BibleBeltCatholics | Sharing quotes and writings of the Early Church Fathers with our separated Christian brethren in the South!
Home 1st-2nd Century 3rd-4th Century 5th-8th Century The Catechism Today About this site

The Catholic Church
and the term Catholic
Mother?of?God Church Authority
Peter and the Papacy
The Sacraments
Other Church Teaching
The Word of God
Heaven, Purgatory and Hell

<<  Fifth through the Eighth CenturiesSpacer>>

The Early Church Fathers on the Church and the Authority of the Catholic Church.


  • Early Church Fathers
  • From the Scriptures


  1. St. Augustine of Hippo, (A.D. 354-428)
    St. John Cassian, (A.D. c.360 - 433)
    Paulus Orosius (A.D. c.375-c.418)
    St. Cyril of Alexandria, (A.D. 376-444)
    Socrates of Constantinople, (A.D. c.380-c.440)
    St. Prosper of Aquitain, (A.D.c.390- c.463)
    Pope St. Leo I, ( A.D. c.391-461)
    Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus, (A.D. 393-458)
    Blessed Isaias, (lived in the 4th century)
    St. Vincent of Lérins, (A.D. c.400-445)
    St. Peter Chrysologus, (A.D. 406 - 450)
    Pope St. Celestine I, (unknown - A.D. 432)
    Capreolus of Carthage, (c. A.D. late 4th century - A.D. 437)
    St. Isidore of Pelusium, (unknown - A.D. 440)
    Salonius, (flourished/wrote A.D. c.445)
    St. Theodotus of Ancyra, (unknown-A.D. 446)
    Arnobius Junior, (flourished in the 5th century, A.D. c.460)
St. Augustine of Hippo, (A.D. 354-428), North African; born in Tagaste in A.D. 354, baptized in Milan in A.D. 387, ordained a priest in A.D. 391 and appointed bishop of Hippo in A.D. 395, Augustine is one of our greatest theologians. His numerous works display genius of the highest order, and have ever had great weight in the Christian churches. He is also a Doctor of the Church.

Having shown the office and authority of the Church and of the priesthood, he uses this illustration:

"Hence also, Paul, on hearing the voice of the Lord, "Why persecutest thou me? and, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest", was nevertheless sent to Ananias, that by that priesthood which is established in the Church, he might receive the sacrament of the doctrine of faith, and his color (alluding to the leprosy) be approved of as true. Not that the Lord is not able by Himself to do all things, for what other but He does these things even in the Church?"

T. iii. l. ii. Quaest. Evangel, n. 40, pp. 1644, 1645.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 79

"In the Catholic Church, not to mention that most sound wisdom, to the knowledge of which a few spiritual men attain in this life, so as to know it in a very small measure indeed, for they are but men, but still to know it without doubtfulness, for not quickness of understanding, but simplicity in believing, that makes the rest of the masses most safe, — not to mention, therefore, this wisdom, which you (Manichees) do not believe to be in the Catholic Church, many other things there are which most justly keep me in her bosom. The agreement of peoples and of nations keeps me; an authority begun with miracles, nourished with hope, increased with charity, strengthened (confirmed) by antiquity, keeps me; the succession of priests from the chair itself of the Apostle Peter — unto whom the Lord, after His resurrection committed His sheep to be fed — down even to the present bishop, keeps me; finally, the name itself of the Catholic Church keeps me, — a name which, in the midst of so many heresies, this Church alone has, not without cause, so held possession of (or obtained), as that, though all heretics would fain have themselves called Catholics, yet, to the inquiry of any stranger, "Where is the meeting of the Catholic Church held?" No heretic would dare to point out his own basilica, or house. These, therefore, so numerous and so powerful ties of the Christian name, ties most dear, justly keep a believing man in the Catholic Church, even though through the slowness of our understanding or the deservings of our lives, truth show not herself as yet in her clearest light. Whereas, amongst you, where are none of these things to invite and keep me, there is only the loud promise of truth, which, if it be indeed shown to be so manifest as not to be able to be called into doubt, is to be preferred before all those things by which I am kept in the Catholic Church; but which, if it be only promised, and not exhibited, no one shall move me from that faith which attaches my mind to the Christian religion by ties so numerous and so powerful. Wherefore, let us see what Manichaeus would teach me. ... He begins his letter, "Manichseus, an Apostle of Jesus Christ". . . . Now attend, if you please, with all patience, to what I am going to ask. I do not believe that this man is an Apostle of Christ. Do not, I pray you, be angry, and begin to revile. For you know what my determination is, — not to believe, without cause shown, anything advanced by you. I ask, therefore, who is this Manichaeus? You will answer, "An apostle of Christ." I do not believe it; what next to say or do you will not know; for your promise was the knowledge of the truth, and now you would compel me to believe that of which I have no knowledge. You are perhaps going to read me the Gospel, and will try to establish the character of Manichaeus from that. But suppose you should meet with some one who does not as yet believe the Gospel, what would you do with such an one when he says to you, "I do not believe it?" I, for my part, would not believe the Gospel, unless the authority of the Catholic Church moved me to it. Those, therefore, to whom I have submitted, when saying to me, "Believe the Gospel", why should I not submit to them when they say to me, "Do not believe the Manichaeans?" Choose which you will. If you say, "Believe the Catholics", they warn me not to give any credit to you; wherefore, whilst I believe them, I cannot but not believe you. If you say, "Do not believe the Catholics", it will not be right for you to force me to the faith of Manichaeus by means of the Gospel, inasmuch as I believed that very Gospel itself at the bidding (teaching) of the Catholics. But if you should say, "You have done right in believing the Catholics when they praise the Gospel, but you have not done right in believing them when they blame Manichseus", do you think me so foolish, as, without reason assigned, to believe just what you choose, and to disbelieve just what you choose? Much more justly indeed, and more cautiously do I act, if, after having once (on one point) believed the Catholics, I refuse to pass over to you; unless, not content with bidding me believe, you cause me to obtain some knowledge, and that most manifestly and most plainly. Wherefore if you are going to assign me some reasonable proof, set aside the Gospel. If you keep yourself to the Gospel, I will keep myself to those at whose bidding I have believed the Gospel; and by their command I will not believe you at all. Now, if it should happen that you could find in the Gospel something most plain concerning the apostleship of Manichaeus, you will invalidate, in my regard, the authority of the Catholics who bid me not believe you; and, that authority invalidated, it will then be out of my power to believe even the Gospel, inasmuch as through them I had believed it: so that whatever you may adduce thence, will have no force with me. Wherefore, if nothing plain is found in the Gospel concerning the apostleship of Manichaeus, I will believe the Catholics rather than you; whereas, should you read from it something clearly in favor of Manichaeus, I will neither believe them nor you. Not them, because they have deceived me in regard of you; not you, because you produce me that Scripture which I have believed through those who have thus deceived me. But God forbid that I should not believe the Gospel!"

