In many ways, the story of the church starts with Peter. With the words, “And I tell you, Peter, that on this rock I will build my church,” Jesus appoints Peter as head of his new church and charges him with the responsibility to build it from the ground (Matt. 16).
Throughout the centuries, biblical scholars and theologians have taken these words to imply that Jesus gave unique authority to Peter. But Catholics understand Jesus’ words differently: The new Christian church would be physically built on Peter’s remains.
The progress of the Industrial Revolution came with a steep price: the horrible excess of human wreckage. Be it death or dismemberment in factory work, chronic disease thanks to pollution and lack of sanitation, or the cruelty of child labor, the basic humanity of workers was not respected.
The word relic denotes antiquity, but in just the past couple years, this centuries-old tradition has been causing a bit of medieval-style controversy. In September of 2014, the beatification process for Archbishop Fulton Sheen was postponed indefinitely, largely because of a dispute over Sheen’s body. (Sheen was an Emmy Award-winning television and radio personality who became a midcentury pop culture icon preaching and teaching on Catholic theology, making him one of the world’s first televangelists.) While the location of the archbishop’s body is not in question—he’s buried beneath St.
Trying to decorate the church for Advent? Two church documents offer guidance on the subject of church decor.
There are surprisingly few official rules about decorating churches, much to the chagrin of those who have been crowded out by Christmas poinsettias or engulfed by Easter lilies. At times, admittedly, the altar looks like it's been attacked by a rioting mob of florists.
Catholics use three purple candles—the color typically associated with penance—and one pink, the color of rejoicing worn on the third Sunday of Advent.
Since the early Middle Ages, all Christians have used the same method for determining the date of Easter, though they arrive at a different result. Described authoritatively in The Reckoning of Time by eighth-century English scholar Bede, “The Sunday following the full moon which falls on or after the equinox will give the lawful Easter.” The equinox is observed on March 21. This straightforward method based upon an easily observable natural phenomenon survived the Schism of 1054, when the Catholic and Orthodox Churches split from each other.