Week_2_Studying Religion_Kendra_Layton.docx - Running head...

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Running head: 1Kendra L. Layton
2The exact date the Roman Catholic Church was formed is indeterminable, as it is not possible to separate the initial stages of the Roman Catholic Church from the early Christian church. The Roman Empire legally recognized Christianity as a religion in 313 AD. In 380 AD the Roman Emperor Constantine would establish himself as head of the church, making Roman Catholicism the official religion of the Roman Empire. (Melton, 1998) The Catholic Church would remain the only recognized Christian religion for the next 1,000 years. (Fairfield, 2015) Protestantism was formed during the reformation in the 16thcentury. The reform was led by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others, who felt a break from the Roman Catholic Church was necessary due to their abusive ecclesiological structures and theological differences. Luther did not intend to start the new Protestant movement, instead wishing to reform the Catholic Church. Due to the Catholic Church rejecting his theological ideas and arguments, the Protestant church took its roots around 1517 AD. (Patheos.com, 2015) The Catholic Church believes in both the Old and New Testament. They believe that in the Old Testament, God revealed himself to his people which culminated in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. They believe that Jesus appointed the twelve apostles to preach the word of God so that all will know of him and his purpose for humanity. The Catholic Church does not consider the Bible exhaustive, but rather the Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture together are the sourceof divine revelation. According to the Catholic Church Catechism “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out of the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing and move towards the same goal. Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own 'always, to the close of the age.' (Youell, 2003)
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