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The Catechism of the Catholic Church Today on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic.


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III. The Church Is Catholic


What does "Catholic" mean?


830 The word "catholic" means "universal," in the sense of "according to the totality" or "in keeping with the whole." The Church is catholic in a double sense:


  1. First, the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. "Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church." (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Smyrn. 8,2: Apostolic Fathers, II/2,311) In her subsists the fullness of Christ's body united with its head; this implies that she receives from him "the fullness of the means of salvation" (Vatican II, Unitatis Redintegratio 3; Ad Gentes 6; Ephesians 1:22-23) which he has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession. The Church was, in this fundamental sense, catholic on the day of Pentecost (Vatican II, Ad Gentes 4) and will always be so until the day of the Parousia.

  2. 831 Secondly, the Church is catholic because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of the human race: (cf. Matthew 28:19)

    All men are called to belong to the new People of God. This People, therefore, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and to all ages in order that the design of God's will may be fulfilled: he made human nature one in the beginning and has decreed that all his children who were scattered should be finally gathered together as one. . . . The character of universality which adorns the People of God is a gift from the Lord himself whereby the Catholic Church ceaselessly and efficaciously seeks for the return of all humanity and all its goods, under Christ the Head in the unity of his Spirit. (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 13 §§ 1-2; cf. John 11:52)

Each particular Church is "catholic"


832 "The Church of Christ is really present in all legitimately organized local groups of the faithful, which, in so far as they are united to their pastors, are also quite appropriately called Churches in the New Testament. . . . In them the faithful are gathered together through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, and the mystery of the Lord's Supper is celebrated. . . . In these communities, though they may often be small and poor, or existing in the diaspora, Christ is present, through whose power and influence the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is constituted." (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 26)


833 The phrase "particular Church," which is first of all the diocese (or eparchy), refers to a community of the Christian faithful in communion of faith and sacraments with their bishop ordained in apostolic succession. (Vatican II, Christus Dominus 11) These particular Churches "are constituted after the model of the universal Church; it is in these and formed out of them that the one and unique Catholic Church exists." (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 23)


834 Particular Churches are fully catholic through their communion with one of them, the Church of Rome "which presides in charity." (St. Ignatius Of Antioch, Ad Romans 1,1:Apostolic Fathers,II/2,192; cf. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 13) "For with this church, by reason of its pre-eminence, the whole Church, that is the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord." (St. Irenæus, Adv. Hæres.) Indeed, "from the incarnate Word's descent to us, all Christian churches everywhere have held and hold the great Church that is here [at Rome] to be their only basis and foundation since, according to the Savior's promise, the gates of Hell have never prevailed against her." (St. Maximus the Confessor)


835 "Let us be very careful not to conceive of the universal Church as the simple sum, or . . . the more or less anomalous federation of essentially different particular churches. In the mind of the Lord the Church is universal by vocation and mission, but when she put down her roots in a variety of cultural, social, and human terrains, she takes on different external expressions and appearances in each part of the world." (Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi 62) The rich variety of ecclesiastical disciplines, liturgical rites, and theological and spiritual heritages proper to the local churches "unified in a common effort, shows all the more resplendently the catholicity of the undivided Church." (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 23)


Who belongs to the Catholic Church?


836 "All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God. . . . And to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God's grace to salvation."(Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 13)


837 "Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who - by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion - are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but 'in body' not 'in heart.'" (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 14)


838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter." (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 15) Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church." (Vatican II, Unitatis Redintegratio 3) With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."(Pope Paul VI in December 14, 1975 discourse and Vatican II, Unitatis Redintegratio 13-18)


In Brief


866 The Church is one: she acknowledges one Lord, confesses one faith, is born of one Baptism, forms only one Body, is given life by the one Spirit, for the sake of one hope (cf. Ephesians 4:3-5), at whose fulfillment all divisions will be overcome.


867 The Church is holy: the Most Holy God is her author; Christ, her bridegroom, gave himself up to make her holy; the Spirit of holiness gives her life. Since she still includes sinners, she is "the sinless one made up of sinners." Her holiness shines in the saints; in Mary she is already all-holy.


868 The Church is catholic: 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." (Vatican II, Ad Gente 2)


869 The Church is apostolic. She is built on a lasting foundation: "the twelve apostles of the Lamb". (Revelation 21:14) She is indestructible. (cf. Matthew 16:18) She is upheld infallibly in the truth: Christ governs her through Peter and the other apostles, who are present in their successors, the Pope and the college of bishops.


870 "The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, . . . subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines." (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 8)



  1. St. Ignatius of Antioch, (A.D. 50-107)
    St. Irenæus of Lyons, (A.D. 125-202)
    The Martyrdom of Polycarp, (A.D. 147)
    St. Clement of Alexandria, (A.D. 150-220)
    Tertullian, (A.D. 160-218)
    St. Hippolytus of Rome, (A.D. 170-236)
    St. Cyprian of Carthage, (A.D. 200-258)
    Firmilian of Cæsarea, (A.D. 210-272)
    Pope St. Dionysius of Alexandria, (late second century - A.D. 268)
    Lactantius, (A.D. 240-c.330)
    St. Alexander of Alexandria, (c. A.D. 250-325)
    Eusebius of Cæsarea, (A.D. c.263-338)
    St. Athanasius of Alexandria, (A.D. 296-372)
    St. Ephrem the Syrian, (of Edessa), (A.D. 306-378)
    St. Pacian of Barcelona, (A.D. c.310-375)
    St. Hilary of Poitiers, (A.D. 315-367),
    St. Optatus of Milevis, (unknown - A.D. 384)
    St. Cyril of Jerusalem, (A.D. 315-386)
    St. Epiphanius of Salamis, (A.D. 332-403)
    St. Jerome, (A.D. 342-420)
    St. Paulinus of Nola, (A.D. 353-431)
    St. Augustine of Hippo, (A.D. 354-428)
    St. John Cassian, (A.D. c.360 - 433)
    Paulus Orosius, (A.D. c.375-c.418)
    St. Cyril of Alexandria, (A.D. 376-444)
    Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus, (A.D. 393-458)
    St. Vincent of Lérins, (A.D. c.400-445)
    Capreolus of Carthage, (c. A.D. late 4th century - A.D. 437)
    St. Peter Chrysologus, (A.D. 406 - 450)
    Salonius, (flourished/wrote A.D. c.445)
    Arnobius Junior, (flourished in the 5th century, A.D. c.460)
    Gelasius of Cyzicus, (unknown- A.D. c.492)

St. Ignatius of Antioch, (A.D. 50-107), Syrian; ecclesiastical writer, bishop, martyr. A disciple of St. John, the Apostle; he was bishop of Antioch, in which see he succeeded St. Peter, or, as others think, Evodius. He is supposed to have governed that church for about forty years. He suffered martyrdom at Rome in the year 107.

You must all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father and the presbytery as you would the Apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one whom he appoints.

Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. [Earliest instant of the word Catholic]

Nor is it permitted without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate the agape; but whatever he approves, this too is pleasing to God, so that whatever is done will be secure and valid.

St. Ignatius of Antioch, to the Smyrnaeans 8:1; Chapter 10,138 [ A.D. 107]

It is good to regard God and the bishop. Who so honors the bishop, honors God; but he who does something and hides it from the bishop, worships the devil."

St. Ignatius of Antioch, to the Smyrnaeans [9]
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 15-16

St. Irenæus of Lyons, (A.D. 125-202), Asia Minor; bishop, missionary, theologian, defender of orthodoxy. Though by birth a Greek, he was Bishop of Lyons in the second century. He tells us that, in his early youth, he learned the rudiments of religion from St. Polycarp, the disciple of St. John the Apostle. He wrote several works, of which only a few fragments are now known, with the exception of his Treatise against Heretics which we have in five books.

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]

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, and 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 entrusted to the churches?

Against Heresies 3:4

The Martyrdom of Polycarp, (A.D. 147), one of the works of the Apostolic Fathers, among the first recorded eyewitness writings from the actual age of the Christian persecutions. The work details Polycarp's death at the age of 86 years old, at the hands of the Romans, in the 2nd century A.D.; author unknown but the story is recorded by Eusebius who claims to have received it through a letter addressed to the Church of Philomelium by the Church of Smyrna.

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 [ A.D. 110]

St. Clement of Alexandria, (A.D. 150-220), Greek; theologian, a scholar of Pantaenus, to whom he succeeded as head of the Catechetical School at Alexandria, Egypt. His writings display great acquaintance with the Gentile philosophy. He wrote with the express design of hiding the mysteries of the Christian religion from the Pagans, and the uninitiated, while at the same time, laboring to show the immense practical superiority of the Christian code of morals over that of every Pagan sect and system of philosophy.

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]

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 [ A.D. post 202]

Tertullian, (A.D. 160-218), North African; ecclesiastical writer, Christian apologist and lawyer, son of a centurion and contemporary of St. Irenæus, a native and citizen of Carthage. The zeal and ability with which he defended the Christian cause, and vindicated its faith and discipline, have immortalized his name, though it has suffered by his adoption, around the year A.D. 200, of some of the Montanist's errors, whose cause he is thought to have supported until his death. His works are numerous, and are written with great ability and erudition, but in an harsh style.

    • 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]

St. Hippolytus of Rome, (A.D. 170-236), Roman; bishop and martyr, probably a scholar of St. Irenæus of Lyons.

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 [ A.D. c. 215]

St. Cyprian of Carthage, (A.D. 200-258), North African; bishop; biblical scholar, martyr.

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]

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 any one 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]

After citing several passages, both from the Old and New Testament, and amongst the rest St. Luke 10:16, He that heareth you, heareth me, he continues:

"As to Novatian, dear brother, concerning whom you have desired me to write you word, what heresy he has introduced, you must know, in the first place, that we ought not to be curious as to what he teaches, since he teaches without (the Church). Whosoever he be, and whatsoever he be, he is no Christian who is not in Christ's Church.

Let him vaunt himself, and preach up his philosophy and his eloquence with proud words, he who has neither held to brotherly love, nor to ecclesiastical unity, has lost also what he before was. Unless, may be, he seem to you to be a bishop, who, when a bishop had been made in the Church by sixteen fellow-bishops, strives, by canvassing, to be made, by renegades, an adulterous and extraneous bishop. And whereas there is, from Christ, one Church divided throughout the whole world into many members; as also one episcopate, diffused throughout an harmonious multitude of many bishops; that man (Novatian), not withstanding God's tradition, notwithstanding the unity of the Catholic Church everywhere compacted and conjoined, strives to make a human church, and sends his new apostles through divers cities, in order to lay certain new foundations of his own institution; and though there have long since been ordained, throughout all the provinces and in each city, bishops, men advanced in age, sound in faith, tried in difficulties, proscribed during the persecution, he dares to create other false bishops over them, as if he would traverse the whole world in the obstinacy of his new attempt, or tear asunder the linked union of the ecclesiastical body by scattering the seeds of his discord; not knowing that schismatics always burn with zeal at the outset, but that what they began unlawfully cannot have increase or extension, but at once falls away with its guilty rivalry.

But he could not hold the episcopate, even though he had been made bishop before Cornelius, since he has fallen away from the body of his co-bishops, and from the unity of the Church; for the Apostle admonishes us mutually to support each other, for fear lest we recede from the unity which God has appointed, and says:

"Supporting one another in charity, careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Ephesians 4:2,3

He, therefore, that neither keeps the "Unity of the Spirit, nor the bond of peace", and separates himself from the bond of the Church, and from the college of presbyters, can neither have the power, nor the honor of a bishop, who chose neither to hold to the unity, nor the peace, of the episcopacy. And then what swelling pride is it, what forgetfulness of humility and meekness, what an act of arrogance that any one should dare, or believe that he can, do what the Lord did not even grant to the Apostles, think that he can separate the tares from the wheat, or separate the chaff from the corn, as if it had been given to him to carry the fan, and to cleanse the thrashing-floor. And whereas the Apostle says:

"In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but of wood and of earth, he would seem to pick out the vessels of gold and of silver, and to despise and cast aside and condemn those of wood and of earth, when only in the day of the Lord will the vessels of wood be burnt with the fire of the divine wrath, and the vessels of clay be broken by Him to whom has been given the rod of iron."

Ep. lii. ad Antonianum, pp. 156, 157.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 32-34

    • There being these numerous, weighty, and many other such examples as precedents, whereby God has condescended to confirm the sacerdotal authority and power, what kind of men do they think they are who, as enemies of the priesthood, and rebels against the Catholic Church, are neither scared by the Lord's forewarning threats, nor by the vengeance of a future judgment?

For neither have heresies sprung up, nor schisms been engendered, from other source than this, that obedience is not paid to the priest of God, nor attention given to this, that there is but one priest at a time in a church, and who for the time is judge in Christ's stead, whom, if the brotherhood would, according to the divine commands, obey:

    • no one would stir anything in opposition to the college of priests;
    • no one would, after the divine sanction, after the suffrage of the people, after the consent of the fellow-bishops, make himself a judge, not now merely of a bishop, but of God;
    • no one would, by a breach of unity, tear in pieces Christ's Church;
    • no one, pleasing himself and swelling with pride, would found a new heresy apart and without (the Church): unless there be a man of so sacrilegious rashness and abandoned a mind, as to think that a priest is made without the judgment of God.

Ep. Iv. ad Cornelium, pp. 177, 178.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 34-35

"Nor, indeed, because a few rash and wicked men abandon the heavenly and saving ways of the Lord, and not doing what is holy, are forsaken by the Holy Spirit, ought we, therefore, to be so unmindful of the divine tradition, as to account the crimes of these enthusiasts of greater weight than the judgments of the priests, or fancy that human efforts avail more to attack, than the divine guardianship to protect.

    • Is then the dignity of the Catholic Church, and the faithful and uncorrupted majesty of the people within her, and the priestly authority, too, and power, to be laid down for this, that men who are set without the Church may tell us they wish to judge a prelate of the Church?
      • heretics (pass judgment) on a Christian?
      • The wounded on the sound!
      • the maimed on the uninjured!
      • the fallen on him that stands firm!
      • the guilty on the judge!
      • the sacrilegious on a priest!"

Ep. Iv. ad Cornelium, pp. 184, 185.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 35

"Since Novatian, whom this man (Marcianus, Bishop of Aries) follows, has been long ago excommunicated, and judged an enemy to the Church, who, when he sent his agents to us in Africa, desiring to be admitted into communion with us, carried back hence from a numerous council of priests, who were then assembled, this sentence, that he had begun to be without, nor could any of us be in communion with him, who, when Cornelius had been, by the judgment of God, and the suffrage of the clergy and people, ordained bishop in the Catholic Church, had attempted to erect a profane altar, to set up an adulterous chair, and to offer sacrilegious sacrifices in opposition to the true priest, and that, therefore, if he wished to repent, and to return to a wholesome feeling, he should do penitence, and return as a suppliant to the Church, — how idle is it, that after Novatian has been repulsed, and cast back, and excommunicated, throughout the whole world, by the priests of God, still to suffer his flatterers now to mock us, and to pass judgment on the majesty and dignity of the Church. . . . .

"For this cause is the numerous body of priests knit together with the glue of mutual concord, and the bond of unity, that if any of our college should attempt to create a heresy, and to rend and lay waste the flock of Christ, the rest may come in aid, and, like useful and merciful shepherds, gather into (one) flock the Lord's sheep " For although we are many shepherds, yet do we feed but one flock; and we ought to gather together and to cherish all the sheep which, with His blood and passion, Christ sought. . . .The Lord declares those men execrable and abominable who please themselves, who, swollen and inflated, arrogantly assume something to themselves. Of which number since Marcianus has begun to be, and, uniting himself to Novatian, stands forth the enemy of mercy and piety, let him not give, but receive sentence; nor so act as if it were he that had judged the college of priests, whereas he himself has been judged by the whole priesthood. The glory and honor of our predecessors, the blessed martyrs Cornelius and Lucius, ought to be guarded; whose memory whilst we honor, much more ought you, by your weight and authority, to honor and guard it, who have been made the vicar and successor of them."

Ep. Ixvii. ad Stephanum,pp. 248-250.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 35-36

Firmilian of Cæsarea, (A.D. 210-272), Cappadocian; bishop, contemporary of Gregory Thaumaturge, ardent admirer of Origen; remembered for the moral support he gave St. Cyprian of Carthage on the issue of baptizing heretics.

"As to what Stephen has asserted, as though the Apostles had forbidden those who came over from heresy to be baptized, and had handed this down to be observed by posterity, you (Cyprian) have answered most fully, that no one is so foolish as to believe that the Apostles have handed this down, seeing even that it is certain that these execrable and detestable heresies took their rise after their time. . . . Further, that they, who are at Rome, do not, in all things, observe what has been handed down from the beginning, and in vain put forward the authority of the Apostles, any one may know even from this, that as regards the celebration of the Easter-day, and many other sacraments of divine concernment, there are amongst them sundry diversities, and that their observance does not exactly correspond with that at Jerusalem; in which respect there are also, in many other provinces, many differences, according to the diversity of place and names; and yet not on that account has there ever been a departure from the peace and unity of the Catholic Church.

This breach Stephen has now dared to make, breaking with you that peace which his predecessors ever maintained with you in mutual love and honor; and besides this, defaming the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, as if they had handed this down; they who, in their epistles, have execrated heretics, and warned us to avoid them. Whence it is apparent that this is a human tradition which upholds heretics, and insists that they have baptism, which appertains to the Church alone."

Inter op. S. Cypriani, Ep. lxxv. p. 303.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 403-404

Pope St. Dionysius of Alexandria, (late second century - A.D. 268), bishop and pope from A.D. 259 to 268, born to a wealth pagan family, spent most of his life reading books and carefully studying the traditions of heretics, wrote many correspondence letters, many are found in the re-written works of Eusebius.

"Some indeed of those before us have utterly repudiated and refuted this book (the Apocalypse), examining it chapter by chapter, and showing it to be both unintelligible and inconsistent (or, unconnected), and that the title is false. For they say that it is not John's; nay, that it is not a revelation, wrapped up as it is in so exceeding and thick a covering of ignorance; and that the composer of the work is not only not any one of the Apostles, but not even any one of the saints at all, or any member of the Church; but that it was Cerinthus, — he who set up the heresy called from him the Cerinthian, — who wished to affix to his system a name that carried with it credit. . . .

But I would not venture to repudiate this book; many of the brethren holding it in esteem. And conceiving this opinion concerning it, that it is above my comprehension, I suppose it to contain in each part a hidden and very admirable meaning. . . . That the writer is called John; and that this is the writing of John, I do not gainsay; and I also admit, that it is the work of some holy and divinely-inspired individual; but I would not readily acknowledge that this is the Apostle, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of James, he from whom are the gospel entitled according to John, and also the Catholic epistle."

Euseb. II. E. l. vii. c. xxv. pp. 352-3.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Page 327

Lactantius, (A.D. 240-c.330), was an early Christian author, the goal of his writings was to present Christianity in a form that would be attractive to philosophical pagans.

"As many heresies have sprung up, and as, by the instigation of demons, the people of God has been divided, truth is by us briefly to be defined, and at the same time to be placed in its own proper dwelling place; that so if any one desire to draw the water of life, he may not be carried to broken cisterns that hold no water, but become acquainted with the most bountiful fountain of God, watered by which he may possess perennial life. It behooves us, then, first of all, to know that both Himself and His ambassadors foretold that many sects and heresies would have existence, and sever the concord of the holy body, and warned us to use the utmost prudence and care, for fear lest we might at any time fall into the snares and wiles of that adversary with whom it is God's will that we should wrestle. . . . Some of ours there have been, either less settled in faith, or less learned, or less prudent, who have caused a breach in unity, and disunited the Church. . . . Whilst some there have been, not learned enough in the heavenly writings, who, unable to reply to their opponents, when they objected that it was both impossible and unbecoming that God should be enclosed within a woman's womb . . . have been perverted from the right path, and have corrupted the heavenly writings, so far as to fashion for themselves a new doctrine without any root or firmness: whilst some, enticed away by the predictions of false prophets, who have been, both by Him and by the true prophets, foretold, have fallen away from God's doctrine, and abandoned the true tradition. But all these, entangled in demoniacal wiles which they ought to have foreseen, and to have guarded against, have, by their imprudence, lost the divine name and worship. For whereas they are called:

      • Phrygians or
      • Novatians, or
      • Valentinians, or
      • Marcionites, or
      • Anthropians (Arians), or
      • other such

they ceased to be Christians, who, having lost the name of Christ, assumed human and extraneous titles.

The Catholic Church is therefore the only one that retains the true worship. This is the source of truth; this the dwelling-place of faith; this the temple of God, which whosoever enters not, or from which whosoever departs, he is an alien from the hope of life, and eternal salvation. No one ought to flatter himself by means of obstinate disputation; for life and salvation are at stake, which, if not prudently and sedulously looked to, are lost and utterly destroyed.

But, as every sect of heretics thinks itself above every other Christian, the Catholic Church, it is to be known is the true Church wherein are Confession and penitence, which wholesomely heal the wounds and sins to which the weakness of the flesh is subject.
Thus much, in a few words, have I set down by way of admonition, lest any one desirous of avoiding error become entangled in a greater error, whilst ignorant of the shrine of truth."

Divin. Inst. L. iv. c. 30.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 43-44

St. Alexander of Alexandria, (c.A.D. 250-325), He succeeded to the chair of Alexandria about the year A.D. 312. He was the first to resist the heresy of Arius, whom he condemned, and whose against novelties he wrote numerous letters to the bishops of various churches; only two of these remain.

