UNITY OF THE
are there quarrels and ill will and dissensions and schism and fighting among
you? Do we not have one God and one Christ, and one Spirit of grace
poured out upon us? And is there not one calling in Christ? Why do we
wrench and tear apart the members of Christ, and revolt against our own body,
and reach such folly as to forget that we are members of one
another?" St. Clement Of Rome ("First Epistle To The Corinthians," c. 96
"He, therefore, who does not assemble with the Church, has even by
this displayed his pride, and he has condemned himself." St. Ignatius of Antioch ("Epistle to the Ephesians." c. 105 A.D.)
"Although dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of
the earth, the Church has received this faith from the apostles and their
disciples.... The Church received this preaching and this faith.
Although she is scattered throughout the whole world, yet, she carefully
preserves it, as if she occupied only one house. She also believes these
points just as if she had only one soul, and one and the same heart. She
proclaims these things, teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect
harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth. For although the languages
of the world are different, yet the significance of the tradition is one and
the same. For the churches which have been planted in Germany
do not believe or hand down anything different. Neither do those in Spain,
Gaul, the East, Egypt,
Libya, or in
the central regions of the world." St.
Irenaeus ("Against All Heresies," c. 180 A.D.)
"Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom will we go?'... Peter, on
whom the Church was to be built...taught and showed in the name of the Church
that a rebellious and arrogant multitude may depart from the Church. I
speak of those who will not hear and obey. However, the Church does not
depart from Christ. And the Church consists of those who are a people
united to the priest. It is the flock that adhere to its pastor.
Therefore, you should know that the bishop is in the Church and the Church is
in the bishop. If anyone is not with the bishop, he is not in the
Church.... The Church is Catholic and is one. It is not cut or
divided. Rather it is connected and bound together by the cement of
priests who cohere with one another." St.
Cyprian of Carthage ("The Unity of the Catholic Church," c. 250
"For this has been the source from which heresies and schism have
arisen, that God's priest is not obeyed, nor do people reflect that there is
for the time one priest in the Church, who for the time is judge instead of
Christ, and if the whole brotherhood would obey him, according to divine
teaching, no one would stir up anything against the college of
priests...." St. Cyprian of Carthage ("Letters," c. 252 A.D.)
"Secede not from the Church: for nothing is stronger than the
Church. Thy hope is the Church; thy salvation is the Church; thy refuge
is the Church. It is higher than the heavens and wider than the
earth. It never grows old, but is ever full of vigor. Wherefore
Holy Writ pointing to its strength and stability calls it a
Chrysostom ("Homilies on Eutropius," c. 399 A.D.)
"I say and protest that it is as wrong to divide the Church as to fall
into heresy." St.
Chrysostom ("Homilies on Ephesians," c. 4th century)
"Whosoever shall have separated himself from the Catholic Church, no
matter how praiseworthy such a person may fancy his life has been, yet for that
one crime of having cut himself off from the unity of Christ he shall not have
eternal life, but the wrath of God shall abide with him for ever." St. Augustine of Hippo ("Letter 141," c. early 5th century)
BELIEFS & ISSUES
EARLY CHURCH BELIEVED
Biblical quotations on this web site are either
from the King James Version or the Douay-Rheims Version of the Bible.
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