In my Net travels I have noticed that many Christian sites, especially Evangelical ones, contain a "statement of faith". This is a brief presentation of the beliefs of the particular church, group or individual who put up the site.
I thought it would be a good idea to put a "statement of faith" on my site, so that all visitors might know what my beliefs are as well. However, unlike those put up by other Christian groups, I did not have to compose one myself. Over the twenty centuries of her existence, the Catholic Church has composed a number of "statements of faith" known as creeds; among them are the Apostles' Creed (first three centuries AD), the Nicene-Constantinoplean Creed (fourth century), the Athanasian Creed (also fourth century), and, more recently, Pope Paul VI's Credo of the People of God (twentieth century).
Since I am a Catholic, I accept everything in these creeds. So here is my "statement of faith": all four of the above mentioned creeds. I must warn you: each one gets progressively longerand more detailed, and the last one is so long I had put it on another page (see the link at the bottom of this page).
THE APOSTLES' CREED
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty.
From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the Communion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.
Return To TopTHE NICENE CREED
I believe in One God,
the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
and of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
of one substance with the Father;
by Whom all things were made;
Who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven,
and became incarnate by the Holy Ghost
of the Virgin Mary, and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered death and was buried;
and on the third day He rose again
according to the Scriptures,
and ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of the Father;
and He shall come again in glory,
to judge both the living and the dead;
Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost,
the Lord and Giver of Life,
Who proceedeth from the Father [and the Son];
Who with the Father and the Son together
is worshipped and glorified;
Who spake by the Prophets.
In One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church;
I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
and I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Return To TopTHE ATHANASIAN CREED
Whoever wills to be in a state of salvation, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith, which except everyone shall have kept whole and undefiled without doubt he will perish eternally.*The Credo of the People of God is on the next page.
Now the Catholic Faith is that we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the Father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet not three eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet not three almighties but one almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and Holy Spirit not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal.
So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity.
But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The right faith therefore is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.
He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and He is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God, perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood.
Who although He be God and Man yet He is not two but one Christ; one however not by conversion of the Godhead in the flesh, but by taking of the Manhood in God; one altogether not by confusion of substance but by unity of Person. For as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ.
Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire.
This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation.
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*Note: The Athanasian Creed was written to combat early heresies which denied the Trinity and distorted the nature of Christ. This explains its strong polemical tone. The statement that only those who hold the Catholic Faith can be saved was directed at those heretics, who had abandoned the Faith. As for those who have never heard, the Church recognizes that Christ may choose to save them in His own way. The following paragraph from the Credo of the People of God expresses that belief:
We believe that the Church is necessary for salvation, because Christ, who is the sole mediator and way of salvation, renders Himself present for us in His body which is the Church. But the divine design of salvation embraces all men, and those who without fault on their part do not know the Gospel of Christ and His Church, but seek God sincerely, and under the influence of grace endeavor to do His will as recognized through the promptings of their conscience, they, in a number known only to God, can obtain salvation.
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