Why to put your faith in the Church

Obviously belief in the Church requires an act of faith in the Catholic Church: it is not 100% demonstrable through reason (or history by the way) and it comes down to a matter of faith.

So it comes down to why should we put our faith in the Catholic Church’s authority.
The Catholic Church has certain signs which indicate that she has authority these include (the scriptures reference places which I think testify to the fact that the true church should have these aspects):

-It is attested to by Scripture
-Unity in faith throughout history (apostolic) Hebrews 13:8
-Ability to maintain a unified Church (one) Jn 17:21
-Sanctity of her members and saints (holy) Jn 13:35

I believe this. a couple questions though, how do I put the fourth adjective (catholic) into this description- as in how do you demonstrate it should be catholic (universal)

Also how would you respond to the following accusations:

1.) The Catholic Church has changed throughout history, except only she decides which changes are “important” and which beliefs are infallible, usually after the fact.
2.) The Church might have a unified teaching but her members are far from united to that- and such it has always been throughout history. Thus the Church is united on paper only. It would be comparable to say that the same amount of people who are unified to the teachings of the Church are more or less equal to the amount of people who are unified in the core doctrines of the reformation.
3.) Catholicism does produce sanctity, as do other christian and even non christian churches (such as the Mormans) and as the other churches do she also produces great sinners.

Any help would be appreciated.

I put my faith in God.

God has given authority to the Church. I give my assent and obedience to the Church.

God has given much more than authority to the Church. God has given infallibility to the Church, He is Himself the head of the Church, and our High Priest, Jesus Christ. He has given us the Sacraments in the Church, and His grace is dispensed through His Church. So I DO have Faith in the Catholic Church. Without the Catholic Church, we would not even know God, with whom our Faith rests.

The Catholic Church is the oracle of Divine Revelation. God’s message in Jesus Christ is preserved inviolate from Apostolic times as well as His continuing leadership, which is voiced by the oracle of the Catholic Church.

If we do not have faith in the Church, how can we have faith in God? The Church commands us to BELIEVE with Divine Faith, her teachings. Without faith in the Church, how can we believe her teachings?

Religions all over the world claim to have Divine Revelation, but only ONE does. That is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ. That is what makes the Catholic Faith a Divine Religion, (not a human one.) Have no fear in placing your faith in the Catholic Church. To believe the Catholic Church, is to believe the one Who founded the Catholic Church. To believe in Him is to believe in the One that sent Him.

Thanks for the response but I’m not sure this helps me much. Since your answer kind of uses the assumption that the Church has authority. I’m trying to defend this claim. What is out about the Catholic Church that should make someone submit to her authority?

My answer is the sane as yours: that she is ONE HOLY and APOSTOLIC. but did you see the objections i raised in this regards?
I’ll reiterate:
How can she be shown to be One when only a small percentage follow her official doctrine?
How can she be shown to be Holy when other faiths also produce fruits of sanctity and her children produce as many sinners as saints?
How can she be shown to be apostolic when some doctrines do change but only she cab day which changes are important.

It seems we need as much faith to believe the proofs of the Church’s authority are true as we need to put faith in the Church herself

As far as being holy, as Augustine (395) said, “I would not believe the Gospels if it were not for the Church.” From history it can be shown that the church is responsible for the Bible we use today.
The bible is holy, for which the catholic church is credited for.

“There are many other things that most justly keep me in her * bosom. . . . The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the
Apostle Peter, [snip] . And so, lastly, does the name itself of Catholic, [snip] though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.” Augustine against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental (ch 5 v6)

From this we see that priests administer the sacraments of holiness coming from Jesus himself, and insure this means of holiness is presented to all and will continue to be presented to the end.
Heb 3:1, 7:24, 9:12-13 - Jesus eternal high priest; one sacrifice
Rev 1:6, 5:10 - He made us a kingdom of priests for God

We also pray to holy people in heaven.
Mat 19:29, 25:46,
Mat 10:17-22,
Mk 10:30,
Lk 10:25-30,
Lk 18:18-30,
Jn 3:15-1
Lk 20:39-40, Jesus said, “Now he is a God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.”
Mat 17:3, Moses and Elijah alive beside Jesus.

Un-holiness exists in the church as well. Typical examples are Peter who swore and cursed that he did not know Jesus. And Judas who betrayed Jesus for money. And these men were hand picked by Jesus himself.*

SirEwenii #1
why should we put our faith in the Catholic Church’s authority

Quadratus writes (circa 123 A.D.) that in his day there were still persons around who had been cured or raised from the dead by Jesus – prime witnesses. [Eusebius, *Church History, 4.3, 1.2; See Free From All Error, Fr W. Most, p 12]

  1. The documents of Scripture are HISTORICAL – it is absurd to claim that Scripture is inspired without the authority of God to know that it is inspired.
  2. However, HISTORICALLY, the documents of Scripture relate that the man Jesus claimed to be sent by God, claimed to be God, proved His claim by His miracles and His Resurrection, established His Church on St Peter to continue His teaching until the end of time.
  3. HIS CHURCH, HISTORICALLY ESTABLISHED, then teaches what writings form God’s Word and that all of those writings, and no others, are inspired by the Holy Spirit. No one else can decide what books are inspired or has any authority to do so.

