“Thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” These words of Our Savior in Matthew 16:18 form the core of the Catholic Church’s claim to be the one, true Church founded by Jesus Christ.  “Where Peter is, there is the Church.” The Pope, the successor of Peter as bishop of Rome, is the sure sign that the Catholic Church remains the Church of Christ and His apostles.

The theology of the Catholic Church is based on natural law, canonical scripture, divine revelation, and sacred tradition, as interpreted authoritatively by the magisterium of the Catholic Church.  The teachings of the Catholic Church are summarized in various creeds, especially the Nicene (Nicene-Constantinopolitan) Creed and the Apostles’ Creed, and authoritatively summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Catholic teachings have been refined and clarified by major councils of the Church, convened by popes at important points throughout history.  The first such council, the Council of Jerusalem, was convened by the Apostles c. AD 50.  The most recent was the Second Vatican Council, which was held from 1962 to 1965.

The Catholic Church believes that it is guided by the Holy Spirit, and that it is protected from definitively teaching error on matters of faith and morals.  According to the Church, the Holy Spirit reveals God’s truth through sacred scripture and sacred tradition.  Sacred tradition consists of those beliefs handed down through the church since the time of the Apostles.  Sacred scripture and sacred tradition are collectively known as the deposit of faith.  This is in turn interpreted by the magisterium, the teaching authority of the Church.  The magisterium includes those pronouncements of the popes that are considered infallible, as well as the pronouncements of ecumenical councils and those of the College of Bishops in union with the pope when they condemn false interpretations of scripture or define truths. 

Formal Catholic worship is ordered by means of the liturgy, which is regulated by church authority.  The celebration of the Eucharist, one of seven sacraments, is held at the center of Catholic worship.  There are numerous additional forms of personal prayer and devotion including the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, and Eucharistic adoration.  The Church community consists of the ordained clergy, the laity, and those like monks and nuns living a consecrated life under rule.

According to the Catechism, Christ instituted seven sacraments and entrusted them to the Church.  These are Baptism, Confirmation (Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony.  They are vehicles through which God’s grace is said to flow into all those who receive them with the proper disposition.  The Church encourages people to engage in adequate preparation before receiving certain sacraments.

21 thoughts on “Church Begining and Basic Catholic Beliefs

  1. I was born and raised in the Catholic faith, attended Catholic schools, believed and practiced what every devout Catholic believes and practices.

    I just have one question, is there any historical evidence that Peter was the first pope? Bishop, yes, there were bishops. If I am not mistaken, I think the first pope was declared pope at the end of the 3rd century.

    Also, nowhere in the Bible does it day that the early church headed by Paul and the other disciples practiced the rosary and stations of the cross. So why is the Catholic church teaching and practicing them?

    1. There is no contesting the FACT that the Roman Catholic church can
      be traced back to St. Peter.  That is fact and the Catholic
      Church has the paperwork showing the line of succession from Peter to
      the current Bishop, or what we call the pope.  Yes, they are
      bishops.

      So was Peter the first pope(bishop) of the Catholic Church?

      Without question, St. Peter was the first pope of the Catholic Church. Since the church was under persecution by the Roman Empire until A.D. 313 and the official Roman historians were not concerned with the affairs of the church, we must rely on the testimony of the early church fathers.

      St. Irenaeus (d. 202) in his Adversus Haereses, a writing, described how the church at Rome was founded by St. Peter and St. Paul and traced the handing on of the office of St. Peter through Linus, Cletus, Clement and so on through 12 successors to his own present day, Pope Eleutherius. (Even in the Roman Canon, or the first eucharistic prayer, we remember St. Peter and the apostles, as well as Linus, Cletus and Clement, these first four popes of the church who reigned during the first century.) Moreover, St. Irenaeus emphasized the teaching authority of the pope: “For with this church (of Rome), because of its superior origin, all churches must agree, that is, all of the faithful in the whole world; and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition.” Here the office of the pope was recognized as instituted by Christ to provide leadership and authentic teaching for the whole church.

      Catholics believe that the universal church was established by
      Jesus when He said to Peter, “upon you I
      will build my Church”.  So let’s look at the following for a
      minute.

      Catholic Church was established by Jesus about 2,000 years ago.

      Baptist Church established by two men named Roger Williams and
      John Clarke
      .  Year 1639

      Methodist Church set up by a man named John Wesley sometime in
      the 18th century.

      Lutheranism is a branch of Protestant Christianity.  it is
      based on the ideas of a man named Martin Luther, who lived in Germany
      in the 1500’s.  It was one of the first groups to break away
      from the Roman Catholic Church during the reformation.

      Now, this list goes on and on and it contains the names of MEN
      that started a particular church based on whatever beliefs he might
      have had at the time of his church conception.  I will say this,
      I want to attend the Church that Jesus set up, I don’t
      want to follow any other man.

      You asked “Also, nowhere in the Bible does it day that the
      early church headed by Paul and the other disciples practiced the
      rosary and stations of the cross. So why is the Catholic church
      teaching and practicing them?

      Let’s begin with the Stations of the Cross.  You should
      remember from your childhood that all these stations are in the
      Bible.  All 14 of them.

      The Stations of the Cross are a 14-step Catholic devotion that
      commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a man. The 14
      devotions, or stations, focus on specific events of His last day,
      beginning with His condemnation. The stations are commonly used as a
      mini pilgrimage as the individual moves from station to station. At
      each station, the individual recalls and meditates on a specific
      event from Christ’s last day. Specific prayers are recited, then the
      individual moves to the next station until all 14 are complete.

      The Stations of the Cross are commonly found in churches as a
      series of 14 small icons or images. They can also appear in church
      yards arranged along paths. The stations are most commonly prayed
      during Lent on Wednesdays and Fridays, and especially on Good Friday,
      the day of the year upon which the events actually occurred.

      Now the for the rosary.

      Again, all the prayers and the Mysteries of the rosary are 100%
      right there in the Bible.  Let me explain.

      The prayer which is really at
      the center of the devotion, is the Hail Mary. Since the Hail Mary is
      a prayer to Mary, many Protestants assume it’s unbiblical. Quite
      the contrary, actually. Let’s look at it.

      The prayer begins, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is
      with thee
      .” This is nothing other than the greeting the angel
      Gabriel gave Mary in Luke 1:28 (Confraternity Version). The
      next part reads this way: 

      Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of
      thy womb, Jesus
      .” This was exactly what Mary’s cousin
      Elizabeth said to her in Luke 1:42. The only thing that has been
      added to these two verses are the names “Jesus” and “Mary,”
      to make clear who is being referred to. So the first part of the Hail
      Mary is entirely biblical. 

      The second part of the Hail Mary is not taken straight from
      Scripture, but it is entirely biblical in the thoughts it expresses.
      It reads: 

      Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at
      the hour of our death. Amen
      .” 

      Let’s look at the first words. Some Protestants do object to
      saying “Holy Mary” because they claim Mary was a sinner
      like the rest of us. But Mary was a Christian (the first Christian,
      actually, the first to accept Jesus; cf. Luke 1:45), and the Bible
      describes Christians in general as holy. In fact, they are called
      saints, which means “holy ones” (Eph. 1:1, Phil. 1:1, Col.
      1:2). Furthermore, as the mother of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate
      Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Mary was certainly a very holy
      woman. 

      Some Protestants object to the title “Mother of God,”
      but suffice it to say that the title doesn’t mean Mary is older
      than God; it means the person who was born of her was a divine
      person, not a human person. (Jesus is one person, the divine, but has
      two natures, the divine and the human; it is incorrect to say he is a
      human person.) The denial that Mary had God in her womb is a heresy
      known as Nestorianism (which claims that Jesus was two persons, one
      divine and one human), which has been condemned since the early 400s
      and which the Reformers and Protestant Bible scholars have always
      rejected. 

      Thanks, Alice A. for the respectful and nice comment and please continue to comment on this comment.  It is always good for me to refresh my memory and restudy my faith.  

      Thanks and please come back anytime.

      Bob

  2. I used to be catholic and I have a question for you.
    Why does catholism have a “man image” where others are supposed to look up to as the pope? The scripture says to turn your eyes to Christ; not mankind nor idols. Why is catholism filled with idolatry? Please be kind enough to answer this.

    1. Why does catholism have a “man image” where others are supposed to look up to as the pope?

      We live in a democratic society. Yet believing in democracy does not mean that we do not have leadership. In fact, there is not a single country in the world which does not have a single ruler as head of the state; even if his or her powers are limited in one way or another. As human beings, we need to see in important communities a leader who acts with the authority of that particular state or institution.

      The Catholic Church is the biggest Christian denomination, with over a billion members worldwide.  Our leader is called affectionately “the Pope”, which means “Father”.  We call the Pope “Father”, just as Catholics call their priest “Father”, because the Pope represents God as our Father, who loves us, who made us, and who sent his Son to die on the cross for us.  The Pope represents God our Father in a special way, because like a good parent he guards the truth of the revelation which Jesus Christ handed on to his apostles, the chief of whom was Simon whom Jesus called in his own language Cephas, meaning “Rock”.  We believe that the present Pope is the successor of Peter, the Fisherman.  

      I have never turned my eyes or prayed to the pope.  He is just a guy that leads the church.  My eyes are turned to Christ, just like yourself if you are Christian.

      Does your church have a leader, a pasture, a person(man or woman) that leads you and the congregation in prayer.  Someone you look up to for support and direction and to take care of church business?  What do you call that person?  It cannot be pope because that name is already taken.

      Why is catholism filled with idolatry?

      The Catholic Church does not believe any statue or image has any power in and of itself. The beauty of statues and icons move us to the contemplation of the Word of God as he is himself or as he works in his saints. And, according to Scripture, as well as the testimony of the centuries, God even uses them at times to impart blessings (e.g., healings) according to his providential plan.

