This excellent little summary was prepared by the Faith Formation ministry in Escanaba Michigan and sent to me by Mike Cousineau. Enjoy and be challenged and edified. Sent it to a friend who needs to read it.
1. St. Cyprian of Carthage, martyr & Bishop, wrote in 249 AD, “He who would have God as his Father must have the Church as his Mother.”
2. Without the Catholic Church, there is no salvation. All Protestant Christians, whether they believe it or not, are Christians because the Catholic Church exists. Jesus prayed what is called the High Priestly Prayer in John, Chapter 17, when He said, “I pray that they are one Father, just as you and I are one.” In the simplest terms, all Protestant Christians are wayward Catholics. This statement would infuriate most Protestants. That does not make this objective fact any less true. We all have believed something, thinking it is true, only to find we have been misinformed. Such is the case for every Protestant believer who thinks their denomination speaks nothing but truth.
3. What happened? Christian unity, as Jesus would have it, has fallen a long way from when the 12 Apostles were given the charge of going out to make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To be clear about how difficult unity is to achieve, the Catholic Church has had many of its members disagree with certain doctrines of the Church. The unity problem has always been real, which is always the reason for calling Church Councils, thus making many declarations of faith, known as Church Dogmas. Dogma is a fancy word for a set of principles laid down by an authority that is incontrovertibly true. There are 255 infallibly declared dogmas of the Catholic Church.
4. How long did it take for a difference of opinion to filter into the newly formed Christian way of life? We know from scripture it happened and it happened too often, resulting in the need for written instruction given to the Church by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to His disciples, “teach them all that I have taught you.” Yet, as we know, people don’t like submitting to someone else. Most people prefer to “be in charge” and that form of pride has resulted in differences of opinion, many times resulting in severe spiritual disagreements.
5. Knowing spiritual disagreements would enter the Church, Jesus put a plan in place. The plan included a hierarchy, with Peter in charge, as he was the Apostle given the keys to the kingdom. Whatever the Church bound on earth was bound in heaven, whatever the Church loosed on earth was loosed in heaven. Peter was the rock on which the Church was built. Further, Jesus said He would be with the Church always & the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. It should be noted, given the nature of man, it seems God could have come up with a better plan, but he did it this way through men, but with the promise that the Holy Spirit would be active and protect the Church.
6. Did Jesus really want and expect the Church to remain as one, with disagreements settled through church authority? …
For all 20 reasons we are Catholic, click HERE for the full document.