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Catholicism - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Date Catholicism The term Catholicism has been used along the Christian circles to describe the universal nature, the continuity of the Catholic Church and the beliefs thereof. According to the Free Online Dictionary, it refers to ‘the faith, doctrine, system, and practice of a catholic church, especially the Roman Catholic Church’…
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Download file to see previous pages The rise of Catholicism began gaining roots especially in the 16th Century when the protestant reformation started contravening the spirit and the beliefs of the common Christian doctrine that was in existence. Catholicism remains a strong force in the world today but its influence has been tremendously reduced. The history of Catholicism relates with the influential Roman Empire. During this time, the system of leadership was one that integrated both secular and church leadership together; the Pope was seen as a very important political and religious figure. Through his research Dr Paul Coulter established that the Roman emperor leadership was influenced by the conversion of its leaders, for example Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in 312, he went ahead to legalize Christianity in the empire. Around 590, Gregory the Great became Pope at a time when the Roman Empire had collapsed and the clergy were very active in leadership all across Western Europe. Gregory emphasized on the role of Pope as a universal leader by using biblical interpretations, by then the bible was exclusively in the hands of the Pope. The spirit of Catholicism grew by far and wide and spread across Europe. Martin Luther who was an Augustinian monk around 1517 read the scripture and presented his interpretations to a door of Wittenberg cathedral thereby sparking a revolution that resulted to the Protestant Reformation (Coulter 4). The doctrine behind Catholicism is founded on the Bible, a holy book that is revered for its historical as well as current view. Historically, the Catholic Pope the only person who had a chance to interact with the Bible and deliver its teachings to the masses, this made the church very influential to the daily lives of people at that time. The Pope was able to challenge every authority but he could not be challenged by anybody himself. Galileo Galilei had to persuade the church authorities that the heliocentrism theory he had developed was not against the bible, this was after the Pope disputed the theory claiming it was unbiblical. To date the Bible remains a supreme doctrine among the Catholics, however its interpretation has brought some contention especially among scholars. Because of the interpretation, various factions of the Catholic Church have come up with divergent beliefs (Boettner 25). Recently, the issue of celibacy has been refuted by some catholic clergy who have gone ahead to marry despite the regulation by the church not to do so. It has emerged that celibacy has been based on the church traditions and not actually the teachings in the bible (Jones 14). The core teachings of the Catholic Church are diversified but remains to be the same; this is characterized by the conservatism that the church has tried to adopt over the ages. They believe in one universal true church, a conviction that is constantly recited in the apostle’s creed that is part of the belief in the church. The Pope is a very supreme authority according to Catholicism; he represents the church as the ‘Vicar of Christ’, a continuation of the leadership of Peter, the apostle in the early church. The decisions by the church leadership are highly regarded and are used as a benchmark for ethics and spirituality. The tradition of the church outstands and is used as the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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