      While it can certainly be understood how a superficial reading of the first commandment could lead one to believe we Catholics are in grave error with regard to our use of statues and icons, the key to a proper understanding of the first commandment is found at the very end of that same commandment, in verse 5 of Exodus 20: “You shall not bow down to them or serve [adore] them.”

      Do you have pictures of Christ in your church or home?  Do you wear a religious necklace or bracelet?  I know several non-Catholic people that have tried to accuse me of having too many pictures or statues of Christ in my home and at my church.  I look at their houses and find the same exact things.  Pictures on their walls, tattoos of Christ, jewelry with pictures and sayings.  No different but when a Catholic proudly displays a statue, all hell beaks loose from the non-Catholics.

      Please feel free to comment again.  Please come back to my site as it is really new and will be on the growth.

      Remember to seek out your Catholic answers from creditable sources.  In other words, don’t go to someone that is not Catholic and doesn’t understand Catholicism.  

      God Bless

      Bob

       

  3. Hey! Thanks for the history and overview of Catholicism. I actually grew up Anglican, but I can see a lot of similarities, especially with many of the terminology. I guess it’s been a while since I’ve attended church… but I’m really just starting to get back into it. I’ve been looking at different churches in my area, and one of the ones I’m interested in is a Catholic church.

    Is it true that you can only participate in communion at services if you are Catholic?

    1. First of all thanks so much for stopping by Mei Scarlet.

      Glad you learned something about Catholicism and found some similarities with your faith.

      If you are not attending church like you should, I pray you will start going. 

      If you have any questions about Catholicism, I would be more than happy to assist in any way I can.

      God Bless

      Bob

  4. I know that the Catholic belief is that Peter was the “rock” upon which the church was built, however the scriptures don’t support that belief. The scriptures make it very clear that Jesus the Christ, is the very cornerstone, and the only foundation that can be laid. And the FACT that Jesus IS the Christ, the Son of the living God, is the “rock” that His church is built upon.
    I would like to study this in detail with you, if you are agreeable to do so. Please let me know.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, no questions but really great comment. Let me try to keep this all Bible based but let’s ask some questions to find some answers, then go from there.

      First, question is, did Jesus “found” a church? Answer is yes.
      It is all explained in Matt 16:18. Let’s look at the Bible, it says: “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”
      Jesus’ CHURCH means the community that he WILL gather and that , like a building, will have Peter as its solid foundation. The function of Peter consists in his being witness to Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God. The Gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. It will not be overcome by the power of death.

      If Jesus found a church, how many churches did Jesus found? Answer is just one. The church is the Body of Christ and there is only ONE Body of Christ. We see this in Rom 12:5, Eph 4:4, Col 1:18

      So, if Jesus founded one church, then when was it founded? Answer is about 2000 years ago, while he walked here amongst us.

      Was this one church guided by the Holy Spirit? Of course it was, yes. John 14:26, John 16:13, Acts 2:3-4
       
      If the one church founded by Jesus Christ and was guided by the Holy Spirit, could it teach doctrinal error? Of course not, no. This means the church cannot teach something wrong or in error. 1 Tim 3:15 

      Next question is, could the church founded by Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, taught doctrinal truth infallibly, without error, to the 1st century Christians? Answer is yes. Luke 10:16, John 14:16-17, 1 Ptr 1:12
       
      Did the church of the New Testament teach different doctrinal truths to different people in different areas? Absolutely not. No. 2 Tim 1:12-14, Eph 4:14, Titus 1:9 

      Are there an denominations in the church of the New Testament? NOPE. The church in the New Testament is ONE, just as the Body of Christ is ONE. 1 Cor 1:10, 1 Cor 11:18-19, Jude 19 

      Could a church founded by Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit still be in existence today? Oh yeah, yes. Matt 16:18, Mat 28:20, Eph 3:21

      Would that church still be guided by the Holy Spirit? Of course it would, yes. Mat 28:20, John 14:16

       So if Jesus founded a church, one church, in Israel about 2000 years ago that was guided by the Holy Spirit and that church is still in existence today and is still guided by the Holy Spirit, which means it teaches doctrinal truth infallibly, and there are no denominations of that church now, just as there were none 2000 years ago, then shouldn’t all Christians be in that one church founded by Jesus? I say yes. It doesn’t make sense to be anywhere else.
       
      How can we identify which church, of the thousands, is THE Church founded by Jesus Christ? The Church founded by Jesus, should at least claim to be THE Church founded by Jesus; it should be able to factually trace its leadership back 2000 years to the Apostles; it should claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit and to this teach doctrinal truth infallibly with the authority of Jesus Christ, its FOUNDER.

      How many churches fit that description? Only 1, the Catholic Church. The Church FOUNDED by Christ and set upon Peter, the first pope of the Universal Church.
       
