The [Catholic] Church and Ecclesiology (Index Page)

The [Catholic] Church and Ecclesiology (Index Page) November 8, 2006
Strasbourg Cathedral
Strasbourg Cathedral (Alsace, France). At 466 feet, it was the world’s tallest building from 1647 to 1874. It remains the highest extant structure built entirely in the Middle Ages. Photo by David Iliff (2-8-14) [Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA 3.0 license]
***
This testimony of the universal holy Christian Church, even if we had nothing else, would be a sufficient warrant for holding this article [on the sacrament] and refusing to suffer or listen to a sectary, for it is dangerous and fearful to hear or believe anything against the unanimous testimony, belief, and teaching of the universal holy Christian churches, unanimously held in all the world from the beginning until now over fifteen hundred years.
 
(Martin Luther, in the year 1532; from Protestant Luther biographer Roland H. Bainton, Studies on the Reformation [Boston: Beacon Press, 1963], p. 26; primary source: WA [Werke, Weimar edition in German], XXX, 552)
***
GENERAL ECCLESIOLOGY 
*
*
Are Catholics Christians? (vs. James White) [May 1995]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Is the One True Church a Visible or Invisible Entity? [National Catholic Register, 9-12-18]
*
*
*
*
*
*
The Authority of the Catholic Church (+ Pt. 2): chapter two of my 2009 book, Bible Truths for Catholic Truths: A Source Book for Apologists and Inquirers [10-16-23]
*
*
*

THE INDEFECTIBILITY OF THE CHURCH

“Could the Catholic Church Go Off the Rails?” (Indefectibility) [1997]

Anti-Catholic Orthodox Claims of Exclusive Apostolic Succession [Nov. 1998; revised in 2004]

Indefectibility: Does God Protect His Church from Doctrinal Error? [11-1-05; abridged and reformulated a bit on 2-14-17]

“The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail” Against the Church [11-11-08]

Indefectibility of the One True Church (vs. Calvin #9) [5-16-09]

Indefectibility & Apostolic Succession (vs. Calvin #10) [5-18-09]

Sunny Optimism Regarding God’s Guidance of His Church Now and Always (Including Liturgical Discussion) [7-22-11]

Dialogue with a Lutheran on Ecclesiology & Old Testament Indefectibility Analogies [11-22-11]

St. Francis de Sales: Bible vs. Total Depravity (+ Biblical Evidence for the Indefectibility of the Church, from the Psalms)  [11-24-11]

The Bible on the Indefectibility of the Church [2013]

Michael Voris’ Ultra-Pessimistic Views Regarding the Church [7-3-13]

Critique of Three Michael Voris Statements Regarding the State of the Church [7-3-13]

Indefectibility, Fear, & the Synod on the Family [9-30-15]

Quasi-Defectibility and Phil Lawler vs. Pope Francis (see also more documentation of Lawler’s reactionary leanings, on the Facebook thread) [12-28-17]

Salesian Apologetics #1: Indefectibility of the Church [2-4-20]

Reply to a Despairing Catholic Seminarian (Indefectibility) [6-26-21]

The Indefectibility of the Church [Ch. 3 of my book, Reflections on Radical Catholic Reactionaries (December 2002; revised in December 2023 for the free online version) ]
*
*
*

APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION
*

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Apostolic Succession as Seen in the Jerusalem Council [National Catholic Register, 1-15-17]
*
*
*
Answers to Questions About Apostolic Succession [National Catholic Register, 7-25-20]
*
A New Biblical Argument for Apostolic Succession [National Catholic Register, 4-23-21]
*
*
*
*
*
*
Dave Armstrong Responds to Gavin Ortlund on Jerome & the Monepiscopacy [30-minute audio presentation Suan Sonna’s YouTube channel, Intellectual Catholicism, on 2-4-24]
*
CLERGY AND ORDINATION / HOLY ORDERS / BISHOPS
*
*
*
Bishops in the Apostolic Church [1-16-01; rev. 5-7-03]
*
Bishops: NT, Early Church, & Baptists (vs. James White) [1-16-01] 
*
*
*
*
*
*
Dialogue: “Bad” Bishops & “Confusing” Francis (vs. Dr. Peter Kwasniewski) [4-28-16]
*
The Biblical Basis for the Priesthood [National Catholic Register, 11-2-18]
*
*
*
*
Offices in the Early Church [Facebook, 10-16-23]
*
WOMEN’S ORDINATION / CATHOLIC VIEW OF WOMEN
*
*
*
*
*
*
Dialogue with a Traditionalist Regarding Deaconesses (vs. Dr. Peter Kwasniewski) [5-13-16]
*
*
*

