showing in the name of the Church, that although a rebellious and arrogant multitude of those who will not hear or obey may depart, yet the Church does not depart from Christ; and they are the Church who are a people united to the priest, and the flock which adheres to its pastor. Whence you ought to know that the bishop is in the Church, and the Church in the bishop; and if anyone be not with the bishop, that he is not in the Church, and that those flatter themselves in vain who creep in, not having peace with God’s priests, and think that they communicate secretly with some; while the Church which is Catholic and one, is not cut nor divided, but is indeed connected and bound together by the cement of priests who cohere with one another (Letters 66 [A.D. 253]).  –> Read online in its entirety here

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the pre-Constantine writings that show that the Church was One, Holy and Apostolic, but if gives a good overview of what the Early Church Fathers saw the Church of their time appeared, and it looks just like the Church today. Not the buildings, but the unity, the hierarchy, and the authority. It is only in a Church like this that the following scripture passage has any validity and make any sense.

15 “If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. 16 If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. 18 Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. – Matthew 18:15-18

If the Church was not unified, which Church would I take my brother to if he won’t listen to me concerning his sin? The Baptist? The Episcopal? The Presbyterian? The Reformed Calvinist? The non-denominational church down the street? This passage only makes sense when you have one unified church as the true protector of God’s truth on earth, and is supported when you read the quotes from the earliest Christian writers. As Paul attest, the Church is the protector of Truth, without a doubt!

But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth. – 1 Timothy 3:15

Whew! That was a lot of work. Stay tuned for more on the Early Church Fathers… we have a lot of ground to cover!


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36 Comments Add yours

  1. Knights of Columbus Council 1819 says:

    Reblogged this on .

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  2. Ron Trenum says:

    Reblogged this on .

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  3. Kathy Donohue says:

    I just got a book on Churches. Like the first. They didn’t have any info of the first Catholic church. Thanks. Oh on tv they are doing on thing on architecture. Well who designed the Vatican. People now would say Frank Lloyd Wright. Didn’t King Constetine (if it’s even spelled right) design it?

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    1. Kenneth Henderson says:

      Constantine did NOT design the Vatican. All Constantine did was to make Christianity a legal religion. He didn’t even become a Christian until he was on his deathbed and asked to be baptised. The current vatican buildings were not even built until 1607. Under the commission of Alexander VII (1655–67) Bernini designed the elliptical piazza, outlined by colonnades, that serves as the approach to the basilica. St. Peter’s, Vatican City, Rome, by Carlo Maderno, 1607. Here is a more detailed explanation: On This Rock – Architecture of the Vatican

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  4. For heaven’s sake, fix the typos! Especially this one which conveys the opposite sense: “Keep in mind, non-inspired does imply not important on not authoritative”.

    Can’t reblog it until you do – otherwise such a good article

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    1. Kenneth Henderson says:

      Thanks for your comments. I have gone through and fixed everything I could find. I appreceate your sharp eyes in this regard. God Bless!

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      1. Karen says:

        Thank you for this brilliant article packed with wisdom from some of our early leaders. I’m currently reading “The Fathers of the Church” by Aquila. God Bless!

        BTW, I notice one more typo [it]:
        This is by no means an exhaustive list of the pre-Constantine writings that show that the Church was One, Holy and Apostolic, but if gives a good overview

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  5. This is great how do I get a copy?

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    1. Kenneth Henderson says:

      I’m glad you like it. Feel free to print it from my blog. My intent is to put all this in a book form in the future, but are free to print and distribute at will. Just please be sure to attribute to my blog. God bless.

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  6. Patrick says:

    I am not anti-Catholic, but you have taken liberties with the earliest history of the Church and the Body of Christ. Yes, they were jealous to preserve proper doctrine, as you show. Yes, they had an authority structure that used the Bishops and the Deacons, but until well into the third century there was little of the Roman Papal power structure, and the Bishops were spread throughout Christendom, and yes, they had the writings that were held to be sacred, and inspired, to look to, and the oral traditions, but where the oral traditions of the church conflicted with the written words, the written words prevailed. Jsut because no Church Council had yet ‘sanctioned’ the books of our present New Testament in no way means or should be taught as to mean that the earliest Christians did not hold certian books to be Inspired by god and useful for teaching, reproof, correction, etc. Also, don;t forget, when discussing your early church and its power and authority, that both Origen and Tertullian were ‘lay-preachers’, and not Bishops, and yet they each founded some of the most influential ‘schools ‘ of theological thought in the first three centuries. It is historically provable that when Constantine adopted Christianity, he sought to unify the Church and heal the divisions caused byt eh Donatists and the Arians, and that after 325 A.d. and Nicea the Roman Bishops began gaining and maintaining more and more power to themselves. So no, the “Catholic” Church, as opposed to the Greek orthodox, the Eastern orthodox, the Russian Orthodox, and the many Protestant branches, is not the only one, though arguably it is the oldest centrally organized one, for sure. My biggest argument with your thesis is simple, it is that for the first 70 or 80 years of the Church the central authority was not necessarily in one Bishop, or even in a group of them. It started in Jerusalem ,then after 125 AD, and the Dispersion, yes, it shifted to Alexandria, Carthage, and Rome.

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    1. Kenneth Henderson says:

      Interesting. I thank you for your reply. Just a couple of comments. You say “but until well into the third century there was little of the Roman Papal power structure”. I’m curious as to how you see that Roman Papal Power Structure?. The Church has always held that the Roman Pontif was the “Servant of the servants of God” in other words, not as a ruler but as a servant. I will get into this more in my next post, but here are few preview quotes from some ECFs that show that they in fact did regard the Bishop in the line of Peter as the central servant of the Church. His authority was not regarded as that of a dictator but that of a representative of the Authority of Christ. I invite you to look at the following where God is putting in authority a “Prime Minister” of the House of David in Jerusalem: Isaiah 22:20-22

      “On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe, gird him with your sash, confer on him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; what he opens, no one will shut, what he shuts, no one will open.”

      I’m sure you can see that Jesus is using the same procedure when He confers upon Peter His own authority in a very similar way in Matthew 16:17-19:

      “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. l 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.”

      I won’t go much more into depth here but I would like to refer you to a couple of more in depth resources concerning this: Scott Hahn on the Papacy and Peter’s Authority by Fr. Dwight Longenecker.

      Here are few very early ECFs that point to the Bishop of Rome as a central Authority, including Origen and Tertullian.

      “But if any disobey the word spoken by him, Peter, through us.” ~Clement of Rome, AD 96

      Tertullian

      “Was anything withheld from Peter who was called the Rock on which the Church should be built, who also obtained the keys to the kingdom of heaven with the power of binding and loosing in heaven and earth?” (The Prescription Against Heretics [A.D. 190]).

      “For though you think that heaven is still shut up, remember that the Lord left the keys of it to Peter here, and through him to the Church, which keys everyone will carry with him if he has been questioned and made a confession of faith” (Antidote Against the Scorpion 10 [A.D. 211]).

      “The Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church” (Modesty 21:9–10 [A.D. 220]).

      Clement of Alexandria

      “The blessed Peter, the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute [Matt. 17:27], quickly gasped and understood their meaning. And what does he say? ‘Behold, we have left all and have followed you’ [Matt. 19:27; Mark 10:28]” (Who Is the Rich Man That Is Saved? 21:3–5 [A.D. 200]).

      Origin in the mid 200s

      “If we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things Jesus said to Peter, compared with the second class of apostles. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in all the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens” (Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).

      I will expand on this in my next post…

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    2. Kenneth Henderson says:

      BTW, here’s another recent post that you may be interested in reading that deals with this topic in a similar way but gives other supporting evidence. https://churchpop.com/2015/09/01/this-one-quote-convinced-me-to-convert-to-catholicism/

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    3. lee says:

      Well and good.. they became blind of their own teachings..the first council was in jerusalem and their leader is james. Brother of our Lord..not peter..

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      1. Kenneth Henderson says:

        Here is a post that covers your claim in detail. I would like to suggest you please read it.
        Was James the Real Leader of the Early Church?

        Just a few things to point out…

        This claim that James was the true head of the Early Church is a relatively new claim. Although Matthew 16 is a central and key passage attesting to Peter’s unique position, the rest of the New Testament provides ample evidence for it as well. For example:

        1. Peter’s name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Mt 10:2, Mk 3:16, Lk 6:14, Acts 1:13), except Galatians 2. Matthew even calls him the “first” (10:2).

        2. Peter alone receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42, Mt 16:18).

        3. Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28, 1 Pt 5:2).

        4. Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his “faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32).

