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Document Details :
Title: Did Jesus Found the Church?
Author(s): DENAUX, Adelbert
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 21 Issue: 1 Date: spring 1996
At first sight, the question, “Did Jesus found the Church?,” as well as the answer to that question seems rather simple. Quite a few Christians find the answer so obvious that the question actually seems superfluous. They are of the opinion that Jesus indeed founded the Church. The Church is the legacy of Jesus to the world. To be sure, there have been developments through the course of history that were not formally provided for by Jesus; but he clearly set the necessary steps during his stay on earth so that his community of disciples could continue in existence after his departure. He also equipped this community with the essential elements to continue his mission after his death. This is, roughly speaking, the spontaneous intuition of many Christians. This spontaneous conception, as a matter of fact, seems to be confirmed by the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church. In the anti-modernist oath, prescribed by Pope Pius X (9 Jan. 1910), we read the same theme, albeit in more solemn wording: “I firmly believe, that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed Word, was immediately and directly established by the true and historical Christ himself, during his life among us, and that she was built upon Peter, the head of the apostolic hierarchy, and upon his uninterrupted successors.”