Monday, July 8, 2013

Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church Being Founded by Jesus

The Early Church Fathers on various topics: This was a 3700 hour project which included going through 22896 pages of the 38 volume set called Ante Nicene, Nicene, Post Nicene Fathers. I compiled 255 pages of quotes showing that the Early Church was always and completely Catholic. All of these quotes can be verified and found from the source which is free online.

Catholic is used 140 times prior to Constantine
Catholic Church appears 656 times
Catholic and Apostolic Church is used 48 times
Catholics appears 192 times referring to a group

Catholic is used 1515 times in total
Ignatius of Antioch Epistle to the Smyraeans ch 8 [50-117 AD]
See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church...
Polycarp The Martyrdom of Polycarp ch 8 [69-155 AD]
Now, as soon as he had ceased praying, having made mention of all that had at any time come in contact with him, both small and great, illustrious and obscure, as well as the whole Catholic Church throughout the world, the time of his departure having arrived, they set him upon an ass, and conducted him into the city, the day being that of the great Sabbath. And the Irenarch Herod, accompanied by his father Nicetes (both riding in a chariot), met him, and taking him up into the chariot, they seated themselves beside him, and endeavoured to persuade him, saying, "What harm is there in saying, Lord Caesar, and in sacrificing, with the other ceremonies observed on such occasions, and so make sure of safety?" But he at first gave them no answer; and when they continued to urge him, he said, "I shall not do as you advise me." So they, having no hope of persuading him, began to speak bitter words unto him, and cast him with violence out of the chariot, insomuch that, in getting down from the carriage, he dislocated his leg [by the fall]. But without being disturbed, and as if suffering nothing, he went eagerly forward with all haste, and was conducted to the stadium, where the tumult was so great, that there was no possibility of being heard.
Polycarp The Martyrdom of Polycarp ch 16 [69-155 AD]
"And of the elect, he was one indeed, the wonderful martyr Polycarp, who in our days was an apostolic and prophetic teacher, bishop of the Catholic Church in Smyrna. For every word which came forth from his mouth was fulfilled and will be fulfilled" (Martyrdom of Polycarp 16:2 [A.D. 155]).
Martyrdom of Polycarp greeting (69-155 ad)
The Church of God which sojourns at Smyrna, to the Church of God sojourning in Philomelium, and to all the congregations of the Holy and Catholic Church in every place: Mercy, peace, and love from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, be multiplied.
Martyrdom of Polycarp Ch 19 (69-155 ad)
Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of our souls, the Governor of our bodies, and the Shepherd of the Catholic Church throughout the world
Justin Martyr On the Sole Government of God ch 1 (100-165 ad)
For the men of former generations, who instituted private and public rites in honour of such as were more powerful, caused forgetfulness of the Catholic faith to take possession of their posterity
Irenaeus of Lyon Book 2 ch 9.1 (120-180 ad)
For even creation reveals Him who formed it, and the very work made suggests Him who made it, and the world manifests Him who ordered it. The Catholic Church, moreover, through the whole world, has received this tradition from the apostles.
Irenaeus of Lyons Adversus Haereses Book I Ch10.3 [120-180 AD] these teachers who are destitute of truly divine wisdom maintain; while the Catholic Church possesses one and the same faith throughout the whole world, as we have already said.
Irenaeus of Lyons Adversus Haereses Book III Chapter 4 preface [120-180 AD]
The truth is to be found nowhere else but in the Catholic Church, the sole depository of apostolical doctrine. Heresies are of recent formation, and cannot trace their origin up to the apostles.
Clement of Alexandria Stromata Book 7 ch 17 (150-215 ad)
From what has been said, then, it is my opinion that the true Church, that which is really ancient, is one, and that in it those who according to God's purpose are just, are enrolled. For from the very reason that God is one, and the Lord one, that which is in the highest degree honourable is lauded in consequence of its singleness, being an imitation of the one first principle. In the nature of the One, then, is associated in a joint heritage the one Church, which they strive to cut asunder into many sects. [+] Therefore in substance and idea, in origin, in pre-eminence, we say that the ancient and Catholic Church is alone, collecting as it does into the unity of the one faith -- which results from the peculiar Testaments, or rather the one Testament in different times by the will of the one God, through one Lord -- those already ordained, whom God predestinated, knowing before the foundation of the world that they would be righteous. [+] But the pre-eminence of the Church, as the principle of union, is, in its oneness, in this surpassing all things else, and having nothing like or equal to itself. But of this afterwards. [+] Of the heresies, some receive their appellation from a [person's] name, as that which is called after Valentinus, and that after Marcion, and that after Basilides, although they boast of adducing the opinion of Matthew [without truth]; for as the teaching, so also the tradition of the apostles was one. Some take their designation from a place, as the Peratici; some from a nation, as the [heresy] of the Phrygians; some from an action, as that of the Encratites; and some from peculiar dogmas, as that of the Docetae, and that of the Harmatites; and some from suppositions, and from individuals they have honoured, as those called Cainists, and the Ophians; and some from nefarious practices and enormities, as those of the Simonians called Entychites.
