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Pope Francis explains why the Catholic Church is 'Apostolic'

2013-10-16

Pope Francis explained the roots of the Catholic Church during the General Audience at St. Peters Square. He explained that the Churchs missionary role derives from the authority Jesus gave to his Apostles. The Pope added that their testimony to the faith is the foundation for the Church. He also asked all Catholics to become apostles of their faith by carrying out their missionary duty.   


ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS 

Dear Brothers and Sisters: 

In the Creed, we profess in faith that the Church is "apostolic.” We can understand this in three ways. First, the Church is apostolic because Jesus founded her upon the Apostles whom he chose and sent forth to continue his work; thus Saint Paul compares the Church to a temple which has the Apostles as its foundation and Christ as its cornerstone (Eph 2:19-20). 

The Church is also apostolic because she preserves and hands down the fullness of Christ’s teaching and the means of salvation which he instituted. 

Finally the Church is apostolic because she accomplishes in history the mission which Christ entrusted to the Apostles: making disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them his commands (cf. Mt 28:19-20). 

May we come to appreciate and love the Church as the place where we encounter the Risen Lord, who sends us forth as his missionaries, inviting all whom we meet to know the truth of the Gospel, the joy of faith and the promise of eternal life proclaimed by the Apostles. 

I cordially greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Israel, Ghana, Nigeria, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and the United States. 

My particular greeting goes to the delegation from the NATO Defense College and the pilgrims from Norway. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace! 


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