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. . “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believed not shall be condemned” (Mark xvi., 16). Christ therefore must have given to His Church a supreme authority to which all Christians must render obedience. For the end for which the Church exists is as much higher than the end of other societies as divine grace is above nature, as immortal blessings are above the transitory things on the earth. “Christ constituted [Peter] not only pastor, but pastor of pastors; Peter therefore feeds the lambs and feeds the sheep, feeds the children and feeds the mothers, governs the subjects and rules the prelates, because the lambs and the sheep form the whole of the Church” (S. Brunonis Episcopi Signiensis Comment. The Apostles received a mission to teach by visible and audible signs, and they discharged their mission only by words and acts which certainly appealed to the senses. Eccl., cap. “There is nothing more grievous than the sacrilege of schism….there can be no just necessity for destroying the unity of the Church” (S. Augustinus, Contra Epistolam Parmeniani, lib. they are not mere vicars of the Pope. 3). Two errors: (1) Some affirm exclusively the spiritual nature of the But in judging and determining the nature of this unity many have erred in various ways. i., v. 42). Hold fast, therefore, O dearly beloved, hold fast altogether God as your Father, and the Church as your Mother” (Enarratio in Psal. These can indeed be overcome by the assaults of the powers of hell, as in point of fact has befallen some of them. 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. These, then, are the duties of a shepherd: to place himself as leader at the head of his flock, to provide proper food for it, to ward off dangers, to guard against insidious foes, to defend it against violence: in a word to rule and govern it. To buy the sheep which He handed over to Peter and his successors” (S. Joannes Chrysostomus, De Sacerdotio, lib. He interrogates, not to learn but to teach. for his mother. “For the pronouncement of Our Lord Jesus Christ saying: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ &c., cannot be passed over. Donatist., lib. Wherefore Chrysostom writes: “Secede not from the Church: for nothing is stronger than the Church. The Church is a perfect society, the most perfect of all societies, 3). “But if I do (the works) though you will not believe Me, believe the works” (Ibid. 7. 8). successors, the Bishops, whose power is not supreme or universal, but yet “And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever, the Spirit of ‘Truth” (Ibid. 42, 44). In his 1896 Encyclical, Satis Cognitum (On the Unity of the Church), Leo XIII wrote: Every Revealed Truth, without Exception, Must be Accepted . It is sufficiently well known unto you that no small share of Our thoughts and of Our care is devoted to Our endeavour to bring back to the fold, placed under the guardianship of Jesus Christ, the Chief Pastor of souls, sheep that have strayed. Eccl. was given the Apostles independently of Peter A. Bishop who separates from lib. xi., 30). And to set forth more clearly the unity of the Church, he makes use of the illustration of a living body, the members of which cannot possibly live unless united to the head and drawing from it their vital force. “If I had not done among them the works than no other man had done, they would not have sin” (Ibid. The head, Christ: from whom the whole body, being compacted and fitly jointed together, by what every joint supplieth according to the operation in the measure of every part” (Eph. The first Bishops were sent out by the Apostles. In his 1896 Encyclical, Satis Cognitum (On the Unity of the Church), Leo XIII wrote: Every Revealed Truth, without Exception, Must be Accepted. So, too, St. Cyprian: “To be in communion with Cornelius is to be in communion with the Catholic Church” (Ep. But, in what has Christ placed the primary principle, and the means of preserving this unity? And so Hilary: “Christ teaching from the ship signifies that those who are outside the Church can never grasp the divine teaching; for the ship typifies the Church where the word of life is deposited and preached. xii., 2) feel Our heart fired by His charity. Venerable Brethren, Health, and Benediction. “I acknowledge everyone who is united with the See of Peter” (Ep. On the other hand, whatever authority and office the Apostles received, they received in conjunction with Peter. Pope Leo XIII - 1896 To Our Venerable Brethren, the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See. The disciples “There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition” (Auctor Tract. ii., n. 4-5). But St. Paul says: “All members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body, so also is Christ” (I Cor. In sending them, Christ conferred on If those about to come back to their most loving Mother (not yet fully known, or culpably abandoned) should perceive that their return involves, not indeed the shedding of their blood (at which price nevertheless the Church was bought by Jesus Christ), but some lesser trouble and labour, let them clearly understand that this burden has been laid on them not by the will of man but by the will and command of God. i., 22-23). Nor is it lawful to interpret in a different sense what was given to Peter alone, and what was given to the other Apostles conjointly with him. Eccl. Vat., Sess. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. Biblical usage and the unanimous teaching of the Fathers clearly show that supreme authority is designated in the passage by the word keys. v., 29-30). 16:18-20; John 21:15-17) upon St. Peter as head of the Christian Church. ii., I-2). Ambrose. “The Son committed to Peter the office of spreading the knowledge of His Father and Himself over the whole world. 21). willed. he hath received the keys of the heavenly kingdom-the power of binding and loosing is conferred upon him: the care of the whole government of the Church is confided to him” (Epist. The heretics are condemned by mutilating that fullness of Which sheep? But this is not all: the object for which the Church has been instituted is not wholly attained by the performance of this duty. When He was about to ascend into Heaven He left us, as it were, a vice-gerent of His love….and so because Peter alone of all others professes his love he is preferred to all-that being the most perfect he should govern the more perfect” (S. Ambrosius, Exposit. xv., 26-27). Wherefore this mystical body, he declares, is “compacted and fitly jointed together. But since He willed that His kingdom should be visible He was obliged, when He ascended into Heaven, to designate a vice-gerent on earth. Similarly the Fourth Council of Lateran declares: “The Roman Church, as the mother and mistress of all the faithful, by the will of Christ obtains primacy of jurisdiction over all other Churches.” These declarations were preceded by the consent of antiquity which ever acknowledged, without the slightest doubt or hesitation, the Bishops of Rome, and revered them, as the legitimate successors of St. Peter. But faith alone cannot compass so great, excellent, and important an end. And if all learning, no matter how easy and common it may be, in order to be fully understood requires a teacher and master, what can be greater evidence of pride and rashness than to be unwilling to learn about the books of the divine mysteries from the proper interpreter, and to wish to condemn them unknown?” (De Unitate Credendi, cap. Origen writes: “As often as the heretics allege the possession of the canonical scriptures, to which all Christians give unanimous assent, they seem to say: `Behold the word of truth is in the houses.’ But we should believe them not and abandon not the primary and ecclesiastical tradition. For it is the nature and object of a foundation to support the unity of the whole edifice and to give stability to it, rather than to each component part; and in the present case this is much more applicable, since Christ the Lord wished that by the strength and solidity of the foundation the gates of hell should be prevented from prevailing against the Church. 3). i., cap. The Church is a society which is both supernatural and Satis Cognitum supernatural life that animates the Church. St. John Chrysostom in explaining the words of Christ asks: “Why, passing over the others, does He speak to Peter about these things?” And he replies unhesitatingly and at once, “Because he was pre-eminent among the Apostles, the mouthpiece of the Disciples, and the head of the college” (Hom. Above all things the need of union between the bishops and the successors of Peter is clear and undeniable. And, therefore, it was no more allowable to repudiate one iota of the Apostles’ teaching than it was to reject any point of the doctrine of Christ Himself. Christ is a person with “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. It is spoken of as the House of God, the city placed upon the mountain to which all nations must come. Michael Dimond and Bro. Faith, as the Church teaches, is “that supernatural virtue by which, through the help of God and through the assistance of His grace, we believe what he has revealed to be true, not on account of the intrinsic truth perceived by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God Himself, the Revealer, who can neither deceive nor be deceived” (Conc. ii., in cap. He issued a record eleven encyclicals on the rosary earning the moniker the "Rosary Pope". Jak Chrystus utworzył swój Kościół. For this reason the Fathers of the Vatican Council laid down nothing new, but followed divine revelation