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The Catholic Church: Holding the Keys to Heaven for 2000 Years

Posted on February 22, 2016 at 12:49 PM Comments comments (0)

Today’s Gospel (Matthew 16:13-19):
 
‘When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’’
 

In 1870, Vatican I declared that this Gospel passage was clear biblical support for the primacy of Peter and successive popes.  The Council’s interpretation touches on the following five points of doctrine:

  1. The Magisterium built upon Peter is instituted by Jesus Christ;
  2. Peter is given a unique role as chief teacher and ruler over the Church;
  3. Peter is the visible head of the Church;
  4. Peter’s authority is passed on through successors; and
  5. through Peter, Christ himself assures the infallible preservation of the gospel in the Church.


While it may sometimes be tough to be Catholic, especially in today’s secular relativist world which seeks to discredit the Church at every turn, we still have every reason to be joyful.  Why?  Because this is a Church that was established by the saviour of the world, Jesus Christ!  Indeed, it is the only church established by Jesus Christ. 


But Jesus didn’t leave it at that.  In addition to establishing a church he knew that the Church needed help from above to protect it from evil and to ensure its ongoing safety and wellbeing in protecting the gospel with which it is entrusted.  So he promised the Church that he will always be with it, ensuring that the gates of death, deception and destruction will never overcome it.  He then proceeds to give his close disciple Simon Peter the authority to make binding decisions with respect to the Church and gives him the keys to the kingdom of heaven.


Jesus, in just a few short sentences, establishes the Catholic Church, promises to sustain it, and even gives a mere mortal being the authority to be its chief teacher and chief administrator on earth.  So we can say with confidence that through the authority of Peter (often referred to as the ‘Chair of Peter’) and his successors, heaven governs the Church on earth. 


So be confident and joyful in your Church, and trust her authority always, for she is being guided by Christ who ensures her safe passage through time to that moment when he will come again on the clouds to be fully united with her.  And it is at that moment that our Lord will gather in his chosen people to take them to Paradise to be with him forever. 


The keys to Heaven are in the hands of the Church where they have been for the last 2000 years, from the moment Jesus entrusted them to Peter.  No matter how tough or testing it may sometimes feel to be part of the Catholic Church there is no denying that she is the surest way to Heaven and to Jesus.    

Petition urges Pope Francis and Bishops to adhere to Truth at Synod

Posted on August 28, 2015 at 9:39 AM Comments comments (0)
 
The TFP Student Action Group has set up a petition asking Pope Francis to reinforce Church teaching on marriage and the family at the upcoming Synod in Rome.
 
 
The petition has been started in response to some Bishops and also the mainstream media who are trying to force through change to fit with what society perceives as truth, as opposed to what Christ and his Church teaches as Truth.
 
 
Attacks on the family have been coming thick and fast over the last fifty or sixty years and this most basic yet most cherished aspect of life which has served us so well for so long is slowly being eroded to nothing.  Consider contraception, a moral evil which has perhaps served as the catalyst for so much evil that has followed since.  Consider abortion, where millions of innocent lives are destroyed every year across the world, all in the name of ‘choice’.  And then there is the redefinition of marriage, a recent phenomenon where God’s very own definition of marriage between one man and one woman has been torn up and thrown to the wind.  Add to that the ever increasing push to remove terms such as ‘father’ and ‘mother’ out of circulation and you have the most horrifying and testing time for the family unit since time began.
 
 
And what have we done about it?  What do we have to show for our efforts to stop these evils?  Pretty much nothing.  Nada.  1.2 billion Catholic people supposedly live on this earth and yet we struggle to uphold some of God’s most basic truths, His most basic instructions. 
 
 
And the worst of it?  So many of our own brothers and sisters are defying God’s Truth and supporting these concepts.  Contraception is seen as a necessity, abortion is seen as someone else’s choice, and the redefinition of marriage just seems like the right thing to do. They say: ‘to hell with what God and the Church might think, Jesus was a nice guy and he would want us to give the thumbs up to preventing procreation, to killing innocent babies and condoning sexual activity between people of the same sex.’   
Yes, Jesus would just love to see the ruination of the family unit; after all he didn’t care a jot about his stepfather Joseph and his mother Mary!
 
 
No, Jesus is God.  And Jesus held firm to the Truth he himself gave to the world.  His manner of holding firm to the Truth is something we can and should take note of; full of love, compassion and kindness.  But also firm and determined.  Firm in the Truth he came to earth to reveal to us and which he subsequently entrusted to his Church, and determined to never let the devil have his way by destroying that Truth.
 
 
Brothers and sisters, please consider joining hundreds of thousands of Catholics who, like Jesus, are determined to hold firm to the Truth.  Will you be strong in your faith and reject any notion of allowing evil to creep into our society?  Are you prepared to let nothing stand in the way of you being true to God, just as the saints did? 
Let us rise determinedly as one body in Christ to protect his Truth and to allow the family to flourish.  Mother, father, brother, sister; this is God's divine plan.  
 
 
Please join a growing list of religious and civil leaders by signing the petition and let's encourage the Holy Father and the Bishops to remain faithful to God and His Church. 
 
 
 

Why does the Catholic Church not ordain women as priests? Here's seven good reasons why not...

Posted on July 3, 2015 at 11:07 AM Comments comments (0)
Catholic Answers' director of apologetics Tim Staples considers the question of women priests in the Catholic Church and reveals seven reasons why this is not possible.
 
The seven reasons are:
 
1. The Church has definitively declared it
 
2. The Church's constant Tradition for 2,000 years cannot err
 
3. The attitude of Christ
 
4. The practice of the Apostles
 
5. The permanent value of the attitude of Jesus Christ and the Apostles
 
6. The ministerial priesthood in the light of the mystery of Christ
 
7. The ministerial priesthood as illustrated by the mystery of the Church
 
 
Click this link to read the full article: http://www.catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/call-no-woman-father
 

Former Anglican priest reveals why he believes the Catholic Church is the only true Church

Posted on February 13, 2015 at 8:08 AM Comments comments (1)
 
There are many wonderful stories of people converting to the Catholic faith and there are many reasons why people do this.  But for one Anglican priest it was the concept of authority which most influenced his decision to convert; for he found that only the Catholic Church had the authority of Christ. 
 
In his conversion story Father Dwight Longenecker reveals how the question of the ordination of women in the Anglican Church led him to a real consideration of authority in the Church and that this ultimately led him to understand and accept the authority of the Catholic Church.
 
Father Longenecker recalls a conversation he had with the Abbot of Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight on the subject of the ordination of women.  He said that what the Abbot said hit the nail on the head and was the catalyst for a deeper exploration of the authority of the Catholic Church.
 
The Abbot told Father Longenecker that 'Sometimes we have to deny some lesser good in order to affirm the greater good. I think you have to deny women’s ordination in order to affirm the apostolic ministry. If the apostolic authority says no to women’s ordination, then to affirm the greater good of apostolic authority you will have to deny the lesser good of women’s ordination. Because if we deny the greater good, then eventually we will lose the lesser good as well.'
 
As he studied the history of the Catholic Church in more detail Father Longenecker discovered that there were twelve crucial traits of Church authority and while other Christian churches could lay claim to some of these traits, only the Catholic Church could evidence all twelve.
 
The twelve traits are:
 
Rooted in History
Adaptable
Objective
Flexible
Universal
Local
Intellectually Challenging
Accessible to the Uneducated
Visible
Invisible
Both Human and Divine
Built Upon the Rock
 
To read what Father Longenecker has to say about these twelve traits and how the Catholic Church demonstrates each of them, click this link to read his article at catholic.com: http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/how-do-we-know-it%E2%80%99s-the-true-church
 

What’s in a name? (Dwelling on the Word of God, Sunday 18th January 2015)

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 6:59 AM Comments comments (0)
 
Sunday’s Gospel (John 1:35-42):
 
'As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher –’where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.
 
One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ – which means the Christ – and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’ – meaning Rock.'
 
 
This first encounter between Jesus and Simon is quite fascinating.  What is the first thing Jesus does on meeting Simon?  Is it to shake his hand?  Is it to say hello?  Is it to ask him how his day has been?  Rather interestingly it is none of these.  In fact, Jesus’ first action is to look hard at Simon and to give him a new name! 
 
Have you ever wondered why your name was chosen for you? Your name has some special significance and will have been given to you for a reason; much like Simon was given the name Cephas (or Peter) by Jesus for a reason.  Jesus wanted Simon to be the rock on which his Church was to be built; the first pope!  That is why his name just had to be Cephas (Peter), which means rock. 
 
Stop for a moment today and think about your name and why it has been given to you.  If it’s a biblical name, look for your name in scripture and see what part your namesake plays in God’s divine plan.  If it’s the name of a saint, do a little digging into that saint and explore the kind of life they led and take some inspiration from them.  If your name is neither biblical nor the name of a saint then perhaps you could be the first saint with that name! 
 
You see, whatever way you look at it, our names have significance in God’s divine plan for our lives.  Our names are important, that’s why Jesus felt compelled to change Simon’s name.  He knew that Peter was more appropriate and that this name was in keeping with the Father’s plan for His Church for all eternity.
 
You are also part of the Father’s plan for all eternity. That’s why you have been given life! He has a specific role that only you can play in His Master Plan.  And it might just be that your name holds the key to that role.
 

Learning the Catholic Faith: Is the Bible True?

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)
 
Is Sacred Scripture True?
 
“The books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach [the] truth.  Written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author” (Second Vatican Council, DV 11).
 
The Bible did not fall from heaven in its final form, nor did God dictate it to human scribes who copied it down mechanically.  Rather “God chose certain men who…made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more” (Second Vatican Council , DV 11).  One factor in recognising particular texts as Sacred Scripture was their general acceptance in the Church.  In the Christian communities there had to be a consensus: “Yes, through this text God himself speaks to us – this is inspired by the Holy Spirit!”  Which of the many original Christian writings are really inspired by the Holy Spirit has been defined since the fourth century in the so-called canon of Sacred Scriptures.
 
 
How can Sacred Scripture be “truth” if not everything in it is right?
 
The Bible is not meant to convey precise historical information or scientific findings to us.  Moreover, the authors were children of their time.  They shared the cultural ideas of the world around them and often were also dominated by its errors.  Nevertheless, everything that man must know about God and the way of his salvation is found with infallible certainty in Sacred Scripture.
 
From The Catholic Youth Catechism (questions 14 and 15)

Learn the Catholic Faith: Can the Church be Wrong?

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 8:23 AM Comments comments (0)
 
The faithful as a whole cannot err in faith, because Jesus promised his disciples that he would send them the Spirit of truth and keep them in the truth (Jn 14:17).
 
Just as the disciples believed Jesus with their whole heart, a Christian can rely completely on the Church when he asks about the way to life.  Since Jesus Christ himself gave his apostles the commission to teach, the Church has a teaching authority (the Magisterium) and must not remain silent.  Although individual members of the Church can err and even make serious mistakes, the Church as a whole can never fall away from God’s truth.  The Church carries through the ages a living truth that is greater than herself.  We speak about a depositum fidei, a deposit of faith that is to be preserved.  If such a truth is publicly disputed or distorted, the Church is called upon to clarify again “what has always and everywhere been believed by all” (St Vincent of Lerins, d. 450).
 
From The Catholic Youth Catechism (Question 13)
 

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