Clement of Alexandria Stromata book 4 ch 15 (150-215 ad)
For the apostle says, "All other things buy out of the shambles, asking no questions," with the exception of the things mentioned in the Catholic epistle of all the apostles, "with the consent of the Holy Ghost," which is written in the Acts of the Apostles, and conveyed to the faithful by the hands of Paul himself
Hippolytus Refutation of All Heresies Book IX ch 7 [170-236 AD]
Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time! And withal, after such audacious acts, they, lost to all shame, attempt to call themselves a Catholic Church! ...not discerning with whom they ought to communicate, but indiscriminately offering communion to all...
Caius  Fragment 3 Muratorianus par 3 [180-240 AD]
He wrote, besides these, one to Philemon, and one to Titus, and two to Timothy, in simple personal affection and love indeed; but yet these are hallowed in the esteem of the Catholic Church, and in the regulation of ecclesiastical discipline. There are also in circulation one to the Laodiceans, and another to the Alexandrians, forged under the name of Paul, and addressed against the heresy of Marcion; and there are also several others which cannot be received into the Catholic Church, for it is not suitable for gall to be mingled with honey.
Tertullian Prescription Against Heretics ch 32 (160- 240 ad)
"Where was [the heretic] Marcion, that shipmaster of Pontus, the zealous student of Stoicism? Where was Valentinus, the disciple of Platonism? For it is evident that those menlived not so long ago,--in the reign of Antoninus for the most part,--and that they at first were believers in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in the church of Rome under the episcopate of the blessed Eleutherus, until on account of their ever restless curiosity,with which they even infected the brethren, they were more than once expelled
Tertullian Prescription Against Heretics ch 35 (160- 240 ad)
Catholics appeal always to evidence traceable to apostolic sources.
Tertullian Prescription Against Heretics ch 36 (160- 240 ad)
Catholics never change the Scriptures, which always testify for them.
Tertullian Against Marcion Book 4 ch 5 (160-240 ad)
By the rule of antiquity, the Catholic Gospels are found to be true, including the real St. Luke's. Marcion's only a mutilated edition. The heretic's weakness and inconsistency in ignoring the other Gospels. [+] On the whole, then, if that is evidently more true which is earlier, if that is earlier which is from the very beginning, if that is from the beginning which has the apostles for its authors, then it will certainly be quite as evident, that that comes down from the apostles, which has been kept as a sacred deposit in the churches of the apostles.
Tertullian Against Marcion Book 4 ch 4 (160-240 ad)
that portion of it which we alone receive is so much older than Marcion, that Marcion, himself once believed it, when in the first warmth of faith he contributed money to the Catholic church, which along with himself was afterwards rejected, when he fell away from our truth into his own heresy.
Tertullian Against Marcion Book 4 ch 9 (160-240 ad)
These types signified that a man, once a sinner, but afterwards purified from the stains thereof by the word of God, was bound to offer unto God in the temple a gift, even prayer and thanksgiving in the church through Christ Jesus, who is the Catholic Priest of the Father.
Tertullian against Praxeas Ch 2 (160-240 ad)
The Catholic doctrine of the Trinity and unity, sometimes called the Divine Economy, or dispensation of the personal relations of the Godhead
Hippolytus Refutation of All Heresies book 9 ch 7 (170-236 ad)
And withal, after such audacious acts, they, lost to all shame, attempt to call themselves a Catholic Church! And some, under the supposition that they will attain prosperity, concur with them. During the episcopate of this one, second baptism was for the first time presumptuously attempted by them.
Caius Fragments ch 3 par 4 (180-240 ad)
The Epistle of Jude, indeed, and two belonging to the above-named John--or bearing the name of John--are reckoned among the Catholic epistles. And the book of Wisdom, written by the friends of Solomon in his honour. We receive also the Apocalypse of John and that of Peter, though some amongst us will not have this latter read in the Church.
Caius Fragments ch 3 par 3 (180-240 ad)
He wrote, besides these, one to Philemon, and one to Titus, and two to Timothy, in simple personal affection and love indeed; but yet these are hallowed in the esteem of the Catholic Church, and in the regulation of ecclesiastical discipline. There are also in circulation one to the Laodiceans, and another to the Alexandrians, forged under the name of Paul, and addressed against the heresy of Marcion; and there are also several others which cannot be received into the Catholic Church, for it is not suitable for gall to be mingled with honey.
Origen Commentary on the Gospel of John Book I ch 23 (185-254 ad)
And in his Catholic Epistle John says that He is a Paraclete for our souls with the Father, as thus: "And if any one sin, we have a Paraclete with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,"
Origen Commentary on the Gospel of John book 6 ch 18 (185-254 ad)
As to the descent into Hades, we read in the sixteenth Psalm, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades," and as for the journey in prison with the Spirit we read in Peter in his Catholic Epistle,
Origen de Principiis book 3 preface (185- 254ad)
Let such things, however, be lightly esteemed by him who is desirous of being trained in divine learning, while retaining in its integrity the rule of the Catholic faith.