       Jim, I agree that Jesus IS the Christ, the Son of the living God. He is the FOUNDER of the Church that was set upon Peter to continue His ONE Church.
      Thanks so much for the comment. Please let me know what you think.
      God Bless
      Bob

      1. Bobby; Thanks for your thoughtful reply to my comments. I must say that I agree with ALMOST everything that you’ve said. I love the fact that you point out so correctly that there is ONE body, the Body of Christ. And that ALL Christians are members of that one body. And that God authorizes NO denominations, and as a matter of fact condemns ALL division, in 1 Corinthians 1:10. And that the “church” which actually means, “the called out assembly”, is guided by the Spirit. But we must remember that while that guidance was accomplished through the miraculous inspiration of the Spirit, in the first century, it is now accomplished through the “word of the Spirit”, which is the bible. (Please let me know if you do not agree with this)

        There are however, two things that you’ve said, that I do not believe are accurate. The first is something that possibly just wasn’t phrased correctly. You said, regarding the question of when Jesus “founded” His church; “Answer is, about 2,000 years ago when he walked here amongst us.” The fact is however, that the church was not “founded” while Jesus walked amongst us, but rather, it was “founded” when He ascended on back to heaven to again be with the Father. An illustration of this is given in one of the visions that the prophet Daniel saw, in Daniel 7:13 & 14. Verse 14 specifically states; “And to Him was given dominion, glory, and a KINGDOM”. The kingdom is the church. This fact is borne out in Mathew 16:18 & 19; “..Upon this rock, I will build My church.. I will give you the keys to the kingdom..” Therefore we see that the church and the kingdom are one and the same. (Also please let me know if you do not agree with this)

        The second thing that the bible does not support, is the claim that the church; “..will have Peter as it’s solid foundation”. Not only does the bible not agree with that statement, but it absolutely contradicts that idea, in 1 Corinthians 3:11, which says; “For no man can lay a foundation , other than the one which is laid, which is JESUS CHRIST!” That is as emphatic as it can be, and it is without question, that Jesus Christ, and Him alone, is the foundation of the church. Peter is not a “foundation of the church, because as you say, the holy Spirit taught these words “infallibly”.

        I need to go ahead and post this reply, because I am losing my internet connection right now due to heavy clouds and snow, I will post this and finish later. thanks so much Bobby, for you patience.

        1. Thanks so much for commenting and keeping this string alive. I am learning about your belief and perhaps you are learning something about the Catholic faith. That is always good.

          You said:

          Bobby; Thanks for your thoughtful reply to my comments. I must say that I agree with ALMOST everything that you’ve said. I love the fact that you point out so correctly that there is ONE body, the Body of Christ. And that ALL Christians are members of that one body. And that God authorizes NO denominations, and as a matter of fact condemns ALL division, in 1 Corinthians 1:10. And that the “church” which actually means, “the called out assembly”, is guided by the Spirit. But we must remember that while that guidance was accomplished through the miraculous inspiration of the Spirit, in the first century, it is now accomplished through the “word of the Spirit”, which is the bible. (Please let me know if you do not agree with this)

          Currently there is almost 36,000 different denominations in the world today.
          How does a bible based faith that believes there shouldn’t be different denominations, end up being one of those denominations?
          History shows that Luther didn’t like what he saw in the Universal Church, he decided to become the first denomination. Almost 36,000 other people followed in his footsteps. When does it stop?
          I agree with most of what you said.

          You then said:

          There are however, two things that you’ve said, that I do not believe are accurate. The first is something that possibly just wasn’t phrased correctly. You said, regarding the question of when Jesus “founded” His church; “Answer is, about 2,000 years ago when he walked here amongst us.” The fact is however, that the church was not “founded” while Jesus walked amongst us, but rather, it was “founded” when He ascended on back to heaven to again be with the Father. An illustration of this is given in one of the visions that the prophet Daniel saw, in Daniel 7:13 & 14. Verse 14 specifically states; “And to Him was given dominion, glory, and a KINGDOM”. The kingdom is the church. This fact is borne out in Mathew 16:18 & 19; “..Upon this rock, I will build My church.. I will give you the keys to the kingdom..” Therefore we see that the church and the kingdom are one and the same. (Also please let me know if you do not agree with this)

          You, my friend, are correct. My bad. I did not explain my view in detail, just left it very general, but you are right and I do agree with you on this first part. What I should have said in detail is that the birthday of the Church is the Ascension of Jesus Christ.
          Jesus promised his disciples that he would ascend into heaven to send back to them the Holy Spirit.
          Christ’s Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus’ humanity into God’s heavenly domain, whence he will come again ( Acts 1:11); this humanity in the meantime hides him from the eyes of men (Col 3:3).
          Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, precedes us into the Father’s glorious kingdom so that we, the members of his Body, may live in the hope of one day being with him for ever.
          Jesus Christ, having entered the sanctuary of heaven once and for all, intercedes constantly for us as the mediator who assures us of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

          You also said the following:

          The second thing that the bible does not support, is the claim that the church; “..will have Peter as it’s solid foundation”. Not only does the bible not agree with that statement, but it absolutely contradicts that idea, in 1 Corinthians 3:11, which says; “For no man can lay a foundation , other than the one which is laid, which is JESUS CHRIST!” That is as emphatic as it can be, and it is without question, that Jesus Christ, and Him alone, is the foundation of the church. Peter is not a “foundation of the church, because as you say, the holy Spirit taught these words “infallibly”.

          This is where I cannot let this go without a comment. I disagree with your understanding.

          First, Peter is the rock that Christ set or built his church upon….you know the rest.

          The confusion may be with your misunderstanding of 1 Corinthians 3:11. We need to read more of the third chapter to get a better understanding. Lets begin with 3:5, here the Corinthians tend to evaluate their leaders by the criteria of human wisdom and to exaggerate their importance. Paul views the role of the apostles in the light of his theology of spiritual gifts. The essential aspects of all spiritual gifts are exemplified by the apostolate, which is a gift of grace and a form of service for the common good. The apostles serve the church but their accountability is to God and to Christ.
          3:10-11 There are diverse function3s in the service of the community, but each individuals task is serious, and each will stand accountable for the quality of his contribution.

          Let’s read beginning at 3:10
          According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But each one must be careful how he builds upon it, for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ. IF anyone builds on this foundation with fold silver, precious stones, wood, hay or straw, the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each ones work. If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire…Again, you know the rest.

          In other words, Jim, this section only talks about the gifts God has given you and how you handle those gifts. We are asked to use our gifts in life to build upon the foundation of what Christ has already done and live our lives as Christ would. Perhaps reread it and see if that makes sense. Your understanding as you have explained it is NOT correct. Sorry to say but that would be a hard sell.

          Thanks so much again for the comments.
          God Bless
          Bob

          1. Hi Bob. Let me reply to the last part of your response to me. As to 1 Cor 3:10 ff; You are correct in saying that the direct reference here is to our use of our abilities, in serving God. Specifically what is being spoken of, is the building up of someone’s faith. Paul said that he has laid the foundation of that faith, and he makes it clear that the one and only foundation that can be laid for true faith, is the foundation of Jesus Christ. All of our faith is based upon Jesus Christ. So then those verses are definitely speaking about Jesus being the foundation of our faith. I assume that the point you are making, is that even though Jesus is the foundation of our faith, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Jesus is the foundation of the church which he promised to build in Mathew 16:18.

            When Jesus said; “And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build My church”, you are concluding that Jesus was telling Peter that he was that rock. However, a study of the name “Peter”, and of the word “rock”, shows that Jesus is NOT saying that Peter is the rock. Rather than that, what Jesus is doing, is making a contrast between those words. And those two words stand in such stark contrast to one another, that it becomes obvious what Jesus is saying.

            Here’s the definitions of the two words. First, the word “Rock”. The word “rock” comes from the Greek word “petra”. Here are some of the definitions of that word.. “a mass of connected rock, a projecting cliff, a bed-rock, a solid native rock rising up through the earth.”
            Now the name “Peter”. The name “Peter” comes from the Greek word “petros”. Here are the definitions of that word.. “properly, a stone such as a small rock found along a pathway, a stone such as a man might throw, a piece of a rock”.

            It’s not hard to see the contrast that Jesus was making. Clearly, Peter (petros) is not a “Rock” (petra).
            Jesus had just asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is? (verse 13) And they said; “Some say John the Baptist, and others Elijah, but still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” And Jesus said; “But who do YOU say that I am?” And Peter answered, in verse 16; “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!” Well, that is no doubt, the most important fact that can ever be understood and confessed, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. After all, Jesus Christ is the one and only foundation of our faith. “No other foundation can any man lay..” And that fact, that Jesus is the Christ, is so important, that Jesus blessed Peter for acknowledging that truth. In verse 17, Jesus said; “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” You’ll notice that in this verse, Jesus calls him, “Simon”, his Hebrew name. But in the next verse, Jesus calls him Peter, his Greek name, because Jesus is about to make His contrast.

            Peter said; “Thou art the Christ..” And Jesus said; “And I say to you, that you are Peter..” Jesus knew full well what the name Peter means, and so does Peter. Jesus said; Peter, I say to you that you are a stone, and upon this ROCK, I will build My church.” Jesus was making a contrast, for the sake of illustration. Peter had just stated a great truth, and Jesus blessed him for it; “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!” What was Peter to think now, when Jesus said; “Upon this Rock, I will build My church”? Do you think Peter had ever read Psalm 62, verse 2? “He is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.” I wonder if Peter had ever read Deuteronomy 32:18, where Moses rebuked Israel with these words; “You have neglected the Rock who begot you, and forgot the God who gave you birth.” I wonder if Jesus had ever told His disciples the story of when Israel wandered in the wilderness, “..and they all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking of a spiritual Rock which accompanied them, and the Rock was Christ.” (1 Cor 10:4)

            What is the “Rock” that Jesus promised to build His church upon? It’s not a small rock, even a stone, that you might find along the pathway. No, the “Rock” that Jesus built HIS church upon, is a “bed-rock”. It’s like a solid native rock, that rises out of the earth, a rock that cannot be shaken. That’s what Jesus built HIS church upon. There’s not a man who has ever lived, that could be the foundation, and the bed-rock, upon which the church of Jesus Christ could be supported.
            However, the eternal truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, now there’s a fact, and a truth, that is not only, the foundation that our faith is built upon, , but it’s also the foundation that Christ’s church is built upon!
            I know that there’s a lot here to digest, but please, give it some prayerful thought. May God bless you as you do that.

          2. Thanks so much Jim for the response and comment. When I ponder and don’t respond quick enough on these comments, I loose rank. In order not to loose anymore rank by leaving your comment without a response, I will send this note to you and when I get time, finish your long comment and respond with another long response. Jim, I know you understand what I am talking about.
            I do own a business that requires some time be dedicated to it as well. Be back soon.
            Bob

  5. if God ordained marriage and family why is it that a priest and nun aren’t allowed marriage? I understand that these are your beliefs but the bible states MANY will come in my name. can you explain confessions and penance! the bible states that we are to confess our sins to god and ask CHRIST for forgiveness if this is true what is the point of confession. The bible says if my people who are called by name HUMBLE themselves, REPENT, and pray then will i reveal myself. There are only 2 fathers your earthly paternal father and your heavenly father. How does a priest get that name? and why? I read somewhere you said the pope is like god because he “loved and created us” the bible states god has no respect a person and last i checked the pope is human so how can he create us?

    Yes the catholic church is huge but its a HUGE business! They study through monestary to get work through the organization and the word of god needs to be revealed to us. study to show thy self approved david said the word i have hid deep in my heart that i might not sin against thee! how much of the word do the catholics actually follow?

    1. Thanks Shannon for stopping by and leaving your two comments. Seems like you have an issue with the Catholic church. Perhaps this will help with that and answer all you questions.
      You asked: if God ordained marriage and family why is it that a priest and nun aren’t allowed marriage?

      I hear this question often and there is almost no other subject about which so many different confusions exist. There are so many different confusions on this matter that I will only speak about two of the most common and I think this will help with your misunderstanding of the Catholic church and priestly marriage.

      The first and most basic confusion is thinking of priestly celibacy as a dogma or doctrine—a central and irreformable part of the faith, believed by Catholics to come from Jesus and the apostles. Thus some non-Catholics make a great deal of a biblical reference to Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:30), apparently supposing that, if Catholics only knew that Peter had been married, they would be unable to regard him as the first pope. Again, non-Catholics time lines of “Catholic inventions” assign “mandatory priestly celibacy” to this or that year in Church history, as if prior to this requirement the Church could not have been Catholic. 

      These people are often surprised to learn that even today celibacy is not the rule for all Catholic priests. In fact, for Eastern Rite Catholics, married priests are the norm, just as they are for Orthodox and Oriental Christians. 

      Even in the Eastern churches, though, there have always been some restrictions on marriage and ordination. Although married men may become priests, unmarried priests may not marry, and married priests, if widowed, may not remarry. Moreover, there is an ancient Eastern discipline of choosing bishops from the ranks of the celibate monks, so their bishops are all unmarried. 

      The tradition in the Western or Latin-Rite Church has been for priests as well as bishops to take vows of celibacy, a rule that has been firmly in place since the early Middle Ages. Even today, though, exceptions are made. For example, there are married Latin-Rite priests who are converts from Lutheranism and Episcopalianism. 

      As these variations and exceptions indicate, priestly celibacy is not an unchangeable dogma but a disciplinary rule. The fact that Peter was married is no more contrary to the Catholic faith than the fact that the pastor of the nearest Maronite Catholic church is married. 

      I just wanted to throw out there the most common misunderstanding or confusion most non-Catholic or Fundamentalist make. The second is the most popular misunderstanding and I think this should help with your confusion as well.

      Is the notion that celibacy is unbiblical, or even “unnatural?” Every man, it is claimed, must obey the biblical injunction to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28); and Paul commands that “each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2). It is even argued that celibacy somehow “causes,” or at least correlates with higher incidence of, illicit sexual behavior or perversion. 

      All of this is false. Although most people are at some point in their lives called to the married state, the vocation of celibacy is explicitly advocated—as well as practiced—by both Jesus and Paul. 

      So far from “commanding” marriage in 1 Corinthians 7, in that very chapter Paul actually endorses celibacy for those capable of it: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion” (7:8-9). 

      It is only because of this “temptation to immorality” (7:2) that Paul gives the teaching about each man and woman having a spouse and giving each other their “conjugal rights” (7:3); he specifically clarifies, “I say this by way of concession, not of command. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another” (7:6-7). 

      Paul even goes on to make a case for preferring celibacy to marriage: “Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. . . those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. . . . The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband” (7:27-34). 

      Paul’s conclusion: He who marries “does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better” (7:38). 

      Paul was not the first apostle to conclude that celibacy is, in some sense, “better” than marriage. After Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19 on divorce and remarriage, the disciples exclaimed, “If such is the case between a man and his wife, it is better not to marry” (Matt 19:10). This remark prompted Jesus’ teaching on the value of celibacy “for the sake of the kingdom”: 

      “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom it is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it” (Matt. 19:11–12). 

      Notice that this sort of celibacy “for the sake of the kingdom” is a gift, a call that is not granted to all, or even most people, but is granted to some. Other people are called to marriage. It is true that too often individuals in both vocations fall short of the requirements of their state, but this does not diminish either vocation, nor does it mean that the individuals in question were “not really called” to that vocation. The sin of a priest doesn’t necessarily prove that he never should have taken a vow of celibacy, any more than the sin of a married man or woman proves that he or she never should have gotten married. It is possible for us to fall short of our own true calling. 

      Celibacy is neither unnatural nor unbiblical. “Be fruitful and multiply” is not binding upon every individual; rather, it is a general precept for the human race. Otherwise, every unmarried man and woman of marrying age would be in a state of sin by remaining single, and Jesus and Paul would be guilty of advocating sin as well as committing it. 

      So, there you have it Shannon, the answer to your first part. Yes, priest can marry but most don’t and it is all biblical.

      Your next question is: can you explain confessions and penance! the bible states that we are to confess our sins to god and ask CHRIST for forgiveness if this is true what is the point of confession. The bible says if my people who are called by name HUMBLE themselves, REPENT, and pray then will i reveal myself.

      Let me explain confessions to you Shannon, the Catholic way. Let me start by asking you a question. Are all of our sins past, present and future forgiven once and for all when we become Christians?
      Not according to the Bible or the early Church Fathers. Scripture nowhere states that our future sins are forgiven; instead, it teaches us to pray, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matt. 6:12). 

      The means by which God forgives sins after baptism is confession: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Minor or venial sins can be confessed directly to God, but for grave or mortal sins, which crush the spiritual life out of the soul, God has instituted a different means for obtaining forgiveness—the sacrament known popularly as confession, penance, or reconciliation. 

      This sacrament is rooted in the mission God gave to Christ in his capacity as the Son of man on earth to go and forgive sins (cf. Matt. 9:6). Thus, the crowds who witnessed this new power “glorified God, who had given such authority to men” (Matt. 9:8; note the plural “men”). After his resurrection, Jesus passed on his mission to forgive sins to his ministers, telling them, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. . . . Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:21–23). 

      Since it is not possible to confess all of our many daily faults, we know that sacramental reconciliation is required only for grave or mortal sins—but it is required, or Christ would not have commanded it. 

      You also asked: There are only 2 fathers your earthly paternal father and your heavenly father. How does a priest get that name? and why?

      Many Protestants claim that when Catholics address priests as “father,” they are engaging in an unbiblical practice that Jesus forbade: “Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven” (Matt. 23:9). 
      To understand why the charge does not work, one must first understand the use of the word “father” in reference to our earthly fathers. No one would deny a little girl the opportunity to tell someone that she loves her father. Common sense tells us that Jesus wasn’t forbidding this type of use of the word “father.” 

      In fact, to forbid it would rob the address “Father” of its meaning when applied to God, for there would no longer be any earthly counterpart for the analogy of divine Fatherhood. The concept of God’s role as Father would be meaningless if we obliterated the concept of earthly fatherhood. 

      But in the Bible the concept of fatherhood is not restricted to just our earthly fathers and God. It is used to refer to people other than biological or legal fathers, and is used as a sign of respect to those with whom we have a special relationship. 

      For example, Joseph tells his brothers of a special fatherly relationship God had given him with the king of Egypt: “So it was not you who sent me here, but God; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt” (Gen. 45:8). 

      Job indicates he played a fatherly role with the less fortunate: “I was a father to the poor, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know” (Job 29:16). And God himself declares that he will give a fatherly role to Eliakim, the steward of the house of David: “In that day I will call my servant Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah . . . and I will clothe him with [a] robe, and will bind [a] girdle on him, and will commit . . . authority to his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah” (Is. 22:20–21). 

      This type of fatherhood not only applies to those who are wise counselors (like Joseph) or benefactors (like Job) or both (like Eliakim), it also applies to those who have a fatherly spiritual relationship with one. For example, Elisha cries, “My father, my father!” to Elijah as the latter is carried up to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kgs. 2:12). Later, Elisha himself is called a father by the king of Israel (2 Kgs. 6:21). 

      Some Fundamentalists argue that this usage changed with the New Testament—that while it may have been permissible to call certain men “father” in the Old Testament, since the time of Christ, it’s no longer allowed. This argument fails for several reasons that I won’t go into at this time. I think there is enough evidence as to why you can biblically call someone Father.

      I read somewhere you said the pope is like god because he “loved and created us” the bible states god has no respect a person and last i checked the pope is human so how can he create us?

      This is not true, nowhere on my site did I write that the pope is like a god and all this other garbage. The pope is just a bishop that leads the Catholic church. A lot like you have a person at your church that leads your church.

