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Oct 202017
 

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During the unforgettable moment of the Last Supper, the Lord reaffirmed for the third time, in a stronger way, the infallibility of His Church:

“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16, 12-15).

What a wondrous promise Jesus made to His Church!

“But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to ALL truth.”

Jesus knew that at that momentous event of the Last Supper the Apostle had no psychological conditions of absorbing new information: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” That clearly shows that Jesus did not teach everything to His Apostles, but He gave them His Holy Spirit to go on guiding them towards “all truth.”  As years and centuries went by, and thank to a great deal of prayers, meditation, Councils, trials and tribulation, the Holy Spirit slowly guided and still guides the Church towards the discovery of “all truth.” Not only a part of the truth, but THE WHOLE TRUTH.

Saint Vincent of Lerins (died 450 A.D.) affirmed that:

 

“It is necessary to grow, strive and thrive towards greater understanding, the science and wisdom of each and every one, not only individually but also the whole of the Church, as ages and centuries go by” (Communitorium).

We can clearly see that, in His last night before the Passion, at the solemn hour of His Farewell, Jesus guaranteed the infallible assistance of “the Spirit of Truth” to the Church, so that She could be always guided towards the truth and consequently be saved.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14, 16-18).

The great Saint Irinaeus (died 202 A.D.), who combated with zeal the heresies of his time, affirms us that:

The preaching of the Gospel is true and firm, and it is the only pathway of salvation to the world. In fact, God entrusted His Light to the Church, and therefore His “wisdom”, through which He saves men… The Church proclaims the truth everywhere: She is the “seven golden lamp stands” (Revelation 2,1) that carry Christ’s Light…it is important to shelter in the Church and seek for education in Her Ministry, nourished by the Scriptures of the Lord. For the Church was placed by God in this world like a Paradise” (Against the heresies, book V, Chapter 20).

 

My Catholic brother, be sure that Jesus could not have left a bigger treasure to His Church than His doctrine, “the depositary of faith”, with the guarantee that it would never be corrupted because of the Assistance of the Holy Spirit.

That is the reason why we can guarantee, in the Name of the Holy Spirit, that the Catechism of the Church, the documents of the Councils and the teachings of the Popes are the pure truth of God. That is the reason why the Apostle guarantees us that:

“… 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).

Good Catholics, faithful and truly believing Catholics, cannot doubt anything that the Catholic Church teaches. Those who disagree with the official teachings of the Church are disobedient children. Disagreeing with the Church in central matters of faith is equivalent to disagreeing with Jesus and mistrusting the infallible assistance of His Holy Spirit to His Church. Jesus promised that to His Apostles. May that terrible temptation stay far away from us!

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

Sep 222017
 

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Saint Augustine (died 430 A.D.) recommended to young people of his time:

 

“It seems healthy to me to recommend this to studious, intelligent young people who are God-fearing and who seek a joyful blessed life: do not put your true happiness at risk with the excuse of looking for a merry life and do not harshly decide to venture on following any doctrine practised outside Christ’s Church.”

 

During the Last Supper, the last time Jesus gathered His Apostles before His Passion and Death, Jesus knew it was the time to bid them farewell and then He guaranteed them the infallibility to know and teach the Saving Truth.

Saint John describes all the events of that memorable Supper, in which the Lord gave mankind His Legacy of Priesthood and Eucharist, in his Gospel from Chapter 13 to 17. These five Chapters are of special importance because they represent “the last words and advice” that Jesus gave to His Church. It is easy to understand the sublime character of the Last Supper: at that holy night, the Lord guaranteed the infallibility of the Church at three different moments, according to Saint John’s words, who was present to the event. Jesus started by telling His Apostles that:

 

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14, 15-18).

Jesus could not have given a greater guarantee to His Church than giving His Own Spirit to Her as a legacy, the Spirit of truth. He affirmed He would “always” be with His Church, so how could She make a mistake in those matters essential for mankind’s salvation?

It is worth noticing that Jesus promised that He would give the Holy Spirit to the Church so that the Spirit would be “always” with Her. He guaranteed that He would stay with His Church and in His Church: “it remains with you, and will be in you.”

Jesus’ Promises to His Church are infallible because Jesus is neither a pretender nor a liar. At that memorable hour before His Passion, He was not playing jokes on His Apostles and His Church. He was saying farewell to them with His last and most important promises: soon after He would suffer His most painful Passion for the Love of His Church.

Unfortunately, spiritual pride and haughtiness blind the eyes of the soul and do not allow their victims to see this truth. The Church has never lost the possession of the Truth even in face of the sins of her children.

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

 Posted by at 01:01
Sep 012017
 

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It is a Dogma of Faith that, when a Pope proclaims a Dogma of Faith, he does not make a mistake because he has the guaranteed assistance of the Holy Spirit. The Church also exercises Her infallibility in questions of faith and morals in the Ecumenical Councils. All along the 2,000 years of Her History, articles of faith proclaimed by one legitimate Council have never been revoked by a subsequent legitimate Council. The Doctrinal consistency of the Church is the proof of Her infallibility, for the Holy Spirit, the great Scholar of the Church, never contradicts Himself. The Holy Spirit cannot unveil some piece of truth to the Church today that is different in its essence from other pieces of truth granted to the Church in the past.

Jesus affirmed to the Apostles that:

“Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18, 18).

He had already made that same promise to Peter, the visible Head of the Church (Matthew 16, 18), and through Peter this promise extended to the whole Apostolic Collegiate under Peter’s authority and united with him.

Jesus also affirmed to the Apostles that:

“Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me” (Luke 10, 16).

Listening to this promise, it is impossible not to understand the infallibility of the Church.

Jesus guaranteed that the Words of the Church are His Words. Those who rebuke the Apostles’ Doctrine are also rebuking the Lord and His Father. That is extremely serious! Rejecting the Doctrinal teachings of the Church is equivalent to rejecting Jesus’ teachings and the Father’s teachings; it is equivalent to rejecting Jesus and the Father.

Before returning to His Heavenly Kingdom in His Ascension, Jesus said to His Apostles (and consequently to the Church) that:

“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28, 19-20).

The Church was born with the first Apostles and Jesus sent them to the world, to teach His doctrine “to all nations.” We know that God always grants the Graces His servants need to accomplish the mission He entrusts to them.  The Grace in that case was the assistance of the Holy Spirit so that the Church could teach the world a pure irreproachable doctrine, a doctrine with no mistakes. It is worth noticing that, before ascending to Heaven, the Lord guarantees that:

“I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28, 20).

That is the final sentence in Saint Matthew Gospel, and it gives us the guarantee that the Lord Himself is in the Heart of His Church through the action of the Holy Spirit; He promised and sent the Holy Spirit to the Church in Pentecost, to prevent that the Church could make mistakes in fundamental issues of human salvation.

Those who consider the idea that the Church could be mistaken in her pathways of Salvation should stop and think: accepting the fact that the Church made mistakes, along these 2,000 years, in questions of Doctrinal articles of faith, implies in affirming that Jesus abandoned His Church and broke His Promise of being with the Church “until the end of the age”.  That is simply impossible! Jesus is faithful and He loves His Church as His Bride, with unshakeable Love. He gave His Life for His Church. As Saint Paul said:

 “Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her” (The Letter to the Ephesians 5, 25).

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

Aug 182017
 

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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

Aug 112017
 

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The Catholic Church is aware of the fact that She holds the plenitude of the means of salvation, as John Paul II said: “Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head (Unitatis Redintegratio # 3). In other words, “the Catholic Church has been endowed with all divinely revealed truth and with all means of grace” (Unitatis Redintegratio # 4).

Our brothers who were born in the so-called Evangelical Churches and are thus separated of the totality of Catholic faith cannot be blamed for the separation that happened in the past. On the other hand, they are deprived of many means of salvation and sanctity that Jesus left to the Church as His Legacy: Sacraments, Marian Devotion, devotion to the saints and much more.

It is worth noticing that when the Catholic Church refers to Protestant Churches, She means traditional historical hierarchical movements like Anglican and Lutheran Churches. She does not mean those countless small sects that uncontrollably and independently multiply at each day: it is obvious that Jesus never authorized that.

Vatican Council II Lumen Gentium affirms that:

“This is the one Church of Christ which in the Creed is professed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Saviour, after His Resurrection, commissioned Peter to shepherd, and him and the other apostles to extend and direct with authority, which He erected for all ages as “the pillar and mainstay of the truth”. This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity” (Lumen Gentium # 8).