Dionysius the Great Extant Fragments epistle 11 par 3 [190-265 AD]
Wherefore he also became an enemy to His Catholic Church; and besides that, he alienated and estranged himself from the mercy of God, and fled to the utmost possible distance from His salvation...
Dionysius the Great Extant Fragments epistle 6 par 1 [190-265 AD]
And consider the seriousness of the matter. For, indeed, in the most considerable councils of the bishops, as I hear, it has been decreed that they who come from heresy should first be trained in Catholic doctrine, and then should be cleansed by baptism from the filth of the old and impure leaven. Asking and calling him to witness on all these matters, I sent letters.
Dionysius the Great Extant Fragments par 4 (190-265ad)
That this person was called John, therefore, and that this was the writing of a John, I do not deny. And I admit further, that it was also the work of some holy and inspired man. But I could not so easily admit that this was the apostle, the son of Zebedee, the brother of James, and the same person with him who wrote the Gospel which bears the title according to John, and the catholic epistle. But from the character of both, and the forms of expression, and the whole disposition and execution of the book, I draw the conclusion that the authorship is not his. For the evangelist nowhere else subjoins his name, and he never proclaims himself either in the Gospel or in the epistle.
Dionysius the Great Epistle 6 (190-265ad)
For, indeed, in the most considerable councils of the bishops, as I hear, it has been decreed that they who come from heresy should first be trained in Catholic doctrine, and then should be cleansed by baptism from the filth of the old and impure leaven.
Cyprian of Carthage The Seventh Council of Carthage [200-270 AD]
Certain people therefore interpret for themselves ill, when they say that by imposition of the hand they receive the Holy Ghost, and are thus received, when it is manifest that they ought to be born again in the Catholic Church by both sacraments. Then indeed they will be able to be sons of God, as says the apostle: "Taking care to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
There is one body, and one Spirit, as ye have been called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God." All these things speaks the Catholic Church. And again, in the Gospel the Lord says: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit; because God is a Spirit, and he is born of God." Therefore, whatsoever things all heretics and schismatics do are carnal...
...I judge that all heretics and schismatics who wish to come to the Catholic Church, shall not be allowed to enter without they have first been exorcised and baptized; with the exception of those indeed who may previously have been baptized in the Catholic Church, and these in such a way that they may be reconciled to the penitence of the Church by the imposition of hands.
Munnulus of Girba said: The truth of our Mother, the Catholic Church, brethren, hath always remained and still remains with us, and even especially in the Trinity of baptism, as our Lord says, "Go ye and baptize the nations, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
For if those who are baptized among them obtain by remission of their sins life eternal, why do they come to the Church? But if from a dead person no salvation is received, and therefore, acknowledging their previous error, they return to the truth with penitence, they ought to be sanctified with the one vital baptism which is in the Catholic Church.
Jader of Midila said: We know that there is but one baptism in the Catholic Church, and therefore we ought not to receive a heretic unless he has been baptized among us; lest he should think that he has been baptized out of the Catholic Church.
Felix of Marazana said: There is one faith, one baptism, but of the Catholic Church, which alone has the right to baptize.
Peter of Hippo Diarrhytus said: Since there is one baptism in the Catholic Church, it is manifest that one cannot be baptized outside the Church. And therefore I judge that those who have been dipped in heresy or in schism, when they come to the Church, should be baptized.
Pusillus of Lamasba said: I believe that there is no saving baptism except in the Catholic Church. Whatsoever is apart from the Catholic Church is a pretence.
Cyprian of Carthage Epistle 40 par 1 [200-270 AD]
...disturbed by the wickedness of an unlawful ordination made in opposition to the Catholic Church, we considered at once that they must be restrained from communion with us...
Cyprian of Carthage Epistle 40 par 2 [200-270 AD]
... they are striving here also to distract the members of Christ into schismatical parties, and to cut and tear the one body of the Catholic Church, so that, running about from door to door, through the houses of many, or from city to city...
Cyprian of Carthage Epistle 41 par 1 [200-270 AD]
...strive and labour with all their power to bring the members of the divided body into the unity of the Catholic Church, and associate them into the bond of Christian charity. But since the obstinate and inflexible pertinacity of the adverse party has not only rejected the bosom and the embrace of its root and Mother, but even, with a discord spreading and reviving itself worse and worse, has appointed a bishop for itself, and, contrary to the sacrament once delivered of the divine appointment and of Catholic Unity...
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Epistle 42 return to their Mother, that is, to the Catholic Church...
Cyprian of Carthage Epistle 44 par 3 [200-270 AD]
 ...we have exhorted them to acknowledge and hold the root and matrix of the Catholic Church. But since our province is wide-spread, and has Numidia and Mauritania attached to it; lest a schism made in the city should confuse the minds of the absent with uncertain opinions, we decided--having obtained by means of the bishops the truth of the matter...
