The Work of God - Catholic Apologetics | Contents
But, because of various errors, introduced by some through ignorance and by others out of malice, she says and preaches: that those who after baptism lapse into sin must not be rebaptized, but obtain pardon for their sins through true penance;
that, if, being truly repentant, they die in charity before having satisfied by worthy fruits of penance for their sins of commission and omission, their souls are cleansed after death by purgatorial and purifying penalties, as Brother John has explained to us; and that to alleviate such penalties the acts of intercession of the living faithful benefit them, namely the sacrifices of the Mass, prayers, alms and other works of piety which the faithful are wont to do for the other faithful according to the Church's institutions.
As for the souls of those who, after having received holy baptism, have incurred no stain of sin whatever, and those souls who, after having contracted the stain of sin, have been cleansed, either while remaining still in their bodies or after having been divested of them as stated above, they are received immediately into heaven.
As for the souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only, they go down immediately to hell, to be punished however with different punishments.
The same most Holy Roman Church firmly believes and firmly asserts that nevertheless on the day of Judgment all men will appear with their bodies before the judgment-seat of Christ, to render an account of their own deeds (cf. Rom. 14.10-12). The same Holy Roman Church also holds and teaches that there are seven sacraments of the Church: one is baptism, which has been mentioned above; another is the sacrament of confirmation which bishops confer by the laying on of hands while they anoint the reborn; then penance, the Eucharist, the sacrament of order, matrimony and extreme unction which, according to the doctrine of the Blessed James, is administered to the sick. The same Roman Church performs the sacrament of the Eucharist with unleavened bread; she holds and teaches that in this sacrament the bread is truly transubstantiated into the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the wine into His blood. As regards matrimony, she holds that neither is a man allowed to have several wives at the same time nor a woman several husbands. But, when a legitimate marriage is dissolved by the death of one of the spouses, she declares that a second and afterwards a third wedding are successively licit, if no other canonical impediment goes against it for any reason.
The Holy Roman Church possesses also the highest and full primacy and authority over the universal Catholic Church, which she recognizes in truth and humility to have received with fullness of power from the Lord Himself in the person of Blessed Peter, the chief or head of the apostles, of whom the Roman Pontiff is the successor. And, as she is bound above all to defend the truth of faith, so too, if any questions should arise regarding the faith, they must be decided by her judgment. Anyone accused in matters pertaining to the forum of the Church may appeal to her; and in all causes within the purview of ecclesiastical inquiry, recourse maybe had to her judgment. To her all the Churches are subject; their prelates give obedience and reverence to her. Her fullness of power, moreover, is so firm that she admits the other Churches to a share in her solicitude. The same Roman Church has honoured many of those Churches, and chiefly the Patriarchal Churches, with various privileges, its own prerogative being, however, always observed and safeguarded both in general Councils and in some other matters.
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH OF PIUS IV
BULL INIUNCTUM NOBIS (1564 AD)
I most firmly accept and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions, and all other observances and constitutions of the same Church. 1 likewise accept Holy Scripture according to that sense which Holy Mother Church has held and does hold, to whom it belongs to judge of the true meaning and interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures; 1 shall never accept or interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.
I also profess that there are truly and properly speaking seven sacraments of the New Law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord and necessary for the salvation of the human race, though not all are necessary for each individual person: (they are) baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, order and matrimony. And (1 profess) that they confer grace, and that of these, baptism, confirmation and order cannot be repeated without sacrilege. 1 also admit and accept the rites received and approved in the Catholic Church for the administration of all the sacraments mentioned above.
I embrace and accept each and all the articles defined and declared by the most Holy Synod of Trent concerning original sin and justification.
I also profess that in the Mass there is offered to God a true sacrifice, properly speaking, which is propitiatory for the living and the dead, and that in the most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist the body and blood together with the soul and the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ are truly, really and substantially present, and that there takes place a change (conversio) of the whole substance of bread into the body and of the whole substance of wine into the blood; and this change the Catholic Church calls transubstantiation. 1 also confess that under each species alone (sub altera tantum specie) the whole and entire Christ and the true sacrament is received.
