Monday, January 4, 2010

Paul's Profession of Faith

Pidgeon Point Light Station State Historic Park
I believe that God exists, and that God created the universe. The universe could not create itself. Even if the beginning of the universe started with a big bang, something made the big bang go boom. Further evidence of the existence of God is the complexity and intelligence of creation. 

I believe that God became a man like us in the person of Jesus Christ. During his life, Jesus set the example of how we should live our lives. In sacrificing himself on the cross, he redeemed us, making it possible for us to enter heaven when we die.

While Jesus was on Earth, he established a church to carry on his ministry after his death. The church is the body of believers that would later be known as the Catholic (meaning "universal") church. He appointed the apostle Peter the first head (pope) of the church. The apostles became the first "priests" of the church. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would guide the church to the truth, and promised that the church would always be true. Jesus also gave the apostles the ability to forgive men's sins. This ability has been passed down from the apostles to what is now known as the priesthood of the church.

During and after the life of Jesus, men wrote books and letters about Jesus. These books and letters, along with the hebrew scriptures (old testament), were eventually compiled into what is now known as the bible. It was the Catholic Church that decided which books and letters should be included in the bible.

By dying on the cross, Jesus opened the gates of heaven for us. I believe that if I follow Jesus to the best of my ability, I will be saved. The way I follow Jesus is by obeying his teachings, which are passed down to me through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition by the Catholic Church.

Even though I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior and have been redeemed by his sacrifice on the cross, I believe my salvation is not guaranteed. My salvation depends on the state of my soul when I die. Because of the free will God gave me, I can turn away from him at any time and lose my salvation. I can lose my salvation by committing a serious sin, also known as a mortal sin, and not repent of it before I die. I cannot lose my salvation by committing minor sins, also known as venial sins. When I do sin, and am truly sorry for having committed them, I can receive forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

I am a Catholic because I want to belong to the church that Jesus himself founded. I know that Jesus founded the Catholic Church because the leadership of the church can be traced from the present pope all the way back to the apostle Peter. No other church has a leadership that dates back to Christ. I could not belong to a Christian church that wasn't founded by Christ.

This is what I believe. I am not telling you what you should believe, or trying to force you to believe anything. If you disagree with or don't understand anything I've said in this post, please leave a comment in the box below, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

For more information about the Catholic faith, please check out the Catholic web site links on the right-hand side of my blog.

Peace of Christ be with your spirit!


  1. Doesn't the Eastern Orthodox Church also trace its leadership back to Christ?

  2. Excellent question, Genevieve. The Eastern Orthodox Church didn't exist until approximately the year 1054, when Patriarch Michael Keroularios broke from the Catholic Church.

    For more information regarding the history of the various Christian denominations, check out my new blog post entitled "The Mother of All Christian Churches":

    God bless you!

  3. But I thought the Catholic Church viewed the Orthodox Church as having valid sacraments, including Holy Orders? So their leadership can trace itself via apostolic succession? Also I've known Orthodox folks, and their view is that the Catholic Church was the one who broke off.

  4. Genevieve - It appears that the question as to whether the Catholic Church came first or the Orthodox Church came first is a much debated topic. Each church believes that they came first (naturally). I found a forum on where someone asked the same question you did, and here is how they answered:

    I did some searching on the internet to see if I could find an Orthodox answer to this question, but I couldn't. In fact, I found it very hard to find official Orthodox Church web sites. I could find lots of sites with information about the Orthodox Church, but I only found one official Orthodox Church web site, and that was the web site of the Orthodox Church of America ( They have a Q & A page about Roman Catholicism (, but it doesn't answer the question as to which church came first.

    The Catholic Answers site has a page that discusses the Great Schism:

    This page illustrates how complicated the relationship between the eastern and western churches was.

    It sounds like the biggest difference between the Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church is the Catholic Church's belief that the Pope is the supreme leader of the church that Jesus founded.

    I hope this information helps.


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