“He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15). He sent them to all nations, promising salvation to those that should believe, and threatening condemnation to those refusing to believe. “ He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). God is just; He would not have threatened condemnation to unbelievers unless He had furnished the means whereby they could believe. His Church is this means: all men must join it.
Christ promised to remain for all time in the Church He had founded, saying, “Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28:20) If the death of Our Lord were to do good only to a few persons then living in Judea, its merits would have been very limited. But it could do good to future generations only if there were an organization with authority to carry on His teachings and preserve them from all change. This is His Church.
After Pentecost Sunday, the Apostles began to carry out their mission. Through them and their successors, this mission of making disciples of all nations continues and will continue to the end of the world.
On the first Pentecost about three thousand were received into the Church after St. Peter’s sermon. They were the first members converted and baptized since the Ascension of Our Lord. As God is one, He established one Church, which He commanded all men to obey and to follow in the way of salvation. God is essentially one. He is Truth itself. How can He say to one group of men that there are three Persons in one God, and to another that there is only one Person? How can He say to one body that the Holy Eucharist is Himself, and to another that It is mere bread? God cannot contradict Himself. “He who hears you hears Me” (Luke 10:16). “There shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16).
Christ never referred to His Churches, but to His Church. Peter could not have been the Head of conflicting churches. Christ said: “And I say to thee, thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Christ did not say: “Upon this rock I will build My Churches.” It was clearly not His intention to establish various conflicting churches. Christ, even in His prayers, spoke of unity among His followers. There would evidently be no unity if He had founded many different churches.
Immediately before His passion, He prayed: “Yet not for these only do I pray, but for those also who through their word are to believe in Me, that all may be one, even as thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me” (John 17:20-21).
He gathered about Him a group of disciples, and called it His Church. “And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). “And you shall be witnesses for Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the very ends of the earth” (Act 1:18).
He promised that this Church of His would last until the end of time. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20). “For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink of the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
He declared that all men must believe and be baptized (that is, join His Church), in order to be saved. “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mark 16: 15-16). “Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
This statement was made public this morning by Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who expressed the Vatican's dissatisfaction with the compromise solution put forward by the Israeli authorities, authorizing the construction of an Islamic temple in Nazareth after the Jubilee.
"The decision to authorize the construction of a mosque a few meters away from the historic Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth is of concern both to the Secretariat of State, as well as the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, as was authoritatively stressed by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, and by all representatives of Christian Churches. Pope John Paul II is in solidarity with all, and especially close to the Christians of Nazareth," Navarro-Valls wrote.
"It is not amiss to recall, that such a situation is not helpful to the preparation of an eventual pilgrimage by the Holy Father to that famous shrine, where he should be able to find a city that is a symbol of traditional, secular, peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims, and a stimulus for peace, of which the entire Holy Land is in such great need," the Vatican spokesman said.
Navarro-Valls ended his statement: "it is hoped that the Israeli governmental authorities will consider the value the city of Nazareth has for the whole of Christianity, that they will insure respect for the Christian shrine, and free and peaceful access to it by pilgrims." ZE99101402
L'Osservatore Romano said that the new French policy, formally approved by the Socialist government on October 13, was "a reckless offense against reason, common sense, and the dignity of the person and of the family." The paper added that the measure would lead to "discrimination against families founded on marriage."
The criticism appeared in the L'Osservatore Romano edition dated October 15. Because the newspaper appears in the evening before its cover date, the report was in circulation on October 14.
Father Gino Concetti, the moral theologian for the Vatican newspaper, said that the French policy was based on a point of view which is "unacceptable from the Christian moral perspective." He wrote that the French National Assembly had gone beyond the limits of its legitimate authority by granting legal recognition to partnerships which cannot logically be compared with marriage. The decision, he said, is "repugnant to the conscience and the truth founded on the identity of the human person."
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis cited the Florida Constitution's privacy amendment -- which grants every person "the right to be let alone and free from government intrusion into his private life" -- in overturning the law. The state attorney general's office said it will appeal the ruling.
In 1989, the Florida Supreme Court also ruled a law requiring parental consent before an underage girl's abortion was unconstitutional. The new law would only have required parental notification at least 48 hours before. It was to have taken effect on Monday, but now will not be enforceable during the appeal.
Florida Right to Life, calling parental notification a law that "will help restore sanity back in the family," said it is "bizarre" that a child cannot get her ears pierced without permission but can have an abortion without her parents' knowledge.
For four hours an approximate of two and half million people accompanied the image of the Virgin in her journey back home, after almost five months in which she has traveled visiting over 140 parishes in the Archdiocese of Guadalajara.
At 11: 00 in the morning, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez, Archbishop of Guadalajara, presided over a Eucharistic celebration. In his homily he invited all the people present to make a "spiritual pilgrimage, that the walk of this morning be but an external sign of an interior pilgrimage, that must carry out a change within us."
The devotion to the Virgin of Zapopan, the second most venerated in Mexico after the Virgin of Guadalupe, dates back hundreds of years in Mexican history. The traditional procession held every October 12 was carried out for the first time in 1735.