"The view that the Church is visible, hierarchical, authoritative and possessed of “all truth” forms a key understanding of all other Catholic doctrines."The Catholic Church
The Pillar and Foundation of the Truth (CCC 148-580) Church Fathers
One of the most important – and consequently most attacked – doctrines of the Catholic Church is the doctrine concerning the Church herself. The view that the Church is visible, hierarchical, authoritative and possessed of “all truth” forms a key understanding of all other Catholic doctrines. It is the Church who administers the sacraments, which are the ordinary means of salvation and grace. It is the Church who wrote the Bible and only the Church who can correctly interpret Sacred Scripture.
This article will show how the Catholic apologist can defend the Catholic doctrines and refute the anti-Catholic views concerning the Church. Note that many of these positions rely on simple, direct logic – a Church which possesses certain characteristics must possess others. Just as a building which possesses a roof must have rooms which possess ceilings, so must a Church which is authoritative be visible, for example.
Did Christ want a Church at all?
Although Saint Paul speaks of the Church as the “pillar and foundation of the truth” in I Timothy 3:15 (a passage which clearly shows that he considered the Church to be massively important) did Jesus want to found a Church? Scripture makes it clear that He did.
In Matthew 16:18-19 Jesus says that He will build His Church – this very clear! Later on, Jesus speaks of the Church again in Matthew 18:17-18. Jesus constantly tells the apostles to go out and spread the Gospel – Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16 – why would He do this if He did not wish to found some sort of community? This community is called the Church – and these Scriptures prove that Jesus intended to found one. Other Scriptures, logic and common sense will show that Jesus intended to found – and did found – a Church which has all the characteristics of the Catholic Church and is, therefore, the Catholic Church.
The Authoritative Church
One of the major objections to the claims that the Church makes regarding herself is that she alone has authority to interpret God's word in the Bible, and indeed to formally what the Christian religion is when it is revealed to her by the Holy Spirit. Many people who react badly to this are simply having a problem with any form of authority, and consider that there is an invisible church rather than the visible one Christ actually founded.
However, Scripture is clear that the Church has authority – in Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus delegates His power to the apostles. The authority to perform specific acts is given in other passages – John 20:23 (the power to forgive sin), I Corinthians 11:23-24 (the power to offer sacrifice, the Eucharist), Luke 10:16 (the power to speak with Christ's voice), Matthew 18:18 (the power to legislate) and Matthew 18:17 (the power to discipline).
From a perspective of pure common sense and logic, what would be the point of founding a Church (which Christ clearly wanted to do) without giving her authority? If the Church has no power, what what is she? She is simply a collection of believers with no power to enforce laws or discipline those who are dissident – anyone could claim to be a member of her even if they denied all the tenets of her laws and beliefs! Organizations logically require authority over their members and authority to determine what the criteria for membership are; otherwise they are not organizations at all, but simply a label without a clear definition.which is exactly what we see today in Bible Only Protestantism.
Hello? Child sex abuse crisis?? Hello? The RCC was anything but "visible, hierarchical, authoritative and possessed of “all truth."
The RCC said ”Oops, we didn't know."
Be human. Think.
Come to the lite.