Also how would you respond to the following accusations:
1.) The Catholic Church has changed throughout history, except only she decides which changes are “important” and which beliefs are infallible, usually after the fact.

The Catholic Church has never contradicted any doctrinal or dogmatic teaching, and cannot. The understanding of a teaching may develop, which is quite different.

A “tradition” means an inherited pattern of thought and action.

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 05-27-2009 (EWTN):
The small “t” traditions are practices that can change over time. For example, the language of the Mass, whether or not altar girls are permitted, whether both species are permitted at Mass or not (Precious Blood), are all small “t” traditions that can change.
tinyurl.com/n5zz5qd

The **Tradition **followed below is that of St Paul who tells us over and over again that much of Christian teaching is to be found in Tradition.

‘As a source of Christian truth, that divine **Tradition **which is the collection of doctrines taught by Christ and the Apostles, but which were not written in the New Testament. They have been written in various “Creeds,” and “Professions of Faith,” and are supported by the unanimous consent of the Fathers who lived in the first centuries and knew the Apostolic teaching. St. Paul said to Timothy, “The things you have heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men who will be fit to teach others also.” 2 Tim. 2: 2. The early ecclesiastical writers recorded the teachings of these “faithful men”; and those teachings are an authentic source of the revelation of Christ to be transmitted to posterity.’
radioreplies.info/site-search.php?q=Tradition&db=2

Thus from Vatican I Pastor Aeternus Chapter 4
“On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff

9. Therefore, faithfully adhering to the Tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.”

2.) The Church might have a unified teaching but her members are far from united to that- and such it has always been throughout history. Thus the Church is united on paper only. It would be comparable to say that the same amount of people who are unified to the teachings of the Church are more or less equal to the amount of people who are unified in the core doctrines of the reformation.

It is ludicrous to compare the thousands of Protestant sects all teaching something different, with the teaching of Christ’s Church.

3.) Catholicism does produce sanctity, as do other christian and even non christian churches (such as the Mormans) and as the other churches do she also produces great sinners.

As Christ was betrayed by Judas, does that make His teaching erroneous?

No other sect or religion has the full teaching of Christ given only to His Church – so whether it is divorce or contraception or euthanasia or polygamy, no other sect or religion has the fullness of Christ’s truth.

I am not up to speed with your question, as you noticed. I was intending to answer the previous poster’s question, but not specifically yours.

My response to YOUR question would follow along the lines of looking for a Church that has Divine Revelation. That is the most fundamental reason for believing in a church. If you have reached the point that CHRISTIANITY is Divine in origin, then you just have to sort out the Christian Churches to find the ONE that also has a Divine Origin. That ONE, will also have ONGOING Divine Revelation. IOW, infallible doctrines that never change, because they are Divine in origin.

I see your difficulties listed above. They are not insurmountable, but you must have answers none the less. I don’t think you will have too much trouble getting them here! :wink:

I agree with this. If the Church gets taken over by nut cases who are clearly not representing God’s will, I’m out.

k5rakitan #8
If the Church gets taken over by nut cases who are clearly not representing God’s will, I’m out.

O you of little faith. Face reality – the Church never has and never can teach against God’s Will.
Don’t you know that the “nut cases” who taught against God’s Will, as expressed against contraception for instance, have not changed the doctrine one iota?

If you faithfully follow Christ you should know that all four promises were made to St Peter alone:
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church.” (Mt 16:18)
“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”(Mt 16:18)
“I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven." ( Mt 16:19)
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) [Later to the Twelve].

Sole authority:
“Strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
“Feed My sheep.”(Jn 21:17).
Jesus warned dissenters: “if he refuses to hear even the Church let him be like the heathen and a publican.” (Mt 18:17).

St. Paul says also, “through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Eph 3:10).” The Church teaches even the angels! This is with the authority of Christ!

If Christ’s Church that teaches the angels is denigrated, such a “nut case” is described by Christ as a “heathen and a publican” for not listening to Christ’s Church.

Can you give me just one example of a change that you consider “important” that the Church does not? Surely you don’t mean changes such as the language in which Mass is celebrated, or what liturgical color is used in Advent, or where the Baptismal fount ought to be located in a new Parish church.

2.) The Church might have a unified teaching but her members are far from united to that- and such it has always been throughout history.

Yes, there are always people in the Church that don’t accept or follow the fullness of Her teaching. The same was true in Biblical times (read 1Cor for a massive list of early Christian screw-ups). If the Apostolic Church lacked unity, can you criticize the modern Catholic Church for this same problem? Or, are you saying that the Apostolic Church was ALSO wrong?

3.) Catholicism does produce sanctity, as do other christian and even non christian churches (such as the Mormans) and as the other churches do she also produces great sinners.

This is true. So what?

However, I will challenge to you. Consider ANY Catholic Saint who has been canonized according to the current norms (adopted in 933 AD - Catholics have a funny way of defining “current”). Objectively compare this Saint to ANY non-Catholic of your choice. So, you can consider the “least” of the fully canonized Catholic Saints, and compare him/her to the “greatest” non-Catholic. Can you find a non-Catholic that objectively exceeds the apparent virtue of a canonized Catholic Saint? If you think you can, then please post the Saint and the non-Catholic, and a brief explanation of why you consider the non-Catholic to exceed the virtue of the Saint.

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