I sometimes get the impression that many people learned most of what they believe about Catholics and Catholicism from periodicals purchased at grocery checkouts.
For example, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta isn't a seer: despite what you may have read in the papers. I realize that tabloids need to have attention-getting headlines, like "Abraham Lincoln Was A Woman!" - but the cover in that photo made me a little nostalgic for the days when space alien abductions and Elvis sightings were more common subjects for the imaginative end of the press pool.
Back to Mother Teresa: There's a pretty good write-up about her on EWTN ("Mother Teresa of Calcutta: Peacemaker, Pioneer, Legend," including a biography and several quotes).
The point of this post is that not everyone who writes about Catholic beliefs and practices knows a great deal about them.
And, sadly, the same is true for people who are in positions of authority. More about that at another time.
Here are two online resources that are a bit better informed about Catholicism than that tabloid:
- "Catechism of the Catholic Church"
United States Council of Catholic Bishops
A detailed, if somewhat dry, discussion of Catholic beliefs
- "Frequently Requested Catholic Church Statistics."
Georgetown University's collection of statistics relating to Catholics in America, and around the world