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Jun 302017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the domeThe great Bishop of Cartage (d. 258 A.D.) poses to mankind this central question:

“The enemy was unveiled and defeated by the Coming of the Christ, (and) he schemes new ambushes to deceive naïve people, (hiding) under the Christian name itself. He creates heresies and schisms to subvert faith, corrupt truth and break unity…”

“How can faith be protected by people who do not keep that unity Paul recommends us?” (ref: The Letter to the Ephesians 4, 4-6). “How can they affirm they are part of the Church if the forsake Peter’s Ministry, on which the Church is founded?”

Saint Cyprian has clearly showed us the central importance of the Unity of the Church. It is worth plunging in his texts, written more than 17 centuries ago:

“Those among us who guide the Church as Her Bishops must firmly keep and defend this unity, and give testimony of Episcopal undivided unity… Episcopal Ministry is one single reality and each Bishop shares its totality. The Church is one single reality although it embraces the world and grows continually in Her fecundity. The same way there is one single light in millions of sun rays, a single tree in uncountable branches, a single trunk supported by uncountable roots and several rivers from a single spring, the same way the enormous crowd of Christians keep the same unity in origin although it seems divided by the tremendous and prolific diversity of the new generations. Unity does not allow a sunray to behave as a separate entity of a solar center; broken branches will not grow and if you dam the spring the river will immediately run dry. Likewise the Lord’s Church pours Her light over the world as one single light that casts uncountable rays but never loses its unity. She unfolds Her branches all around the world with great fecundity; She flows along rivers with generosity but it is one single Head and one single spring, one single origin of one single Mother of immense fecundity. We are all children of Her womb, nursed by Her milk and vivified by Her spirit.

Christ’s wife cannot be transformed into an adulteress: She is incorrupt and pure, She does not know more than one single home and keeps with chastity the sanctity of Her single talus. She keeps us for God and gives the children of Her womb to the Kingdom. Those who divorce the Church to follow an adulteress also divorce the promises of the Church. Those who forsake Christ’s Church shall never receive Christ’s reward. They become strangers and profane enemies. Those who do not have the Church as their Mother cannot have God as their Father. Those who are outside the Church will find the same salvation of those who stayed outside Noah’s Ark. The Lord exhorts us: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Matthew 12, 30). Those who disturb Christ’s peace and harmony are Christ’s enemies; those who gather elsewhere, outside the Church, scatter Christ’s Church.”

 

Professor Felipe Aquino

 

Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino

 

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