What is the Catholic Church?

The Canonization of St. John XXIII and St. John Paul IIThe Catholic Church was founded by the person and mission of Jesus Christ. The word “Catholic” means universal. Today’s Church is truly universal – it is the largest in the world with more than 1 billion members around the globe.

The mission of the Church is to spread the gospel message, administer sacraments and reach out with charity and justice to people in need. The Church is led by the Pope, who is the successor of the Apostle Peter, and the Bishops, who are also in the line of apostolic succession.

We are the Church

The Church is comprised of all believers or the People of God. Ordained clergy have a distinct role and function in the Church; all of the baptized are a part of the whole of the Body of Christ. Together with ordained ministers, the lay faithful are called to live out their baptism through spreading the gospel message and ministering to people in need.

The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One, cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples' supernatural discernment in matters of faith when ‘from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful,’ they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth. (Lumen Gentium #12)

 

 

We recite our Catholic beliefs in the Nicene Creed each Sunday at Mass.

 

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

For more information see: What  Do Catholic's Believe?

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