The Catholic Church has a long and complex history. Over 2000 years, a vast building, indeed a whole city, has risen around the baby born in a stable, the baby Jesus. This city is made up of many structures: governance, administration and corporate identity. Yet what makes it one city is an interwoven web of beliefs and customs captured in music, art, stories of saints and sinners, and a liturgy encompassing everything from simple prayers to elaborate public Masses celebrated by popes, cardinals and bishops.
Holding up the entire structure are key beliefs and practices. The following pages, which we’ve called ‘Issues’, are an attempt to summarise some of these in just 300 words. We hope the summaries inspire you to investigate more deeply. You can do this by following links to find out more about the Catholic belief and practice, or by ordering the ten ‘What Catholics Believe’ booklets which sum up what the Catholic Church holds and cherishes.