ECCLESIASTICAL AUTHORITY / HIERARCHICAL AND EPISCOPAL ECCLESIOLOGY

*

*
*
Anathemas of Trent & Excommunication: An Explanation [5-20-03, incorporating portions from 1996 and 1998; abridged on 7-30-18]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
 *
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Catholics Accept All of the Church’s Dogmatic Teaching [National Catholic Register, 9-18-18]
*
*
*
Orthodoxy: The ‘Equilibrium’ That Sets Us Free [National Catholic Register, 3-29-19]
*
Does Sola Scriptura Create Chaos? (vs. Steve Hays) [5-15-20]
*
*
*

RULE OF FAITH (BIBLE + CHURCH + TRADITION)

*
Papal Infallibility Doctrine: History (Including Luther’s Dissent at the Leipzig Disputation in 1519) (Related also to the particular circumstances of the origins of sola Scriptura) [10-8-07]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Orthodoxy: The ‘Equilibrium’ That Sets Us Free [National Catholic Register, 3-29-19]
*
1 Timothy 3:15 = Church Infallibility (vs. Steve Hays) [5-14-20]
*
Does Sola Scriptura Create Chaos? (vs. Steve Hays) [5-15-20]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
CONSCIENCE AND PRIVATE JUDGMENT / DISSENT
*
*
Conscience Must be Formed in Harmony with the Church (Proof from Scripture & the Catechism of the Catholic Church) [7-19-09] 
*
How Much Can Catholics Disagree with the Church? [4-7-01 and 3-13-09 and 9-23-10]
*
Irish Ecclesiastical Record vs. Anti-Catholic George Salmon, Pt. 5: Private Judgment, the Rule of Faith, and Dr. Salmon’s Weak Fallible Protestant “Church”: Subject to the Whims of Individuals; Church Fathers Misquoted [3-15-23]
*
Irish Ecclesiastical Record vs. Anti-Catholic George Salmon, Pt. 6: The Innumerable Perils of Perspicuity of Scripture and Private Judgment [3-16-23]
*
ECCLESIASTICAL AUTHORITY: THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
*
*
*
*
*
Dialogue on Vatican II: Its Relative Worth, Interpretation, and Application (with Patti Sheffield vs. Traditionalist David Palm) [9-15-13]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Series: Vs. Paolo Pasqualucci Re Vatican II
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Vatican II Upheld Biblical Inerrancy (vs. David Palm) [4-23-20]
*
*

Bp. Schneider Evokes Luther’s Disdain for Councils [7-17-20]

Is Vatican II Analogous to “Failed” Lateran Council V? (Reply to Timothy Flanders) [8-11-20]

Viganò’s Outrageous Lie Re Pope Benedict XVI & Tradition (Unwillingness to Make Even Rudimentary Efforts to Consult Context or to Understand a Pope’s Overall Thinking) [8-21-20]

Vatican II: Documentation of Bishops’ Voting on its Documents (Ranked in Order from Most Dissenting Votes to Least Dissenting Votes) [9-17-21]

Defense of Vatican II vs. Oliveira Leonardo’s Attacks [10-13-22]

Is Vatican II a “Modernist” Council? [Ch. 11 of my book, Reflections on Radical Catholic Reactionaries (December 2002; revised in November 2023 for the purpose of the free online version)] [11-22-23]
*
Are the Vatican II Documents “Ambiguous”? [Ch. 12 of my book, Reflections on Radical Catholic Reactionaries (December 2002; revised in November 2023 for the purpose of the free online version)] [11-24-23]
*

**

A Response to Archbishop Viganò’s Letter about Vatican II (Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM., Cap., The Catholic World Report, 8-13-20)

Vatican II and “weaponized ambiguity” (Dr. Pedro Gabriel, Where Peter Is, 10-1-20)

*
ECCLESIASTICAL AUTHORITY: THE FIRST VATICAN COUNCIL
*
CHURCH INFALLIBILITY AND INFALLIBLE ECUMENICAL COUNCILS 
*

Pope Silvester and the Council of Nicaea (vs. James White) [August 1997]

Conciliar Infallibility: Summary from Church Documents [6-5-98] 

Infallibility, Councils, and Levels of Church Authority: Explanation of the Subtleties of Church Teaching and Debate with Several Radical Catholic Reactionaries [7-30-99; terminology updated, and a few minor changes made on 7-31-18] 

Eastern Orthodoxy, Councils, & Doctrinal Development [2000]

The Analogy of an Infallible Bible to an Infallible Church [11-6-05; rev. 7-25-15; published at National Catholic Register: 6-16-17]

Cdl. Newman, Vatican I & II, & Papal Infallibility (Clarification) [12-10-05]

The Bible on Papal & Church Infallibility [5-16-06]

Galileo Affair: No Disproof of Catholic Infallibility (vs. Ken Temple) [5-18-06]

Council of Nicea: Reply to James White: Its Relationship to Pope Sylvester, Athanasius’ Views, & the Unique Preeminence of Catholic Authority [4-2-07]

Protestant Historian Philip Schaff: The Church Fathers Believed in Conciliar Infallibility Based on the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) [Facebook, 10-8-07]

Infallibility: Dialogue with a Traditional Anglican [10-6-08] 

Papal Participation in the First Seven Ecumenical Councils [4-22-09]

Popes & Early Ecumenical Councils (vs. Calvin #16) [6-15-09]

Authority and Infallibility of Councils (vs. Calvin #26) [8-25-09]

Catholic Development of Doctrine: A Defense (vs. Jason Engwer; Emphasis on the Canon of the Bible & Church Infallibility) (+ Pt. II / Pt. III / Pt. IV) [1-15-10]

Dialogue with an Atheist on the Galileo Fiasco and its Relation to Catholic Infallibility (vs. Jon Curry) [8-11-10]

Books by Dave Armstrong: Biblical Proofs for an Infallible Church and Papacy [2012]

“Reply to Calvin” #2: Infallible Church Authority [3-3-17]

*
*
*
*
1 Timothy 3:15 = Church Infallibility (vs. Steve Hays) [5-14-20]
*
Ecumenical Councils: Catholic vs. Lutheran Perspective (vs. Pastor Ken Howes [LCMS]) [6-16-20]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Irish Ecclesiastical Record vs. Anti-Catholic George Salmon, Pt. 2 . . . In Which Dr. Salmon Accuses Cardinal Newman of Lying Through His Teeth in His Essay on Development, & Dr. Murphy Magnificently Defends Infallibility and Doctrinal Development Against Gross Caricature [3-12-23]
*
Irish Ecclesiastical Record vs. Anti-Catholic George Salmon, Pt. 5: Private Judgment, the Rule of Faith, and Dr. Salmon’s Weak Fallible Protestant “Church”: Subject to the Whims of Individuals; Church Fathers Misquoted [3-15-23]
*
*
*
*
*
HERETICAL CONCILIARISM
*
*
*
*
*
*
Which Has More Authority: A Pope or an Ecumenical Council? [National Catholic Register, 5-19-21]
*
THE JERUSALEM COUNCIL
*
*
*
*
*
Apostolic Succession as Seen in the Jerusalem Council [National Catholic Register, 1-15-17]
*
*
*
*
*
*
Were the Jerusalem Council Decrees Universally Binding? [National Catholic Register, 12-4-19]
*
Which Has More Authority: A Pope or an Ecumenical Council? [National Catholic Register, 5-19-21]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
REASONS WHY PEOPLE LEAVE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
*
Leaving Catholicism (Not Primarily Due to Sex Scandals!) (reply to Michael Boyle & Melinda Selmys) [10-5-18]
*
Why Do I Continue to Blog at Patheos Catholic: Which Also Hosts Many Heterodox and Leftist Writers? (+ discussion of Mindy Selmys’ departure) [Facebook, 3-16-19]
*
*
*
Are Abuse Scandals a Reason to Leave the Church? [National Catholic Register, 3-31-19]
*
THE “INFALLIBILITY REGRESS” (PROTESTANT POLEMICAL ARGUMENT)
*
THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT
*
*
Catholic Charismatic Movement Defended [1998; abridged on 8-2-18] 
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
The People of the Bible Were ‘People of Praise’ [National Catholic Register, 10-15-20]
*
*

CLERICAL CELIBACY

Clerical Celibacy & the Principle of Asceticism in Catholicism (Louis Bouyer) [1997; Facebook]

Mandatory Celibacy of Priests & Religious (Dialogue) [1997-1998]

Why Peter’s Marriage Doesn’t Disprove Catholicism: A Dialogue [January 1999]

Clerical Celibacy: Hostile Protestant Commentary & Catholic Replies [2-21-04]

Martin Luther & Antipathy Towards Clerical Celibacy [2-21-04]

Dialogue w a Baptist on Required Clerical Celibacy [7-2-06] 

Objections to Clerical Celibacy: In-Depth Dialogue [7-12-06]

Unbiblical Rejection of Priestly Celibacy (vs. Calvin #31) [9-15-09]

Clerical Celibacy: Dialogue with John Calvin [9-17-09]

Mandatory Celibacy of Catholic Priests in the Western / Latin Rite: A New (?) Argument [11-16-12]

Further Reflections on Mandatory Priestly Celibacy [8-2-14]

The Fruitfulness of the Eunuch Devoted to God (Isaiah 56) (Paul Seberras) [Facebook, 2-7-17]

Consecrated Virginity & Catholic “Both / And” [9-13-17]

Priestly Celibacy: Ancient, Biblical and Pauline [National Catholic Register, 9-18-17]

