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BRIEF HISTORY
OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH




 

THE FATHERS OF THE CHURCH

St. John the Evangelist stated that not everything done and taught by Christ was written down in Scriptures. The unwritten teachings were handed down orally; but most were written down by the Fathers of the Church.

These early writings were primarily concerned with how to live the Christian life in an unsympathetic and even hostile world. And these early writers had these in common -- orthodoxy of doctrine, holiness of life, approval of the Church and closeness to the primitive Church.

The Fathers were primarily good Shepherds; their primary concern was pastoral problems, i.e. concrete problems within the community. The DIDACHE, typical among the early writings, talked about the spiritual life in a temporal world in expectation of Christ's 2nd coming.

Around the 2nd century, however, it was no longer enough to live quietly as Christians. Lies and false accusations were being hurled at Christians which became the basis for state persecutions. So, God raised a new breed of writers called Apologists, who showed that the Catholic religion was not only the true religion but the perfection of human culture.

St. Justin, a Greek philosopher and Apologist, who established a school in Rome, exposed the false accusations against the followers of Christ and was beheaded with six companions around 165 A.D.

The Epistle of Diognetus was an apologetical treatise addressed to a high-ranking pagan, proving the divine origin of the Catholic religion and the irreproachable morality of Christians. With the Fathers and Apologists, the Church was ready for its next dangerous foe. . .heresies.

 

 

 

 

 

(07-29-03)

 

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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