What Exactly is Catholicism?
Catholicism is basically the faith, practice and church order of the Roman Catholic Church. The term Christian is used to cover a range or different beliefs based on the teaching of Jesus Christ.
Is Catholicism the same as Christianity?
Not exactly. Catholicism is a subset of Christianity. All Catholics are Christians, but not all Christians are Catholics. A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ, and a Christian can be Catholic, Protestant, Gnostic, Mormon, Evangelical, Anglican, Orthodox or some other kind of follower of that religion.
About 60% of Christians are Catholic, and a Catholic is a Christian, who follows the Catholic religions as transmitted through the succession of Popes of Rome and the Vatican Empire across history. The Pope is the leader of the Catholic church. Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and they share many other beliefs with other Christian practices.
Here are some of the essential Catholic beliefs:
The Bible is the word of God.
Baptism – The rite of becoming a Christian is necessary for salvation.
God’s Ten Commandments – There are a moral compass and an ethical standard to live by.
The Holy Trinity – Catholics embrace the belief that the one supreme being, God is made up of three persons; The Father, The son, and the Holy Spirit.
All humans are born with an original sin because Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden.
Catholics believe in Grace, in a sharing, in the divine and the inspiration to do God’s will.
Some other beliefs that set Catholics apart from other Christian religions are:
The Catholic Church has a very strict hierarchy, from a parish priest to bishops, archbishops to the Pope himself. The Virgin Mary is of high regard and importance and giving her the title “Mother of God”. Catholics also believe in Transubstantiation. The elements of the Eucharist, the bread and wine, become the actual body and blood of Christ at the moment of consecration by a priest.