"In the beginning was the Word"|
No study is complete without Divine Revelation of the Word of God contained in the Sacred Scripture of the Old and New Testaments and passed down through Tradition with the Latin Vulgate and translated to the Douay-Rheims edition which is the most loyal to those traditions. Therefore, we provide the full Bible available on line. See
Ecumenical Councils of the Church
It is vital to know the Faith in order to keep the Faith and knowing it entails knowing what has been handed down after Saint John's last word in the Book of Apocalypse. It is called Tradition and these Traditions were formed and formulated as necessary for belief by the Fathers of the Church and Bishops in the gatherings of special synods called General or Ecumenical Councils. After the Council of Jerusalem, recorded in Acts 15 and Galatians 2, the first Council of the universal Church was called in 321 at Nicaea by the man who liberated Christianity after three centuries of persecutions - the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. There have been 21 Major Councils total from Nicaea to Vatican II. In order to alert all on what the Church truly teaches and what was handed down by the Infallible perennial Magisterium of the Church, we provide the documents and Canons of these Councils. Note, we are adding one Council per issue, so be patient in waiting for all to be on line. Below we link two of the most important Councils - the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council, both of which proclaimed infallible doctrines, unlike the most recent Vatican II Council which was strictly pastoral with no infallible decrees or doctrinal pronouncements. This has been argued, but in fact Vatican II was pastoral only and any new doctrine that might have been adopted could not be because of what was handed down prior to it.
For the full documents of the Ecumenical Councils see ECUMENICAL COUNCILS
The Catechism of Absolutes
Many were weaned on the Baltimore Catechism which were the truths put simply and concretely in black and white. Those reared on this Catechism know their Faith and, when all else fails, we strongly urge you to return to the roots of what the Roman Catholic Church teaches without ambiguity - without relativism - without pouring through 800 pages from cover to cover. Therefore we present the
Council of Trent
To understand what the Roman Catholic Faith is all about, the truths and absolutes of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, one needs to go back to the unchangeable doctrine that was defined and set in stone.. We start with the counter-reformation 19th Ecumenical Council in the Tridentine mountains of northern Italy in the longest council in Church history: the Council of Trent called by Pope Paul III in 1545 and the 25th session closed in 1563 by Pope Pius IV. For all the documents see Council of Trent
Proclamations of the Popes
From Trent to Vatican I
Beginning after the Council of Trent up to the brink of Vatican II, wise and holy Pontiffs reinforced and defined doctrines and morals, set in stone the manner in which all - religious and laity should pray and practice their Faith and provided guidelines to be on guard against those who would seek to destroy or weaken Holy Mother Church. For Papal Proclamations from Pope Saint Pius V to Pope Pius IX, see Trent to Vatican I
First Vatican Council
306 years after the Council of Trent Blessed Pope Pius IX called the First Vatican Council in order to declare the doctrine of infallibility of the Vicar of Christ when speaking ex cathedra on faith and morals. This dogma was proclaimed on July 18, 1870. That same year, after 14 full sessions, Pius suspended the 20th Ecumenical Council because the Italian army had entered Rome, which would end the Papal States and Pius himself would never leave the Vatican again. For all these documents see Vatican I
Proclamations of the Popes
From Vatican I up to Vatican II
Pope Pius IX called the First Vatican Council, but it was suspended when Italy took over Rome. It was never completed. Pope Leo XIII succeeded Pio Nono. He was followed by the holiest of Roman Pontiffs Pope Saint Pius X whose decrees manifested his sanctity and care for his flock. Pope Benedict XV followed, then Pope Pius IX and Pope Pius XII as the entire horizon darkened through the decades. Yet these Popes did not shy from warning the world of the impending dangers already crossing the threshold. For Papal Proclamations from Blessed Pius IX up through Pope Pius XII, see Vatican I up to Vatican II
Profiles of the Doctors of the Church
1. Saint Athanasius - Born in 297, died in 373.
2. Saint Ephrem - Born 306, died in 373.
3. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem - Born 315, died in 386.
4. Saint Hilary of Poitiers - Born 315, died in 368.
5. Saint Gregory Nazianzen - Born 329, died in 389.
6. Saint Basil - Born 329, died in 379.
7. Saint Ambrose - Born in 340, died in 420.
8. Saint Jerome - Born in 342, died in 420.
9. Saint John Chrysostom - Born in 347, died in 407.
10. Saint Augustine - Born in 354, died in 430.
11. Saint Cyril of Alexandria - Born in 376, died in 444.
12. Saint Leo the Great - Born in 400, died in 461.
13. Saint Peter Chrysologus - Born in 406, died in 450.
14. Saint Gregory the Great - Born in 540, died in 606.
15. Saint Isidore of Seville - Born in 560, died in 636.
16. Saint Bede the Venerable - Born in 673, died in 735.
17. Saint John Damascene - Born in 676, died in 749.
18. Saint Peter Damian - Born in 1007, died in 1072.
19. Saint Anselm - Born in 1033, died in 1109.
20. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux - Born in 1090, died in 1153.
21. Saint Anthony of Padua - Born in 1195, died in 1231.
22. Saint Albert the Great - Born in 1206, died in 1280.
23. Saint Bonaventure - Born in 1221, died in 1274.
24. Saint Thomas Aquinas - Born in 1225, died in 1274.
25. Saint Catherine of Siena - Born in 1347, died in 1380.
26. Saint Teresa of Avila - Born in 1515, died in 1582.
27. Saint Peter Canisius - Born in 1521, died in 1621.
28. Saint Robert Bellarmine - Born in 1542, died in 1621.
29. Saint John of the Cross - Born in 1542, died in 1591.
30. Saint Lawrence of Brindisi - Born in 1559, died in 1619.
31. Saint Francis de Sales - Born in 1567, died in 1622.
32. Saint Alphonsus Liguori - Born in 1696, died in 1787.
33. Saint Therese of Lisieux - Born in 1873, died in 1897.
St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica
For those truly interested in theology, who are confused by the modern theologians who have led so many astray, we strongly recommend thee work by the Angelic Doctor of the Church Saint Thomas Aquinas and his masterful Summa Theologica available at New Advent's site. See
For documents from the Second Vatican Council and the Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Popes and Proclamations and the 'New' Catechism of the Catholic Church, see VATICAN II AND BEYOND