Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!
Print

Religious Studies

Christianity: revelation

Church teaching and miracles

Many Christians are members of a particular branch of the worldwide church. The different Christian churches have different ways of understanding and expressing their beliefs.

The Roman Catholic Church bases much of its teaching on the tradition of the church (the things which the Church has always done - or always believed). The Pope, the Head of the Church, takes advice about matters of faith from various groups of people (eg, priests, scholars, scientists and specialists in a variety of areas). He then reflects on all this and issues guidance to Roman Catholics all over the world. Popes seldom use their power of infallibility, but rely on the idea that the Church accepts that the office of the Pope is the means of deciding what will be accepted as formal beliefs of the church.

Miracles

Many people believe that God is a personal being, therefore it is to be expected that God would want to be involved in human affairs. However this can't happen too often, as this would jeopardise people's free will (the ability to choose for oneself). Therefore people believe that God is revealed occasionally and privately in some people's lives eg, miracles (a fortuitous event believed to have been caused by divine intervention), prayer (communicating with God) and worship.

There are many examples of miracles in the New Testament and Christians may see these as proof of the existence of God and of God’s concern for people.

Many miracles are said to have happened in the world, especially at places of pilgrimage such as Lourdes (France), Santiago de Compostella (Spain), the Holy Land (Israel), Rome (Italy), Canterbury (England) and Walsingham (England), and these are seen as God's will being revealed and as an answer to prayer.

Back to God index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.