Ten facts most Catholics don’t know (But should!)

Ten facts most Catholics don’t know (But should!)

http://catholicexchange.com/ten-facts-most-catholics-don%E2%80%99t-know-but-should/ EXTRACT

By Gary Zimak July 9, 2010 Taken from Ephesians5:11

Every time I hear someone claim to be an “ex-Catholic”, a sense of sadness comes over me.  In just about every case, people leave the Catholic Faith due to a lack of understanding.  After all, if Catholics truly believed that they were members of the one, true Church founded by Christ (and necessary for their salvation), nobody would ever leave!  In an effort to help clarify what the Catholic Church teaches, I have compiled a list of 10 important facts that every Catholic should know.  More than simply Catholic trivia, these are important concepts that can help us to better understand and defend our beliefs.  In no particular order, these items have been compiled based upon my work at Following The Truth and my own study of the Catholic Faith.

1. Women Will Never Be Priests

Often incorrectly lumped in with the subject of married priests, this is a doctrine that has been infallibly decided and will not change.  In 1994, Pope John Paul II issued an Apostolic Letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, in which he declared once and for all that “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”  Unlike the issue of married priests (which could possibly change), women’s ordination is an impossibility that will not happen.  It is not a “glass ceiling” or the Church’s attempt to hold back women.  Instead, it is an infallible recognition that men and women have different roles and that Christ instituted a male priesthood.


2. Fridays Are Still Days Of Penance

Ask almost anyone and they will tell you that Catholics are no longer required to abstain from meat on Fridays throughout the year.  However, the current Code of Canon Law (CIC) states that, with the exception of solemnities, “All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.” (CIC 1250)  Furthermore, “Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities.” (CIC 1251)  In the United States, the bishops have declared that it is permissible to substitute some other form of penance, but we are still urged to fast from “something” in remembrance of the Lord’s death on the cross.


3. The Bible Is A Catholic Book

Did you ever wonder how the Bible came into being?  A little known, but easily documented fact is that the books of the Bible were compiled by the Catholic Church.  For many years after Christ ascended into Heaven, there was debate about which scriptural writings were inspired by God.  The canon of Scripture (the books of the Bible) was first formally decided at the Synod of Rome in 382.  This decision was upheld at the Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397).  At these Catholic Church councils, the same 46 Old Testament and 27 New Testament books that appear in today’s Catholic Bibles were declared to be inspired by God.  As a side note, approximately 1200 years after this decision was made, Martin Luther and the Protestant reformers removed 7 books from the Old Testament.  As a result, most Protestant Bibles are still missing these 7 books.


4. The Mass Is The Same Sacrifice As Calvary

The biggest mistake that many Catholics make is treating the Holy Mass as “just another church service”, similar to those held by other religions.  In the Mass, Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross is made present, its memory is celebrated and its saving power is applied.  The Council of Trent teaches that Christ left a visible sacrifice to His Church “in which that bloody sacrifice which was once offered on the Cross should be made present, its memory preserved to the end of the world, and its salvation-bringing power applied to the forgiveness of the sins which are daily committed by us.”  When we attend Mass, we are mystically transported to Calvary, where we can unite ourselves with the Lord’s Sacrifice to the Father!





5. Annulments Are Not Catholic Divorces

Unlike the legal process known as “divorce” (in which a marriage is terminated), a declaration of nullity (annulment) states that a valid marriage never existed.  This decision is based upon the finding that on the day that marriage vows were exchanged, some essential elements were lacking.  This process is completely in conformity with the Catholic teaching regarding the indissolubility of marriage.  Incidentally, the granting of an annulment does not render children illegitimate.


6. In Vitro Fertilization Is Morally Unacceptable

Many Catholics suffering from infertility utilize this process in the hopes of conceiving children, while remaining unaware that the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) declares it “morally unacceptable” (CCC 2377).  In the Vatican Instruction, Donum Vitae, the Church states “…in conformity with the traditional doctrine relating to the goods of marriage and the dignity of the person, the Church remains opposed from the moral point of view to homologous ‘in vitro’ fertilization. Such fertilization is in itself illicit and in opposition to the dignity of procreation and of the conjugal union, even when everything is done to avoid the death of the human embryo.”


7. There Is No Salvation Outside Of The Catholic Church

Originally stated by St. Cyprian, the Latin axiom “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus” reminds us that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church.  This dogma was declared at the Fourth Lateran Council and is a source of confusion for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  According to the Catechism, all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is His Body.  It does not mean that non-Catholics cannot achieve salvation.  Individuals who are unaware that the Catholic Church is the one, true Church may still achieve salvation through the merits of the Church, despite their lack of knowledge.


8. In An Emergency, Anyone Can Baptize

Although the ordinary ministers of Baptism are bishops, priests and deacons, anyone can baptize in an emergency, even a non-baptized person.  This extraordinary decision can be attributed to the necessity of Baptism for salvation and the Church’s desire to make it readily available to all.


9. Hell And Purgatory Still Exist

Contrary to the belief of many Catholics, the Church still teaches that “the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin, descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, eternal fire” (CCC 1035) Furthermore, “all who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation, but after death they undergo purification, so to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” (CCC 1030)  This purification process, formally declared by the Church at the Councils of Florence and Trent, is known as Purgatory.


10. Catholics Don’t Worship Mary And The Saints

Many Catholics are confused about the role of the Blessed Mother and the Saints.  Should we pray to Mary and the Saints or should we go “right to the top” and pray to God?  In a nutshell, the Catholic Faith teaches that we must worship God alone.  Mary and the Saints are to be honored, not worshipped.  However, their intercession can be extremely powerful and emulating their virtues can put us on the road to Heaven.


While the above list only scratches the surface of the robust Catholic Faith, it provides a glimpse into the depth of Catholic teaching.  Further explanation on these and other topics can be found by examining the Code of Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, both of which can be found online at the Vatican website (www.vatican.va).  Not only will studying the teachings of the Catholic Church enable us to better defend her when challenged, it will help us to become closer to Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who founded our Church 2,000 years ago.






About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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3 Responses to Ten facts most Catholics don’t know (But should!)

  1. Ralph Coelho Yahoo says:

    I would argue that many are”ex-Catholics” because they not given as complete explanations they need. Priests and parents tend to see arguments as disagreement not lack of understanding; or God forbid , their own inability, not incompetence, to explain. My generation found the simple Penny Catechism adequate to cope with the world and grew with it by paying attention to more than d mass and confession and communion. They acted out some of it in relationships.. The post Vatican Catechism as taught focused so much on the love of God that it neglected two things- obedience to God and justice tempered by mercy. It actually promoted the sin of presumption, a sin that justifies confessing to God directly , not to a priest. It is also reflected in the way pretests seem to have forgotten that his counsel on who to avoid repeating the sins is his essential contribution. The Catechism of the Catholic Church published in 1992 has been kept close, even uncut, by many. It is a complex document for those who are willing to make the effort. Many think ii is so much easier to go to the Bible instead. I have my doubts that the New Youcat will change the situation for long. Too many really believe that they can understand instantly, that they can multitask. This complements the demand for instant gratification.

    Take the explanations given in items 4, 5, 7. A believer does not need them. An ex_catholic will say “I told you so”. These guys refuse to think!

    Yesterday someone asked Why has three been so much interest in the new Pope? . For one matter three was no 24/7 news at the previous election. A bigger reason is that irrespective of what is the attars of religious observance and ethical life people more than ever realize that there is something missing in the world and this must come form outs. whether it comes form God or the devil is one issue. The other is that most would like to have the cake and eat it; they will accept something new if they do not have to give up the world.

    Anyone who want to change this must understand the mind set of their students. Secondly he/she has to use the tools given, but tune them. This is why I think Youcat will meet the same fate as the original Cat.

  2. Pingback: Ten facts most Catholics don’t know (But should!) | Christian Reforms

  3. CFernandes says:

    Good start…
    one aspect that needs to be highlighted for “today”.. is the real existence of the “Evil one”, satan, lucifer.. along with his legions…
    Most priests tend to have forgotten this reality… sadly to the detriment of helping lay people stand in JESUS’ name against these very real negative presence !

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