What is faith?
Faith is a most precious gift from God, the doorway to eternal happiness. It is the movement of the Holy Spirit in our heart, opening the eyes of our mind, and inviting us to accept and believe the Truth God has revealed to us, as proposed by the Church.
We use the word ‘faith’ in two ways: as both an objective reality (‘The Faith’), meaning the mighty deeds God has done for us and the saving truths and doctrines he has revealed, and also as a subjective response (‘Our Faith’), the human act, by which we love God in return, choosing to follow his ways and to believe him. The Year of Faith will focus on faith in both senses of the word.
(Bishop Philip Egan, Pastoral letter, 7th October 2012)
The Catholic Church
The Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the world. It has more than one billion members worldwide – roughly one in every six people is a baptised Catholic.
The Church is a gift from God, founded by Jesus Christ himself. He continues to teach us through His Church.
Christ is with us, especially in the sacraments of the Church, and above all in the sacrament of the Eucharist. The Church has a special place in history because it contains the fullness of all the gifts that Christ wants to give to the world.
Catholics are guided by the Pope - the successor of St Peter - who is Supreme Pontiff and Bishop of Rome. Locally, in our dioceses, we are led by the Bishops.
The Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity of both the bishops and of the faithful - Lumen Gentium, 23. Pope Francis was elected Bishop of Rome on 13 March 2013 and is the 266th Pope...
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the Church's teaching document. It is arranged in four main parts:
The Profession of Faith - The Creed
The Celebration of the Christian Mystery - The Sacred Liturgy, especially the Sacraments
Life in Christ - including the Ten Commandments
Christian Prayer - including The Lord's Prayer
When presenting the Compendium of the Catechism in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI described it as being for "every human being, who, in a world of distractions desires to know the Way of Life, the Truth, entrusted by God to His Son's Church."
The Catechism was first published in French in 1992 with the authorisation of Pope John Paul II. An official text in Latin appeared in 1997. Since then, it has been translated into many other languages, including English, and has become an instant bestseller in each.