The founder of the Catholic Church

It is a general believe that the Catholic Church is the mother Church, and this is the fact. All other denominations broke out from the Catholic Church directly or indirectly; the Catholic Church is the Church of Christ, the apostolic Church and the Church with the “keys”.

The ChurchSomebody once said that he believes that the “keys” were given to the Catholic Church but that the Church has lost the “keys”. The point he tried to make is that the Catholic Church is actually the first on earth, but that the Church has lost her authority. Well, I don’t really want to go into that argument but to simply say that if the “keys” were given to the Church by the God to whom nothing can be hidden, will he not find and restore the “keys” if they were actually lost? By the way, the authority is God’s and he gave it to the Church fully aware of her human weakness. Individuals in the Church may show signs of weakness but the Church as a body stands strong and remains the mystery of man’s union with God.

I read an article about the origin of the Catholic Church, and the writer is obviously not a Catholic because he disagrees with the Church and argued that the Church was not founded by Christ himself. He says The Roman Catholic Church contends that its origin is the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ in approximately AD 30. The Catholic Church proclaims itself to be the church that Jesus Christ died for, the church that was established and built by the apostles. Is that the true origin of the Catholic Church? On the contrary. Even a cursory reading of the New Testament will reveal that the Catholic Church does not have its origin in the teachings of Jesus or His apostles. In the New Testament, there is no mention of the papacy, worship/adoration of Mary (or the immaculate conception of Mary, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the assumption of Mary, or Mary as co-redemptrix and mediatrix), petitioning saints in heaven for their prayers, apostolic succession, the ordinances of the church functioning as sacraments, infant baptism, confession of sin to a priest, purgatory, indulgences, or the equal authority of church tradition and Scripture. So, if the origin of the Catholic Church is not in the teachings of Jesus and His apostles, as recorded in the New Testament, what is the true origin of the Catholic Church?

For the author of that article, the origin of the Catholic Church is paganism. He argued that the Catholic Church Christianized pagan religions and paganized Christianity. He historically connected the Church with the Roman traditions and Emperors as the Church’s origin.

I would begin by acknowledging the fact that the Church did had contact with paganism and continues to have contact with it. Any Christian denomination that claims not to have had contact with paganism is still very far from true evangelism. You cannot be a true evangelist without having contacts with pagans; how do you convert pagans without having contacts with them?

The keysOn the other hand, the Church is human and work among human beings with the help of God. No one can doubt the fact that the Catholic Church had contacts with the Roman tradition and Emperors as the author of that article expressed, and the Church will continue to have contacts with human authorities because she works among them, but the Church’s authority is from above. The author mentioned some things that the Catholic Church believes in but not mentioned in the bible or the New Testament. (Search and read about the faith of the Catholic Church on this blog)

The author argued that the Catholic Church only claim that the Church was founded by Christ himself and concluded his argument with the impression that the Church lied.

I would like to ask; what do you understand by the word “Church”? The word “Church” is from the Greek word “ekklesia”, which means “gathering” or “assembly”. The Church therefore is not the building but the assembly of the people of God. If you believe this to be true, then it means that there was a “Church” even in the time of the Old Testament because there was an assembly of God’s people then. They may not have used the word “Church”, but there was an “ekklesia”.

There was also “ekklesia” in the New Testament, the assembly of God’s people. Jesus did not leave this assembly (The Church) without reorganizing it and putting it under the care of somebody while he (Jesus Christ) remains the Lord and master of the same Church. Jesus built an “ekklesia”, “assembly”, a “Church”. He said to Peter; And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hedes will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Mt. 16-18-19. This Church was born or liberated on Pentecost day when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles to empower and liberate them for the gospel of Jesus Christ. This Church that was born was a Church for all and still a Church for all; it is an assembly of every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church is universal and that is the meaning of the name “Catholic”. The Catholic Church is so called because it is universal, and the Church is Catholic because it proclaims the fullness of faith (ccc 868).

The name “Catholic” became attached to this Church that Christ built on a “rock”, and even in the Nicaea Council held in 325 A.D., the name was used. Jesus is the founder of the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church is undeniably the first and the mother Church with St. Peter the rock as the first Pope. The Catholic Church is the Church with the apostolic secession through the sacrament of the holy Order. (Search this blog and read about St. Peter as the first Pope). All other Christian denominations broke out from the Catholic Church directly or indirectly, this is historically proven.

Since Jesus Christ said he would build a Church upon the faith of the apostle Peter, and the Catholic Church is the first Church on earth, then it therefore means that the Catholic Church is the Church built by Christ. Even though the name “Catholic” may not have been used at that time just as the name “Pope” was not used for Peter, but the fact remains that there was no other Church at that time. No human been would have ‘started’ the Catholic Church as we have Church founders today; many of these founders were born Catholics and many of them are baptized Catholics. They broke out of the Catholic Church and this separation continues, hence the proliferation of Churches today.

The Church did Christianized some pagan practices, but that is not acceptance of paganism. The author of that article  who claims the ‘paganic’ origin of the Catholic Church celebrates Christmas himself on the 25th of December, yet that date was a pagan date Christianized. It was the day the pagans celebrated the feast of the sun but Christianized to be the day to celebrate the birth of the Son of God.

Let’s stop this form of anti Christian criticism and focus our attention on fighting the common enemy, the devil. Our priority should be how to live a good life and make heaven on the last day.

Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA

Joel Okojie is an ordained Catholic Priest in the Order of St. Augustine. He has been a Priest for over a decade. He served as pastor in two different parishes, he was one time Novice Master and a member of the Provincial Council of the province of St. Augustine of Nigeria, and he is currently on a mission in response to the needs of the Church in Canada.

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2 comments on “The founder of the Catholic Church
  1. ada says:

    Excellent teaching here.

  2. francisca says:

    Thanks for the insight am proud of who I am a Catholic

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