Papal charisms

Discerning the true Church from the false church

1024px-Pope-peter_pprubensHow to determine the true path

The question has been asked, “How can we know which one is the true Church and which one is the false church in the confusion that is arising?” The short answer is simple.

As evidenced in Sacred Scripture, Jesus Christ said, “I say to you, ‘You are Peter and on this Rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. Whatsoever you shall bind upon the earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose upon the earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven'” (Mt 16:18-19). Thus, Saint Ambrose said, “Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia, ibi Deus [Where there is Peter, there is the Church and there is God],” because Peter – the Pope – is the Rock, the guarantor of the Faith, and this by divine appointment. Christ Himself prays to the Almighty Father for the Pope.

Several, ‘cognoscenti’ and otherwise, with an attempt at strength in numbers, have claimed (and continue to claim) that the current Peter – that is, Pope Francis – is propagating heresies. But the very premise upon which their claims stand is false because Christ Himself, Who is God, has declared the true Church to be indefectible. The Pope is, thus, himself indefectible in terms of the Faith and what is needed to be saved precisely because the Church is indefectible. This is true not just when the Pope teaches ex cathedra under the charism of infallibility, but also when he teaches non-infallibly, albeit not at the personal level.

The guarantor of the Faith, the Rock, can never fall into the grave sins of apostasy, heresy or schism, because he is safeguarded from doing so by the prevenient grace of God – operating grace. Throughout the entire history of the Catholic Church, in which resides the fullness of the Church established by Jesus Christ, no canonically-elected Pope has ever fallen into any one of these three sins or combination thereof while reigning as Pope, despite repeated claims to the contrary, precisely because of this ongoing gift of prevenient grace. Those who claim otherwise are either inadequately schooled in the actual particulars of history or wilfully misunderstanding history.

The above-referenced gift of grace, granted to Peter and each one of his successors, will keep on being granted to their successors until the end of all time. It is not provided by God for the personal benefit of the Pope. It is provided for the benefit of humanity, so that the ark of salvation, which is the Church, never fails and the gates of Hell do not prevail against it.

The true Church, therefore, can easily be discerned to be where the Pope is, not where some might claim or desire it to be, because it is the Pope and no one else who has been granted the divine gifts of the charism of truth and the charism of a faith that never fails.