Patristics/Church History

We must admit that the Catholic Church today is the same organization with unbroken continuity with that organization (Church) started in the 1st century. A reading of the Apostolic Fathers, the hinge figures between the Apostles and the later 1st and  2nd century, makes that clear.

The question is whether at some point the one visible, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church lost its legitimacy, thereby releasing the faithful to leave and start rival churches and communities.

Of course, if Jesus started the Catholic Church, we (and He) would expect it to continue until His 2nd Coming at the end of time. If it fails to the point of illegitimacy then His promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against it was a lie or He was not competent enough to keep His promise.

I think the conclusion should be obvious. Protests against Jesus’ Church are not legitimate, nor are churches set up to rival it.

Is the Church perfect? No, because I joined it and I am a member. I know my own sins.  Even if the Church was perfect before 1994 when we joined, it certainly wasn’t afterwards. There was never a Golden Age (just read St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians). The Church is always reforming and always in need of reform because it is full of people like me. It is not only a haven for saints but also a hospital for sinners

Jesus said He would build His Church — not “churches.” Jesus prayed that His followers would be perfected in [visible] unity which is now quite visibly gone (except in the still unified universal Catholic Church). The Catholic Church has never lost its legitimacy and the faithful are not released to start rival communities or to join them. This was Luther’s great sin of schism.

“Throughout history, many splinter groups claimed the name “Church”, but as Cyril of Jerusalem said in 350, ‘And if ever you are visiting in cities, do not inquire simply where the House of the Lord is,—for the others, the sects of the impious, attempt to call their dens the Houses of the Lord,—nor ask merely where the Church is, but where is the Catholic Church. For this is the name peculiar to this holy Church, the Mother of us all, which is the Spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God’.(Catechetical Lectures 18, 26, in Jurgens, Faith of the Early Fathers, 1:359).” (Crossing the Tiber, pg. 70).

Bottom line: it is NEVER OK to break with the Catholic Church that Jesus founded 2000 years ago.


Baptists at the Council of Nicea?

by Steve Ray on December 28, 2017

Nicea, August 24, A.D. 325, 7:41 p.m.    “That was powerful preaching, Brother Athanasius. Powerful! Amen! I want to invite any of you folks in the back to approach the altar here and receive the Lord into your hearts. Just come on up. We’ve got brothers and sisters up here who can lead you through the Sinner’s Prayer. Amen! And as this Council of Nicea comes to an end, I want to remind Brother Eusebius to bring the grape juice for tomorrow’s closing communion service . . .”

Ah yes, the Baptists at the Council of Nicea. Sound rather silly? It certainly does. And yet, there are those who claim the Church of Nicea was more Protestant in belief and practice than Catholic. I recently read an article in The Christian Research Journal, written by a Reformed Baptist apologist, who argued this very point.

St. Athanasius, the Catholic Bishop

No, I’m not making this up. The article, “What Really Happened at Nicea?” actually claimed the Fathers of the Council were essentially Evangelical Protestants.

As a trained patristics scholar, I always feel a great deal of sadness and frustration when I encounter shoddy historical “scholarship,” whether it be in the pages of The Watchtower, a digest of Mormon “archaeology,” or a popular and usually well-produced Evangelical Protestant apologetics journal. But this article was so error-laden, so amateurishly “researched,” and so filled with historical and theological fallacies, that I simply couldn’t let it stand without response.”

Council of Nicea

For the full article “‘Ancient Baptists’ and Other Myths” by Fr. Hugh Barbour, O.Praem. – click HERE.

Read more about St. Athansius, the star theologian at the Council of Nicea. Dave Armstrong’s article proves the full Catholic teaching of St.Athansius and the Council of Nicea. Click HERE.


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Join us on a future pilgrimage to Rome, or the Footprints of St. Paul Cruise, or Israel, Ireland or others. Check out, or call Elizabeth at 800-727-1999.

The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls launched a newly renovated Web site to collect prayers, offer a virtual tour, and further the Apostle’s worldwide evangelization effort.

Online visitors can read news related to the basilica and the tomb of St. Paul, virtually tour the church, make reservations for guided tours of the building, visit the gift store, and watch a video of Benedict XVI during celebrations in the basilica.

They can also write intentions that will be offered up in the prayers of the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of St. Paul Outside the Walls, as well as read the Pope’s catechetical texts on the Apostle.

Click here to visit this cool new site.

