What Does It Mean to Be Catholic?

What does it mean to be Catholic?  -- This is not an easy question to answer.  On the one hand, it means that one is a member of the Catholic Church, believes what the Church teaches, and does what Catholics do.  On the other hand, to be catholic -- and here the lowercase is intentional -- is to be open, tolerant, and universal in one's interests and sympathies.  But the most radical sense of being Catholic is to view the created world as a sacrament of the divine, that is, as something that both points to and makes present God's saving grace.

~ Office of Mission and Ministry, Providence College

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