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Scott P. Richert

Pope Francis: "It Is Not Possible to Find Jesus Outside the Church"

By April 23, 2013

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Today, April 23, is the Feast of Saint George, Martyr, and thus the name day of Pope Francis, christened Jorge ("George") Mario Bergoglio. And today, in the Pauline Chapel, the Holy Father celebrated his name day with all of the cardinals present in Rome.

As has been his custom since his election, Pope Francis delivered a short homily on the scriptures of the Mass—Acts 11:19-26 and John 10:22-30. His words, as reported by Vatican Radio, are likely to surprise many, though they should not, because they simply restate the Church's consistent teaching. But they are also an exercise in what Pope Benedict XVI called the "hermeneutic of continuity," stressing the continuity of tradition in the face of what many wrongly regard as disruptions of Church teaching over the past 50 years.

Beginning with the reading from Acts, which speaks of the persecution in the wake of the martyrdom of Saint Stephen, the Holy Father stressed the centrality of the Church's missionary activity. Rather than continuing to preach only to the Jews, some reached out to the Greeks, prompted, Pope Francis said, by the Holy Spirit. But the Church in Jerusalem, the Holy Father noted,

became nervous and sent Barnabas on an "apostolic visitation": perhaps, with a little sense of humor we could say that this was the theological beginning of the [Congregation for the] Doctrine of the Faith: this apostolic visit by Barnabas. He saw, and he saw that things were going well.

This visit was important, because what Acts calls "the Church in Jerusalem" was the Church, and so the Church in Jerusalem was responsible for spreading and safeguarding the Gospel. She was a "Mother"; a "Mother who gives us the faith, a Mother who gives us an identity." It is through her that we have our identity as Christians: "Christian identity is belonging to the Church."

And now Pope Francis has arrived at the crux of the matter, the part that will surprise both those who trumpet "the spirit of Vatican II" and those who denounce the council as a departure from tradition. We can only be Christians through the Church,

Because it is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church. The great Paul VI said: "Wanting to live with Jesus without the Church, following Jesus outside of the Church, loving Jesus without the Church is an absurd dichotomy." And the Mother Church that gives us Jesus gives us our identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging. Identity means belonging. This belonging to the Church is beautiful.

This is why the missionary activity of the Church is so essential: We cannot know Christ outside of the Church. We are called to preach the Gospel to all nations, because that is the only way they can know Christ. Unless the Church is growing, preaching the Gospel and adding new members, we are not doing what we are called to do as Christians:

Think of this Mother Church that grows, grows with new children to whom She gives the identity of the faith, because you cannot believe in Jesus without the Church. Jesus Himself says in the Gospel: "But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep." If we are not "sheep of Jesus," faith does not come to us. It is a rosewater faith, a faith without substance.

"Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). Yet we can know Christ only through the Church.

The Holy Father's words aren't a message of universal salvation; quite the opposite. Those who do not come into the Church "cannot believe in Jesus," and if they cannot believe in Jesus, then, as Christ Himself tells us, they cannot have eternal life. And that places a tremendous responsibility on our shoulders: We must expand the missionary activity of the Church in our own lives, bringing others to the Church not by "travel[ing] a little along the road of worldliness, negotiating with the world," but by preaching the Gospel in its fullness, despite the very real possibility of persecution by a world that hates Christ as much today as it did at the time of Saint Stephen's martyrdom:

The Church's journey always takes place between the Cross and the Resurrection, amid the persecutions and the consolations of the Lord. And this is the path: those who go down this road are not mistaken.
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April 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm
(1) Ted says:

Nice to hear this bit of Traditional Catholicism.

When do you think the new “Pope” will scrap the novos ordo mass, communion in the hand, priests turning their backsides to the Altar and restore the Blessed Sacrament to its rightful place?

You are right. We Catholics are in for real persecution in the times to come. Why can’t Rome give us a Mass and Sacraments that will strengthen us for those ideals, instead of more easily integrating us into the protestant belief systems?

In other words, when will Rome scrap the heresy of Vatican II and return to the true religion of Jesus Christ?

April 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm
(2) Luis says:

Greg, Where is the heresy of Vatican II (be specific) and what will it take to return it to what you think is the true religion of Jesus Christ?

This article may speaks specifically to the example you portrait.

