Dawn at No Heavy Lifting has started 101 Wednesday, a weekly meme exploring the Catholic Faith. Here is what Dawn has to say about it:
This is my attempt at solidifying and organizing what I know and learn about the basics of the Catholic faith. It is a space for me to jot down not only notes on dogma and doctrine, but also on any little thing that helps clarify the intricacies and rich history of our faith.
Please feel free to participate! Share whatever you’d like. It doesn’t have to be formal – remember, heavy lifting is not required here. It can be your favorite quote – I hear G.K. Chesterton is quite popular this time of year. It can be a sentence out of a book that succinctly cleared up some theological trouble you’d been having – why CAN we call priests Father?
I only ask that, as your hostess, you don’t expect too much of me. I am still an infant in Christ, and on a spiritual diet of milk, not meat, (1 Corinthians 3:1-2) hopeful that some of you participating will flesh out my palette a bit more.
I think I’ll share a link to an article on the Authority of the Pope and Apostolic Succession from the Augustine Club at Columbia.
In my mind, this is the most basic bit of the Faith. From here everything else flows. The bible cannot be the sole foundation of faith. It was over 350 years before Christians had a bible. They were not orphaned by God during those many years. His word was quite present.
The Church gave us the bible, not the other way around. Jesus commissioned Peter and the other Apostles to teach, preach, baptize, not write. The Word of God surely existed and guided the Church in those first centuries (without a bible as we know it).
Individually, each could not on his own know the fullness of the truth. An authority is needed to prevent misunderstandings, misinterpretations and so on (how often does Paul correct the new Christians? Clearly it is easy to get off track!) This is as true today as it was in the first 4 centuries of Christianity. If we do not need an authority because the bible alone is enough, why do so many claim to follow the bible “only” yet believe and teach so many different, conflicting things? Why are there so many “denominations”?
The Word of God has to be more than the written word. The Scriptures alone are not enough or all would understand and come to the same conclusions. This is where Papal Authority and Apostolic Succession come in.
This article outlines the basics. Enjoy.