T. viii Contr. Ep. Manichaei, Fundam. n. 5, 6, col. 268-270.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 80-83

"Now, although no example of the matter in question (whether a person baptized by a heretic ought to be rebaptized) can be produced from the canonical Scriptures; yet, in this matter also, is the truth of the canonical Scriptures held by us, since we do that which has now obtained the sanction of the universal Church, which (Church) the authority of the Scriptures themselves commends: so that, as holy Scripture cannot deceive, whoso fears to be deceived by the obscurity of this question, may consult on it that same Church which, without any ambiguity, holy Scripture points out (demonstrates). But if thou doubtest that this holy Scripture commends the Church which, in most abundant masses, is diffused throughout all nations (for if thou didst not doubt, thou wouldst not still be in the party of Donatus), I will overwhelm thee with many most manifest testimonies from the said authority, so that if thou wilt not be beyond measure perverse, thou shalt, by thine own concessions, be brought to this also."

T. ix. I 1, Contr. Crescon. Donat. n. 39, p. 638.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 84

St. John Cassian, (A.D. c.360 - 433), ordained a deacon by St. John Chrysostom and a priest in Marseilles, a Christian theologian celebrated in both the Western and Eastern Churches for his mystical writings. He is known both as one of the "Scythian monks" and as one of the "Desert Fathers". His opinions on grace being in opposition somewhat to those of St. Augustine and the Church, caused him to be opposed by St. Prosper.

"This faith, that is, the faith of all Catholics, both the bishops of Africa whence he wrote, and the Gallican bishops to whom he wrote, agreed in approving. Nor has there yet been any man living who has repudiated this faith, without being guilty of the crime of unbelief, seeing that it is a profession of unbelief to deny the approved of belief. Wherefore, the agreement alone of all would now suffice to refute heresy, because the authority of all is the manifestation of undoubted truth, and a perfect reason has been assigned when none dissent. Insomuch that the man who should presume to entertain a contrary sentiment, such an one's assertion is at once, and at the very outset, not so much to be refused to be heard, as he is to be condemned for his perversity; because he who impugns the judgment of the whole, brings with him a foregone proof of condemnation against himself; and whoso would rescind what all have once agreed upon, has no plea to be heard. For when the truth has once been confirmed by all, whatsoever is advanced in opposition to it, is at once thereby to be acknowledged as false, in that it diverges from that judgment of truth."

L. 1, De Incarn, Dom, t. vii. Bib. Max. SS. PP. p. 71.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 100-101

"I would convince you by the authority of the sacred testimonies; I would convince you by the voice of the Law itself; I would convince you, finally, by the truth of the creed which is approved of throughout the whole world; I would say to you, that even though you were devoid of understanding and sense, yet ought you to follow, at all events, the consent of mankind, and not set the perverseness of a few above the faith of all the churches, a faith, in fact, which, established by Christ, delivered by the Apostles, is to be accounted no other than the voice and authority of God; and which, in fact, would have in it both the voice and meaning of God."

L. 1, De Incarn, Dom, t. vii. Bib. Max. SS. PP. p. 89.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 101

Paulus Orosius (A.D. c.375-c.418), Spanish; a Christian historian, theologian, student and friend of Augustine of Hippo. He is best known for his "Seven Books of History Against the Pagans". His "History of the World" is valuable, and has been frequently translated.

"The Fathers with one accord, and the Martyrs, who are now at rest, Cyprian, Hilary, and Ambrose, as also they who are still in the flesh, and are the pillars and supports of the Catholic Church, Aurelius, Augustine, Jerome, have already in their highly-approved writings, published much against this wicked heresy (Pelagianism), though without specifying the names of the heretics. And if Celestius and Pelagius, who seem to be alive, and are dead, should now persevere in these dogmas, then clearly do they openly, as serpents, hiss against the Church, a thing most lamentable, and, more lamentable still, they do this in the Church. . . . My answer to this (viz. Genesis 17:1; Luke 1:6, quoted in support of Pelagianism) was: We are children of the Catholic Church. Require not of us to presume to be teachers above the teachers, or judges above the judges. The Fathers whom the universal Church throughout the world approves, to whose communion it is a matter of rejoicing with you that we adhere, have decreed that these dogmas are damnable. It becomes us to obey, when they adjudge. Why ask the children what their sentiments are, when you hear what the Fathers decide? "

De Arbitrii Libert, p. 449, t. vi. Bib. Max. SS. PP.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 85-86

St. Cyril of Alexandria, (A.D. 376-444), Egyptian; bishop, theologian and Doctor of the Church. He succeeded Theophilus in the patriarchal see of Alexandria, in A.D. 412, and was the great champion of orthodoxy against Nestorius, against whom the general council of Ephesus was called, in A.D. 431 and in which St. Cyril presided.

"Whoso walketh in justice shall dwell in the lofty cavern of a firm rock.— (Isaiah 33) That rock is Christ . . . and the cavern that is in Christ may be understood to be the Church, that dwelling place of the saints, that roof over the pious, under which the just have their abode, and as many indeed as escape from the punishment of fire."

T. i. l. i. De Adorat. in Sp. et Ver. p. 31.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 89

Explaining Numbers 9:15 and the succeeding passages:

"As soon as that truest tabernacle, the Church to wit, was reared up and appeared upon the earth, it was filled with the glory of Christ,— for that former tabernacle's being covered until a cloud signifies, in my opinion, but this. Christ, therefore, filled the Church with His own glory. . . . Now, when that cloud was taken up, the tabernacle was at the same time raised, and when the cloud stood still, the tabernacle also was pitched, and the Israelites acted uniformly with that cloud: for the Church follows Christ everywhere, and the holy multitude of believers is never separated from Him that calls them unto salvation."

T. i. l. i. De Adorat. in Sp. et Ver. v.p. 164.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 89

Explaining Isaiah 14:20:

"It is, therefore, a most grievous thing to raise one's self up against the land of the Lord, that is, the Church."

T. ii. Comm. in Isaiah l. ii. t. ii. p. 236.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 89

On Isaiah 49:14, he says:

"This is a promise as it were to the intellectual Sion, unto which the most wise Paul says, that they who have believed have come; that thou mayest hereby understand the Church, which has been gathered together from out the Gentiles and Jews, which (Church) is a type of that which is above, of which also Paul reminds us, saying, "But that Jerusalem which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all.— (Galatians 4) For it is the city of the living God, and the nurse of the first-born, and the mother of the saints whose names are registered in Heaven, and a Church which Christ never will forget. For He loves the Church which He has formed for Himself; having formed the two peoples "into one new man, and reconciled them both in one body" with the Father. (Ephesians 2) How, then, can He forget His own body, that is, the Church, of which He is the head?"

