The riches of Jesus Christ are communicated to all the members of the Church, through the sacraments.

consecration

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

946     After confessing “the holy catholic Church,” the Apostles’ Creed adds “the communion of saints.” In a certain sense this article is a further explanation of the preceding: “What is the Church if not the assembly of all the saints?” The communion of saints is the Church.

947     “Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others. … We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head. … Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments.” “As this Church is governed by one and the same Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common fund.”

948     The term “communion of saints” therefore has two closely linked meanings: communion in holy things (sancta)” and “among holy persons (sancti).”

Sancta sanctis! (“God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people”) is proclaimed by the celebrant in most Eastern liturgies during the elevation of the holy Gifts before the distribution of communion. The faithful (sancti) are fed by Christ’s holy body and blood (sancta) to grow in the communion of the Holy Spirit (koinonia) and to communicate it to the world.

Read more

Writer is critical of the Catholic position on homosexuality, but the reader comments tell the real story.

Skip the article if you like, but the reader comments are worth a look.

Link

Priest who withheld communion from lesbian buddhist tells his story

I am confident that my own view, that I did the only thing a faithful Catholic priest could do in such an awkward situation, quietly, with no intention to hurt or embarrass, will be upheld.

Read more from Father Marcel Guarnizo

Pope on the Holy Trinity: “the only context in which the believer can be in full communion with Christ is the Church and her living Tradition.”

The Pope acknowledged that Christian monotheism builds on the faith of Judaism. But with the incarnation of Jesus, this faith “came to be illuminated with a completely new light: the light of the Trinity, a mystery which also illuminates brotherhood among men.”

Pope Benedict next addressed the question of how scholars can identify authentically Catholic thought. He observed that many Christians take the Bible as the ultimate source of authority, but said that reliance on Scripture, while necessary, is not sufficient.

“The Bible is always necessarily read in a certain context,” the Pope said, “and the only context in which the believer can be in full communion with Christ is the Church and her living Tradition.”

Read more

The Seven Daily Habits of Holy People


There are various ways to come to know Jesus. We are going to speak briefly about some of them in this article. You want to come to know, love and serve Jesus the same way you learn to love and stay in love with anybody: your spouse, family members, and close friends, i.e. by spending a considerable amount of time with him on a regular and, in this case, daily basis. The payoff, if you will, is the only true happiness in this life and the vision of God in the next. There are no easy substitutes. Sanctification is a work of a lifetime and it requires our determined effort to cooperate with God’s sanctifying grace coming through the sacraments.

The seven daily habits that I propose to you are the morning offering, spiritual reading (New Testament and a spiritual book suggested to you by your spiritual advisor), the Holy Rosary, Holy Mass and Communion, at least fifteen minutes of mental prayer, the recitation of the Angelus at noon, and a brief examination of conscience at night.

These are the principal means to achieve holiness. If you are a person who wants to bring Christ to others through your friendship, these are the instruments by which you store up the spiritual energy that will enable you to so. Apostolic action without the sacraments and a deep solid interior life will in the long run be ineffective. You can be sure that all the saints incorporated in one way or another all of these habits into their daily routine. Your goal is to be like them, contemplatives in the middle of the world.

Read more by Fr. McCloskey

Anglican woman priest gives communion to dog, as a “welcoming gesture”.


According to those in attendance at the historical church at 188 Carlton St. in downtown Toronto, it was a spontaneous gesture, one intended to make both the dog and its owner – a first timer at the church — feel welcomed. But at least one parishioner saw the act as an affront to the rules and regulations of the Anglican Church. He filed a complaint with the reverend and with the Anglican Diocese of Toronto about the incident – and has since left the church.

“I wrote back to the parishioner that it is not the policy of the Anglican Church to give communion to animals,” said Bishop Patrick Yu, the area bishop of York-Scarborough responsible for St. Peter’s, who received the complaint in early July. “I can see why people would be offended. It is a strange and shocking thing, and I have never heard of it happening before.”

“I think the reverend was overcome by what I consider a misguided gesture of welcoming.”

Link

Editor’s note: Due to their separation from the Catholic Church and lack of valid holy orders, communion is the Anglican church is purely symbolic. Nothing more than bread and wine. No real presence of Jesus Christ. None-the-less, this is certainly one of the stupidest dog-gone things ever done … in the long history of Christianity

The Holy Eucharist and Salvation by Faith


Few controversies have compromised Christian unity more than the dispute over salvation, and nothing has obscured our understanding of salvation more than the question of faith and works.

Conventional responses commonly assign an explicit role to faith or works in salvation: We are “saved by faith” or we are “saved by good works” or by some combination of the two.

But faith and works are attributes of the authentic means of salvation, which is communion with God through the Holy Eucharist: Man believes, in faith, that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and acts upon that faith by receiving the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Communion.

The Holy Eucharist is the central reality of all human experience. It transcends time, space, and matter, and unites believers physically and spiritually with God. It is the essence of the Living God, and the sine qua non of human salvation.

Read more

Submitted by Doria2

Archbishop Chaput: Professional Liturgical Establishment Shaped Liturgy According to World (Big Mistake!)


by Shawn Tribe

By way of Catholic News Agency (and in turn first noticed by way of Luke Coppen) we read of a lecture delivered by Archbishop Charles Chaput at the Liturgical Institute of Mundelein. Here is a taste:

The archbishop said Chicago priest Fr. Robert Barron is one of the few to have wrestled with such issues. For him, the liturgy is not to be shaped according to modern suppositions; rather, the liturgy should “question and shape the suppositions of any age.” While modern man is probably incapable of the liturgical act, this is no grounds for despair. Instead, we should “let the liturgy be itself,” the priest has said.

Archbishop Chaput agreed with Fr. Barron that in recent decades the “professional liturgical establishment” chose to shape the liturgy according to the world, which has proven to be “a dead end.” Seeking relevance through “a kind of relentless cult of novelty” has only resulted in confusion and division between the faithful and the true spirit of the liturgy, continued the archbishop.

[…]

To this end, the Archbishop of Denver offered several suggestions: the need to recover the “intrinsic and inseparable connection” between liturgy and evangelization; the need to see the liturgy as a participation in the “liturgy of heaven” where Christians worship “in Spirit and truth” with the Church and the communion of the saints; and the need to recover and live the early Christians’ “vibrant liturgical and evangelical spirituality.”

“Liturgy is both the source of the Church’s mission and its goal,” explained the prelate. “The reason we evangelize is in order to bring people into communion with the living God in the Eucharistic liturgy. And this experience of communion with God, in turn, impels us to evangelize.”

Source: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Bishops Very Troubled by Some Catholic Blogs

Bishop Gabino Zavala, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Communications Committee, recently spoke at the annual Catholic Media Association convention. He had a lot of really good things to say, particularly about what it means to be faithful Catholics in the media and what we can teach the secular media in the process. But he also had a message for Catholic blogs:

“There was consistent agreement [among brother bishops] that one aspect that is most alarming to us about media is when it becomes unchristian and hurtful to individuals. For example, we are particularly concerned about blogs that engage in attacks and hurtful, judgmental language. We are very troubled by blogs and other elements of media that assume the role of Magisterium and judge others in the Church. Such actions shatter the communion of the Church that we hold so precious.”

Link

Editor’s note: Bishops who engage in politics, who mismanage their dioceses, and/or who become enmeshed in scandals, rightfully open themselves up to criticism, as well as other types of legitimate sanctions.

Magisterium deals with authoritative Catholic teaching, evangelizing and sanctification … and in many dioceses, especially these days, there’s precious little of that going on.

It is also worth mentioning that bishops properly act in their official Magisterial capacity only when they faithfully, truthfully and accurately teach and guide others in the practice of the authentic Catholic faith. Heretical bishops typically fail on this point, and we have plenty of those around today.

How’s that for endangering the communion of the Church that we hold so precious.”

Bishop Zavala is from Los Angeles, so he is in a position to take a lot of “flak” (and rightly so) for all the heretical nonsense and other corruption that has been going on there, for so long.

I’m not surprised he’s so sensitive. And it’s no wonder he’s worried about judgment. If I was so closely involved with that left-coast crew, I would be too! (Gee, I hope I’m not being too critical.)

The bishops better start getting used to the laity being more involved in all things Catholic. After all, a more active, fully participating laity was one of the primary objectives of the 2nd Vatican Council. The bishops had over 40 years to implement those Vatican II reforms, and they nearly wrecked the Catholic Church, in the process.

Perhaps it’s also time the Catholic Church went on a serious financial fast … something like: “A dollar a week, until they squeak!”

Freedom from the pressures of high finance would give the bishops (plus the USCCB and CCHD) the flexibility they need to get back to doing their basic and most essential Magisterial duties … which never included managing hundreds of millions of dollars in assets.

After all, no man …  not even a bishop … can serve two masters.

See the earlier posts on Subsidiarity

I seem to remember Bishop Zavala, (but maybe one of the other auxiliaries) recently out there in L.A., presiding over what appeared to be a Catholic Mass, complete with dancing girls swooping around the altar, holding big bowls of flaming incense as they went.

Funny how, ever since the establishment of the Old Testament priesthood, the burning of incense in the sanctuary has always been reserved exclusively to priests (except apparently, for now).

Dancing girls performing priestly functions in a Catholic liturgy (in the presence of a bishop)?!  Who would have believed such a thing could ever happen? Is that worthy of criticism? HeXX yes, it is! Five hundred years ago it could have gotten somebody burned at the stake!

People who don’t like being criticized ought to first consider whether, under normal circumstances, such criticism is warranted. Then they ought to consider the much higher standards that apply to those in authority (especially priests and bishops). And then they ought to straighten up, “fly right” … and just do their jobs.

Heck, they used to feed bishops to the lions! What’s a little criticism, compared to that?

I’m done.

Your comments (and criticisms) are very welcome.

“Dear Congressman Kennedy:”

Tobin

Dear Congressman Kennedy:

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” (Congressman Patrick Kennedy) Since our recent correspondence has been rather public, I hope you don’t mind if I share a few reflections about your practice of the faith in this public forum. I usually wouldn’t do that – that is speak about someone’s faith in a public setting – but in our well-documented exchange of letters about health care and abortion, it has emerged as an issue. I also share these words publicly with the thought that they might be instructive to other Catholics, including those in prominent positions of leadership.

For the moment I’d like to set aside the discussion of health care reform, as important and relevant as it is, and focus on one statement contained in your letter of October 29, 2009, in which you write, “The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” That sentence certainly caught my attention and deserves a public response, lest it go unchallenged and lead others to believe it’s true. And it raises an important question: What does it mean to be a Catholic?

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” Well, in fact, Congressman, in a way it does. Although I wouldn’t choose those particular words, when someone rejects the teachings of the Church, especially on a grave matter, a life-and-death issue like abortion, it certainly does diminish their ecclesial communion, their unity with the Church. This principle is based on the Sacred Scripture and Tradition of the Church and is made more explicit in recent documents.

For example, the “Code of Canon Law” says, “Lay persons are bound by an obligation and possess the right to acquire a knowledge of Christian doctrine adapted to their capacity and condition so that they can live in accord with that doctrine.” (Canon 229, #1)

kennedypat

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” says this: “Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles, ‘He who hears you, hears me,’ the faithful receive with docility the teaching and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.” (#87)

Or consider this statement of the Church: “It would be a mistake to confuse the proper autonomy exercised by Catholics in political life with the claim of a principle that prescinds from the moral and social teaching of the Church.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2002)

There’s lots of canonical and theological verbiage there, Congressman, but what it means is that if you don’t accept the teachings of the Church your communion with the Church is flawed, or in your own words, makes you “less of a Catholic.”

But let’s get down to a more practical question; let’s approach it this way: What does it mean, really, to be a Catholic? After all, being a Catholic has to mean something, right?

Read all of BISHOP THOMAS J. TOBIN’S letter to Rep. Kennedy here

Anglicans, Welcome Home!

hlihdr

Anglicans, Welcome Home!

Pope Benedict has just invited the Anglicans into true communion, that is, communion with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church! This is probably the best news I have heard all year!

In a stunning move on Tuesday, the Holy Father issued a decree which created a provision allowing whole Anglican communities to become one with the Roman Catholic Church while retaining their own leadership and traditions. This move is unprecedented! In reality, it has been so long in coming, and I often wondered why acceptance of these willing communities was not done decades ago. Clearly, the progressive penchant for increasing “dialogue” and endlessly maintaining “diversity” made it impossible for them to switch sides, but now that barrier has been wiped away. It would seem that such willingness on the part of so many to rejoin the One True Church would be an opportunity of epic proportions for evangelization. Yet, it took a clear-thinking German Pope to reverse, in part, the damage that his countryman Martin Luther and King Henry VIII did to the unity of the Church almost 500 years ago.

It is said that as many as 50 Anglican bishops and their communities around the world have asked for union with the Roman Catholic Church. There is one group of traditionalist Anglicans who number between 400,000 and 500,000 members and are expected to be the first to take the leap. I pray that many more will walk through the doors that lead to full Catholic unity!

The real question is why anyone at all should stay in the Anglican Church. What is there to stay for? Anglicanism is basically committing doctrinal suicide, much the same way that England’s population is about to implode due to their excessively high abortion and contraception rates and their hedonistic culture. All of that culture rot, of course, is symbiotic with the Anglican rebellion against traditional morality which slid precipitously from Henry’s heresy to a homosexual hierarchy in a few short centuries. I am glad to see that some Anglicans are not taking it any more. Many have now realized that the only place they can find the unadulterated (no pun intended, Henry…) Truth is in the Church that Christ founded to be the “pillar and bulwark of truth” (1 Tim 3:15) for all ages. Those who stand on the Rock of Peter have solid footing for answering all the most important issues of any day. The holy English martyrs must be rejoicing in heaven knowing that they did not shed their blood in vain!

In order to “manage expectations,” however, we have to let the Anglicans know that they will not enter a perfect Church by any means, just a True Church, but that is the reality of this human institution with a divine soul. They may meet some who are still mired in the relativistic morals they thought they had left back in London. They may meet others who work precisely against the teaching of Christ while remaining within our chanceries. They will find a Church that badly needs a leadership overhaul and a good scouring of the Temple, but more important than any other consideration is that they will be in Christ’s Church and they will now strengthen us in our fight for the Truth! We can only be overjoyed at their entrance. Their orthodoxy will amplify the voice of traditional Catholics hopefully enough to drown out the voices of dissent with our ranks. May the entrance of the faithful Anglicans serve as example of authentic faith to all who belong to our Lord!

Now I have a request for all faithful Catholics who love unity. Whenever we hear of those from the Anglican Communion returning to the Church that Christ founded, please seek them out and give them a hero’s welcome! I have already written to the community of Anglican nuns in Maryland that recently embraced the Ancient Faith, and it was such a joy to do so! Let us thank them and tell them how inspiring their journey is to us who were born into this Church. Their entrance into full communion reminds us of the precious gift we have been given in the authentic Catholic Faith. Let us also assure them that they are welcome in the Church to which Christ promised the very keys of the Kingdom of Heaven!

Sincerely,


Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International

Divine Providence and the Catholic Church

 hspiritenhcls

Someone recently wrote:

“Absolutely no church in this world is The Church as you so think that the catholic is. You personally are but a part of the body of Christ. Just as each of us make up the complete body of the living God, Jesus Christ.”

My reply:

I know precisely who I am in Christ, since Jesus and the Church have clearly defined the rights, responsibilities, and privileges that go along with Church membership.

I strongly suspect that no one has ever explained to you how awesome God and his authentic Church really are.

Jesus refers to the Church as his, and he gave his life for it. That makes it holy.

Jesus founded the Catholic Church and no other. That makes it one.

Jesus gave the apostles the “Great Commission” and sent them out into the world to establish the Church and to save souls. That makes it apostolic.

Jesus expressed his fervent desire that all should be one in his authentic Church, even as he and God the Father are one. That makes it catholic (universal).

Jesus gave awesome power to the men he hand-picked and personally trained, so that the fruits of his redemptive work could be freely and properly distributed. That’s authority.

Jesus appointed certain men to offer perfect sacrifice to God for the people, always and everywhere, without fail. That’s  authentic ministerial priesthood and holy communion. 

With Jesus at the head of the Church, and with the Holy Spirit as the official arbiter of all divine truth, the frailties and foibles of the sinful men who govern the Church pose no effective barrier to salvation. That’s divine providence.

Praise God!

I’m Roman Catholic is it ok to attend a Baptist Church?

Q: I’m Roman Catholic is it ok to attend a Baptist Church?
OK I was born and raised Roman Catholic and I go to church every Sunday and have christian values but i would not call myself a strict practicer. Well anyways a close friend of mine asked if i wanted to attend her church (Baptist) sometime and i said yeah ok because i thought well a church is a church and its the same god so why not it wouldnt hurt?

A; Catholics are obligated to attend Mass at a Catholic Church, on Sundays … where Jesus becomes present on the altar … body, blood, soul, and divinity … for the building up of the “Body of Christ” … which is the Church … and for the sins of the whole world.

Baptists experience Christ in spirit only.

Many of their beliefs and practices are in serious error, and are at odds with those of the Catholic Church … while their “communion” remains mere crackers and juice.

You have no business being there.

