The distinctive Catholic difference
Catholics are sacramental people. We believe that Christ instituted seven sacraments for His Church. God uses the ordinary and physical things of this world; bread, wine, water, oil and touch as channels of his grace. These include Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Marriage, Ordination and Sacrament of The Sick.
We believe that God reveals Himself in the written word of God (the Bible) and in the Tradition of The Church (the oral teachings of Christ and the Apostles not contained in the Bible and the reflection on Scripture of successive generations of Christians). Scripture and Tradition are interpreted by the Church's teaching office, exercised by the Pope and Bishops (The Magisterium). Authority in the Church is held and exercised by the Pope and the College of Bishops, as successors to the Apostles. The Pope and the Bishops can teach authoritatively and infallibly on issues of faith and morals. This is a service of charity to The Word of God, which they faithfully serve.
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