and the acknowledged and invariable teaching of the Church as to the very nature of faith, when they decreed as follows: “All those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the written or unwritten word of God, and which are proposed by the Church as divinely revealed, either by a solemn definition or in the exercise of its ordinary and universal Magisterium” (Sess. Constantinopolitani iv). xx). Scattered and separated members cannot possibly cohere with the head so as to make one body. How to Pray the Rosary, Hail Mary, Our Father, Saints, Prayers, Coloring Books, Novenas, Espanol and more. EWTN | 5817 Old Leeds Rd. “To Peter the Lord spoke: to one, therefore, that He might establish unity upon one” (S. Pacianus ad Sempronium, Ep. There are, it is true, mountains which are unknown because they are situated in some remote part of the earth…..But this mountain is not unknown; for it has filled the whole face of the world, and about this it is said that it is prepared on the summit of the mountains” (In Ep. This power over the Episcopal College to which we refer, and which is clearly set forth in Holy Writ, has ever been acknowledged and attested by the Church, as is clear from the teaching of General Councils. 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.”. 10. “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. De capto Eutropio, n. 6). liv., in Matt. Agreement and union of minds is the necessary foundation of this perfect concord amongst men, from which concurrence of wills and similarity of action are the natural results. Not the foundation of the Church alone, but its whole constitution, belongs to the class of things effected by Christ’s free choice. 2. 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.). ii). And, when He had invoked upon them from Heaven the Spirit of Truth, He bade them go through the whole world and faithfully preach to all nations, what He had taught and what He had commanded, so that by the profession of His doctrine, and the observance of His laws, the human race might attain to holiness on earth and never-ending happiness in Heaven. Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis (1943), #69. Grace is produced in the souls of the faithful by exterior means consisting of sacraments administered with special rites, and celebrated by ministers specifically chosen for this function. Another, too, says: ‘Far be it from me; I do not consult fortune – telling, I seek not soothsaying, I seek not profane divinations, I go not to the worship of devils, I serve not stones: but I am on the side of Donatus.’ What doth it profit thee not to offend the Father, who avenges an offence against the Mother? Clinging to thy Mother, thou offendest thy Father. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? And Optatus of Milevis says: “You cannot deny that you know that in the city of Rome the Episcopal chair was first conferred on Peter. iii., 7), having delivered the keys to Peter declared him Prince of the Christian commonwealth. Also Augustine says: “Unbelievers think that the Christian religion will last for a certain period in the world and will then disappear. Satis Cognitum On the Unity of the Church. To him He gave the power of binding and loosing; to him alone was given the power of feeding. Hence before His Ascension He said to Peter: ‘Feed my sheep’ ” (St. Thomas, Contra Gentiles, lib. To refuse to the Church the primacy is most impious and above measure arrogant. influence on souls. Każda objawiona prawda, bez wyjątku, musi zostać zaakceptowana. But if the authority of Peter and his successors is plenary and supreme, it is not to be regarded as the sole authority. lxxxviii. Satis Cognitum -- On the Unity of the Church (29 June 1896) Fidentem Piumque Annum -- On the Rosary (20 September 1896) Divinum Illud Munus -- On the Holy Ghost (9 May 1897) Fidentem piumque animum: On the Rosary: 20 September 1896 65. Does the soul follow the amputated member? The Church is also a kingdom. If he be in communion with it, he should be acknowledged by all and everywhere as faithful and orthodox. 869, Cf. x., 10). On the other hand, the submission of the faithful to two authorities, Although they do not receive plenary, or universal, or supreme authority, they are not to be looked as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs; because they exercise a power really their own, and are most truly called the ordinary pastors of the peoples over whom they rule. The connection and union of both elements is as absolutely necessary to the true Church as the intimate union of the soul and body is to human nature. has given and made. Hence as the Apostles and Disciples were bound to obey Christ, so also those whom the Apostles taught were, by God’s command, bound to obey them. Rightly, therefore, has Leo X. laid down in the 5th council of Lateran “that the Roman Pontiff alone, as having authority over all Councils, has full jurisdiction and power to summon, to transfer, to dissolve Councils, as is clear, not only from the testimony of Holy Writ, from the teaching of the Fathers and of the Roman Pontiffs, and from the decrees of the sacred canons, but from the teaching of the very Councils themselves.” Indeed, Holy Writ attests that the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven were given to Peter alone, and that the power of binding and loosening was granted to the Apostles and to Peter; but there is nothing to show that the Apostles received supreme power without Peter, and against Peter. Christ promised Peter that his faith would not fail at any Militantis Ecclesiae: On St. Peter Canisius: 1 August 1897 67. iii., cap. The Church is typified not only as an edifice but as a Kingdom, and every one knows that the keys constitute the usual sign of governing authority. So that those obeying the Apostles might be saved, and those disobeying should perish. These things enable us to see the heavenly ideal, and the divine exemplar, of the constitution of the Christian commonwealth, namely: When the Divine founder decreed that the Church should be one in faith, in government, and in communion, He chose Peter and his successors as the principle and centre, as it were, of this unity. He who seeks the truth must be guided by these fundamental principles. 8. that rock. Wherever they went they proclaimed themselves the ambassadors of Christ Himself. “It is not congruous that two superiors with equal authority should be placed over the same flock; but that two, one of whom is higher than the other, should be placed over the same people is not incongruous. in Evang. Irenaeus too says: “The doctrine of the Apostles is the true faith…which is known to us through the Episcopal succession…which has reached even unto our age by the very fact that the Scriptures have been zealously guarded and fully interpreted” (Contra Haereses, lib. ii., cap. “Lord, if we be in error, we are being deceived by Thee” (Richardus de S. Victore, De Trin., lib. iv., cap. Indeed no true and perfect human society can be conceived which is not governed by some supreme authority. Used especially in modern times to express the mind of the Pope to the people. ii., 2). A papal document treating of matters related to the general welfare of the Church, sent by the Pope to the bishops. So there is in the Church, by the will of Christ, an authentic and Unless otherwise specified, the articles and files on this website are written by Bro. A hundred years ago, on September 8, 1907, Pope Saint Pius X (1903–1914) published the Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis (Feeding the Lord’s Flock) against the devastating doctrines of Modernism.. Octobri Mense (On the Rosary) Pope Leo XIII, September 22, 1891 Humanae Vitae (On the Regulation of Human Births) Pope Paul VI, July 25, 1968 Sicut Dudum (Against the Enslaving of Black Natives from the Canary Islands) Pope Eugene IV, January 13, 1435 Casti Connubii (On Christian Marriage) Pope Pius XI, December 31, 1930 The physical Christ the Head is the principle of the Hispan., n. 4). iv., cap. To this end He established in the Church all principles which necessarily tend to make organized human societies, and through which they attain the perfection proper to each. For this I know is the rock on which the Church is built” (Ep. For the Apostles consecrated bishops, and each one appointed those who were to succeed them immediately “in the ministry of the word.”. It is assuredly as impossible that the Church of Jesus Christ can be the one or the other, as that man should be a body alone or a soul alone. The Church, therefore, is bound to communicate without stint to all men, and to transmit through all ages, the salvation effected by Jesus Christ, and the blessings flowing there from. It is clear, indeed, that Christ is the author of grace in the Sacraments of the Church; it is Christ Himself who baptizes; it is He who forgives sins; it is He who is the true priest who bath offered Himself upon the altar of the cross, and it is by His power that His body is daily consecrated upon the altar; and still, because He was not to be visibly present to all the faithful, He made choice of ministers through whom the aforesaid Sacraments should be dispensed to the faithful as said above” (cap. As He took to Himself a mortal body, which He gave to suffering and death in order to pay the price of man’s redemption, so also He has one mystical body in which and through which He renders men partakers of holiness and of eternal salvation. Assuredly the infinite power of God is not bound by anything, all things obey it as so many passive instruments. 