- Prayers & Catholic Faith Topics are listed on the left -|
The Catholic Church is the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Jesus for the salvation of all people which is governed by the successor of Peter — i.e. the Pope — and the bishops in communion with him". The Church traces its origins to Jesus - who walked this earth 2000 years ago - and the Twelve Apostles in particular Peter, who is regarded as the first Pope.
The Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed can be considered a fundamental core of the Catholic Church's beliefs. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, or CCC, is an official exposition of the teachings of the Catholic Church. The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, published in 2005, contains a more concise and dialogic version of the CCC.
The Catholic Church draws her certainty (beliefs) about everything which has been revealed from both, Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. Both are to be accepted and venerated with the same devotion and reverence. Sacred or Apostolic Tradition consists of the teachings that the Apostles passed on orally through their preaching. They have been handed down and entrusted to the Church. It is necessary that Christians believe in and follow this tradition as well as the Bible (Luke 10:16). The truth of the faith has been given primarily to the leaders of the Church (Eph. 3:5), who, with Christ, form the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20). The Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit, who protects this teaching from corruption (John 14:25-26, 16:13). "Citation from: Catholic Answers, “Scripture and Tradition”
According to Catholic belief, Man and Woman were originally created to live in union with God. Through the disobedience of Adam and Eve - our first parents, that relationship was broken and sin and death came into the world (cf. Romans 5:12). Man's fall left him in a state of "Original Sin".
The Bible speaks ...
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life"
-- John 3:16
But, when Jesus came into the world, being both God and Man, He was able through His sacrifice to pay the penalty for all human sin and to reconcile humanity with God. The Church teaches that Salvation to Eternal Life is God's will for all people, and that God grants it to sinners as a free gift, a Grace, through the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.
Man can accept the gift God gives through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22) and through baptism (Romans 6:3–4).
Following baptism, the Catholic must endeavour to be a true disciple of Jesus. The believer must seek forgiveness of subsequent sins, and try to follow the example and teaching of Jesus. To help Christians, Jesus has provided seven Sacraments, which give Grace from God to the believer.
The story of the Catholic Church is a divine and human story. The Church is divine in its Founder, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the only founder of a religion who claimed to be God, and proved that claim by rising from the dead.
The Catholic Church is also human - afflicted with all the frailties of human nature - the sin and suffering, but also the saintliness and scholarship.
When the Church was failing God, God raised up prophets or reformers. A reformer is one who changes people's hearts, not revealed doctrine. There have been thousands of great reformers in the Catholic Church, like St. Francis of Assisi, St. Clare, St. Benedict, St. Teresa of Avila, etc.
The Catholic Church and the Bible have not, in 2000 years, changed any of the many truths revealed by God; among these truths are:
- that Holy Communion is really and truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ,
- devotion to Mary, as the Mother of God,
- the Sacrament of Confession for the forgiveness of sins,
- praying for the dead (Purgatory),
- the Pope is the visible head of the Church on earth. (Christ of course, is the invisible head of the Church.)
An important need of Church, today, is to "breathe with both lungs"
-- John Paul II's reference to the equal and indispensable roles of the Churches of both East and West. Each brings to the universal, diverse community of believers its own distinctive liturgy, sacraments, law and pastoral practice.
While Catholicism remains the most widely practiced religion, sadly, it
is often the most misunderstood. Even by Catholics, themselves! Be it a lack of faith formation or spiritual growth, the sad fact is that many Catholics do not take their faith seriously enough; some wander away from the Church to embrace others faiths or new age movements.
The purpose of this section is to strengthen Catholics in their Catholic faith and in their pursuit of holiness. If you are a Catholic and are not sure what the Church teaches, then, this section is for you ... If you are not a Catholic, but are curious about what Catholics believe, then, this section is also for you.
We pray that you may be blessed and enriched by your visit here ...
I speak with the successor of the fisherman...Though I acknowledge none as first, except Christ, I am joined in communion with Your Holiness, that is to say, in communion with the Chair of Peter. I know that it is upon that rock that the Church has been built.
-- St. Jerome, Ad Damasum, circa 420 A.D.