An Introduction to Catholicism (Introduction to Religion) by Lawrence S. Cunningham

By Lawrence S. Cunningham

The Vatican. The Inquisition. birth control. Celibacy. Apparitions and miracles. Plots and scandals. The Catholic Church is seldom out of the scoop. yet what do its 1000000000 adherents fairly think, and the way do they positioned their ideals into perform in worship, the relations, and society?

This down-to-earth account is going again to the early Christian creeds to discover the roots of recent Catholic considering. It avoids getting slowed down in theological technicalities, and throws gentle on facets of the Church's institutional constitution and liturgical perform that even Catholics can locate baffling: why visit confession? How are humans made saints? what's 'infallible' in regards to the Pope? issues addressed comprise: • scripture and culture • sacraments and prayer • renowned piety • own and social morality • reform, project, and interreligious discussion Lawrence Cunningham, a theologian, prize-winning author and college instructor, presents an outline of Catholicism at the present time that allows you to be essential for undergraduates and lay research teams.

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Of course, the catholicity described in the Church’s own liturgy is a highly refined one. It may seem at variance with the messy realities of the Catholic Church as it is actually observed. It is part of faith that the Church is a The Catholic substance 21 mystery not in the sense that it is a puzzle (although it may well be that for some) but in the sense that something hidden lies behind its human manifestation. Catholics believe that to be the case. They often appeal to Saint Paul’s metaphor that we are part of a body whose “head is Christ” and, in that sense, the deepest meaning of catholicity pertains to faith.

23 24 Roman Catholicism beginnings to constantine It is clear that when Saint Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans he was writing to what he considered to be a single church, if by “church” we understand this to be in Paul’s terms of the Christian assembly or congregation, which was to be the recipient of his letter. A closer examination of the situation in Rome, however, indicates that the Christian presence in Rome after Paul’s death (he, as well as Saint Peter, are presumed to have died in Rome during Nero’s persecution in ad 64) was quite complex and consisted of more than one unified community.

Many thought that the papacy was coming to a sad end. the recreation of vatican city state Leo XIII ushered the papacy into the twentieth century; he reigned from 1878 to 1903. While he followed the policy of his predecessor relative to the new Italian state (he forbade Catholics from voting or taking part in the political life of the Church), he showed himself, in other ways, to be a progressive pope. His most famous encyclical Rerum novarum (1891) was the first great papal encyclical on social justice; he asserted the rights of private property but he also asserted the rights of workers to organize and to be paid a decent wage – with the right to private ownership came the obligation of justice.

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