I’ve been doing a lot of research on Catholicism and a lot of it is very appealing to me and makes a lot of sense. I was hoping someone could give me the Catholic perspective on the infallibility of the Church. I understand the reasons and the logic for holding to the teaching, but I’ve been struggling with Revelation 2:5 where it warns that God will remove the lampstand from unrepentant churches. What is the Catholic view on this?
Our position is the whole, Catholic Church cannot defect from the true faith–God’s authentic revelation will always be handed on for the salvation of all until the end.
That doesn’t mean local or particular churches (a “particular church” being a bishop and his flock), communities, and individuals will not defect or disappear, as history shows. Yet, despite all that, that one universal Church carries on with all those things Our Lord endowed her with.
One particular church and its faith has been promised to remain fixed like a rock, that is the Church of Rome founded by and upon St. Peter and his profession of faith (for whom the bishops of Rome are his successors), to be that foundation of unity of the whole Church. Amid so many schisms and heresies, we can distinguish the true Church by saying with St. Ambrose “Where Peter is, there is the Church.”’ And we know which particular Churches make up the whole, Catholic Church by their communion with the Church of Rome with which, as St. Irenaeus notes, all the churches must agree.
You have to differentiate between the Catholic Faith and the Catholic Church, made up of imperfect individuals.
The Church itself is always holy. The individuals vary in holiness, from time to time, from place to place.
The purity of the Faith is assured. The individuals have free will, so living up to the Faith varies. The Faith doesn’t guarantee you will be a Mother Teresa, but the Church makes a Mother Teresa possible, and offers hope for me and you.
I’m happy you’re giving the Catholic Faith your serious consideration. Praised be Jesus and Mary!
Everything the other two said reflects the definition of the Church’s indefectability:
INDEFECTABILITY: Imperishable duration of the Church and her immutability until the end of time. The First Vatican Council declared that the Church possesses “an unconquered stability” and that, “built on a rock, she will continue to stand until the end of time” (Denzinger 3013, 3056). The Church’s indefectibility, therefore, means that she now is and will always remain the institution of salvation, founded by Christ. This affirms that the Church is essentially unchangeable in her teaching, her constitution, and her liturgy. It does not exclude modifications that do not affect her substance, nor does it exclude the decay of individual local churches or even whole dioceses.
Thanks for the feedback. I will have more questions soon I’m sure! That does make sense.
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