Catholic doctrine

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The doctrine of the Catholic Church is composed of all religious teachings of the Catholic Church.


A modern synthesis of all the Roman Catholic doctrine is provided in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the last version of which was completed in 1992 by Pope John Paul II. The Catholic Church teaches that it was founded by Jesus Christ for the salvation of all people, and that this goal is reached by the teachings and the administration of all sacraments through which God grants grace and forgiveness necessary for salvation. Its teachings are based on tradition (meaning here the practices and teachings of the Early Church not explicit in Scripture) and the Bible, or scriptures.


The Catholic Church affirms the existence of one God, omnipotent over the universe and humanity. To man free will is granted, so he can choose between good and evil. God revealed his law first, in the Old Testament, to the people of Israel, and then, through Jesus, his son, revealed the New Law to all the people on Earth.


Starting from the Second Vatican Council, the Church tries to understand its role and nature according to different directives present in the Bible, and in particular the New Testament.

Social doctrine

The Church maintains that Jesus' teachings call its members to follow particular rules of behaviour. Although the Church backs no particular political parties, it affirms that its teachings translate into political decisions. Among those teachings are the total and utter respect for human life and the dignity of human existence, the preservation of Earth as a creation of God, and the rare use of war and capital punishment.


The Catholic Church recognizes seven sacraments, believing them to have been instituted by Jesus Christ. These sacraments are:

  1. Baptism
  2. Eucharist
  3. Reconciliation
  4. Confirmation
  5. Matrimony
  6. Holy Orders
  7. Anointing of the sick