Catholicism Glossary: C

canon law: The supreme law of the Catholic Church that spells out the rules and regulations that guide the Church.

cardinal: An ordained man elevated to the step just below the pope. Cardinals help the pope administer to the faithful and a new pope is elected from among them when a pope dies.

catechism: A book that contains the doctrines of Catholicism.

celibacy: A formal and solemn oath to never enter the married state. Priests take a vow of celibacy.

chalice: The gold or silver cup that holds the wine that will become Christ’s body and blood during the Mass.

cleric: A member of the clergy.

confession; penance: A sacrament during which a Catholic confesses all known mortal sins to a priest.

Consecration: The part during the Mass when the priest changes the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus.

creed: A Christian oath, stating what Catholics believe as revealed to them by God through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Key Catholic creed are the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed.

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