A revised version of this doctrinal outline, incorporating recent clarifications by Pope Francis regarding the Church's teaching on capital punishment. "Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator."
A new doctrinal outline in the "Summaries of Catholic Teaching" series. Many people have found these helpful for getting to know the Catholic faith better and explaining it to others.
God created us with the great gift of freedom. The natural law has the force of law as the voice and interpreter of the 'higher reason' of the divine Lawgiver.
For a Christian sickness and death can and should be a means to seek holiness and to redeem with Christ. This is the purpose of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
Faith in Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist has led the Church to offer adoration to the Blessed Sacrament, both during and outside the liturgy of the Mass.
Baptism “justifies” us in God’s sight, while Confirmation brings us the supernatural gifts of Christian maturity.
The salvation achieved by Christ, and hence the mission of the Church, is directed to the human person in his or her integral being.
The Holy Spirit intimately unites the faithful to Christ so that they form a single body, the Church, with a diversity of members and functions.
The Incarnation is the supreme demonstration of God’s love for mankind, when the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity took on our human nature while remaining a divine Person.
The importance of the truth about creation comes from its being the foundation of God’s saving plans culminating in Christ. Both the Bible and the Creed begin with a confession of faith in God the Creator.
The virtue of faith is a supernatural virtue that enables us to assent firmly to all that God has revealed.
"If we pray the Our Father sincerely, we leave individualism behind, because the love that we receive frees us from it. The ‘our’ at the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer, like the ‘us’ of the last four petitions, excludes no one."
With the grace of Christ, who is the Truth, Christians can live a life governed by truth.
The fourth commandment, "Honor your father and your mother," has a broader scope than its primary focus: the relationship between children and their parents.
Christ taught that to be saved we must carry out the commandments, which express the core of the natural moral law. The first commandment is twofold: love for God and love for neighbor out of love for God.
Grace “is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1999).
“God himself is the author of marriage.” The intimate conjugal union between a man and a woman is sacred, and is structured according to laws established by the Creator and independent of human choice.
Priests receive from God the power to forgive sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Mass is a true sacrifice because it makes present, in the “today” of the Church’s liturgical celebration, the unique sacrifice of our redemption carried out on the Cross.
The liturgy is an “action of God” that unites us to Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit (cf. "Sacramentum Caritatis," no. 37).
The Church continues to make Christ present in human history. In the history of the Church, we find the divine and the human closely intertwined.
Christ’s Resurrection is a fundamental truth of our faith, as St Paul tells us (cf. 1 Cor 15:13-14). Thereby God inaugurated the life of the future world and put it at the disposition of mankind
Jesus Christ took on human nature without ceasing to be God. He is true God and true Man.
Christians are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This is the central mystery of our faith and of Christian life.
God wished to manifest himself as a personal Being through the history of salvation. He raised up and guided a people to be the custodian of his revealed word. Through that people he prepared the world for the Incarnation of his Word, Jesus Christ.
Prayer is absolutely necessary for our spiritual life. It is, as it were, the “breathing” that permits the life of the spirit to develop.
The seventh commandment forbids unjustly taking or keeping the goods of one’s neighbor and wronging him in any way with respect to his goods.
The second commandment prescribes honoring God's name, while the third requires keeping feast days holy.
Personal sin is an “action, word or desire contrary to the eternal law."
“Acting is morally good when the choices of freedom are in conformity with man’s true good and thus express the voluntary ordering of the person towards our ultimate end: God himself.”
The sacrament of Holy Orders confers a participation in Christ’s priesthood. The ministerial priesthood is essentially distinct from the common priesthood of the faithful.
Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance to offer us a new possibility of converting and recovering, after Baptism, the grace of justification
The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s Paschal mystery, making present his unique sacrifice in the liturgy of the Church.
By this truth we affirm the immortality to which mankind is destined; it is thus a reminder of the dignity of the human person, and in particular of the body.
The Church is a communion of saints—the community of all men and women who have received the grace of regeneration from the Spirit, making them children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
Christ died for our sins, to free us from them and redeem us from the slavery that sin introduced into mankind’s life.
In creating the first man and woman, God constituted them in a state of holiness and justice. He also granted them the possibility of sharing in his divine life through the proper use of their freedom.
The God we come to know through faith and reason is "spiritual, transcendent, omnipotent, eternal, personal, and perfect. He is truth and love."
Can we know that God exists by reason alone? What are some of the main pathways for reaching God's existence. Can conscience and human freedom be paths to a personal God who loves us? These are some of the questions discussed in this summary of Catholic teaching.
These two commandments help us to live holy purity (the ninth) and detachment from material goods (the tenth) in our thoughts and desires.
"God is love" (1 Jn 4:8), and his love is fruitful. He wants human beings to share in this fecundity, by linking the procreation of each new person with a specific act of love between a man and a woman.