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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 082017
 

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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

Sep 012017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome v2.jpg
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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 252017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome v2.jpgIn the Pastoral Letters that Saint Paul wrote to Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, consecrated as Bishops by Saint Paul himself, one can notice the great concern of the Apostle with the Doctrine, so that it would never be corrupted by oral and written retransmission along the centuries. The following excerpts of these letters clearly demonstrate the Apostle’s great concern with the preservation of the purity of the Doctrine.

“I repeat the request I made of you when I was on my way to Macedonia, that you stay in Ephesus to instruct certain people not to teach false doctrines” (The First Letter to Timothy 1, 3).

“If you will give these instructions to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching you have followed. Avoid profane and silly myths” (The First Letter to Timothy 4, 6).

“Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain” (The First Letter to Timothy 6, 3-5).

“O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid profane babbling and the absurdities of so-called knowledge. By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith. Grace be with all of you” (The First Letter to Timothy 6, 20-21).

“Guard this rich trust with the help of the holy Spirit that dwells within us” (The Second Letter to Timothy 1, 14).

“For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths” (The Second Letter to Timothy 4, 3-4).

Saint Paul recommends the same zeal for the Doctrine to Saint Titus. Talking about the qualities a Bishop should have, he affirms that:

“For a bishop as God’s steward must be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute opponents” (The Letter to Titus 1, 7-9).

“This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these points, that those who have believed in God be careful to devote themselves to good works; these are excellent and beneficial to others. Avoid foolish arguments, genealogies, rivalries, and quarrels about the law, for they are useless and futile. After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned” (The Letter to Titus 3, 8-11).

Moved by his great zeal for a healthy Doctrine, Saint Paul seriously and firmly exhorts the Galatians to cling to Jesus’ Gospel:

“I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by (the) grace (of Christ) for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!” (The Letter to the Galatians 1, 6-9).

The Church has held 21 Ecumenical (Universal) Councils all through Her long History. These Councils had one only goal: to preserve the “healthy Doctrine” intact. The Church has faced many difficult moments: many of Her children broke up with Catholic Unity because they did not accept the truth. Nevertheless, those were also moments of enlightenment in the historical evolution of the Church. Pope John Paul II referred to these Councils as blessed moments:

“The great Councils were moments of Grace for the Life of the universal Church…. They represent unmistakable landmarks to the universal Church.”

“These were moments of Grace, through which the Spirit of God poured plenty of Light over the fundamental Mysteries of Christian Faith” (L’ Osservatore Romano # 28, 13/07/96).

 

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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