Could this book stop Catholics from leaving the Church? Find out how

April 18, 2022 - 1:46 PM
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Book cover of "Ang Simbahang itinatag ni Jesucristo" (CBCP News)

Bishops and Catholic converts are praising the recently published apologetics book “Ang Simbahang Itinatag ni Jesucristo” for presenting proof that the Catholic Church is truly from God— something that could keep Filipino Catholics from leaving the faith.

“In its pages the reader will understand convincingly why the Catholic Church is the true Church founded by Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Buenaventura Famadico of San Pablo.

He lamented the “noticeable increase” in the number of Catholics leaving the Church, noting how the book can help address it.

According to a 2013 Social Weather Survey, 1 out of 11 Filipino Catholics or 9.2% has considered leaving the Church.

Among the other religious denominations, Catholics were also found to consider themselves the least religious and the least active in weekly services.

The bishop added, “This book (‘Ang Simbahang Itinatag ni Jesucristo’) can help decisively in decreasing the hemorrhage by empowering our lay faithful through doctrinal formation”.

Historical data, Biblical verses

According to Famadico, with nearly 400 footnotes, well-researched historical data, and Biblical passages, Fr. Agustin Florentino’s apologetics book systematically shows how different the Catholic Church is from the other thousands of other churches or sects claiming to be the “one true Church”.

In easy-to-understand language, the book clarifies much-debated questions on the divine motherhood of Mary, the divinity of Jesus, and the use of statues.

Famadico also commends how the book answers these points in a “chronological way through a short history of the Councils”.

‘Good companion’

For other bishops, the book’s publication, coming out during the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the country, could not be more timely.

“This book is a good companion as we celebrate the five hundredth year of the first Mass and first baptism in our islands. Good reading!,” said Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan and former president of the bishops’ conference.

Meanwhile, converts to Catholicism are calling it the “right book” for truthseekers.

“Simbahang Itinatag ni Jesucristo is the right book for those looking for the true Church. This isn’t just for non-Catholics but also for Catholics who want to deepen their knowledge of the beauty of the Faith,” said John Rey Lumagui, former Iglesia ni Cristo member and Catholic Faith Defenders—Cavite president.

A complete guide

Meanwhile, for Bem Sabanal, a former 7th Day Adventist, New Ager, and Protestant, the book is the answer to her questions about how the Catholic faith has remained pure and faithful to the teachings of Christ through the ages.

“It is a complete guide to the teachings, history, and theology of the Catholic Church,” he also said.

Available at all St. Paul’s book stores nationwide, “Simbahang Itinatag ni Jesucristo” is priced at P150. An English version is coming out this September 2022.