Pentecost NOT “Birth of the Church”

Editor: it is a common error, repeated often in homilies/sermons, that the Church was “born” at Pentecost.  We need only recall the Petrine verses in the Gospel, and Christ’s final command to his apostles prior to his Ascension into Heaven: “Go out into the whole world and baptize…” to recognise that this claim is false.  The apostles were strengthened at Pentecost, their faith renewed so that they had the courage to come out of hiding and obey Christ’s Ascension command to go into the whole world and spread the Faith.  The Church, however, was established by Christ Himself  during His time on earth, as amply reported in the New Testament.

Below, extracts from a short article on the subject…

Every Christian believes that Jesus Christ established and sustains a community of faith, hope and love for all believers. This community we call His Church. The Church that Christ founded is the Catholic Church which has a formal earthly structure established by Christ and which continues under His authority and protection.

 Jesus did three things that established the framework of His Church. First, He chose humans to carry out His work. He appointed Peter to be the visible head of the Church. Jesus said to Peter, “You are Rock and on this rock I will build my Church.” (Matthew 16: 18) Jesus said “build,” as in to create a structure. Jesus built His structure on specifically chosen human beings Peter and the apostles.

Second, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles the power and authority to carry out His work. “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.”(Matthew 16:19; 18:18) “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, whose sins you retain, they are retained.”(John 20:23)

Third, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles commands as to what that work should be. At the last supper, He commanded, “Do this in memory of Me.” (Luke 22:19) He commanded them to “Make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), and to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

The early Church was structured in a hierarchical manner as it is today. We see in Acts, chapter 15 how the apostles and the elders came together under the leadership of St. Peter to decide the question of what was required of Gentiles. We also see how St. Peter was regarded as the head of the Church when St. Paul, “Went up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas [Peter] and remained with him fifteen days.” (Galatians 1:18) There is no Scriptural evidence of independent local churches.

The Catholic Church is the only church that can claim to have been founded by Christ personally. Every other church traces its lineage back to a mere human person such as Martin Luther or John Wesley. The Catholic Church can trace its lineage back to Jesus Christ who appointed St. Peter as the first pope. This line of popes has continued unbroken for almost 2,000 years.

God rules, instructs and sanctifies His people through His Church. Under her teaching office, the Catholic Church preserves the Word of God. She is the custodian, keeper, dispenser and interpreter of teachings of Christ. And she accomplishes this under the protection of the Holy Spirit. Source

Comment: 

It is important to note that there was never any time when the Church was known as “Christian Church” – never.  From the earliest times, the Church was called the “Catholic Church”.  The adjective “Roman” was added during the Reformation period by the Protestant Reformers to push their heresy that the Church is made up of “branches” – of which those who adhere to Rome are but one part.  Click here to read more.  There is one exception to the writer’s claim that “RC” is not used in official Church documents, and that exception is found in Humani Generis # 27 – click here.  However, Pope Pius XII is a recent pontiff, so the facts  stand, as detailed in the article How Did the Catholic Church Get Her Name?

What, if any,  difference does it make if priests preach that Pentecost celebrates “the birth of the Church”?    

Will Pope Francis’ Inter-Faith Peace Prayers Please God? If So, Which One?

ImageVatican City, Jun 6, 2014 / 08:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican has released the details for Sunday’s prayer between Pope Francis and the Israeli and Palestinian presidents, stating that although peace will not be immediate, it’s a starting point.

“The intent of this encounter is to open the road to peace,” Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa O.F.M., Guardian of the Holy Land, revealed to journalists in a June 6 press conference, telling CNA that “My hope is that this event will help to bring a new atmosphere in the Middle East.”

Speaking to other journalists, he explained that “the goal is not to change dramatically the peace process in the Middle East, but to bring back in the atmosphere among the people in the Middle East the desire, the real desire for peace.”

Detailing the itinerary for the prayer, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. stated that Presidents Shimon Peres of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine will arrive to the Vatican within a few minutes of each other, and will meet Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartolomeo I of Constantinople at the pontiff’s residence in the Saint Martha guesthouse.

Afterward the four will travel together by car to the Vatican Gardens, where a brief explanation of the celebration will be given in English.

The prayer, the spokesman noted, will be divided into three parts following the chronological order of the three faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Beginning around 7 p.m., the first part of the prayer will be recited in Hebrew, honoring the Jewish faith. It will include an initial prayer, a brief musical interlude, a prayer of forgiveness, a second musical interlude, a prayer invoking peace, and finally a Jewish musical meditation.

The second part of the prayer, dedicated to Christianity, will follow the same structure, and will be recited in English, Italian and Arabic. ImageThe third part, honoring the Muslim community, will only be said in Arabic.

Following the three parts of the prayer, Pope Francis will give a discourse invoking peace, and then invite the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to give their own, beginning with Shimon Peres, who will be followed by Mahmoud Abbas.

After giving the speeches, the Pope and the presidents, along with Patriarch Bartolomeo I, will exchange a sign of peace in shaking hands. Pope Francis and the two presidents will then plant an olive tree together as a symbol of peace.

Concluding the celebration, the four will stand side-by-side as the delegations of each come to greet them, and will then travel to the Casina Pio IV nearby for a private discussion, after which the presidents will depart for their own residences, while the Pope and Bartolomeo I go to Saint Martha’s Source

Comment

The following information is taken from a report of today’s event published in The Times of Israel – information which is notably omitted from the Catholic News Agency report. Am I alone in thinking that what follows are highly revealing – and disturbing – tidbits?  

Every detail about Sunday’s meeting has been sensitive — the explanation for the delay in publishing the composition of the delegations taking part.

Friday was excluded since it is a Muslim holy day and Saturday for the same reason for the Jewish community, while Sunday is Pentecost for Catholics — a day of celebration of the Holy Spirit considered appropriate.

The choice of the Vatican Gardens is also significant since it is considered the most neutral territory within the Vatican City, with none of the Christian iconography that might be seen as offensive to the other two faiths.  END. 

Over to you. I’m speechless.