I steadfastly hold that there is a purgatory, and that the souls detained there are helped by the acts of intercession (suffragiis) of the faithful; likewise, that the saints reigning together with Christ should be venerated and invoked, that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics should be venerated. 1 firmly declare that the images of Christ and of the Mother of God ever Virgin and of the other saints as well are to be kept and preserved, and that due honour and veneration should be given to them. 1 also affirm that the power of indulgences has been left by Christ to the Church, and that their use is very beneficial to the Christian people.
I acknowledge the Holy, Catholic and apostolic, Roman Church as the mother and the teacher of all the Churches, and 1 promise and swear true obedience to the Roman Pontiff, successor of Blessed Peter, chief of the apostles, and Vicar of Christ.
I unhesitantly accept and profess also all other things transmitted, defined and declared by the sacred canons and the ecumenical Councils, especially by the most Holy Council of Trent (and by the ecumenical Vatican Council, mostly as regards the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching authority]. At the same time, all contrary propositions and whatever heresies have been condemned, rejected and anathematized by the Church, 1 too condemn, reject and anathematize.
This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved, which of my own accord 1 now profess and truly hold, 1, N ______________ do promise, vow and swear that, with the help of God, 1 shall most faithfully keep and confess entire and inviolate, to my last breath, and that 1 shall take care, as far as it lies in my power, that it be held, taught and preached by those under me, or those over whom 1 have charge by virtue of my office. So help me God and these His Holy Gospels.
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH OF PAUL VI
CREDO OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD (1968 AD)
We believe in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, creator of things visible-such as this world in which our brief life runs its course-and of things invisible-such as the pure spirits which are also called angels - and creator in each man of his spiritual and immortal soul.
We believe that this only God is as absolutely one in His infinitely Holy essence as in His other perfections: in His almighty power, His infinite knowledge, His providence, His will and His love. He is 'He who is' as He revealed to Moses (cf. Ex. 3.14 Vulg.); He is 'Love', as the apostle John has taught us (cf. 1 Jn 4.8); so that these two names, Being and Love, express ineffably the same divine essence of Him who has wished to make Himself manifest to us, and who, "dwelling in unapproachable light" (1 Tim. 6.16), is in Himself above every name and every created thing and every created intellect. God alone can give us right and full knowledge of Himself, by revealing Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose eternal life we are by grace called to share, here on earth in the obscurity of faith and after death in eternal light. The mutual bonds which from all eternity constitute the three persons, each of whom is one and the same divine Being, constitute the blessed inmost life of the most Holy God, infinitely beyond all that we can humanly understand (cf. n. 132). We give thanks, however, to the divine goodness that very many believers can testify with us before men to the unity of God, even though they know not the mystery of the most Holy Trinity.
We believe then in God who eternally begets the Son; we believe in the Son, the Word of God, who is eternally begotten; we believe in the Holy Spirit, the uncreated person who proceeds from the Father and the Son as their eternal love. Thus, in the three divine persons who are "equally eternal and fully equal" (cf. n. 16) the life and beatitude of God, perfectly one, superabound and are consummated in the supreme excellence and glory proper to the uncreated essence, and always "both unity in the Trinity and Trinity in the unity must be worshipped" (cf. n. 16).
We believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is the eternal Word, born of the Father before all ages and of one same substance with the Father, that is one in being with the Father (homoousios to Patri) (cf. n. 7); through Him all things were made. He became flesh from the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit and was made man. Therefore, He is "equal to the Father as to His divinity, less than the Father as to His humanity" (cf. n. 17), entirely one "not by a confusion of substance" (which is impossible), "but by the unity of personhood" (cf. n. 17).
