Francis speaks on his claims about the church being Catholic, but misses the history

Pope Francis (Source:


Today, Pope Francis spoke the following as translated by Zenit:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

“I believe in One, Holy, Catholic Church …” Today we pause to reflect on this Note of the Church: her catholicity. What does Catholic mean? It comes from the Greek “kath’olon,” which means “according to all,” the totality. In what sense is this totality applied to the Church? In what sense do we say that the Church is Catholic? I would say in three significant fundamentals.

1. The first. The Church is Catholic because it is the area, the house in which the whole faith is proclaimed, in which the salvation Christ brought us is offered to all…

2. A second meaning: the Church is Catholic because she is universal; she is spread throughout the world and proclaims the Gospel to every man and every woman…We feel in communion with all the Churches, with all the small and large Catholic communities of the world!…

3. A third and last thought: the Church is Catholic because it is the “House of harmony” where unity and diversity are able to be combined to be a richness.

Before addressing Pope Francis “three significant” fundamental points, let’s first look a little into the history of the term catholic church.  The term ‘catholic church’ was first found in the literature by a writing from Ignatius of Antioch.  Later it appears to have been used as a description of the Church of God that Polycarp was considered to be the human leader of.

The Catholic Encyclopedia agrees with that and here is something from it about  this:

The combination “the Catholic Church” (he katholike ekklesia) is found for the first time in the letter of St. Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, written about the year 110. The words run: “Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus may be, there is the universal [katholike] Church.” However, in view of the context, some difference of opinion prevails as to the precise connotation of the italicized word…by the beginning of the fourth century it seems to have almost entirely supplanted the primitive and more general meaning…The reference (c. 155) to “the bishop of the catholic church in Smyrna” (Letter on the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, xvi), a phrase which necessarily presupposes a more technical use of the word, is due, some critics think, to interpolation…(Thurston H. Catholic. Transcribed by Gordon A. Jenness. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III. Published 1908. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

One of the reasons that the Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox use the term “Catholic Church” was that the faithful in the Church of God were prohibited from using it after the Council of Constantinople in 381.  Emperor Theodosius forbade the use of the term “catholic church” to any who would not accept his council’s trinitarian definition of the Godhead.  Emperor Theodosius declared:

…let us believe in the one diety of the father, Son and Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since in out judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that the shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of divine condemnation an the second the punishment of out authority, in accordance with the will of heaven shall decide to inflict…(Theodosian Code XVI.1.2. Cited in Bettenson H, ed., Documents of the Christian Church, London: Oxford University Press, 1943, p. 31).

More details about the trinitarian doctrine is contained in the article Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity?

Now, to briefly address Pope Francis’ three points.

1. Pope Francis is suggesting his church proclaims the whole faith.  The Church of Rome does not proclaim the whole Christian faith as it changed it.  This is clearly documented in the article Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God?

2. Pope Francis is suggesting his church proclaims the true gospel.  The Church of Rome does not proclaim Christ’s gospel of the kingdom.  Instead, it teaches against that.  This is clearly documented in the article The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church.

3. Pope Francis is suggesting his church promotes Christian unity and harmony.  The Church of Rome has a documented history of persecuting others.  This is documented in the article Persecutions by Church and State.  This was not the way Jesus taught Christian unity.

I would also add that it appeared to me that the thrust of what Francis was saying was to set up for more ecumenical dialog with the Eastern Orthodox and some of the Protestant sects. This is something that the Bible warns against (Revelation 13:8,8;14;18:4).

But be that as it may, it should be clear that several of his statements today about the ‘Catholic Church’ do not agree with the Bible or the facts of his church’s history.

Some items of related interest may include:

Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
[Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church. There is also a YouTube sermon on the subject titled Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Is the plan to adopt some Protestant teachings and eliminate Protestantism?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Amazon Book What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roman”? This 186 page book provides information and answers.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of the printed book which is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.