"These Arians will not condescend to compare any of the ancients with themselves; nor endure that the masters, whom we have used from our childhood, be equaled with them; nay, they do not think that any one of our fellow-ministers throughout the whole world has attained to any measure of wisdom. They alone are the wise, though poor in everything; and declare themselves the discoverers of truths, and that to them alone have been revealed things which have never entered even into the thoughts of anyone else under the sun. Oh, the unhallowed pride and boundless madness, and vain-glory befitting their atrabilious spirit, and the Satanic arrogance, that have hardened into their very souls! Neither the explanation, well-pleasing unto God, of the ancient Scripture, has shamed them, nor the concordant pious doctrine of their fellow-ministers concerning Christ has repressed their audacity against Him, whose unhallowed work not even will the devils endure. ... Of them (Father and Son) we believe as it seems right to the Apostolic Church. . . . (We acknowledge) one and one only Catholic and Apostolic Church, ever indeed incapable of being overthrown, even though the whole world should choose to war against it, and which will conquer every most unhallowed opposition of the heterodox, the Master of the household Himself having made us confident, in that He cried out,

"Have confidence, I have overcome the world."

John 16:33

[Having explained the Apostles Creed, he adds:]

These things we teach, these we proclaim, these are the Apostolic doctrines of the Church, for which too we would die."

Ep. de Arian. Hæres. Labbe, t. ii. pp. 19-21, and Galland, t. iv. pp. 447, 448.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 44-45

Eusebius of Cæsarea, (A.D. c.263-338), appointed Bishop of Cæsarea in A.D. 314, Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist, scholar of the Biblical canon who was deeply embroiled in the Arian controversy.

"Into Edom will I stretch out my shoe."

Psalms 107:10

"Again, you will not err if you say that the Apostles are the "shoe", or they who minister the Gospel even unto this day. . . . . .He orders His disciples to evangelize all the nations in His name. Thus, then, even unto this present time, the God of the universe prophesies, that He will dwell in His holy place, and will in it, and through it, speak to men. . . . .

      • Who will bring me into the fortified city?
      • Who will lead me into Edom?

And it is very wonderful that God is spoken of as not walking with naked feet, but with "shoes," the word indicating the souls that minister to His will, by means of whom, having completed the vocation of the Gentiles, He established over the whole earth His city, I mean His Catholic Church, and the assembly of God-serving men; of which city it is elsewhere said,

      • Glorious things are said of thee, city of God. Psalms 86:3, and
      • The stream of the river maketh the city of God joyful. Psalms 45

This fortified city, therefore, when the prophet desired to behold, he said,

      • "Who will bring me into the fortified city or, into the city fenced round?"

for so Symmachus interprets: for the gates and doors and bolts of the divine powers fence it round, that it may not suffer any devastation. Therefore did the Savior say concerning it, "I will build my Church upon a rock, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it."

In Ps. lix. t. l, pp. 282-284. — Nov. Collect. (Montfaucon) Patr. Graec. Paris. 1707.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 46-47

"He alone, having been born in that city, settled and confirmed The city of God, that is, a system according to God, and a God-fearing institution, throughout the whole universe, by means of His Catholic Church, which is settled in every place and country and city, to which we ought to be persuaded that the saying applies, "Glorious things are said of thee, O city of God"; and, "The stream of the river maketh the city of God joyful", and whatever else of this nature is set down in the divine Scriptures."

Comm. in Ps. lxxxvi. t. i. p. 539 (Montfaucon), Nov. Collect. PP. Gr.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 47

Writing against Marcellus of Ancyra, he says,

"There is, therefore, one God, and one Mediator between God and man, and all creatures; who has not now begun His saving mediation, but who was also (Mediator) before His divine appearance amongst men. . . . And besides the divine writings, the Catholic Church of God, from one end of the earth to the other, sets her seal, out of unwritten tradition, to the testimony of the divine Scriptures."

Dem. Evang. Contra Marcell. I. i. c. i. p. 9.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 249-250

"The false accusations invented by our Pagan enemies quickly disappeared self-refuted; whilst fresh sects sprang up anew upon sects; the first always passing away, and corrupted, in a variety of ways, into other views of many modes and forms. But the splendor, solemnity, sincerity, and liberty of the Catholic and alone true Church, a Church always holding uniformly to the same things, still went on increasing and magnifying."

II. E. 1. iv. c. 7. See also De Laudilus Constantini, cap. 16, p. 768. Demonst. Evang. I. vi. c. 18, pp. 289-294, et passim.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Pages 283-302

"And the works of justice shall be peace, and justice shall obtain quietness, and security for ever."

Isaiah 32:17, 18

In place of that great and proud city that has been destroyed, he prophesies that another city was to be built unto God, the Catholic Church reaching from one end of the earth to the other, and also predicts the devout institution in it."

Comment. in Hes. c. 32, t. ii. p. 484. Nova Collect. Montf.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Pages 288

St. Athanasius of Alexandria, (A.D. 296-372), Egyptian; bishop, theologian, and Doctor of the Church. He was present, as an assistant to St. Alexander of Alexandria, at the council of Nicea who he succeeded in A.D. 326. During more than forty years he was the champion of orthodoxy, and suffered much severe persecution from the Arian party.

"But let us nevertheless, in addition to the above, see the tradition which is from the beginning, and the doctrine and faith of the Catholic Church, which the Lord indeed communicated, but the Apostles proclaimed and the fathers guarded; for on this has the Church been founded, and he who falls away from this, would not be, nor would he even be called, Christian."

Ep. i. ad Serapion. n. 28, t. 1, p. 540, ed. Ben. Patav. 1777.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 48-49

They (the fathers at Nicea) wrote indeed respecting Easter,

"It has seemed good to have a general compliance; but as regards the faith, they wrote,

Thus believes the Catholic Church, . . . "And in confessing what they believed said that their sentiment was not novel, but apostolical, and that what they wrote down was not a discovery of their own, but the same as the Apostles had taught."

De Synodis, n. 5, t. i. p. 575.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 49

It is enough to give this only for answer to these things (asserted by the Arians), and to say,

"These things are not of the Catholic Church, neither did the fathers think thus."

Ep. ad Epictet. n. 3, p. 722, t. 1.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 49

"For this has been the device and cunning purpose (of the Arians), to seek to drive from their chairs, and to hunt down those who in any place are of the orthodox faith, and who hold to that teaching of the Catholic Church which has been handed down to them from their fathers."

Apol. con. Arian (Ex Ep. Syn. Sard.) n. 37, t. i. pp. 122-3.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 407

St. Ephrem the Syrian, (of Edessa), (A.D. 306-378), Syrian; born in Nisebis, deacon, hymnist, poet. His works were even during his own lifetime almost all translated into Greek, and were, as St. Jerome informs us, held in such high estimation, as to be read in some churches after the Holy Scriptures. We have his life by St. Gregory of Nyssa.

"Blessed be the chosen one, who has chosen the Catholic Church, that holy lamb which the devouring wolf has not consumed. . . . Give heed, therefore, to my instructions, as my disciples, and depart not from the Catholic faith, which I also, having received it in my boyhood, have preserved immovable; neither turn aside from it in any doubt. And if any one separates themselves, or turns aside, in opposition to God and His holy Church, may he be forced down, breathing and living, into Hell. . . . And if anyone be lifted up against the Catholic Church, may he be smitten with leprosy, like the foolish Giezi."

T. ii. Gr. Test. S. Ephr. pp 242-243.
The Faith of Catholics,Vol. 1, page 293

St. Pacian of Barcelona, (A.D. c.310-375), bishop of Barcelona, Jerome praises his eloquence, learning, chastity, and holiness of life. He is also remembered from a phrase from one of his letters: "My name is Christian, my surname is Catholic.".

"Many resisted both the Lord Himself and His Apostles, nor could truth obtain belief except where consent sprang from religious conviction. I have accordingly written to you, my lord, not with anything like a persuasion that I can extort conviction from one that does not wish to be convinced, but with the consciousness that I could not deny, to any one that wishes it, an entrance to holy peace; which peace, if it be after your own soul and heart, there ought to be no dispute about the name Catholic. For if it is through God that our people obtain this name, the title ought not to be questioned, when a divine authority is followed; if through man, it is for you to detect when the name was usurped. Further, if the name be a good one, it cannot be the object of dislike; if bad, it cannot be the subject of envy. I hear that the Novatians are so called after Novatus, or Novatian; still it is the sect which I blame in them, not the name; nor has any one made their mere name an objection against Montanus, or the Phrygians.

But, under the Apostles, you will say, "no one was called a Catholic". Grant this to have been the fact; or suppose it to have been so.

      • When heresies, after the Apostles days, arose, and, under divers names, strove to tear and scatter piecemeal the dove of God, and His queen, did not the apostolic people require a peculiar name whereby to distinguish the unity of the people that had not been corrupted, for fear lest the error of a few might tear limb by limb the unstained virgin of God?
      • Was it not beseeming that the principal head should be designated by a suitable title?

Suppose I entered, this very day, into a populous city, and found there:

        • Marcionites
        • Apollinarists
        • Cataphrygians
        • Novatians, and
        • others of the same sort, all calling themselves Christians.

      • By what name should I be able to recognize the congregation of my own people, were it not from its being called Catholic?

Come, tell me, who bestowed so many names on the other peoples!

        • Why have so many cities, so many nations, each their own description?

The very man who calls in question the name Catholic, will he be ignorant of the cause of his own name, if I shall inquire its origin? Whence was it delivered to me? Assuredly, that which has stood during so many ages was not borrowed from man.

This name "Catholic" sounds not of Marcion, nor of Apelles, nor of Montanus, nor does it take heretics as its authors. . . . . Christian is my name, but Catholic my surname. That names me, this describes me; by this I am approved; by that designated. And if at last we must give an account of the word Catholic, and express it, from the Greek, by a Latin interpretation, "Catholic" is "everywhere one", or, as the more learned think, obedience in all the commandments of God. . . . Therefore he who is a Catholic, the same is obedient to what is right. He who is obedient, the same is a Christian, and thus the Catholic is a Christian. Wherefore our people, when named Catholic, are separated by this appellation from the heretical name.

But if also the word Catholic means "everywhere one", as those first think, David indicates this very thing when he says,

"The queen stood in a gilded clothing, surrounded with variety."

Psalms 44:10

that is, one amidst all. . . . Amidst all she is one, and one over all. If you ask the reason of the name, it is manifest."

Ep. i. n. 2-4; Galland. t. vii. pp. 257-8.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Pages 294-296

"On the name Catholic I answered fully and with calmness. For I said that it mattered to neither, what the other was called. And if you demanded the meaning of the name, I said that, whatever it might be, it was wonderful, whether it was one in all, or one over all, or (an interpretation which I have not mentioned before) the king's son, that is, the Christian people. Certainly too that was no accessory name which endured through so many ages. And indeed I am glad for thee, that although thou may have preferred others, you agree that the name attaches to us.

What, should you deny?

Nature would cry out. But and if you still have doubts, let us hold our peace. We will both be that which we shall be named, witness the antiquity of the name. If, however, thou perseverest in asking, beware lest that man of might exclaim, "Why do you ask my name, which is Wonderful?" (Judges 13:18) I next added, that we need not consider whence Catholics derived this name, because neither was it wont to be any imputation against the Valentinians, if they were called after Valentinus; nor the Phrygians, if from Phrygia; nor the Novatians, if after Novatian. At this you are grievously excited; start as if stung; and in your anger exclaim,

"Is it ever any objection to that holy man Cyprian, if his people have the name Apostaticum, or Capitolinum, or Syndreum?"

Thou revilest; but see, I am not moved. Have we ever borne any such name! Ask a century, brother, and all its years in succession, whether this name has adhered to us; whether the people of Cyprian have been called anything other than Catholic? For myself, I never heard any of your names. And can a man have a name, and not know it? What mean you then? These are not names, but insults. . . . Could I allow myself to be angry, I too could retort on you with as many names as you will. You call Cyprian a saint, and his people apostate! How can this be? If the first-fruit be holy, so is the lump also; and if the root be holy, so are the branches. (Romans 11:16) Am I an apostate, or was Novatus such? Novatus, I say, who forsook his father, and abandoned the Church. . . .

Do you deny that the Novatians are so called after Novatian?

This will ever cling to them, give them what name you will. Search, if you choose, whole annals, and trust so many ages. You will answer, "Christian". But if I ask the genus of the sect, you will not deny that it is Novatian. And yet it is not the name of your Novatian that I censure, and which, in spite of all my questioning, you hide with so many circumlocutions, and, if I may so speak, in closed bosom. Confess it without deceit. There is no crime in the name. . . . Do you envy me my name, and yet shun your own? See what shame must attach to a cause which shrinks from its own name."

Ep. ii. n. 2, 3, pp. 259-60.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Pages 296-297

St. Hilary of Poitiers, (A.D. 315-367), French; husband, theologian, bishop of Poiters around A.D. 355, and Doctor of the Church. Referred to as the "Hammer of the Arians" and the "Athanasius of the West.". He was obviously a firm supporter of St. Athanasius.

"We think that we may meet with the approval of all Catholics thus: that it behooves us not to recede from the received creed (Nicaea) which, after being examined by all of us, we have in all its parts approved: and that we shall not recede from the faith, which we have received through the prophets, — the Holy Spirit teaching from God the Father through Christ our Lord, — and in the gospels, and in all the Apostles, as once laid it continues even to this day, through the tradition of the fathers, according to a succession from the Apostles, even to the discussion had at Nicaeca against the heresy which had, at that period, sprung up."

Ex. op. Hist. Fragm. vii. (Defin. Cathol. in Condi. Arim.) n.3, t. ii. p. 684
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 268-269

Explaining St. Matthew 10:2, he says,

"The Lord instructs them not to meddle with the houses and friendships of those who either persecute or know not Christ; and to inquire in every city who is worthy of their dwelling there, — that is, wheresoever the Church is and Christ the indweller, — and not to pass anywhere else, seeing that the house is worthy, and the host righteous. . . . There would be many Jews, whose affection for the law would be so great, that although, through admiration of His works, they had believed on Christ, would still abide in the works of the law; whilst others, impelled by curiosity to spy the liberty which is in Christ, would pretend to have passed over from the law to the gospels; and many, through a perverseness of understanding, be betrayed even into heresy.

And because all men of this kind, deceiving and flattering their hearers, state falsely that with them is Catholic truth, therefore did He give the above admonition, that one that is worthy is to be sought out with whom to dwell; but because, through the deceitfulness of words, the ignorant might fall in with a host of the above description, that house itself which is called worthy, to wit the Church which is called Catholic, is sedulously and carefully to be made use of."

Comment, in Matthew Chapter 10. n. 7, 9, t. 1, pp. 712-13.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Pages 289-290

In truth, Constantius, thy mercy should hear the voice of those who exclaim,

"I am a Catholic, I will not be a heretic; I am a Christian, not an Arian, and better were it for me to suffer death in this world, than to violate the spotless virginity of truth, through the dominant power of any individual."

Ad Constant. August. Lib. 1, n. 2, t. ii. p. 536.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Pages 290

St. Optatus of Milevis, (unknown - A.D. 384), bishop of Milevis, Numidia, in Africa; from Augustine's writings we can assume Optatus was a convert; he is best known for his opposition to the heresy of Donatism.
      • Why infringe on such a promise, so as that the broad expanse of kingdom is confined by you into a kind of prison-house?
      • Why strive you to throw obstacles in the way of so great an act of love?
      • Why flight you against the Saviour's merits?

Allow the Son to possess what has been given Him: allow the Father to fulfill His promises.

      • Why put you up boundaries?
      • Why fix limits?

Since, on the part of God the Father, the whole earth was promised to the Saviour, there is not one thing in any part of the earth which seems excepted from being His possession. The whole earth with its inhabitants has been given; the whole earth is to Christ one possession. This is proved by the God who says,

"I will give Thee the nations for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession."

And in the seventy-first psalm thus it is written of the same Saviour,

"He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the rivers unto the ends of the earth."

The Father in giving makes no exception; you give an ounce, and try to take away the whole pound. And you still strive to persuade men, that with you only is the Church; robbing Christ of what He has merited; denying Him what the Father has granted. Oh, the ungrateful and foolish presumption of your party! Christ invites you with the rest of men unto the fellowship of the heavenly kingdom, and exhorts you to be joint-heirs; and you try to defraud Him of the inheritance granted Him by the Father, by giving Him a part of Africa, and refusing Him the whole world bestowed on Him by the Father.

[He continues the same mode of argument, quoting Psalms 49:1, 112:3, 115:1,3, and reasoning from them as from the preceding texts, concludes thus:]

We have therefore proved that it is the Catholic Church which is spread over the whole earth. We have now to commemorate its adornments, and to see where are the five marks, which by you are propounded as six: amongst which (marks) the chair is the first, where unless a bishop sit, the second gift, which is the angel, cannot be."

De Schism. Donat. l. ii. n. 1, 2.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Pages 292-293

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, (A.D. 315-386), Palestinian; ordained by Maximus, he was made bishop of Jerusalem in A.D. 345; scholar and Doctor of the Church. None of his writings have been preserved to us, except eighteen catechetical instructions addressed to catechumens, and five mystagogic discourses addressed to neophytes.

"The faith which we rehearse contains in order the following:

"And into one baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, and into one holy Catholic Church"

. . . . Now it is called Catholic, because it is throughout the whole world, from one end of the earth to the other; and because it teaches universally (catholically) and completely all the doctrines which ought to come to men's knowledge concerning things both visible and invisible, heavenly and earthly; and because it subjugates unto godliness (or, to the true religion) the whole race of men, both governors and governed, learned and unlearned; and because it universally treats and heals every sort of sins committed by soul and body, and possesses, in itself, every form of virtue which is named, both in deeds and words, and every kind of spiritual gifts, it is rightly called Church, because it calls forth and assembles together all men."

25. Of old the Psalmist sung,

"In the Church bless ye God the Lord, from the fountains of Israel."

Psalms 67

But since the Jews, through their evil designs against the Saviour, have been cast away from grace, the Saviour has built out of the Gentiles a second holy Church, the Church of us Christians, concerning which He said to Peter,

"And upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it."

Matthew 16:18

Concerning this holy Catholic Church, Paul writes to Timothy,

"That thou mayest know how thou oughtest to be have thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, which is the pillar and ground of the truth."

1 Timothy 3:15

But since the name "church" is used of various things, — as also it is written of the multitude in the theatre of the Ephesians, "And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly. (Acts 19:40), and one might properly and truly say that there is "a church of evil doers", — I mean the meetings of the heretics, of the Marcionites and Manichees, and the rest, — therefore has the faith now delivered to thee, by way of safeguard, the article, And into one, holy, Catholic Church, in order that thou mayest flee their foul meetings, and throughout continue to remain in the holy Catholic Church, in which also thou wast regenerated [baptized].

And, if ever thou art sojourning in any city, inquire not simply where the Lord's house is (for the sects of the profane also attempt to call their own dens houses of the Lord), nor merely where is the church, but, where is the Catholic church? For this is the peculiar name of this holy (Church) and mother of us all, which is indeed the spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God."

27. "And while the kings of particular nations have bounds set to their dominion, the holy Catholic Church alone has an illimitable sovereignty over the whole world, for God, as it is written, "hath set her borderpeace". (Psalm 147) But I should need many hours if I wished to speak all things which concern her.

In this holy Catholic Church receiving instruction, and behaving ourselves well, we shall obtain the kingdom of Heaven, and inherit life everlasting."

Catech. xviii. n. 22-28, pp. 294-298.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Pages 290-292

St. Epiphanius of Salamis, (A.D. 332-403), Palestinian; bishop, abbot, scholar.

"We therefore acknowledge one Church . . . one baptism, one faith. And let these men cease to be against that holy virgin of Christ, and chaste spouse, to wit, the holy Church our mother; for her children have received from the holy fathers, that is, the holy Apostles, to guard the faith, and to transmit and preach it to their own children. Amongst whom, most honored brethren, you also are those children, and transmit this same doctrine to your children. Teaching by word these things, and things like to them; cease not, faithful and orthodox men, to confirm from the divine writings yourselves and your hearers, instructing, guiding, catechizing; (cease not) to guard that holy faith of the Catholic Church, as the alone and holy virgin of God received it from the holy Apostles of the Lord. And not only should you instruct your children in the Lord — but each one of the catechumens who approaches the holy laver — to believe and you ought also to teach them to say, word by word, as that same mother of us all, teaches to say, "We believe in one God". ...

[followed by the rest of the Creed.]

This is that faith transmitted by the Apostles, and in the Church, in that holy city, by all the holy bishops together, in number, more than three hundred and ten."

T. ii. Ancor. n. 119, 120, pp. 122, 123.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 65-66

"From the midst of these sects, and after them in order of time, there shone forth the saving Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ — His appearance, that is, in the flesh and at the same time the doctrine of the Gospel, and the preaching of the kingdom; which is the alone source of salvation, and the true faith of the Catholic and Apostolic Church; from which all the following, which have but the name of Christ, not the faith, have been cut off and separated.

[He then gives a summary of the heresies listed in his great work, and adds that to the account given of those heresies, he had appended a defensive statement.]

In brief, of the orthodox faith and of truth — which is the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. This is the summary and index of the whole treatise against the eighty heresies, and of the one defensive statement relative to the truth, to wit, the one Catholic Church."

T. ii. Anaceph. pp. 127, 130.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 66-67

"These men dwell in a confined tract, in Phrygia, Cilicia, and Pamphylia. What, then, is the Church, which is extended from one extremity of the earth to the other, cut off; and

"has not their sound gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world?"

Psalms 18

And was it not said by the Saviour,

"Ye shall be witnesses unto me, even to the uttermost part of the earth?"

T. i. Adv. Hæres. (60), p. 507.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Pages 297-298

"Each (party) had a special designation for its own church. The successors of Peter (of Alexandria), who held the old churches, were called the Catholic Church; whilst the followers of Miletus styled themselves the church of the martyrs."

T. i. Adv. Hæres. (68), p. 719.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Pages 283-302

Having mentioned Origen's asserted errors concerning Christ, and those of the Valentinians, he says:

"The Scripture is in every way true. But there needs wisdom to know God, to believe Him and His words, and what He has vouchsafed unto us. ... For every heresy is a deceiver, not having received the Holy Ghost, according to the tradition of the fathers in the holy Catholic Church of God."

T. ii. Ancor. n. 63, p. 66.
Also The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Page 342

St. Jerome, (A.D. 342-420), Dalmatian; born in Strido; priest, hermit, abbot, biblical scholar, translator and Doctor of the Church. In an age distinguished by men of the greatest eloquence and learning, St. Jerome, especially in all matters connected with the Sacred Scriptures, was then preeminent, and has probably never since been equalled.

"My resolution is, to read the ancients, to try everything, to hold fast what is good, and not to recede from the faith of the Catholic Church."

T. i. Ep. ad Minerv. et Alexand. n. xi. col. 810.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 72

"As lightning comes out of the east, and appears even into the west," — (Matthew 24:27) Go ye not out. Believe not that the Son of Man is either in the desert of the Gentiles, or in the secret chambers of the heretics but that from the East even to the West His faith shines in the Catholic churches."

T. vii. L. iv. Comm. in Matt. 196, 197.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 74

St. Paulinus of Nola, (A.D. 353-431), Roman; convert and bishop Of Nola, Born at Bordeaux he was ordained priest in 393, and was appointed bishop of Nola in 409; may have been indirectly responsible for Augustine's Confessions. One who knew St. Paulinus well says he was "meek as Moses, as priestly as Aaron, innocent as Samuel, tender as David, wise as Solomon, apostolic as Peter, loving as John, cautious as Thomas, brilliant as Stephen, fervent as Apollos."

"Let Him kiss me with the kiss of His mouth." (Canticles 1)

This privilege Catholic love alone has a right to claim for itself; she, that is the alone one, and the perfect one to her one bridegroom (Canticles 6:8), takes the kisses of truth from the Word Himself, that she may not be defiled by the venom of heretical deceitfulness, as though by incestuous kisses from a stranger's lips.

Ep. iv. ad Severum, p. 177. T. vi. Bib. Max. SS. PP.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 85

St. Augustine of Hippo, (A.D. 354-428), North African; born in Tagaste in A.D. 354, baptized in Milan in A.D. 387, ordained a priest in A.D. 391 and appointed bishop of Hippo in A.D. 395, Augustine is one of our greatest theologians. His numerous works display genius of the highest order, and have ever had great weight in the Christian churches. He is also a Doctor of the Church.

"Wherefore, seeing that so great is the blindness of the understanding through the filthiness of sins and the love of the flesh, that even these monsters of opinions could waste away the leisure of the learned in disputation; can you, Dioscorus, or can any one gifted with an observant disposition, doubt, that any better plan could have been devised for mankind to follow truth, than that Truth itself . . . should persuade mankind to believe wholesomely, what could not as yet be understood clearly?

To His glory are we subservient, we exhort thee to believe immovably and unchangeably in Him, through whom it has been that not a few, but peoples even, who are unable to judge of these things by reason, believe them by faith. . . . Now they who, though they are not in Catholic unity and communion, pride themselves nevertheless in the name Christian, are obliged to be opposed to believers, and try to lead men as it were by reason, whereas the Lord came with this remedy especially, — to enjoin faith on the nations. But as I have said, these men are obliged to do, because they are sensible that they lie very abject indeed, if their authority be compared with Catholic authority.

Therefore do they strive, by the name, as it were, and promise of reason, to be superior to the most solid authority of the firmly established Church. For this is, as it were, the regular temerity of all heretics. But that most merciful enjoiner of faith, both by the most glorious assemblages of peoples and nations, and by the chairs themselves of the Apostles, has defended the Church with the citadel of authority. . . . Now that discipline is most proper which receives the infirm into the citadel, that, for them, thus already placed most safely, the battle may be fought with reason the most powerful."

T. ii. Ep. cxviii. Dioscor. (Class. ii.) n. 32, pp. 510, 511.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 77-79

"Thou shalt protect them in Thy tabernacle."

Psalm 30:21

  • What is the tabernacle?

The Church of this time. ... In this tabernacle, therefore, the Church will protect the faithful from the contradiction of tongues. There is a contradiction of many tongues; divers heresies, divers schisms cry aloud; many tongues contradict the true doctrine.

Run to the tabernacle of God, hold fast the Catholic Church, do not withdraw from the rule of truth, and thou shalt be protected from the contradiction of tongues."

T. iv. Enar. in Ps. xxx. n. 8, p. 238.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 79

"In the Catholic Church, not to mention that most sound wisdom, to the knowledge of which a few spiritual men attain in this life, so as to know it in a very small measure indeed, for they are but men, but still to know it without doubtfulness, for not quickness of understanding, but simplicity in believing, that makes the rest of the masses most safe, — not to mention, therefore, this wisdom, which you (Manichees) do not believe to be in the Catholic Church, many other things there are which most justly keep me in her bosom.

The agreement of peoples and nations keeps me here. Her authority, inaugurated in miracles, nourished by hope, augmented by love, and confirmed by her age, keeps me here. The succession of priests, from the very see of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after his Resurrection, gave the charge of feeding his sheep [John 21:15-17], up to the present episcopate, keeps me here.

And last, the very name Catholic, which, not without reason, belongs to this Church alone, in the face of so many heretics, so much so that, although all heretics want to be called "Catholic," when a stranger inquires where the Catholic Church meets, none of the heretics would dare to point out his own basilica or house.

T. viii Contr. Ep. Manichaei, Fundam. n. 5, 6, col. 268-270.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Page 80-81

These, therefore, so numerous and so powerful ties of the Christian name, ties most dear, justly keep a believing man in the Catholic Church, even though through the slowness of our understanding or the deservings of our lives, truth show not herself as yet in her clearest light. Whereas, amongst you, where are none of these things to invite and keep me, there is only the loud promise of truth, which, if it be indeed shown to be so manifest as not to be able to be called into doubt, is to be preferred before all those things by which I am kept in the Catholic Church; but which, if it be only promised, and not exhibited, no one shall move me from that faith which attaches my mind to the Christian religion by ties so numerous and so powerful.

Wherefore, let us see what Manichaeus would teach me. ... He begins his letter,

"Manichseus, an Apostle of Jesus Christ"

. . . . Now attend, if you please, with all patience, to what I am going to ask. I do not believe that this man is an Apostle of Christ. Do not, I pray you, be angry, and begin to revile. For you know what my determination is, — not to believe, without cause shown, anything advanced by you. I ask, therefore, who is this Manichaeus? You will answer,
"An apostle of Christ." I do not believe it; what next to say or do you will not know; for your promise was the knowledge of the truth, and now you would compel me to believe that of which I have no knowledge. You are perhaps going to read me the Gospel, and will try to establish the character of Manichaeus from that. But suppose you should meet with some one who does not as yet believe the Gospel, what would you do with such an one when he says to you, "I do not believe it?" I, for my part, would not believe the Gospel, unless the authority of the Catholic Church moved me to it.

Those, therefore, to whom I have submitted, when saying to me, "Believe the Gospel",
why should I not submit to them when they say to me, "Do not believe the Manichaeans?" Choose which you will. If you say, "Believe the Catholics", they warn me not to give any credit to you; wherefore, whilst I believe them, I cannot but not believe you. If you say,
"Do not believe the Catholics", it will not be right for you to force me to the faith of Manichaeus by means of the Gospel, inasmuch as I believed that very Gospel itself at the bidding (teaching) of the Catholics. But if you should say, "You have done right in believing the Catholics when they praise the Gospel, but you have not done right in believing them when they blame Manichseus",

Do you think me so foolish, as, without reason assigned, to believe just what you choose, and to disbelieve just what you choose?

Much more justly indeed, and more cautiously do I act, if, after having once (on one point) believed the Catholics, I refuse to pass over to you; unless, not content with bidding me believe, you cause me to obtain some knowledge, and that most manifestly and most plainly. Wherefore if you are going to assign me some reasonable proof, set aside the Gospel. If you keep yourself to the Gospel, I will keep myself to those at whose bidding
I have believed the Gospel; and by their command I will not believe you at all.

Now, if it should happen that you could find in the Gospel something most plain concerning the apostleship of Manichaeus, you will invalidate, in my regard, the authority of the Catholics who bid me not believe you; and, that authority invalidated, it will then be out of my power to believe even the Gospel, inasmuch as through them I had believed it: so that whatever you may adduce thence, will have no force with me. Wherefore, if nothing plain is found in the Gospel concerning the apostleship of Manichaeus, I will believe the Catholics rather than you; whereas, should you read from it something clearly in favor of Manichaeus, I will neither believe them nor you. Not them, because they have deceived me in regard of you; not you, because you produce me that Scripture which I have believed through those who have thus deceived me. But God forbid that I should not believe the Gospel!"

T. viii Contr. Ep. Manichaei, Fundam. n. 5, 6, col. 268-270.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 81-83

Showing the folly of the Manichaeans in rejecting at pleasure such texts, or portions of Scripture, as could not be reconciled with their system, he says, addressing Faustus:

    • "Art thou, then, the standard of truth?
    • Is whatsoever is opposed to thee, false?
    • But what if some other person, confounded with a madness like thine, and with thy obstinacy, come forward and say, "Nay, what sounds favorably to thee is false, and what against thee, is true?"
    • What wilt thou do, unless perhaps thou try to bring forward some other book, wherein everything read by thee may be interpreted in accordance with thy opinion?

Shouldst thou do this, thou wilt hear him impugning not a part, but the whole, and crying out, "It is (all) false."

    • What wilt thou do?
    • Whither turn thyself?
    • What origin, what antiquity, what series of succession wilt thou cite as a witness for the book brought forward by thee?

For even if thou attempt this, yet will it not avail thee anything; and thou seest of what avails, in this matter, the authority of the Catholic Church, — an authority which is confirmed (or firmly settled) by a line of bishops succeeding, even unto the present day, each other, from those most solidly-founded chairs of the Apostles, and by the consent of so many peoples."

T. l. xi. Contr. Fanstum, n. 2, p. 364.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 83-84

"Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Thy glory above all the earth.