Cyprian of Carthage Epistle 44 par 4 [200-270 AD]
That we, with the rest of our colleagues, may steadily and
firmly administer this office, and keep it in the concordant unanimity of the Catholic Church, the divine condescension will accomplish; so that the Lord who condescends to elect and appoint for Himself priests in His Church...
Cyprian of Carthage Epistle 45 par 2 [200-270 AD]
We," they say, "know that Cornelius is bishop of the most holy Catholic Church elected by Almighty God, and by Christ our Lord. We confess our error; we have suffered imposture; we were deceived by captious perfidy and loquacity. For although we seemed, as it were, to have held a kind of communion with a man who was a schismatic and a heretic, yet our mind was always sincere in the Church. For we are not ignorant that there is one God; that there is one Christ the Lord whom we have confessed, and one Holy Spirit; and that in the Catholic Church there ought to be one bishop."
Cyprian of Carthage Epistle 46 par 1 [200-270 AD]
1. Cyprian to Cornelius his brother, greeting. I profess that I both have rendered and do render the greatest thanks without ceasing, dearest brother, to God the Father Almighty, and to His Christ the Lord and our God and Saviour, that the Church is thus divinely protected, and its unity and holiness is not constantly nor altogether corrupted by the obstinacy of perfidy and heretical wickedness. For we have read your letter, and have exultingly received the greatest joy from the fulfilment of our common desire; to wit, that Maximus the presbyter, and Urbanus, the confessors, with Sidonius and Macarius, have re-entered into the Catholic Church, that is, that they have laid aside their error, and given up their schismatical, nay, their heretical madness, and have sought again in the soundness of faith the home of unity and truth; that whence they had gone forth to glory, thither they might gloriously return; and that they who had confessed Christ should not afterwards desert the camp of Christ, and that they might not tempt the faith of their charity and unity, who had not been overcome in strength and courage. Behold the safe and unspotted integrity of their praise; behold the uncorrupted and substantial dignity of these confessors, that they have departed from the deserters and fugitives, that they have left the betrayers of the faith, and the impugners of the Catholic Church. With reason did both the people and the brotherhood receive them when they returned, as you write, with the greatest joy; since in the glory of confessors who had maintained their glory, and returned to unity, there is none who does not reckon himself a partner and a sharer.  For this error had led away certain of our brethren, so that they thought they were following the communion of confessors. When this error was removed, light was infused into the breasts of all, and the Catholic Church has been shown to be one, and to be able neither to be cut nor divided. Nor can any one now be easily deceived by the talkative words of a raging schismatic, since it has been proved that good and glorious soldiers of Christ could not long be detained without the Church by the deceitfulness and perfidy of others.
Cyprian of Carthage epistles 43 (200-270 ad)
For it weighs me down and saddens me, and the intolerable grief of a smitten, almost prostrate, spirit seizes me, when I find that you there, contrary to ecclesiastical order, contrary to evangelical law, contrary to the unity of the Catholic institution, had consented that another bishop should be made
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 74 par 16 (200-270 ad)
But what is the greatness of his error, and what the depth of his blindness, who says that remission of sins can be granted in the synagogues of heretics, and does not abide on the foundation of the one Church which was once based by Christ upon the rock, may be perceived from this, that Christ said to Peter alone, "Whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." And again, in the Gospel, when Christ breathed on the apostles alone, saying, remitted unto them, and whose soever sins ye retain they are retained." Therefore the power of remitting sins was given to the apostles, and to the churches which they, sent by Christ, established, and to the bishops who succeeded to them by vicarious ordination. But the enemies of the one Catholic Church in which we are, and the adversaries of us who have succeeded the apostles, asserting for themselves, in opposition to us, unlawful priesthoods, and setting up profane altars, what else are they than Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, profane with a like wickedness, and about to suffer the same punishments which they did, as well as those who agree with them, just as their partners and abettors perished with a like death to theirs?
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 72 par 2 (200-270 ad)
For Novatian, after the manner of apes--which, although they are not men, yet imitate human doings--wishes to claim to himself the authority and truth of the Catholic Church, while he himself is not in the Church; nay, moreover, has stood forth hitherto as a rebel and enemy against the Church
Novatian Treatise Concerning the Trinity ch 30 (220- 270ad)
But because heretics, ever struggling against the truth, are accustomed to prolong the controversy of pure tradition and Catholic faith, being offended against Christ; because He is, moreover, asserted to be God by the Scriptures also, and this is believed to be so by us; we must rightly--that every heretical calumny may be removed from our faith--contend, concerning the fact that Christ is God also,
Victorinus Commentary on the Apocalypse of John (240-303ad)
Therefore in these seven churches, of one Catholic Church are believers, because it is one in seven by the quality of faith and election.
Victorinus Commentary on the Apocalypse of John (240-303ad)
For the Catholic Church holds those things which were both before predicted and afterwards accomplished.
