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Profession of Faith

Briton Riviere. Daniel in the pit of lions.
Briton Riviere. Daniel in the pit of lions.

"My God, I firmly believe everything that the Holy Catholic Church believes and teaches, because You said it, and You are Truth itself."

I, Stefan Jetchick, hereby make my Profession of Faith, my Pledge of Allegiance to the Pope (insofar as he is himself in communion with Jesus Christ), and the Bishop of my Diocese (insofar as he is himself in communion with the Pope), and I also make the vow to defend the teachings of the Catholic Church, even unto death (what is called a Vow of Martyrdom).

Details about the Profession of Faith

The best overview of the teachings of the Church can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is in a way just the official Catholic interpretation of the Bible and the Apostolic Tradition, under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium.

Also, please note that, strictly speaking, I don't claim I'm a Catholic! I love the Catholic Church, I believe everything She teaches, and I dearly want to be a Catholic, but I'm not the one who has the authority to decide whether I'm a Catholic or not. That authority belongs to the Holy Father and the Bishops in communion with him (For more explanations, see among others "Who is the General of the Army of Mary?"). Think about it: if I was the one who decided whether or not I was truly a Catholic, then I could believe that Jesus Christ was a laundry basket or a turnip, and still be a Catholic!

Details about the Vow of Martyrdom

If you think it's exaggerated to have a Vow of Martyrdom, please read the following Lost Sermon: "Red Tape, and the Blood of Martyrs".

Also, some journalists use the term "martyr" incorrectly. A "martyr" is not the same thing as a "suicidal assassin". Strapping a bomb to yourself and detonating it on board a school bus filled with children is not martyrdom. Only God can correctly judge the guilt (or lack thereof) of these misguided killers, but they are certainly not martyrs in the Catholic sense.

A martyr doesn't actively attack, he or she resists non-violently. A martyr doesn't kill innocent women and children, but is killed by unjust people. A martyr doesn't die for some political motive, but to bear witness to the Truth. But most of all, a martyr doesn't hate his or her enemy, but on the contrary asks God to forgive their sins, "for they do not know what they are doing" [Lk 23:34].

Finally, I didn't make my vow of martyrdom because I felt strong enough to bear things described in books like Andrea Riccardi's. On the contrary, just the thought of putting one cube of sugar in my tea instead of two causes me unbearable pain! I made my vow of martyrdom because the Church needs it, and because I hope God will grant me His grace when the time comes.

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