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Understanding Catholicism: Explanations of the Catholic Church for Non-Catholic Christians and Fallen Away Catholics

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Ever wondered how the Catholic Church differs from other Christian Churches? Maybe you grew up Catholic but it’s time for a refresher. Perhaps you’re considering becoming a Catholic. Or maybe you just want to understand what your Catholic friends believe. This book will change how you think about Catholicism and give you the tools to answer questions your non-Catholic fri Ever wondered how the Catholic Church differs from other Christian Churches? Maybe you grew up Catholic but it’s time for a refresher. Perhaps you’re considering becoming a Catholic. Or maybe you just want to understand what your Catholic friends believe. This book will change how you think about Catholicism and give you the tools to answer questions your non-Catholic friends have about your religion. You’ll deepen your understanding of your own faith as well as be able to help others gain an appreciation of your views. From the history of the Catholic Church to modern day beliefs of Catholics, Hugh Murray breaks down the most important aspects into understandable segments in a friendly, non-argumentative way. Packed with conversational, easy-to-read information about: The history of the Catholic Church and two big historic splits Mass and the sacraments The special roles of Mary and the saints Catholic views on purgatory, grace, faith, and good works The Pope, cardinals, monsignors, and other Catholic titles And more… In this book, Hugh Murray – a lifelong Catholic and active member of Jesuit discussion groups – helps you become more knowledgeable about the Catholic faith. Understanding Catholicism is written from the perspective of one who has spent more than 50 years examining Catholic theology and providing his analysis to non-Catholic Christians. As a Catholic, you'll relearn what you may have forgotten, and will deepen and renew your faith by pondering the topics presented in this book. As a non-Catholic, you will better understand Catholic views and get answers to your questions about this large Christian denomination. You'll enjoy reading this book yourself, and it’s also the perfect book to share with your non-Catholic friends, fallen away Catholics, and even practicing Catholics who want a deeper understanding of their faith. Interview with the Author Who do you hope will benefit from your book? I originally wrote this book for non-Catholic Christians, but I realized that my Catholic friends were also interested in these topics, either as a refresher or to fill in gaps in their own understanding. I've had Catholics read my book and tell me they learned things they never knew – even people who have been through the Catholic educational system. In what ways will a current Catholic benefit? People are always asking things like: Why do Catholics genuflect when they enter a church? What is the purpose of a rosary? Why do Catholics go to confession? It can be hard to come up with the answer quickly and explain it in an understandable way. Reading my book will clarify these answers so Catholics are prepared to respond knowledgeably. In what ways will a non-Catholic benefit? Understanding Catholicism will inform people of other faiths about basic Catholic beliefs, history, and rich traditions, as well as insight into how the Catholic Church fits in with today’s society. How is your book different from others about the Catholic faith? This book is a conversational guide designed so that readers can easily refer back to it again and again. It provides overviews with just the right amount of information and includes resource recommendations for exploring specific topics in more depth.


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Ever wondered how the Catholic Church differs from other Christian Churches? Maybe you grew up Catholic but it’s time for a refresher. Perhaps you’re considering becoming a Catholic. Or maybe you just want to understand what your Catholic friends believe. This book will change how you think about Catholicism and give you the tools to answer questions your non-Catholic fri Ever wondered how the Catholic Church differs from other Christian Churches? Maybe you grew up Catholic but it’s time for a refresher. Perhaps you’re considering becoming a Catholic. Or maybe you just want to understand what your Catholic friends believe. This book will change how you think about Catholicism and give you the tools to answer questions your non-Catholic friends have about your religion. You’ll deepen your understanding of your own faith as well as be able to help others gain an appreciation of your views. From the history of the Catholic Church to modern day beliefs of Catholics, Hugh Murray breaks down the most important aspects into understandable segments in a friendly, non-argumentative way. Packed with conversational, easy-to-read information about: The history of the Catholic Church and two big historic splits Mass and the sacraments The special roles of Mary and the saints Catholic views on purgatory, grace, faith, and good works The Pope, cardinals, monsignors, and other Catholic titles And more… In this book, Hugh Murray – a lifelong Catholic and active member of Jesuit discussion groups – helps you become more knowledgeable about the Catholic faith. Understanding Catholicism is written from the perspective of one who has spent more than 50 years examining Catholic theology and providing his analysis to non-Catholic Christians. As a Catholic, you'll relearn what you may have forgotten, and will deepen and renew your faith by pondering the topics presented in this book. As a non-Catholic, you will better understand Catholic views and get answers to your questions about this large Christian denomination. You'll enjoy reading this book yourself, and it’s also the perfect book to share with your non-Catholic friends, fallen away Catholics, and even practicing Catholics who want a deeper understanding of their faith. Interview with the Author Who do you hope will benefit from your book? I originally wrote this book for non-Catholic Christians, but I realized that my Catholic friends were also interested in these topics, either as a refresher or to fill in gaps in their own understanding. I've had Catholics read my book and tell me they learned things they never knew – even people who have been through the Catholic educational system. In what ways will a current Catholic benefit? People are always asking things like: Why do Catholics genuflect when they enter a church? What is the purpose of a rosary? Why do Catholics go to confession? It can be hard to come up with the answer quickly and explain it in an understandable way. Reading my book will clarify these answers so Catholics are prepared to respond knowledgeably. In what ways will a non-Catholic benefit? Understanding Catholicism will inform people of other faiths about basic Catholic beliefs, history, and rich traditions, as well as insight into how the Catholic Church fits in with today’s society. How is your book different from others about the Catholic faith? This book is a conversational guide designed so that readers can easily refer back to it again and again. It provides overviews with just the right amount of information and includes resource recommendations for exploring specific topics in more depth.

57 review for Understanding Catholicism: Explanations of the Catholic Church for Non-Catholic Christians and Fallen Away Catholics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael A. Simmons, Sr.

    A thumbnail history of Catholicism A great, quick resource for those who want to know more about the Catholic Church. The author, a lifelong Catholic pulls no punches when he discusses the early church, the reformation and other historical events in church history that are less than godly. The author readily and accurately confesses that the church is an assemblage of men who are human and thus sinful. This should in no way undermine what wonderful achievements have been made by Catholic scholars A thumbnail history of Catholicism A great, quick resource for those who want to know more about the Catholic Church. The author, a lifelong Catholic pulls no punches when he discusses the early church, the reformation and other historical events in church history that are less than godly. The author readily and accurately confesses that the church is an assemblage of men who are human and thus sinful. This should in no way undermine what wonderful achievements have been made by Catholic scholars and clergy. As a practicing Lutheran, I have some disagreement with the tenets of the Catholic faith but I appreciate the lessons of the early church, early theologians and the founding of the Christian faith as recorded by the author.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ronald

    I think that the author succeeded in explaining to non-Catholics what the Catholic Church is. He did so by skimming over the history of the church in a way that illustrated that its creation and development was no different from any other human endeavor. Its united millions but in its heyday, corruption in the church led to protestant sects splitting off. The Church recently went through modernization changes as a result of Vatican II. Masses are now said in the vernacular instead of in Latin an I think that the author succeeded in explaining to non-Catholics what the Catholic Church is. He did so by skimming over the history of the church in a way that illustrated that its creation and development was no different from any other human endeavor. Its united millions but in its heyday, corruption in the church led to protestant sects splitting off. The Church recently went through modernization changes as a result of Vatican II. Masses are now said in the vernacular instead of in Latin and music during the services are played with popular instruments instead of organs. According to the author, the aftermath of these changes is still being felt. It will only be a matter of time before priests are allowed to marry. Married priests already exist. They come from other denominational orders, where priests were allowed to marry, that joined the Church after the marriages took place. Understanding Catholicism is written by a layperson and, at 109 pages long, it is a quick read. The author, Hugh Murray, could have covered the Churches history and practices more thoroughly but would have missed the needs of his primary readership, the non-Catholics and non-practicing Catholics. One thing that these readers need more than history is an explanation of the celebration of mass. The author goes into that by explaining the symbolism of the different parts of the mass. The titles that various priests and bishops have was also explained. This book is exactly what someone who, like me, has strayed away from the Church. Reading it made me realized how much I miss the celebration of mass and the comfort of a participating in a structured Church ceremony.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hope Reads

    This book did a very good job on explaining the history of Catholicism and telling about some of the major Saints that helped develop this history. The reason I gave this book 3 stars is because it isn’t a good book for someone new to Catholicism or religion. There were many rituals, sacraments and other things that were not explained. We were basically just told that Catholics do ‘this’ but we weren’t told what ‘this’ is. We need more definitions and examples. The book also brought up a lot of This book did a very good job on explaining the history of Catholicism and telling about some of the major Saints that helped develop this history. The reason I gave this book 3 stars is because it isn’t a good book for someone new to Catholicism or religion. There were many rituals, sacraments and other things that were not explained. We were basically just told that Catholics do ‘this’ but we weren’t told what ‘this’ is. We need more definitions and examples. The book also brought up a lot of questions but didn’t really answer many of them. I also wish it would cite its sources in text. We have to blindly trust the statements and just accept what they tell us. An example of this is when the author is talking about Mother Mary. They state that “She predicted the coming of the Second World War.” (Page 25) They don’t say how or when or anything else. That one sentence is all we are given. There is a bibliography at the end but I want to know which sources were used for each statement.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Little

    I received ‘Understanding Catholicism: Explanations of the Catholic Church for Non-Catholic Christians and Fallen Away Catholics’ from the Library Thing Member Giveaways and found it to be the perfect primer for anyone thinking of joining the Catholic Church or if like me, you haven’t been back in a long time, it’s a great refresher. Hugh Murray has taken the time to research the church and lays out both the historic and current practices of the Catholic Religion in an easy to read, common sense I received ‘Understanding Catholicism: Explanations of the Catholic Church for Non-Catholic Christians and Fallen Away Catholics’ from the Library Thing Member Giveaways and found it to be the perfect primer for anyone thinking of joining the Catholic Church or if like me, you haven’t been back in a long time, it’s a great refresher. Hugh Murray has taken the time to research the church and lays out both the historic and current practices of the Catholic Religion in an easy to read, common sense format. More importantly, he does so without malice of any kind. Hugh simply presents the facts and I for one, appreciate that. As with all religions managed by man (which would be all of them), the Catholic Church has had its failures. Understanding Catholicism gives us an insight into the church and shows what led to the issues being dealt with by the church today. It is well worth the read by anyone with an interest in the history of religions, and more so by Catholics, past and present. www.daniellittle.com

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rita S

    this is without a doubt one of the best books written on explaining Catholicism, especially informative for non-Catholics.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sara Tran

    Good book for non-Catholics, other religions, or non-religios for understanding Catholicism. As a convert from Presbyterian Protestantism I learned a lot.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Robert King

  8. 5 out of 5

    Samuel B.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Doug

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  11. 5 out of 5

    Justin N Soriano

  12. 4 out of 5

    George Quisenberry

  13. 4 out of 5

    CB

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jody

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linda Solvason

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jesse England

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Berkoff

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bonita Smith

  19. 4 out of 5

    Timothy J Zink

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robert E. Davis

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eddie Marshall

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lewis Smart

  24. 4 out of 5

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  25. 4 out of 5

    Kieran Nicholl

  26. 4 out of 5

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  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

  29. 5 out of 5

    KAREN TAYLOR

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alice J. Busler

  31. 4 out of 5

    Walter R. King, Sr.

  32. 4 out of 5

    Monica Montoya

  33. 5 out of 5

    Dennis J. Klinzing Sr.

  34. 4 out of 5

    James Nugent

  35. 4 out of 5

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  36. 5 out of 5

    TJudd1234

  37. 5 out of 5

    Mary Raymond

  38. 5 out of 5

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  39. 4 out of 5

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  40. 4 out of 5

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  41. 4 out of 5

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  42. 5 out of 5

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  43. 5 out of 5

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  44. 4 out of 5

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  45. 5 out of 5

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  46. 5 out of 5

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  47. 5 out of 5

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  48. 5 out of 5

    Debra Marek

  49. 4 out of 5

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  50. 5 out of 5

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  51. 5 out of 5

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  52. 4 out of 5

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  53. 4 out of 5

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  54. 5 out of 5

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  55. 4 out of 5

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  56. 4 out of 5

    jim andreu

  57. 5 out of 5

    David Quinlivan

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