THE Catholic church is as old and ancient as the apostles and the early church fathers themselves.
The early church fathers and their writings prove, without reasonable doubt, that they and the doctrines of the early church were distinctly Catholic.
In fact, all the saints, early church fathers and the popes of the 1st Century were Catholic and are the successors of the Apostles, particularly Peter and Jesus Christ himself.
They personally knew the apostles or were students of some of the apostles. Pope Clement of Rome (the 4th pope) was ordained by Peter himself.
Ignatius of Antioch – was the third Bishop of Antioch and a student of the Apostle John.
Ignatius wrote a series of letters addressing topics such as ecclesiology, the sacraments, the eucharist, the role of bishops and the incarnation of Christ.
Polycarp of Smyma was a Christian bishop of Smyma (now Turkey) and was a disciple of John.
In the 2nd Century, St Justin Matyr, in his apologetics wrote on doctrines of the church such as, the intercession of Mary and the saints, the communion procession and the receiving of the eucharist.
In that same era, Tettulian of Cathage wrote on the interpretive authority of scripture and the teaching/preaching authority of the church.
And the list goes on down the centuries to great Catholic theological thinkers and writers like St Augustine of Hippo and St Thomas Aquinas who wrote on the connection between reason and faith.
Now, if these early Christians were Catholic, then, true it is; the original church is the Roman Catholic church.
The Catholic church was the only official church in 1st Century and all the way to the medieval period and to the pre-Reformation period.
That is, it was the only church that lived for 1,600 years, before the protestant reformation took place in the 1600s.
Interestingly, if you happen to visit, all the ancient and oldest churches in Israel, Syria, Rome, Turkey and other nearby states, you will find one thing common in all these churches.
In the front of the church, there is always an altar.
What does the altar signify?
It denotes where the priest breaks the bread and serves the wine.
He propagates the eucharistic celebration of the mass.
The Catholic church has stood for more than 2,000 years, and is still growing and is still celebrating mass in its originality.
The Catholic church is the fullness of the faith.
Probably, the most simple question to answer is, where on Earth is Peter?
St Joseph Parishioner