History of Catholicism

Catholicism is a form of Christianity that has a long and rich history. The term primarily refers to Christians that are in full communion with the Church of Rome and are led by the Roman Pontiff, currently Pope Benedict XVI.

The name “Catholic” will often be used to describe any member of the Christian faith although this usage is far from appropriate. Catholicism differs from many other branches of Christianity and bears very noticeable contrasts to the beliefs of Protestant Reformers.

The word “Catholic” is an adjective derived from the Greek language and means “universal”. Its usage in reference to the Church implies that Christianity is open to people of all ages, genders and races and is not limited to any particular time or place.

Catholics have faith in one God and in Jesus, the son of God. They follow the teachings of the Bible and believe that Jesus suffered for the sins of mankind, was crucified and buried, and was then resurrected to open heaven to his followers. They believe that Mary was the Mother of Jesus and that her conception was immaculate.

Most Catholics are baptised, a ritual that signifies the removal of original sin and welcomes the recipient into the family of the Catholic Church. Baptisms will usually be conducted on infants and involves immersing the subject in water, although gently pouring water on the forehead is a more common act nowadays.

The foundation of the Catholic belief centres on the seven sacraments. These sacraments were defined and taught by Christ during his life on Earth. The sacraments include baptism, confirmation, Holy Communion, confession, marriage, holy orders and the anointing of the sick, also known as last rites.

Like all of Christianity, prayer is a big part of the practice of Catholicism and provides a means to reflect and find grace. Catholics pray to God and Jesus, but also to Saints. The term Saint refers to a follower of Christ and lives exclusively according to His teachings, although is often used more specifically to refer to particular holy men or women that have already entered Heaven having lived a life of virtue.

Comments are closed.