[APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION- “FIDEI DEPOSITUM” ] Christ glorified…
CCC1084: ” Seated at the right hand of the Father” and pouring out the Holy Spirit on his Body which is the Church , Christ now acts through the sacraments He instituted to communicate His grace. The sacraments are perceptible signs (Words and actions) accessible to our human nature. By the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit they make present efficaciously the grace that they signify.” 1995 AD.
St Thomas 1274AD: sums up various aspects of sacramental signs : ” Therefore a sacrament is a sign commemorates what precedes it – Christ’s Passion; demonstrates what is accomplished in us through Christ’s Passion – grace; and prefigures what that passion pledges to us – future glory.”
CCC1131: The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament . They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions. 1995 AD
St Augustine, in the 5th century described a sacrament as: ‘an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace’.
City wants this post to provide you a fundamental proof of the Church’s Truth on Sacraments. From Age to Age. The Doctrinal Catechism 1846 AD, on the chapter on Sacraments. The authors provide active proof of Protestant ERROR while providing Scriptural and Apostolic teaching from the ages. This #13 post is long but rewarding. As it is the evidence of protestant error of the 16th century and while refutes heretics claims of Modern day Apostasy from Vatican I or II. You can judge for your self. What is the Truth…..that is always this WordPress web post objective, in defense of Mother Church “ever ancient ever new” St Augustine. The 7 sacraments will be presented in more than 1 post, but all consecutively.
Jesus said it, I believe it, and that settles it!
CHAPTER I. – DOC CAT 1846
Q. How do you prove that there are seven sacraments?
A. From the Holy Scripture and the dogmatic decisions, as well as the constant traditions, of the Church. [pg. 182]
Q. Where do you find in Scripture that there are seven Sacraments?
A. We find in Scripture seven outward signs of invisible grace, instituted by Jesus Christ, as so many means to confer grace on our souls; this is easily shown of each sacrament in particular.
Q. Do all Catholics profess that there are seven sacraments?
A. Yes; all the Catholics in the world, in number about two hundred and fifty-six millions, believe in seven sacraments.
Q. Do the Greek schismatics recognize the same number?
A. Yes; all the Creek schismatics recognize the same number of sacraments as the Catholic Church, and these schismatics are in number about fifty-six and a half millions; so that three hundred and twelve millions and a half-that is, nearly the half of the whole human race—hold the Catholic faith on this subject; whilst the whole Protestant population of the world, opposed to it, only amount to about forty-six millions. Jeremiahs, the schismatic Greek Patriarch of Constantinople, declared the belief of the schismatic Greek Church in the seven sacraments, anno 1576; and others have repeated that declaration at various times since that period. [pg. 183]
Q. What do you conclude from all this?
A. That the whole Christian world, morally speaking, do now believe, and have at all times believed, in seven sacraments; for had the seven sacraments been a modern invention, the Greek schismatic Church, which has been separated from us for nine hundred years, would not have had these sacraments, in number and nature, just as we have them.
Q. Have Protestants been always agreed as to the number of the sacraments?
A. No; some admitted two—baptism, and what they call the Lord’s Supper; others admitted four and even five, and some admitted only three, as is evident from the Confession of Augsburg, Apol. art. 7, which says expressly, that “penance is a sacrament in the proper sense of the word.”
Q. What inference would a man of reflection draw from these Protestant inconsistencies?
A. That Protestants were compelled to frame their religion, not according to Holy Writ, but according to the corrupt maxims of their followers;—the question with their founders was, not what does Christ teach, but what will our partisans receive as doctrine from our hands. Hence, they taught one doctrine to-day and another to-morrow, one doctrine in this country, and another in that, in order to suit themselves and their religion to the changes of time, place, and passion. [pg. 184]
CHAPTER II. – DOC CAT 1846
Q. Can Protestants prove to Baptists, that the baptism of infants is good and useful?
A. No; they cannot; because, according to Protestant principles, such baptism is useless.
Q. Why do you say this?
A. One of the Protestant principles is, that no human being can be justified, except by an act of faith in Jesus Christ; but no infant is capable of making this act of faith; therefore upon Protestant principles, the baptism of infants is useless.
Q. Can you draw the same consequences from any other principle?
A. Yes; their first principle is, that nothing is to be practiced, which is not authorized by Scriptural example; but it does not appear from Scripture, that even one infant was ever baptized, therefore Protestants should reject, on their own principle, infant baptism as an unscriptural usage. [CityofGod.Blog posted Scripture proof with Peters words (Acts2:39), and Moses command (Dt16:11; Dt31:12-13) required of every Jewish household, young old or slave, to be present on three feasts, one being Pentecost ” Infant Baptisms Recorded at Pentecost” 1/13/19]
Q. How do Baptists treat other Protestants?
A. They boast that the Scripture is evidently for Baptist practice,—that other Protestants hold traditional doctrines, like the Catholics [pg. 185]
They quote Matth. chap. xxviii—”Go teach all nations, baptizing them,” from which they say, it is clear, that teaching should go before baptism; hence, they conclude, that as infants cannot be taught, so neither should they be baptized, until they are capable of teaching or instruction.
Q. What use do they make of Mark, chap xvi—”He who believe and is baptized shall be saved?”
A. They say it is evident that belief or faith must precede baptism; but, they add, children or infants are not capable of believing; therefore neither are they capable of being baptized.
Q. What can Protestants reply to this Baptist reasoning?
A. They may give these passages another meaning, but they can never prove that their interpretation is better than that of the Baptists, because they themselves give every one a right to interpret Scripture.
Q. What inference do you draw from this?
A. That every Protestant has much reason to doubt whether he be baptized.
Q. How do Catholics prove that infants ought to be baptized?
A. Not from Scripture alone, which, is not clear on this subject, but from the Scripture illustrated by the constant tradition of the [pg. 186]
Church, which, in every age, administered baptism to infants, and consequently the practice must have been derived from the Apostles.
Q. Can Protestants use this triumphant argument of tradition against the Baptists?
A. No; they have no right to use it in this matter, where it would serve them, since they reject it in every question where it is opposed to their novel and lately invented doctrines.
Q. What is the outward or visible sign in baptism?
A. The pouring of water on the person, and the words, “I baptize thee,” &c., pronounced by the minister.
Q. What is the inward or invisible grace conferred?
A. The sanctifying grace of God, by which the soul is regenerated, cleansed from all sin, made the child of God, a member of his Church, and an heir of heaven.
Q. Where do you find in Scripture, that Christ instituted baptism?
A. In many places, but particularly in the passage where he gives his commission to the Apostles, Matth. xxviii, 19—”Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
Q. Does it appear from Scripture that baptism remits sin? [pg. 187]
A. Yes; St. Peter, Acts ii, 28, says: —Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.”
Q. Is baptism necessary to salvation?
A. Yes; for Christ says, John iii, 3, 5 ” Verily, verily, I say to thee, except a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God;” and in Mark, chap. xvi—”He that believe and is baptized, shall be saved.”
CHAPTER III. – DOC CAT 1846
Q. Why do you consider Confirmation one of the sacraments?
A. Because it is a visible sign of invisible grace.
Q. What is the visible sign in Confirmation?
A. The unction of Holy Chrism, and the imposition of the hands of the bishop.
Q. What is the invisible grace conferred by this sacrament?
A. A grace of the Holy Ghost, which strengthens and secures the faith of the Christian.
Q. Where do you find Confirmation mentioned in Scripture?
A. In the 8th chap. of the Acts, it is said, [pg. 188] that the Samaritans, having received the Word of God, were baptized by St. Philip; and the Apostles “sent unto them Peter and John, who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost, for he was not as yet come upon any of them, but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” Here we have a sacred rite performed by the Apostles themselves, by the imposition of hands, which certainly is not ordination, as some have dreamed; for, as is evident from a previous verse of the same chapter, there were women amongst those upon whom the Apostles imposed their hands. Neither can it be baptism; for the text expressly says, that these Samaritans were previously baptized by St. Philip. Therefore it is that sacrament of Confirmation, which, by the universal testimony of the whole Christian Church, was instituted by Christ, and practiced in this instance, by his Apostles.
Q. Have you any other Scriptural proof showing this sacrament as completely distinct from baptism?
A. Yes, St. Paul first baptized and then confirmed the Ephesians,—Acts, chap. xix, 5: “Having heard these things, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus; and when [pg. 189] Paul had imposed his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came upon them.”
Q. May it not be said, that the Apostles imposed their hands on these occasions to communicate the external and visible gifts of the Holy Ghost, but that bishops have no such power now?
A. The external or visible gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as the gift of tongues or prophecy, were, in the time of the Apostles, necessary for the conversion of the world, as direct proofs that God was the author of their religion; but now that the world has abundant arguments and proofs for that great fundamental truth, miracles are no longer necessary, but the grace of God—communicated along with these miraculous gifts, which strengthened the first Christians unto perfection, and enabled them to lay down, even with joy, their lives rather than deny their faith—has been necessary in every age to all Christians, is still necessary, and will continue so until the end of the world; and it is this invisible grace of the Holy Ghost which is communicated in Confirmation.
Q. What have you to say to Protestants on this sacrament?
A. You appeal, we say to them, incessantly to Scripture,—you boast that you comply with it to the very letter,—why is it, then, that only [pg. 190] a mere handful of you practice this sacred rite? Why do you not, as the Apostles did, impose your hands upon those whom you have baptized?
Q. Are there any proofs for Confirmation in the practice of the ancient and pure Church?
A. Yes; St. Cyril, 3 Cathes., says: “When the body is visibly anointed, the soul becomes sanctified by the interior operation of the Holy Spirit.” St. Augustine, Lit. contra Petel. lib. iii, cap. 10, says: “The sacrament of Holy Chrism does not yield in sanctity to baptism itself.”