In this document:
- Affirmation of Personal Faith Most Rev. Robert F. Vasa
- Authentic Catholicism Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput
- Dutiful Catholicism Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput
- Formation of Conscience Most Rev. Raymond L. Burke
- Making A Conscious Decision To Be Or Not To Be Catholic Most Rev. John J. Myers
- Deepening our Understanding of the Truths of the Catholic Faith Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila
- Authentic Christian Discipleship Rev. Deacon Keith Fournier
- Faithful Citizenship is living in a way worthy of the Gospel Most Rev. Joseph A. Galante
- The Sunday Eucharist Catechism of the Catholic Church
- Path to Sainthood Fredi D’Alessio
- Responding to His Call to Love Fredi D’Alessio
- Holy Sacrifice His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor and His Holiness Pope John Paul II
- Let us go forward with Christ and let us live our lives as true worshippers of God His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
- Recommended Reading
Full Communion with the Pope
Catholics are identified as such in varying degrees by their explicit or implicit words or deeds. Some may reveal that they are or are not in full communion with the teaching authority of the Church (the Magisterium). There are many who claim to be good Catholics because they accept all the dogmas of the Catholic faith.
They suppose that they are required to believe or obey the Holy Father  only when he speaks ex cathedra in solemnly defining a doctrine of faith or morals. They claim that unless the Church makes an infallible pronouncement in a formal way one is free to dissent. Such is contrary to the official teachings of the Church as clearly explained in section 25 of the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium).
“…religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will …” (Lumen Gentium)
1 (from The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adam):
“It is our belief that we have in the bishop of Rome the Peter upon whom Christ at Caesarea Philippi established His Church. In the light of this faith our Lord’s words to Peter: ‘Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ become at once promise and fulfillment. Has not history taught us, and are we not seeing every day, that it was, and is, and will be this one rock which supports the Church of Christ, and with that Church a living faith in the Incarnation of the Son of God? There is a sacred and profound significance in the fact that Simon’s appointment to be the rock of the Church was preceded by his confession: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God’. For faith in Christ, the Church and Peter: these three things belong together. Where there is no Peter, where men have broken faith with him, there the fellowship of the faith perishes and along with it belief in Jesus Christ. Where there is no rock, there there is no Church; there there is no Christ”.
And where Peter is, there of a truth the gates of hell rage against the fellowship of the faith. There Marcion comes, and Arius, and the renaissance and rationalism, and the gospel of worldly culture. But still we abide in the Upper Room, gathered round our Lord and Master. Where Peter is, there is Christ. For us Catholics, faith in the Son of God, loyalty to the Church, communion with Peter: these things stand in an intimate and necessary connection. And therefore since we desire not to abandon Christ, we do not abandon Peter. And therefore is it our quiet but confident hope, a hope set in our souls by our Lord at Caesarea Philippi, that it cannot be otherwise, that it must be so again, that all who seek Christ shall likewise again find Peter”.