Get yourself to Mass, where you belong!

A Catholic eucharist question????

Q: After you received the bread (Eucharist) and you go back to your seat.

Everybody kneels and prays. What do you pray??????? Do you say your own prayers???? Some Hail Mary???? Some Glory Be???

Please!!! Serious Answers!! I just received my first Eucharist today and they didn’t tell me.

A: Jesus remains physically present for about 15 minutes after you receive him. During that time, you’re as holy as you’re ever likely to get, this side of Heaven.

You have a wonderful opportunity to adore Jesus, and to “commune” with all the angels, all the saints, and all the “People of God” no matter where they might be, through him, with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

You can also just simply “be” and let Jesus do all the “talking”.

Exactly what you do and how you chose to do it is up to you.

Is it possible to reach perfection in the human world?

Q: Is it possible to reach perfection in the human world?

A: It’s possible for practicing Catholics, who receive Holy Communion while in a state of grace, to attain spiritual perfection … and maintain it … for a period estimated to be about a quarter of an hour, at a time.

There is also a corresponding physical effect, which is not yet completely understood.

Why is Jesus called the high priest if there are no priests in new testament?

Q: Why is Jesus called the high priest if there are no priests in new testament?

A: Priests offer sacrifice to God for the people. Ministers … just minister. Only some protestants (erroneously) believe that there are no priests in the new testament.

Jesus, our heavenly high priest IS the definitive sacrifice of the new covenant … and he is also the only sacrifice that is acceptable to God the Father.

When he gave us the basic liturgy for the Mass at the Last Supper, and he told us to remember him in that way, Jesus gave us the means for practical worship and acceptable sacrifice, as atonement for the sins of the world.

Jesus personally instituted the new testament priesthood at the Last Supper, when he instructed the apostles.

Those who later separated themselves from the Catholic Church also separated themselves from the power of the priesthood … and that’s the main reason why protestant communion is merely symbolic, and will never be anything more than crackers and grape juice.

Contrary to what some people claim, Catholics do not crucify Christ again at each Mass. We simply offer up Jesus, the one time, once for all, eternal sacrifice for sin, to our Father in heaven, with Jesus the High Priest at the very head of the congregation, every single time.

That’s why it’s necessary for the real presence of Jesus to be there on the altar for us at Mass … body, blood, soul, and divinity … just as Jesus assured us it would be … and that’s why we can always be absolutely sure that God the Father will find our sacrifice to be acceptable to him, every single time … no matter how unworthy or sinful we might be.

The old testament Levitical priesthood was the ancient biblical ante-type of the new covenant priesthood, which is truly empowered by God, to do all these wonderful things (and more) for us.

CENSORS TARGET KANSAS CITY ARCHBISHOP

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann

On May 9, Kansas City Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann publicly asked Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to refrain from going to Communion. Sebelius not only supports abortion-on-demand, and works closely with Planned Parenthood, she has received funding from Dr. George Tiller of Wichita; he is nationally known for performing late-term abortions.

Over the past few weeks, Archbishop Naumann has been roundly criticized for his decision. Defending him is Catholic League president Bill Donohue:

“A small group called Catholic Democrats has blasted Archbishop Naumann for using ‘Holy Communion as a political weapon to take her [Sebelius] down.’ The National Catholic Reporter, which runs ads by anti-Catholic and pro-abortion groups, labeled Naumann ‘rigid’ for using ‘political tactics.’ Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times condemned him for setting in motion ‘about as nasty and as utterly avoidable a church-state confrontation as you’re likely to see.’ Kansas City Community News opinion page editor Bob Sigman agreed, saying Naumann’s decision ‘has serious consequences for those who believe in the firm line between church and state.’ And Barbara Shelly, who sits on the editorial board of the Kansas City Star, takes the same line, branding his request ‘harsh.’

“All of them are hypocrites. Democratic candidates for public office have been receiving endorsements, and in some cases contributions, in African American churches for decades, yet none of them see a violation of church and state. The reason they are upset with Archbishop Naumann is because Sebelius is on Sen. Barack Obama’s shortlist as a vice presidential running mate. They would make an excellent pair: she supports partial-birth abortions and he supports selective infanticide.

“Archbishop Naumann said it best when he met with Sebelius: ‘I challenged the governor to produce a single instance in her legislative or executive career [which spans 30 years] where she has supported any effort to limit abortions.’ She could not. Which explains why her fans love her.”

Submitted by The Catholic League

Kansas Archbishop to Gov. Sebelius: No More Communion.

KS Archbishop Tells Pro-Abortion Gov. Sebelius
To Refrain From Communion And Amend Her Life

            
May 10th, 2008

Sebelius’ rebellion to Church leadership prompts stern rebuke

Topeka, KS – Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann has told Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to refrain from presenting herself for Holy Communion until she takes “the necessary steps for amendment of her life which would include a public repudiation of her previous efforts and actions in support of laws and policies sanctioning abortion.”

Sebelius is known as an aggressive supporter of radical abortion rights and has vetoed a number of pieces of common-sense legislation over the years that would have reigned in an out-of-control abortion industry in Kansas.

As a result, abortion mills remain uninspected in spite of documented filthy conditions, and abortion laws meant to protect women and viable babies remain unenforced.

Sebelius has close ties to abortionist George R. Tiller, who has funneled huge amounts of campaign contributions to Sebelius in the past. Tiller currently faces 19 criminal charges, a grand jury investigation, and two open investigations with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts for criminal conduct and violations of the standard of care. Nevertheless, Sebelius remains supportive of Tiller and his notorious abortion business.

“We believe evidence exists that shows that Sebelius has strong personal and political ties to Tiller, and has used her political influence to cover up for crimes committed by Tiller and his associates in order to maintain the flow of abortion money into Kansas politics, thus furthering her own political career,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

“It is because of her policies that three abortionists come to Kansas to commit the latest of late-term abortions from states that prohibit them. It is also because of her policies that women come to Kansas from all over the world for the latest of late-term abortions that are banned elsewhere. These people come to kill viable babies because they know as long as Sebelius is governor that Kansas laws prohibiting post-viability abortions will not be enforced.”

“Sebelius stands in open rebellion to the teachings and requests of her Church,” said Newman. “We join Archbishop Naumann in calling on Sebelius to repent from her support of abortion, and to amend her life to undo some of the human devastation and tragedy for which her public policies and private cover ups are responsible.”

Read Bishop Naumann’s full statement

Submitted by Operation Rescue

Someone please explain Catholicism to me?

Q: Someone please explain Catholicism to me?

My girlfriend is catholic and I’m protestant, so I want to know a bit about it like:
What was the origin of the pope and having a hierarchy within the church. What do you believe exactly leads to salvation? What would a catholic probably think about being married to a protestant. What is mass and confessions like. What’s with hail Marys and the other prayers, etc.

Plus do they believe you have to be baptised in order to be saved and anything else that might be interesting to know.

I’ve never been to a catholic church in my life.

A: It would be impossible to answer all your questions here, but there’s a link to the Catechism at the bottom, and plenty of links to other Catholic resources on this site.

Here’s a fairly comprehensive overview:

Catholicism is based on all the original authority, grace, and truth that Jesus obtained for us and and willed to us, and that the Holy Spirit delivered to the Church, the “People of God” and the “Mystical Body of Christ” at its’ birth, on Pentecost.

The authentic Church has been known as Catholic since at least 107 AD.

St. Peter was selected by God the Father to lead the Church, sworn in by Jesus, and accepted as the leader of the Church, by all the apostles.

The apostles shared the awesome power of binding and loosing, on earth and in heaven, and in governing the Church, but the holy office of Pope is charged with making the final decision, and the Pope remains at the top of the earthly hierarchy.

The authentic Christian Church was originally and eternally constituted by Jesus Christ as one (there are no other authentic Christian churches), holy (it belongs to God), catholic (universal – one for all) and apostolic (established and governed by the apostles, and later, by their duly ordained successors).

Absent all of these four marks, no church can claim to be the “true” church.

Jesus founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed the Catholic Church to lead all to salvation in his grace.

The Holy Spirit is the eternal advocate of the Church, and the arbiter of all divine truth. The Holy Spirit guides the Church from age to age, by means of sacred Tradition.

“Tradition” defines how Catholics should live and worship. Tradition may be written or oral. The Bible is a portion of authentic Catholic Church Tradition reduced to writing, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Catholics, by nature of their baptism, are part of the Royal Priesthood of all believers in Christ.

Catholics are typically baptized as infants, relying on the faith of the Church and the power of God for their sanctification and their salvation. Baptism may be conferred at any age, but when received by infants, Baptism serves as the ultimate demonstration of personal salvation in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, according to the will of God the Father, with absolutely NO works at all.

Baptism serves to remove all traces of sin … original sin and other … makes one a temple of the Holy Spirit, an adopted child of God, a citizen of Heaven, co-heir with Jesus Christ, and a member of the Church.

The Ministerial Priesthood is ordered towards service to the faith community, and sacrifice to God, and it complements the work and the mission of the Royal Priesthood.

The primary duty of the ministerial priesthood is pastoral in nature, and sacramental in application.

Catholics rely on 7 sacraments, each of them personally instituted by Jesus Christ, as the primary channels of God’s grace and peace, in this sphere of existence:

Baptism, Reconciliation, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick.

All of these are biblical, and most are essential to the salvation of the believer. All constitute a close encounter with the risen Christ, courtesy of the power of the Holy Spirit, working through the Church, and through the ministerial priesthood.

The Mass … where Jesus becomes truly present for us on the altar, and Holy Communion, where we personally receive the risen Christ … body, blood, soul, and divinity, constitutes the source and summit of all Catholic worship.

The Mass constitutes the eternal fulfillment of the Jewish Passover, and it also fulfills the command that Jesus gave us at the Last Supper, to “Do this in memory of me.”

The Mass also re-presents Christ’s one time, once for all, eternal sacrifice for sin, and makes possible our current day participation in that very same sacrifice … as well as our regular reception of all the graces that continue to flow from it.

The Catholic Church celebrates Mass every hour of every day, every day of every year, all around the world, as a holy propitiation for the sins of the whole world.

Catholics are blessed to receive the real and substantial body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, as often as two times each day … three times in a day, if in danger of death.

Holy Communion constitutes the central point of our participation in the Catholic faith, personally uniting every Catholic with Jesus Christ, with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, and with every other faithful member of the Christian Church, whether they might be alive here on earth, awaiting admittance to heaven in purgatory, or already enjoying their eternal reward, in heaven.

First among these holy people of God, according to the order of grace, is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, the New Eve, and Jesus’ first, best, and most constant disciple.

God honored Mary in a totally unique, equisite, and infinitely perfect way when he chose her to be the mother of his divine Son, Jesus. Any honors we Catholics might give to the Blessed Virgin, who remains a creature, as we are, pale in comparison to that which God has already given her. 

Catholics believe that Mary has already been admitted to Heaven, and that she has already received all of the rewards and promises that Jesus desires to share with those who manage to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, with the help of his grace.

Catholics rightly understand that Mary, though still a mere creature, already dwells with her divine Son in the eternal glory of Heaven, and that she has already received the recognition, the power, and the fullness of the eternal rewards that God generously offers to each and every one of the faithful. 

For specific details on all of these “rewards” read the Book of Revelation, Chapters 2,3,11,13,15,21, and see exactly what has been promised to all of “those that shall overcome”.

Catholics also understand that no one is truly “saved” until Jesus personally and finally invites them into heaven.

Until then, we remain in blessed hope, relying on a lifetime of full, active, and charitable participation in all the work, worship, sacraments, and devotions of the Catholic Church, to guide and sanctify us.

The Catholic Church is the ONLY Church that Jesus ever founded, authorized, and eternally guaranteed, for the purpose of our salvation.

Jesus remains the head of the Catholic Church, and faith in Christ necessitates faith in his authentic Church, even if some of those who belong to, and even govern the Church, are terrible sinners.

Catholics understand all this by means of a 2000 year old tradition of some of the finest theological scholarship and philosophy that the world has ever known. Scholarship, theology, and philosophy that is freely available to all.

The Catholic faith is clearly defined through Scripture, through Tradition, and through the authentic teachings of the Pope and the Bishops, who were charged with that sacred duty by Jesus Christ, himself.

These “3 witnesses” have always been in complete agreement, and are impossible to refute. This is itself a biblical concept.

For all these reasons and many more, the Catholic faith remains the most practical, complete, truthful, and fully documented faith on earth … or for that matter … ANYWHERE else.

The final proof of this divine practicality can be found in the broad, comforting, and remarkably effective array of pastoral and sacramental care that is available to the sick and the dying … care that is more than powerful enough to literally snatch the soul of even a heinous sinner away from Satan the devil, before he’s even had time to notice.

In short, from conception until natural death, Catholics enjoy all the best that God has to give, and we look forward with blessed hope, to someday receiving all that Jesus Christ has promised us, in the next life.

We Catholics like to do all this In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Link to the Catholic Catechism