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After 1,500 years of existence of the Roman Catholic Church, the protagonists of Protestant Reformation decided to tell the world that the Roman Catholic Church “had taken a wrong pathway of salvation”. Is it possible? Has the Holy Spirit not helped the Church, as promised by Jesus?
It is worth quoting here the words Saint Paul said to Saint Timothy:
“First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as ransom for all. This was the testimony at the proper time” (The First Letter to Timothy 2, 1-6).
The Apostle shows clearly that salvation is equivalent to having “knowledge of the truth”. The “healthy doctrine” that Jesus entrusted to His Apostles and commanded them to teach to all nations is the pathway that leads to salvation.
Saint Paul also tells his faithful Disciple that:
“I am writing you about these matters, although I hope to visit you soon. But if I should be delayed, 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. Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion, Who was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed to the Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory” (The First Letter to Timothy 3, 14-16).
Affirming that the Church is “the pillar and foundation of truth” is equivalent to affirming that without the Church the truth has no basis or foundation on which it can stand upright. It is equivalent to affirming that the Ministry of the Church is infallible. Without the Church, Jesus’ Doctrine would have never been transmitted to us untouched and pure. Teilhard de Chardin affirmed that: “without the Church, the Christ evaporates, crumbles down or melts away and is totally annulled.”
Jesus insisted on the importance of the truth. He said to Pilate that He had come to the world “to testify to the truth” (John 18, 37). To the Jews who believed in Him, He promised: “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8, 32). He affirmed to His Disciples that: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14, 6). In His prayer to His Father, He asked: “Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth” (John 17, 17).
Saint Paul exhorts the Thessalonians not to be misled by all the tribulation the Church will have to face before the Second Come of the Lord. Those who allow false arguments to lead them astray shall perish “because they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved” (The Second Letter to the Thessalonians 2, 10).
“Therefore, God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie, that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned” (The Second Letter to the Thessalonians 2, 11-12).
Saint Paul clearly shows in the passage above that those who choose human teaching and false doctrines in detriment to God’s Truth and the doctrines of the Church shall be lost because they “have not believed the truth”.
Let us repeat once more the words of the Apostle: “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 the Thessalonians 3, 15).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church thoroughly confirms Saint Paul’s statement:
“Missionary motivation. It is from God’s love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, “for the love of Christ urges us on.” Indeed, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”; that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way to salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in God’s universal plan of salvation, the Church must be the missionary” (CCC # 851).
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