Psalm 56:6

Consider, I pray you, under what folly the heretics are laboring. They, cut off from union with the Church of Christ, holding a part, and letting go the whole, will not communicate with the whole world, over which the glory of Christ is spread. But we Catholics are in every nation, because we communicate with every land wherein the glory of Christ is spread."

T. iv. Enarr. in Psalm lvi. n. 13 (al 6), col. 764.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Page 300

"Let people confess to Thee, God, let all people confess to Thee."

Psalm 66

A heretic comes forward, and says:

"I have people in Africa; and another, from some other quarter, says,
"And I have people in Galatia."

Thou hast them in Africa; he has them in Galatia: I seek for a man that has them everywhere. True, because you heard, "Let people confess to Thee, God"; you dared to exult at the words: learn from the verse that follows, that he speaks not of a part, "Let ALL people confess to Thee." Walk in the way with all nations; walk in the way with all peoples; ye children of peace, ye children of the alone Catholic Church; walk in this way, and, as you walk, sing."

T. iv. Enarr. in Psalm lxvi. n. 6 (al. 4), col. 940-41.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Pages 300-301

"When we read the divine books, amidst such a multitude of true meanings, which are extracted from a few words, and (which meanings) are defended by the soundness of Catholic faith, let us by preference choose that which it shall appear certain that he meant whom we read; but if this escape us, that at all events which the context of Scripture prevents not, and which harmonizes with sound faith; but if the context of the Scripture also admits not of being thoroughly handled and sifted, at least that only which sound faith prescribes.

For it is one thing not to distinguish what the writer chiefly meant, and another to err from the rule of piety. If both be avoided, the reader obtains the perfect fruit; but if both cannot be avoided, even though the mind of the writer be doubtful (to us), it is not useless to have extracted a meaning agreeable with the sacred faith."

T. iii. l. i. De Genes, ad Lit. n. 41, col. 222.
Also The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Page 342-343

[Having cited one of the usual evidences of Christianity, he adds:]

"When therefore we see such aid from God, so great progress and fruit, shall we hesitate
to fling ourselves into the bosom of that Church which, even by the confession of mankind, has from the Apostolic See, through successions of bishops, obtained the loftiest pinnacle of authority, the heretics barking around in vain, and condemned partly by the judgment
of the very people, partly by the weight of councils, partly also by the majesty of miracles.
To which Church to refuse to grant pre-eminent authority, is assuredly either the height of impiety, or of headlong arrogance.

    • For, if for the minds of men there is no certain road to wisdom and salvation, save when faith teaches them antecedently to reason, what else is it but to be ungrateful to the divine aid and help, to strive so laboriously to resist the aforenamed authority?
    • And if every art, however low and easy, require a teacher or a master, that it may be acquired; what more replete with rash pride than both to refuse to learn the books of the divine mysteries (sacraments) from their proper (own) interpreters, and to seek to condemn them unknown?

Wherefore, if either my reasoning or my prayer has in any way moved you, and if, as I believe, you have a true solicitude for yourself, I pray you hear me, and place yourself, with pious faith, lively hope, simple love, under the care of good teachers of Catholic Christianity."

T. viii. De Util. Cred. n. 35, 36 (al. xvii. xviii.), col. 129-30.
Also The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Page 343-344

"I would not believe the Gospel, unless the authority of the Catholic Church moved me,"

T. viii. Contr. Ep. Manichaei, Fundam. n. 5, 6, col. 268-270.
Also The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Page 344

"But I, my heart being now healed of that wound, in which a carnal feeling might have been blamed, pour forth to thee, our God, for that thy servant a far different kind of tears, flowing from a spirit shaken by the consideration of the dangers of every soul which dieth in Adam. Although she, having been vivified in Christ, even when not as yet released from the flesh, so lived as that Thy name is praised in her faith and manners, yet dare I not say, that, from the time that Thou regeneratedst her by baptism, no word has issued from her mouth against Thy precept. And it was said by the truth, Thy Son, "Whosoever shall say to his brother, thou fool, shall be guilty of Hell fire."

And woe even to the praiseworthy life of men, if laying aside mercy, Thou examine it. ...
I therefore, O my praise and my life, God of my heart, having laid aside for awhile her good actions, for which I give thanks to Thee with joy, do now beseech Thee for the sins of my mother; hear me through the medicine of our wounds, who hung upon the wood, and who sitting "at Thy right hand maketh intercession to Thee for us." (Romans 8) I know that she dealt mercifully, and from her heart "forgave her debtors their debts." Do also forgive her of her debts if she contracted any during so many years after the water of salvation.

Forgive, O Lord, forgive, I beseech Thee; "enter not into judgment with her." (Psalms 142) Let "mercy exalt herself above judgment." (James 2). . . And, I believe, Thou hast already done what I beg Thee, but "the free-offerings of my mouth accept, O Lord," (Psalms 118) For she (St. Monica), the day of her dissolution being at hand, bestowed not a thought,

[He continues:]

Let none sever her from Thy protection. Let neither the lion nor the dragon interpose himself by force or fraud; for neither will she answer that she owes nothing, lest she be convicted and obtained by the crafty accuser: but she will answer that her debts are forgiven by Him, to whom none may repay that which He, who owed nothing, paid for us. May she then be in peace with the husband, before whom to none, and after whom to none was she married. . . . And inspire, my Lord, my God, inspire Thy servants my brethren,
Thy sons my masters, whom with voice, and heart, and pen I serve, that as many as shall read these words may remember at Thy altar, Monica, Thy servant, with Patricius, her sometime husband, by whose flesh Thou didst introduce me into this life, how, I know not. May they with pious affection remember my parents in this transitory light, and my brethren under Thee our Father in our Catholic Mother, and my fellow-citizens in the eternal Jerusalem, that so, what she made her last request to me, may be granted to her more abundantly through my Confessions than through my prayers, in the prayers of many."

T. i. L. c. n. 34-7, col. 288-90.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 3, Page 186-187

Having given the passage cited above, as addressed to St. Paulinus of Nola, he adds:

"In the books of Machabees we read that sacrifice was offered for the dead. But even though this were not read at all anywhere in the old Scriptures, the authority of the universal Church, which in this practice is clear, is not small, since in the prayers of the priests, which are poured forth to the Lord God at His altar, the recommendation of the departed has also its appointed place. But whether the place where the body is buried is of any benefit to the soul requires further inquiry.

[After reasoning on this through two or three pages, he thus concludes:]

I do not see of what help this can be to the dead, except for this, that whilst they
(the living) keep in mind the places where the bodies of those whom they love are deposited, they may, by praying, commend them to those same saints, as clients to patrons, to be aided with the Lord. Which indeed they might do, even though they might be unable to bury them in such places. . . .

When the mind therefore recollects where the body of some dear friend is buried, and there presents itself to it a place made venerable by a martyr's name, the affection of one that remembers and that prays commends the beloved soul to that same martyr. When this affection is shown towards the dead by faithful friends, there is no doubt that it benefits those who merited, while they were living in the body, that such things should benefit them after this life. . . . Supplications for the spirits of the departed are not to be omitted;
to make which for all, who have departed in the Christian and Catholic society, the Church has taken upon herself, even though their names are not pronounced, under a general commemoration, that for those who have no parents, children, or any relatives or friends to do these things, they may be done for them by their one holy mother the Church."

T. vi. De Cura pro mortuis, n. 6 (al. iv.), col. 871.
Also The Faith of Catholics, Volume 3, Page 192

St. John Cassian, (A.D. c.360 - 433), ordained a deacon by St. John Chrysostom and a priest in Marseilles, a Christian theologian celebrated in both the Western and Eastern Churches for his mystical writings. He is known both as one of the "Scythian monks" and as one of the "Desert Fathers". His opinions on grace being in opposition somewhat to those of St. Augustine and the Church, caused him to be opposed by St. Prosper.

"This faith, that is, the faith of all Catholics, both the bishops of Africa whence he wrote, and the Gallican bishops to whom he wrote, agreed in approving. Nor has there yet been any man living who has repudiated this faith, without being guilty of the crime of unbelief, seeing that it is a profession of unbelief to deny the approved faith. Wherefore, the agreement alone of all would now suffice to refute heresy, because the authority of all is the manifestation of undoubted truth, and a perfect reason has been assigned when none dissent.

Insomuch that the man who should presume to entertain a contrary sentiment, such an one's assertion is at once, and at the very outset, not so much to be refused to be heard, as he is to be condemned for his perversity; because he who impugns the judgment of the whole, brings with him a foregone proof of condemnation against himself; and whosoever would rescind what all have once agreed upon, has no plea to be heard.

For when the truth has once been confirmed by all, whatsoever is advanced in opposition to it, is at once thereby to be acknowledged as false, in that it diverges from that judgment of truth."

L. 1, De Incarn, Dom, t. vii. Bib. Max. SS. PP. p. 71.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 100-101

Paulus Orosius (A.D. c.375-c.418), Spanish; a Christian historian, theologian, student and friend of Augustine of Hippo. He is best known for his "Seven Books of History Against the Pagans". His "History of the World" is valuable, and has been frequently translated.

"The Fathers with one accord, and the Martyrs, who are now at rest, Cyprian, Hilary, and Ambrose, as also they who are still in the flesh, and are the pillars and supports of the Catholic Church, Aurelius, Augustine, Jerome, have already in their highly-approved writings, published much against this wicked heresy (Pelagianism), though without specifying the names of the heretics.

And if Celestius and Pelagius, who seem to be alive, and are dead, should now persevere in these dogmas, then clearly do they openly, as serpents hiss against the Church, a thing most lamentable, and, more lamentable still, they do this in the Church. . . .

My answer to this (viz. Genesis 17:1; Luke 1:6, quoted in support of Pelagianism) was:

We are children of the Catholic Church. Require not of us to presume to be teachers above the teachers, or judges above the judges. The Fathers whom the universal Church throughout the world approves, to whose communion it is a matter of rejoicing with you that we adhere, have decreed that these dogmas are damnable. It becomes us to obey, when they adjudge.

    • Why ask the children what their sentiments are, when you hear what the Fathers decide?"

De Arbitrii Libert, p. 449, t. vi. Bib. Max. SS. PP.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 85-86

St. Cyril of Alexandria, (A.D. 376-444), Egyptian; bishop, theologian and Doctor of the Church. He succeeded Theophilus in the patriarchal see of Alexandria, in A.D. 412, and was the great champion of orthodoxy against Nestorius, against whom the general council of Ephesus was called, in A.D. 431 and in which St. Cyril presided.

"Thus does it seem good to this man (Nestorius), and to him alone, to think and to speak differently from all other men; though the Catholic Church which Christ has presented to Himself, has not the wrinkles which (disfigure) the man that writes these things.

Rather is she without blemish, and holds the faith concerning Him in every way blameless, and has very correctly made the tradition of faith (the Nicene creed.)"

