Beliefs & Teachings
Charity: A Theological Virtue
Charity or love is the greatest theological virtue. Learn more about charity.
Who Was Born Without Original Sin?
Catholics believe that three people were born without Original Sin. Who were they, and why do Catholics believe each was born without Original Sin?
Reader Questions From 2010
The Catholic Faith is full of beauty, subtlety, and nuance. Sometimes, that can lead to confusion, however. Two thousand years of history and tradition is bound to result in many questions over both Catholic practice and belief. The questions below are drawn from my Friday "Reader Question" series in 2010. They are presented in reverse...
Questions About Catholicism - Questions About Catholicism From Readers
Do you have a question about Catholicism that you would like answered? Submit it here, and I will try to work it into our Friday Reader Questions series.
The Catholic Faith is full of beauty, subtlety, and nuance. Sometimes, that can lead to confusion, however. Two thousand years of history and tradition is bound to result in many questions over both Catholic practice and belief. These questions are drawn from my Friday "Reader Question" series in 2009.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are enumerated in Isaiah 11:2-3. They are present in their fullness in Jesus Christ but are found in all Christians who are in a state of grace.
Fear of the Lord: A Gift of the Holy Spirit
The fear of the Lord, the last gift of the Holy Spirit, is the confirmation of the virtue of hope.
Piety: A Gift of the Holy Spirit
Piety, a gift of the Holy Spirit, is the perfection of the moral virtue of religion.
Knowledge: A Gift of the Holy Spirit
Knowledge, a gift of the Holy Spirit, is, like wisdom, the perfection the theological virtue of faith.
Counsel: A Gift of the Holy Spirit
Counsel, the third gift of the Holy Spirit, is the perfection of the cardinal virtue of prudence.
Understanding: A Gift of the Holy Spirit
Understanding is the gift of the Holy Spirit that allows us to penetrate the mysteries of our faith.
Explore the beliefs and practices of Catholicism. Learn the basics of the sacraments, prayer, Catholic veneration of the saints, the most important holy days and holidays in Catholicism, and much more.
What Is the Church?
How does Catholic doctrine view the nature of the Church and the status of those churches not in full communion with the Catholic Church? Find the answer here.
The Catholic Faith is full of beauty, subtlety, and nuance. Sometimes, that can lead to confusion, however. Two thousand years of history and tradition is bound to result in many questions over both Catholic practice and belief. These questions are drawn from my Friday "Reader Question" series.
The Athanasian Creed
The longest of the standard Christian creeds, the Athanasian Creed is an beautiful meditation on the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. Ascribed to Saint Athanasius, the Athanasian Creed was traditionally recited in churches on Trinity Sunday.
What Are the Seven Deadly Sins?
The seven deadly sins, more properly called the seven capital sins, are the sins to which we are most susceptible because of our fallen human nature. They are the tendencies that cause us to commit all other sins. They are called "deadly" because, if we engage in these sins willingly, they deprive us of sanctifying grace, the life of God in our souls.
What Are the Four Cardinal Virtues?
The cardinal virtues are the four primary moral virtues. All other virtues hinge upon these four virtues.
The Cardinal Virtues
The cardinal virtues are the four principal moral virtues, which represent the foundation of natural morality
Prudence: A Cardinal Virtue
Prudence, one of the four cardinal virtues, is the virtue that allows us to determine what is good and what is evil in a practical matter.
Justice: A Cardinal Virtue
Justice is the cardinal virtue that is concerned with giving each person what he or she is rightfully due.
Fortitude: A Cardinal Virtue and a Gift of the Holy Spirit
Fortitude is the cardinal virtue that allows us to overcome fear and to remain steady in our will in the face of obstacles. It is also one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
What Are the Three Theological Virtues?
The theological virtues are gifts of grace from God, and the object of the virtues—what the practice of the virtue aims at—is God Himself.
Temperance: A Cardinal Virtue
Temperance is the cardinal virtue concerned with the control of the desire for pleasure, both physical and spiritual.
What Are the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit?
We receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit when we are infused with sanctifying grace, the life of God within us. What are these seven gifts that help us to live a Christian life?
Wisdom: A Gift of the Holy Spirit
Wisdom, one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, is the perfection of faith.
What Are the Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit?
The twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit are works that we can perform only with the aid of the Holy Spirit. Find the twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit here.
What Are the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church?
The Catholic Church recognizes seven sacraments, instituted by Christ Himself, which are outward signs of an inward grace acting in our souls.
What Is an Occasion of Sin?
What is an "occasion of sin," what makes it "near," and why should we avoid it?
Did the Virgin Mary Die Before Her Assumption?
Did the Blessed Virgin Mary die before she was assumed into Heaven? Find the traditional answer of the Christian Church, East and West.
What Is the Immaculate Conception?
Few doctrines of the Catholic Church are as misunderstood as the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. What is the Immaculate Conception?
Why Must Catholics Go to Mass Every Sunday?
The Catholic Church says that all Catholics have an obligation to participate in Mass every Sunday. Why is that necessary, and how do we fulfill our duty to worship God?
Why Can't Women Be Priests?
Advocates for the ordination of women say it is simply a matter of justice, and the lack of such ordination is proof that the Catholic Church does not value women. The Church's teaching on this matter, however, cannot change. Why can't women be priests?
The Just War Theory of the Catholic Church
What does the Catholic Church teach about war? Can any war ever be just? If so, what are the conditions that determine the justice of a war? And has the existence of weapons of mass destruction changed how the Church views the question of war? Find out more about the just-war theory of the Catholic Church.
Sample Catholic Wedding Program
This is a sample program from a Catholic wedding, which you can use as the basis of your own wedding program.
Faith: A Theological Virtue
Faith allows us to grasp the truth of divine revelation. Learn more about the theological virtue of faith.
Hope: A Theological Virtue
Hope is the gift to trust that God will grant us eternal life. Learn more about the theological virtue of hope.
What Is a Purgatorial Society?
Purgatorial societies are not very common today, but they are beginning to make a comeback. What is a purgatorial society in the Catholic Church?
Vote for Best Catholic Website - About Catholicism Readers' Choice Awards
Vote for the Best Catholic Website in the About Catholicism Readers' Choice Awards
EWTN : The Teachings of the Catholic Church
The teachings of the Catholic Church, presented by the Catholic cable network EWTN. Includes excellent catechetical materials and excerpts from Church documents and the Fathers of the Church.
The Basics of Catholicism
Learn about the basics of Catholicism. What does the Catholic Church teach about the Trinity, the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the role of the Catholic Church, the seven Sacraments, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, the Virgin Mary, and the saints? Discover basic Catholic prayers and practices, and begin to learn more about Catholicism!
Papal Encyclicals Online
Award-winning reference site for papal encyclicals and other official teaching documents of the Catholic Church.
Papal Nuncio Letter on Medjugorje
Does a letter from the papal nuncio to the United States provide insight into the Church's investigation of the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje?