The Catholic religion is one group that has several rituals that distinguish it from other religious groups. The term Catholic Church is derived from the Greek word ‘Katholikos,’ which means “universal.”
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Therefore the Catholic group can be said to be a body of believers found across all nations in the world and across all ages. The Catholic Church has expanded its faith to many Christians, and a number of churches argue that they are catholic in the sense that they derived their doctrines from the original Catholic Church.
This study looks at the doctrines and rituals of the church in respect to the theodicy and the eschatology of the Catholic religious group.
The religious ritual of Catholics
According to Roberts (2003), the Catholic Church can be said to be a high church because it is the largest Christian church all over the world. It represents more than half of all Christians all over the world, with the believers representing one-sixth of the total world’s population.
The church is a communion of twenty-three autonomous churches that are self-governing. Although these autonomous churches have similar beliefs and faith, they are distinct in the sense that their traditions, disciplines, and the Canon law, which guides them, bring about varied ideas.
The twenty-three autonomous churches of the Catholic group are in communion with one Pope based in Rome and who holds the highest authority in church governance. The Pope is assisted by Bishops who head different ministries in the church (Roberts, 2003).
The theology of Catholics
Catholic theology has been formulated not by individual people and nations but by the effort of all nations and theologians all over the world and ages. Different theologians have derived various ideas that are used to base the doctrines of the various faiths in churches.
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One key theologian who contributed greatly to the religious philosophy was Pseudo-Dionysius and whose philosophy was brought out in the late 5th century. His main work that led to the development of the Catholic doctrines was referred to as the Mystical Theology, among other works (Roberts, 2003).
Roberts (2003) argues that the Catholic Church is based on Mysticism theology that may be said to be derived from the concept of a mystery religion. It centers its ideas on having an identity and conscious awareness of the religion through direct experience or intuition.
It focuses on those practices which are intended to develop and enhance the awareness and experience. Mysticism mainly shows a distinction between the self and the divine spirit. The works of Dionysius are mystical, and hence, the Catholic Church can be said to be oriented on Dionysius’ ideologies.
Theodicy of the Catholics
The Catholic Church stresses the theodicy of good fortune and not of despair. The theodicy in the Catholic faith symbolizes the justification of God and shows that any evil present in the world does not conflict with the goodness of our God.
The theodicy brings optimism in the beliefs of the Catholic group by showing that the world is the best place to be, and the existence and the good attributes of God bring hope to people despite the numerous sufferings in the earthly life (Roberts, 2003).
Theodicy, followed by the Catholics, is a science that gives a reason for the proper treatment of God. It gives knowledge about God and illustrates clearly the propositions concerning this knowledge, and this brings about the concept of optimism, where believers are led to see the positive and hopeful side of life.
Roberts (2003) defines eschatology as the study of the end of religious history and the beginning of the new Christian era. The Catholics normally follow the doctrines of Augustine and other protestant theologians and agree to millenarianism, which talks about the end of the current church age and the rapture of the world towards the second spiritual life.
According to both the Protestants and the Catholics, the kingdom of God is present in our today’s world through the Bible, the reign of Christ, the holy spirit and Christianity and when the end comes, the world will rapture, unrighteous go to hell, and the righteous become spiritual beings and have eternal life.
The Catholic Church, however, does not fully agree to this idea, and they base their eschatology doctrines on progressivism. They anticipate that the second coming of Christ will not be the rupturing of the world, but instead, Christ will come down to the earth and gather His people together and ascend in heaven with them.
Racism in the Catholic Church
The Catholic Church believes that miracles are the works of God, which may be direct or through prayers made by saints. The Church is, however, very cautious in trying to justify events that they consider miracles. One of the miracles approved by the church is the Eucharistic miracles, where Host is turned into flesh and blood of Christ (Roberts, 2003).
According to Roberts (2003), the Catholic Church does not exhibit particularism, and they regard all Christian churches as being justifiable. They respect the beliefs and doctrines of all Christian churches.
In conclusion, the Catholic Church can be seen to be one of the most developed faiths in Christianity, and it is distinct in its beliefs and practices. The church was formed to guide people internationally, and the different Catholic Churches all over the world are guided by the same principles.
Roberts, K. Religion in Sociological Perspective: USA; Wadsworth Publishing Co, 2003.