magisterium


Is It a Doctrine or a Discipline?

What "Catholic" Means

The Greek roots of the term "Catholic" mean "according to (kata-) the whole (holos)," or more colloquially, "universal." At the beginning of the second century, we find in the letters of Ignatius the first surviving use of the term "Catholic" in reference to the Church. At that time, or shortly thereafter, it was used to refer to a single, visible communion, separate from others. 

Starting Out as an Apologist

People often ask, "How should I begin to train myself to defend my faith? How do I prepare for the inevitable knock on the door? I don’t want to have to stand there open-mouthed." The best place to start your homework is the Bible. Almost every American home has one.

Apologist's Bookshelf

Aspiring defenders of the Faith frequently contact Catholic Answers to find out which apologetical works they should read and keep as reference materials. This tract will serve as a guide to some of the most essential books for each apologist to have on his bookshelf. The most useful "must have" works are designated by a red asterisk (*). 

Early Teachings on Homosexuality

Some argue that neither the Bible nor apostolic tradition condemns the practice of homosexuality. Passages such as Leviticus 18:22–30, Romans 1:26–27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and Jude 7 serve as ample proof that Scripture indeed condemns homosexuality. Below is ample proof from tradition. The Fathers are especially harsh against the practice of pederasty, the homosexual corruption of boys by men. 

 

Contraception and Sterilization

Christians have always condemned contraceptive sex. Both forms mentioned in the Bible, coitus interruptus and sterilization, are condemned without exception (Gen. 38:9–10, Deut. 23:1). The early Fathers recognized that the purpose of sexual intercourse in natural law is procreation; contraceptive sex, which deliberately blocks that purpose, is a violation of natural law. 

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