I’m sorry, but I find what you said here to be bizarre. Either Jesus IS the founder of the Church and intended to establish said Church, or He is not the founder and had no such intention. To qualify it with the terms “theologically” and “historically” insults the intelligence of Catholic Christians.
Again, either Jesus founded the Church or He didn’t.
We need to stop acting as if the Bible is incapable of giving authentic historical witness. “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth,” as St. John Paul says, and it is reasonable to believe in the historicity of the Bible. Although it’s focus is on the Old Testament, I’m currently reading a fascinating book right now called “A Biblical History of Israel” by Provan, Long and Longman. As they deftly point out, this pitting of history against theology needs to stop.
So to the point at hand there is an absolute answer to the question, and Jesus did address the topic directly in Matthew 16:18. The comments are puzzling at best, and it will be good to see a full transcript.
Also, regarding Mary888’s comments on “pastoration”:
Why would you not preach the Gospel to seekers, or at least people who are not completely hostile to religion. As St. Paul says, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Cor. 9:16) There’s nothing wrong with telling someone that something is true. You just have to explain why you believe what you do. You go from the premise that something is true or false, and then back up your claim with evidence. In regards to “suspending a strict rule”, I could understand someone not mentioning the 1 hour fast before Communion when explaining the Eucharist to someone. But to deny that Jesus founded a Church when talking to a certain group of people…? Again, St. Paul says to preach the Gospel in season and out of season:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Tim. 4:1-5)
When evangelizing, we must always be steady, being prepared to endure suffering as the world does not typically want to hear what the Good News entails. And it entails that Jesus founded a Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, to lead us into salvation. There is nothing wrong with preaching, nothing at all, but we must do it with patience, while at the same time exhorting those listening us to conversion. This is urgent, because as our Lord Jesus says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”