The 2 most important books in the Catholic Faith are: 1) Sacred Scripture (Bible) which contains the Word of God (CCC #81), and 2) the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (1997) which contains the Doctrine of the Faith.
What Catholics REALLY Believe is easy to find if you look in the right place for accuracy. Since the Bible is still the best selling book in the world, and most have or should have read it, this site will concentrate mostly on the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition“.
In the more than 2000 year history of the Church, there have only been two universal catechisms issued for the entire Church. One was the “Catechism of the Council of Trent” (aka Roman Catechism) of 1566 AD. And now the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (aka CCC) of 1997.
God gave everyone a Free Will. No one is forced to be Catholic. People are Catholic because they want to be Catholic. The Catholic Church is not a salad bar where individuals can pick and choose what he or she wishes to believe. We do not vote on what is or is not sinful, nor does the fad of the day or secular popularity drive what is and is not permitted in our Faith.
Due to errors by the media/journalists and some bloggers, due to various heresies, schisms, and scandals by a minority of those professing to be ‘Catholic’ including but not limited to a few clergy and a few nuns and some politicians, due to being ‘told’ falsehoods by a few unfaithful or ignorant Catholics and even by non-Catholics who have never read the CCC there is much mis-understanding and lack of knowledge about what the Catholic Church REALLY teaches. Therefore the Magisterium of the Church has provided us with this wonderful gift of the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH” revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II.
All those who wish to be Catholic must adhere to the teachings in the ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’ in entirety. “This catechism is conceived as an organic presentation of the Catholic faith in its entirety. It should be seen therefore as a unified whole.” (CCC pg 11)
“ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg 5)
“….the CATECHISM has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg xiv)
“The Church never takes faith for granted, but knows that this gift of God needs to be nourished and reinforced so that it can continue to guide her pilgrim way.”….. “Read in this light, the prophetic text leads to one conclusion: we need knowledge, we need truth, because without these we cannot stand firm, we cannot move forward. Faith without truth does not save, it does not provide a sure footing.”….. “These, then, are the four elements which comprise the storehouse of memory which the Church hands down: the profession of faith, the celebration of the sacraments, the path of the ten commandments, and prayer. The Church’s catechesis has traditionally been structured around these four elements; this includes the CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, which is a fundamental aid for that unitary act with which the Church communicates the entire content of her faith: “all that she herself is, and all that she believes”. “ - Pope Francis (Encyclical Letter LUMEN FIDEI, 2013)
“In its very structure, the Catechism of the Catholic Church follows the development of the faith right up to the great themes of daily life. On page after page, we find that what is presented here is no theory, but an encounter with a Person who lives within the Church.” “It is in this sense that the Year of Faith will have to see a concerted effort to rediscover and study the fundamental content of the faith that receives its systematic and organic synthesis in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.” – Pope Benedict XVI (Porta Fidei, Motu Proprio Data, starting with paragraph #11.)
Video 2012 – 2013 Statement from Dr. Scott Hahn on the Catechism:
“….. let us ask ourselves if we have actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more, by reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Catechism, steadily approaching the Sacraments.” – Pope Francis , May 15, 2013.
In the printed book version of the CCC you will find footnotes at the bottom of each page pointing to Bible passages or other teaching documents of the Church. CCCs can be purchased on-line at most Catholic catalogue and large book stores. For ease of reading it is recommend that you own a copy of the CCC for your personal library. The ‘documents’ in the footnotes can be found on the Vatican web site when searched by name. http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm
This is a link to the CCC on the Vatican web site: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm This is a link to a licensed (Holy See holds the copyright to the CCC) web site in the USA. This site allows someone to search the CCC by topic or paragraph number. http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm
The CCC is printed in most languages for the entire world. The covers may be a different color in various Countries, but in the USA it is dark green stating: “revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II”.
“The CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, lastly is offered to every individual who asks us to give an account of the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pet 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes”. – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg 6)
I hope you will find this web site helpful. Truth is important. If you have trouble finding a certain topic, please post your question at the end of the answers (click on ‘Questions/RepliesPost’ at bottom of page) and I will do my best to help you find the information you seek.
Gift Ideas – please consider giving a copy of the Bible and the CCC to those you love.
If you find this web site helpful, please share it with others.
” What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE “
Thank you. Ellen