From then on the appointment of a pope became a necessity in the survival of the church. Peter being the first pope and considered as the spiritual heir to the leadership of Jesus, Catholics subject themselves in its ruling. The pope administers and heads a hierarchy of religious leaders from the lowest parish priests to cardinals. Also, the crusades have contributed greatly in the acceptance of the Catholic church around Europe. Almost all of the beliefs of the Catholic church is similar to the beliefs of other “varieties” of Christianity.
Being based from a central bible, it follows the teachings of prophets, apostles, and disciples. Also, the concept of a single god with three personas, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ as both divine and human are shared among Catholics. Examples of distinctive beliefs are the leadership of the pope, the existence of purgatory in afterlife, and transubstantiation or the use of bread to represent the body of Christ (Religion Facts). Also, catholics venerate saints as intermediaries to their prayers to God.
Catholics gather in their Eucharistic celebration called mass. The mass is usually held weekly, specifically on Sundays, to commemorate the gospels and teachings of Christ. It constitutes gospel readings, a homily or sermon, utterance of certain prayers like The Lord's Prayer, songs, sacrifices, and communion. Communion symbolizes the last supper where Christ shared bread and wine to His apostles. The structure of a Catholic Church is patterned from that of St. Peter's Bassilica. It has a large facade that resembles a large altar due to the presence of stone statues of saints.
Inside it has a dome over the altar where the ceremonies are being held. Churches also commonly have a grotto in veneration of Mary's apparition in Lourdes, France (Queen of Peace Productions). Similar to other “varieties” of Christianity, Catholicism practices baptism. Baptism is included in the seven sacraments they follow to attain eternal salvation(Contender Ministries, 2005). The practice originated from the story in the bible where the Apostle John poured water on Jesus. It is believed that through baptism we are cleansed of our original sin and are now welcome to the chruch of God.
In baptism, a person is being poured with holy water over a large basin under the sign of the cross. This marks the acceptance of the person being baptised to the church of Christ. Before the person is poured with water, the presiding priest asked the people present to renounce the devil and the sins accompanying it and follow the teachings of God. On this respect they show their rejection of evil and thus cleanses them particularly the person being baptised from their original sins (Cathechism of the Catholic Church).
Also, the utterance of the Apostle's Creed is done for this purpose. The person being baptised wears white clothes to signify his acceptance of Christ. The whole ceremony is very solemn, though there were jokes on the number of guests which become the godparents of the person being baptised. there feeling of oneness is present among the attendants. The ceremony suggests a feeling of relief for the person being baptised, because again another person is introduced to a religion with its moral and spiritual teachings.