I recently made a short YouTube video showing the end of Paul’s life. It takes you into the Church of St. Paul Outside the Walls where the bones of St. Paul are located. Enjoy!

Inside the Basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul on our last pilgrimage a few days ago.

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Visit St. John Lateran with me today for the Feast of Its Dedication

November 9, 2017

I am in Rome and decided to run to St. John Lateran this morning a make a video — so all of you could enjoy the Feast Day of the Dedication of St. John Lateran Church on November 9, 313. Yup, that’s right! It was the first Christian church ever built and it was the […]

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What Does the Word Catholic Mean? A History of the Word “Catholic”

October 28, 2017

As a Protestant, I went to an Evangelical church that changed an important and historical word in the  Apostles Creed. Instead of the “holy, catholic Church,” we were the “holy, Christian church.” At the time, I thought nothing of it. There was certainly no evil intent, just a loathing of the Catholic Church and a […]

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Why Are We Catholic?

September 22, 2017

This excellent little summary was prepared by the Faith Formation ministry in Escanaba Michigan and sent to me by Mike Cousineau. Enjoy and be challenged and edified. Sent it to a friend who needs to read it. 1.  St. Cyprian of Carthage, martyr & Bishop, wrote in 249 AD, “He who would have God as […]

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Feast of Chair of St. Peter: “Chair of Moses, Chair of Peter” Steve’s Article, YouTube Video and Resources

February 22, 2017

St. Cyprian of Carthage (beheaded 257 AD) one hundred and fifty years before the New Testament writings were collected into one book called “The Bible”: “The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ He says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will […]

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My CD Audio “Swimming Upstream: Living a Catholic Life in a Pagan World” now available at Lighthouse!

April 3, 2016

This is the talk I have been most asked to give in the last few years. It is a hard-hitting, politically incorrect talk about the state of our culture and what we as Christians are called to do. I use some pretty scary and interesting stories and example. We step back into the early Church […]

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“Where Does the Bible Say We Should Pray to Dead Saints?” – Resources about Communion of the Saints

March 10, 2016

I compiled a list of Catechism, Scripture and quotes from the early Church Fathers and even archaeology to assist in understanding the Communion of Saints. You can download the source material here. Sample: Who should carry the most weight—Protestant pastors protesting Catholic theology today or pastors from the early Church who have the words of […]

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Bishop Conley’s Comments on our Cruise: “In the Footprints of St. Paul”

November 12, 2014

The ancient Christian writer and theologian Tertullian once asked the Church, “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?” He asked the question as Christianity spread from Israel into the Greek world; and as Greek intellectuals looked for deeper insight into the Christian mystery. Tertullian was asking whether pagan Greek culture—philosophy, poetry, the arts, history […]

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How Old is your Church?

September 20, 2013

How Old Is Your Church? If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex- monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517. If you belong to the Church of England, your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him […]

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Why You Don’t Have to Worry about Malachy’s Predictions on the New Pope and the End of Time

March 10, 2013

Al Kresta interviews Jimmy Akin about Malachy’s Predictions

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Did Eastern Church Father St. John Chrysostom’s Accept the Primacy of Peter?

November 27, 2012

Many non-Catholics like to argue that St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, did not accept the Primacy of Peter. I have written much about this in my book Upon This Rock. I have written on it extensively on my website HERE (scroll down to 3rd section “My Books”) The Navarre Bible Commentary gets this […]

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Two New Doctors of the Church

October 9, 2012

Vatican City, Oct 7, 2012 / 10:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI has named two new Doctors of the Church: the 16th century Spanish priest St. John of Avila and the 12th century German nun St. Hildegard of Bingen. St. John of Avila was a priest, mystic, preacher and scholar. Pope Benedict announced his […]

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Social Importance of the Catholic Church

July 10, 2012

We are members of the oldest Christian religion in the world. The Catholic Church was founded in the year 33 by our Lord Jesus Christ. We have the real body and blood of Christ in our communion and bishops are in constant succession from the apostles through the laying on of hands through 2,000 years.The […]

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Question about Divisions in the Church: Response from my Journey Home Interview

October 4, 2011

I received a LOT of response from my appearance on EWTN’s The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi. One letter arrived with this comment, which is followed by my response. QUESTION FOR STEVE: 1 Corinthians 1:1:10-17 demonstrates that there was division among the churches and the the four groups were all acceptable. Additionally, the Roman Catholic […]

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