9. Hell And Purgatory Still Exist
Contrary to the belief of many Catholics, the Church still teaches that “the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin, descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, eternal fire” (CCC 1035) Furthermore, “all who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation, but after death they undergo purification, so to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” (CCC 1030) This purification process, formally declared by the Church at the Councils of Florence and Trent, is known as Purgatory.
10. Catholics Don’t Worship Mary And The Saints
Many Catholics are confused about the role of the Blessed Mother and the Saints. Should we pray to Mary and the Saints or should we go “right to the top” and pray to God? In a nutshell, the Catholic Faith teaches that we must worship God alone. Mary and the Saints are to be honored, not worshipped. However, their intercession can be extremely powerful and emulating their virtues can put us on the road to Heaven.
While the above list only scratches the surface of the robust Catholic Faith, it provides a glimpse into the depth of Catholic teaching. Further explanation on these and other topics can be found by examining the Code of Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, both of which can be found online at the Vatican website (www.vatican.va). Not only will studying the teachings of the Catholic Church enable us to better defend her when challenged, it will help us to become closer to Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who founded our Church 2,000 years ago.