T. ii. Comm. in Esai. l. iv. or. iv. x. p. 674.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 90

"For this cause (on account of Christ) the children of the Church are in great peace, our mother being built up in righteousness. For none of those that are wont to speak vain things shall injure those who are perfectly taught of God; but they are at peace with God, being united to Him by love, and reverencing the ways of justice. But in this way does He build the Church, and effect for her that she be immovable, Christ protecting her as with a shield, and granting unto her to be incapable of being moved; "for the gates of Hell, He says, shall not prevail against her." For, concerning her also is it written in the book of Psalms, "And He built His sanctuary as of unicorns on the earth: He hath founded it forever." (Psalms 87) We say that the sanctuary is the Church which raises its horn to repel its enemies, even as does the unicorn against other animals. For it has been founded unto eternity by Christ."

T. ii. Comm. in Esai. v. t. ii. pp. 768, 769.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 90

Explaining Isaiah 62:2:

"For it is no longer called a synagogue, but the Church of the living God, His city also, and His house. For of the Church does David also make mention, speaking thus,

"Glorious things are said of thee, city of God; and Isaiah teaches that she will be exceedingly beautiful, and made glorious with surpassing beauty, saying, "Thou shalt be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. And thou shalt be no more called Forsaken, and thy land shall no more be called Desolate, but thou shalt be called my Pleasure. (Isaiah 62:3,4)...After that the two people had been formed into one, and the Church composed of both, called one, God vouchsafes unto her not to be in any way soever entangled in former evils, nor to be called the Forsaken, or the Desolate, but to be called His Pleasure, and to be called no longer the Desolate, but the Peopled. And this we see, from facts, has been the event."

T. ii. Comm. in Esai. L. v. t. v.pp. 870, 871.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 91

On Zacharias 2:1-5:

"This vision may with justice be explained of the Church of Christ. For Satan had tyrannized over all the inhabitants of the earth, and we had become slaves, constrained under his yoke. But the grace of the Saviour broke his horn, and lowered his pride, for He triumphed over principalities and powers, and the rulers of the world, and adverse powers; He rescued and freed us from his fetters. He raised up our Church, truly the holy and famous city, wide, and of vast length, in which we have dwelt with fruit, both men and animals; that is, both they who have already been instructed, and they who have not as yet arrived at this point, but will nevertheless do so, being still under initiation. We have inhabited a city which Christ Himself walls round, with power ineffable consuming all adversaries with fire, and filling it with His glory, and standing as it were in the midst of those who dwell therein, unto whom He gave the promise, saying, "Lo, I am with you all the days until the end of the world." And the prophet Isaiah, in a certain place, makes mention of the holy city in these words: "Thine eyes shall see Jerusalem, a rich city, tabernacles which shall never be moved, neither shall the stakes thereof be stirred, nor the cords thereof be broken." (Isaiah 103)

T. iii. Comm. in Zach. pp. 666, 667.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 91-92

On Zacharias 4:1-3:

"Further, we say that the golden candlestick is the Church, as being honored in the world, exceedingly resplendent in virtues, as being raised far on high by the doctrines of the true knowledge of God; upon which (Church) there is a lamp, Christ, that is, of whom God the Father says, "For Sion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for the sake of Jerusalem I will not rest until my justice come forth as a light, and my salvation burn as a lamp. (Isaiah 42) This lamp, which enlightens all under Heaven, God the Father has placed upon a candlestick, that all who enter in may see the light, and that it "may shine to all who are in the house". (Matthew 5) But there are seven lamps which have not a light of their own, but one that is communicated, and from an external source, and is fed by supplies of oil; and these signify the holy Apostles, as also the Evangelists, and those who have, in their respective days, been the teachers of the churches, who have received, as it were lamps into their minds and hearts, illumination from Christ; and they have the illumination fed by supplies from the Holy Ghost, (they) sending abundant light to those who are in the house, and at the same time illuminating with that lamp the believers. . . . Observe .how there are upon the candlestick together with the lamp, lights also. For Christ is with us in the Church, and the multitude of believers having found mercy is illuminated by a light from Him, and has also light by means of the lamps, which have a derived light, and one that is communicated by Him."

T. iii. Comm. in Zach. pp. 683, 684.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 92

On Zacharias 11:13:

"Cast them into the furnace, and I will see if they be approved." The prophet says that there is a refiner's furnace in the house of the Lord. For the Church of Christ tries each one's manners, and the sincerity of his love towards Christ; and having the discernment of spirits, she knows accurately who, when naming the Lord Jesus, speaks in the Holy Ghost, and who in Beelzebub says anathema unto Him; and who are the true worshippers, and who, again, come unto us, wolves as it were in sheep's clothing."

T. iii. Comm. in Zach. p. 767. 778, 779.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 92-93

"That the enemies of truth were to be in every place and way, utterly impotent, the Saviour Himself also clearly declares, saying, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail." Lo, here He calls those who assail her, gates, as being destructive and pestilential, and generally leading down to the depths of Hell those who adhere to them."

T. iii. Comm. in Zach. p. 782.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 93

"Was then the Saviour, after returning to the Father, separated from the disciples, and yet with them by the energy, and power, and charity of the Spirit? How, and in what manner? For He deceives not when He says, "Lo, I am with you all days, even to the end of the world"; except as regards the flesh and the presence of the body, this is past all doubt."

T. iv. Comm. in Joan. l. x. p. 916.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 93

"The divine Paul exhorts to be most wary of mind, saying, "Try yourselves, if you be in the faith." (2 Corinthians 13:5) For the human mind, though, when under the influence of self love, it may be borne away from out the right road, and be under an influence which withdraws it from the dogmas of truth, is always somehow grieved and afraid to charge its own thoughts with absurdity. And yet it will set itself right, and that very easily, if, after having examined the works of the holy Fathers, who enjoy amongst all men a well-known reputation both for the orthodoxy and accuracy of their doctrines, it shall then try with befitting skill its own faith. For it is the aim of all who are sound at heart to follow the sentiments of those men, because they also filled their minds with both the apostolic and evangelic tradition, and having regulated very accurately their discourse concerning the faith, both rightly and irreprehensibly out of the sacred writings, were lights in the world, retaining the word of life according as it is written."

T. v. par. ii. Apolog. Adv. Orient. Anath. 8, pp. 177, 178.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 93-94

Socrates of Constantinople, (A.D. c.380-c.440), also known as Socrates Scholasticus, not to be confused with the Greek philosopher Socrates, was a Greek Christian church historian, a contemporary of Sozomen and Theodoret, who used his work; he was born at Constantinople A.D. c.380: His Ecclesiastical History is, for the most part, a continuation of that by Eusebius. It begins with the year 306, and closes with the year 439.

