The Great Apostasy in the Catholic Church never happened

Hello everyone!

Today I was thinking and something randomly popped into my head. The Reformation happened because many believed that the Roman Catholic Church had fallen into a state of apostasy, and therefore, fell away from God. Even today, the faiths that emerged from the seperation of the Catholic Church view Her as invalid.

Below is what I do not understand, though.

Those who believe that the Roman Catholic Church experienced an apostasy (and is still in one) believe that up until the apostasy occurred, that the Church was in good standing in the eyes of God. Everything up until the apostasy was correct. That means that at one point, in their eyes, the Roman Catholic Church really was the true dominion of God, until the Papacy supposedly “abandoned” God.

Jesus said, though, that “…And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18. I’m assuming that by this, Jesus meant that there would never be an apostasy.

By Jesus saying this, and then an apostasy supposedly happening, wouldn’t it diminish any credibility in the Bible? Wouldn’t that mean that Jesus was incorrect, and thus, all of Christianity was incorrect, which would go directly against the beliefs of those who seperated from the Church. How do the sects that split from the Catholic Church justify this?

In my opinion, the entire Great Apostasy has no legs to stand on, because this one sentence in the Bible, in which the Son of God promises that his Church shall never be changed in a way that would disobey the Father. The Holy Roman Catholic Church has always been the true dominion of our Creator, and always will be, as stated to us by Jesus. I apologize if I rambled a bit, but I would like to know how a critic of the Catholic Church could ever defend the Great Apostasy, because to me, this one sentence in the Bible ends every argument in existence.

Thanks everyone!

Protestantism makes less and less sense the more you think about it. There are no legitimate arguments to support their claims. The only reason Protestantism exists is because some monarchs in northern Europe found it to be a convenient power play.

This is coming from a former Protestant.

Yes, we believe in the words of Jesus that the gates of hell will not prevail against the true Church he founded which for catholics is the Catholic Church. Christ founded an eternal kingdom which was prophesied by the Old Testament prophets and which the angel Gabriel told our Blessed Mother at the annunciation ‘and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ However, this does not entail that certain individuals in the Church and followers of such individuals may not be heretics, schismatics, or apostasize from the Church as the history of the Church shows us.

I second this argument! This is my main line of reasoning for why one must follow the Catholic Church if one truly believes in Jesus.
Good thinking there!
Pax et bonum,

When I mention that verse to Protestants, they tell me that the rock refers not to Peter but to his faith, somit just goes to show that we are saved by faith…

Tell them that the entire worldwide church adopted the Roman Catholic interpretation at the Council of Ephesus in AD 431:

There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince (ἔξαρχος) and head of the Apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation (θεμέλιος) of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Cœlestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod, which the most humane and Christian Emperors have commanded to assemble, bearing in mind and continually watching over the Catholic faith. For they both have kept and are now keeping intact the apostolic doctrine handed down to them from their most pious and humane grandfathers and fathers of holy memory down to the present time, etc.

The Apostasy that Wasn’t by Rod Bennett is a good book that addresses the apostasy theory.

The Mormons have a similar theory that the early Church went apostate and had to be restored 1,800 years later by Joseph Smith.

I think the indefectability of the Church remains despite the world. Everything else is the story we share in.

It’s the only way they can justify not being Catholic. The Mormons and JW’s come from the Cambell Millerite movements of the 19th century. They both share as their common origin Campbell’s teaching that the early Church fell away at the very beginning. Cambell taught that he was going to restore Christianity to its pure state. But the JWs and Mormons were established for this same reasons. The difference is that instead of Cambell being the one to restore Christianity it was Joseph Smith or Charles Russel. Its interesting to note that many of the founders were from Cambell movement. I have a pdf on this if you are interested in the history of these movements.

In the Old Testament, the Prophet Daniel clearly makes a prophecy that the Catholic Church would arise during the Roman Empire and that the Catholic Church would grow and grow and become totally unstoppable. This makes it absolutely impossible for any Great Apostasy to have occurred.

See this link for how the Church Fathers saw Daniel 2 as clearly predicting the unstoppable, fully global growth of the Catholic Church forever:

The devil gets a lot of mileage from this apostasy idea.

Rod Bennett journey home

Hello again everyone and thanks for all of these answers. I was reading something on Wikipedia that I thought may be of interest because I had a question on it also.

It’s about Christian views on contraception. Wikipedia states that the Roman Catholic Church has prohibited contraception since at least the 2nd century, and Her stance has not changed since. Other Christian faiths see artificial birth control as morally acceptable, DESPITE the reformers such as Martin Luther opposing it. Martin Luther did not view birth control as a good thing, and yet the branches of faith that he started accept birth control (beginning in the 20th century). If anything, how can these faiths look at the Roman Catholic Church as an “apostasy” when the Church has not changed Her views in 2,000 years since being founded by Jesus Christ Himself, and yet all of the other sects accusing the Catholic Church of faithlessness, caved in to pressure for something like birth control, even though Luther himself did not approve?

Thanks again everyone. I am just hoping to get to the bottom of this apostasy thing, because so far I have seen no valid argument! :slight_smile:

Wiki article:

Closer to the truth would be the idea that the *Reformation *was the great apostasy.

Does Jesus build junk?

This is just a short note; my approach was to look at Luke 1:33. Now the scuttlebutt has it that this is a high ranking angel speaking. He’s “in the know”. The predictions have worked out for the Kingdom for 2,000 years in spite of the best efforts of a few heretics, Popes and Bishops.


As the Dictatus papae says, the Church of Rome has never erred, and never can err.

If the Catholic Church ever fell into apostasy, then hell would have won and we are all hosed

Needless to say, Jesus will make good on His promises.

Well, if it was undoubtedly recognized and accepted to be an actual apostasy…what happens when it is not recognized or the ‘definition’ of apostasy is interpreted slightly different?

Kind of like Tyranny in governments, for one to be considered ‘tyrannical’ majority of people have to recognize it as such, and if the definition of ‘tyranny’ is changed or altered, what is tyrannical to one person could be a safe and healthy govt to another.

See what Im saying?

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