        5. Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to “strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).

        6. Peter first confesses Christ’s divinity (Mt 16:16).

        7. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).

        8. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.

        9. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).

        In Acts, Peter gave the sermon at Pentecost (Acts 1:14-36), led the replacing of Judas (1:22), worked the first miracle of the Church age (3:6-12), and condemned Ananias and Sapphira (5:2-11). His mere shadow worked miracles (5:15); he was the first person after Christ to raise the dead (9:40), and he took the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10). Peter’s name appears at least 54 times in Acts; James appears a total of four times.

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    4. Dolorosa says:

      What is the biblical basis of our faith? Why are we Catholic? Read this: http://www.cfalive.com/articles/why-catholicism/

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  7. Elizabeth says:

    Am happy to know all this, and am proud to be a Catholic, I have gone to may orher churches but my spirit will bring me back home being a Catholic there is lot of challenges but if we keep our heart fix to it you surely will remain. I pray that LORD JESUS will continue to pour out HIS SPIRIT to all in authority in the churches so that fire of love,unity,humilty,joy abound so that we really be seen a the light of the world. In the name of the FATHER,SON n HOLY SPIRIT. AMEN

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    1. eunike says:

      I quite often find articles written by catholics or even by catholic priests/prelates that boosts their church rather than Christ Himself. What an irony. They praise their church, not Christ, and claim, like this article, the catholic church was the first church founded by Christ while others are by man. Ironically they never claim that the rome catholic church is, to date, the only church institution in this world that has the darkest history and lasted for centuries, having DEPRAVED popes, having a “legal” slaughter body called “The Inquisition” that slaughtered those opposed Vatican, branding them heretics..

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      1. Kenneth Henderson says:

        The Church is 2000 years old, and the thing I find absolutely amazing is that EVEN though the Church is run by sinners, and many have done horrible things, still the Holy Spirit has prevented the Church from changing any of its Doctrines and teaching error in those 2000 years! Am I praising the Church? No, I am praising God that HE has kept His Word and has maintained Church as the Pillar and Foundation of His Truth in the world. 1 Tim 3:15 – “But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” What matters is not the people in the Church and those who “run” it, but that the Church has the Truth. The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a temple for saints.

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  8. John says:

    Yes, I have read much various Christian literature over many years knowing that they mean well with their approach to the betterment of mankind in general. Looking, listening and learning their ways of the Bible are no doubt most meaningful to say the least, however what brought me back to my original grounding of the Catholic Church was THE SACRAMENTS of THE FAITH. Baptism, Confession, Eucharist, Confirmation along with The Ten Commandments among others, most of which the others had, however the Catholic tradition has never wavered or become trendy, by allowing homosexual Bishops, Priests or Deacons to perform our Catholic Services like others have with their beliefs. Sodom and Gomorrah seems to have been discarded somewhat in that context, I’m afraid. I have been “home” now for some twenty years and enjoy my participation of reciting the Readings at Mass and distributing the Eucharist when asked to do so. I now feel somewhat complete!

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  9. eunike says:

    I no longer believe in rome catholic church. Jesus the Messiah didn’t set up a church institution, He set up His disciples and believers. Have you, Kenneth Henderson, checked what word in Hebrew was actually written by Matthew in the original text in Mat 16:16 18 for the word “church”: “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it.”

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    1. Kenneth Henderson says:

      So let’s follow the logic. If Jesus did not set up a “Church” or “Ecclesia” then how would He maintain a body of believers to keep to His Truth? In other words, if He just said “Hey guys, now that you believe in me go out and just preach. Don’t worry about the fact that if you don’t have some kind of centralized authority that you will end up teaching different things.” Because that is what would have happened from the very beginning had He NOT established an “Ecclesia” which is the term used here, which means both a “governing assembly” and the union of believers throughout the world.

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  10. Joe says:

    Great article and discussion!

    Like

    1. Kenneth Henderson says:

      Thank you!

      Like

  11. Ugwuanyi johnson says:

    Am grateful seeing this here,now I can at least defend my faith.deo gratias.

    Like

  12. JD says:

    Thank you! , great article. Do you happen to know where is the chapel shown in the picture of this article?

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    1. SSC says:

      That Chapel(the first church building) is in Damascus, Syria. The heart of Orthodoxy!