Having narrated that the emperor caused the bishops and heads of the various sects to be assembled together, in order, if possible, to bring about unity of faith, he says:

"The emperor having sent for Nectarius, bishop (of Constantinople), conferred with him as to what means could be used that Christendom might no longer be at discord, but the Church be united; and said that the question that divided the churches must be discussed, and having set aside diversity, unanimity be produced in the churches. When Nectarius heard this, he was lost in thought, and having sent for Agelius, who, agreeing with him in faith, was at that time a bishop of the Novatians, he made known to him the mind of the emperor. But, though in other respects a religious man, not being one who had ability to stand a discussion regarding doctrine, he chose the lector, Sisinnius by name, to discuss. But Sisinnius, a learned and experienced man, and one well skilled both in the interpretations of the sacred writings, and in the doctrines of the philosophers, knew that discussions do not bring schisms to unity, but even rather make heresies more contentious; he, therefore, gave Nectarius some such advice as this. Knowing that the ancients were abhorrent from as signing any beginning of existence to the Son of God, for they accounted Him co-eternal with the Father, he advises him to avoid any logical encounters, but to call in as witnesses the expositions of the ancients; and that the heresiarchs be asked by the emperor whether they make any account of the united doctors who were before the division in the Church, or whether they repudiated them as aliens from Christianity. For if they reject them, then let them dare to anathematize them; and should they dare to do this, they will be driven away by the people. And this done, the victory of the truth will be manifest. But if they do not repudiate the ancients, it is for us to produce the books of the ancients by which our doctrine will be testified to. When Nestorius had heard this from Sisinnius, he went in haste to the palace, and makes known to the emperor what he had been advised. But he eagerly seizes the opinion, and handled the matter skillfully. For, without declaring his object beforehand, he merely asked whether they make account of, and receive what (was held) by the doctors who preceded the division in the Church? And as they did not deny this, but declare that they even honor them very much as guides, the emperor next inquired whether they adhered to (marched with) such faith-worthy witnesses of Christian doctrine? "When the leaders of those sects, and their dialecticians, for there were many with them well prepared for the logical conflict, heard this, they knew not what to do. For there arose a difference of opinion amongst them, some saying that the proposal of the emperor was fair, but others that it was not conducive to their object. For they were variously disposed towards the books of the ancients, and they no longer agreed amongst themselves; and they not only dissented from other sects, but even they who were of the same heresy disagreed among themselves. The accordant (univocal) wickedness, like the language of the giants of old, was divided, and this tower of wickedness was overthrown. But the emperor, acquainted with their wide-spread separation, and that they confided in disputation only, and not in the expositions of the ancients, proceeded to a second purpose."

Hist. Eccles. l. v. c. x. pp. 272, 273.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 113-115

St. Prosper of Aquitain, (A.D.c.390- c.463), a Christian writer and disciple of St. Augustine, as well as the friend and secretary of Pope Leo I. He was the first continuator of Jerome's Universal Chronicle. Prosper was a layman, but he threw himself with ardour into the religious controversies of his day, defending Augustine and propagating orthodoxy.

"The sun hath arisen, and they are gathered together."— (Psalms 103:22.) The sun hath risen, because the sun went down; that is, Christ after death rose again, and filled the whole world with a manifestation of His brightness; and although darkness may still linger in the hearts of unbelievers, yet the Church throughout the whole world, in which the sun hath arisen, is in the midst of light . . . Therein the ships shall go (Psalms 103:26). Though (the princes of this world) may oppose the Christian religion, yet is the course of our ships safe in the midst of them; that is, amidst the storms and waves of the sea, the career of the Church is, Christ presiding, safe."

In Ps. ciii. col. 389, 390.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 86

Thy truth from generation to generation, Thou hast founded the earth, and it continues. (Psalms 118:90, Lamed). "After the heavenly Jerusalem, he had regard also to his (or her) daughter, the Church, which abides in this world, and he said, Thy truth from generation to generation. But, by this repetition, he either signified all generations to which the truth of God was not wanting, or he wished two generations to be understood; one to wit, pertaining to the Law and the Prophets, and the other to the Gospel, (based) on the everlasting foundation, which is Christ; and the earth continueth, which (earth) established on such a foundation is not moved forever and ever."

In Psalms cxviii. col. 451.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 86-87

The sun shall not burn thee by day, nor the moon by night. (Psalms 120:6) "By the sun, Christ, the true light, is signified; and by the moon, the Church, made by (His) illumination a light, is signified. As, therefore, every scandal, where by man is either weakened or burned, springs from two causes, in that he either errs in the confession of the Godhead, or withdraws from the unity of the Church, the protection of God bestows this, that, in faith and charity, which are His gifts, we be not overcome by any temptation."

In Psalms cxx. col. 467
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 87

Until I find a place for the Lord, a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. (Psalms 134:5) "He, therefore, is made a place for the Lord, and a tabernacle for the God of Jacob, whoso is united to the Church; whoso, by the spirit of charity, is joined to the body of Christ, nor ever seeks to be blessed, save in that house, of which it is said: Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, Lord : they shall praise Thee for ever and ever."

In Ps. cxxxi. col. 481.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 87

He hath blessed thy children within thee. (Psalms 147:13) "Out of Jerusalem there is no blessing. For no one is sanctified save he who is united to the Church, which is the body of Christ."

In Psalms cxlvii. col. 526.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 87

Pope St. Leo I, ( A.D. c.391-461), also known as Leo the Great, bishop of Rome (A.D. 440 to 461); an Italian aristocrat, remembered theologically for issuing the Tome of Leo, a document which was foundational to the debates of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon.

Be ever mindful of the apostolic precept, which admonishes all men, saying, "Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit; according to the tradition of men, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead corporally, and you are filled with Him. (Colossians 2)

He said not spiritually, but corporally, that we may understand the veritable substance of flesh, where there is the corporal indwelling of the fullness of the Godhead; with which (corporal indwelling) the whole Church is in truth also filled, which cleaving (inherent) to the head, is the body of Christ."

T. i. Serm. xxviii. In Nativ. Dom. ix. c. vii. p. 102.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 110-111

"He it is who ascends above the heights of Heaven, and even to the consummation of the world leaves not the universal Church."

Serm. xxx. In Nat. Dom. x. c. v. p. 109.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 111

"For though it belong not to this life, but to eternal life, that God be all in all, yet even now is He the inseparable indweller of His own temple, which is the Church, according as Himself promised, saying, "Behold, I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world." With which is accordant what the Apostle says,

18 And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he may hold the primacy: 19 Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father, that all fullness should dwell; 20 And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth, and the things that are in Heaven."

Colossians 1:18-20

Serm. lxiii. De Passio. Dom. xii. c. ii. p. 244.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 111

Directing upon what conditions the Pelagians were to be received into the Church, he says,

"Let them, by their own clear confessions, condemn the authors of their proud error, and let them execrate in their doctrine whatsoever the universal Church has abhorred."

Sem. Ep. i. ad Aquilei. c. ii. p. 591.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 111

"For it is nowise to be borne, that the man who has under taken the office of preaching the faith, should dare dispute against the Gospel of Christ; against the apostolic doctrine; against the creed of the universal Church. What kind of disciples will there be there, where such are the masters that teach?"

Sem. Ep. xv. ad Turrib. Ep. Asturic. c. xvii.p. 710.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 111

"Our Lord Jesus Christ, after that He rose again from the dead, delivered to His disciples, in whom all the prelates of the Church were taught, both the form and the power of baptizing, saying, "Go ye and teach all nations." (Matthew 28)

Sem. ep. xvi. Ad Univers. Episc.per Sicil. c. iii. p. 719.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 111

The divine protection abandons not its own Church, the Lord declaring, "Behold I am with you all days, even to the end of the world."

Ep. lx. Pulch. Aug. p. 982.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 112

"It is not lawful to differ, even by one word, from the evangelic and apostolic doctrine, or to think otherwise concerning the divine Scriptures than as the blessed Apostles and our Fathers learned and taught."

Ep. lxxxii. ad Marcion. Aug. pp. 10, 44.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 112

"The Catholic faith, which, the Spirit of God instructing us through the holy Fathers, we from blessed Apostles have learnt and teach, will not suffer either error (the Nestorian and Eutychian) to creep in."

Ep. lxxxix. ad Marc. Aug. p. 1061
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 112

"We, therefore, pray, and beseech your clemency, by our Lord Jesus Christ . . . that you suffer not, in the present synod, that faith delivered unto them by the Apostles which our blessed Fathers taught, to be treated of again as though dubious; and that you permit not the things which were formerly condemned by the authority of our forefathers, to be revived by renewed efforts; and that you command this rather, that the things settled by the old Nicean Council, the interpretation of heretics set aside, be permanent."

Ep. xc. ad Marc. c. 2, p. 1064.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 112

"For the restlessness or pravity of a few individuals being either crushed, or removed, a laudable concord will easily be settled; provided the hearts of all concur in that faith made known by the evangelic and apostolic declarations, which we have, through our holy Fathers, received and held; no discussion whatever involving any retractation being allowed of, lest, through vain and deceitful subtlety, those things may seem to be either weak or doubtful, which from the beginning were built on the chief corner-stone, which is Christ the Lord, and which things will endure without end."

Ep. xciv. ad eund. p. 1075.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 112-113

"As, then, the universal Church has, through the establishing (building) of that principal rock, been made a rock, and the first of the Apostles, the most blessed Peter, heard from the voice of the Lord declaring, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church"; who is there, but either the antichrist or the Devil, who can dare to assail an impregnable firmness; who, continuing unchangeable in his malice, by means of vessels of wrath suited to his own deceitfulness, under the false name of eloquence, while he falsely affects to seek for truth, seeks to sow lies?"

Ep. clvi. ad Leon. Aug. c. 2, pp. 1322, 1333.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 113

Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus, (A.D. 393-458), Greek; an influential author, theologian, and Christian bishop of Cyrrhus, Syria (A.D. 423-457). He played a pivotal role in many early Byzantine church controversies that led to various ecumenical acts and schisms. His friendship for Nestorius embroiled him, for a time, with his great contemporary, St. Cyril of Alexandria.

"Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to le praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain." (Psalms 47)

"We have already said that the divine Scripture frequently designates as a city, not the buildings, but its internal regulation; he accordingly says that the Lord has been shown to be great, by what He has done for His city, which the sublimity of its dogmas has made conspicuous, even as a city upon a great and lofty hill; for a city, the Lord says, set upon a hill, cannot be hid. He has built, he says, this city, well, beautifully and solidly, to the joy of the whole earth. For, He built it, says the divine Apostle, "upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone." (Ephesians 2) And the Lord Himself said to blessed Peter, "And upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16) Wherefore that phrase rooting it well is instead of founding it solidly, so as to endure without tottering, and unshaken.

"The Mountain of Sion (on) the sides of the north, the city of the great King". . . . The mountains which repel the northwinds, and keep the city uninjured, one may reasonably say are the prophets and Apostles, and their various doctrines, and, furthermore, the angels who are set over believers. "For the angel of the Lord shall encamp round about them that fear Him. (Psalm 130) In her houses is God known, when He shall take her in charge. One, indeed, is the Church through out all earth and sea; for which cause, when we pray, we say— "For the holy and alone Catholic and Apostolic Church, which is from one end of the earth to the other." That same city, again, is divided into cities and towns and villages, which the prophetic word denominates houses. As every city has in it many separate houses, and is nevertheless called one city, so are there tens of thousands and countless churches, both on the islands and continents, but they are all perfected together into one Church, united by the concord of the true doctrines. In these churches, he says that the God of all is seen furnishing His own aid. He next foretells the assaults that were to be, and the conversion of her adversaries. "For behold the kings of the earth assembled themselves, they gathered together. So they saw and wondered." (verse 6) For they hastened together as though about to make war, but when they beheld the unconquerableness of her whom they warred against, they were struck with consternation. "For they were troubled", he says, they were moved. (verses 6, 7) Having contemplated, he says, the solid foundations of the Church, and learnt the unerring truth of the promise, they were seized with fear and trembling, like men who are crossing the waves (backs) of the sea, and are tossed with storms, and expecting utter destruction. Wherefore, having ceased from fighting and assaulting, they proclaim the power of their antagonist, and cry out, "As we have heard, so have we seen, in the city of the Lord of Hosts, in the city of our God." For not willing to admit the predictions concerning her, we have, by facts, become witnesses to their truth. "God hath founded her unto eternity." For it is His voice, "Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16) The prophetic word having thus shown the change of her enemies, next foretells what words they will make use of who have found safety (or salvation). "We have received Thy mercy, God, in the midst of Thy temple." We look for, they say, this Thine aid, O Lord, knowing the unerring truth of Thy promises. For Thou didst say, "I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world? Distribute her houses (verse 14), so as that one may look after this, and an other after that church, and that the husbandman be set over, and take befitting care of each. And this does he order to be done, not for once, or twice, but in every generation. And for this cause he added, "That ye may relate it unto another generation. For this is our God for ever and ever, He shepherds (or feeds, rules) us for evermore." For each generation must needs transmit to the one after it what it received from the preceding, that so the saving Gospel may be transmitted in all generations, and all men may know that He is our Lord and God, and good shepherd, and everlasting. For as he said, "Distribute her houses", and committed the feeding to them, he necessarily taught that one is the "good Shepherd who laid down His life for the sheep", feeding them forever and ever, and feeding not the sheep only, but those also who are called the shepherds of the sheep."

T. i. in Ps. xlvii. pp. 907-913.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 94-97

Blessed Isaias, (lived in the 4th century), Abbot

"Do not, even for the sake of defending the faith, converse with heretics, for fear lest their words instill their venom into thy mind. If thou meet with a book said to be by one of the heretics, read it not, lest it fill thy heart with deadly poison; but so continue in that doctrine which thou hast learnt in holy Church, as neither to add to nor take from it."

Orat. iv. n. 6 ; Galland. t. vii. p. 283.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 61

St. Vincent of Lérins (A.D. c.400-445), in Latin, Vincentius, a monastic presbyter and ecclesiastical writer in the island of Lérins, he was a man learned in the Holy Scriptures, and well instructed in the knowledge of the doctrines of the Church, with a view to overthrow the sects of the heretics. He composed in elegant and clear language a very powerful dissertation, which, concealing his own name, he entitled Peregrinus against Heretics.

