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The word Catholic actually comes from a Greek term meaning ”universal” and this sect of Christianity was apparently so named because it welcomed all worshipers with open arms saying that there would be no restrictions put on who could and could not join the Catholic faith.
The word Catholic also applies to universality in that the Catholic Church has a worldwide extension. Its unbroken tradition dates back to the days of the Apostles and it has the ability to transcend borders.
The largest group that refer to themselves as Catholics are the Roman Catholics.
Catholicism can be defined by many of its practices and beliefs. Devout Catholics believe in the Seven Sacraments that are thought to be gifts given to worshipers by Jesus and administered through the church.
The Seven Sacraments:
- Taking of the Eucharist (usually this is bread and wine given to worshipers to symbolize the body and blood of Christ)
- Confession (confession of sins to a priest in order to gain forgiveness)
- Holy Matrimony (the belief in getting married)
- Extreme Unction/ Anointing of the Sick (a blessing given to people who are about to die so that they are protected from sin and will hopefully be admitted to heaven)
- Holy Orders (usually refers to priests, bishops and deacons)
Most Catholics believe that they will achieve salvation and be granted admission into heaven if they are diligent with their worship and their good works in life.