1001 Reasons Why It's Great to Be Catholic (Paperback)
The Catholic Church has for over 2,000 years attracted either the love or hatred of countless millions of people. To her enemies, she is an obscure sect, a den of iniquity and corruption, an impediment to any real relationship with Christ, the “whore of Babylon” (Rev. 17:9), or the purveyor of superstition and ignorance. These same enemies would be glad to see the end of the Catholic Church, hoping to poach all her members, cause her to be outlawed and forcibly repressed, or watch her slowly wither and die.
However, to those who know and love her, the Catholic Church is something altogether different. Scripture makes it clear that Christ founded a church which would be his “Body”, his “bride”, “the Israel of God.” It would be a visible and spiritual community built on the “rock” of St Peter who would govern it with the power of the “keys” as Christ’s ‘Prime Minister’. The other Apostles would also have power to “bind and loose” in union with St Peter and their respective successors would provide central and united government over the millennia under the protection of the Holy Spirit. It would be a church with a triple hierarchical structure of bishop, presbyter and deacon, would evidence this structure over its entire history, would spread its branches across the entire world to encompass all peoples, would require obedience from all her members, and would comfortably embrace diversity within unity. The protection of the Holy Spirit would enable this church to be the “pillar and bulwark of truth”, to withstand the “powers of death”, and ensure her survival until the end of the world.
Only the Catholic Church has the necessary 2,000+ year history to prove an historic link with Christ and qualify as the church founded by him. Only the Catholic Church can show it has all the qualities and attributes mentioned above. Only the Catholic Church can, therefore, be the recipient and beneficiary of Christ’s promises and protection. Only those who belong to the Catholic Church, therefore, can comfortably say they belong to the one true Church of God, the one true ark of salvation.
1. The Catholic Church is the only church that can show that it is over 2,000 years old and hence the only church that can establish that it was founded by Christ himself. St Paul refers to this same Church when he says, “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever” (Eph. 3:21).
2. The Catholic Church is not only a ‘Bible-believing’ church but also the Church of the Bible.
3. Being over 2,000 years old, the Catholic Church is the only organized society that has outlasted all other empires, kingdoms and nations since the times of the Roman Empire.
4. The Catholic Church is the only church that can show it began as the “mustard seed” in the time of Christ and grew into that tree in which all “the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches” (Matt. 13:31).
5. Only the Catholic Church can show that it is simultaneously one, holy, catholic and apostolic, that is, one in government and doctrine, possesses all of Christ’s holy teachings, is universal in her membership, and can trace her history back to Christ and the Apostles.
6. Being the church founded by Christ, the Catholic Church qualifies to be the one bride of Christ: “I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband” (2 Cor. 11:2).
7. Being the church founded by Christ, the Catholic Church is the ‘body of Christ’, with Christ as its head: “Christ is the head of the church, his body” (Eph. 5:23).
8. Being the church founded by Christ, the Catholic Church is also the new “Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16).
9. Being the church founded by Christ, the Catholic Church is a divine institution with a universal name, not a human institution bearing the ￼￼￼￼name of its human founder.
10. Being the church founded by Christ, the Catholic Church possesses a hierarchical authority to govern it (Luke 6:13; Matt. 18:17-18), has the power to sanctify the faithful (John 15:16) and to forgive sins (John 20:23), as well as the authority to teach (Matt. 28:20) and to baptize (Matt. 28:19). So empowered, the Catholic Church continues Christ’s mission (John 20:21) until the end of the world (Matt. 28:20).
11. Being the church of Christ, the Catholic Church is as Christ intended it to be, namely a visible and spiritual institution: “A city set on a hill cannot be hid” (Matt. 5:14).
12. Being the church founded by Christ, the Catholic Church has the triple hierarchical structure of authority apparent in the New Testament, namely, bishops, presbyters (priests) and deacons (1 Tim. 3:1, 8; 5:17).
13. Being the church founded by Christ, the Catholic Church’s leaders possess a divine, not human, authority: “Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account” (Heb. 13:17).
14. Being the church founded by Christ, the Catholic Church is both God’s church and the pillar of truth: “... if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).
15. Being the church founded by Christ, the Catholic Church enjoys the promise of the Holy Spirit’s continuous protection and source of its infallible teaching authority: “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth ... for he dwells with you, and will be in you ... the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:16-17, 26).
16. Being the church founded by Christ, the Catholic Church is founded on the rock that is St Peter: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will ￼￼￼￼build my church” (Matt. 16:18).
17. Being the church founded by Christ, the Catholic Church has the power to bind and loose in Christ’s name: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven” (Matt. 16:19).
18. Where there was a king and chamberlain in the days of the ‘old Israel’ (Is. 22:22), the Catholic Church as the ‘new Israel’ likewise has a king and chief minister, namely Christ and the Popes as successors to St Peter.
19. Those who listen to the Catholic Church as the historic and biblical church of Christ enjoy union with Christ and all other faithful followers: “... if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Matt. 18:17).
20. To hear and obey the Pope and bishops as successors to St Peter and the Apostles is to hear and obey Christ: “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16).
21. To receive and obey the Pope and bishops as successors to St Peter and the Apostles is to receive and obey both Christ and the Father: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives any one whom I send receives me; and he who receives me receives him who sent me” (John 13:20).
