Could we not call Christ’s Church a garden? The Roman Catholic Church is the original tree—the others slips cut off, and growing in the same garden, and producing the same fruit, but with a slightly different flavor?

The Catholic Answers

That is not possible. These analogies may be suitable to wrong ideas, but they do not prove those wrong ideas correct. Christ said that His Church would be one Church, not a garden of churches. As for the same fruit, the Catholic Church forbids divorce—non-Catholic churches allow it. There is more than a difference of flavor here! One fruit of the tree is unity and obedience, a fruit which the Catholic Church alone produces. That the non-Catholic churches bear some fruit I admit, but they do not produce all the fruit Christ intended. The explanation of such fruit as they seem to produce we shall see later on. Meantime your attempts to maintain the unity of all the conflicting churches are opposed both to revelation and to reason. Christ said, “If a man will not hear the Church, let him be as the heathen.” Your system would leave him baffled. “Hear which Church?” he would cry. If you replied, “Any Church, for all churches constitute the one Church of Christ,” he would complain, “But the Catholic Church forbids this, and the Anglican Church permits it!” Again, you say that the Catholic Church is as much part of the true Church as any others. But she solemnly declares that the others do not belong to the true Church. If she is truly speaking with the authority of Christ, they do not. If she is wrong, she forfeits any claims to be part of the true teaching Church. No, they cannot all be true, and the Catholic Church is the only one that is really certain that she is right.

Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty