This research paper is about the overall central idea of the Roman Catholic Church. Many questions arise in human mind when we see this word with many aspects; it tells the secrecy of the Roman Catholic Churches, the history of them, the theory lies behind it along with the faith of Christian people attached to it (O’Grady 3). This research paper will put a limelight on all of these concepts and will explain it very briefly so that we could cover each and every concept and convey it to our readers in a nutshell.
Church – The meanings
(Moberg 16) Basically, the actual meaning of the word “church” refers to a sacred place where the incorporation of all Christian groups takes place or their own specific denomination or even their own local and personalized Christian community resides and practices according to their beliefs.
Social institution – The meanings
A social institution could be any institution that possesses the implementation and promotion of the social position of an entire group which as a result, strengthens the social bonds between people of same communities and help them to perform some social roles and responsibilities. If brought in easy words, it means the efforts that everything carried out with mutual cooperation in a society in order to socialize a certain group of people or community is known as social institution (Jonsson 2007).
Daily life examples of social institutions are many; it could be carried out through educational institutions, religious institutions, economic systems, political infrastructures, families and governmental systems.
The desire to have social interaction through social institutions is quite simple and understanding. It is human nature to live together being socialized because according to a saying:
“Man is a Social Animal”
Social institutions are there since the very old times and would remain here till the end of the world. People always tend to live in groups and communities ad it is their dominant and basic nature to create social bonds with each other.
Roman Catholic Church
(Fahlbusch and Bromiley and Barrett 227) The Roman Catholic Church describes itself as the social institution which follows the spreading the message of Jesus Christ as its sole mission all around the world. It is the largest Catholic Church of all the other churches in the world and successfully represents more than half of the total Christian as well as one-sixth of the population around the world.
The main authority present in the church is the Pope who has the authority to control the governance, faith and powers of the church. These days, the present Pope of the Roman Catholic Church is the Pope Benedict XVI. To spread the message of Jesus Christ, the Roman Catholic Church holds several social and educational programs and runs institutions around the globe. These programs are held anywhere in the world which includes hospitals, lounges, educational institutions, universalities, colleges, schools, and many other related missionaries.
The Roman Catholic Church is the central figure and social institution for all the Christians in the civilized world for more than two thousand years. It has been involved in the religious, political, social, educational, marriage, literary, daily, casual and scientific matters and has a great influence on the lives of the Christians. The Roman Catholic Church has proved its existence and importance around the globe with the passage of time with its dignity among the English narrative people.
It is the belief of the Roman Catholics that the Church all together contains the powers and all the system of laws, regulations and truths along with the practices which were instituted by Jesus Christ for the betterment of mankind and have been gradually shifted down in apostolic succession from the great Saint Peter.
Roman Catholic church – The Mission
The origin of the Roman Catholic Church is said to be from the Jesus Christ because it is the saying that the Jesus Christ built his church on the foundation stone he put in. it is the belief of all the followers of Jesus Christ that they have to spread the message of God and his messenger around the whole world. They have to spread the message of the Jesus Christ through this church.
According to the Pope Benedict XVI of the Roman Catholic church, the Jesus Christ told everyone that his message should be spread with the power of faith that they should go around the world and spread this message among all nations, and baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This message is yet to be spread among all nations more and more until everyone understands and Jesus Christ is with everyone who is trying his level best to do so in every aspect possible (Lindell 59).
To accomplish this mission, the church makes efforts to hold social and educational programs in many schools, universities, hospitals, and shelters and help them with financial aid as well.
Roman Catholic Church – Under Controversies
Apart from all the social enhancements the roman catholic church has carried out which no doubt have helped the new Christian generation in improving from the religious point of view, but there are certain conflictions in which the church has gone through and has got involved intentionally which has resulted with bad reputation of the entire Christian religion. Recent example can be presented about the statement which the Pope made about the religion Islam.
The pope gave the statement about Islam that the most important prophecy of Islam is not true which is followed by all the Muslims and the teachings of Islam and its Prophet Muhammad along with the holy book Quran are fake. This statement of the Pope lead the whole nation to face huge embarrassment from all over the globe and had t bear extreme reactions from the followers of Islam.
