Faith and morals [change]
Catholics should follow the example of love Jesus Christ both teaches and gives: to love each other so much that one is even willing to die for another.
The Pope [change]
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church is called the Pope, which literally means "father." Catholics say Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church, and appointed the first Pope, a person named Saint Peter, to lead all Christians.
In addition to the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope also leads the Eastern Catholic churches. Together with the Roman Catholic Church, they are known as the Catholic Church.
Catholics believe that some of the official statements that the Pope makes about faith and morals of their religion are true and cannot be proved incorrect, an idea called infallibility. Infallibility only occurs when the Pope speaks "Ex Cathedra" which is Latin for "From the chair."
Worship practices [change]
Their main form of worship is called the Mass. It is celebrated every day. Catholics are required to attend on Sunday and on a few Holy Days of obligation. In the United States, the Holy Days of Obligation are: Mary, Mother of God (January 1), The Assumption of Mary (August 15), The Immaculate Conception (of Mary) (December 8), The Ascension of Jesus (40 days after Easter), Christmas (December 25) and All Saints Day (November 1). These can be remembered by the following phrase: 3 for Mary, 2 for Jesus and 1 for all the saints.
While these are all practices of Roman Catholics, other Christian churches also use many or all of these same practices.
Catholics put more emphasis on the Virgin Mary (Jesus's mother) than many other Christians, calling her the "Mother of God," "The Queen of Heaven," and praying to her regularly, as "Mediatrix of graces" at a level higher than other saints.
The Catholic Church celebrates seven sacraments. A sacrament is "an outward sign instituted (started) by Christ to give grace" (a supernatural gift of God that someone did nothing to deserve).
The seven sacraments are: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony (marriage). The Holy Eucharist is the most important of the sacraments, because Catholics believe that Jesus Christ becomes truly present in the form of bread and wine. This happens through transubstantiation which takes place in the Mass.
Catholics interpret the Bible (God-given book) according to Tradition. Tradition is the transmission of the early church's life and teaching, as especially recorded in the writings of the Fathers of the Church who lived in the first centuries. At that time the holy books where accepted in the Bible, which is the collection of the books considered revealed.
A basic rule for Catholics is that "Truth cannot contradict truth". They translate the Bible with this in mind. No interpretation can be accepted if it contradicts another revealed truth.
Nicene Creed [change]
"We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us men and our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfilment of the scriptures: He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son, He is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. " Nicene Creed, Catholic Prayers
Eastern Orthodox and Protestant people believe many of the same things. They sometime disagree on the role of Mary (the mother of Jesus) and other saints, on what a priest can do, and on how exactly God should be worshipped, among other things.
Other pages [change]
Other websites [change]