      How much of the word to the Catholics actually follow? Shannon, the Catholic church is about 2,000 years old, set up by Christ himself and is still in existence today, alive and well. Still following the word.

      Sounds like your misunderstandings have given you so much confusion about the Catholic Church. It is for this reason I am developing this site, to allow people like you to ask questions and to find the real truth about the Catholic Church.
      Please come back to see what else we have that may be of use to you. Thanks again for the comment.

      1. I have no issue with Catholicism at all I just needed to ask those questions to see how you would answer.

        I notice a lot of jargon and fluff to get o one point. The church is the body of Christ. No MAN shall make it to the father but through the son (which is Christ)

        Repentance is turning away from the behavior in which is contrary to the word of god. True repenting is done from the heart and not by mouth. When the commandment was given to forgive so you may be forgiven it is to be a soul that does not hold grudges. so that god may forgive you it doesn’t mean I have to go into a booth and tell someone of my bad behavior.

        God knows all so the sin we think are “WORSE” than others God places on the same scale of judgement.

        And NO Christ did NOT setup a catholic church. We can go round for round LIVE on youtube if you’d like.

        Just a presentation of minds. I would love to get deeper in the traditions of the church and how they are CONTRITE to the word of god!

  6. This was an engaging read as i love to dissect the thoughts of faith.

    We all hold dear to our hearts the ideals we believe so much so that we tune out serious inquiries.

    Just wondering what makes the practice of catholicism legit if most of the beliefs are contrary to the word of god?

    1. Thanks so much for the comment as we do truly appreciate them.

      I am not sure how to answer your question, I don’t know exactly what you mean by it.  I will try.  

      I think your question is “how can Catholicism be legit and right if most of the Church teachings are not legit and right?”  Did I get it right?

      My comment would be this, Shannon.  They are not bad or wrong teachings.  The practice of Catholicism IS legit.  That is not something for us to debate.  What I wrote is factual teaching of the Catholic Church.  If you have found something that is not correct, please tell me, I will investigate and change it if you at proven to be correct.  Just because you don’t like or disagree with the teachings does not mean that it is wrong.  

      When you said most of the beliefs are contrary to the word of God, I am not sure what you are talking about because all the beliefs of Catholicism are in line with the word of God.

      God Bless you

      Bob 

  7. wow this is one of the most interesting articles ive ever come across in relation to religion and that is coming from an atheist. it taught me a lot about the history of the church that i had no idea about previously and definitely found surprising. it also showed me a lot about the fundamental beliefs of Christianity which i wasnt really to aware of before.

    1. Thanks for stopping by my site.  I welcome all comments.

      I just want to put all the truthful information out there for all to see and enjoy.

      Thanks, please come back again to see how our site is growing.

  8. Hi, Bob. Thanks for the insightful look into basic Catholic beliefs.

    One of my best childhood friends converted to Catholicism in his 20s and we’ve had discussions about it. Since I am Protestant we find ourselves having to agree to disagree on certain things. Thankfully we’re mature enough to still care for one another despite the difference in viewpoints.

    Most of the impasses come from Protestants believing that the Bible is the only Earthly reference point for Christians looking for Truth and clarification, but the Catholic Church also relies on history and ‘tradition’.

    There are certainly specific theological positions where we are divergent in our beliefs, but I think most of it comes down to the Bible vs. tradition problem.

    From the Protestant perspective, a look through history uncovers many decisions by the Catholic Church that are pretty violent and unloving, the Inquisition & Crusades chief among them. Those, tied with the 95 Theses that Luther pronounced, basically putting the spotlight on gross corruption by the C.C., are big reasons why we Protestants are reluctant to believe in the “infallibility of the Pope”, etc.

    To us there’s plenty of proof that the C.C. is like any other church, full of sinful people who need Christ. Barbarous and greedy historical decisions just reveal that we’re all in need of forgiveness. The idea of any man besides Christ being infallible in pronouncing anything comes across kind of ludicrous to us.

    The Protestant view is also that we continue the work of God’s Church. I know the local church I serve in shows all the hallmarks of being truly Christlike: many coming to the Faith; help to the poor; frequent, large baptisms; sermons that are all clearly Biblical.

    When Protestant believers see the fruit of the Spirit so abounding in their churches as I do, and then hear that the Catholic Church dismisses what we do as “not the true Church of Christ”, that also comes across pretty self-serving and dismissive, which of course, in a nutshell, is unloving.

    I was glad to see Pope Francis join leaders of the Lutheran World Federation in Sweden last year to do a service together to promote a spirit of unity despite 500 years of division. Perhaps if we see more loving responses like this from the C.C. the Protestant Church will be more open to Catholic discourse.

    In the end, love trumps theology every time.

  9. Thank you for this wonderful article on church beginnings and the basic beliefs of the Catholic faith.

    I am a Christian but not a Catholic and often wondered what the basic teachings were. I just found out the other day that the Catholic bible was different in that it has additional books in the old testament. What are they and how significant are they?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *