Catholics believe in Jesus as both divine and human. He is our only Savior, having died to atone for our sins.
Catholics are encouraged to be active participants in the liturgical life, celebrating and reverent Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross at Mass. Additionally, they take part in sacraments such as baptism, eucharist, confirmation, matrimony, anointing of sick persons with holy orders and confession.
What is Catholicism?
Catholicism is the largest and oldest denomination of Christianity, representing over one billion followers around the world.
Catholics believe that God created and sustains all life on Earth and in heaven, and they also hold that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of humanity.
They believe the Bible to be God’s inspired word and guide for their lives. Furthermore, they consider church a place where believers come together to worship God.
The Catholic faith is founded upon Jesus and His apostles’ teachings recorded in the New Testament. Although some beliefs that do not appear in this sacred text remain part of Catholic belief systems; these include veneration/adoration of Mary, her immaculate conception, perpetual virginity, assumption, co-redemptrix role and mediatrix role.
Catholics hold that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, after God the Father and Jesus Christ. Furthermore, they believe in sacraments such as baptism, reconciliation, the Eucharist, confirmation, and marriage as essential components of their faith.
Catholicism holds that God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and rise again for salvation of humanity. This salvation can only be achieved through faith in Christ and good works.
Catholics believe that man has inherited “original sin” from Adam, and must be forgiven. Additionally, they hold that there are seven sacraments which enable Catholics to receive forgiveness from God and live a moral life.
These sacraments are the Catholic Church’s way of showing love to people. In order to receive these blessings, one must be baptized and join a religious community.
Catholics believe that prayer should be part of every day and Mass should be attended regularly. This helps them cultivate a closer connection with God and their church community.
The Catholic Church is renowned for its firm stand on issues such as abortion, sexual morality and social justice. It strongly advocates for workers’ and oppressed people’s rights around the world and opposes unbridled capitalism. While its views on these topics may not be shared by everyone, they remain central components of Catholicism.
Who is Jesus?
Many people consider Jesus, born in Bethlehem among a grove of olive trees and later crucified on a Roman spike, to be nothing more than an historical figure. Yet for Christians everywhere, Jesus is seen as the Son of God – conceived in Mary’s womb by God the Father, lived as a human being, yet also claimed to be “Word” who created all things (John 1:3-4).
Christianity teaches that Jesus is both fully divine and human, having died on the cross and risen again. As such, Catholics believe he has achieved supremacy over all people both in heaven and earth.
Jesus, raised in a Jewish family, learned carpentry at age 30 and launched his ministry in Galilee at age 31. During this time he performed numerous miracles such as healing the sick, controlling the weather and multiplying food – often to the disbelief of Jewish religious leaders who doubted his claim to be Messiah.
He had a large following, often healing crowds who followed him on his travels. His fame spread so much that Jewish authorities attempted to arrest and put him on trial, the Gospels record.
His trial and execution took place around Passover, a major holiday in Israel. Pontius Pilate, who was governor of Judea at the time, was present during His trial and execution.
Some of the Gospels portray Jesus as a man of remarkable physical strength, having worked as a carpenter and walking long distances in his bare feet. However, Joan Taylor – professor of Christian Origins and Second Temple Judaism at King’s College London – believes Jesus may only have stood 5 feet 5 inches tall with olive-brown skin and black hair.
Jesus offers spiritual answers to our deepest, most soul-desperate longings for hope and significance. His teachings rest on a belief that evil can be overcome through love and that love cannot destroy us forever.
By believing in Jesus, we allow him to guide us through this world’s darkness. By doing so, He promises an inner peace which no evil can take away. Throughout our lifetimes, the world may face many difficulties; but ultimately Christ’s return and restoration of justice and peace will bring about lasting change.
What is the Catholic Church?
The Catholic Church is the largest ecclesiastical body in the world with over one billion members. As Jesus’ only remaining church, it provides guidance for believers on how to live their lives so as to become more like Him.
Scripture refers to the Church as the ekklesia, which is Greek for “house.” This term derives from the late Greek kyriakon () meaning “the Lord’s house,” and it is used throughout the New Testament to refer to local churches; in Acts of the Apostles however, it also includes reference to the entire Church.
Christian traditions often venerate the Pope as a spiritual leader who can settle disputes that divide the Church. Furthermore, when speaking ex cathedra (without error), the Pope is seen as infallible.
Roman Catholics believe the Pope has unique authority since Christ founded His Church upon Peter, the first pope, and has chosen to continue that line of leadership ever since. Since that time, every pope has been seen as the spiritual successor to Peter.
Within the Catholic Church, there are various rites, uses and forms of practice; each with its own history. Regardless, all adhere to the same beliefs and follow the same sacraments.
The Catholic Church holds that God has designed every individual to have a relationship with Him through His sacraments and the Holy Spirit. Our faith allows us to encounter Jesus personally in our daily lives, being transformed by Him so that we may enjoy eternal happiness in Heaven.
Catholics’ relationship with God begins in baptism and is nurtured through various sacraments. These celebrations help us to deepen our knowledge of Him and nurture a closer bond with Him.
The sacraments are ways Christians express their appreciation to God for his goodness and love. These include prayers, Mass, confessions, and the Eucharist or Holy Communion – which serves as the centerpiece of Catholicism and forms the basis for all other sacraments.
Why are Catholics Catholic?
The Catholic Church is the world’s largest Christian denomination, boasting millions of adherents worldwide. While these believers follow different denominations with their own beliefs and practices, they all hold to a shared belief in Christianity.
For Catholic Churches, the Bible is their sacred text – believed to be inspired by God and intended for redemption of mankind. This same sacred text also proclaims Jesus as the Son of God who came to earth to save mankind.
Another essential teaching of the Catholic Church is that Christians must believe and obey Jesus as their Lord and Savior, obeying its teachings including baptism, receiving Eucharist and performing meritorious works.
They must also abstain from sins such as theft, lying and deception. Those who fail to live a moral life will be condemned to hell; however, those who uphold the law are rewarded with heaven.
Catholics commonly adhere to transubstantiation, the belief that the bread and wine in a communion wafer transform into the body and blood of Jesus when a priest says certain words. This doctrine has been an integral part of Catholic teachings for almost two thousand years.
Furthermore, the Catholic Church is renowned for its practice of celibacy, which states that priests (church leaders) must remain unmarried. This tradition stems from Jesus’ example as an unmarried man; therefore, Catholics believe their practice of priestly celibacy follows suit.
Finally, the Catholic Church emphasizes that all Christians should pray and honor the saints who have been deemed blessed by God due to their holy lives. This stands in stark contrast to Protestant beliefs which hold that all Christians should focus on praying solely to Christ.
The Roman Catholic Church holds that the Pope is the supreme head of Christian unity. This belief was first instituted by Roman emperors and codified in 1215 at the Fourth Lateran Council.