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Jesus Christ founded the Church to give Salvation to mankind through the knowledge of the truth: “you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth” (The First Letter to Timothy 3, 15). This is the reason why the Lord guaranteed Her infallibility in issues concerning the salvation of Her people, and exclusively in terms of salvation issues: in other words, the infallibility of the Church exclusively applies to doctrinal principles of faith and morals. Therefore, the message of the Gospel is not left unprotected against human manipulation, for its contents have been systematically attacked all through the centuries.
We can affirm that the Divine Revelation would have been useless without the guarantee of infallibility of the Ministry of the Church (the Pope and Bishops), because God’s Message would be distorted along the centuries and would come to us deprived of its power of salvation.
During the ceremony of presentation of the new Catechism to the people, Pope John Paul II affirmed:
“The Lord entrusted to His Church the mission of keeping the depositary of faith and She has accomplished Her Mission all through tides of times” (Fidei Depositum, Introduction).
Therefore, that is the holy mission the Lord gave to His Church: to keep untouched the depositary of faith. The Church has always done and still does that. To accomplish Her Mission, the Church created the “Holy Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith” with the responsibility of keeping the purity of the doctrine in the whole of the Catholic World. Unfortunately, this Holy Congregation is often criticized inside and outside the Church, despite its ultimate importance to the Church and to our salvation. It is especially criticized every time it is obliged to call admonish those theologians that divert from the doctrine of the Church. The Holy Spirit all through the two-thousand-year journey of the Church has confirmed this doctrine. It is worth noticing that the Pope unconditionally relies on this Congregation in matters of doctrine. During the General Assembly of the Holy Congregation on November 24, 1995, the Pope addressed its members with these words: “Your work, in many aspects difficult and demanding, is of fundamental importance to Christian life. In fact, the goal of your work is to promote the integrity and purity of faith, which are essential conditions to guarantee that men and women of modern times may find the light that leads to the pathways of salvation” [LR, # 50, 16/12/95, page 14(614)].
The mission of the Church it to allow “the truth of the Gospel to shine bright”, affirmed the Pope.
“Pope John XXII had entrusted to the Council, as its main goal, the task of preserving and presenting the precious depositary of Christian faith in the best way possible…” (FD, Introduction).
The major concern of the Church has always been keeping faithful to the Lord and preserve His legacy intact, the “depositum fidei” (the depositary of faith) or, in the words of Saint Paul to Timothy and Titus, the “health doctrine”.
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