April 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm
(3) Gladys H. Mariani says:

If anyone ever doubted Who the invisible head of the Church is, the election of such a blessed Pope should obliterate all doubt! May God and Holy Mother Mary bless Beloved Pope Francis and may They protect him every single step of the way. He will surely need heavy protection.

April 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm
(4) Donal Mahoney says:

Thank you for running this item on the new pope’s belief in the standard position of the Church on salvation. Although I am happy to read the statements from his homily, the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers a little more leeway to those not sufficiently convinced for good reason that Rome is the place to be. I lean both ways at times. The late Father Leonard Feeney, also a Jesuit, would have agreed with what Pope Francis said in his homily today. Maybe some day this pope will reassess Father Feeney’s legacy in the Church, and that would be interesting indeed. And also the right thing to do.

April 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm
(5) Clare Krishan says:

Thx for this. I caught the end of the Mass (Eucharisitic Prayer in Latin) on S+L. Pray for our Holy Father, it seems he’s caught a cold.

Particularly appreciate the reflection on our ‘tremendous responsibility … bringing others to the Church not by travel[ing] a little along the road of worldliness’ particularly this Second Person, the Son of Man’s Way (the profoundly reverent silence of loving trust in the “presence” moment, a Holy Saturday martyrdom):

The Church’s journey always takes place between the Cross and the Resurrection, amid the persecutions and the consolations of the Lord. And this is the path: those who go down this road are not mistaken.

I teach confirmandi where we focus so much on the gifts of the Third Person, the Pneuma especially at this time of year with Pentecost approaching, and the Spirit of VII so prevalent in this year of faith. It is good to be reminded of this perspective that we encounter Jesus INSIDE the Church to take him OUTSIDE, with our onomastico and sponsor saints as sepulcral guides along the way. I will pray for your readers like Ted who seem to prefer to adhere to the lintel than be delivered in the blood of the lamb, for as the Hebrews in Egypt were freed to become witnesses to the tablets of law on Sinai, we are freed not for our own sakes but for what we may yet accomplish as witnesses to His redeeming Mercy in secure ecclesial communion with the Advocate!

April 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm
(6) Andrea says:

This is a response to Donal. Pope Francis did NOT say
there is no salvation outside the church. What he did say was that Jesus is to be found only in His Church.. There is a definite distinction between the two. God wills eternal happiness for ALL His children. If someone has
no knowledge of Jesus through no fault of their own but lives a good life and follows
natural law, they too can achieve salvation. At least that’s
my understanding of Church teaching. Would love others to weigh in on this.
Thanks and Blessings to all.

April 23, 2013 at 6:25 pm
(7) Phil says:

I totally concur with Andrea! Nobody, but NOBODY can or will ever tell me I’m wrong for praying to my Savior Jesus Christ without going to church! To believe is to pray! To pray is to obey! ‘His church’ meant His Christians (aka, believers!). Shame on the Catholic Church to think they can force feed me to believe all that the Catholic Church stands for. If the CAtholic Church was so ‘righteous’ we would nenever EVER have this child molestations going on over DECADES without papal interventionfor fear to be the bad guy…that is itself is a sin. Duh, wouldn’t one think the ‘church’s Pope’ should have been not only asking themselves, “What would Jesus do about this?” but to act and excommunicate those very evil people? Would Jesus promote sexual abuse of defenseless young children? All these goings on has given the ‘church’ such a bad name, I feel sick to admit I am a Catholic since birth. I love reading the Bible pasages at my own pace in my own efforts in keeping in touch with the Lord my God! I can obtain translations of the readings from internet Christian websites. The local church I had attended a couple times a few years ago had the priest talk about opportunties for all when he was describing how illegal immigrantys shouldn’t have to fear of our governmental interventions, hence. appesing the local audience to help maintain attendance – yes, throwing in politics. Needless to say, I stopped attending church. It had been MANY years since I had attended mass before then. We have a do nothing church as far as I can see, besides hold midnight Christmas Eve mass at the vatican (which I was very fortunate to attend while stationed in the Navy in Italy in 1998. We are all sinners! Get over it! Pray to the Lord to help us do the best we can to live by His word!!! Amen!!! God Bless everyone!!!

April 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm
(8) mangoteti Erua says:

Thanks for inspiration words that bring faith in my life. It is very interesting to hear.

