Roman Catholic Church

this is no copy page!



“This section dedicated to our Most Blessed Holy Mother Maria The 'Mother of God.”


for Her 9 baby steps taken in Her very first walk!

For these good reasons, all nine of them,  I,  layman Daniel of my God,  move to the very  Ninth Article of the Creed.


“The Catholic Church” Ninth Article of the Creed.



We also dedicate here, in this very dedication section, to the true Catholic Church, & clear the statements of justice, on the

Seventh  Chapter

Ninth Article of the Creed.


Thus leading you to Holy Mother the Church."  Full placement to law of this Holy Church, cannot be obtained through any falsenesses whatsoever.

Positions on the Globe of Cheisa Cattolica, is not of any necessity for to one’s salvation.

But to be inside the true Church Herself!




(An angel appears to Joachim,  and informs him that Anna shall

conceive and bring forth a daughter, who shall be called Maria, and be

brought up in the temple, and while yet a virgin, in a way unparalleled,

bring forth the Son of God: gives to him a sign, and then departs.)


Book of Maria.↑     Copyright ©1926 Alpha House, Inc.    ↑Lost Books of the Bible.

ISBN 0-529-03385-2    CCCN 63-19519


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -





Take hold on instruction, leave it not:

keep it, because it is thy life.”



Catechism Explained

An Exhaustive Exposition of

The Catholic Religion



Rev Francis Spirago

Professor of Theology


Edited by Rev. Richard F Clarke, S.J.


Arthur J Scanlan, S.T.D.

Censor Librorum


Imprimatur +Patrick J Hayes D.D.

Archbishop of New York New York

October 18 1921


Library of Congress Catalog Card No: 93-61206

ISBN: 0-89555-497-6





NINTH ARTICLE OF THE CREED:    The Catholic Church.




1.                    The Catholic Church is a visible institution, founded by Christ, in which men are trained for heaven.


The Church may be compared with a school; the latter prepares its pupils to become good citizens of the State, the former trains up citizens of heaven.  And just as a school has its headmaster, its staff of teachers, its pupils, along with its regulations for discipline, and appliances of education, so is the Church provided.  It has a visible head, the visible ceremony of Baptism by which members are received, and a visible formula of belief.  Hence Christ compares the Church with visible objects, with the city placed on a mountain, with a light on the candlestick; it is also called a body (Eph. i. 22), the Rwanda of God (1 Tim. iii. 15), a holy city (Apoc. xxi. 10).  Wherever true Catholic priests and true Catholics are to be found, there is the Catholic church.  To class's of people maintain that the Church is not visible: heretics, who have been cut off from it yet would gladly belong to the Church, and freethinkers, who wish to shirk the obligation of obeying a visible Church.  The expression "Catholic Church" does not imply a mere building of stone or wood, though the comparison is frequently made in the Scriptures (Eph. ii. 21), the Church having a living cornerstone, Christ (Ps. cxvii. 22)  Who binds the faithful into one divine family, and the foundation-stones of the apostles (Apoc. xxi. 14), the faithful being the stones of edifice (1 Pet. ii. 5).  Nor by "Catholic Church" do we mean "Catholic religion;" the Church is to the religion as the body to the soul.


             The Catholic Church is often called the "Kingdom of heaven," "Kingdom of God," "Community of the faithful.


John the Baptist and Christ himself announced that the kingdom of Heaven was set hand (Matt. iii. 2; iv. 17).  The parables of the kingdom of heaven bring out the various features of the Church.  The gradation of offices in the Church – (Pope, cardinals, bishops, priests, ordinary Christians), is a very suggestive of a kingdom, in which the aim is to lead men to heaven. "The Church is the people of God scattered through the world," says St. Augustine; or in the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, the community of the faithful.  Our Lord compares it with a fold where He wishes to keep all his sheep.             



The Church is very properly called the “ Mother of Christians,” because she gives to men the true life of the soul, and because she trains her members as a mother brings up her children.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The Church confers in Baptism the gift of sanctifying grace, the true life of the soul, for this grace gives a claim to heaven.  As the father who goes away on a journey leaves all his power in the hands of the mother, so Christ, in leaving this earth, gave His Church full power (John xx. 21) "We should love God as Our Father," says St. Augustine, "And the Church as our Mother. "  "If we love our native land so dearly," says Leo XIII., " because we were born and bred there, and are ready even to die for it, how much deeper should be our love for the Church, which has given us the life which has no end. "



 2. The Church prepares man for heaven by carrying out the threefold office which Christ conferred upon her; the office of teacher, of priest, and of shepherd. 



The Church teaches the doctrine of Christ, ministers the means of grace appointed by Christ, and is a guide and shepherd to the faithful. The teaching is carried on by sermons; the means of grace consist in the holy sacrifice of the Mass, the sacraments, blessings, and the holding of special devotions; the guidance consists in the laying down of certain precepts, e.g., the commandments of the Church, and the prohibition of what is sinful or dangerous, e.g., and the reading of bad books. 



This triple office was first exercised by Christ, and then passed on to the apostles and their successors.



Christ used to preach, as we see in the sermon on the mount.  He dispensed the means of grace, forgiving Magdalen her sins, giving his body and blood to the apostles at the Last Supper, blessing the little children.  Christ was the guide of men.  He gave commandments, sent the apostles on missions, instructed them, and reproved the tyranny of the Pharisees, etc..  He gave the He gave the apostles commission (1), to teach all nations (Matt. xxviii. 19).  and also (2), to exercise the power of the priesthood, to offer sacrifice (Luke xxii. 19  John xx. 23); (3), in addition the apostles received the office of pastor, and with it the power of reproving and correcting (Matt. xviii. 17), and of binding and losing, i.e., of making and revoking laws.  The words of Christ included the successors of the apostles as well as the apostles themselves: "I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world" (Matt. xxviii. 20).


3. The Lord and King of the Church is Christ.




                         The prophets had foretold (Ps. ii.)  that the Messias should be a great King, whose kingdom should last forever and embrace all other kingdoms.  The archangel Gabriel told Mary that the Redeemer should be a King and his kingdom should be eternal (Luke i. 33).  Christ calls Himself a King to Pilate, but denies that His kingdom is of this world (John xviii. 36).  Christ directs the Church through the Holy Ghost; hence He is called the Head of the Church (Eph. i. 23), of which Christians form the body, each one being a member of the body (1Cor. xii. 27).  He is also called the invisible Head, because He no longer mixes personally with man on earth.  On account of His love for the Church, He is called her Bridegroom, and she is called His Bride ( Apoc. xxi. 9).  Christ compared himself to a bridegroom on several occasions (Matt. xxii.).  Like Jacob, who served seven years for Rachel, Christ would serve many years for His Church (Phil. Ii. 7), and even gave His life for it (Eph. v. 25).


4. The Catholic Church consists of a teaching and a hearing body.  To the former belong the Pope, bishops, and priests; to the latter the faithful.


The word "Pope" comes from the Latin papa, i.e., father; "bishop" is from the Greek episcopos, i.e., overseer; priest is from the Greek word presbyter, meaning "the elder." in Latin, priest is sacerdos.








The mainstay of the Church is the Pope.  He is the rock on which the Church rests (Matt. xvi. 18); and his office secures the maintenance of unity.  St. John Chrysostom says that the Church would fail if it were not for its Head, who is the centre of its unity, as a ship would be wrecked if deprived of its pilot; and Saint Cyprian adds that the enemies of the Church direct their attacks against its Head, in the hope that deprived of his guidance it may be shipwrecked.  Among the Popes are counted no less than forty martyrs.


1. Christ conferred on St. Peter the primacy over the apostles and the faithful by the command: "Feed My lambs, feed My sheep;" by giving over to him "the keys of the kingdom of heaven,"  and by special marks of distinction.


