catholic definition religion

Religion on its subjective side is essentially, but not exclusively, an affair of the will, the will to acknowledge by acts of homage man's dependence on God. But its principles of comparison have to be used with great care, for they can easily be made to do service for contradictory and visionary theories. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. It can tell nothing of origins, nothing of the great First Cause, from which the orderly universe has proceeded. Closely allied to the history of religions, out of which it has grown, is comparative religion. It is the science which examines the value of religion, and investigates with careful scrutiny the grounds of theistic belief. Modern scholarship has given much attention to the study of religion. “Catholic” literally means “respect for the whole” and, in theological contexts, simply refers to the universal Church—all Christians who are truly part of Christ’s Body. Untutored man does not understand the secondary, mechanical causes of natural events. ", During the medieval and modern times, additional distinctions arose regarding the use of the terms Western Catholic and Eastern Catholic. The testimony of reliable witnesses and the numerous ex-votos that have come down to us from antiquity leave no doubt as to the reality of many of these cures. The dogmatic teachings of Christianity, supplementing and perfecting the intellectual basis of natural religion, are not to be looked on as a mere series of intellectual puzzles. This puts the origin of religion in Totemism, a semi-religious, semi-social institution prevailing chiefly among savage tribes. Many elements, accumulated through a long series of generations, go to compose the sacred books of the great religions of antiquity — the traditional myths and legends; the stories of the providential dealing of the Deity with His people; the sacred chants, hymns and prayers; the great epic poems; the laws governing social and domestic activity; the texts of the sacred rites and the prescriptions regulating their exact performance; speculations on the nature of the Deity, the soul, retribution, and the future life. The emotions, elicited by the recognition of dependence on God and by the deeply felt need of Divine help, give greater efficacy to the deliberate exercise of the virtue of religion. It is a symptom of unrest, of an unhealthy, excessive reaction from the simple view of nature that prevailed in both science and religion in former times. Totemism labours under many of the difficulties of Fetishism. And this primitive sense of 'universal' the word has never lost, although in the latter part of the second century it began to receive the secondary sense of 'orthodox' as opposed to 'heretical'. From this danger of falling into a polytheistic interpretation of nature, primitive man was saved by Divine Revelation. use it to refer more broadly to the whole Christian Church or to all believers in Jesus Christ regardless of denominational affiliation;[9][10] it can also more narrowly refer[according to whom?] Their fulfilment merits Divine approval and reward; their violation entails Divine punishment. In the measure that he conforms to the teaching of religion will he be found to be a zealous promoter and observer of civic virtue. Roman Catholicism is the oldest and largest branch of Christianity . It is worthy of note that the emotions awakened by the religious consciousness are such as make for a healthy optimism. The individuals of the species are often viewed as particularly sacred because of the indwelling deity. To the Theist this offers a strong presumptive argument in favour of Divine revelation, for God would hardly leave this legitimate craving of the human heart unsatisfied. 1) defines religion as "virtus per quam homines Deo debitum cultum et reverentiam exhibent" (the virtue which prompts man to render to God the worship and reverence that is His by right). Objective religion With the growth of ceremonial prayers and rites, the office of sacrifice gave rise to the class of priests whose duty it was to make the offerings in strict conformity with the complicated ritual. These offences, whether ritual or moral, deliberate or involuntary, present themselves as obstacles more or less fatal to the bliss-bringing communion with the Deity which is the end of religion. Liquid offerings were poured out on the ground. Among the pygmies of the Northern Congo, accounted one of the lowest of races, there is a reverent recognition of a supreme Deity, but no trace of ancestor-worship. Modern science recognizes that strong mental impressions can powerfully influence the nervous system and through this the bodily organs, leading in some instances to sudden illness or death, in others to remarkable cures. While insisting that, like the human body, church doctrine develops while truly keeping its identity (sections 54–59, chapter XXIII),[28] he stated: In the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. It explains naturally many extraordinary cures recorded in the annals of different religions. The erroneous reports of earlier travellers asserting a lack of religion where religion actually exists, have been due either to superficial observation or to a misunderstanding as to what should be called religion. It is instinctively felt to be needed for the perfection of religion, which is a personal relation of love and friendship. The original sense of the word is 'universal'. So no Latin should be sanctified by the hands of the priests through divine and spotless Mysteries unless he first declares that he will abstain from Latin dogmas and customs, and that he will conform to the practice of the Orthodox.[30]. Imprimatur. In like manner certain places, made venerable by immemorial worship or by association with reputed visions, oracles, and miraculous cures, come to be singled out as the spots most suitable for public worship. In this way was symbolized the friendly union of the Deity and the worshippers. Viewing them simply as mental states, it seeks to find out how far they may be explained by natural causes. Their use degenerated into idolatry where Polytheism prevailed. Definition. Mistakes like these might be made by some stupid individual of the tribe, but not by all the members of the tribe, still less by tribes over all the earth. Fear, like hope, may be one of the motives prompting man to the worship of the Deity, but such worship presupposes the recognition of Deity, and fear cannot account for this recognition. (c) Regulation of Conduct within the Recognized Sphere of Moral Obligation. It was theoretically capable of leading to a Monotheism like that of the ancient Hebrews, who viewed clouds, rain, lightning, and tempest as the signs of God's immediate activity. In certain tribes, every one of the component clans has a tutelary deity intimately associated with a particular species of animal or plant, which species is venerated by the clan as sacred and inviolable. They recognize in all the striking phenomena of earth, air, and sky the immediate agency of intelligent volition. In the wide sense, as applying to all religions, it is the pious acceptance of the fundamental notions of Deity and of man's relation to Deity contained in the religious traditions of the community. The beginnings of religion go back to remote prehistoric time. The arts of sculpture and painting owe much to the religious use of images and pictures, which from time immemorial have been associated with worship. The Roman Catholic Church considers that almost all of the ancient theological differences have been satisfactorily addressed (the Filioque clause, the nature of purgatory, etc. But its likelihood is not great when we consider how hard it would have been for primitive man in his inexperience to coordinate the varied effects of nature and derive them from one and the same source of power. inclusive, inviting 1885 Times (Weekly ed.) These rare exceptions do but prove the rule, for they are insignificant tribes which, in the struggle for existence, have been driven by their enemies to inhospitable regions where the conditions of life are so wretched as to cause them to degenerate almost to a state of brutalization. It is the outcome of the use of reason, though, without the corrective influence of revelation, it is very apt to be misconceived and distorted. See also bibliographies to PRIESTHOOD and SACRIFICE. Equally destructive is Pantheism, which views all things as emanations of an impersonal, unconscious world-ground. The class of acts which fall within its sphere implies that the sovereign Deity is the guardian of the moral law. ( 354–430 ): against the Deity is honoured chiefly for the good! Practical side of their order that is officially known as children of the religions of savages consisting exclusively of.... 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