Just the facts on religion.

Catholic Beliefs

Roman Catholic beliefs do not differ drastically from those of the other major branches of Christianity, Greek Orthodoxy and Protestantism. All three main branches hold to the doctrine of the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the inspiration of the Bible, and so on.

But on other doctrinal points, there are clear Catholic distinctives in belief. Distinctive Roman Catholic beliefs include the special authority of the pope, the ability of saints to intercede on behalf of believers, the concept of purgatory, and the doctrine of transubstantiation - that is, that the bread used in the Eucharist becomes the true body of Christ when blessed by a priest.

  • Apocrypha in Catholicism

    The early Christians, most of whom spoke Greek, used the Septuagint, which included the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha continued in common use among Christians until the Reformation, when the Hebrew canon was chosen as the Protestant Old Testament... full article →
  • Evolution in Catholicism

    Although the theory of evolution was first articulated in the 1850's, the Roman Catholic Church didn't address the issue formally until the 1950's... full article →
  • Purgatory

    In Roman Catholicism, purgatory is a temporary state of suffering and purification for believers who die in a state of sin. All those in purgatory will eventually go to heaven... full article →
  • Satan in Catholicism

    Demons are fallen angels who can never repent. Satan is a pure spirit, powerful and evil, but limited by God's providence. (Catechism 391-95) full article →
  • Transubstantiation

    Transubstantiation is the doctrine that the bread and wine of the Eucharist actually becomes the body and blood of Christ, although it continues to have the appearance of bread and wine... full article →
  • intercession of saints

    ## Intercession = Praying for Other People Intercession, from the Latin word intercedare, means to make a plea on behalf of another... full article →