The Early Church Is the Catholic Church

 

You are kindly invited to explore and discover
the sacred mysteries of the Catholic faith.

“Philip the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See said: There is no doubt, and
in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince
and head of the Apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic
Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour
and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing
and binding sins: who down even to to-day and forever both lives and judges in his
successors.”
Council of Ephesus, Session III
(A.D. 431)

“See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Christ Jesus does the Father, and the
presbytery as ye would the apostles. Do ye also reverence the deacons, as those
that carry out the appointment of God. Let no man do anything connected with the
Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is
[administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever
the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; by the bishop, or by one to
whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude
also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrneans, 8:2
(c. A.D. 110)

“But [it has, on the other hand, been shown], that the preaching of the Church is
everywhere consistent, and continues in an even course, and receives testimony
from the prophets, the apostles, and all the disciples…For in the Church,” it is said,
“God hath set apostles, prophets, teachers,’ and all the other means through which
the Spirit works; of which all those are not partakers who do not join themselves to
the Church, but defraud themselves of life through their perverse opinions and
infamous behaviour. For where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and
where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church, and every kind of grace; but the
Spirit is truth.”
St. Irenaeus, Against
 Heresies, 3:24
(A.D.
180)

”Whence you ought to know that the bishop is in the Church, and the Church in
the bishop; and if any one be not with the bishop, that he is not in the Church, and
that those flatter themselves in vain who creep in, not having peace with God’s
priests, and think that they communicate secretly with some; while the Church, which
is Catholic and one, is not cut nor divided, but is indeed connected and bound
together by the cement of priests who cohere with one another.”
St. Cyprian, To Florentius, Epistle 66/67
(A.D. 254)

“Concerning this Holy Catholic Church Paul writes to Timothy, ‘That thou
mayest know haw thou oughtest to behave thyself in the House of God, which is
the Church of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the truth’”
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures,18:25
(A.D. 350)

“But beyond these [Scriptural] sayings, let us look at the very tradition,
teaching and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave,
the Apostles preached, and the Fathers kept.”
St. Athanasius, Four
 Letters to Serapion of Thmuis, 1:28
(A.D. 360)

“Inasmuch, I repeat, as this is the case, we believe also in the Holy Church
[intending thereby] assuredly the Catholic. For both heretics and schismatics style
their congregations churches. But heretics, in holding false opinions regarding
God, do injury to the faith itself; while schismatics, on the other hand, in wicked
separations break off from brotherly charity, although they may believe just what we
believe. Wherefore neither do the heretics belong to the Church catholic, which
loves God; nor do the schismatics form a part of the same.”
St. Augustine, On Faith and Creed, 10:21
(A.D. 393)

“Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder
Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the
thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of
the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, hath stripped him
of the episcopate, and hath alienated from him all hieratic worthiness. Therefore let
this most holy and great synod sentence the before mentioned Dioscorus to the
canonical penalties.”
Council of Chalcedon, Session III
(A.D. 451)

But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, ”You
are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon
son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh  and blood, but by my Father in
heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the
gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
Matthew 16, 15-18