Great therefore and truly divine was the example of those same blessed men, and by every true Catholic to be remembered with unwearied meditation, who all radiant, like the seven-branched candlestick, with the seven-fold light of the Holy Spirit, exhibited beforehand to posterity a most shining model, how, thenceforward, throughout the whole of errors' vain babblings (2 Timothy 2) the audacity of profane novelty may be repressed by the authority of sacred antiquity. Neither is this anything new: seeing that this custom has ever prevailed in the Church, that the more religious a man was, the more promptly would he go counter to novel inventions. Such examples are everywhere plentiful. But not to be prolix, we will select some one, and this in preference from the apostolic see."

The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 104-105

"As it is not lawful for any to provoke one another or to envy one another (Galatians 5), even so it is not lawful for any to receive besides that which the Catholic Church evangelizes everywhere. . . . To announce, therefore, to Catholic Christians, anything besides that which they have received, never was lawful, nowhere is lawful, never will be lawful; and to anathematize those who announce anything besides that which has been once received, was never other wise than needful, is everywhere needful, ever will be needful. Which being so, is there any one of so great audacity as to teach besides that which has been taught in the Church; or of such levity as to receive (anything) besides that which he has received from the Church? There cries aloud, and he cries aloud again and again, to all men, to all times, and to all places he cries aloud by his epistles, that vessel of election, that master of the Gentiles . . . that if any one announce a new dogma, let him be anathematized. And, on the other side, certain frogs, and gnats and flies, soon to die, such as the Pelagians be, cry aloud in opposition, and this to Catholics, "With us for your authors, with us for your leaders, with us for your interpreters, condemn the things which you did hold, hold the things which you did condemn, reject the ancient faith, the institutes of your fathers, the trust committed to you by your ancestors, and receive"— What, indeed? I shudder to say what, for so presumptuous are they, that they seem to me such as that I could not only not support them, but not even refute them without a grievous crime.

The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 105-106

"Keep the deposit?" Keep it, he says, for fear of thieves, for fear of enemies, lest, whilst men sleep, they oversow cockle upon that good seed of wheat, which the Son of man hath sowed in His field. Keep, he says, "the depositum." What is the depositum? that is that which is committed to thee, not that which is invented by thee; what thou hast received, not what thou hast devised; a thing not of wit, but of doctrine, not of private assumption, but of public tradition; a thing brought to thee, not brought forth by thee; wherein thou must not be an author, but a keeper; not a beginner, but a disciple; not a leader, but a follower. The depositum, he says, keep: preserve the talent of Catholic faith inviolate and untouched: that which is entrusted to thee, let that remain with thee, let that be delivered by thee. Thou hast received gold, return gold; I will not have thee substitute one thing for another; I will not have thee, for gold, place instead either impudently lead, or fraudulently brass; I will not the show, but the very nature of the gold itself. O Timothy, O priest, O expounder, O doctor, if the divine bounty hath made thee sufficient, by wit, by exercise, by learning, be the Beseleel of the spiritual tabernacle, engrave the precious stones of God's doctrine, faithfully set them, etc.. . . . That which before was believed obscurely, let it by thy exposition be understood more clearly. Let posterity rejoice at coming, through thee, to the understanding of that which antiquity, without understanding it, venerated; yet the things which thou hast learned, teach in such wise, that, whilst thou speakest after a new manner, thou speak not new things.

The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 107-108

St. Peter Chrysologus, (A.D. 406 - 450), deacon, bishop of Imola and Ravenna, and Doctor of the Church, his piety and zeal won for him universal admiration, and his oratory merited for him the name Chrysologus, meaning: golden-worded or golden mouth.

"I believe ... in the Holy Catholic Church. Because the Church is in Christ, and Christ is in the Church: whoso, therefore, acknowledges the Church, has confessed that he has believed in the Church."

Serm. lxii. De Symbolo,p. 97.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 110

Pope St. Celestine I, (unknown - A.D. 432), deacon and pope, a Roman in the region of Campania; pope from A.D. 422 to 432, he lived for a while at Milan while actively condemning the Nestorians and Pelagians. He was a zealous defender of orthodoxy.

"Know then plainly, that this is our sentence, that unless you (Nestorius) teach concerning Christ our God, what both the church of Rome, and of Alexandria, and the whole Catholic Church holds, and as the holy church in the great city of Constantinople also has, until your time, most rightly held; and unless by a plain confession, and one under your own hand, you condemn this perfidious novelty which attempts to divide what the holy Scripture unites, and this within ten days counting from the day that this comes to your knowledge, you shall be cast forth from all communion with the Catholic Church."

Ep. xiii. ad Nestor, n. xi. Galland, t. ix.p. 315.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 87-89

Capreolus of Carthage; (c. A.D. late 4th century - A.D. 437), succeeded Aurelius as bishop of Carthage who is known principally as the author of three letters: an Epistula ad Ephesinam synodum addressed to the Council of Ephesus in 431, an Epistula ad Vitalem et Constantium, and an Epistula ad Theodosium Augustum, which reports the death of St. Augustine of Hippo to the emperor Theodosius.

"I, therefore, beseech your holiness (though I have the firmest confidence) that, by the help of God, the Catholic faith will be in all respects firmly established by means of so great a synod (Ephesus) of venerable priests, that, the Holy Spirit working within you, which Spirit, I am confident, will be present in your hearts in all that you do, you shake from you with the force of former authority these novel doctrines, unheard, till now, by ecclesiastical ears, and thus withstand new errors of whatsoever kind they may be; lest the same (errors) which the Church vanquished long ago, and which have sprung up again in these days, and which the authority of the apostolic chair, and the concordant judgment of the priesthood repressed, may, under the pretext of a second examination, seem to recover that voice which was long since quelled. For, should anything happen to be started recently, there needs examination, that it may either be approved as rightly spoken, or repudiated as deserving of condemnation; but matters concerning which judgment has already been passed, if a man suffer such to be called again into question, he will simply seem himself to doubt about the faith which he has hitherto held. Again, as an example to posterity: that what is now defined relative to Catholic faith may be forever firmly received, those matters which have already been defined by the Fathers, must be preserved inviolate. Since whoso would fain that what he has defined concerning the right ordering of faith should continue forever, must needs confirm his sentiments, not by his private authority, but also by the judgment of the more ancient (Fathers); so that, in this manner, proving that what he asserts is, both by the decisions of the ancients and of the moderns, the alone truth of the Catholic Church,— a truth descending from the past ages even to the present, or our days, in simple purity and invincible authority,— and that such truth he both utters, and teaches, and holds". . . . Cyril of Alexandria said, "Let the epistle that has been read from. . . Capreolus of Carthage, be inserted amongst the memorials of faith, containing, as it does, a clear opinion; for he wishes the ancient doctrines to be confirmed, but novel and absurd inventions to be condemned and cast aside." All the bishops exclaimed, "Such are the declarations of us all." This we all proclaim: this is the prayer of all."

Ep. ad Condi. Eph. pp. 490, 491, t. ix. Gallandii.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 99-100

"Although, therefore, the authority itself of the universal Church is quite enough for minds that are Christian and devout, nor is less than this your opinion, as far as I have learnt it from the letter that you have sent me, yet, that I may not appear to refuse the answer required by your question and request, I profess that only those doctrines are true which evangelical antiquity holds and delivers."

Rescript. Vitali et Const, p. 493, col. 1.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 100

St. Isidore of Pelusium, (unknown - A.D. 440), a disciple of St. John Chrysostom, he was born in Egypt to a prominent Alexandrian family. He became an ascetic, and moved to a mountain near the city of Pelusium, in the tradition of the Desert Fathers; known to us for his letters, written to Cyril of Alexandria, Theodosius II, and a host of others. His letters display great judgment, precision, and learning.

"Every writing which has for its aim: true religion is commendable, very beautiful, and deserving of praise. But the sacred volumes, which contain the testimonies of the divine writings, are steps whereby to ascend unto God. All those books, therefore, that are set before thee in the Church of God, receive as tried gold, they having been tried in the fire by the divine Spirit of the truth. But leave aside those which are scattered about without that Church,— even though they may contain some thing persuasive to holiness, to be sought after and kept by those who are free from conflicts like thine."

L. 1, Ep. ccclxix. Cyro, p. 96, Paris. 1638.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 84-85

Salonius, (flourished/wrote A.D. c.445), the son of St. Eucherius and the disciple of Salvian. It is doubtful whether he was bishop of Vienne or of Geneva. He was present at the Council of Orange in 444.

"Remove not the ancient landmarks which thy fathers set." (Proverbs 23) By "the ancient land marks" he means the landmarks of truth and of faith which the Catholic doctors have set from the beginning. This, therefore, does he enjoin, that no one understand (receive) the truth of sacred faith and of evangelic doctrine otherwise than as it has been transmitted by the holy fathers; or, this does he enjoin, that no one interpret the words of the holy Scriptures otherwise than in accordance with the meaning of each (sacred) writer. What are those riches of which he says, "Lift not up thine eyes to riches which thou canst not have, because they shall make to themselves wings, and shall fly towards Heaven ?" (Proverbs 23) . . . Those riches are the hidden things of the Godhead, and the secrets of the heavenly mysteries which thou canst not penetrate, nor art able to understand, because these things are patent to the eagles alone, that is, to the heavenly citizens only are they manifested. "The Heaven above, and the earth beneath, and the heart of kings is unsearchable." (Proverbs 25) As the height of Heaven and the depth of earth cannot be comprehended by men, so neither is the capacity of our feebleness able to comprehend, or to penetrate the depths of the knowledge and meaning of the prophets and Apostles."

Expl. Myst. in Salom. Prov. p. 406, t. viii. Bib. Max. SS. PP.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 118-119

St. Theodotus of Ancyra, (unknown-A.D. 446), bishop and theologian of Ancyra, modern day Ankara, flourished about the year 429, attended the Council of Ephesus in 431, during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II. Although he had earlier supported the Nestorian theology of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, Theodotus at the council supported Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria in condemning Nestorius.

"This also did the Fathers, who received from the Apostles the mystery of the incarnation (economy), teach. Thus also did the three hundred and eighteen fathers, assembled at Nicaea, decree, concerning the Only-Begotten. The man that imagines Christ to have two persons, is at variance with their sentiments, at the very time that he is professing to follow them.

[He then quotes the Nicene creed, and adds]

These are the Fathers words, which lay down for us the faith regarding the Only-Begotten, guiding right, as a rule, every human thought. For, as a rule corrects the senses that are being deceived as to the straightness of a line, proving it to be crooked, so does this statement correct the designs of men who seek to pervert our faith by their fancies. Let us follow these (Fathers), believing their words, not weaving doubtful questions. For these men say, "We believe", not "We adduce demonstrations by reasonings." Wherefore, let us also believe that what they have said is so, keeping perfectly aloof from all curious inquiry. For we correct not (or inquire not into) the things that have been already believed by the Fathers, but confess that these things were so done of God, faith confirming our understanding. So that every one who thinks differently from this exposition (of faith), is an alien from Christianity, even though he may seem to say something concerning our faith that has an air of probability. For not even does any one amongst those that are without, demand a demonstration of the first principles of the sciences, but receives those principles on credit from the teachers, without raising a dispute about them. Let, then, this exposition by the Fathers be a first principle of the faith concerning the Only-Begotten Son.

[Having shown how Nestorius, while affecting to follow the Nicene creed, in reality subverted it, he adds]

How pretend you to agree with the Fathers, whom, nevertheless, you will not follow? But, spreading out the authority of the Fathers as a bait to your own error, you thereby draw the simple into your snare."

Expos. Symbol, n. 8, 9, 11, pp. 429-431, t. ix. Gallandii.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 97-98

Arnobius Junior, (flourished in the 5th century, A.D. c.460), also known as Arnobius the Younger, Christian priest or bishop in Gaul, author of a mystical and allegorical commentary on the Psalms, first published by Erasmus in 1522, and by him attributed to the elder Arnobius.

"He who came down from Heaven to assume our humanity, never left Heaven, as it is written, "I will fill Heaven and earth" (Jeremiah 23) And He who ascended into Heaven from these (terrestrial) things, never abandoned us. For so Himself promised, saying, "Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." (Matthew 28)

Conflict. Arnob. et Serapion. p. 230, t. viii. Bibl. Maxim. SS. PP.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 115

"The seed of the servants of Christ . . . possess the doctrines of the Apostles, and they who shall love the name of the Lord shall dwell therein" (Psalms 68), that is, in faith, in doctrine, in the Church, in which our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, reigns now and for ages of ages."

Comm. in Ps. lxviii. lb. p. 274.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 115

Applying Psalm 103 to Christ, he says:

