La Iglesia y el Papa

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¿Por que creen los Católicos que la Iglesia Católica es la única y verdadera Iglesia, fundada hace 2000 anos por el mismo Jesús Cristo?

The Catholic Church is the only church today that can claim to be the one church founded by Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. Other denominations can trace their origins back to various human founders at a later date in history. (How old is your church?)

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said to Peter, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” Jesus handed the authority to guide the Church in His name to Peter and the apostles, to be passed down through the centuries.

The Church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 5:23). Christ established only one Church—one body—so that there would not be multiple “bodies” with conflicting doctrines. After all, God cannot contradict Himself. Christ also wanted His Church to be visible, so all may see that the Church is indeed one, just as Christ and the Father are one (John 17:22 ).

This one, visible church, with divine authority and consistent doctrine that Christ established 2,000 years ago is the Catholic Church, the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15). As Paul asks in 1 Corinthians, “Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13). No. That is not what the Christ intended. So, He established one Church.

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¿Quien le a concedido autoridad al Papa para ser el líder de la Iglesia aquí en la tierra? ¿Cual es la creencia de los Católicos sobre sucesión apostólica?

Again, Matthew 16:18 is key to understanding Christ’s intent to pass on the authority to lead the Church to Peter and the apostles. Christ tells Peter that he is the rock on which He will build His church.

When Catholics use the term apostolic succession, they are referring to the line of bishops that stretches all the way back to the apostles—to Peter—the first Pope. Apostolic tradition (the authentic teaching of the apostles) was handed from Christ to the apostles, and from them to their successors. This unbroken line of popes (the bishops of Rome) and all other bishops have guided the Church for the past 2,000 years, just as Christ intended (Matthew 28:19-20).

Christ sent His apostles out into the world with authority to teach and heal (Luke 9:1-2) and to forgive sins (John 20:23). This God-given authority is exercised by the bishops within the Catholic Church to this day.

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¿Que significa cuando decimos que el Papa es infalible?

Just as Christ established a visible Church, He also provided a visible person to guide the Church—the pope. Because the pope is guiding and teaching the Church in Christ’s name, His teachings must be infallible.

Christ’s profound love for the Church is manifested in the doctrine of papal infallibility, which asserts that the pope is preserved by God from error when teaching on matters of faith and morals. How does this show Christ’s love for us? He didn’t want to leave His Church in darkness! He wanted His doctrines to be consistent so His people could be guided by truth.

The core of papal infallibility is faithfulness to Christ. All of the Catholic Church’s teachings are Christocentric—they point toward Christ, who is at the center of her teachings. That is why the Catholic Church doesn’t change her doctrines to adjust to the changes in society and culture. The pope helps to uphold and preserve the teachings of Christ. Jesus Himself promised us, “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20 ). To make true His promise, Christ gifted the Church with an unbroken line of popes for 2,000 years, teaching with the papal infallibility that Christ bestowed on their office.

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¿Como Católicos, aceptamos total la enseñanza de la Iglesia?

If you want to call yourself Catholic, but you want to pick and choose for yourself which of the Church's teachings to accept and which to reject, you give everyone else who calls themselves Catholic the right to do the same thing.

For example, you believe women should be the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1577 states, "Only a baptized man validly receives ordination...For this reason the ordination of women is not possible!" You don't believe that...well, that's fine...[RIP] just tear that page out of your just made it a Catechism of your Catholic Church...not mine.

But remember, if you can throw doctrines out, so can everyone else who calls themselves Catholic. That gives Joe Parishioner over at St. Doubting Thomas Catholic Church the right to throw out the Church's social justice teachings...he doesn't feel like feeding the hungry, caring for the poor, and all that other "bleeding heart" stuff - Paragraphs 2401 -2463 [RIP]...he just made it a Catechism of his Catholic Church...not mine and not yours.

You believe contraception is okay? Paragraph 2370 says contraception is intrinsically evil! [RIP] Joe Parishioner doesn't like what the Church teaches on the death penalty - Paragraphs 2266-2267 [RIP]. You don't like what it teaches on pages 55-60 [RIP]. He doesn't like what it teaches on pages 128-140 [RIP]

Can you see what's happening? I heard it said once that there is a shortage of vocations to the priesthood in the United States, but no shortage of vocations to the Papacy! If we don't believe in all of it, if we each appoint ourselves Pope and throw out a doctrine here or a doctrine there, then our faith is no longer Catholic.

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¿Por que no siento que la Iglesia Católica me llena?

Sadly, some former Catholics today have expressed a sense of emptiness in their spiritual lives. They may have gone to Mass on Sundays and found themselves just “going through the motions”. They may not have felt close to the Lord, or welcomed in their home parish. They may have thought the music wasn't as good as it could be, or discovered that the people around them weren't as friendly as they hoped they would be. All in all, those feelings may have led to some sensing like they were just not being fed in the Catholic Church.

Sometimes, these feelings cause people to decide to drift away from the Church. Maybe they choose to just stop practicing their faith altogether, or they go to a local non-Catholic church that seems more exciting and upbeat.

But the solution to the problem of not being fed actually lies in the Catholic Church. Whether or not the music or preaching or programs are the way we may wish them to be, it is in the Catholic Church that we find the one and only place where we can be truly fed with the Bread from Heaven: Jesus Christ, in the Holy Eucharist. Our closest encounter Jesus is when He gives Himself to us, at each and every Mass in the Eucharist. It doesn’t get any more exciting than that.

Once we realize that our deepest yearning can only be fulfilled in the Eucharist, we will begin to see that it is in the Eucharist that we find the true life and liveliness of our faith. Only the Catholic Church can feed us with this food that fully satisfies, and only with this food—the Eucharist—will your yearning be fulfilled, and your restlessness ended.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 ).

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst…I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh’” (John 6:35,51).

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