Religion & Spirituality

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The Role of Deacons in the Catholic Church

In the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, you have the Pope at the top (well, after God), cardinals, bishops, priests, and then deacons. Catholics recognize two types of deacons: [more…]

Basic Beliefs of Catholicism

Catholics are, first and foremost, Christians who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Catholicism shares some beliefs with other Christian practices, but essential Catholic beliefs include the [more…]

Basic Requirements for Catholics

As a Catholic, basically you’re required to live a Christian life, pray daily, participate in the sacraments, obey the moral law, and accept the teachings of Christ and his Church. Following are the minimum [more…]

A Look at Catholic Holy Days

A really cool thing about Catholicism is that many days of the calendar year are a cause for celebration. Nearly every day marks the feast day of a saint — a day when that saint’s holy life and deeds are [more…]

The Seven Sacraments of Catholicism

A sacrament in the Catholic Church is a rite Catholics believe was established by Jesus Christ. The seven sacraments of the Catholic Church are its most sacred and ancient rites of worship. Receiving a [more…]

The Catholic Sacrament of Confirmation

Just as bodies and minds grow, Catholics believe that the soul also needs to grow in the life of grace. The sacrament of Confirmation builds on the sacraments of Baptism, Penance, and Holy Communion, completing [more…]

The Catholic Sacrament of Matrimony

The Catholic Church distinguishes between a legal marriage and the Sacrament of Matrimony. The Sacrament of Matrimony involves two baptized people, one or both of whom are Catholic, becoming husband and [more…]

The Catholic Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

The Catholic Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick used to be called Extreme Unction (last anointing), not because it was the last sacrament a Catholic received before checking out of this life but because [more…]

The Role of Cardinals in the Catholic Church

Immediately below the Pope in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church are the cardinals. The primary responsibility of a cardinal is to elect a new pope when a pope dies or abdicates the papacy. However, [more…]

The Five Purposes of the Koran

As the holy book of Islam, the Koran informs millions of Muslims around the world. The book itself serves five essential purposes and the following list explains each in some detail: [more…]

Basic Features of the Koran

The Koran, Islam’s holy scripture, details the tenets of the religion quite differently than the Bible explores Christian beliefs. Keep these features of the Koran in mind when reading the scripture: [more…]

Quotes from the Koran on Major Themes

The Koran, the holy book of Islam, includes some iconic passages and quotes known by most Muslims and those of other religions as well. The Koranic passages, with chapter and verse in parentheses) in the [more…]

Koran For Dummies Cheat Sheet

As the holy book of the Islam religion, the Koran is followed by Muslims around the world. It sets out the basic tenets of the religion, details the purposes of the book and the religion, and is quoted [more…]

The Catholic Church and Abortion

The Catholic Church opposes and condemns any and all direct abortions. Even pregnancies that result from rape, incest, and present a danger to the life of the mother aren’t reasons for abortion. The Church [more…]

The Catholic Church and Euthanasia

Catholicism regards life as sacred, and taking any innocent life is immoral and sinful. The Catholic Church uses same principles to condemn euthanasia as it does to condemn abortion. [more…]

The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way [more…]

The Catholic Church and Its Stance on War

Catholicism’s stance on war is built on the Just War Theory, which says that all things being equal, the state has a right to wage war — just like it has a right to use capital punishment. However, just [more…]

The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church

The Catholic Church has a hierarchy, just as any other structured environment. Having a hierarchy helps the Church lead the faithful at local and increasingly higher levels. The parish is at the most basic [more…]

Celibacy and the Catholic Church

Celibacy is the formal and solemn oath to never enter the married state. In the Catholic Church, men who take Holy Orders and become priests and women who become nuns take a vow of celibacy. Celibate men [more…]

The Catholic Church and the Sexual Abuse Issue

Catholic priests have been under fire for widespread and much publicized cases of sexual abuse of children. The unconscionable actions of a very small minority of deviant clergy and a few bishops who merely [more…]

The Role of Women in the Catholic Church

Many women play active roles in the Catholic Church, but few of them have sanctioned titles. Even becoming a nun doesn’t get you the boon of the sacrament of Holy Orders — only men can be ordained. [more…]

Spiritual Seasons of the Catholic Church Calendar

The liturgical year, or Church calendar, of the Catholic Church is as different from the calendar year as the fiscal year is for most people. The Catholic liturgical year revolves around two feasts: Christmas [more…]

The Use of Color in the Catholic Liturgical Year

The sense of sight, including color, plays an important role in Catholic worship. The colors of a Catholic priest’s vestments help the faithful know that certain celebrations are at hand. [more…]

The Catholic Sacrament of Baptism

Baptism is the one sacrament that all Christian denominations share in common. In the Catholic Church, infants are baptized to welcome them into the Catholic faith and to free them from the original sin [more…]

The Catholic Sacrament of Holy Communion

Of all seven sacraments, the Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is the most central and important to Catholicism. Holy Communion is offered at every Mass, and in fact, the ritual of the Mass is largely [more…]

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