Church History.


i am one that doesn’t know anything about the history of the Catholic Church and i need help. someone who knows something about the subject, please read this article and tall me what is true and what is not.


However, the idea of the “pope” did not exist from the beginning of the church. It was not until several centuries after Christ that the church began to develop into the “Roman Catholic Church” as we think of it today, with its particular doctrines, practices, and hierarchical system of authority.

They have obviously not read the early Church fathers.

There are several Catholic monastic orders, the most well known being the Jesuits, Dominicans, Fransciscans, and Augustinians. Catholic monks and nuns take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and devote themselves to a simple life focused on worshipping God.

They know nothing about monks. All these mentioned are mendicant friars, with the exception of the Jesuits which are a religious order, but not monastic or mendicant.

Unlike their counterparts in both Protestant and Orthodox churches, Catholic priests take vows of celibacy. This practice is rooted in the papacy’s early connections with monasticism, but has become controversial in recent years in part as a result of child abuse scandals.

This is rooted in Holy Scripture, not monastic life.

Distinctive Roman Catholic beliefs include the special authority of the pope, the ability of saints to intercede on behalf of believers, the concept of Purgatory as a place of afterlife purification before entering Heaven, and the doctrine of transubstantiation - that is, that the bread used in the Eucharist becomes the true body of Christ when blessed by a priest.

Yes, the Pope as Vicar of Christ does have special authority. Yes the Saints intercede for us. That is based in Holy Scripture for those who do not know. Purgatory is not explicitly mentioned in Holy Scripture, but is alluded to. We get most of our understanding on this from Sacred Tradition. The Real Presence, aka Transubstantiation is based in Holy Scripture on our Blessed Lords discourse in John 6. It is this reason why I left a fundamentalist southern baptist family for the Holy Roman Catholic Church.


It’s an article that tries to discredit the Catholic religion. It attempts to put all Christian religions on equal footing, and ignores the early history of the Catholic Church (Peter as the first Pope, etc).

Don’t put any stock in this article.


Some of what the article says is accurate as far as it goes which isn’t very far:) . Yes, Leo is recognized by many historians as being the first Pope. But since the Pope is first and foremost the Bishop of Rome these historians are in serious error. Leo was not the first Bishop of Rome, St Peter was. Therefore since, St Peter was the first Bishop of Rome he was also the first Pope. Rome was always looked to by the other churches as having dominance and the leadership role. If a dispute arose among the Churches Rome settled it. The Bishop of Rome was accorded primacy by all of the other Bishops, Even the Orthodox today still see the Pope as first among equals and recognize his primacy but not his infallibility. Rome was considered to be special due to it being sanctified by the blood of two of the Apostles martyred there, Sts Peter and Paul, as well as the blood of those who perished in the persecutions.

Yes, prior to the great schism there was only one main church, the Catholic Church which was governed from… ROME and headed by the … POPE. There were scattered others here and there, Coptic for instance., but they were few and far between The great schism in which the Orthodox broke away came about in great part due to the eastern Bishops, in particular the Patriarch of Constantinople, wanting more autonomy. They felt that Rome had taken more of a leadership role than she was entitled to. This led to the ultimate excommunication of the Orthodox Churches. Simplified version of the events but essentially accurate. There were also some disagreements over the filioque clause of the Nicene creed and some minor doctrinal differences. However, the dispute was basically political in nature.

The protestant reformation which led to the establishment of the protestant churches was also in great part political with northern Europeans being frustrated with the governing of the Church by Rome. They felt that they were being effectively frozen out of important decisions. There were abuses in the Church at that time to be sure, almost off of which were corrected through the counter reformation, which all things considered should have brought the protestants back if that was really the problem, which unfortunately it wasn’t. It was an excuse.

The Protestants also took the position that scripture was to be interpreted by all to their own understanding without the need of a church interpretation. Sounds like a reasonable idea, however, at last count there were many thousands of protestant denominations, all separated by minor differences in interpretation of scripture, which kind of shows the folly of their position.


There is a mixture of fact and distorted fact in this History. It is also so brief as to be useless and a waste of time. Catholicism for Dummies has a nice Chapter on the History of the Church which is accurate, easy to read, and is brief enough to be read in an evening. and other venders carry Dummies for under 20 bucks. It has a lot of material very basic to the Catholic Faith and like I said, it is trustworthy.:slight_smile:


From the article:

“Nevertheless, the Catholic Church continues to maintain that it alone has carried on the true tradition of the apostolic church and has traditionally regarded dissenting groups as heresies (Martin Luther was swiftly excommunicated), not alternatives.”

There’s no need to say “Nevertheless” in the introductory part of this statement. The Catholic Church maintains that it has carried on the “true tradition of the apostolic church” because it has. Perhaps the author assumes that the distinct doctrines of Catholicism wouldn’t be so significant or recognizable without Protestantism around to provide a radical counter-weight. But if one reads ancient documetns like the Didache or many of the writings of the Fathers of the Church, the distinct doctrines of Catholicism can be seen, such as the Intercession of the Saints or the Sacrifice of the Mass.


Also from the article, immediately after the part about heretics:

“However, the recent Second Vatican Council declared all baptized Christians to be “in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.” {1}”

And this did not represent a shift or “evolution” in Church teaching. The Church has always maintained that baptism imprints an indelible mark on the soul as it initiates one into the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church herself, therefore if one apostasizes or embraces heresy it is only logical that they would still retain some level of their communion with the Catholic Church by virtue of their baptism.

Furthermore, many of the original anathemas against Protestant heretics came at a time when most of those who were protestant were so because they consciously decided to be. Now, however, the world finds itself in a time when the majority of protestants are born into these faith traditions, raised in them, and thus may not be fully culpable for remaining outside of formal communion with the Catholic Church.


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