The true church
I would like a brief answer concerning the security we, the Catholic have to affirm that the Catholic Church is the true Church. Thank you
mscperu gave this response on 6/6/2000:
The Church believes she is talking in the name and with the authority of Jesus Christ. Something like that is present in the conscience of the apostles in telling the Christians converted from paganism and those Jewish ones that it is not the yoke of Moses that saves but the faith in Jesus Christ: "28 "For it seemed good to us and the Holy Spirit…" (Acts 15). God speaks through them. In the Catholic Church we believe this. So if you want to question the absolute decision you have to prove that this foundational reasoning is wrong or in a concrete decision that the interpretation of "the deposit of faith" is wrong.
The Church has the following criteria in searching for a statement of binding doctrine:
- The Bible
- The Tradition. In all times the Holy Ghost has guided the Church. The Fathers of the Church have special authority, those writers that transmitted the faith from the beginning. How can we be sure that they do not transmit falsehood? Since the beginning there has been dissent, heresies (= division). How can you be sure what is the right doctrine? All took the same path like Irenaeus. If I can show that this doctrine has been taught uninterrupted since the Apostles then it is true.
- Magisterium, the ordinary or solemn teaching of the Church, Popes, Bishops, Councils and so on. Because they all underwent the same process: going back to the roots. So they too teach with the authority of the Holy Ghost.
Forgive me if a have extended myself but you see here we are at a vital point. This is the reason of the absoluteness and the obligatory. Who does not accept the doctrine reached in this way puts himself out of the Church. It may sound blaspheme to you but I say with all seriousness: He does not accept the teaching of Christ.
So I would like to point out that the final outcome of an authoritative statement of the Church is not a decision making process. It is more a truth finding process. The Pope and the Bishops are ever looking at the unity of doctrine and they teach only that what is coherent with the tradition.
Conclusion: speaking in the name of God in all aspects is the guarantee that the Catholic Church is the true Church.