The Roman Catholic Church, established in the first century, is one of the oldest Christian traditions. One of the primary tenets of Catholicism is the belief in apostolic succession, which holds that the chosen successors of the Twelve Apostles have been granted spiritual authority passed down through the ages from Jesus Christ. This chain of […]
Reporting guides on Catholicism
Source guides on Catholicism
Religious nones are the face of the evolving religious landscape. But that oversimplifies shifts taking place around the world, according to the research.
Catholic leaders will gather in Rome later this month to discuss the clergy sex abuse crisis. Experts doubt they’ll approve any major policy changes.
The Trump administration regularly announces new policies related to national security. This edition will help religion reporters keep up.
Stylebook entries on Catholicism
- The practice of ritual washing in a religious rite to cleanse a person of sin or disease, to purify, or to signify humility or service to others. In Christianity, baptism and foot-washing are both forms of ablution. In liturgical churches, ablution can refer to purifying fingers or vessels related to the Eucharist. In Islam, ablution is ritual washing, known as wudu, before prayer. In Judaism, immersion in a mikvah is a form of ablution.
- When choosing terms to describe a person’s stance on abortion, journalists should remember that abortion is a nuanced issue, with many people supporting or opposing abortion in some, but not all, circumstances. Take care to describe a person’s view rather than relying on terms popularized in the heated public debate. For example, journalists should use pro-abortion rights or a similar description instead of pro-choice, and opposed to abortion or against abortion rights instead of pro-life. The AP Stylebook advises using anti-abortion instead of pro-life and abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice. See pro-choice and pro-life.
- In Catholicism, a priest grants absolution to a confessed sinner as part of the sacrament of penance. The concept of absolution also exists in Lutheranism, Anglicanism and Eastern Orthodox denominations.
- In Western Christianity, it is the season before Christmas and opens the liturgical year of the Latin church; Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day (the Sunday nearest Nov. 30) and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24). In Eastern Catholic churches, Advent begins Nov. 14, the feast of St. Philip the Apostle. Advent anticipates Jesus Christ’s birth as well as his Second Coming. The Eastern Orthodox Church does not observe Advent. Instead there is a period of fasting 40 days before Christmas.
- Agnus Dei
- The “Lamb of God” prayer said three times at Catholic Mass during the breaking of bread. It is also a sacramental tablet of wax stamped with a representation of Jesus as a lamb bearing a cross.
Organizations on Catholicism
The Thomas More Society is a Chicago-based not-for-profit, national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family and religious liberty. Special counsel Peter Breen testified before the Indiana House of Representatives in 2015 on behalf of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. For interview requests, contact Tom Ciesielka.
Global Catholic Climate Movement is an international organization that helps coordinate the work of more than 650 smaller Catholic groups and congregations concerned about the environment and climate change. They describe Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, as their founding document.
Catholic Climate Covenant is an umbrella environmental and climate change advocacy organization that includes multiple Catholic organizations, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It organizes public letters to policymakers on environmental topics and provides training on lobbying.
The National Marriage Week USA website brings together the many activities that organizations throughout the country, including churches and houses of worship, are doing to strengthen marriage during National Marriage Week USA, Feb. 7-14 each year.