5, n. I). Moreover, he who is set over the whole flock must have authority, not only over the sheep dispersed throughout the Church, but also when they are assembled together. v., 25). Chrystus Głową Kościoła. 11. It was the culmination of an offensive that caused irreparable damage to Modernism. Joan., tract i., n. 13). is one person and His mission was universal, so also the Church is one 28, v. 20). And faith itself – that is assent given to the first and supreme truth – though residing essentially in the intellect, must be manifested by outward profession-“For with the heart we believe unto justice, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 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. VIRGÓ SACRÁTA is a Christian mission-driven online resource and shop inspired from the beauty of Catholic faith, tradition, and arts. In his Encyclical Satis Cognitum,on the oneness and unity of the Church, Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) teaches: “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…. The Church is not something dead: it is the body of Christ endowed with supernatural life. To which – I do not say – of the Bishops, but even of the Apostles have all the sheep been so absolutely and unreservedly committed? In the same way in man, nothing is more internal than heavenly grace which begets sanctity, but the ordinary and chief means of obtaining grace are external: that is to say, the sacraments which are administered by men specially chosen for that purpose, by means of certain ordinances. And so the Apostle St. Paul not merely begs, but entreats and implores Christians to be all of the same mind, and to avoid difference of opinions: “I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms amongst you, and that you be perfect in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Cor. Wherefore they who pretend that the Church has any wish to interfere in Civil matters, or to infringe upon the rights of the State, know it not, or wickedly calumniate it. “Is it the rock upon which Christ builds the Church or the Church? i., 10). As Christ, the Head and Exemplar, is not wholly in His visible human nature, which Photinians and Nestorians assert, nor wholly in the invisible divine nature, as the Monophysites hold, but is one, from and in both natures, visible and invisible; so the mystical body of Christ is the true Church, only because its visible parts draw life and power from the supernatural gifts and other things whence spring their very nature and essence. x., 5), they more truly obey themselves than God. He has cut himself off from the promises of the Church, and he who leaves the Church of Christ cannot arrive at the rewards of Christ….He who observes not this unity observes not the law of God, holds not the faith of the Father and the Son, clings not to life and salvation” (S. Cyprianus, De Cath. What is cut away from the mother cannot live or breathe apart” (Ibid.). Finally it is the body of Christ – that is, of course, His mystical body, but a body living and duly organized and composed of many members; members indeed which have not all the same functions, but which, united one to the other, are kept bound together by the guidance and authority of the head. Peter would lose his authority in the Church. It was necessary that a government of this kind, since it belongs to the constitution and formation of the Church, as its principal element – that is as the principle of unity and the foundation of lasting stability – should in no wise come to an end with St. Peter, but should pass to his successors from one to another. In that-“He gave some Apostles-and other some pastors and doctors, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (11-12). Body of Christ. They may thus, by the help of heavenly grace, realize and feel the truth of the divine saying, “My yoke is sweet and my burden light” (Matt. We have treated at length of its unity: we have explained sufficiently its nature, and pointed out the way in which the Divine Founder of the Church willed that it should be preserved. 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. Therefore, as they defend with all necessary care and vigilance their own authority, so they have always laboured, and will continue to labour, that the authority of the bishops may be upheld. Union with the Roman See of Peter is to him always the public criterion of a Catholic. papal and episcopal, does not imply confusion in the government of the “Could not Christ who confided to him the Kingdom by His own authority have strengthened the faith of one whom He designated a rock to show the foundation of the Church?” (S. Ambrosius, De Fide, lib. Supreme authority to which all nations must come presided over by one Shepherd, and the unanimous teaching the. 37 ) so Jesus Christ be subject and to propagate it in truth propagated, and important end! 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