The Church to which we belong...

The following is taken from the booklet, "Faith and common sense", + Imprimatur: Most Reverend John F. Whealon, Archbishop of Hartford:

After Christ left this world, His Church did spring into action, fully prepared to carry on His work. This Church was not something vague in character. Christ said precisely what He wanted it to be. His Church was to be built upon the Apostles. It would continue down to the end of time in the same way, ruled by the successors of the Apostles. That is perhaps the clearest thing of all.

He also intended it to be one Church, not a number of churches. The Church He had in mind was to be for all men. It would work for their sanctification and salvation. These qualities were so clearly built into the Church that they were marks setting off the true Church of Christ from all other institutions claiming the name. Catholics say that these marks are unity, catholicity, holiness and apostolicity.

When we examine the early Church as it appears in the time of the Apostles, we find that it had all these qualities. One Church and only one is in existence today which clearly shows the same four marks. This is the Catholic Church.

Around the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome are inscribed the words, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Those words are as true of the present Pope as they were of St. Peter. The Pope is the successor of Peter, and he has the same authority as the Prince of the Apostles once had.

That is a truth which can be amply proved by the facts. No other religious society can trace its heritage back through the centuries to St. Peter.

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