Q. Some say the Catholic Church ended with Constantine (285-337), with
the "Edict of Milan" which he issued in 313, which allowed the
to practice openly. Others say that is when the Church began. Who is
A. Neither is right. The Catholic Church is the true Church
Jesus Christ and He guaranteed its perpetuity, Matthew 28:20, and
unfaltering truth, 1Timothy 3:15. Now if either of the arguments in
question were true, than don't you think the Church Fathers would have
mentioned it somewhere? Instead, the Church Fathers mention the Catholic
by Name in hundreds of their writings and
spanning many centuries.
Ask the ones who say these things to show you
In the Apostles Creed, the word "Catholic" is clearly written within:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven
and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived
by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under
Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the
right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I
believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic
Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the
resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
non-Catholic sects also recite the Apostles Creed during their services.
However, several of those who do, have substituted the word "Universal", for
"Catholic". Thus they have substituted the meaning of the word for the word
Here is what Church Fathers had to say. In every case the word
is used. Notice the dates, as they span over a century before and
Constantine. The JXXXX refers to the paragraph numbers in "The
of the Early Fathers", by William A. Jurgens.
Ignatius, Letter to the
Smyrneans 8:1-2. J65. 106AD
Martyrdom of St. Polycarp 16:2. J77,79,80a,81a,
Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 7:17:107:3. J435, 202AD
Unity of the Catholic Church 4-6. J555-557, 251AD
Cyprian, Letter to
Florentius 66:69:8. J587, 254AD
Lactantius,Divine Institutions 4:30:1.
Alexander of Alexandria, Letters 12. J680, 324AD
Athanasius, Letter on Council of Nicea 27. J757, 350AD
Athanasius, Letter to Serapion 1:28. J782, 359AD
Athanasius, Letter to
Council of Rimini 5. J785, 361AD
Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures
18:1. J836-*839, 350AD
Damasus, Decree of Damasus 3. J910u, 382AD
Serapion, The Sacramentary 13:1. J1239a, 350AD
Pacian of Barcelona,
Letter to Sympronian 1:4 J1243, 375AD
Against the Pelagians book 1-2 417 A.D.
Letter to Vincent the Rogatist 93:7:23. J1422, 408AD
Augustine, Letter to
Vitalis 217:5:16. J1456, 427AD
Augustine, Psalms 88:2:14, 90:2:1.
Augustine, Sermons 2, 267:4. *J1492, *J1523, 430AD
Augustine, Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed 6:14. J1535,
Augustine, The True Religion 7:12+. *J1548, *J1562, J1564,
Augustine, Against the Letter of Mani 4:5. *J1580-1581,
Augustine, Christian Instruction 2:8:12+. *J1584, J1617,
Augustine, Baptism 4:21:28+. J1629, J1714, J1860a, J1882,
Augustine, Against the Pelagians 2:3:5+. *J1892, *J1898,
Innocent I, Letter to Probus 36. J2017, 417AD
Fulgence of Ruspe,
Forgiveness of Sins 1:19:2, J2251-2252, 517AD
The following writings attest to the antiquity of the Catholic Church.
Hermas, The Shepherd Vis 2:4:1. J82
Letter of Clement to Corinthians 14:2. J105
Clement of Alexandria,
Stromateis 7:17:107:3. J435
Augustine, Letter to Deogratias 102:15. J1428
Augustine, Psalms 90:2:1. J1479
Augustine, Predestination of Saints
Gregory I, Letter to John 5:44:18. J2295 595AD
The following writings support the perpetuity of the Catholic Church.
Clement, Letter to Corinthians 42:1,64. J20,29a 80AD
Anonymous, 2nd letter of Clement to Rome 14:2. J105
Cyprian, Unity of
the Catholic Church 4. J555-556
Cyprian, Letter to the Lapsed 33:27:1. J571
Hilary, The Trinity 7:4. J865 Augustine, Psalms 90:2:1. J1479
Sermon to Catechumens 6:14. J1535
The following writings tell of the founding of the Catholic Church.
Clement, Letter to Corinthians 42:1. J20
The Shepherd Vis 2:4:1-3:5:1. J82-84 140AD
Anonymous, Letter of Clement
Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3:16:6. J217a
Against Heretics 9:3. J289
Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 7:17:107:3.
Cyprian, Unity of the Catholic Church 4. J555-556
Letter to the Lapsed 33:27:1. J571
Hilary of Poitiers, The Trinity 7:4. J865
Augustine, Homilies on John 9:10. J1814
The following writings attest to the fact that the Catholic Church
seated in Rome.
Church Seated in Rome...
Clement, Letter to the Corinthians, Address.
Ignatius, Letter to the Romans, J52
Irenaeus, Against Heresies
Cyprian, Letter to Cornelius 59:55:14. J580
Constantinople, Canon3. J910d
Damasus, Decree of Damasus 3. J910u
Optatus of Melvis, Schism of Donatists 2:2. J1242
The following writings tell of the unity of the Catholic Church.
Didache 4:3. J1b Ignatius, Letter to the Philadelphians
Tertullian, Demurrer Against Heretics 20:4. J292
of the Catholic Church 4. J555-556
The following writings attest to the 'Universality' of the Catholic
The Catholic Church is
truly 'Universal' as its name implies.
Didache, 9:1,10:1. J6,7
Clement, Letter to
Corinthians 5:1. J11
Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians 3:2. J38
Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, Address. J77,79,81a
Hermas, The Shepherd Par
Anonymous, Letter to Diogenetus 6:1. J97a
Athens, Apology 15. J112
Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 110. J144
Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1:10:1. J191,192,215,257
Tertullian, Against the Jews 7:4. J320a
Alexandria, Exhortation Greeks 10:110:1. J405
Cyril of Jerusalem,
Catechetical Lectures 18:23. J838
Damasus, Decree of Damasus 3. J910u