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      1. Kenneth Henderson says:

        Why yes it is… Damascus, Syria is also home to the Syrian Catholic Church which returned to communion with the Church Universal (Catholic) in the mid 17th century.

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  13. Mary Pal says:

    I LOVE MY CATHOLIC FAITH ❤

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  14. SSC says:

    Christ set up his church. St Ignatious of Antioch first used the term Catholic, which means universal, in AD 108. Note this is some 200yrs BEFORE Rome even joined the Christian fraternity. Yes, christ did probably entrust his church into St Peters care. St Peter started his ministry in Antioch(modern day Turkey). He was the first Bishop of Antioch. There is no evidence to say that St Peter ever held episcopal office of Pope in Rome. This makes sense because at the time of St Peters alleged papacy in Rome, Christianity was banned(AD 30-60). Constantine legalised Christianity in Rome only after AD 313, some 300yrs after St Peters alleged papacy in Rome. When I say alleged, I mean what the Roman catholic church alleges. Henderson, when you say ‘the church from the very beginning was Catholic’ I’m assuming you mean Roman Catholic? That wouldn’t make sense now would it as Rome was paganistic from the ‘very beginning’. The true church of Christ is indeed Catholic but never was Roman Catholic. The Romans woke up 300yrs later & self proclaimed themselves to be the first see & heart of Christianity & of course declaring as well that St Peter wanted Rome to be Christ’s church. They conveniently forget that St Peter started his Christian ministry in Antioch & the East & then much later moved to Rome but there is no evidence that he actually held any episcopal position in Rome at the time. So you see Henderson, if any church should claim to be Christ’s true first Catholic Church, it must be the churches of the East(Orthodox) . This is where the first appointed bishop by Christ himself(St Peter) , held official episcopal office. Rome has corrupted that divine word Catholic & are using it to mean themselves only forgetting that at the time the word was first used they were still worshipping Idols & monsters & took them 300yrs to even think about following Christ ! Rome, the Vatican & it’s papal structure are indeed gradually changing doctrine because they have declared themselves & ONLY themselves to have the right to change doctrine & dogma. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO CHANGE DOCTRINES CREATED BY THE APOSTLES & CHURCH FATHER’S. What is happening in the Vatican in terms of Vatican 2(Novus Ordo) is proof that if you allow sinful mortals to claim infallibility & change doctrine, bad things start to happen. I think some of us need to re examine historical facts & have a good think about what the actual truth really is. God save us & his one true Catholic & Apostolic Church.

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    1. Kenneth Henderson says:

      “Henderson, when you say ‘the church from the very beginning was Catholic’ I’m assuming you mean Roman Catholic?” …no, the liturgical Roman Rite did not exist until much later. I meant the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church today consists of many different liturgical rites. Not just the Roman, or more specifically Latin Rite, which most people refer to as Roman Catholic. Here are the current liturgical rites in the Catholic Church.

      The Alexandrian liturgical rite:
      – Coptic Catholic Church
      – Ethiopian Catholic Church
      – Eritrean Catholic Church

      The Antiochian liturgical rite:
      – Maronite Church
      – Syrian Catholic Church
      – Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

      Armenian liturgical rite:
      – Armenian Catholic Church

      Chaldean or East Syrian liturgical rite:
      – Chaldean Catholic Church
      – Syro-Malabar Catholic Church

      Byzantine liturgical rite:
      – Albanian Greek Catholic Church
      – Belarusian Greek Catholic Church
      – Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church
      – Byzantine Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia
      – Greek Byzantine Catholic Church
      – Hungarian Greek Catholic Church
      – Italo-Albanian Catholic Church
      – Macedonian Greek Catholic Church
      – Melkite Greek Catholic Church
      – Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic
      – Russian Greek Catholic Church
      – Ruthenian Catholic Church
      – Slovak Greek Catholic Church
      – Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

      ALL of these liturgical rites are a part of the CATHOLIC Church, in union together and ALL of them recognize the primacy of the Bishop of Rome.

      I will sometimes go to a Maronite Rite Catholic Church. It is quite beautiful. The Mass is in Aramaic. And I can do so because it is a Catholic Church. Just a different rite within the Catholic Church.

      These rites developed over time depending upon what area, country, culture that the people lived in.

      You say a lot of things that just aren’t true and I will make a complete post in the blog addressing much of what you said.

      One more thing. Can you please show specifically what doctrines the Catholic Church changed?

      Like

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