Catholicism For Dummies
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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 following:
  • The Bible is the inspired, error-free, and revealed word of God.

  • Baptism, the rite of becoming a Christian, is necessary for salvation — whether the Baptism occurs by water, blood, or desire.

  • God’s Ten Commandments provide a moral compass — an ethical standard to live by.

  • The existence of the Holy Trinity — one God in three persons. Catholics embrace the belief that God, the one Supreme Being, is made up of three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Catholics also believe that since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, all humans are born with original sin, which only Baptism removes. A happier belief is in grace, a totally free, unmerited gift from God. Grace is a sharing in the divine; the inspiration to do God’s will. Take a look at these common Catholic prayers.

Catholics recognize the unity of body and soul for each human being. So the whole religion centers on the truth that humankind stands between the two worlds of matter and spirit. The physical world is considered part of God's creation and is, therefore, inherently good until an individual misuses it. Catholics also recognize the Ten Commandments.

For more on the basics of Catholicism, refer to The Twelve Articles of Catholic Faith.

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