A justification of Catholicism should not invoke Mt. 16:18. It is a very brittle defense. If one is going to defend Catholicism, one should defend it on its intrinsic merits, as indeed the RCC used to do up until a few centuries ago. It is lamentable that the RCC later walked into the protestant trap of trying to justify Her own existence by an appeal to scripture.
Female “clergy”, gay marriage, supporting abortion, etc. yeah, I’d say the gates are wide open against heretical churches.
Yet because they have apostolic succession and the sacraments, they are mystically joined to the Catholic Church - though imperfectly. Here we have true churches, corporate bodies, that retain an imperfect union with the one Church of Christ.
With Protestants, by virtue of baptism, we have individuals who are imperfectly united to the one Catholic Church.
There can be no sacraments without the Catholic Church.
I’m Catholic through & through. By the grace of God I’ll never leave Mother Church again.
That said, I’m keeping my eyes open. Most everyone thought the Messiah would come from Judah. Or Jerusalem.
Even though he was born in Bethlehem, He was a Nazarene.
Imagine you lived in those times. Would you believe this Jesus was the Messiah? He wasn’t even “technically” a Jew… he was a Gallilean.
Think Jew=Catholic, Gallilean=Southern Baptist
The fullness is found in the Catholic Church, of whichthe Roman Rite is only one of many.
Contrary to a few posts above which gave a too broad definition of the Church of Christ, according to Catholic doctrine the Catholic Church alone is the sole Church of Christ. Other “denominations” have a partial communion with this Church by virtue of their Baptism, but they are not this one Church. Even the EO’s are not that one Church, even though they have valid “particular churches” (a bishop celebrating the Eucharist with his flock; these can even be called sister churches of other particular churches, but cannot be called sisters of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. cf CDF Note on the Expression “Sister Churches.”) .
The Church of Christ is “an entity with visible delineation” (Lumen gentium 8). This visible Church is “made up of the faithful who are organically united in the Holy Spirit by the same faith, the same sacraments and the same government.” (Orientalium ecclesiarium 2).
We do acknowledge that, due to heresies and schisms which tore them away, “many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure” ( Lumen Gentium 8). But these elements cannot be said to be the Church of Christ. “[T]here exists only one ‘subsistence’ of the true Church, while outside her visible structure there only exist elementa Ecclesiae (ecclesial elements)” (Dominus Iesus) (“subsistence” meaning that unique, permanent existence).
It is curious that the Catechism refers to Orthodox as “Churches”.
It is used in the plural because, as I mentioned above, we do acknowledge the existence of “particular churches” in the EO communion (a particular church being a bishop and his flock celebrating the Eucharist). But we can’t call the totality of EO particular churches a “Church” (singular) because, while there can be a plurality of particular churches, there can be only one catholic Church (“catholic” meaning the one universal Church spread throughout the world, as compared to local, particular churches)–and that is the Catholic Church alone.
This is a common mistake because the Latin Rite is the largest and most common in the West, but the Catholic Church is not “Roman”, and the Latin Rite has the same level of “fullness” of the faith as the other 22 smaller Catholic Rites.
The Body of Christ subsists in the CC, but the second coming will be when Christ returns to earth from the clouds, just as he ascended.
15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. I Thess 4