Catholic doctrine sees Jesus Christ as the
founder of a visible society, the Church. At the head of this, we
find Peter, whose successors, the popes, inherit
his prerogatives and supremacy, based on the teachings of Jesus
“Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
The infallible church; that which Catholic doctrine sees as “infallibility” of the papal Church, was recognized by the Vatican I Council in 1870. The Church is custodian and interpreter of relative truth, expressed in the Holy Scriptures, that is the Old and New Testament, contained according to Catholic doctrine even in tradition, seen as having authority equal to that of the Bible, according to the definition of the Council of Trent that opposed Protestantism which had negated it of authority.
The fundamental dogmas of Catholicism are:
the mystery of the
Trinity, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ Son of God, that of
the incarnation, the transmission of Adam’s original sin to
all of his descendants, and the Redemption carried out by
Christ’s becoming man for the salvation of humanity.
Privileges of the Redemption are applied to men by means of the sacraments, through an external and material symbol which gives supernatural grace.
The sacraments founded by Jesus Christ, are seven: baptism, confirmation, Holy Communion, penitence, last rites, holy orders, marriage.
They coincide with the different phases of the supernatural life. These are managed by the Church, who, in the sacramental work expresses its true face of religious society of divine matrix, ordained to the salvation of its members. In this perspective she is a true agnostic body of Christ, his “after-effect” in time and space.
All of that expresses itself with the Eucharistic sacrifice, called Mass since the 5th century, with the repetition of the last supper, where Jesus simplified his own sacrifice. Based on his words, pronounced later by priests during the “Holy Mass”, the bread and the wine transform themselves, according to Catholic doctrine, into his body and his blood. (Transubstantiation).
The effort, often laborious and difficult, made by the Catholic church in order to truly be such, that is universal in the true sense, seemed to accentuate itself and culminated in the Vatican II Council: this in a certain sense ended the age of dilacerations, which geographically limited Catholicism (East-West Schism in the 11th century, Protestantism in the 16th century), and the fight with other Christian confessions, proposing again the problem in renewed terms, overbearing for every Christian, of church unity, first necessary step toward the fulfilment of the vow of Christ, which is nothing more than “one flock and one shepherd.”