"There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing." -- Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, Foreword to Radio Replies Vol. 1, (1938) page ix
What is Catholic?
The word Catholic comes from the Greek kath-oh-lee-kos (καθολικός) meaning “universal” and it’s a reference to the universal expression and practice of Christianity that was known throughout the ancient world, as opposed to various sectarian groups at the time (1 Corinthians 1:10-17). Catholic was the ancient Greek way of saying “nondenominational.” We see the word first appear in ancient literature back in AD 110, written by St Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, in a letter he wrote to the Church in Smyrna just before his martyrdom. Ignatius was ordained a bishop by St John the Apostle, who wrote the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation, all of which can be found in the New Testament of the Bible.
The Catholic Church is the world’s oldest Christian body, tracing its origin to St Peter and St Paul who both planted the Church in Rome before being martyred there under the reign of Nero Caesar. The word Catholic was used in antiquity to describe all churches (throughout the known world) who held the common faith and practice of all Christians, in all nations, and were in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, who was the successor of St Peter.
Today, Christianity is divided between many denominations, sects, affiliations and independent congregations. Jesus Christ, however, calls us to unity, so that our witness may not be hindered in this world (John 17:20-21). For divisions among Christians is a scandal that causes nonbelievers to doubt our witness. The Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ, and established by Saints Peter and Paul in Rome, is the largest Christian body in the world (1.3 billion members) serving as a witness to Christian unity that, in spite of many trials and setbacks, has stood the test of time.
Still, here in North America, where denominations are plentiful beyond measure, there is much confusion concerning the Catholic Church. This website is designed to clear up much of that confusion. Welcome to Real Clear Catholic.
GET THE BOOK…
In addition to the free articles below, Shane has written this highly-praised book of short-answers to Evangelical questions about the Catholic Church. The book is designed to help Evangelical (“Born-Again” or “Bible”) Christians better understand the Catholic faith, as well as help Catholics get a better grasp on how to explain the Catholic faith to Evangelicals. At about 100 pages, the book is small enough to digest in one setting, yet the answers cover a wide range of topics. Many catechists recommend this book, and it comes highly praised by a Catholic priest who founded one of the largest parishes in San Antonio. He writes the foreword to this book. The book is also praised by Michael Voris of Church Militant. Read more here.
HELP FOR CATHOLICS
- What Catholicism Is, and What it Isn’t
- Is the Catholic Church Strict?
- A Winning Strategy for Catholic Americans
- How to Vote Catholic in America
- Keeping Your Kids Catholic
- How to be Saved
- There is a God
- Jesus Christ is God
- Jesus Christ Founded the Catholic Church
- The Catholic Church is the Kingdom of Israel
- Are Catholics Christians?
- Science and Faith
- On the Conversion of Pagans to Christianity
- No Fate Except for What We Make
- The Bible is Not Enough
- The Origin of the Bible
- Why Do Catholic Bibles Have More Books?
- What if the Pope Commits Heresy?
- Evangelical Questions About Pope Francis
- When Peter has Fallen
MARY & THE SAINTS
- Do Catholics Worship Mary?
- Mary’s Virginity and the Brothers of Jesus
- Mary — Conceived Without Sin
- Do Catholics Worship Statues?
- My Position on Vatican II
- On Veils for Christian Women
- The Truth About Married Priests
- Praying with Beads
- Different Ways of Using Rosary Beads
- Anglican Prayer Beads
- The English Patrimony is for All Catholics
- What is the Divine Worship Mass (DWM)?
- Can Regular Catholics Join Ordinariate Parishes?
- Why Do Regular Catholics Join Ordinariate Parishes?
- The English Patrimony is for Catholics of Methodist Heritage Too
- Inculturation — What It Is and Isn’t
- Welcoming Hebrew Catholics
- Christians SHOULD Celebrate Halloween
- Reclaiming Christmas from Commercialism
- Against the Fundamentalist Attack on Christmas
- Is Easter a Pagan Celebration?
- There are Only Two Types of Catholics: Practicing and Lapsed
- Against Communism, Socialism and Marxism
- In Defense of Distributism
- Distributed Capitalism: A Catholic Economic Proposal
- Building an Ownership Economy
- Why Catholics Can’t be Democrats
- Roe v. Wade — America’s Holocaust
- Would Jesus Support Gun Control?
RENEWAL & RESTORATION
- KEEPING YOUR KIDS CATHOLIC
- The Benedict Option for Catholics
- Rise of The Antichurch
- Resisting The Antichurch
- Are You a Woke Catholic?
- Rebuilding the Faith
- The Long-Term Game Plan
- Why Christians Should Hate
- Understanding Terms: Christian, Catholic & Protestant
- Are Catholics Christian by Evangelical Standards?
- Catholics and Evangelicals Together in the 21st Century
- Forget Liberal Catholics — Convert the Evangelicals!
- How To Evangelize the Evangelicals
- Evangelical Questions About the Crisis in the Catholic Church
- Catholics Cannot Be Masons
- America’s Religion of Deism
- The United States is a Crypto-Catholic Republic