After his resurrection Christ appeared to the apostles on the lake of Genesareth, and after the triple question to Peter "Lovest thou me?" gave him the solemn precept: "Feed My lambs; [i.e., the faithful}, . . .  Feed My sheep [i.e., the apostles] " (John xxi. 15).  This office had been promised to St. Peter before the resurrection, on the occasion of his confession at Cæsarea Philippi: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.  And whatsoever thou shall bind upon the earth, it shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth it shall be loosed also in heaven" (Matt. xvi. 18, 19).  The special marks of distinction conferred on St. Peter were the following: Christ gave him a new name, Peter; He chose him to be with Him on the most solemn occasions, as on Mount Thabor and in the Garden of Olives; He appeared to St. Peter after His resurrection before showing Himself to any of the other apostles (Luke xxiv. 34; 1 Cor. xv. 5, etc.).


             St. Peter always acted as chief of the apostles and was so acknowledged by them.


He spoke in He spoke in the name of the other apostles on Pentecost; He received into the Church its first Jewish and Gentile members; he performed the first miracle; it was he who moved for the choice of a new apostle; he defended the apostles before the Jewish tribunal; his opinion prevailed at the council of the apostles. The apostles recognized his pre-eminence, for the Evangelist in giving the list of the apostles always place St. Peter first (Matt. x. 2 Mark i, 36; Acts ii. 1- 14);  and Saint Paul, after his conversion, regarded it as his duty to present himself to St. Peter Gal. i. 18; ii. 2).


2. St. Peter was Bishop of Rome for some twenty-five years and died Bishop of Rome; and the dignity and power of St. Peter descended to the succeeding Bishops of Rome.


                         There is a great amount of evidence for the presence of St. Peter in Rome from the year 44 to 69.  St. Peter writes about the year 65:  "The Church "The Church that is in Babylon. . .  saluteth you; and so doth my son Mark" (1 Pet. v. 13).  Babylon was the name given by the early Christians to Rome, on account of its greatness and immorality.  St. Clement of Rome writes about the year 100:  "Peter and Paul were with an enormous number of the Christians martyred in Rome."  Tertullian, a priest of Carthage, about the year 200, congratulates the Church of Rome, because St. Peter died there, crucified like his Lord, and Saint Paul died like another John the Baptist.  In addition the grave of St. Peter was long ago discovered; his body lay in a catacomb under and Nero’s circus; the third Pope erected a small chapel over it, to be replaced by a beautiful edifice built by Constantine (324); when this fell into disrepair, the present building of St. Peter's was erected, in 1629.



The Bishops of Rome have always exercised supreme power in the Church, and that power has always been acknowledged.


When dissensions arose in the Church of Corinth about the year 100, the matter was referred not to the apostle Saint John at Ephesus, but to the Bishop of Rome, St. Clement.  About the year190 the Pope Victor commanded the people of Asia Minor to conform to the Roman usage in the celebration of Easter, and those who demurred were threatened with excommunication, whereupon they yielded.  About the year 250 Pope Stephen forbade the Bishops of North Africa to rebaptise those who returned to the bosom of the Church, and excommunicated those who resisted.  The Bishops of Rome had the first place in all general councils.  When heresy broke out the Bishop of Rome always inquired into it; and to him other bishops appealed when unjustly oppressed; thus when St. Athanasius was deposed by the emperor, the Pope reinstated him.  From the earliest times the titles  "high priest" and "bishop of bishops" have been given to the Bishop of Rome.  When, at the Council of Chalcedon, the letter of Pope Leo was read to the assembled bishops, they cried out with one voice: "Peter has spoken by Leo; let him be anathema who believes otherwise." The Vatican Council declares that it is the will of Christ that till the end of the world there be successors to St. Peter.


3.         The Bishop of Rome is called Pope, or Holy Father.


He is also called, on account of his great dignity, the "holy Father"    "His Holiness,"    "Vicar of Christ,"   "Father of Christendom."


 On account of the opening words of Christ speech to St. Peter "Blessed art thou," etc. (Matt. xvi. 17) the Pope i) the Pope is addressed as Beatissime Pater. The office is called the See of Peter, the Holy See, or the Apostolic See.  The chair of St. Peter is still to be seen in Rome.


The Pope is also called from his see the Pope of Rome, and the Church under him the Roman Catholic Church.


Pope Leo XIII. was born at Carpineto, in Italy, on March 2nd, 1810." ordained priest December 31st, 1837, Archbishop of  Perugia, 1846, and Pope February 20th, 1878.  To his energy we owe the abolition of slavery in Brazil, the campaign against it in Africa by the European nations, the repeal of many laws against the Church in Germany, the prevention of war between Germany and Spain, the founding of over 100 bishoprics, especially among the heathen, etc. By his encyclicals he has denounced the Freemasons, recommended in a special manner the Third Order of St. Francis, and the devotion of the Rosary, displayed his zeal for the working classes, and exerted himself to produce reunion of the various Christian communities with the Catholic Church, etc..  He is the two hundred and fifty ninth Pope. 


The Pope has precedence of honor over all other bishops, and also of jurisdiction over the whole church (Vatican Council), 4, 3).


"The Pope," says St. Bernard, "is the high priest, the prince, among bishops. "The following are some of his prerogatives: He assumes a new name on his election, as St. Peter received a new name from our Lord, to signify that he is wholly devoted to his new office.  From the 10th century onwards it has been the custom to chose the name from those of previous Popes, St. Peter’s alone being accepted out of reverence. He is privileged to wear the tiara, or mitre with the triple crown, expressive of the triple office of teacher, priest, and pastor; he has also a crosier ending in a cross, and a soutane of white silk.  His foot is kissed in memory of those words of St. Paul: "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things" (Rom. x. 15) He has the highest power in the Church as "teacher of all Christians" (Vatican Council) and "chief-shepherd of the shepherds and their flocks. " He has the most complete jurisdiction in deciding questions of faith and morals, and in arranging the discipline of the universal Church.  This power extends over every single church, and every single bishop and pastor.  He may elect and depose bishops,  call together councils, make and unmake laws, send out missionaries, confer privileges and dispensations, and reserve sins to his own tribunal.  For the same reason he may personally teach and guide any of the bishops of their flocks.  He is the supreme judge of all the faithful; to him remains the final appeal.  The Pope may choose seventy cardinals to act as his counsellors; they may have the right of choosing a new Pope after the see has been vacant for 12 days.  There dress is a scarlet hat and mantle, to remind them of their duty of loyalty to the Pope at the cost even of their blood.  They form the various committees or congregations, e.g., the Congregation of Rites, of Indulgences, etc.


The Pope is quite independent of every temporal sovereignty and of every spiritual power.


For many years the Popes were temporal sovereigns, and ruled as such the States of the Church. The growth of the latter came about in the following manner: In the first centuries many estates were bestowed on the Popes as a free gift. From the time of Constantine the Great, the emperors lived away from Rome, and thus the Papacy began to exercise a certain authority over the city and central Italy.  In 754 A D, Pepin, the Frankish king, gave over to the Pope the territory he had won by the sword in the neighborhood of Rome, and also some towns on the eastern coast of Italy.  This grant was confirmed by Pepin's son, Charlemagne, in 774.  The Popes lost and regained these possessions some seventy-seven times.  In 1859 all the territory except Rome was torn from the Pope, and in 1870 Rome itself, so that now all the Pope possesses is the Vatican.  This temporal sovereignty was of great advantage to the Church; its secured the Pope's independence in the exercise of his authority, it gave him a status among the powers of the earth, and supplied him with funds for carrying on the business connected with the Church, besides ensuring liberty in the choice of a Pope.  At present he is helped by the alms of the faithful, called Peter's pence.  Though deprived of his possessions the Pope is still recognized as a sovereign, even in Italy; and he has acted as arbitrator between nations.  Many will remember his decision in 1885 in the disputed claims of Spain and Germany to the Caroline Islands.  He also issues medals, confers orders, has the gold and white standard, adopted in allusion to the words of St. Peter: "Silver and gold I have none"  (Acts iii. 6 ) and has ambassadors (legates and Nuncios) at various courts, etc.  The Pope is supreme on earth, not being subject even to a general council (Eugenius IV., Sept, 4th 1439; Vatican Council, 4, 3)  Any who appeal from the Pope to a general council are liable to excommunication (Pius IX., October 12, 1869).





1. The bishops are the successors of the apostles.


This is the express teaching of the Vatican Council. The bishops differ only from the apostles in having a limited jurisdiction, while the mission of the apostles was to the whole world; moreover the apostles were personally infallible in their teaching, and having an extraordinary mission they had extraordinary gifts, such as infallibility, the gift of tongues, and miracles.


  The bishops have the following powers: They guide that portion of the Church assigned to them by the Pope, and assist him in the government of the universal Church.

From apostolic times bishops were appointed to single sees, e.g., Titus to Crete (Tit. i. 5).  These divisions of the Church are called sees or dioceses: some of them are very large.  Paris, for example, contains more than 3 million souls.  The duties of a bishop are to educate candidates for the priesthood, to create an confer offices in the Church, to give faculties to confessors, to see to the religious education of his flock, to revise books written on religious subjects, to settle the days of fasting, etc.  In addition he confers the Sacraments of Confirmation and Orders, reserves certain sins to his own jurisdiction, consecrates churches, chalices, the holy oils etc, Each bishop has also the right of voting in general councils.


The bishops are not merely assistants to the Pope, but they are actually guides of the Church.


They are theThey are the shepherds of their respective flocks (Vatican Council) 4,3 and are appointed by the Holy Ghost to rule the Church of God (Acts xx. 28).  They are also called "princes of the Church," and since they have ordinary or immediate jurisdiction they are often called "Ordinaries"  They are assisted by a number of canons, who make up the body called the chapter; one of these cannons becomes vicar capitular if the see becomes vacant, and governs the diocese till a new bishop be elected.  The bishop himself usually appoints the chapter, in rare instances the Pope or the archbishop.  Many bishops have an assistant in the form of a coadjutor-bishop or a vicar general. "The dignity of a bishop," says St. Ambrose, "is higher than that of a king." The privileges of the order are as follows: The right to wear a mitre, the sign of his leadership, and to carry a crosier, which is curved at the end in sign of his limited jurisdiction.  He also wears a ring, symbolical of his union with the diocese, and a pectoral cross.  The faithful kiss his hand, and he is addressed by the Pope as brother, because as bishop he has the same rank as the Pope. 


The bishops are subject to the Pope and owe him obedience.


The Pope gives their jurisdiction to the bishops; and no bishop may exercise his office before being recognized and confirmed by the Pope.  He is obliged also to go to Rome (ad limina apostolorum) to report on the state of his diocese.  An appeal may always be made from a bishop to the Pope.  Bishops, such as the Greek or Anglican, who declined submission to the Pope, are neither members of the Church, nor have they jurisdiction, even where they have valid orders.


Archbishops or metropolitan's are bishops who have powers over other bishops.


Some have the privilege of wearing the pallium, a white strip of wool on the shoulders symbolical of gentleness and humility.  The Primate is a still higher dignitary, and is the bishop of the whole nation.  Above him in rank is the Patriarch or Exarch, who in former times was set over the metropolitan's.  The Bishops of Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome were patriarchs, because these sees were founded by Saint Peter.  In our days the titles patriarch and Primate signify nothing more than a precedence of dignity; they are not of divine institution.  There are also others of the clergy who are termed prelates; some of them enjoy most or all of the powers of bishops, and are called vicars apostolic.  There are others whose title is merely honorary.


2.  The priests are the assistants of the bishops.


They receive their Orders from the bishop, and so are his spiritual sons; and their business is to carry out the commands of the bishop; even when called in to assist at councils, they do not vote as judges but only as counsellors, nor have they powers to excommunicate.


The priest have only a portion of the episcopal power, and their office may be exercised only with sanction from the bishop.


This sanction is called the canonical mission (missio canonica).  The dress of the priest is a soutane, or a black garment reaching to the feet.


Parish priest are those to whom the bishop has confided permanently the charge of the district.  


The district is called a parish.  Dean is the title given to parish priest of larger districts.  In the assignment of a parish the bishop usually shows some consideration for the wishes of the patron or patrons, i.e., the person or persons who have been and are conspicuous benefactors in the district.  The parish priest is the representative of the bishop, and no one may, without his leave, exercise spiritual functions in the parish, such as preaching, baptizing, giving extreme unction, marrying, and burying. 


Parish priest who are appointed by the bishop over the priests of a large district are called rural deans.


They make a visitation of the parishes and act as intermediaries with the bishop.


Parish priests of larger districts have assistants, or curates.


3.  A Catholic is one who has been baptized and professes himself to be a member of the Catholic Church.


The Church is a community into which admittance is gained by Baptism.  Thus the three thousand baptized on the first Pentecost became members of the Church (Acts ii. 41).  Moreover a man must make external profession of being a member of the Church, so that any one who breaks away, for instance, by heresy, no longer belongs to the Church in spite of his baptism, though he is not thereby freed from his obligations to the Church.  Neither heathens, Jews, heretics, nor schismatics are members of the Church (Council of Florence), though children baptized validly in other communions really belonged to it. "For,” as St. Augustine says, "Baptism is the privilege of the true Church, and so the benefits which flow from Baptism are necessarily fruits which belong only to the true Church.  Children baptized in other communions cease to be members of the Church only when, after reaching the age of reason, they make formal profession of heresy, as, for example, by receiving communion in a non Catholic church. " The Christians were at first known by the name of Nazarenes, from Nazareth, Galileans, from Galilee; it was first in Antioch that the name Christian came to be in use (Acts xi. 26), and the name Christians is appropriate.  We are followers of Christ, willing to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. viii. 29).  "We receive our name," says St. John Chrysostom, "not from an earthly ruler, nor from an angel, nor from an archangel, nor from a seraphim, but from the King of all the earth. "


A true Catholic is not only one who has been baptized and belongs to the Church,, but who also makes serious efforts to secure his eternal salvation; who believes the teaching of the Church, keeps the commandments of God, and of the Church, who receives the sacraments, and prays to God in the manner prescribed by Christ.


He is not a true Christian who is ignorant of his faith.   Such a one might as well call himself a doctor though knowing nothing of medicine. "Nor is he a true Christian," says St. Justin, "who does not live as Christ taught him to live." Our Lord said to the Jews: "If you be the children of Abraham do The Works of Abraham" (John viii. 39) and He might say to the Christians "If you be Christians do the works of Christ."  "If you want to be a Christian," says St. Gregory Nazianzen, "you must live the life of Christ;" and Saint Augustine:" A true Christian is the man who is gentle, good, and merciful to all, and shares his bread with the poor."  Christ Himself said that His disciples should be known by their love for one another (John xiii. 35).  A Christian who neglects the sacraments is like a soldier who has no weapons; what a responsibility he incurs! Louis of Granada says, "A field which is well tended is expected to yield a richer harvest; so more good works are expected from a Christian than from a heathen, because the Christian has greater graces."


Every Catholic has rights and duties. He has an especial claim to the means of grace supplied by the Church, and he is obliged to obey his ecclesiastical superiors in spiritual matters, and to make provision for their support as well as for that of God's service.


A good Catholic ought also to hear the word of God, receive the necessary sacraments, take part in divine service, and he has a right to Christian burial, etc.. The Church forces nobody to enter its pale, but whoever becomes a member of his own free will, and remains so, must be subject to the laws of the Church.  Under certain circumstances those who disobey the laws of the Church are excommunicated or shut out from the Church.  They lose their claim to the spiritual goods of the Church; they may not join in the divine service, nor receive the sacraments, nor an office in this Church, nor Christian burial.  Some offenses involve excommunication ipso factoinstance, of apostasy, duelling, freemasonry (Pius IX., October 12, 1869).  In other cases the excommunication must be formally pronounced.  And that, too, after warning and trial, as in the case of the Old Catholic bishops Reinkens and Dollinger.    St. Ambrose forbade the Emperor Theodosius to enter the Church after the latter had, by his orders, caused the slaughter of some seven thousand people in Thessalonica; and it was only after doing severe penance that he was admitted.  We know, too, that St. Paul cut off from the Church a vicious Corinthian (1 Cor. V. 13).  The State exercises is a similar power in banishing criminals.