Looking forward to hear more from your end

April 24, 2013 at 1:19 am
(9) Rukudzo Wazara says:

If my understanding is correct Catholic means the universal church of God, which means the Body of Christ and thus the millions of believers who are confessing that Christ is their Lord. in this context surely Christ is not to be found in one denomination but in hearts of His people.

April 24, 2013 at 2:51 am
(10) Nancy Sindab says:

I am a catholic by baptism at the age of 14. Many times I asked myself, why so many accusation about the Catholic Church. Did I choose the wrong church? For what I know we are not called to sit in judgment over the Church but do something to make it right. We are all sinners and despite of the Church imperfection Christ loves the Church and looks upon it as his beloved Bride. I believe God is at work to purify and renew his people, the Catholic Church. God Bless you.

April 24, 2013 at 5:47 am
(11) Jon says:

Hey Phil, I too didn’t like my local parish, so I started attending one in a nearby town. About once a month I would go to my local parish and a few people made the effort to get to know me. I asked them why they kept attending there. They explained the situation to me and then I offered to help make it better. Now I attend Mass there every week plus a Bible study during the week. Instead of standing on the outside and complaining about what’s going on inside I went inside and helped make it better. I read my Bible and the Catechism every day, plus pray the Divine Office daily. Phil, please come inside and help make it a better place. I pray that God pours more Grace upon you than ever before and that you receive it in abundance. God Bless

April 24, 2013 at 7:16 am
(12) David Sadtler says:

So now we are back to “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus” (no salvation outside the Church). An extremely bigoted view. How sad and how offensive! No wonder Martin Luther advocated the priesthood of all believers.

April 24, 2013 at 7:17 am
(13) Emmanuel says:

I perfectly agree with Phil. Honestly speaking I am as confused as ever because I do not see anything similar or comparable to how the church began, when the Holy Spirit was poured on the church. The life of the church as can be seen in the Acts of Apostles are entirely different from what we see in our churches. Instead of preaching faith that comes by heeding and living the word of God, we rather teach faith as handed over through tradition, and these traditions I do not see them in the bible. Can someone educate me on this?
The whole duty of man in terms of being saved is explicitly clear, that anyone who believes in the Son of God as the only way to Heaven, would be saved. It presupposes that our heart then joins the church of God. It is automatic, not a particular church. I stand to be educated on this.
Thanks a lot.

April 24, 2013 at 8:03 am
(14) LoneThinker says:

One cannot champion this Pope’s teaching about the Church and anything he taught thus far and take swipes at the Second Vatican Council. For starters, the Papal Altar over St Peter’s tomb faces the people and the Blessed Sacrament is reserved for private prayer and for ministry to the sick in a totally separate chapel. The Council attempted to restore the separate, but very important distinction between this Mass. this day and Jesus in the tabernacle that is not a practice of the Eastern Church same in theology and practice as Rome since our sad split. Even Tridentine rubrics did not envision going to the tabernacle for consecrated communion bread at any Mass. Nor does the Novus Ordo. Communion in the hand is the tradition, on the tongue is a 10th century corruption as is kneeling an old penitential practice, the people stood around, circumstantibus as in the Roman Canon for all you Latinists who seem not to distinguish the Church of your 1920-1960 era from Her long history.” Tradition capital T is the living Faith of dead people, lower case tradition is the dead faith of living people” )Pelikan and we know it was the legal nit-pickers who got Jesus crucified.

April 24, 2013 at 8:36 am
(15) LoneThinker says:

John 10 Jesus prayed for one fold one Shepherd and repeated in His High Priestly prayer in Jn 17. Paul and John and Revelation blast deviation from doctrine, teaching and moral conduct. It has been the same ever since, heretics and a-moralists and immoral teaching foisted from teaching that flesh and material are bad and that abortion and same gender unions are God-approved and that Mormonism and Islam are equally legitimate substitutions for the Word Incarnate and His Promised Holy Spirit’s guidance. Francis in this homily and in all he taught thus far accepts that the Church is where we find Jesus and His Tradition, that as Paul said in I Cor re Eucharist is passed on, handed down Traditio in Latin. T capital Tradition is defined by J Pelikan as the living Faith of dead people while lower case tradition is dead faith of the living. St Peter’s papal altar faces the People, the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in a side chapel for private prayer and for the sick. Communion .on the hand is ancient practice, read the history. Recall it was nit-picking fake legalists who drove Jesus to Rome and crucifixion and killed the Good News Image of God, still with us rejecting the CHURCH’s Spirit guided Novus ordo and calling the Holy Seat of Rome sede vacante and claiming that the Jews are still cursed for Jesus’ Death and Hitler’s Holocaust never happened, As for me and my household I am with Jesus and Peter and Papa Bergoglio. The alternative is 57 varieties of Heinz and changeable flavours of the month or taking moral guidance from Hitler, the Supreme Court of my nation or the USA or Obama and other PC- Pretty Crazy dictators.

April 24, 2013 at 10:03 am
(16) WordandTruth says:

To lonethiker: All I can say is…..

Thank you for that post of Truth.

April 24, 2013 at 10:52 am
(17) bud says:

So all those who have come to Christ through reading the word as distributed by the Gideons are not saved? But in prior writings you indicated that the Church believes that Jews and Muslims can go to Heaven without believing in Christ? I sure am confused. I can’t get saved unless I am a catholic, but those who don’t believe in Christ can still go to Heaven? And here I thought I was a Christian.

April 24, 2013 at 11:26 am
(18) LoneThinker says:

The Holy Spirit blows where HE will Jesus said. MT 25 makes recognising Jesus as Image of the Unseen God, the GOD-MAN whom we find in five vulnerable categories of purely human images of God, sick hungry, imprisoned naked and such. Ignoring Him in others is the ticket to Hell. Baptism of Blood and of Desire was always Church teaching even if St Augustine erroneously dispatched babies to limbo, ignored their family and Church Community’s Faith. Fr Feeney took the extra ecclesiam too fundamentally literally, did not allow for a merciful God and the Holy Spirit rustling around Africa and Asia and even places where Baptists and other Evangelicals try to snatch us from Hell and in so doing squander cash, missionary zeal and fill up Satan’s Bank Account with hate and lies They are so stupid and ignorant they are forgiven. even if they are convinced they are Jesus’ Marines.

April 24, 2013 at 11:39 am
(19) Scott P. Richert says:

Bud, please offer an example of this:

But in prior writings you indicated that the Church believes that Jews and Muslims can go to Heaven without believing in Christ?

April 25, 2013 at 12:18 am
(20) Mike says:

I am a convert to the Catholic faith. I understand Pope Francis’ words “it is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church”, to reference the Catholic Mass, where Jesus makes Himself fully present, body, soul, and divinity, in the Holy Eucharist. This dogma cannot be found in any other Christian faith on Earth. This makes the Popes words clearer as Jesus is not found outside of the Mass. Proper reception of the Eucharist is the fulness of the truth, as taught by Jesus, and passed on through the apostles, when He says “do this in memory of me”. Keep in mind, the only time that Jesus is quoted in scripture using the word “Covenant” is in the upper room, over His Body and Blood. Reception of the Covenant cannot be found outside of the Catholic Mass. The body and blood of Jesus,
IS the food for the sheep. Any other forms of eternal salvation that do not include reception of the only covenant that Jesus gave us, are much more difficult, yet in my humble opinion still attainable. Pope Francis, thank you for preaching the truth.

April 25, 2013 at 10:25 am
(21) petrica says:

Well, it is quite difficult ot be entirely outside the catholic ( i.e.: allcomprehensive, universal) Church

April 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm
(22) Dayna says:

Thats sad…of course a person can have jesus without the church. Catholic Churches go against the 10 commandments….”Thy shall not have any carved images of anything of the heavens and of the earth”,,,

and yet catholics pray to a statue of mary as is its going to do something. Jesus said…”no one gets to my father except through me”…how is praying to a woman who only gave birth to him, is going to help you.
“anyone who follows him is his mother, brother, sister.

i was baptised catholic as a child but as i got older,…i did not feel right in the catholic church..i dont like that the church goers did not take their bibles to church.
I dont like the fact that people…bow down and KISS the hand of the pope…

who is the pope…he isnt a GOD,…he is not the HOLY FATHER!!..how dare you who kiss him and call him holy father…yet he sits on a chair with an upside down cross on it!…

I can stay home with my bible and read and pray and i do not need a church!…

you are all retarded!

April 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm
(23) Scott P. Richert says:

Dayna, the love of Christ shines through in your comment. Clearly you can find Jesus outside of the Church.

April 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm
(24) bud weber says:

In response to your request to clarify my comment about the position of the catholic church in regards to Jews and Muslims going to Heaven without accepting Christ, I read, perhaps in another column on catholicism, that in the 1990′s the Pope issued a decree that indicated that Jews and Muslims, if they were sincere in their faith, would go to Heaven without accepting the shed blood of Christ as atonement for their sins. If this is incorrect, please let me know, since the Bible clearly teaches that without the shedding of blood, their is no remission for sins and the shed blood of Christ paid for my sin debt.

April 25, 2013 at 6:26 pm
(25) Scott P. Richert says:

Bud, thanks for your response. When I asked for an example, though, I meant a citation of an actual article that I have written, not a repeat of your claim about what you remembered.

I have written no such article here or elsewhere, because no pope, in the 1990′s or any other time, has made any such statement. The teaching of the Catholic Church is clear and consistent: All who are saved are saved only through the sacrifice of Christ.

April 25, 2013 at 9:54 pm
(26) James Hart says:

God never changes, nor do the doctrines of the Church. The Church’s doctrines of 70 AD, 1000 AD, 1550 AD, 1958 AD ,an 2013 AD are true and unchanging. Pope Francis and Pope Pius XII are teaching the SAME doctrines. Transubstantiation takes place at the Last Supper, in the Tridentine Mass, and the Novus Ordo Mass. Too many people get lost in the accidentals, and pay too little attention to the essentials!

April 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm
(27) Joan Miller says:


April 27, 2013 at 12:03 pm
(28) pbecke says:

The point made by Francis, which you reiterate, of the Church’s fundamental and mandatory commission of evangelisation, so neglected under the shamefully self-referential Tridentine dispensation, indeed up until today, is, of course, spot on. Likewise, universalism, that one day, everyone will get to heaven is absolutely against Christ’s explicit teaching.

Yet you have repeatedly conflated these truths with a seminal falsehood, which is the very – actually overriding – matter that you wish to state as the truth, namely, that there is no salvation outside the Church – and I believe you mean our Roman Catholic church.

Knowledge of God is not primarily a faculty of our analytical intelligence, which is primarily for the worldly purpose of survival in the here and now, wonderful help, as well as comfort though it can be in so many ways with regard to our faith. Rather, it is the heart, the seat of love, in which holy wisdom dwells. ‘The devil also believes and trembles’, as James put it in his Epistle. The belief Jesus spoke of referred more to the exercise of a commitment to love, including as expressed in the tenets of our faith, which meets with different obstacles in different eras. But above all, a commitment to selfless love (no.. not NGO pabulum), which can have only one source: Christ.

April 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm
(29) pbecke says:

When Christ, the truest of the true Sons of David, was made sin for us, he hung from a tree like Absalom, the false son of David, who was despatched with three darts from Joab. Surely, then, the false use of the worldly analytical intelligence is not, when it is is ignorant of Christ intellectually, but when it is ignorant of Christ in charity, when it is not based on and directed towards selfless love, i.e. for us via Christ and those we may hopefully evangelise.

 37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
It always tickles me that the Sheep in the Last Judgment in Matthew 25 said he didn’t even know Christ! For centuries it was the height of respectability to profess one’s belief in Christ, but in Christ’s own day, it could theoretically have entailed banishment from the Synagogue; no negligible matter in a small, theocratic society, apart from any considerations of piety. With a few exceptions, the members of the respectable, monied, religious/political establishment, we know, grew to hate Christ and eventually had him executed. To them he would have been a ‘rabble-rousing’ (they called the people a ‘rabble’) indigent, itinerant preacher, and a pan-handler, a free-loader to boot, he and his disciples being provided for by a group of women.

April 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm
(30) pbecke says:

John said that the Word is the light that enlightens every man who comes into the world, and we may be sure he didn’t do that fecklessly, relying on the bunch of no-goods we are, to further enlighten his children. But that doesn’t mean we are not under a strict obligation to evangelise the rest of mankind to our utmost, albeit sometimes, discreetly and/or indirectly by the witness of our actions and lives.

April 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm
(31) pbecke says:

I should have clarified the matter of the true and proper use of our worldly intellect, as true sons of David, means identifying with the material interests/needs of the more essentially spiritual, general public – from which we are told David was drawn, and to which we know Christ Christ belonged – just as Solomon had done, and in a similar father and son relationship.

April 29, 2013 at 8:13 pm
(32) Salvy says:

Anyone who claims to read the bible and not know or acknowledge Jesus clearly establishing his church, right there in black and white, and calls everyone else retarded, sorry to say may be suffering from some form of dementia.

May 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm
(33) Tim Yakich says:

James Hart, you state that Transubstantiation took place at the Last Supper…so Jesus was with the disciples AND His flesh was in the bread and His blood was in the cup BEFORE He was cucified? Hmmm, and Paul tells us that celebrating the Lord’s Supper is for the purpose of proclaiming Jesus’ death…this practice of Transubstantiation is pure apostasy/heresy…The false Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation was not declared a Roman Catholic Article of Faith until 1215 A.D., by the Fourth Lateran Council! This is almost 1200 years AFTER the Lord’s church was established. I wonder why, if they believed and practiced this doctrine, all of the “infallible” popes (who claim to speak ex cathedra) during the time period before 1200 A.D. didn’t declare Transubstantiation an Article of Faith?

May 11, 2013 at 11:54 am
(34) nameless one says:

The Blind lead the blind.What you don’t get is how francis tricks you. Its not ” theres no relationship with jesus outside the church” {a truth} but what he didn’t say is theres no salvation outside the catholic church. Francis is very cleaver but in error. The best way to hide a lie is to put it between two truths.

May 13, 2013 at 6:48 pm
(35) Louis Koury says:

The Catholic church is full of heresies. Anyone who puts their faith in Christ as their savior is saved and assured of heaven. The Roman Catholic heresy cannot save anyone, it is a roadway to hell and perdition and filled wsith lies, lead by hyprodrites, and doomed to hell.

May 26, 2013 at 7:43 pm
(36) David Zelenka says:

The Catholic Church accepts Trinitarian baptisms. It is then that we enter Christ’s Church, his body. As noted above by another, the Catholic catechism states explicitly that there are those who find salvation who are not members of the Roman Catholic Church. See CCC 847.

Also from CCC 830, here’s the first part of the definition of the Catholic Church: “First, the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. ‘Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church.’”

In CCC 1227, we understand that we enter wholly into Christ in our Baptism. See also, CCC 1277

June 2, 2013 at 9:35 am
(37) pbecke says:

Don’t confuse the right-wingers with quotes from the catechism, David, there’s a good chap.

June 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm
(38) Francis says:

The law never saved anyone. In the bible St Paul tells us that the law causes death and that the sting of death is Sin
Did Jesus come to save an exclusive band of people that we call the church? If so he didn’t pick them very well! They all ran away at the moment of truth. They weren’t capable at all of following Him.
Did he come just to save the jews? Then what about the early communities that came from the pagan nations?
Is Jesus the only way to heaven? For those who meet him – yes, we have an obligation to profoundly change our lives and reshape ourselves and are accountable if we don’t. We do this through the grace of the Holy Spirit and change our nature to become like Him.
So what about all those 5 billion people who believe in other religions or nothing at all? Are they banished to Hell?
We have a mission to be salt. light and leaven and show through our lives that there is a God who cares and loves us as sinners without requiring us to change. This kind of witness requires daily conversion in front of our weaknesses and the growth of compassion towards everyone we meet. Our mission to announce the love of God to anyone who wants to hear it.
I don’t know if this helps anyone but it’s my understanding of the core of our belief.

July 3, 2013 at 6:58 am
(39) Mike says:

It occurs to me. Jerusalem was “the” site of “the” Church at one point. After that, it must have been Constantinople- the western portion of Rome was a comparative backwater for a span of several centuries. Then Rome did assert its dominance, followed by a collossal screw-up.

We know that the place to look for “the” Church has changed a few times over the years- even you stanch traditionalists have to tell a story about why it shifted from Jerusalem to Rome, without any stops on the way I’m sure. So if Rome’s in doubt, and if Rome’s been more or less in the wind on this one (and it has), who’s to say the center of Christianity can’t shift to North America? We’ve got a nice variety of Christians here, and an impressive level of expertise across the board.