Victorinus Commentary on the Apocalypse of John (240-303ad)
In the whole world Paul taught that all the churches are arranged by sevens, that they are called seven, and that the Catholic Church is one.
Peter of Alexandria Genuine Acts of Peter (260-311ad)
feared to rend His coat; he was so hurried on by giving the rein to his madness, that, rending asunder the Catholic Church not only in the cities of Egypt, but even in its villages, he ordained bishops of his own party, nor cared he aught for Peter, nor for Christ, who was in the person of Peter.
Peter of Alexandria Genuine Acts of Peter (260-311ad)
These things having thus ended, it was everywhere published far and wide that Arius had not been cut off from the Catholic unity without a divine interposition.
Eusebius of Caesarea Life of Constantine book 3 ch 19 (265-340 ad)
For our Saviour has left us one feast in commemoration of the day of our deliverance, I mean the day of his most holy passion; and he has willed that his Catholic Church should be one, the members of which, however scattered in many and diverse places, are yet cherished by one pervading spirit, that is, by the will of God
Eusebius of Caesarea Life of Constantine book 3 ch 65 (265-340 ad)
Let those of you, therefore, who are desirous of embracing the true and pure religion, take the far better course of entering the catholic Church, and uniting with it in holy fellowship, whereby you will be enabled to arrive at the knowledge of the truth.
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 10 ch 1 (265-340 ad)
Copy of an epistle in which the emperor commands another synod to be held for the purpose of removing all dissensions among the bishops. [+] "Constantine Augustus to Chrestus, bishop of Syracuse. When some began wickedly and perversely to disagree among themselves in regard to the holy worship and celestial power and Catholic doctrine, wishing to put an end to such disputes among them, I formerly gave command that certain bishops should be sent from Gaul, and that the opposing parties who were contending persistently and incessantly with each other, should be summoned from Africa; that in their presence, and in the presence of the bishop of Rome, the matter which appeared to be causing the disturbance might be examined and decided with all care.
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 10 ch 1 (265-340 ad)
Since it is our pleasure that something should be granted in all the provinces of Africa and Numidia and Mauritania to certain ministers of the legitimate and most holy catholic religion, to defray their expenses, I have written to Ursus, the illustrious finance minister of Africa, and have directed him to make provision to pay to thy firmness three thousand folles
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 10 ch 2 (265-340 ad)
Wherefore it is our will that when thou receivest this letter, if any such things belonged to the Catholic Church of the-Christians, in any city or other place, but are now held by citizens or by any others,
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 7 (265-340ad)
During his reign a final synod composed of a great many bishops was held, and the leader of heresy in Antioch was detected, and his false doctrine clearly shown before all, and he was excommunicated from the Catholic Church under heaven.
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 4 (265-340ad)
But the splendor of the catholic and only true Church, which is always the same, grew in magnitude and power, and reflected its piety and simplicity and freedom, and the modesty and purity of its inspired life and philosophy to every nation both of Greeks and of Barbarians
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 4 (265-340ad)
There is a letter, written in the name of the church over which he himself presided, to the parishes in Pontus, which relates the events that befell him, in the following words: "The church of God which dwelleth in Philomelium, and to all the parishes of the holy catholic Church in every place; mercy and peace and love from God the Father be multiplied
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 4 (265-340ad)
And first we must speak of Dionysius, who was appointed bishop of the church in Corinth, and communicated freely of his inspired labors not only to his own people, but also to those in foreign lands, and rendered the greatest service to all in the catholic epistles which he wrote to the churches
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 2 (265-340ad)
These things are recorded in regard to James, who is said to be the author of the first of the so-called catholic epistles
Liturgy of the Blessed Apostles par 6
The Priest says this secret prayer in the sanctuary:- O Lord God Omnipotent, Thine is the Holy Catholic Church
Malchion Extant Writings
To Dionysius and Maximus, and to all our fellows in the ministry throughout the world, both bishops and presbyters and deacons, and to the whole Catholic Church under heaven
Alexander of Alexandria Epistle 2 on the Arian Heresy par 1(266-326 ad)
To our beloved and most reverend fellow-ministers of the Catholic Church in every place, Alexander sends greeting in the Lord: [+] 1. Since the body of the Catholic Church is one, and it is commanded in Holy Scripture that we should keep the bond of unanimity and peace, it follows that we should write and signify to one another the things which are done by each of us; that whether one member suffer or rejoice we may all either suffer or rejoice with one another. In our diocese, then, not so long ago, there have gone forth lawless men, and adversaries of Christ, teaching men to apostatize; which thing, with good right, one might suspect and call the precursor of Antichrist.
Alexander of Alexandria Epistle 1 on the Arian Heresy par 12 (266-326 ad)
And besides the pious opinion concerning the Father and the Son, we confess to one Holy Spirit, as the divine Scriptures teach us; who hath inaugurated both the holy men of the Old Testament, and the divine teachers of that which is called the New.... And besides, also, one only Catholic and Apostolic Church, which can never be destroyed, though all the world should seek to make war with it; but it is victorious over every most impious revolt of the heretics who rise up against it
Lactantius Divine Institutes book 4 (290-350 ad)
For when they are called Phrygians, or Novarians, or Valentinians, or Marcionites, or Anthropians, or Arians, or by any other name they have ceased to be Christians, who have lost the name of Christ, and assumed human and external names. Therefore it is the Catholic Church alone which retains true worship. This is the fountain of truth, this is the abode of the faith, this is the temple of God; into which if any one shall not enter, or from which if any shall go out, he is estranged from the hope of life and eternal salvation.
Lactantius Divine Institutes book 4 (290-350 ad)
But, however, because all the separate assemblies of heretics call themselves Christians in preference to others, and think that theirs is the Catholic Church, it must be known that the true Catholic Church is that in which there is confession and repentance, which treats in a wholesome manner the sins and wounds to which the weakness of the flesh is liable.
Athanasius de Decretis par 20(296-373)
'But they who say that the Son of God is from nothing, or created, or alterable, or a work, or from other essence, these the Holy Catholic Church anathematizes.
Methodius Oration concerning Simeon and Anna par 13 (300 ad)
Hail to thee, thou Catholic Church, which hast been planted in all the earth, and do thou rejoice with us. Fear not, little flock, the storms of the enemy for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom, and that you should tread upon the necks of your enemies.
Hilary of Poitiers On the Councils or Faith of the Easterns par 8 (300-367 ad)
you might nevertheless know with what confession of faith the Eastern bishops had come to the same result that you had come to, and that I might prevent you, whom I hope to see as shining lights in future Councils, differing, through a mistake about words, even a hair's-breadth from pure Catholic belief, when your interpretation of the apostolic faith is identically the same and you are Catholics at heart.
Hilary of Poitiers On the Councils or Faith of the Easterns par 34 (300-367 ad)
For He sitteth on the right hand of the Father not only in this age, but also in the age to come. to His promise He sent to His apostles after His return into the heavens to teach them and to bring all things to their remembrance, through whom also the souls of them that believe sincerely in Him are sanctified. or from another substance and not from God, and that there was a time or age when He was not, the holy Catholic Church holds them as aliens.
Hilary of Poitiers On the Councils or Faith of the Easterns par 45 (300-367 ad)
They denied that the Son who is perfect God born before time began was the same as He who was afterwards born as Man. Therefore the Catholic Faith condemns all denial of the immutability of the Father and of the birth of the Son.
Hilary of Poitiers On the Councils or Faith of the Easterns par 84 (300-367 ad)
"But those who say, There was when He was not, And before He was born He was not, And that He was made of things that existed not, or of another substance and essence, saying that God was able to change and alter, to these the Catholic Church says anathema."
Hilary of Poitiers On the Councils or Faith of the Easterns par 7 (300-367 ad)
In any case I have sent you a faithful account of these transactions: it is for you to determine by the decision your faith inspires whether their spirit is Catholic or heretical.
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 18 par 1 (315-386 ad)
Faith therefore in the Resurrection of the dead, is a great commandment and doctrine of the Holy Catholic Church; great and most necessary, though gainsaid by many, yet surely warranted by the truth
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 17 par 3 (315-386 ad)
But lest any from lack of learning, should suppose from the different titles of the Holy Ghost that these are divers spirits, and not one and the self-same, which alone there is, therefore the Catholic Church guarding thee beforehand hath delivered to thee in the profession of the faith, that thou thou mightest know, that though His names be many, the Holy Spirit is but one;--of which names, we will now rehearse to you a few out of many.
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 17 par 20 (315-386 ad)
For many passages are still to come from the Acts of the Apostles in which the grace of the Holy Ghost wrought mightily in Peter and in all the Apostles together; many also from the Catholic Epistles. and the fourteen Epistles of Paul; out of all which we will now endeavour to gather a few, like flowers from a large meadow, merely by way of remembrance.
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 18 par26 (315-386 ad)
And if ever thou art sojourning in cities, inquire not simply where the Lord's House is (for the other sects of the profane also attempt to call their own dens houses of the Lord), nor merely where the Church is, but where is the Catholic Church. For this is the peculiar name of this Holy Church, the mother of us all, which is the spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 18 par26 (315-386 ad)
I mean the meetings of the heretics, the Marcionists and Manichees, and the rest, for this cause the Faith has securely delivered to thee now the Article, "And in one Holy Catholic Church;" that thou mayest avoid their wretched meetings, and ever abide with the Holy Church Catholic in which thou wast regenerated.
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 18 par 25 (315-386 ad)
Concerning this Holy Catholic Church Paul writes to Timothy, That thou mayest know haw thou oughtest to behave thyself in the House of God, which is the Church of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 18 par 23 (315-386 ad)
Now then let me finish what still remains to be said for the Article, "In one Holy Catholic Church," on which, though one might say many things, we will speak but briefly. 23. It is called Catholic then because it extends over all the world, from one end of the earth to the other; and because it teaches universally and completely one and all the doctrines which ought to come to men's knowledge, concerning things both visible and invisible, heavenly and earthly; and because it brings into subjection to godliness the whole race of mankind, governors and governed, learned and unlearned; and because it universally treats and heals the whole class of sins, which are committed by soul or body, and possesses in itself every form of virtue which is named, both in deeds and words, and in every kind of spiritual gifts.
Gregory of Nyssa Against Eunomius book 2 ch 14 (325-386 ad)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation(2)"; and John, in one of his Catholic Epistles, expressly gives to the Son the name of Comforter(3
Gregory of Nyssa Against Eunomius book 1 ch 14 (325-386 ad)
One thing, however, that he says is true: that his own teaching, not the Catholic teaching, is summed up so. Indeed any one who reflects can easily see the impiety of his statement.
Basil Letter 125 par 1 (329-379 ad)
Some, moreover, of the impious following of the Libyan Sabellius, who understand hypostasis and substance to be identical, derive ground for the establishment of their blasphemy from the same source, because of its having been written in the creed "if any one says that the Son is of a different substance or hypostasis, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes him."
Basil Letter 188 par 1 (329-379 ad)
By heresies they meant men who were altogether broken off and alienated in matters relating to the actual faith; by schisms men who had separated for some ecclesiastical reasons and questions capable of mutual solution; by unlawful congregations gatherings held by disorderly presbyters or bishops or by uninstructed laymen. As, for instance, if a man be convicted of crime, and prohibited from discharging ministerial functions, and then refuses to submit to the canons, but arrogates to himself episcopal and ministerial rights, and persons leave the Catholic Church and join him, this is unlawful assembly.
Ambrose of Milan On the death of Satyrus book 1 par 47 (340-397 ad)
But he was not so eager as to lay aside caution. He called the bishop to him, and esteeming that there can be no true thankfulness except it spring from true faith, he enquired whether he agreed with the Catholic bishops, that is, with the Roman Church?
Ambrose of Milan Sermon Against Auxentius par 16(340-397 ad)
Whither shall I go, when there is no spirit that is not filled with groans and tears; when throughout the Churches Catholic bishops are being expelled, or if they resist, are put to the sword, and every senator who does not obey the decree is proscribed.
Tyrannius Rufinus Apology book 1 par 30 (340-410 ad)
then these must be esteemed to be catholic doctrines, and we know that it is an impiety to condemn what is catholic
Tyrannius Rufinus Apology book 2 par 27 (340-410 ad)
Far be such a thing from me. I never followed you or any other man in your errors, but in the strength of Christ I will follow, not you nor any other man, but the Catholic church.
Tyrannius Rufinus Apology book 1 par 30 (340-410 ad)
Do you wish that he should be thought by us to be a catholic or a heretic?
Council of Sardica cannon 17 (344 ad)
All the synod said: All that has been decreed the Catholic Church spread abroad throughout all the world will preserve and maintain.
Jerome Letter 46 par 7 (347-420 ad)
The apostle Jude, the brother of James, writes thus in his catholic epistle: "I will, therefore, put you in remembrance,
Sulpitius Severus Dubious (363-420 ad)
However, he could not be completely cleared of his fault, unless he should wash its guilt away by the aid[2] of Deity, since, by the remedy obtained through the Catholic religion, changing his views, he has denied himself the enjoyment of a less honorable place, and has withdrawn himself from the eyes of the people.
Sulpitius Severus Sacred History ch 51 (363-420 ad)
Accordingly, under him as prosecutor, Priscillian was condemned to death, and along with him, Felicissimus and Armenius, who, when they were clerics, had lately adopted the cause of Priscillian, and revolted from the Catholics. Latronianus, too, and Euchrotia were beheaded. Instantius, who, as we have said above, had been condemned by the bishops, was transported to the island of Sylina(1) which lies beyond Britain. A process was then instituted against the others in trials which followed, and Asarivus, and Aurelius the deacon, were condemned to be beheaded, while Tiberianus was deprived of his goods, and banished to the island of Sylina
Augustine of Hippo On the Creed Sermon to Catechumens par 14 [354-430 AD]
It follows after commendation of the Trinity, "The Holy Church." God is pointed out, and His temple. "For the temple of God is holy," says the Apostle, "which (temple) are ye." This same is the holy Church, the one Church, the true Church, the Catholic Church, fighting against all heresies: fight, it can: be fought down, it cannot. As for heresies, they went all out of it, like as unprofitable branches pruned from the vine: but itself abideth in its root, in its Vine, in its charity. "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Augustine of Hippo  Confessions Book 6 Ch 1 par 1 [354-430 AD]
But when I had disclosed to her that I was now no longer a Manichaean, though not yet a Catholic Christian,
Augustine of Hippo Confessions Book 9 Ch 7 par 11 [354-430 AD]
and the Holy Scriptures, which the authority of Thy Catholic Church pressed upon me,
Augustine of Hippo Catechising the uninstructed par 12 [354-430 AD]
But if, on the other hand, he has fallen upon the productions of some heretic and in ignorance, it may be, has retained in his mind anything which the true faith condemns, and yet supposes it to be catholic doctrine, then we must set ourselves sedulously to teach him, bringing before him (in its rightful superiority) the authority of the Catholic Church
Augustine of Hippo City of God Book 11 ch 13 [354-430 AD]
For what catholic Christian does not know that no new devil will ever arise among the good angels, as he knows that this present devil will never again return into the fellowship of the good?
Augustine of Hippo City of God Book 15 ch 26 [354-430 AD]
although different explanations are given, yet they must all agree with the one harmonious catholic faith
Augustine of Hippo City of God Book 8 ch 15 [354-430 AD]
And therefore it is agreed among all Christians who truthfully hold the catholic faith, that we are subject to the death of the body, not by the law of nature, by which God ordained no death for man, but by His righteous infliction on account of sin; for God, taking vengeance on sin, said to the man, in whom we all then were, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return
Augustine On Baptism Against the Donatists book 1 ch 10 par 14 (354-430 ad)
For it is severed from the bond of peace and charity, but it is joined in one baptism. And so there is one Church which alone is called Catholic
Augustine Letter 93 par 23 (354-430 ad)
You think that you make a very acute remark when you affirm the name Catholic to mean universal, not in respect to the communion as embracing the whole world, but in respect to the observance of all Divine precepts and of all the sacraments, as if a,e (even accepting the position that the Church is called Catholic because it honestly holds the whole truth, of which fragments here and there are found in some heresies) rested upon the testimony of this word's signification
Augustine Against Petilian the Donatist book 1 ch 26 (354-430 ad)
though the Catholic Church has broken down his defenses by the strongest evidence of truth. For the inheritance of Christ, established in all nations, is secure against heresies which have been shut out from the inheritance;
Augustine Homily 2 on the First Epistle of John par 3 (354-430 ad)
When we say to them, If ye be Catholic Christians, communicate with that Church from which the Gospel is spread abroad over the whole earth: communicate with that Jerusalem: when this we say to them, they make answer to us, we do not communicate with that city where our King was slain, where our Lord was slain: as though they hate the city where our Lord was slain.
Socrates Ecclesial History book 1 ch 6 (379-450 ad)
For our Saviour left us but one day to be observed in commemoration of our deliverance, that is the day of his most holy Passion: he also wished his Catholic Church to be one; the members of which, however much they may be scattered in various places, are notwithstanding cherished by one Spirit, that is by the will of God.
Leo the Great Letter 20 (395-461 ad)
Wherefore do not doubt that the LORD, the Founder of the catholic Faith, will befriend you in all things.
Liturgy of Mark par 14 (400 ad)
We pray and beseech Thee, O lover of men, O good Lord, remember in Thy good mercy the Holy and only Catholic and Apostolic Church throughout the whole world, and all Thy people, and all the sheep of this fold.
Apostolic Canons Section 2 par 10 (400ad)
Let us pray for the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church which is spread from one end of the earth to the other; that God would preserve and keep it unshaken, and free from the waves of this life, until the end of the world, as founded upon a rock; and for the holy parish in this place, that the Lord of the whole world may vouchsafe us without failure to follow after His heavenly hope, and without ceasing to pay Him the debt of our prayer.
Apostolic Constitutions book 2 par 25 (400ad)
You, therefore, O bishops, are to your people priests and Levites, ministering to the holy tabernacle, the holy Catholic Church; who stand at the altar of the Lord your God, and offer to Him reasonable and unbloody sacrifices through Jesus the great High Priest.


Jim Eckland said...

What is the definition of Catholic? Is it Universal? Where is the evidence that "Universal" was intended to mean one physical Church and organization rather than the Universal Body of Believers or those that are "Called Out Into The faith"? I have been curious about this for awhile, and was hoping you could help clarify this point. Thanks Jim Eckland NH.

Brian said...

Universal is a definition of Catholic but it also means according to the whole. I think the first indication of the Church being a physical entity is with Jesus.

MT 18:15-18 when he tells us if you disagree tell the person in private, then take 2 other people and if they don’t listen tell it to the church and if he still does not listen treat him as a tax collector.

This is what happened in Acts 15. There was a disagreement about circumcision. They called a council and they spoke authoritatively binding all the faithful to the ruling.

Also Jesus said in Lk 22:29 I confer on you a kingdom just as my Father conferred one to me and if we look at how a biblical kingdom is structured you can go back to king David. On thing in particular in Is22:22 it talks about the kings steward who has the keys of the kingdom and the authority to bind and loose. This is mirrored exactly in Mt 16:18 giving Peter the keys of the kingdom with the power to bind and loose just like we saw in Acts 15.

I also believe that the testimonies on this page show that they referred to a physical structure more than a few times and you can see the other pages of quotes showing Peter was the first pope and church authority below.