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The Early Church Is Catholic

The Early Church Is Catholic

You are kindly invited to explore and discover
the sacred mysteries of the Catholic faith.

 

“Philip the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See said: There is no doubt, and in fact it
has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the
Apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the
kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race, and that
to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to to-day and forever
both lives and judges in his successors.”
Council of Ephesus, Session III
(A.D. 431)

“See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Christ Jesus does the Father, and the presbytery
as ye would the apostles. Do ye also reverence the deacons, as those that carry out the
appointment of
God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop.
Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the
bishop,
or by one
to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be;
by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there
let the multitude also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrneans, 8:2
(c. A.D. 110)

 

“But [it has, on the other hand, been shown], that the preaching of the Church is everywhere
consistent, and continues in an even course, and receives testimony from the prophets, the
apostles, and all the disciples…For in the Church,” it is said, “God hath set apostles, prophets,
teachers,’ and all the other means through which the Spirit works; of which all those are not
partakers who do not join themselves to the Church, but defraud themselves of life through
their perverse opinions and infamous
behaviour. For where the Church is, there is the Spirit of
God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the
Church,
and every kind of grace; but the
Spirit is truth.”
St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:24
(A.D. 180)

 

”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.”
St. Cyprian, To Florentius, Epistle 66/67
(A.D. 254)

“But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now
delivered to thee by the Church, and which has been built up strongly out of all the
Scriptures….Take heed then, brethren, and hold fast the traditions which ye now receive,
and write them and the table of your heart.”
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 5:12
(A.D. 350)

 

“But beyond these [Scriptural] sayings, let us look at the very tradition, teaching
and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave,
the Apostles preached, and the Fathers kept.”
St. Athanasius, Four Letters to Serapion of Thmuis, 1:28
(A.D. 360)

 

“Inasmuch, I repeat, as this is the case, we believe also in the Holy Church, [intending thereby]
assuredly the Catholic. For both heretics and schismatics style their
congregations churches.
But heretics, in holding false opinions regarding God, do injury to the faith itself; while
schismatics, on the other hand, in wicked separations break off from brotherly charity, although
they may believe just what we believe. Wherefore neither do the heretics belong to the Church
catholic, which loves God; nor do the schismatics form a part of the same.”
St. Augustine, On Faith and Creed, 10:21
(A.D. 393)

“Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through
us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious
Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the
foundation of the orthodox faith, hath stripped him of the episcopate, and hath alienated from
him all hieratic worthiness. Therefore let this
most holy
and great synod sentence the before
mentioned Dioscorus to the canonical penalties.”
Council of Chalcedon, Session III
(A.D. 451)

 

But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the
Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah,
for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you
that you are Peter, and on this
rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not
overcome it."

Matthew 16, 15-18