Priestly Celibacy: Garden-Variety Objections Debunked [9-18-17]

Married Bishops (1 Tim 3) & Catholic Celibacy: Contradiction? [9-18-17; expanded on 6-20-18]

Q & A with a Critic of Priestly Celibacy [National Catholic Register, 2-4-19]

Thoughts on Fr. Jonathan Morris’ Laicization Request [5-21-19]

Madison vs. Jesus #5: Cultlike Forsaking of Family? [8-5-19]

Pope Francis: Strong Defender of Priestly Celibacy [1-14-20]

Priestly Celibacy as a Discipline: Steve Skojec’s Ignorance [3-20-20]

St. Peter’s Marriage and Priestly Celibacy [National Catholic Register, 4-9-20]

Dialogue: Are More Married Catholic Priests Desirable? [1-13-22]

On Whether Required Celibacy is “Biblical” (vs. Lucas Banzoli) [9-24-22]

Objection to Mandatory Priestly Celibacy Based on Married Bishops (1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9) [Facebook, 9-24-22] 

Clergy Celibacy: Back-and-Forth with Lucas Banzoli [11-16-22]

Priestly Celibacy: Explicit and Undeniable Biblical Proof [Catholic365, 11-6-23]

Peter’s Wife, James Swan, Celibacy, & Catholicism (The Perfectly Sensible and Explicit Biblical Rationale for Priestly Celibacy) [3-15-24]

Celibate Clergy: Reply to a Methodist Polemic [5-20-24]

*

TITLE OF CATHOLIC

Catholic or Roman Catholic? (Proper Titles) (w J. Akin) [1996] 

Catholic Christian Implies a Non-Catholic Ecclesiology? [3-23-06] 

Objections to the Reactionary Epithet Neo-Catholic [3-9-07] 

In What Century Did the Title, “Catholic Church” Begin? [7-22-07]

On the Use of Traditionalist Preceding the Name of Catholic [7-3-13]

On the Use of the Titles Catholic & Roman Catholic [10-20-17]

Jame’s White: Hypocritical Use of “Roman Catholic Church” [11-11-19]

 

GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS

Is Catholicism Half-Pagan? [1999; revised in one section on 2-22-06]

Is Catholicism Half-Pagan, & a Blend of Gospel & Lies? [2007]

Biblical Evidence for Expensive Church Buildings [3-18-08]

Why Is the Catholic Church Singularly Despised & Hated? [7-7-08]

“Why are Catholics So Legalistic and Rationalistic?” (Response to Orthodox and Protestant Criticisms) [9-8-08]

Biblical Evidence Against Tithing [2-4-09]

Biblical Evidence for Holy Days [9-21-09]

Mandatory Tithing: Further Thoughts [11-1-09]

“Leaven” of the Pharisees: Hypocrisy or False Doctrine? (vs. Nathan Rinne) [11-3-11]

Reply to Robin Phillips’ “Why I’m Not a Catholic” [1-31-12]

Dialogue on the Renaissance: Good or Bad Thing? [3-20-13]

Discussion of the Met Gala, in Which Catholicism was Mocked in Some of the Costumes [Facebook, 5-8-18]

Take Heart: Notre Dame Will be Rebuilt: Better Than Ever! [4-16-19]

“Who is My Mother?”: Beginning of “Familial Church” [8-26-19]

*

ST. TERESA OF CALCUTTA (MOTHER TERESA)

Mother Teresa on Love & Theology [9-5-16]

Malcolm Muggeridge & Mother Teresa: A Blessed, Fruitful Meeting [9-6-16]

The Holy Collaboration of Mother Teresa and Malcom Muggeridge [National Catholic Register, 6-20-18]

***

*

***

*

Practical Matters: Perhaps some of my 4,600+ free online articles (the most comprehensive “one-stop” Catholic apologetics site) or fifty-five books have helped you (by God’s grace) to decide to become Catholic or to return to the Church, or better understand some doctrines and why we believe them.

Or you may believe my work is worthy to support for the purpose of apologetics and evangelism in general. If so, please seriously consider a much-needed financial contribution. I’m always in need of more funds: especially monthly support. “The laborer is worthy of his wages” (1 Tim 5:18, NKJV). 1 December 2021 was my 20th anniversary as a full-time Catholic apologist, and February 2022 marked the 25th anniversary of my blog.

PayPal donations are the easiest: just send to my email address: apologistdave@gmail.com. Here’s also a second page to get to PayPal. You’ll see the term “Catholic Used Book Service”, which is my old side-business. To learn about the different methods of contributing (including Zelle), see my page: About Catholic Apologist Dave Armstrong / Donation InformationThanks a million from the bottom of my heart!

*

Last updated on 5 July 2024

***** 

Browse Our Archives