"It was then He made His angels spirits. Angels are called in the Latin tongue "nuncii", messengers, and the Gospel is interpreted a good message. He, therefore, then made His angels, that is, the Apostles, spirits, when He said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit, and preach the Gospel to every creature." And He then made them a burning fire, when the Holy Spirit sat, as fire, on each of them. He then founded the earth on its own firmness, recalling, that is, the earthly minds of the Gentiles,— which, in the building of the tower, had been divided,— unto their own firmness. He strengthens them by that one word, Jesus Christ, and He so founds amongst them His Church upon this rock, as that it shall not be moved forever and ever. Let philosophers keep to themselves their fruitless inquiries, and with mighty toil declare that they can discover that the earth has a deep beneath it, wherewith it is clothed as with a garment, but let us turn the point of our discourse to this earth which is founded on the firmness of the Church. For the deep encompasses it. For the depth of the riches of wisdom which encompasses it is fathomless, and above its waters shall the mountains stand. Whoso have their hearts raised on high are mountains, and above them the waters stand. Above them stands the hallowing of Baptism; they stand in the right faith, they are not driven about by every wind of doctrine. . . . This great sea which stretcheth wide its arms, etc.,— He would have us know that a great and wide sea, is the whole law of the Old and New Testament. There are creeping things without number; in the law the Jews; in the law the Samaritans; and in the law the Heretics; and in the law the Catholics; in the law, kings, etc.; in the law, little and great, there the ships go, the alone churches of all the provinces, (churches) which bear their passengers to the kingdom of Heaven, from the cities of earth to the city of Jerusalem, our mother. But he that shall be found without a ship in this great sea, "shall meet with the dragon which has been formed to make sport of them" . . . with those, that is, who repudiate the ships, and deliver themselves up, like animals, to the waves and depths of the law, without a master who is a Catholic, and who derives the tradition of the law from the Apostles. Wherefore, because that they are without the Church, wandering about amongst creatures little and great, they meet with a dragon, that so makes sport of them, as that they fancy that they are wiser than the Catholics; and, according to their own fancies, they meet with the destruction of eternal death, when they have sunk into the depths. Let us, therefore, sing unto the Lord our God. . . . Sweet may our praise be unto Him, sweetened with Catholic doctrines, bringing with it nothing from the disease of the Jews, nothing from the disease of the heretics."

Com. in Psalm ciii. t. viii. Bib. Max. PP. pp. 294, 295.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 115-117

"Why build, ye Jews? why watch, ye heretics? In vain do ye this, because the Lord neither builds, nor watches with you. But, ye orthodox, who love Christ in incorruptness, fear not; build in security, because the Lord builds with you. "For you are Gods husbandry, you are Gods building." (1 Corinthians 3): watch, for the Lord not only watches with you, but awakes you when fallen asleep, saying, "Watch with me; watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation (Matthew 26) . . . Why will the Lord come? That, in the resurrection, "the inheritance of the Lord" may be manifested; in which (resurrection) all the sons of God receive an inheritance, if so be that they shall have been the children of His womb, that is, if they shall have been baptized in the font of Catholic faith; there is the womb of the Church which bears children unto Him."

In Psalm. cxxvi. p. 314, Ib.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 117

Applying Psalm 131 and following:

"And now even to this day do the sons of the Apostles sit upon their chairs, having also themselves the power of binding and of loosing. But this has been granted to them because the Lord would not have the synagogue of error, but chose holy Sion, the Church to wit of the right faith, which He, in His foreknowledge, chose for His dwelling, wherein is God's rest forever and ever; where in He dwells, because He hath chosen it; wherein the widows are blessed in chastity; wherein the poor are satisfied with the bread of mercy; wherein the priests are clothed with justice; wherein the saints exult with great joy; wherein the horn is brought forth. Therefore shall it be the kingdom of David. She (the Church) is the light, which, placed upon the candlestick, shines for all who are in the house, that is, who are in the faith of Christ Jesus; in such wise that every assertion, on the other hand, besides hers, shines indeed in words, and carries with it matter for human approbation and admiration; but, "being placed under a bushel", it shines not for those who are in the house, but for those whom it finds under the bushel. For they are under a bushel, they who have the measure of the true faith inverted, who are enemies of the light (lamp), which the Holy Ghost, by means of the Apostles, prepared for Christ our Lord. Her enemies, therefore, has He clothed with the confusion of anathema, and upon Christ does her sanctification flourish throughout all ages."

In Ps. cxxxi. p. 31f&amp;gt;, Ib.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 117-118



The Catholic Church's authority come directly from Christ Himself who founded His Church on
St. Peter and His human successors. (Acts 1:20-26) The way or means by which we arrive at the knowledge of the divine truths, is attention and submission to the voice of the Pastors of the Church: a Church established by Christ for the instruction, of all, and for all, in the world; visibly continuing in the succession of Pastors and people through all ages. Broader marks of the Church are:

      • Unity (One)
      • Visibility (We can tell with our senses, where the faith is.)
      • Indefectibility (That it cannot fail.)
      • Succession from the Apostles (Apostolic)
      • Universality (Catholic), and
      • Sanctity (Holy)

Some may question this last mark, Sanctity, but the Church is holy because it consist of Jesus' Mystical Body, Him being the Head. The Church is endowed with a sanctity that is real, though imperfect. In her members, perfect holiness is something yet to be acquired and something its members freely choose to grow toward, or not.


The Church's Scriptures that support the Authority of the Church:


Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18

Dealing with a Sinning Brother

17 And if he will not hear them, tell it to the church. And if he will not hear them, tell the Church. And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.

Matthew 18:17

The Great Commission

18 "And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in Heaven and in earth. 19 Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: And behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."

Matthew 28:18-20

Jesus tells His first Apostles and disciples to go everywhere and preach His Saving Gospel.

15 "And He said to them : Go ye into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature."

Mark 16:15

Listening to the Apostles and their successors is equal to listening and obeying Christ and His Father.

16 "He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth Him that sent me."

Luke 10:16

Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial but prays for his (singular) faith.

31 "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you (second person plural pronoun, meaning "all of you") that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee (singular, Peter) that thy faith fail not: and thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren."

Luke 22:31-32

Jesus tells His Apostles that His Father will send them the Holy Spirit, so they will be able to abide with Him forever.

16 "And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete, that He may abide with you forever, 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, nor knoweth Him; but you shall know Him, because He shall abide with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you."

John 14:16-18

The Holy Spirit that the Lord will send His Apostles will teach them the truth.

13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will teach you all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself: but whatever He shall hear, He shall speak; and the things that are to come He will show you."

John 16:13

Paul goes to various new Christian churches encouraging them to keep to the commandments and teachings of the Apostles.

28 "For it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay no farther burden upon you than these necessary things. 41 And he (Paul) went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches: commanding them to keep the precepts of the Apostles and ancients."

Acts 15:28, 41.

Paul tells the new found churches to heed the voice of their bishops and obey them.

28 "Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood."

Acts 20:28

Each member in the Church has their own calling.

28 "And God indeed hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly Doctors: 29 Are all Apostles? Are all Prophets? Are all Doctors?"

1 Corinthians 12:28,29

Our callings in the Church perfect us and help ensure that we will not be persuaded by unbelievers.

11 "And He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors: 12 for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 until we all meet in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ: 14 that henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive."

Ephesians 4:11-14

The (Catholic) Church is the pillar and foundation of truth.

14 "These things I write to thee, hoping that I shall come to thee shortly. 15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth."

1 Timothy 3:14-15

The author of Hebrews encourages the faithful to pray and obey their prelates or priests who have spoken the Word of God to us.

7 "Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you; whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Obey your prelates, and be subject to them. For they watch as being to render an account of your souls."

Hebrews 13:7

Test what you hear from others and compared what they say to what the Church teaches, to see if what they say is true.

1 "Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 6 We are of God. He that knoweth God heareth us. He that is not of God, heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error."

1 John 4:1,6

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
Untitled Document