The ceremony in which a Catholic first receives the Eucharist is known as First Communion.
The Sacrament of Penance (also called Reconciliation, Forgiveness, Confession, and Conversion) exists for the conversion of those who, after baptism, separate themselves from Christ by sin. Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery
Essential to this sacrament are acts both by the sinner (examination of conscience, contrition with a determination not to sin again, confession to a priest, and performance of some act to repair the damage caused by sin) and by the priest (determination of the act of reparation to be performed andabsolution). Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery
Serious sins (mortal sins) must be confessed within at most a year and always before receiving Holy Communion, while confession of venial sins also is recommended. The priest is bound under the severest penalties to maintain the "seal of confession", absolute secrecy about any sins revealed to him in confession. Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery
While chrism is used only for the three sacraments that cannot be repeated (baptism, confirmation, ordination), a different oil is used by a priest or bishop to bless a Catholic who, because of illness or old age, has begun to be in danger of death. This sacrament, known as Anointing of the Sick, Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery
is believed to give comfort, peace, courage and, if the sick person is unable to make a confession, even forgiveness of sins. Although it is not reserved for those in proximate danger of death, it is often administered as one of the Last Rites. Sony VAIO VPCY115FGS Battery
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church there are two sacraments of communion directed towards the salvation of others: priesthood and marriage. Within the general vocation to be a Christian, these two sacraments consecrate to specific mission or vocation among the people of God. Sony VAIO VPCY115FX/BI Battery
Men receive the holy orders to feed the Church by the word and grace. Spouses marry so that their love may be fortified to fulfil duties of their state.
Holy Orders is a sacrament in three degrees or orders, episcopate (bishops), presbyterate (priests) and diaconate (deacons), Sony VAIO VPCY115FXBI Battery
which consecrates and deputes some Christians to serve the whole body by these specific titles. The Church has defined rules on who may be ordained into the clergy. In the Latin Rite, the priesthood and diaconate are generally restricted to celibate men. Sony VAIO VPCY118EC Battery
Men who are already married may be ordained in the Eastern Catholic Churches in most countries, and may become deacons even in the Western Church (see Clerical marriage). But after becoming a Roman Catholic priest, a man may not get married (see Clerical celibacy) unless he is later formally laicised. Sony VAIO VPCY118GX/BI Battery
All clergy, whether deacons, priests or bishops, may preach, teach, baptise, witness marriages and conduct funeral liturgies. Only bishops and priests can administer the sacraments of the Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance) and Anointing of the Sick.Only bishops can administer the sacrament of Holy Orders, which ordains someone into the clergy. Sony VAIO VPCY119FJ/S Battery
Marriage, understood as an indissoluble union between a man and a woman, if entered into validly by any baptised man and baptised woman, is considered a sacrament by the Catholic Church. The church does not recognise divorce as ending a valid marriage and allows state recognised divorce only as a means of protecting children or property, Sony VAIO VPCY11AFJ Battery
without allowing remarriage following such a divorce. Apart from the requirements, such as freedom of consent, that it sees as applicable to all, the church has established certain specific requirements for the validity of marriages by Catholics. Failure to observe the Church's regulations, Sony VAIO VPCY11AGJ Battery
as well as defects applicable to all marriages, may be grounds for a church declaration of the invalidity of a marriage, a declaration usually referred to as an annulment.
The Church teaches that, immediately after death, the soul of each person will receive a particular judgment from God. Sony VAIO VPCY11AHJ Battery
This teaching also attests to another day when Christ will sit in a universal judgment of all mankind. This final judgment, according to Church teaching, will bring an end to human history and mark the beginning of a new and better heaven and earth ruled by God in righteousness. Sony VAIO VPCY11AVJ Battery
The basis on which each person's soul is judged is detailed in the Gospel of Matthew, which lists works of mercy to be performed even to people considered "the least of Christ's brothers". Emphasis is upon Christ's words that "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven".Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E/S Battery
According to the Catechism, "The Last Judgement will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life." Depending on the judgement rendered, a soul may enter one of three states of afterlife:Sony VAIO VPCY11S1E Battery
Heaven is a time of glorious union with God and a life of unspeakable joy that lasts forever.
Purgatory is a temporary condition for the purification of souls who, although saved, are not free enough from sin to enter directly into heaven. Souls in purgatory may be aided in reaching heaven by the prayers of the faithful on earth and by the intercession of saints. Sony VAIO VPCY11V9E/S Battery
Final Damnation: Finally, those who persist in living in a state of mortal sin and do not repent before death subject themselves to hell, an everlasting separation from God. The Church teaches that no one is condemned to hell without having freely decided to reject God. No one is predestined to hell and no one can determine whether anyone else has been condemned. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/BI Battery
Catholicism teaches that through God's mercy a person can repent at any point before death and be saved. Some Catholic theologians have speculated that the souls of unbaptised infants who die in original sin are assigned to limbo although this is not an official doctrine of the Church. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/G Battery
Devotions to Mary are part of Catholic piety but are distinct from the worship of God. The Church holds Mary, asPerpetual Virgin and Mother of God, in special regard. Catholic beliefs concerning Mary include her Immaculate Conceptionwithout the stain of original sin and bodily assumption into heaven at the end of her life, Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/L Battery
both of which have beeninfallibly defined as dogma, by Pope Pius IX in 1854 and Pope Pius XII in 1950 respectively.
Mariology deals not only with her life but also her veneration in daily life, prayer and Marian art, music and architecture. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/P Battery
Several liturgical Marian feasts are celebrated throughout the Church Year and she is honoured with many titles such as Queen of Heaven. Pope Paul VI called her Mother of the Church because, by giving birth to Christ, she is considered to be the spiritual mother to each member of the Body of Christ. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery
Because of her influential role in the life of Jesus, prayers and devotions such as the Rosary, the Hail Mary, the Salve Regina and the Memorare are common Catholic practices.
The Church has affirmed certain Marian apparitions, as at Lourdes, Fátima, Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/P Battery
Guadalupe and the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. Pilgrimages to these sites are popular Catholic devotions.
Catholic tradition and doctrine hold that the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD in Judea within the Roman Empire. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/SI Battery
The New Testament records Jesus' activities and teaching, his appointment of the twelve Apostles and his instructions to them to continue his work.
The Catholic Church teaches that the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, in an event known as Pentecost, Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery
signalled the beginning of the public ministry of the Catholic Church. Catholic doctrine teaches that the contemporary Catholic Church is the continuation of this early Christian community. It interprets the Confession of Peter found in theGospel of Matthew as Christ's designation of Saint Peter the Apostle and his successors, Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery
the Bishops of Rome to be the temporal head of his Church, a doctrine known as apostolic succession.
Conditions in the Roman Empire facilitated the spread of new ideas. The empire's well-defined network of roads and waterways allowed for easier travel, Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery
while the Pax Romana made it safe to travel from one region to another. The government had encouraged inhabitants, especially those in urban areas, to learn Greek as the common language, which allowed ideas to be more easily expressed and understood. Unlike most religions in the Roman Empire, however, Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery
Christianity required its adherents to renounce all other gods, a practice adopted from Judaism (see Idolatry). The Christians' refusal to join pagan celebrations meant they were unable to participate in much of public life, which caused non-Christians—including government authorities—Sony VAIO VPCF11MFX/B Battery
to fear that the Christians were angering the gods and thereby threatening the peace and prosperity of the Empire. The resulting persecutions were a defining feature of Christian self-understanding until Christianity was legalised in the 4th century. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E Battery
In 313, the struggles of the Early Church were lessened by the legalisation of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine I. In 380, Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire by the decree of the Emperor, which would persist until the fall of the Western Roman Empire and, later, with the Eastern Roman Empire until the Fall of Constantinople. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B Battery
During this time (the period of the Seven Ecumenical Councils) there were considered five primary sees according toEusebius: Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria, known as the Pentarchy.
After the destruction of the Western Roman Empire, Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E Battery
Western Christianity was a major factor in the preservation of classical civilisation during the Dark Ages, preserving Classical works of art and keeping literacy alive (see Illuminated manuscript). In particular, monastic Ireland became a centre of learning and Early Irish missionaries such as St. Columbanus and St. Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery
Columba spread Christianity and established monasteries across continental Europe.
In Eastern Christianity, the Byzantine Empire preserved Orthodoxy well after the massive invasions of Islam in the mid-7th century. The invasions of Islam devastated three of the five Patriarchal sees, capturing Jerusalem first, Sony VAIO VPCF11ZHJ Battery
then Alexandria and then, finally, in the mid-8th century, Antioch. The whole period of the next five centuries was dominated by the struggle between Christianity and Islam throughout the Mediterranean Basin. The battles of Poitiers and Toulouse preserved the Catholic tradition even though Rome itself was ravaged in 850 and Constantinople was besieged. Sony VAIO VPCF127HGBI Battery
The Church was the dominant influence on the development of Western art, overseeing the rise of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles of art and architecture. Renaissance artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Bernini, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, Tintoretto, Caravaggio and Titian were among a multitude of artists sponsored by the Church. Sony VAIO VPCF137HG/BI Battery
In music, Catholic monks developed the first forms of modern Western musical notation in order to standardise liturgy throughout the worldwide Church and an enormous body of religious music has been composed for it through the ages. This led directly to the emergence and development of European classical music and its many derivatives. Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery
Mendicant orders were founded by Francis of Assisi and Dominic de Guzmán, which brought consecrated religious life into urban settings. These orders also played a large role in the development of cathedral schools into universities. Scholastic theologians such as the Dominican priest Thomas Aquinas studied and taught at such universities and his Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery