54 terms

3: Catholic Sources of Wisdom and Authority

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The Bible
A collected library of books written by many authors (in three original ancient languages - Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic).
The Old Testament
The first section of the Bible (from approx 1400-400 BCE) written by around 40 authors in a wide variety of styles including law, history, prophecy, poetry and apocalyptic literature. Features characters like Adam/Eve, Abraham, Moses and King David.
The New Testament
This section of the Bible contains the accounts of Jesus' life (the Gospels), the adventures of the early Church (featuring St Peter and Paul in the Acts of the Apostles) and a variety of letters written to encourage growth among the first Church groups. Was written around 45-85 CE.
Law
A style of writing that includes 613 commandments revealed to Moses by God on Mount Sinai after the Exodus from Egypt.
History
A style of writing that includes the story (and backstory) of the 12 tribes of the Jewish people, the splitting of the Kingdom and the eventual exile of both parts under foreign powers.
Prophets
A style of writing involving messages from God (written by the messengers) - usually full of warnings, calls for repentance and future fulfilment.
Writings
A style of writing that includes Wisdom and Poetry - reflecting the experience and reality of living under God in an often difficult world.
Gospels
A style of writing (meaning the 'Good News') that tells the story of Jesus. Four accounts - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - provide a rich multi-perspective view. Called the 'heart of the Scriptures' CCC125.
Letters
A literary style found in the New Testament. Consists of formal messages to individuals and groups in the early Church. The majority are written by St Paul.
Apocalyptic
A style of writing found in both the Old and New Testament (- the most famous being the last book in the Bible - the book of Revelation - written by St John). Consists of symbolic language and visions of the end of the world. Eschatology is therefore closely linked to these texts.
Eschatology
the last things - death, judgement, purgatory, heaven and hell
The inspired word of God
Or: 'God-breathed'. When God is the primary author but humans have written down what they have received under the influence of the Holy Spirit. (Like a windsurfer being driven along by the wind - they use their personal skills but the wind provides the driving influence)
Literal interpretation
A view of Bible interpretation that takes it word for word. (Can be at the expense of modern ideas about Science eg Creationism)
Liberal interpretation
A view of the Bible that chooses to ignore literal readings. It thinks that the text might be outdated in places but holds value if it can be adapted. (Eg The same-sex marriage debate among Christians)
Inerrancy
When the Bible is incapable of being wrong (because it has been 'God-breathed'), but modern day believers have to interpret the different literary styles that were written in an ancient context with extreme care.
Magisterium
The teaching authority of the Catholic Church. From the Latin word 'magister' meaning 'master'.
Pope
Supreme Pontiff - elected by cardinals.
Cardinal
A bishop chosen by the Pope.
Archbishop
Head of the archdiocese or province.
Bishop
Leader of a diocese.
Monsignor
Honorary senior Catholic title.
Parish Priest
A priest in charge of a parish. Yep - that was a difficult definition to solve wasn't it?
Deacon
A parish cleric.
The Catholic Church
Organisation supported by three main 'legs': scripture, Apostolic Tradition and the magisterium.
Ordinary magisterium
Everyday teaching of the Church - includes homilies, letters and speeches by leaders of the Church.
Extraordinary magisterium
Church leading that can be both Conciliar and Pontifical.
Conciliar
Guidance that comes from a council of Bishops gathered by the Pope. Eg The Second Vatican Council.
Pontifical
Guidance declared by the Pope that is seen as infallible - can't be wrong. Meaning 'from the chair' or directly declared by the Pope. Only 2 to date: the immaculate conception and Assumption of Mary.
Vatican II
Also known as the Second Vatican Council. Guidance and changes on Latin Mass, poverty and social justice practices. (11 Oct 1962 - 8 Dec 1965). Consisting of 4 (lengthy) constitutions, 3 (shorter) declarations and 9 decrees.
The Four Constitutions of Vatican II
Reform of liturgy, beliefs about the Church, Scripture, Humanity and Society.
Ecumenism
Promoting/encouraging unity among different Christian denominations.
Denomination
Different groups or churches within Christianity
The Body of Christ
The community of individuals who follow Christ.
Laity
Ordinary people in the Church. Non-clergy.
Clergy
People with formal roles within the Church - eg deacons, priests, bishops.
Catholic view of the Body of Christ
Pope is the head, Catholics are the body.
Orthodox (Greek and Russian) view of the Body of Christ
The council of bishops is the head, not the Pope. The Orthodox Church are the body.
Protestant view of the Body of Christ
Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, not the Pope. The Bible is the sole authority for any leading. All Christians are the Body.
The four marks of the Church
Found in the Nicene Creed, this is the Catholic declaration of faith - One (unity of the Trinity - one Church), Holy (set apart for a special purpose), Catholic (universal with Jesus present in all), Apostolic (living tradition passed down from the Apostles through the Pope and bishops).
Apostolic Succession
The living tradition passed down from the Apostles through the Pope and bishops.
Discipleship
Following and obeying the teachings of Jesus.
3 ways that Mary is a model of the Church
Joined with Jesus, discipleship, faith and charity.
Immaculate Conception
The Catholic belief that Mary was born without sin, so she could produce a sinless child.
The Virgin Mary
The belief that Mary conceived (by the Holy Spirit) without sexual activity.
Natural Law
A discoverable moral law that provides set rules for all people. St Thomas Aquinas' writings speak about this. The most basic is to 'do good, avoid evil.'
Virtue
Moral excellence.
Cardinal virtues
According to St Thomas Aquinas these include prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude.
Theological Virtues
According to St Thomas Aquinas this include faith, hope and charity.
Primacy of Conscience
Catholics have a sacred obligation to follow an informed conscience.
Conscience
A person's inner moral compass - linked to feelings or guilt or reassurance based on what you do.
Informed conscience
When the Bible, traditions and Church leadership influence a believer's ideas of right and wrong.
Morality
Doing what is right, not doing what is wrong.
Mortality
People eventually will die.
Jesus as a moral influence
He showed love for others, forgiveness, servanthood, social justice.
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