THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Does not the book of revelation condemn the Catholic Church?
I need to confide in someone. I am troubled by a few texts in the Book of Revelation (Rv 18: 4-8). Some friends of mine belong to the Pentecostal Church and they claim that the given reference means: "Get out of the Catholic Church!" I don't want to quit before consulting priests about this. If you can reassure me, I will have more confidence in our Church and be able to give explanations to my friends.
They pray for my conversion to their Church. I am all mixed up and it is most distressing, believe me! If you are true brothers, help me. In the name of Jesus, do something!
From time to time, I receive letters of this kind. I am touched by so much anxiety. May this short page serve as a source of light and peace!
When Jesus proclaimed the Good News, hope was born in man's heart. Jesus founded His Church upon Peter and the Apostles so that the Good News might spread to all nations. The young Church was immediately persecuted by Rome's pagan emperor. The city of Rome was then nicknamed "Babylon", because its godlessness and vices resembled those of Babylonia's ancient capital.
Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation to rekindle hope in the hearts of men in spite of the brutality and corruption of Rome, the imperial city, the new Babylon. Revelation is a book of hope, for John says Christ will come again. His last words are: "Indeed, come, come Lord Jesus!" (Rv 22: 20).
The enemies of the Catholic Church attack her, criticize her, persecute her; they have done so through all centuries. Jesus had predicted it: "As they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you." (Jn 15: 20). The Church's enemies use Bible passages. They often do it without knowing the real nature of the Church and the exact meaning of the Scriptures. Their interpretation is often based on fancy. So it is with regard to the above -mentioned reference from the Book of Revelation (Rv 18: 4-8). It does not concern the Church, but the city of Rome at the time of the emperors, in the first century of our era.
The Catholic Church, established by Christ upon Saint Peter and the Apostles, lives through the centuries tossed by life's incessant storms, but always guided by Jesus' Spirit who has declared: "I shall not leave you orphans" (Jn 14: 18); "I am with you always" (Mt 28: 20).
If we open the eyes of faith, we will see the Church constantly loaded with fruits of sanctity. We have a Pope who is an authentic man of God, bishops, priests, nuns, monks, lay people, and even young people who strive to better love and serve the Lord. Look at all the renewal movements in the Church: the Cursillo, the Catholic Women's League, Christians Today, the Knights of Columbus, the Daughters of Isabella, Catholic Action, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Marriage Encounter, the Pro-Life Movement, Charismatic Renewal, the Focolari Movement, Shalom, etc. In addition to these old and new groups, there are renewal centers, the places of pilgrimage, the committed lay people, workers for peace, missionaries...
Do love Jesus! Love the Catholic Church! Let us respect our separated brethren, but let us beware of those who, in good faith, try to lead us away from the Catholic Church, who is guided by pastors commissioned by Christ Himself. May peace be with you! Anxiety does not come from God.
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