If God could guide us all individually by the Holy Spirit, there would have been no need for Christ to build a Church, give it the Keys of the Kingdom and give it the power to “bind and loose”.
[quote:6r9xvkil]Mat 16:18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.[/quote:6r9xvkil]
The proof is also seen in those that say they are guided by the Holy Spirit and yet they all differ in the result of that guidance. Can the Holy Spirit be guiding all these people that contradict each other? Can the Holy Spirit teach one that a certain thing is moral and teach another that it is immoral?
This is what a Doctor of the Church had to say:
[quote:6r9xvkil]”The innovators have been challenged several times to produce a text of Sacred Scripture which would prove the existence of the invisible church they invented, and we are unable to obtain any such text from them. How could they adduce such a text when, addressing His Apostles whom He left as the propagators of His Church, Jesus said: “You cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14)? … Thus He has declared that the Church cannot help but be visible to everyone … The Church has been at all times, and will forever be, necessarily visible, so that each person may always be able to learn from his pastor the true doctrine regarding the dogmas of faith … to receive the Sacraments, to be directed in the way of salvation, and to be enlightened and corrected should he ever fall into error. For, were the Church in any time hidden and invisible, to whom would men have recourse in order to learn what they are to believe and to do? … It was necessary that the Church and her pastors be obvious and visible, principally in order that there might be an infallible judge … to resolve all doubts, and to whose decision everyone should necessarily submit. Otherwise, there would be no sure rule of faith by which Christians could know the true dogmas of faith and the true precepts of morality, and among the faithful there would be endless disputes and controversies … “And Christ gave some apostles, and others pastors and doctors, that henceforth we be no more children tossed to-and-fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Eph. 4:11-14)
“But what faith can we learn from these false teachers when, in consequence of separating from the Church, they have no rule of faith? … How often Calvin changed his opinions! And, during his life, Luther was constantly contradicting himself: on the single article of the Eucharist, he fell into thirty-three contradictions! A single contradiction is enough to show that they did not have the Spirit of God. “He cannot deny Himself” (II Timothy 2:13). In a word, take away the authority of the Church, and neither Divine Revelation nor natural reason itself is of any use, for each of them may be interpreted by every individual according to his own caprice … Do they not see that from this accursed liberty of conscience has arisen the immense variety of heretical and atheistic sects? … I repeat: if you take away obedience to the Church, there is no error which will not be embraced.[/quote:6r9xvkil]
St. Alphonsus Liguori against the Reformers