So maybe as of now, the USA is where you look for “the” Church. Did I mention the extremely high rate of religiosity and observance relative to all other developed nations? There’s that, too. We naturally look to people from here on matters requiring some authority, and without really thinking about it maybe a good portion of Christians in the rest of the world looks here too.

July 16, 2013 at 10:52 pm
(40) Wally Barber says:

The question must be asked why pope Benedict was ousted and pope Francis brought in, the answer is that the ‘church’ is being exposed and it is losing followers daily. The real truth is coming out and this is a continuance of the deceit the ‘church’ has spread for nearly 2000 years. His words “And the Mother Church that gives us Jesus” ??? Did the catholic church give us Jesus? really? if you believe that you are delusional.

July 17, 2013 at 3:35 am
(41) tim says:

Jesus is anywhere but in the church….he belongs to all humanity….only the church would have us think differently……major miracles usually happen outside church confines, not in them……..Jesus told the Jews that his Father belong to all……Jews wanted God confined to their belief system only……Jesus introduced his Father to all…….today church repeats the same mistakes…….says Jesus is only in the Church……Wrong!!!…….Just call out his name and he is there….anywhere…When Jesus said, “No one can come to the Father through me,” he meant it metaphorically ……..meaning anyone, anywhere who obeys the laws of my Father is assured of a place in heaven…..but the church again would have us think differently, saying if you dont go to church, you will perish…….what gibberish.

July 17, 2013 at 7:08 am
(42) John Prewett says:

I note Mr Richert was too diplomatic to specify “Roman Catholi” Church.

July 17, 2013 at 10:17 am
(43) Daniel says:

First of all I’m a Catholic. Secondly, I hope when Pope Francis is talking about “The Church” he is talking about the people and not a building?

If God is everywhere, we do not need to goto a building. Yes I believe in the Eucharist, but nowhere in scripture does it say we have to go to a church building every week. That is the Jewish tradition.

The last thought I have is, when Pope Francis says you need to go to a church building or you cannot be saved?

What person who was molested would ever want to go into a church where a Catholic priests is?

I as a follower of Jesus, who loves the Eucharist , who honors The Blessed Virgin Mary, who loves all the angels and saints, I disagree with Pope Francis on the point of you can only find Jesus in the church if he is talking about a building.

God is Omni-present.

July 17, 2013 at 10:30 am
(44) Dan says:

Where is my Post I wrote?

August 20, 2013 at 11:24 pm
(45) Mary says:

I am marked by two saints including Saint George. I have also the mark of Saint Michael and Jesus on me. They appear as red penciled marks on my skin. Not once did the church help me understand what is going on with me. They seem so shocked.
I have been bearing witness to the supernatural and am still doing so. It is a beautiful feeling to be touched by God this way but I will say one thing. The church distanced itself totally from me. I picked up the phone and called so many – no one wanted to help. There was even one who asked me if I did witchcraft! How could I have the Lord on me and do witchcraft? Now my question is why the distance? If the church is to be so involved in the everyday life of the Christian, what happened to the church when I needed help because Iw as marked by Christ this way? No one responded and I told Jesus I am lost with the church. I pray to him on my own. He listens and so do the saints. Saint Michael is a glorious angel, I can tell you that. I know from all this Jesus is coming but I do not know when. Maybe a 100 years from now….I do not know but he is a beautiful reassurance to my suddenly uncertain life.

August 27, 2013 at 5:48 pm
(46) Bloop says:

I don’t have a problem with Christianity, but this is one of the ridiculous parts of that faith. Do you believe in God? Yes? Do you read your Bible? Yes? Do you pray? Yes? Then you’re a Christian. You don’t need some middle man to tell you if you’re doing it right or wrong, because faith is in you, not a Church, or the Bible, or words.

For about 2,000 years the “Church” has been telling Catholics what to do and what not to do, and look what happened: The Dark Ages, indulgences, ridiculous taxes, myriads of Holy Wars…

My point is that you don’t need a higher power to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong, because for you, they aren’t the higher power. Your God is the higher power. Don’t worry about what the Pope has to say. Or your neighbors, or your fellow Churchgoers. Because religion is in you and yourself. My .02 cents…

September 21, 2013 at 5:46 am
(47) Gerald says:

Matthew 6:5-6

King James Version (KJV)

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

October 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm
(48) Vincent Grace says:

Flee babylon organised relgion. This is the church of satan and lawbreakers.

October 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm
(49) pgrib says:

I thought Christ came to save the 10 lost tribes. They crucified him. Then the gave the gospel to the gentiles through the apostle Paul.

January 15, 2014 at 6:25 am
(50) jesse says:

Catholic Church relies on the authority of church tradition for their source of doctrines and teachings which are not found anywhere in the Bible. These doctrines include such controversial issues as these:

• the Mass
• penance
• veneration of Mary
• purgatory
• indulgences
• the priesthood
• the confessional
• the rosary
• venial and mortal sins
I am a christian and do not get parts of the Catholic church, such as what is listed above. Why are these things added into the catholic church when they are not Biblical instructions? Why has the Catholic church turned christianity into a man made religion by adding the list above? The pope also talks about memorized prayer, that he is saying isnt a good thing, but then why did I inherit a Catholic prayer Bible with written prayers to the saints, virgin Mary, and angels? The book is called manual of Catholic Devotions (1925).The pope is right, repetitive praying isnt very heart filled, but when you pray multiple times a day, every day, it actually is hard not to be repetitive in prayer. Regarding what the pope was saying about going to church to know Christ is not accurate.
when I am not at church I still have phone numbers of other christians to talk when need be, I got the 700 club, Charles Stanley and other tv preachers. The church is everywhere. When I go into the building it is to sing praise and sun.school for our kids. Just remember this saying “The Church has left the building”. The Holy Bible is the word of God, it is our instruction manual,to live a fruitfull life, and how to know your Savior.

January 15, 2014 at 6:26 am
(51) jz says:

Thank God for Martin Luther and William Tyndale for getting the Holy scriptures out of the catholics hands to allow all to read what the scriptures say and command, they and many other martyrs lost their lives, so that we may live. That is where the fish symbol comes in, christian martyrs used the symbol to point the direction to safety, cuz if they were caught smuggeling Bibles, they were tortured on a cross then set on fire. (Fox’s book of martyrs). The reason the Catholic church didnt want the public to have Bibles is cuz they thought a mere peasant wasnt qualified to read a Holy Bible without instruction from an elder, and they believed many religions would be started from one.(which has happened)- Catholic church was right on that part-Baptist, Luthern,Methodist,Presbyterian and my church building- nondenominational.

March 23, 2014 at 7:47 pm
(52) Peter says:

TO Danya
Danya, im sure you mean well but you are hurting yourself by being so very mistaken.
as you so mistakenly claim:
1)No Catholic [surely not myself included] expects some “statue” to do anything…
2)Catholics have great reverence,undying love,respect,inspiration & so much more for Our Blessed Mother Mary as anyone should because:
a)Mary is the chosen Mother of the Son of God
b)Our Almighty Father thought enough of Mary to choose her alone to take it on her Faith alone [ as a virgin young peasant girl] to accept the awesum task & honor of giving birth to the Son of God
c)I like so many other people catholics & non catholics, knowing how much regard Jesus has for His mother & the awesume individual that she was\is, we pray to her IN HER DIVINE SON”S NAME
[not a "statue" & ONLY for her INTERVENTION to ask Jesus for us ]
c)as Catholic Doctrine specifically states There is only one God
& as you so mistakenly assume i accept such & do not assume there is any other,nor do i “pray” to any “statue”
I am sorry someone has so very misinformed you even to the point of your falling away from God.
With no offence,& i am glad to hear of your reverence for the Bible which you certainly should posess;
however, as you learned before you allowed the devil to lead you away from God [i will pray sincerely that you will find your way back as when we all fall into sin & remain away from God for a great time we are incapable of coming back on our own because we loose everything when we loose Him..]
you cannot just read the bible & make your own rules.
The Pope is the Pope [the head of His Church] because God made it that way.
With all respect Danya think of what you are saying ok?
We are all in this together made by God & loved by Him the same.
I know it aint easy to follow him as He said it would be & the devil knows better than us what our weaknesses are & how to use them against us.
Sometimes even our burning love for God can cause us to loose him.
Possibly you are confusing one or two Church Doctrines
that may Not be mentioned in the Bible [nonetheless accepted by God as true Doctrines & teaching specifically due to the Fact & Word

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