T. vii. L. ii. Adv. Nestor, p. 30.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 94

Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus, (A.D. 393-458), Greek; an influential author, theologian, and Christian bishop of Cyrrhus, Syria (A.D. 423-457). He played a pivotal role in many early Byzantine church controversies that led to various ecumenical acts and schisms. His friendship for Nestorius embroiled him, for a time, with his great contemporary, St. Cyril of Alexandria.

"We have had handed down to us, and have been taught, and we hold this Catholic and Apostolic tradition and faith and confession, that one is the hypostasis — this the heretics themselves denominate substance — of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

Hist. Eccles. I. ii. c. viii. p. 81; Vales. Cantab. 1720.
(Ex. Ep. Synod. Condi. Sardic.}
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 442

"Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to le praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain."

Psalms 47

"We have already said that the divine Scripture frequently designates as a city, not the buildings, but its internal regulation; he accordingly says that the Lord has been shown to be great, by what He has done for His city, which the sublimity of its dogmas has made conspicuous, even as a city upon a great and lofty hill; for a city, the Lord says, set upon a hill, cannot be hid. He has built, he says, this city, well, beautifully and solidly, to the joy of the whole earth. For, He built it, says the divine Apostle,

"upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone."

Ephesians 2

And the Lord Himself said to blessed Peter, "And upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it."

Matthew 16

Wherefore that phrase rooting it well is instead of founding it solidly, so as to endure without tottering, and unshaken.

"The Mountain of Sion (on) the sides of the north, the city of the great King". . . . The mountains which repel the northwinds, and keep the city uninjured, one may reasonably say are the prophets and Apostles, and their various doctrines, and, furthermore, the angels who are set over believers.

"For the angel of the Lord shall encamp round about them that fear Him."

Psalm 34

In her houses is God known, when He shall take her in charge. One, indeed, is the Church through out all earth and sea; for which cause, when we pray, we say — "For the holy and alone Catholic and Apostolic Church, which is from one end of the earth to the other." That same city, again, is divided into cities and towns and villages, which the prophetic word denominates houses. As every city has in it many separate houses, and is nevertheless called one city, so are there tens of thousands and countless churches, both on the islands and continents, but they are all perfected together into one Church, united by the concord of the true doctrines. In these churches, he says that the God of all is seen furnishing His own aid. He next foretells the assaults that were to be, and the conversion of her adversaries.

"For behold the kings of the earth assembled themselves, they gathered together. So they saw and wondered."

Psalm 34:6

For they hastened together as though about to make war, but when they beheld the unconquerableness of Her whom they warred against, they were struck with consternation. "For they were troubled", he says, they were moved. (Psalm 34:6, 7) Having contemplated, he says, the solid foundations of the Church, and learnt the unerring truth of the promise, they were seized with fear and trembling, like men who are crossing the waves (backs) of the sea, and are tossed with storms, and expecting utter destruction. Wherefore, having ceased from fighting and assaulting, they proclaim the power of their antagonist, and cry out,

"As we have heard, so have we seen, in the city of the Lord of Hosts, in the city of our God."

For not willing to admit the predictions concerning her, we have, by facts, become witnesses to their truth. "God hath founded her unto eternity." For it is His voice,

"Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it."

Matthew 16

The prophetic word having thus shown the change of her enemies, next foretells what words they will make use of who have found safety (or salvation). "We have received Thy mercy, God, in the midst of Thy temple." We look for, they say, this Thine aid, O Lord, knowing the unerring truth of Thy promises. For Thou didst say, "I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. Distribute her houses (verse 14), so as that one may look after this, and an other after that church, and that the husbandman be set over, and take befitting care of each. And this does he order to be done, not for once, or twice, but in every generation. And for this cause he added, "That ye may relate it unto another generation. For this is our God for ever and ever, He shepherds (or feeds, rules) us for evermore." For each generation must needs transmit to the one after it what it received from the preceding, that so the saving Gospel may be transmitted in all generations, and all men may know that He is our Lord and God, and Good Shepherd, and everlasting. For as he said, "Distribute her houses", and committed the feeding to them, he necessarily taught that One is the "Good Shepherd who laid down His life for the sheep", feeding them forever and ever, and feeding not the sheep only, but those also who are called the shepherds of the sheep."

T. i. in Ps. xlvii. pp. 907-913.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 94-97

St. Vincent of Lérins (A.D. c.400-445), in Latin, Vincentius, a monastic presbyter and ecclesiastical writer in the island of Lérins, he was a man learned in the Holy Scriptures, and well instructed in the knowledge of the doctrines of the Church, with a view to overthrow the sects of the heretics. He composed in elegant and clear language a very powerful dissertation, which, concealing his own name, he entitled Peregrinus against Heretics.

"When often inquiring from very many men excelling in holiness and learning, how I might, by some general and undeviating (or ordinary) way, discern the truth of Catholic faith from the falseness of heretical pravity, I have received from almost all something like this answer:

That when I or any of the faithful would hear of deceptions, and wished to avoid the snares of the heretics as they spring up, and remain safe and sound in the sound faith, he ought to fortify with God's assistance, in two ways, his faith.

  1. First, that is, by the authority of the divine Law;
  2. Secondly, by the Tradition of the Catholic Church.

Here some one perhaps may ask,

Seeing that the Canon of the Scriptures is perfect, and self-sufficient, and more than sufficient, for all things, what need is there that the authority of the Church's understanding (interpretation) be joined unto it?

The reason is, because all men do not take the Sacred Scripture, on account of its very profoundness, in one and the same sense; but this man and that man, in this way, and that way, interprets the sayings thereof; that as many opinions almost as there are men, would seem to be capable of being drawn therefrom.


      • Novatian expounds in one way,
      • in another Photinus
      • in another Sabellius
      • in another Donatus
      • in another Arius, Eunomius, and Macedonius
      • in another Apollinaris and Priscillian,
      • in another Jovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, and in another, in fine, Nestorius.

And for this cause very necessary it is, on account of the many doublings of error so varied, that the line of interpretation, both of prophets and Apostles, be directed according to the rule (standard) of the ecclesiastical and Catholic sense. Again, in the Catholic Church itself, very great care is to be taken that we hold that which hath been believed everywhere, always, and by all men.

For Catholic is truly and properly that, as the very force and nature of the word declares, which comprises all things in general, after a universal manner; and this is thus, in fine, attained, — if we follow universality, antiquity, consent.

      • Now, we shall follow universality thus, if we confess this one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses.
      • antiquity, thus, if we in no wise recede from those senses which it is manifest that our holy elders and Fathers openly maintained.
      • consent, likewise (shall we follow) in the same manner, if, in this antiquity itself, we adhere to the definitions and sentiments of all, or at least of nearly all the priests and doctors together.

      • What then shall a Catholic Christian do, if some small part of the Church cut itself off from the communion of the universal faith?
      • What, indeed, but prefer the healthfulness of the whole body before the pestiferous and corrupt member?
      • What if some novel contagion attempt to taint no longer a small part only, but the whole Church alike?

Then, likewise, shall he see to it that he cleave unto antiquity, which is now utterly incapable of being seduced by any craft of novelty.

      • What if, in antiquity itself, there be discovered some error of two or three men, or of some one city or province even?

Then shall he by all means give heed that he prefer, before the temerity or ignorance of a few, the decrees, if such there be, universally (received) of old, of a general council.

      • What if some such case arise, wherein nothing of this nature can be found?

Then shall he bestow his labor to consult and interrogate the collated sentiments of the ancients, — of those to wit who, though living at different times and places, yet remaining in the communion and faith of the one Catholic Church, were trustworthy teachers; and whatsoever he shall recognize that not one or two only, but all alike, with one unvarying consent, plainly, frequently, unswervingly held, wrote, taught, that let him understand is to be also believed by him without any doubt.

The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 101-104

"On those issues of faith that the fathers believed, we are to believe in this binding manner, that whatsoever either all, or the greater number of them, with one and the same mind or sense, plainly, frequently, and unswervingly, as in a kind of council of teachers agreeing together, have confirmed by receiving, holding, and delivering the faith, let that be held as a thing undoubted, certain, and settled.

But whatsoever sentiment, any, although he be holy and learned, although a bishop, although a confessor and martyr, may have entertained beside all, or even contrary to all, let that be separated from the authority of the common, public, and general sentiment, and placed amongst his own proper, and secret, and private slight opinions; lest, with the utmost peril of eternal salvation, we do, according to the sacrilegious custom of heretics and schismatics, having forsaken the ancient truth of universal doctrine, follow the novelty of some one man.

The holy and Catholic consent of which blessed fathers, lest any one think that he may rashly contemn, the Apostle says, in his first epistle to the Corinthians,

"And God indeed hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, of which himself was one; secondly, prophets, as Agabus, of whom we read in the Acts; thirdly, doctors",

who are now called expounders (tractatores), whom this same Apostle sometimes also nameth prophets, for that by them the mysteries of the prophets are laid open to the people. These men, therefore, disposed of God, throughout times and places, in the Church of God, whosoever despiseth them when they concur in any one sentiment touching the understanding of Catholic doctrine, despises not man, but God; from the truth teaching unity of which men that none dissent, the same Apostle very earnestly entreats, saying,

"But I beseech you, brethren, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but be you perfect, in the same mind, and in the same judgment."

1 Corinthians 1:10

Adv. Haecres. n. xxviii.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 444-445

    • If the words, the sentiments, the promises of Scripture, are appealed to by the Devil and his disciples, of whom some are false apostles, some false prophets and false teachers, and all without exception heretics, what are Catholics and the sons of Mother Church to do?
    • How are they to distinguish truth from falsehood in the sacred Scriptures?

They must be very careful to pursue that course which, in the beginning of this Commonitory [a book affirming authentic Christianity by Vincent], we said that holy and learned men had commended to us, that is to say, they must interpret the sacred Canon according to the traditions of the Universal Church and in keeping with the rules of Catholic doctrine in which the very Catholic and Apostolic Church it is necessary for them to follow universality, antiquity, consent.

And if at any time a part opposes itself to the whole, novelty to antiquity, the dissent of one or a few who are in error to the consent of all or at all events of the great majority of Catholics, then they must prefer the soundness of the whole to the corruption of a part; in which same whole they must prefer the religion of antiquity to the profaneness of novelty.

And in antiquity itself, in like manner, to the temerity of one or of a very few they must prefer, first of all, the general decrees, if such there be, of a Universal Council, or if there be no such, then, what is next best, they must follow the consentient belief of many and great masters. Which rule having been faithfully, soberly, and scrupulously observed, we shall with little difficulty detect the noxious errors of heretics as they arise.

