Two houses: of salvation and of perdition
'The Church' comes from Greek and literally means 'the house of The Lord'. The Church was instituted by Jesus Christ for salvation of all humans
from sin and Hell (place of eternal punishment for unremitted sin) as the sole Divine body of true believers - only those who believe the only true doctrine revealed by Jesus Christ.
are only those who profess the one true Christian doctrine revealed by Jesus Christ and belong to the one true Church established by Jesus Christ
from which of necessity follows that neither heretics nor schismatics aren't Christians
(see also here
in Chapter 1 and here
by searching the text for the term "Christian").
The Church is in the whole world as is made of Its Churches (local, regional etc.) which are in communion with each other. All Churches and The Church Itself profess exactly the same, Christian faith and each has a single human shepherd called 'bishop' to lead the faithful and guard Christian faith, the only way of salvation.
Those who don't believe what Jesus Christ revealed (the whole Christian doctrine) but believe a mixture containing doctrines of Jesus Christ and doctrines that aren't of Jesus Christ are called heretics
. Their assembly is called heretical sect
or heretical Church
, the former being founded by a layman or a priest, the latter by a true (validly ordained) heretical bishop.
Those who profess the whole Christian doctrine i.e. Christian faith but have separated themselves from The Church are called schismatics
. They belong to schismatical Churches
or schismatical sects
Objection: "You seem to lie that heretics and schismatics aren't Christians. For even Pope Pius IX calls them Christians in Iam Vos Omnes when he writes: "We therefore address this Our Letter to all Christians separated from Us".".
Reply to Objection: Individual and cumulative authority of St. Jerome, St. Athanasius and St. Gregory the Great is such that that what they all say (that heretics and schismatics aren't Christians) is certainly true and stands. Pius IX doesn't contradict St. Jerome, St. Athanasius nor St. Gregory the Great since he calls heretics and schismatics Christians as the ones who are reduced to the name of Christians by way of similarity to the only Christians and not as the ones who are
It is because heretics and schismatics are much more similar to the only Christians than to adherents of other religions and are grouped with them. Else, if adherents of each doctrine weren't grouped by similarity how would anyone do anything with literally millions of religious organizations, each with its own doctrine? People mistakenly take reduction by analogy (similarity) for equality. So heretics and schismatics aren't
Christians as three great holy Doctors teach but are
non-Christians which are reduced to the name of Christians due to the greatest similarity to the Christians.
Christians, heretics and schismatics differ from each other substantially and hence their different names.
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Objection of Protestants: "This isn't true. There is assembly of elders over The Church and over each of its Churches but they are only first among equals. Because all Christians are equal and equally priests and pray to Jesus Christ directly and to God through Jesus Christ alone and there is no division on priests and laity since it is written: "Be you also ... a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:5) and "you are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people" (1 Peter 2:9)." and "there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5).
Reply: "But if a man
know not how to rule his own house, how shall
he take care of the church of God
?" (1 Timothy 3:5
The Church is the kingdom of God on Earth, God's flock on Earth and the house of salvation on Earth. Have you ever heard of a kingdom ruled by a kingly assembly instead of a king? Or of a flock of sheep (entire flock or a part of a flock - which part is also a flock) simultaneously led by a shepherdly assembly instead of a shepherd or of a house simultaneously ruled by two or more masters?
Those who are first among equals
have only greater honor but no right over those who aren't first among equals because both of these are equals. But The Holy Writ says that certain single men have the right to rule, shepherd, herd, feed, take care of Church. Hence they aren't equal to those who belong to their Church but are above them. Here you have in The Bible vertical division on priests and laity i.e. hierarchical structure of The Church.
The above Church principle stated by 1 Timothy 3:5 (one faithful man over many faithful) must hold true not only for simple Churches but also for complex Churches consisting of more smaller Churches. Therefore, according to the principle these occur in The Church: priest over laity (in simple Church) and priest over priests and priest over laity (in complex Church).
1 Peter 2:5 and 1 Peter 2:9 cannot abolish or overrule 1 Timothy 3:5 as comes out from the words and/or practice of non-Christians (heretics and schismatics) because all these texts are equally parts of The Holy Scripture and are thus equally sacred. 1 Peter 2:5 and 1 Peter 2:9 tell instead that all Christians are holy nation which has priestly role to all the rest in the world as priests have to all the rest (the lay faithful) in The Church: they intercede with God for them and offer prayers, sacrifices and supplications.
Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between God and all men: priests and lay Christians included. Because all Christians belong to The Body of Christ i.e. The Church (Ephesians 1:22-23
) mediation of priests is the Mediaton of Jesus Christ. So mediation of priests detracts nothing of the Mediation of Jesus Christ and doesn't collide with 1 Timothy 2:5.
Since The Church is "the Israel Of God" (Galatians 6:16
; compare with Romans 9:8
) everyone who doesn't want priests over himself and between himself and man Jesus Christ but wants to pray to God and man Jesus Christ directly is Core, Dathan, Abiron or Hon and shall join them in Hell (Numbers 16:1-50
Objection: "Head of The Church is Jesus Christ only. The Church doesn't need another head. Two heads would make a monster not The Church.".
Reply: Jesus Christ is the only head of all Churches also. And still the above text proves that Churches are ruled by one man each. How come? Because Jesus Christ rules each Church through that one man i.e. bishop, who rules Church in the Name of Jesus Christ alone.
Bishops of all Churches themselves constitute a Church, body of Christians
. Hence there must be and indeed there is a bishop over this Church and thus over all Churches and all the faithful. That one man was appointed by Jesus Christ over the whole Church and his position in The Church is to be prolonged by his successors.
"Who is that man? Who are his successors?"
Reply: It is Simon Peter a.k.a. Cephas, one of the twelve Apostles. For he was mentioned in The New Testament way more times than all the other eleven Apostles combined, in vast majority of Gospel events Apostle Peter was the first and the most prominent protagonist of the Apostles and he was the only Apostle repeatedly singled out by Jesus Christ from the rest of the Apostles (Matthew 16:18-19
; Matthew 26:40; Mark 16:7; Luke 22:31-32
; Luke 24:34; John 21:15-17
; John 21:19,21).
As if this were not sufficient Jesus Christ explicitly said to Apostle Peter to feed his flock i.e. The Church (John 21:15-17
). Objection that this event was only mending of Apostle Peter's triple denial of Jesus Christ falls easily since Jesus Christ could have asked Apostle Peter "Do you love me?" without adding "feed my lambs" and "feed my sheep" what is clearly shepherd's (bishop's) job and has nothing to do with the denial.
Peter was the first bishop of Rome and by choice of Jesus Christ Himself the first bishop over the whole Church. So every successor of Apostle Peter is bishop of Rome and additionally
the bishop over the whole Church by choice of Jesus Christ.
Thus the see (diocese) of Rome is not
the super-see as some have falsely asserted but is a see which only has the God-given power of jurisdiction over all the other sees of The Church due to its bishop being additionally
the God-given bishop of The Church (as man who has some jurisdiction over other men isn't a super-man but is also man).
As proof of the above is bishop of Rome's calling of other bishops as "brethren", and not only as "sons" as would be the case were Rome the super-see with its super-bishop and additionally the bishop of The Church.
For replies to objections against bishop over the whole Church see below.
Thus The Church has one man, bishop of The Church, to rule It in the Name and by the Will of Jesus Christ.
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Objection: "Bishop over the whole Church would make bishop of Rome super-bishop and see of Rome super-see and patriarchate of Rome super-patriarchate. However, ecumenical councils say only that Rome has primacy of honor among bishops, sees and patriarchates. So bishop of Rome cannot be over the other bishops.".
Reply: Indeed, bishop of Rome indeed has only primacy of honor (see below why) and is not
above any other bishop. Ditto holds true for the see of Rome, Roman province and its metropolitan and the patriarchate of the West and its patriarch which/who aren't over the other of their kind.
However, the same man who is bishop of Rome is also
bishop of the whole Church. The two episcopal positions are different
and belong to the same man. It is because the whole Church is different from the see which is part of The Church. So it is not
bishop of Rome who is over the whole Church but it is bishop of the whole Church who is over the whole Church and the man who is this bishop is also bishop of Rome.
Reply: Bishop of the whole Church cannot interfere with the institution of local bishop and its rights and duties since it was also established by the Will of Jesus Christ. So every bishop has full freedom to act according to the rights and duties he posseses by Divine Will.
However, it is right and duty of the bishop of the whole Church who resides in the see of Rome to make sure that no bishop, priest or faithful act outside his rights or harm other faithful in any way. To make sure that when position of a bishop is vacant local Church suffer no disorder. Also, to end disputes by definitively deciding on the sound doctrine which authority and power Jesus Christ has given him (Luke 22:31-32
), etc. What is tyrannical here?
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Only The Catholic Church has successor of Apostle Peter as bishop over the whole Church and this bishop is called 'the pope' (which comes from Greek 'pappas' meaning 'the father': 1 Corinthians 4:15
). Non-Christian bodies reject the successor of Apostle Peter and thus reject the Will of Jesus Christ i.e. the Will of God.
Interestingly, that this is Christian and orthodox doctrine proves one of the greatest saints and teachers of heretical Eastern Church, St. John The Golden-mouthed (St. John Chrysostom), who openly teaches it
(in his exposition of John 21:15 and John 21:19) and yet heretical Eastern Church lives against its former orthodox faith and against its former saint and teacher.
If the teaching of holy Doctor John Chrysostom isn't convincing then the following certainly is: the Easterns assert their unconditional acceptance of the first seven general councils of The Church. Now, please look at what one of them, general council of Chalcedon says:
"After the reading of the foregoing epistle, the most reverend bishops cried out:
This is the faith of the fathers, this is the faith of the Apostles. So we all believe, thus the orthodox believe. Anathema to him who does not thus believe. Peter has spoken thus through Leo. So taught the Apostles.
Piously and truly did Leo teach, so taught Cyril. Everlasting be the memory of Cyril. Leo and Cyril taught the same thing, anathema to him who does not so believe. This is the true faith. Those of us who are orthodox thus believe. This is the faith of the fathers." (find here
under SESSION II (continued) ).
"Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with (2) the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith
"It is well known to this beloved of God synod, that divine (1) letters were sent to the blessed and apostolic pope Leo
, inviting him to deign to be present at the holy synod."
"most holy Leo, archbishop of the Apostolic see
of old Rome, said in Latin" (all three find here
under SESSION III; here they are in different order).
While Protestants have always denied the pope and have never had the orthodox faith, the Easterns
live and die against the general Church council of Chalcedon, a general council (ecumenical synod) of The Church towards which they profess unconditional adherence, and against their former orthodox faith, saint and teacher.
Some argue that the pope, bishop of 'Old Rome' (Rome), become the Roman
pope because the civil power was in Rome/was synonymous with Rome so that with the transfer of civil power to the 'New Rome' (Constantinople) the ecclesial power has also been transferred there (hence the attributes 'Old' and 'New' before 'Rome' reminding of 'Old Testament' and 'New Testament' where the latter replaced the former).
The holy Apostles Peter and Paul were both martyred in Rome
and by their own blood established and sanctified the perpetual authority and the primacy of the Roman
pope and the primacy of the see of Rome. The holy blood cannot be transferred so that papal authority and primacy remain in Rome forever.
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For the above reason, The Church, the house of salvation, is only The Catholic Church and outside of The Catholic Church no one is Christian (see above) and no one is saved. Obviously, Christian and Catholic are synonyms
. The house of perdition is made of all non-Christians i.e. all heretical and schismatical Churches and all the other religious and anti-religious assemblies in the world.
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Objection: "Your words don't correspond to reality. Many Catholic bishops teach that non-Catholics and even non-Christians can be saved.".
, The Bible says: "For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son: that whosoever believes in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting. For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world: but that the world may be saved by him. He that believes in him is not judged. But he that does not believe is already judged: because he believes not in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
" (John 3:16-18
). Thus all who died without explicit faith in the Name of Jesus Christ perished.
All those who had Catholic faith, had perfect contrition for their sins etc.
but died before being baptized with water were in
The Catholic Church (Acts 10:47
) and thus were Catholics and were saved. They weren't members of The Catholic Church (1 Corinthians 12:13-14) but had Catholic faith and perfect contrition for their sins (includes desire for baptism i.e. becoming of the member) and that suffices for salvation (Acts 10:47
Thus the teaching that without Catholic faith
some were or will be saved is a damning lie. All who teach so or believe so, even if some of them have been considered as popes
, don't profess Christian faith. Thus these men aren't Christians i.e. Catholics nor popes
in spite of their claims or reputation to be that.
No one is under any circumstance(s) allowed to participate in a religious service held by anyone who contradicts anything
of the Catholic doctrine or deviates from anything
of the Catholic doctrine (e.g. of that/from that what is expounded on this web-site) since such a one contradicts or deviates from God and holds religious service that isn't to God but is to the devil!
As it is written: "Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation has justice with injustice? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part has the faithful with the unbeliever? ... Wherefore: Go out from among them and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: And I will receive you. And will be a Father to you: and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:14-15,17-18).
Note what God says in 2 Corinthians 6:14-15,17-18: that He will be a Father to those who separate themselves from false gods and false religions. If one doesn't separate himself from such, God won't receive him nor be his Father.