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An Interview With A Retired Catholic Priest

2391 words - 10 pages

An Interview With A Retired Catholic Priest
John Sixsmith
Axia College

An Interview With A Retired Catholic Priest
What is Catholicism? I come from a long line of Irish Catholics, but was never raised in the church because my father was excommunicated when he was 13 years old in his home country of Ireland. He never spoke of the church or his excommunication until I was an adult, and as a result, the Catholic Church was a mystery to me. Couple this with the fact that I was raised in a southwestern copper town that was populated predominatly with Mexican Americans who were of the Catholic persuasion. The attiutde amongst the people that I grew up with was that if y0our weren’t Catholic, ...view middle of the document...

But what is Catholicism?
What is in a name?
Wikipedia (2009) gives the following definition to the name Catholic:
The Greek word καθολικός (katholikos) means "universal" or "general" and is equivalent to καθόλου (katholou), a contraction of the phrase κατὰ ὅλου (kata holou), "according to the whole". The word was first used to describe the Church in the early 2nd century. Since the East-West Schism of 1054, the churches that remained in communion with the See of Rome (the diocese of Rome and its bishop, the Pope, the primal patriarch) have been known as "Catholic", while the Eastern churches that rejected the pope's authority have generally been known as "Orthodox" or "Eastern Orthodox"
Definition by an encyclopedia is one thing, but how and when did the “Catholic” people come to call themselves Catholics? Again, I turned to Wikipedia (2009) and found this:
Following the Reformation in the 16th century, the Church "in communion with the Bishop of Rome" used the term "Catholic" to distinguish itself from the various Protestant churches that split off. The name "Catholic Church" appears in the title of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is also the term that Paul VI used when signing the sixteen documents of the Second Vatican Council. Church documents both of the Holy See and of certain episcopal conferences occasionally refer to the Church by the name "Roman Catholic Church". In the Catechism of Pope Pius X the Church is called "Roman".
What’s in a name, to a lot of people, not much. But, to the Catholic Church, everything. Through the years it has worked tirelessly at defining who it is and who its practioners are.
Lots of Catholics
There are a lot of Catholics in the world. Of all of the Christian religions, it has done the most to go out into the missionary fields and convert people to their way of believing, and not without some small success. Wikipedia (2009 makes the following claim:
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, claiming more than a billion members.
Even by the standards of todays world population, that is quite a few members, spread out through the world. The Harvest Fields, (2011) breaks it down like this:
Major Roman Catholic Countries of the World
(% of population)1
Country | Roman Catholic (%) |
Argentina | 92% (less than 20% practicing) |
Austria | 74 |
Belgium | 75 |
Belize | 50 |
Bolivia | 95 |
Brazil | 74 (nominal) |
Burundi | 62 |
Chile | 70 |
Colombia | 90 |
Congo, Democratic Republic of the   | 50 |
Costa Rica | 76 |
Croatia | 88 |
Cuba | 85 (nominal) |
Dominican Republic   | 95 |
Ecuador | 95 |
El Salvador | 57 |
France | 83-88 |
Grenada | 53 |
Guam | 85 |
Haiti | 80 |
Honduras | 97 |
Hungary | 52 |
Ireland | 87 |
Italy | 90 (1/3 practicing) |
Lithuania | 79 |
Luxembourg | 87 |
Malta | 98 |
Mexico | 77 |
Nicaragua | 58.5 |
Panama | 85 |
Paraguay | 90 |
Peru |...

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