Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Religion, Church, Belief, Christians, People, Faith, World, Catholicism

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/01/07

Religion has always guided human nature from past times in the journey of life and betterment. People have resorted to religious beliefs and rituals in order to lead a better life, and live a life of sanctity. The presence of the almighty is acknowledged by all religions across the globe. Although the expressions and rituals can be different, there is some sort of structural commonality that ties many religions of the world together.
Catholicism is one of the oldest and most popular religious branches of Christianity across the globe. Gazillion people follow the rituals and beliefs of Catholicism. Catholicism has its distinct beliefs that find commonality with other branches of Christianity.
Catholicism believes in many creeds and confessions. However, special importance is given to Apostle’s Creed and Nicene Creed. In comparison to this, the Orthodox Christians believe in Nicene Creed, while the Lutheran, Reformed, and Methodist followers of Christianity also believe in both the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed.
Catholics take the Holy Bible to be their sacred text. They believe in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, apart from following the Apocrypha. The Orthodox Christians are of the totally same belief in this regard while the others differ in their opinion of the Apocrypha. Just like the other believers of Christianity, Catholics also opine that the texts of Scripture faithfully and perfectly teach human kind in the world the truth that God wished the humans to know for the sake of attaining salvation.
While Catholicism has similarity with other followers of Christianity on the point that the Bible is the omnipotent source of doctrine, Catholicism also opines that sources of doctrine also include church fathers, bishops, popes, Seven Ecumenial Councils, Vatican, Trent, and other Catholic councils.
Apart from all this, Catholicism believes in the existence of angels. The Catholics opine that the existence of non-corporeal, spiritual beings that are termed in the Sacred Scripture as “angels” can be described as a truth of faith. The witness of the Scripture is of similar clarity as the unanimity of Tradition. Catholicism goes on to describe angels as personal, immortal creatures that surpass all creatures that are visible with their perfection. Likewise, the Lutherans also believe in the existence of angels. They opine that since angels are described in the Bible, they can very well be part of realities that might be unfathomable to humans. Reformed Christians that there is existence of “celestial spirits”, although there is doubt regarding personal guardian angels.
Catholicism opines that people are predestined to go to heaven after their demise. This predestination is linked with God’s foreknowledge. It further says that no one on this earth is predestined by God to go to hell. The Lutherans are of similar belief in this regard. They believe that people are predestined to go to heaven only. No one in the human race is predestined to damnation.
With regard to the belief about hell, the Catholics believe that it is existent. Also, eternal separation from God is the harshest punishment of hell. The Methodist believers are of the view that hell is a place of everlasting misery. It is a place where one is kept in separation from God. It is seen as the final destination of the people who dare to neglect great salvation of God.
Catholicism as a religion faces many challenges in the modern world. However, the religion has its own ways of dealing with the challenges that come in its way. One major challenge in the present era of the modern world is that people are in the want of faith speaking to their experience as an individual. The modern perspective of life has brought about the condition that if the religion of a person has no relation with the human experience, then there is no purpose of religion in the present day world. If people start to believe that there is in reality no relevance of religion in the modern world, then they would definitely ask to question the very need of being religious and following the beliefs.
The Catholic Church has identified this challenge, and has responded to it by taking into recognition the fact that on the present day, faith seeks comprehension in a new way. This essentially means entering into a constant dialogue with the world around. People have come to recognize that the Church is not sacrosanct.
Hence, thoughts, answers and ideas from different other schools of thought and disciplines like feminist theory, Hinduism, Buddhism, and so on are listened to with proper attention and interest. It is firmly believed that all these beliefs or discourses have something or the other to offer to Catholicism.
The primary focus of the church in the present day scenario is to comprehend how faith finds its place in the world that people dwell in. The ambition is to provide meaning to existence of humans at the deepest level. It is very important for Catholic faith to be able to provide the meaning for being embraced in the present day scenario.
In the previous times, faith was centered round the traditions and scriptures that were accepted by one and all. However, today people are inclined toward seeing faith as something that has a direct impact on their existence and lives. If this connection is not seen by the people, they would not give any attention to faith. It is in vague these days to be spiritual, rather than being religious. This essentially means that the people of the world are deviating from religious institutions, and are seeking some sort of transcendent experience within them.
This view of the people is problematic in a way. It is indicative that people in the present times want to have an experience with faith that would connect to them at a personal level. The modern man would not be satisfied by simply paying attention to the stories in the Bible and other tradition only for the sake of being religious in life. The modern man is very much concerned about self. Hence, it is very necessary for the religion to appeal to the self.
The other challenge that the modern world poses to Catholicism is that there is ample scope of criticism and doubt in this era. The Catholic Church acknowledges the fact that discussion about faith might include intellect, curiosity, and imagination. Intellectual curiosity is an integral part of faith as it is involved in all the aspects of human existence like literature, science and art. The Church aims to comprehend faith via theology as well as other disciplines as faith cannot come alive without the inclusion of wonder and curiosity.
The human mind is greatly encouraged by the anthropocentric view to delve deep into the concepts, and this is welcomed by the Church. The Church goes on to embrace the free spirit of the human mind in its quest for the truth. This essentially means that concepts and ideas that have their roots in other disciplines are recognized by the Church.
This response from the Catholic Church is a pivotal one for people. They have come to believe that it is possible to have faith and be a critical and thinking person at the very same time. Thus, it is the primary task of the Catholic Church to encourage critical thinking among people and at the same time safeguarding wonder and mystery. It has to be understood that mystery and wonder are integral parts of faith, and these are also required to stir the mind of a person so that he thinks very deeply.
With the passage of time, the role of women in religion has also changed. This can be seen as an effect of the development of women across the globe, and minimalizing of gender inequality. In the present day, professional roles in the Church and synagogue are open to women. Even the most mainline denominations like that of the ordained clergy are open to women. A large number of female volunteers are involved with the functioning of the Church in the modern times. Women are now encouraged to come out of the households and take part in the dynamics of the society and religion. Thus, the role of women has transformed over the years with regard to religion.

References

Comparison of Christian Denominations' Beliefs. In Religionfacts.com. Retrieved from
http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/charts/denominations_beliefs.htm
Wagner, Richaard. Comparing Beliefs across the Christian Church. In Dummies.com. Retrieved
(2013). Catholicism's Response to the Challenges of this Modern Period. Retrieved from
http://www.joshandjenny.org/jennys-blog/catholicisms-response-to-the-challenges-of-this-modern-period
Hargrover, Barbara, & Schdimt, Jean Miller, & Davaney, Sheila Greeve. (1985). Religion and
the Changing Role of Women. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 480 no. 1, 117-131. doi: 10.1177/0002716285480001010
Flory, Richard. (2010). The Long View of Women's Roles in Religion. In Newswire. Retrieved

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