The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Page 348-349

"As we have said in the past, this always has been, and also is to this day, the custom of Catholics, to approve the true faith in these two ways:

  1. first, by the authority of the divine Scripture (the canon);

  2. secondly, by the tradition of the Catholic Church: not because the canon alone is not sufficient of itself for all things, but because very many interpreting the divine words according to their own pleasure, conceive various opinions and errors; and for this cause it is necessary that the interpretation of the heavenly Scripture be directed according to the one rule of the ecclesiastical sense, in those questions, to wit, especially upon which the foundations of the whole Catholic doctrine do depend."

Adv. Hæres. n. xxix.
Also The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Page 350

Capreolus of Carthage; (c. A.D. late 4th century - A.D. 437), succeeded Aurelius as bishop of Carthage who is known principally as the author of three letters: an Epistula ad Ephesinam synodum addressed to the Council of Ephesus in 431, an Epistula ad Vitalem et Constantium, and an Epistula ad Theodosium Augustum, which reports the death of St. Augustine of Hippo to the emperor Theodosius.

"I, therefore, beseech your holiness (though I have the firmest confidence) that, by the help of God, the Catholic faith will be in all respects firmly established by means of so great a synod (Ephesus) of venerable priests, that, the Holy Spirit working within you, which Spirit, I am confident, will be present in your hearts in all that you do, you shake from you with the force of former authority these novel doctrines, unheard, until now, by ecclesiastical ears, and thus withstand new errors of whatsoever kind they may be; lest the same (errors) which the Church vanquished long ago, and which have sprung up again in these days, and which the authority of the apostolic chair, and the concordant judgment of the priesthood repressed, may, under the pretext of a second examination, seem to recover that voice which was long since quelled.

For, should anything have developed recently, there needs examination, that it may either be approved as rightly spoken, or repudiated as deserving of condemnation; but on matters concerning judgments that have already been passed, if a man calls a teaching into question again, he will simply have seemed to have doubted that faith, which up to now, he had held.

Again, as an example to posterity: that what is now defined relative to Catholic faith may be forever firmly received, those matters which have already been defined by the Fathers, must be preserved inviolate. Since whosoever would declare that what he has defined concerning the right ordering of faith should continue forever, needs his sentiments confirmed, not by his private authority, but also by the judgment of the more ancient (Fathers); so that, in this manner, proving that what he asserts is, both by the decisions of the ancients and of the moderns, the alone truth of the Catholic Church, — a truth descending from the past ages even to the present, or our days, in simple purity and invincible authority, — and that such truth he both utters, and teaches, and holds."

Cyril of Alexandria said,

"Let the epistle that has been read from. . . Capreolus of Carthage, be inserted amongst the memorials of faith, containing, as it does, a clear opinion; for he wishes the ancient doctrines to be confirmed, but novel and absurd inventions to be condemned and cast aside." All the bishops exclaimed, "Such are the declarations of us all."

Ep. ad Condi. Eph. pp. 490, 491, t. ix. Gallandii.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 99-100

Author's note: Capeeolus of Carthage succeeded Aurelius in the see of Carthage, and in A.D. 431 sent his deputies to the council of Ephesus, with a letter, part of which is given in the text. See Gallandius, t. ix.

St. Peter Chrysologus, (A.D. 406 - 450), deacon, bishop of Imola and Ravenna, and Doctor of the Church, his piety and zeal won for him universal admiration, and his oratory merited for him the name Chrysologus, meaning: golden-worded or golden mouth.

"I believe in the Holy Catholic Church. Because the Church is in Christ, and Christ is in the Church: whosoever, therefore, acknowledges the Church, has confessed that he has believed in the Church."

Serm. lxii. De Symbolo,p. 97.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 110

Salonius, (flourished/wrote A.D. c.445), the son of St. Eucherius and the disciple of Salvian. It is doubtful whether he was bishop of Vienne or of Geneva. He was present at the Council of Orange in 444.

"Remove not the ancient landmarks which thy fathers set."

Proverbs 23

By "the ancient land marks" he means the landmarks of truth and of faith which the Catholic doctors have set from the beginning. This, therefore, does he enjoin, that no one understand (receive) the truth of sacred faith and of evangelic doctrine otherwise than as it has been transmitted by the holy fathers; or, this does he enjoin, that no one interpret the words of the holy Scriptures otherwise than in accordance with the meaning of each (sacred) writer. What are those riches of which he says,

"Lift not up thine eyes to riches which thou canst not have, because they shall make to themselves wings, and shall fly towards Heaven ?"

Proverbs 23

Those riches are the hidden things of the Godhead, and the secrets of the heavenly mysteries which thou canst not penetrate, nor art able to understand, because these things are patent to the eagles alone, that is, to the heavenly citizens only are they manifested.

"The Heaven above, and the earth beneath, and the heart of kings is unsearchable."

Proverbs 25

As the height of Heaven and the depth of earth cannot be comprehended by men, so neither is the capacity of our feebleness able to comprehend, or to penetrate the depths of the knowledge and meaning of the prophets and Apostles."

Expl. Myst. in Salom. Prov. p. 406, t. viii. Bib. Max. SS. PP.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 118-119

Arnobius Junior, (flourished in the 5th century, A.D. c.460), also known as Arnobius the Younger, Christian priest or bishop in Gaul, author of a mystical and allegorical commentary on the Psalms, first published by Erasmus in 1522, and by him attributed to the elder Arnobius.

"He who came down from Heaven to assume our humanity, never left Heaven, as it is written,

"I will fill Heaven and earth"

Jeremiah 23

And He who ascended into Heaven from these (terrestrial) things, never abandoned us. For so Himself promised, saying,

"Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."

Matthew 28

Conflict. Arnob. et Serapion. p. 230, t. viii. Bibl. Maxim. SS. PP.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 115

"The seed of the servants of Christ . . . possess the doctrines of the Apostles, and they who shall love the name of the Lord shall dwell therein."

Psalms 68

that is, in faith, in doctrine, in the Church, in which our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, reigns now and for ages of ages."

Comm. in Ps. lxviii. lb. p. 274.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 115

Applying Psalm 103 to Christ, he says:

"It was then He made His angels spirits. Angels are called in the Latin tongue "nuncii", messengers, and the Gospel is interpreted a good message. He, therefore, then made His angels, that is, the Apostles, spirits, when He said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit, and preach the Gospel to every creature." And He then made them a burning fire, when the Holy Spirit sat, as fire, on each of them. He then founded the earth on its own firmness, recalling, that is, the earthly minds of the Gentiles, — which, in the building of the tower, had been divided, — unto their own firmness. He strengthens them by that one word, Jesus Christ, and He so founds amongst them His Church upon this rock, as that it shall not be moved forever and ever.

Let philosophers keep to themselves their fruitless inquiries, and with mighty toil declare that they can discover that the earth has a deep beneath it, wherewith it is clothed as with a garment, but let us turn the point of our discourse to this earth which is founded on the firmness of the Church. For the deep encompasses it. For the depth of the riches of wisdom which encompasses it is fathomless, and above its waters shall the mountains stand. Whosoever has their hearts raised on high are mountains, and above them the waters stand. Above them stands the hallowing of Baptism; they stand in the right faith, they are not driven about by every wind of doctrine. . . . This great sea which stretcheth wide its arms, etc., — He would have us know that a great and wide sea, is the whole law of the Old and New Testament.

There are creeping things without number; in the law the Jews; in the law the Samaritans; and in the law the Heretics; and in the law the Catholics; in the law, kings, etc.; in the law, little and great, there the ships go, the alone churches of all the provinces, (churches) which bear their passengers to the kingdom of Heaven, from the cities of earth to the city of Jerusalem, our mother. But he that shall be found without a ship in this great sea, "shall meet with the dragon which has been formed to make sport of them" . . . with those, that is, who repudiate the ships, and deliver themselves up, like animals, to the waves and depths of the law, without a master who is a Catholic, and who derives the tradition of the law from the Apostles.

Wherefore, because that they are without the Church, wandering about amongst creatures little and great, they meet with a dragon, that so makes sport of them, as that they fancy that they are wiser than the Catholics; and, according to their own fancies, they meet with the destruction of eternal death, when they have sunk into the depths. Let us, therefore, sing unto the Lord our God. . . . Sweet may our praise be unto Him, sweetened with Catholic doctrines, bringing with it nothing from the disease of the Jews, nothing from the disease of the heretics."

Com. in Psalm ciii. t. viii. Bib. Max. PP. pp. 294, 295.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 115-117

"Why build, ye Jews? why watch, ye heretics? In vain do ye this, because the Lord neither builds, nor watches with you. But, ye orthodox, who love Christ in incorruptness, fear not; build in security, because the Lord builds with you. "For you are God's husbandry, you are Gods building." (1 Corinthians 3): watch, for the Lord not only watches with you, but awakes you when fallen asleep, saying,

"Watch with me; watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation."

Matthew 26

Why will the Lord come? That, in the resurrection, "the inheritance of the Lord" may be manifested; in which (resurrection) all the sons of God receive an inheritance, if so be that they shall have been the children of His womb, that is, if they shall have been baptized in the font of Catholic faith; there is the womb of the Church which bears children unto Him."

In Psalm. cxxvi. p. 314, Ib.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 117

"He that shall be found without a ship in this great sea, "shall meet with the dragon which has been formed to make sport of them." (Psalms 130) with those, that is, who repudiate the ships, and deliver themselves up, like animals, to the waves and depths of the law, without a master who is a Catholic, and who derives the tradition of the law from the Apostles. Wherefore, because they are without the Church.

Comm. in Ps. ciii. p. 295 ; t. viii. Bill. Maxim. SS. PP.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, Page 386

Gelasius of Cyzicus, (unknown- A.D. c.492), son of a priest of Cyzicus, he was an ecclesiastical writer who wrote in the Roman province of Bithynia in Asia Minor about A.D. 475 to prove against the Eutychians, that the Nicene Fathers did not teach Monophysitism.

"This is the apostolic and unspotted faith of the Church, which (faith) delivered from Heaven by the Lord Himself through the Apostles, the Church reverences (as) transmitted from Father to Son, and retains it now and for evermore, the Lord saying to His disciples,

"Going teach all nations." ...

It has seemed good to us all together that the word consubstantial ought to be defined in the Catholic faith, in the same way as our holy fathers, who have lived since the Apostles, have delivered this faith."

Hist. Concil. Nicaen. l. ii. c. xxiii. xxiv. col. 224, t. ii. Labb.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 449



The word Catholic means universal, because Our Blessed Lord came to save all mankind from the fall of Adam and Eve to the last person born up to His Glorious Second Coming.


The Church's Scriptures that support the Catholicity of the Church:

The Mass foretold in the Old Testament:

10 Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you," Says the Lord of hosts, "Nor will I accept an offering from your hands. 11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations," Says the Lord of hosts.

Malachi 1:10-11

Persecutions Foretold

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:14

Jesus Commissions the Disciples

15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.


Mark 16:15-16

The Ascension of Jesus

8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth."


Acts 1:8

Salvation Is for All

17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ. 18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for "Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world."


Romans 10:17-18

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