A Worldwide Faith

A Worldwide Faith
 

If the world's religious populations were represented by a room of 300 people, 

we would find 95 Christians, 70 Muslims, 45 Hindus, 21 Buddhists, and 1 Jew, as well as 68 people who have other religious beliefs or are unaffiliated. 

Of the 95 Christians in the room, 12 would be Orthodox Christians, whose churches separated from the Catholic Church in the eleventh century.  They are very similar to Catholics in beliefs and religious practices; for example, they have the Eucharist, Confession, and a great love of the saints.  The main difference is that they do not recognize the pope as their leader. 

Another 35 Christians in the gathering would belong to churches that trace their roots to the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century.  They all believe that the Bible alone is the only source of Christian truth, but they are divided by their differing interpretations of Scripture.  Among this group we would find 4 Anglicans, 4 Pentecostals, 4 Lutherans, 3 Baptists, 3 Presbyterians, 1 Methodist, 1 Adventist, and 15 people representing a multitude of smaller groups. 

What about the rest of the Christians in the room?  These 48 would be Catholic Christians.  Even though we are a minority here in the South, Catholics make up just over half of the world’s Christians and are roughly one-sixth of the wor1d’s population. This illustrates one of the amazing things about the Catholic Church: we live up to our name! 

From the Greek word meaning "worldwide," the Church has been called Catholic since the turn of the first century.  Jesus intended his Church to be a worldwide family of faith, with the mission to preach the Gospel and make disciples of all peoples (Matthew 28:19-20).  He expected this Church to go forth and teach the same doctrines in every nation and in every century, offering his saving gifts to the entire world. 

If Jesus had been guiding his Church for two thousand years, wouldn’t we expect to find that his family of faith had indeed done as he commanded?  Wouldn't we expect his Church to have spread throughout the whole world, with teaching that can be traced back through history to the earliest centuries?  We surely wouldn't expect the Church he founded to be limited to a particular nation, region, or period of history. 

This is one of the beautiful things about being Catholic. Wherever we go on vacation, we can always find a Catholic parish.  The prayers may be in a different language, but we will find the same beliefs, the same worship, and the same Eucharist.  Whether we are on a tiny Pacific island or in a remote African village, we can feel at home.  We are truly one Church, spread over 270,000 locations throughout the world. 

To learn more about the Catholic Church, give us a call or visit CatholicBridge.com. And if you are Catholic and have been away for a while, we would like to help welcome you home. 

 

 

Outreach Ads

Every month we set aside money to place an ad about the Catholic faith in our local Blythewood and Fort Jackson newspapers. Here are the text versions; to see a flipbook of the original ads, click here: Read More


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