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Why does the Catholic Church believe that it is the only true Christian church?

Q. Why does the Catholic Church believe that it is the only true Christian church? What about other churches?

Jesus said:

"thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18, KJV)

"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (John 17:20-23, KJV)

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:19-20, KJV).

Jesus established only one church, the one He founded on Peter, the rock. He prayed that all His followers would be one, and He promised that He would be with His Church until the end of the world. This was recognized by Saint Paul when he wrote:

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit -- just as you were called to one hope when you were called -- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" (Ephesians 4:3-6, NIV).

One faith means one set of beliefs, one set of doctrines; doctrines which never change. There is only one Catholic Church but there are over 26,000 Protestant denominations today; each separated from the other by differing doctrines. Each of these denominations can be traced back to a single individual who was not Saint Peter or one of the apostles.

Every Christian church possesses some of the truths revealed by our Lord but only the Catholic Church can trace its origins all the way back to Jesus and Saint Peter through the rite of ordination; the laying on of hands and passing on of episcopal responsibility and authority. Because only the Catholic Church can be traced all the way back to Jesus, only the Catholic Church can be said to possess all the revealed truth. After all, Jesus founded the Church, promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (which means that it would be perpetual and not teach error), and promised to be with it until the end of time. Not at the end of time, but continually until the end of time. Either the Catholic Church was and is the one true Church, or the Bible is wrong, or Jesus lied.

Recommended reading:
l Hayes, Rev. Edward J., Hayes, Rev. Msgr. Paul J., & Drummey, James J., Catholicism & Reason, Prow Books,
Libertyville, IL 60048, 1981, pages 91-154
l Nevins, Albert J., Answering A Fundamentalist, Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington, IN 46750, 1990, pages 31-40
l Schreck, Alan, Your Catholic Faith, Redeemer Books/Servant Publications, Ann Arbor, MI 48107, 1989, pages 39-55
l Drummey, James J., Catholic Replies, C. R. Publications, Norwood, MA 02062, 1995, pages 58-59, 90-94, 108
l Rumble, Rev. Dr. Leslie & Carty, Rev. Charles Mortimer, Radio Replies, Third Volume, TAN Books & Publishers,
Rockford, IL 61105, 1979, paragraphs 462-463

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