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[quote:15uzchcr]Sola Scriptura messed things up. Hermeneutically their is no such thing, granted. However it should be noted that the Catholic Church prior to the establishment of Rome being its center had always faced schism within the Church, and for the most part it was handled quite gracefully.[/quote:15uzchcr]

I’m glad to see that you understand the protestant concept of [i:15uzchcr]Sola Scriptura[/i:15uzchcr] to be unsustainable. Now, gracefully or not, the fact is that the Church had to permanently deal with schism throughout her history. The good thing is that heresy and schism have been constantly and succesfully repelled and the uncompromising defense of right belief ([i:15uzchcr]orthodoxia[/i:15uzchcr]) and right practice ([i:15uzchcr]orthopraxia[/i:15uzchcr]) constitute pillars of truth that stood against these countless blows. The Church is the sole recipient of Faith, the Faith of the Apostles as handed down by Christ Himself.

[quote:15uzchcr]Naturally, nothing will overcome the Church of Christ. Did Christ establish the Roman Catholic Church? Perhaps indirectly, I believe so. [/quote:15uzchcr]

You’re quite close, brother. <img decoding=” title=”Wink” />

[quote:15uzchcr]The Roman Catholic Church became an external vehicle of an internal faith. The internal faith community of the Church had withstood persecution for a long time prior to the Roman Catholic Church. When the Church decided to become an external institution (churchstate) many good things resulted but many bad things as well.[/quote:15uzchcr]

I think that you’d agree that Christ intended His Church to be visible, not invisible. Also, we all agree that good and bad things resulted from the fact of Christianity and its Church becoming the sole religion of the Empire. But, despite the abuses throughout the centuries, the Church has held steadfast to her doctrine and never taught wrong. Nor can she, for she is under the supervision and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Faith is, always has been and must be the same and its legitimacy derives from the Apostolic Sucession and Holy Tradition and Scriptures. That’s why the early Church was already the Catholic Church.

[quote:15uzchcr]Can any Roman Catholic deny that a simple profession such as this is all that one needs to be a member of the Church that Jesus empowered?[/quote:15uzchcr]

Yes, baptism (traditional or of blood) is required to be reborn into God’s fold, His Church. Faith in Christ is essential, don’t get me wrong, but it is not all that you need to be member of the Church that Jesus empowered.

[quote:15uzchcr]Are Protestants lost from the link that brings them back to the Early Church in which supposedly the Roman Catholic Church has maintained?[/quote:15uzchcr]

Historically and doctrinally, yes. It’s easy to verify this.

[quote:15uzchcr]The Reformation was an atrocity but an inevitable one![/quote:15uzchcr]

Some kind of reformation could and can happen, but only inside of the Church, not outside of it. That’s the fault of Luther, Calvin and others.

[quote:15uzchcr]Similarly, the Church established through Constantine and Theodosius became a stately Church rather than a spiritual Church and soon became a secularized Church institution.[/quote:15uzchcr]

At some degree, yes unfortunately. But the deposit of true Faith remained up to this day, as well as the legitimacy of the holy orders and of the other sacraments. Despite being a Church of sinners, the Church always conveys the Truth through divine guidance and protection.

[quote:15uzchcr]However, Christ is not absent in any form of the Church; Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist, etc.[/quote:15uzchcr]

Of course not, and He can save many christians and others through His divine grace. But the only Church that mantains the full deposit of Faith, invested by divine authority (Christ and the Holy Spirit) and legitimized through Apostolic Sucession is the Catholic Church, His Church. The Orthodox have Apostolic Sucession as well but they broke off with the Catholic Church in the 11th Century, so they are in schism.

[quote:15uzchcr]Yes, schism is horrible. I wish as a Protestant that the Church never became a state institution and that the Reformation would then have never occured.[/quote:15uzchcr]

Similar thoughts, here.

[quote:15uzchcr]I wish their was no need for a supreme representative of Christ on earth, and that the bishops and presbyters had remained faithful throughout history in which no bishop of bishops was needed to prevent further schism.[/quote:15uzchcr]

Though it may be your wish, it is not Christ’s wish. He invested Peter with the authority and power to lead His Church and feed His sheep.

[quote:15uzchcr]Disunity is maintained institutionally, but spiritually Christ has joined every Christian.[/quote:15uzchcr]

We all pray for that, like everytime we say the rosary: [i:15uzchcr]«O my Jesus, forgive us of our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.»[/i:15uzchcr]

[quote:15uzchcr]It’s saddening, to say the least.[/quote:15uzchcr]