22. The authority given by Christ to St Peter and the Apostles did not die with them but was passed on via the laying on of hands (Acts 1:20; Acts 13:2; 1 Tim. 4:14; Tit. 5-10). This is known as ‘Apostolic succession.’ The Popes and bishops of the Catholic Church can show that they are the successors to St Peter and the Apostles through a continuous chain of successive ordinations over the centuries.
23. Apostolic succession within the Catholic Church was the criterion used in early Christianity to determine authentic Apostolic Tradition and hence authentic Christian truth: cf. St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies 3, 4, 1 (c. 180).
24. The Catholic Church’s model of stable and monarchical bishops is identical to the model of church governance evident in the writings of early Church Fathers such as St Ignatius of Antioch, who at the beginning of the 2nd century wrote: “Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one whom he appoints. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there ... Nor is it permitted without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate the agape; but whatever he approve, this too is pleasing to God, so that whatever is done will be secure and valid” (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8, 1, c. 110).
25. Possessing stable and monarchical bishops, the Catholic Church has a system of local church government that brings order and certainty in administration and doctrine: “This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you” (Tit. 1:5).
26. Like many of the Apostles and St Paul (1 Cor. 7:8), Catholic bishops are not married, making them free to serve God and his people without reserve or restriction.
27. The Catholic Church’s unity of government is assisted by having a comprehensive canon law that covers all aspects of the Church’s life and the life of her members.
28. Possessing a centralized teaching authority of Pope and bishops guided by the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church maintains Christianity as a divinely revealed religion rather than a collection of private individual opinions.
29. Possessing a centralized teaching authority of Pope and bishops the Catholic Church is united in government, doctrine and sacraments in line with the words of St Paul, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5).
30. Since the Catholic Church is united in government and doctrine its faithful members cannot be “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Eph. 4:14).
31. Since the Catholic Church is united in government and doctrine its faithful members cannot be misled by the “ignorant and unstable” who “twist” the Scriptures “to their own destruction” (2 Pet. 3:16).
32. Since the Catholic Church is united in government and doctrine it will never be laid waste or fall as per the following warning: “... Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and house falls upon house” (Luke 11:17).
33. As the church of Christ, the Catholic Church has his promise of victory over the powers of Hell: “... the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).
34. The Catholic Church has managed to survive all heresies, schisms, internal and external threats and attacks over the past twenty centuries, and is guaranteed to continue to do so until the end of the world: “... and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
35. Throughout its history, the Catholic Church has travelled through repeated cycles of growth, stagnation, decay and decline, only to recover to emerge ever stronger and glorious.
36. Though always regrettable, the existence of unfaithful members in the Catholic Church conforms her to Christ’s images of the wheat and the weeds (Matt. 13:24-30), the good and the bad fish (Matt. 13:47-52), and the sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:31-46).
37. Only the Catholic Church has heeded Christ’s command to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).
38. Being an international church, the Catholic Church is not a national church subject to the whims of any secular government or ruler.
39. Being an international church, the Catholic Church is not a racially based church. It has members from every race, language and culture, making it a truly universal church.
40. Being neither a nationalistic nor ethnocentric church, the Catholic Church possesses a universal vision, reflecting God’s concern for the whole of humanity.
41. Being a visible and corporate international society, the Catholic Church avoids the radical individualism that is contrary to the vision in the Scriptures (1 Cor. 25-26).
42. Though the Catholic Church is one in government, faith and sacraments there is great diversity within her unity. The many and different Oriental (Eastern) Churches in communion with the See of Peter are highly esteemed for their venerable antiquity and the Apostolic Traditions they possess from the Fathers.
43. The Catholic Church is broad enough to hold together apparent contradictions in balance: the treasures of the Vatican and the poverty of the Franciscans; the silence of the Benedictine monastery and the enthusiasm of charismatics; the sublimity of Gregorian chant and the exuberance of drums; vernacular liturgies and the perennial Latin Mass; violins and guitars; the great university tradition and the plethora of parochial schools; the home Rosary prayer group and massive World Youth Day gatherings.
1001 Reasons Why It's Great to Be Catholic (Paperback)
1001 Reasons Why It's Great to Be Catholic (Paperback)
About 1001 Reasons Why It's Great to Be Catholic (Paperback)
YEARS AGO I SAW A NEWS REPORT about the growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America. One fiery pastor had a pamphlet at the back of his church entitled, "Twenty-five reasons why you are no longer Catholic." I became upset when I saw this and wanted to produce my own response. Naturally, I wanted this response to be both comprehensive and overwhelming—hence the thought of collecting and publishing 1001 reasons why it’s great to be Catholic! More than most, non-Catholics should find this book of great interest.
This book does not want to hide the bad things that have happened in the Catholic Church; rather, it simply wants to proclaim to the world some of the great things about her. In the age of the “new evangelization" we should no longer simply cower under the relentless attacks against our Church and Faith, but be willing and able to stand confidently and proclaim loudly why it’s great to be Catholic. It’s not about triumphalism; it’s about truth, and it’s always a great time to proclaim the truth!
Product Type Media Books
Author Robert Haddad
Publisher Beacon Publishing
Number of Pages 224
Book Format Paperback