Roman Catholic Church – the Societal Impact
Roman Catholic Church follows the teachings of Jesus Christ with the help of the holy book, the Bible and their religious leader, the Pope. There are certain rules and traditions which are followed by the church management and by all the Christians around the world who console the management of the Roman Catholic Church whenever they are in need of any sort of information or help (Moberg 16).
Nonetheless, the societal impacts of the Roman Catholic Church are mentioned below in bullets points:
- The Authority: Being the pioneer and the top authority present among all as compared to all the authorities of the religion Christianity, the pope and the management of the Roman Catholic Church are eligible to accept or reject the decisions or suggestions made by people.
- Spreading the Message: The whole management and authorities of the Roman Catholic Church are always busy in teaching and attending the religious practices to the people. They intend to spread the word of Jesus Christ through any media available; nowadays the technology has advanced tremendously so the teaching of the Jesus Christ is conveyed to other not only through schools, universities, colleges, hospitals, missionaries; but also through the mediums like telecommunications, the internet and field courses.
- Weekly Teachings: The Roman Catholic Church carried out weekly meetings with the Christians on every Sunday and through this practice, they make sure that the socialization of people is strengthening and the bond of affection is getting stronger day by day.
- The Seasonal Greetings: There are several seasonal greetings programs and educational sessions are held in the roman catholic church through which people get together and know each other even better than before. Occasions like Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, Carol practices, marriages held in churches, salvations carried out, the new year, Eucharist, Liturgy of the Hours and the Liturgical year, devotional life and personal prayer of the year; all these occasions not only give spiritual happiness and contentment to people but also enhances the bond of affection among them and strengthens socialization.
- The Political Aspects: If there is a political need to make amendments in the law and regulations order which should be made for the sake of the religion then the management of the roman catholic church urges from the governing body to make political changes so that people could live easily and happily with the real enjoyment of the religious practices.
- Need to Evangelize: According to the Catholic’s belief, it is the need to bring evangelize culture to the humankind and accept occasion of shortcomings in their evangelization. These shortcomings can be understood better in solid situations, such as, illiterate environment, poverty, ignorance, shortage of ministers and structures of oppression.
- New Social Challenge: As the world is getting advanced and modernized, the mode of religions is also getting change with the passage of time and like all other religions, Christianity is also facing a severe challenge in the name of liberalism and tolerance. The severe hazard faced to the religious side of the Western World is that people and new generation are getting away from the religious acts and practices. This is why, according to the Pope and religious priests have decided to face this challenge with patience and help the people to deal with the challenges faced with Christian ways. The only key and solution to this matter are to emphasize on socializing (Woods 2005).
- Liberation in Art, Literature and Music: The Roman Catholic Church is renowned for its brilliant work of art, literature and music inside the church. Every passage and corner, including the main areas of the church are furnished with brilliant artistic work and soul-soothing music is also played according to the situation in the church. It contains writings of William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis; whereas art masterpieces consist of artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Bernini, Borromini, and Michaelangelo. Apart from that, tremendous religious music has been composed only to be played for the church which is entirely for the emergence and development of the European tradition of classic religious music.
- Social Justice System: (Woods 2005) The roman catholic church has contributed a lot to the social development of the western culture. It has paved way and guided the political leaders and governing bodies to enhance social justice. For instance, it was the management of roman catholic church that encourage the government to introduce hospital system in the Medieval Europe; this system is entirely diversified from the common and usual hospitality system of the Greeks and Romans.
John F. O’Grady, 1997, The Roman Catholic Church: Its Origins and Nature, Paulist Press, pg 3.
David O. Moberg, 1962, The Church as a Social Institution: The Sociology of American Religion, Prentice-Hall, pg 16.
Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley, David B. Barrett; 1999, The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, pg 227.
Charles G Lindell, 1967, The Concept of Mission in the Roman Catholic Church in Light of Vatican II, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, pg 59.
C. Jonsson, 2007, Organization, institution and process: Three approaches to the study of international organization. Prepared for ACUNS 20th Annual Meeting, New York. Web.
Thomas E. Woods, 2005, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, LewRockwell. Web.