The Church says

Someone recently asked me why we as Catholics always say “the Church says…” why don’t we say “God says…” I wasn’t exactly sure what to say but for me saying the Church says is the same as saying God says…how do I explain what I mean when I say the “Church says” how can I explain that God talks through His Church so its like the same thing??? any help would be great! and how do I explain exactly what the Church is??

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church…
the source of the Church’s authority comes from Jesus.

**881 **The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock.400 "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head."401 This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.

**882 **The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful."402 "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered."403

**883 **“The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, as its head.” As such, this college has "supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff."404
400 Cf. Mt 16:18-19; Jn 21:15-17.401 LG 22 # 2.402 LG 23.403 LG 22; cf. CD 2,9.
404 LG 22; cf. CIC, can 336.

**878 **Finally, it belongs to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry that it have a personal character. Although Christ’s ministers act in communion with one another, they also always act in a personal way. Each one is called personally: "You, follow me"397 in order to be a personal witness within the common mission, to bear personal responsibility before him who gives the mission, acting “in his person” and for other persons: “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …”; “I absolve you…” 397 Jn 21:22; Cf. Mt 4:19. 21; Jn 1:4.

God speaks to the people of God through both the Magesterium AND through Scripture. When we say “the Church says…” we are implying that God is speaking through the successors to the Apostles.

When the “Church says…” anything, it is published via documents. I have yet to read any Church document that does not heavily rely on Scripture - just look at the footnotes of the CCC.

Matthew 16:13-20

Papal authority given by Jesus

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ 14And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ 15He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ 16Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah,* the Son of the living God.’ 17And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter,* and on this rock* I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ 20

Thanks everyone!:slight_smile:

The Church is the Body of Christ. We believe that Christ has never left the Church, Christ is the Head of the Church, and sent us the Spirit to preserve us (the Church) in the truth.

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