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The Catholic Church teaches that it is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter, upon whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ.
- Where Did The Roman Catholic Church Come from?
- The Great Schism of 1054
- Catholic vs. Protestant Biblical Canon.
- Major Catholic Beliefs That Are Important to know.
- What Is The Catechism of The Catholic Church (CCC)?
- How Leadership in The Catholic Church Works
- What's The Difference Between Roman Catholic and Catholic?
The Church at Rome, which would later develop into what we know as Roman Catholicism, was started in the apostolic times (circa AD 30-95). Although we do not have records of the first Christian missionaries to Rome, it is obvious that a church existed there as the New Testament Scriptures were being written. St. Paul himself wrote an epistle to the church at Rome, and the Book of Acts records some of his dealings there. St. Clement of Rome (ca. 35-99), St. Ignatius of Antioch (35-108), and St. Irenaeus of Lyons (130-202) all speak as if St. Simon Peter ministered in Rome, serving as its first bishop (the term “bishop” is an English contraction of the biblical Greek word episkopos, often translated as “overseer” in modern Protestant translations of the New Testament). Tertullian (ca. 155-240) reported that Peter died in the same place as Paul, and it is commonly believed that Paul was martyred in Rome. Since both Peter and Paul were such important and prominent apostles, Rome became...
The Church was split in two by the Great Schism of 1054, dividing Christians between the western, Latin-speaking Roman Catholic Church and the eastern, Greek-speaking Eastern Orthodox Church. This schism was precipitated over two main doctrinal disagreements. One was obviously the role and authority of the Pope. The other was the filioque clause of the Nicene Creed. The western Catholics believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son while the Eastern Orthodox believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father. The Roman Catholic Church experienced another rupture about five hundred years later during the Reformations. The Protestant reformers (Lutherans, Anglicans, and the Reformed) and the Radical Reformers (Anabaptists) disagreed with the Pope and his allies over issues of authority, Scripture, soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), and sacramental theology (the doctrines surrounding Holy Baptism and Holy Communion). At the time, Protestants also foug...
Roman Catholic Bibles contain all the books one would find in Protestant editions. However, Catholicism also recognizes the collection of books called the Apocryphato be within the canon of Holy Scripture. Protestants, on the other hand, read these books only for example of life and instruction of manners. You can read more about how the Bible was finalized in these articles: 1. How Do We Know the Right Books Made it into the New Testament? 2. Who Decided What Went into the Bible? 3. What Is the Bible and Where Did it Come from?
Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants share many core Christian beliefs, particularly with regard to the Trinity and the Incarnation, especially as they are addressed in the ancient ecumenical councils. That being said, faithful Roman Catholics hold to several key distinctives. One is the belief that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church. This connects with the view that the Pope occupies the episcopal seat of Peter and is the sole vicar of Christupon earth. This vicarious status holds several ramifications for Roman Catholic views of pastoral authority, politics, sacramental ministry, and Scripture. Roman Catholic theologians have defended the universality of their church’s doctrine by several means. One approach is to hold to an ancient oral tradition that existed alongside the written tradition of Holy Scripture. Both the oral and written tradition coexisted together, with the oral tradition giving the definitive interpretation and application of bibli...
A catechism is a document that summarizes or exposits Christian doctrine, typically for the purposes of instruction. The CCC is a fairly recent catechism released in 1992 under Pope John Paul II. It is a helpful summary of Roman Catholic beliefs and a go-to resource for understanding current, official Roman Catholic doctrine. It has gone through a few updates and revisions. For instance, in 2018, Pope Francis revised the paragraph on capital punishment, which was met with not a little controversy. You can read the catechism here.
Like other Christian churches, the Roman Catholic Church has an episcopal model for church leadership, which recognizes three orders of pastoral ministry and leadership: bishops, priests (the English contraction of presbyter or “elder”), and deacons. Bishops, in particular, are entrusted with authority and oversight, particularly over other clergymen. The Roman Catholic hierarchy is especially centralized. Of course, the Pope is the highest ranking bishop. Roman Catholics hold to papal infallibility, a position which became official in 1870. In this view, the pope is infallible in matters of doctrine and morals whenever he speaks ex cathedra. This actually happens quite rarely and does not mean that Catholics think that everything the pope says is without error. Only when he speaks and teaches as the universal shepherd of God’s church is he considered infallible by Catholics.
“Catholic” literally means “respect for the whole” and, in theological contexts, simply refers to the universal Church—all Christians who are truly part of Christ’s Body. Typically, the term was used to describe universally accepted Christian beliefs. “Roman Catholic” refers to a more particular Christian tradition and ecclesiastical body. Other things to know about the Roman Catholic Church: 1. The Roman Catholic Church is known for its social stances, particularly with regard to the family. Abortion is forbidden, as is use of artificial contraception. Married couples interested in family planning are encouraged to pursue Natural Family Planning (NFP). 1. Roman Catholicism recognizes seven sacraments, which are important means of grace for the Christian life. Like Protestants, Catholics hold Baptism and the Eucharist as sacraments. Catholics also believe confirmation, reconciliation (penance), anointing of the sick, marriage, and ordination to be sacraments. 1. Traditional Roman Ca...
- Barton Gingerich
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Convened to address problems within the German Church, a new Church-affiliated body appears to be questioning essential Catholic doctrine.
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