These are some of the things that make being a Catholic different.


For all its stumbling through history, despite the Renaissance popes who remain an embarrassment, the Crusades and persecutions and Galileo, forgetting the times it has failed because its members have failed, the Catholic Church has survived; its center has held. It has not petered out on a mountaintop waiting for the end of the world that didn’t come; it has not been confined to one nation like a domestic sport no other country understands; it has not foundered at the death of its leaders, nor even at the death of its founder from which point it springs.

The Catholic Church has survived. In all places, at all times, no matter the circumstances and pressures and purges, it has gone on because it is different. Papists and fish eaters, genuflecters, bead counters, and the ones who “have to go to church on Sunday,” Catholics have stood apart-figuratively as well as literally. Where separation was paranoid, it has, for the most part, been eliminated, but still the central sense remains, the sense that Catholics are different.

In a world of the wishy-washy, of temporary fads and passing interests, of momentary “in” things and the “latest” being hot for only a few weeks, the Catholic Church has lasted since its start 2,000 years ago-lasted and grown and held onto its soul. It has proven that it can stick- in the world or in an individual.

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Attacks in Malaysia designed to ‘annihilate’ Christians, warns Vatican official

Rome, Italy, Jan 11, 2010 / 12:59 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Robert Sarah, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples said last week that the recent attacks against Christians in Malaysia are designed to annihilate and reject “those who believe in Christ.”

The archbishop made his statements on Vatican Radio after Muslim extremists firebombed four Christian churches on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The attacks came after a controversy over whether to allow Catholics to use the term “Allah,” a traditional Malay word, in referring to the Christian God.

Archbishop Sarah also pointed out that “the fact that it has been forbidden to say the name of God is like considering them (Christians) to be pagans and therefore ‘in need’ of converting to Islam. That’s what is behind this,” he said.

“We must pray for these Christians who live in Muslim lands and suffer greatly,” the archbishop concluded.

The Christian Catacombs of Rome

The Christian Catacombs of Rome

What really are the catacombs? Why did the Christians dig their cemeteries underground? When did they originate? Why did they develop so extensively? Why are they located outside the city walls, along the great consular roads?

Is it true that the catacombs were the secret hiding places of the Christians during the persecutions? Since the catacombs are only cemeteries, how can they tell us the history of the early Church in Rome?

Why did the Christians use so many symbols? Why were the Christians persecuted? Did the persecutions last uninterruptedly for centuries? What was the behaviour of the Christians during the persecutions? Did they suffer them passively, without any resistance or did they react to this injustice? How many martyrs were there?

Are the “Passions” of the Martyrs documented history or legendary narratives? Why do we find so many inscriptions in Greek? Why do we find the tombs nearly all open and empty? How many catacombs are open to the public? What is the importance of the Catacombs for the Church of today?

For all of this and much more, go here

See also: the Scavi site