He dwelled among us, full of grace and truth. He proclaimed and established the Kingdom of God, making the Father manifest to us. He gave us His new commandment to love one another as He Himself loved us. He taught us the way of the beatitudes of the Gospel: poverty in spirit, meekness, suffering borne with patience, thirst after justice, mercy, purity of heart, peace-making, persecution suffered for justice sake. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, He, the Lamb of God bearing the sins of the world; He died for us, nailed to the cross, saving us by His redeeming blood. He was buried and, of His own power, rose again on the third day, raising us by His resurrection to that sharing in the divine life which is the life of grace. He ascended into heaven, wherefrom He shall come again, this time in glory, to judge the living and the dead, each according to his merits: those who have responded to the love and goodness of God will go to eternal life, but those who have rejected them to the end will be sentenced to the fire that will never be extinguished. And to His Kingdom there will be no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets; He was sent to us by Christ after His resurrection and His ascension to the Father; He enlightens, vivifies, protects and guides the Church; He purifies her members if they do not refuse His grace. His action, which penetrates to the inmost of the soul, enables man to respond to the command of Jesus: "You must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt. 5.48).
We believe that Mary, who remained ever a Virgin, is the Mother of the Incarnate Word, our God and Saviour Jesus Christ (cf. nn. 605-606/1), and that, by reason of her singular election, "she was, in consideration of the merits of her Son, redeemed in a more eminent manner" (LG 53), "preserved immune from all stain of original sin" (cf. n. 709), and "by an exceptional gift of grace stands far above all other creatures" (LG 53).
Joined by a close and indissoluble bond to the mysteries of the incarnation and redemption (cf. LG 53, 58, 61), the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Immaculate, "when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up, body and soul, to the glory of heaven" (cf. n. 715) and, likened to her Son who rose again from the dead, she received in anticipation the future lot of all the just. We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, "Mother of the Church" (LG 53, 56, 61), "continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role" with regard to Christ's members, "helping to bring forth and to increase the divine life in the souls of all the redeemed" (LG 62).
We believe that in Adam all have sinned, which means that the original offence committed by him caused the human race, common to all, to fall to a state in which it bears the consequences of that offence. This is no longer the state in which the human nature was at the beginning in our first parents, constituted as they were in holiness and justice, and in which man was immune from evil and death. And so, it is human nature so fallen, deprived from the gift of grace with which it had first been adorned, injured in its own natural powers and subjected to the dominion of death, that is communicated to all men; it is in this sense that every man is born in sin. We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature "by propagation, not by imitation" and that it "is in all men, proper to each" (cf. n. 510).
We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ by the sacrifice of the Cross redeemed us from original sin and all the personal sins committed by each one of us, so that the word of the apostle is verified: "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Rom. 5.20).
We believe in and confess one baptism instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Baptism should be administered even to little children "who of themselves cannot have yet committed any sin", in order that, though born deprived of supernatural grace, they may be reborn "of water and the Holy Spirit" to the divine life in Christ Jesus (cf. n. 511).
We believe in one, Holy, Catholic and apostolic Church, built by Jesus Christ on that rock which is Peter. She is the "Mystical Body of Christ", at once a visible society "provided with hierarchical organs" and a "spiritual community; the Church on earth", the pilgrim People of God here below, and "the Church filled with heavenly blessings"; "the germ and the first fruits of the Kingdom of God", through which the work and the sufferings of redemption are continued throughout human history, and which looks with all its strength for the perfect accomplishment it will obtain beyond time in glory (LG 8, 5). In the course of time, the Lord Jesus Christ forms His Church by means of the sacraments emanating from His fullness (LG 7, 11). For, by these the Church makes her members share in the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, through the grace of the Holy Spirit who gives her life and movement (SC 5, 6; LG 7,12,50). She is therefore holy, though having sinners in her midst, because she herself has no other life but the life of grace. If they live by her life, her members are sanctified; if they move away from her life, they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for those offences, of which she has the power to free her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Heiress of the divine promise and daughter of Abraham according to the Spirit, through that Israel whose sacred Scriptures she lovingly guards, and whose patriarchs and prophets she venerates; founded upon the apostles and faithfully handing down through the centuries their ever-living word and their powers as pastors in the successor of Peter and the bishops in communion with him; perpetually assisted by the Holy Spirit, the Church has the charge of guarding, teaching, explaining and spreading the truth which God revealed dimly to men through the prophets, and then fully in the Lord Jesus. We believe all "that is contained in the word of God, written or handed down, and that the Church proposes for belief as divinely revealed, whether by a solemn decree or by the ordinary and universal teaching office" (cf. n. 121). We believe in the infallibility enjoyed by the successor of Peter when, as pastor and teacher of all the Christians, "he speaks ex cathedra" (cf. n. 839) and which "also resides in the episcopal Body when it exercises with him the supreme teaching office" (LG 25).
We believe that the Church founded by Jesus Christ and for which He prayed is indefectibly one in faith, worship and the bond of hierarchical communion (LG 8, 18-23; UR 2). In the bosom of this Church, the rich variety of liturgical rites and the legitimate diversity of theological and spiritual heritages and of special disciplines, far from "injuring her unity, make it more manifest" (LG 23; OE 2-6).
Recognizing also the existence, "outside the organism" of the Church of Christ of "numerous elements of sanctification and truth which, because they belong to her as her own, call for Catholic unity" (LG 8), and believing in the action of the Holy Spirit who stirs up in the heart of all the disciples of Christ a desire for this unity (LG 15), we entertain the hope that the Christians who do not yet enjoy full communion in one only Church will at last be united in one flock with only one Shepherd.
We believe that "the Church is necessary for salvation. For, Christ, who is the sole Mediator and the one way to salvation, makes Himself present for us in His Body which is the Church" (LC 14). But the divine design of salvation embraces all men; and those "who without fault on their part do not know the Gospel of Christ and His Church but seek God with a sincere heart, and under the influence of grace endeavor to do His will as recognized through the prompting of their conscience", they too in a number known only to God "can obtain eternal salvation" (LG 16).
We believe that the Mass, celebrated by the priest representing the person of Christ by virtue of the power received through the sacrament of Order, and offered by him in the name of Christ and of the members of His Mystical Body, is indeed the sacrifice of Calvary rendered sacramentally present on our altars. We believe that, as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper were changed into His body and His blood which were soon to be offered for us on the Cross, likewise the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the body and blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven; and we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under the species which continue to appear to our senses as before, is a true, real and substantial presence (cf. n. 1526).
Thus, in this sacrament Christ cannot become present otherwise than by the change of the whole substance of bread into His body, and the change of the whole substance of wine into His blood, while only the properties of the bread and wine which our senses perceive remain unchanged. This mysterious change is fittingly and properly named by the Church transubstantiation. Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery must, in order to be in accord with Catholic faith, maintain firmly that in the order of reality itself, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the consecration, so that it is the adorable body and blood of the Lord Jesus which from then on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine (cf. nn. 1519, 1527, 1577), as the Lord willed it, in order to give Himself to us as food and to bind us together in the unity of His Mystical Body.
The unique and indivisible existence of the Lord glorious in heaven is not multiplied, but is rendered present by the sacrament in the many places on earth where the eucharistic sacrifice is celebrated. And this existence remains present, after the celebration of the sacrifice, in the Blessed Sacrament which is in the tabernacle as the living heart of our churches. Therefore, it is our sweet duty to honour and adore, in the Blessed Host which our eyes see, the Incarnate Word Himself whom they cannot see and who, yet, without leaving heaven, is made present before us.
We confess also that the Kingdom of God, begun here on earth in the Church of Christ, is not "of this world" (Jn 18.36) whose "form is passing away" (1 Cor. 7.31), and that its proper growth cannot be identified with the progress of civilisation, of science or of human technology, but that it consists in an ever more profound knowledge of the unfathomable riches of Christ, an ever stronger hope of eternal blessings, an ever more ardent response to the love of God, and finally in an ever more abundant diffusion of grace and holiness among men. But it is this same love which impels the Church to be also continuously concerned about the true temporal welfare of men. While she never ceases to remind all her children that "they have not" here on earth "a lasting city" (Heb. 13.14), she also urges them to contribute, each according to his condition of life and his means, to the welfare of their earthly city, to promote justice, peace and fraternal concord among men, to give their help generously to their brothers, especially to the poorest and most unfortunate. The deep solicitude of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, for the needs of men, for their joys and hopes, their griefs and efforts, is therefore nothing other than the desire which strongly urges her to be present to them in order to enlighten them with the light of Christ and to gather and unite them all in Him, their only Saviour. This solicitude can never be understood to mean that the Church conforms herself to the things of this world or that the ardor is lessened with which she expects her Lord and the eternal Kingdom.
We believe in the life eternal. We believe that the souls of all those who die in the grace of Christ-whether they must still be purified in purgatory, or, from the moment they leave their bodies, Jesus takes them to paradise as He did for the good thief - constitute the People of God beyond death; death will be finally vanquished on the day of the resurrection when these souls will be re-united with their bodies.
We believe that the multitude of those gathered around Jesus and Mary in paradise forms the Church of heaven where in the enjoyment of eternal beatitude they see God as He is (1 Jn 3.2,. cf. n. 2305), and where they also, in different ways and degrees, are associated with the holy angels in the divine rule exercised by the glorified Christ, by interceding for us and by providing with their brotherly solicitude a powerful help to our infirmity (LG 49).
We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we also believe that in this communion the merciful love of God and His saints is ever turning listening ears to our prayers, as Jesus told us: "Ask and you will receive" (Jn 16.24). Confessing this faith and sustained by this hope, we look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Blessed be God thrice Holy, Amen.
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
NEW FORMULA FOR THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
(25 February 1989)
The formula of the profession of faith repeats in its entirety the first part of the text in effect since 1967 which contains the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (cf. AAS 59 (1967) 1058). The second part has been modified and subdivided into three paragraphs so as to distinguish better the type of truth and the corresponding assent that is sought.
Profession of Faith
1, N., with firm faith believe and profess everything (omnia et singula) that is contained in the symbol of faith, namely, [There follows the text of the Symbol of Constantinople as used in the Mass of the Roman Rite]
With firm faith 1 believe as well everything (ea omnia) contained in God's word, written or handed down in tradition and proposed by the Church-whether in solemn judgment or in the ordinary and universal Magisterium - as divinely revealed and calling for faith (tamquam divinitus revelata credenda).
1 also firmly accept and hold each and every thing (omnia et singula) that is proposed by that same Church definitively (definitive) with regard to teaching concerning faith and morals.
What is more, 1 adhere (adhaereo) with religious submission of will and intellect (religioso voluntatis et intellectus obsequio) to the teachings which either the Roman pontiff or the college of bishops enunciate when they exercise the authentic magisterium even if they proclaim those teachings in an act that is not definitive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Haddad has been actively involved in catechetical and apologetical work since 1990.
Graduating from Sydney University with a Bachelor's degree in Law Robert took up an opportunity to work with a new high school established by the Lebanese Maronite Order of Monks, (St. Charbels College, Punchbowl). Since 1990 he has acquired a Graduate Certificate in Religious Education (Catholic) from Charles Sturt University and set up a Religious Education course for Years 7-12 of uncompromising soundness in doctrine and orthodoxy.
Because of his position as Religious Education Co-ordinator in the school, Robert has been called upon regularly by both students and parishioners to publicly defend and / or explain the Faith. These numerous encounters are the reason for this work.
In 1996, Robert co-founded Lumen Verum Apologetics, an apologetical lecture group meeting and working in southwest Sydney on Friday nights. As well, Robert lectures in Apologetics at the Center for Thomistic Studies based in central Sydney and conducts catechism classes in various parishes around the Sydney metropolitan area. Robert is also a Board member of the Association of Religious Educators, established in 1997 by teachers, parents and friends concerned with the current state of Catholic education. In 1999, Robert plans to commence Theological Studies at Charles Sturt University. This is his second work.
"Credo in Unum Deum."
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