Gene: Longtime no see John, ‘know, I was just thinking — this might be a lot easier than it looks. People are always debating whether the Church is visible or invisible — but that is completely irrelevant. The real question is, “is the Church that Christ built united or divided?” What kind of person says, “I’m going to build a divided Church that is going to be in confusion and conflict for 1,900?” Certainly not Christ, because didn’t He say “the gates of hell will never prevail against it?” Meaning it will never be divided against itself by Satan. And also that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Whether visible or invisible, we know with 110% certainty that the Church is one. And the only Church that has always been one is the Roman Catholic Church.
PS– I’ll be showing you my book of research soon.
J. Salza: Gene, your point on division is certainly critical. Only the Catholic Church is not divided on matters of faith and morals. But the visibility issue is also very important. If you study the Church Fathers, they wrote a lot about the visibility of the Church. This is in contrast to the Protestant idea that the Church is just an invisible body of believers, loosely connected to each other by faith in the Bible alone. But St. Paul called the Church the “body” of Christ, not the “soul” of Christ. Bodies are visible and souls are invisible. But note that we can only be the body of Christ if Christ is giving us something physical, that is, His body. So the visibility of the Church is based on the Eucharistic union we have with Jesus Christ. And the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian faith.
Grace be with you.