How can we trust that the gates of hell shall never prevail against the Church?

How can we trust that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church, when this isn’t even an infallible teaching of the Church?

According to the famous Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma

The Church is indefectible, that is, she remains and will remain the Institution of Salvation, founded by Christ, until the end of the world. (Sent. certa.)

This teaching is “Sent. certa”. This means it can be assured to be true, but it isn’t infallible. So this means there is a very small chance that it isn’t true.

So basically the Church is stating that it isn’t infallibly certain that the gates of hell will never prevail against the church. If there is even a slight possibility that the gates can prevail, then we have to begin to question if the gates will prevail? Did the gates already prevail? Are they about to prevail?


How can we not trust Christ’s own words?

Relating to the picture of Caesarea Phillipi at this site, the Gates of Hell are near the bottom, the Church is on top of the rock.

Jesus is the Head of His Church. We are the Body of His Church.
Today is Good Friday. Today, A little less then 2000 ya, Jesus gave His Life for us.

Today, A little less then 2000ya, satan was defeated by the First Priest of His own Church.

Thats how.

Read the Gospels and New Testament.

You are askihg if satan will prevail against Jesus and His Church.


My point is, why isn’t this a De Fide teaching but merely a Senta. Certa teaching? Why is there a level of uncertainty with this teaching of the church that hasn’t been elevated to infallibility?


The only reason it’s not declared infallible is that no Pope had a compelling reason to have to explicitly declare it as such, i.e. there was no controversy that would have caused damage to the faith. It’s the word of the Gospel, and so de-facto infallible.

I have no idea what any of that means. But Revelation tells us that St Michael is going to kick satan’s butt back to hell.

Because Jesus said so !!! :smiley:

I know I have a different opinion than many on here, but when I think about this statement, that hell will never prevail against God/the church, I see it a little differently.

If more people end up in hell than in heaven, that means a majority of Gods creations (human beings), choose the alternative instead of him/ his church.

If someone comes in and is successfully able to draw a large majority of people away from the truth, despite everything that was done for them (dying for ALL sins), that seems like the enemy HAS indeed prevailed…

I recognize it may be referring to the ultimate end, when hell and death will be thrown into the lake of fire and heaven will remain, but again, if majority of humans that once lived are in hell in the end, that still means, majority of people willingly choose the enemy over God/ the church.?

Maybe Im missing something?

True is not equal to possibly false.

Patting the back of truth doesn’t change that (assurance).

so the ‘How’ is belief Jesus meant what He said.

Because Jesus said so. Either you believe God or you don’t.

The point is that what is true will never end.

Most people choosing false - 100% of people chose false to start this world, and God is still there for All people.

His Church, being true, will always be.

Digging a little deeper, it adds substance to remember the Church is 3 parts that support each other. Triumphant, generally through prayer, work for those in the suffering and militant branches. Suffering, through a painful cleanse, works for those in the same and the militant branch. and militant works for same and those in the Suffering branch.

The Church is a strong beast no matter how many reject it.

Given the consistent exegesis from the Church of this Scriptural passage – this is unquestionably De Fide. Understanding this passage is essential, though.

The greek word κατισχύσουσιν {katiscusousin shall-be-prevailing} is a future, indicative, active verb. So this demonstrates Jesus made a promise. He keeps his promises.

As Pope Benedict XVI stated in a Homily at Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, “Yes, his promise is true: the powers of death, the gates of hell, will not prevail against the Church which he built on Peter (cf. Mt 16: 18)…”


Jesus Himself predicted that MANY will
follow the broad way to hell(Matt. 7:13)
He and His Church CANNOT force people
to join His side in the Battle for souls, but
w/ the Church, the Believers who are act-
ive in winning souls, we CAN turn the
tide and RESCUE the perishing(note the
messages of Fatima and Divine Mercy).
Proverbs 24:11-12 enjoins us to save those
condemned to death and hold back those
staggering towards slaughter, and that
we WILL BE REWARDED for this!!

M-Dent gave a great answer. I would like to add based on Rom 5, “And not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience trial; and trial hope; 5 And hope disappoints not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.” (Rom 5:3f.) Pope Benedict XVI has affirmed this in that we have no reason to expect disappointment.

"In it is founded that hope which, as St Paul said, is such that it “will not leave us disappointed” (cf. Rm 5,5). (Homily, Nov 11, 2005)

“The Church in the United States is now called to look to the future, firmly grounded in the faith passed on by previous generations, and ready to meet new challenges – challenges no less demanding than those faced by your forebears – with the hope born of God’s love, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (cf. Rm 5,5).” (Homily, April 17, 2008)

“They challenge us to be a people of joy, heralds of the unfailing hope (cf. Rm 5,5) born of faith in God’s word, and trust in his promises.” (Homily, April 20, 2008)

and the Pope said more…

I would like to add that trust is built by the virtue of hope. And when we see our own tribulations vanish so powerfully by God per his intervention, the soul is encouraged to never expect disappointment. A life born out on the cross, gives great joy: “In God will I praise the word, in the Lord will I praise his speech. In God have I hoped, I will not fear what man can do to me.” (Ps 55:11 vulg., cf. Ps 117:6 vulg., Ps 55:5 vulg., Heb 13:6) The Church says the same on a foundation of truth.

i think the words mean that the Church is more powerful than the prince of darkness.

in other words, those who put their faith and trust in the Church need not fear hell.

no matter what the evil angels may do in this life to you or anyone else, the Church is more powerful than they and can save us.

when we are in the state of mortal sin, the gates of hell are between us and God. yet the gates of hell cannot prevail against us if we use the sacrament of reconciliation to return to a state of love with God.

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