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What Do Catholics Believe? Core Beliefs of Church Faith In Christian Catholicism
What Do Catholics Believe?
What do Catholics Believe?
This article will explore the basics of the faith and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. This is the first article in a series related to Catholic Faith. In this article I will discuss the core beliefs of the Catholic Church and the Order of the Catholic Mass as well as the hierarchy within the church government. The word Mass refers to the Church Service and the celebration of the Catholic Faith.
The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church
The Catholic religion is headed by the Pope who resides in the Vatican City. The Pope is the highest authority figure in the church. The title of Pope, often referred to as the Holy See, is an elected and lifetime position. The Pope is considered to be part of the continued lineage of Bishops since the times of Christ. This is often a debated subject among non-Catholics and Catholics alike.
Cardinals are appointed by the Pope and are assigned to pick the next Pope when the sitting Pope dies. The Cardinals are considered to be Princes, with Jesus Christ as the King. They are also considered to be Senior Bishops. They also reside in the Vatican.
Bishops are appointed to run and oversee demographically localized areas called Dioceses. The bishops oversee the Priests and Deacons within their diocese, which is made up of independent churches.
Priests act as the head of each individual church. They lead the faithful in the celebration of the Mass and perform many pastoral duties including spiritual counseling, mentoring, assisting families, and many other duties depending on location and needs of the community.
Deacons are not priests but are ordained. This is the only position in the Church where the person may be married. No priests can be married as they are supposed to dedicate their life to Christ and the Church.
Lay Ministers are ordinary people in the church who partake in certain duties and rituals during the Mass. There are several different types of Lay Ministers.
Eucharistic Ministers distribute the Holy Communion during the Mass. Eucharistic Ministers also go to the homes of the sick and infirm and people who are shut-ins and can't go to Mass.
Liturgical Ministers are the people who read to the congregation from the Bible during the Mass, which is the book used by all Christians as the source of their faith. The bible is believed to be inspired by God; the Word of God.
Parishioners are the people who attend the Mass and are the faithful believers in Christ and the Catholic Church. These are the people that go to Church Services and share in their faith. They listen to the Word, share in Communion, and are the foundation of the Church as a whole.
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The Catholic Mass
The Catholic Mass is celebrated every day. Many people attend Mass on Sunday as this is the "Church Day" for many Catholics. Most Masses run for about an hour, depending on the occasion and also the priest. Some priests are fast-paced, while other priests give lengthy Homilies, which is a reflection of the reading from the Bible. The Catholic Mass is divided into two parts:
The Liturgy of the Word is the first part of the Mass where the readings from the Bible are read. The Liturgical Ministers read two readings from the Old Testament and the Priest reads one reading from the New Testament. After the Gospel reading, the priest gives a Homily which explains what was read and how it applies to our own life. Sometimes this is referred to as a sermon. After the Liturgy of the Word is completed, the second half of the Mass begins.
The Liturgy of the Eucharist is the second part of the Mass. This is where Catholics pray together to ask for God's forgiveness and to prepare us to receive Holy Communion. The communion is a bread which is blessed by the priest, and through the act of Divine Intervention and Conversion, the bread becomes the Spiritual Body of Christ. This is the core of the Catholic Faith. To be worthy of consumption of this Communion, one must have received the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. This will be discussed later in another article in this series.
This article serves as a brief explanation of the Catholic Church and the Catholic Mass. There are many rites and traditions, as well as Sacraments and Law that the church observes. Please follow me in this series of the Catholic Faith, as I touch upon the key elements of the faithful.
This article is part 1 of a series. To continue the series, follow the links below.
A Series on Catholicism
- What Is The Holy Spirit: Teachings of the Catholic Church
Since God is omnipotent and all-powerful, He is more complex than humans can understand. Catholics recognize three parts of God; God the Father the God-head, Jesus His son, and the Holy Spirit...
- How Do I Become Catholic?
There are 2 ways to become Catholic: you are either born into the faith, or you convert from another religion (or no religion) and receive the Sacraments of Initiation...
- The Best Easter I Ever Had
Easter is the celebration in the church for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who we believe died for our sins...
- Mary: The Mother of Jesus Christ
What does the Catholic Church teach about Mary the mother of Christ? Mary is recognized as Jesus mother and is an important person throughout the Gospels in the New Testament...
- The Vatican At A Glance
A brief journey through the Vatican City.
- What Are Angels: What Catholics Believe
Angels are found throughout the Bible in both the New and Old Testaments. Many of the main subjects in the Bible were visited by angels and given a message directly from God...