This GCSE RE quiz on Catholicism looks at the church. Nowadays the word ‘church’, to many English-readers, probably most instantly connotes a fairly substantial traditional building; perhaps vague memories of a few occasional, sentimental, mysterious &/or boring obligatory visits inside one; and maybe, by extension, the belief system and hierarchy that go with the people at the building (probably also with a sense of resentment that the church ‘regulars’ are stern, humourless, opinionated, exclusive, dismissive or whatever). Anyone who thinks that way from the word ‘church’ is probably not too fussed about the range of traditions, denominations and architecture.
But if you had been that iconic early missionary St Paul (himself, dramatically converted from persecuting Christians), arriving ~ let’s say ~ off a ship to visit, or even found, a believing community: and if you had asked quietly, ‘Where’s the church?’, you would not have been taken to such a purpose-built structure.
The Church, in those original days, meant the living community of people who honoured and served God through personal knowledge of salvation in Jesus and faithfulness to His Spirit. In the broader primal sense, that indeed is still the chief meaning of the word.
One of the most fundamental Catholic beliefs is that theirs is the True Church, in direct succession to St Peter as the very first Pope; from which other whole branches, such as since the Great Schism with the Orthodox about 1,000 years ago, or since the Reformation which brought about Protestantism around halfway as far back, are pitiful deviations.
So ‘the Church’ to Catholics is both the institution and the typical building in which its congregants worship week by week from cradle to grave. This particular quiz will offer a mixture of questions on the physical ‘fixtures and fittings’, plus some on the wider nature of the global Roman Catholic communion.