Warm-Up Question #1
A. The Catholic Informers
B. The Catholic Performers
C. The Catholic Reformers
THE ANSWER IS .C .Catholic Reformers
In an effort to reform the Catholic Church in the 16th and 17th centuries, these holy saints were determined to imitate Christ as closely as possible. Their holy lives and valiant efforts brought spiritual renewal to the One Holy and Apostolic Church. The abuses that people were concerned about in the 16th century were eradicated.
These saints were able to renew the Catholic Church without defying Christs warnings against causing divisions and schisms in the Body of Christ.
They were able to do so without divorcing from Christ. (Christ said He is the Bridegroom and the Church is the Bride). The Bible says the Church must be one (Jn 10:16, Eph 4:3-6, Rom 16:17, I Cor 1:10, Phil2:2, Rom 15:5, Jn 17:17-23, 1 Cor 12:13, Rom 12:5, Col 3:15.
They were able to reform the Church without creating new doctrines that contradicted the history of Christianity.
From the beginning of Christianity, breaking off the One Church was considered one of the most serious abominations possible, one that disqualified one from heaven.
According to St. Augustine, Doctor of Christianity: Whosoever shall have separated himself from the Catholic Church, no matter how praiseworthy such a person may fancy his life has been, yet for that one crime of having cut himself off from the unity of Christ he shall not have eternal life, but the wrath of God shall abide with him for ever. St. Augustine of Hippo (Letter 141 c. early 5th century)
St. Augustine also said: A man cannot have salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church he can have everything except salvation. He can have honor, he can have Sacraments, he can sing alleluia, he can answer amen, he can possess the gospel, he can have and preach faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; but never except in the Catholic Church will he be able to find salvation. (Augustine, Discourse to the People of the Church at Caesarea, A.D. 418) (this quote can be found in The Faith of the Early Fathers, Volume 3, compiled by William A. Jurgens, p. 130, excerpt #1858)
From the very start of Christianity, the sins of men were never a legitimate excuse for leaving the Church to which God granted His authority (Matthew 18:18), which was the Church that was the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim 3:15), which was the Church that was promised the Holy Spirits guidance into all truth (Jn 16:13) This Church, built on St. Peter, was known as the Catholic Church.
In 250 A.D., St. Cyprian wrote God is one and Christ is one, and one is His Church, and the faith is one, and his people welded together by the glue of concord into a solid unity of body. Unity cannot be rent asunder, nor can the one body of the Church, through the division of its structure, be divided into separate pieces. (On the Unity of the Church 23)
In 197 A.D., Tertullian wrote: We are a society with a single religious feeling, a single unity of discipline, a single bond of hope. (Apology 39, 1)
In the 4th century, St. Hillary wrote: In the Scriptures our people are shown to be made one; so that just as many grains collected into one and ground and mingled together, make one loaf, so in Christ, who is the heavenly Bread, we know there is one body, in which our whole company is joined and united. (Treatise 62, 13)
THE CATHOLIC ERA OF REVIVAL
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