The Decree on Ecumenism of Vatican Council II also affirms that:

“For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is “the all-embracing means of salvation,” that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God” (Unitatis Redintegratio # 3).

The unity inside Christ’s Church is manifested in several factors: doctrine, liturgy, governing, Apostolic Succession and so on. The Church has only one doctrine and only one profession of faith received through the Apostles. Those who do not believe is these articles of faith cannot affirm that they are Catholic in the true sense of the word.

The Catechism approved by the Pope in 1992 clearly shows that there is only one doctrine both in terms of dogma and morals.

The liturgical celebration of the Sacraments is an essential factor of unity. The whole world follows the Liturgical Calendar: everywhere you go around the world you will find the same liturgical celebrations and will be able to participate in the same Mass, with minor variations. Another factor of unity in the Church is the Holy Hierarchy that Jesus Himself wanted and enforced. The Apostolic Succession protects and guarantees the fraternal order inside the Church through the Sacrament of the Order. The main factor is the Pope, “the pillar of union” to whom all Clergy and Laity are subject.

The greatest children of the Church have always followed the principle: “Cum Petro et sub Petro” (With Peter and subject to Peter).

The Lord’s Providence has always been with the Church: we have had 264 Popes and the Church has never lacked a Visible Head. The Pope is Christ’s Representative on earth. In the words of Saint Catherine of Siena, the Pope is “sweet Christ on earth”. We have had 50 anti-popes so far, in other words, illegitimate popes who were fruit of human weakness, though we have never lacked a True Pope, Christ’s representative and Peter’s Successor who carries the burden of all sins of mankind.

 

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

Jul 292017
 

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After Gnosticism, Aryanism, Apolinarism and Macedonism the Church had to face some other heresies concerning Jesus Christ. These new heresies deeply disturbed the life of the Church but were eventually overcome in Catholic Councils.

Nestorianism. Nestorian (dead on 426) was the Patriarch of Constantinople and he defended the misconception that Jesus was in fact two people (a human and a divine person) with two different natures; therefore Mary was merely the mother of the man Jesus but not the Mother of God (as the protestants also affirm). That implied in the fact that Jesus might have two Selves. Nevertheless, Christians have called Mary as “Theotokos”(Mother of God) since the First Century.

That heresy was condemned in the Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.), mainly due to the efforts of Saint Cyril of Alexandria (dead on 444 A.D.). This Council established that Jesus is One Only Person (a Divine One): Jesus Self is Divine and He has two natures (a human one and a divine one) harmoniously united though distinct in this One Person Who is also the Word of God. The Council also thoroughly confirmed the Christian belief of the first centuries that Mary is Saint and “Theotokos”(Mother of God).

Monophysicism. Eutiches of Constantinople and Dionysus of Alexandria defended this heresy, which was in fact a magnified copy of Nestorianism and fell in the opposite misconception: they affirmed that Jesus had one only Nature and was one only Person. They affirmed that His Divine nature had absorbed his human nature and therefore He had not been a man in the strictest sense. That heresy was condemned in the Council of Calcedonia (451 A.D.) that re-affirmed that Jesus is one only Person (Divine) with two natures (human and Divine). During this Council Pope Leo Magnum sent a letter to Patriarch Flavianus of Constantinople re-affirming the dogma of Jesus’ double nature. The Council approved the Pope’s words and the Bishops said that: “Peter spoke through the mouth of the Lion”.

Monotelitism or Monoenergism. Serge, Patriarch of Constantinople (VIIth Century) defended that Jesus was one only Person with two natures, though one only Will (“theletes” in Greek) and one only Action. That idea also denied that Jesus was a perfect man and put the mysteries of Incarnation and Redemption in great risk. That heresy was condemned in the Constantinople Council III (681 A.D.). That Council established that Jesus is One Only Person, two natures, two wills and two acts. In other words, Jesus is perfectly human and perfectly Divine. During His earthly life He acted as God (in the miracles) when He wanted, though He totally redeemed mankind when He perfectly and totally took upon Him our human nature. The Letter to the Hebrews affirms that Jesus: “has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin” (The Letter to the Hebrews 4, 15) and that “he had to become like his brothers in every way” (The Letter to the Hebrews 2, 17).

 

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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