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.
But as it would take up too much space, in such a volume as this, to enumerate the successions of all the churches, by pointing out that tradition which the greatest, and most ancient, and universally known, Church of Rome — founded and constituted by the two most glorious Apostles Peter and Paul — holds from the Apostles, and the faith announced to all men, which, through the successions of (her) bishops, has come down to us, we confound all those who in any way, whether through self-complacency or vain-glory, or blindness and evil opinion, assemble otherwise than as behooves them.
For to this Church, on account of more powerful principality, it is necessary that every church, who wishes to remain faithful, resort, in which has been preserved that tradition which is from Apostles.
Adv. Hæres. l. iii. c. iii. n. 2, pp. 176-7
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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.
"It is agreed that they lived, not so long ago, in the reign, speaking generally, of Antoninus, and that they, at first, believed in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in the Church of Rome, under the episcopate of the blessed Eleutherius."
De Praescrip. n. 30.
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"Come, now . . . run over the apostolic churches, in which the very chairs of the Apostles to this very day preside over their own places. . . . If thou art near to Italy, thou hast Rome, whence we also have an authority at hand. That Church, how happy! on which the Apostles poured out all their doctrine with their blood; where Peter had a like Passion with the Lord; where Paul is crowned with an end like the Baptist's; where the Apostle John was plunged into boiling oil, and suffered nothing, and was afterwards banished to an island; let us see what she hath learned, what taught, what fellowship she hath had with the churches of Africa likewise.
De Praescript. n. 36.
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The Church which has the marks of:
Visibility (We can tell with our senses, where the faith is.)
Indefectibility (That it cannot fail.)
Succession from the Apostles (Apostolic)
Universality (Catholic), and
is termed the Roman Catholic Church and are evidently applicable to her.
The Church's Scriptures that support the Roman Catholic Church:
Our Lord speaks to Paul after the Jewish Council
11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Take courage, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also at Rome."
Saluation from the beginning of St. Paul's Letter to the Romans
1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; 7 To all God's beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Encouragement
16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me; he was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me eagerly and found me — 18 may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day — and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.
2 Timothy 1:16-18
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