How Has Catholicism Changed Over the Years?
The Roman Catholic Church traces its history to Jesus Christ and the Apostles. And even though the main ideology and dogmas stayed unchanged throughout the centuries, some details and approaches have altered.
As time progresses, social norms and people’s views of life change, so the Church adapts the ways it communicates its dogmas to the people in order to stay up to date and make religion understandable and acceptable for people.
One of the earliest examples could be the change in language for the way liturgy is celebrated. As the Church grew, there were a continuous amount of people who did not speak Latin or Greek, so everything had to be translated into various languages so that everyone could understand the Mass (Britannica).
Another important change, which must be mentioned while discussing the subject, is the form of the Inquisition, which became a bureaucratic matter as opposed to dealing with the person in the subject physically, torturing the accused and sentencing them to various death penalties (Burr).
It is also noteworthy that Catholicism is now much more compassionate toward the scientific world in various ways than it was in the earlier stages. For instance, it is no longer against astronomy, and the Vatican even has several astronomers in employment. Also, as of the period of Pope John Paul II, evolution is not considered as heresy and is accepted by the church as a possible expression of the biblical story (Scott).
As it follows from given examples, the basic beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church, as well as the rules and the hierarchy, the structure of the Mass and sacred rituals never change, whereas their expressions and representations do with the time.
Britannica. The Editors of Encyclopaedia. 20 Jul 1998. Encyclopædia Britannica. Article. 7 February 2019.
Burr, David. Internet History Sourcebooks Project – Fordham University. n.d. Article. 7 February 2019.
Scott, Eugenie. “Creationists and the Pope’s Statement.” The Quarterly Review of Biology (1997): 72.
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