Expressing beliefs about the nature of God

The Bible

The Bible expresses fundamental ideas and beliefs about the nature of God. Catholics regard the Bible as an important and unique source of authority as they believe that the Bible is the Word of God. God inspired the authors of the Bible to record what they knew and witnessed.

There are different ways to read and understand the Bible. Some Christians believe that the biblical accounts should be taken literally. This means that the Biblical accounts are to be taken as fact and they are not to be interpreted.

On the other hand, some Catholics believe the content of the Bible has to be understood within the time that it was written. The Church uses tradition and prayer alongside scripture to ensure that the true meaning and message of God is understood.

Creeds

Creeds express and make clear the most important Christian beliefs, including about the nature of God. The congregation often recites them during acts of worship, usually standing.

There are three main Christian creeds:

Apostles' Creed

This is based on the teaching of the Apostles. It was written in the 4th century CE and is used by churches in the West. It represents a summary of Christian belief about the following:

Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed is a development of the Apostles' Creed. It was formed as a result of the Council of Nicaea which aimed to solve any misunderstandings that had arisen within the church. The basic content is the same as the Apostles Creed, but is longer and has a more detailed explanation of the key beliefs.

Athanasian Creed

This creed is very rarely used in the Catholic Church, but is accepted. The key beliefs and statements about the Trinity and the Incarnation are the same as the other two creeds.

Worship

Catholics worship God both in private and in public, eg through personal prayer and attending Mass. For Catholics, the Mass is the greatest form of worship. For Catholics, the Mass is a sacrament, through which grace is received from God. In the Mass, the Eucharist is received and is described as the "source and summit" (CCC 1324) of Catholic life.

Catholic social justice

Many Catholics believe that they should follow the example of Jesus to work for justice for all. They therefore donate to and may volunteer for charities, eg Christian Aid and CAFOD.

Many Catholics consider issues of justice, locally, nationally and internationally, eg when considering who to vote for in an election.