The Archdiocese of Denver proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ, celebrates his Sacraments, and exercises his works of mercy, so that all might participate in his salvation and discover the lasting joy of a relationship with him.
If someone walked up to you and asked, “What is Catholicism?” How would you respond?
In today’s tech-savvy and sometimes short-attention-span world, coming up with a 140-character Tweetable answer would be tough. On top of that, many people—even those raised in the Catholic faith—never benefited from a solid understanding of the Christian faith. Venerable Fulton J. Sheen once said, “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
At the heart of asking “What is the Catholic Church” are several more paramount questions:
- Who is Jesus Christ?
- Why should I develop a relationship with Him?
- How do I best know Him, love Him and serve Him?
- What was Christ offering me when he founded the Church?
From Christ himself, through the 12 apostles and the earliest Christian community, the Catholic Church has for nearly 2,000 years stretched across the globe. Today more than a billion Catholics celebrate Mass in every country of the world.
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If you look in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, you’ll read that the Catholic Church is “The Church established by Christ on the foundation of the Apostles, possessing the fullness of the means of salvation which he has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession.”
More simply, Scripture describes four characteristics which are proclaimed in the Nicene Creed. These four characteristics are all found in the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.
If you understand the four marks of the Church, that leads to a deeper understanding and appreciation on areas such as the Authority of the Church, Eucharist, Confession, Priesthood, Marriage, Family and more.