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Roman Catholic Teachings


Sikh-Diaspora (Yahoo! Groups), Apr. 3, 2005

There are two relevant Roman Catholic teachings:

One, the Pope is understood to be God's representative on earth and when he speaks 'ex cathedra' or 'from the throne' he is understood to be speakings God's word which must be obeyed by al members of the R.C. church. The Roman Catholic church has a hierachical system of leadership, and believes that all priests - who can only be male as Jesus disciples were male - are in spiritual succession to Jesus of Nazareth's disciple Peter to whom Jesus gave 'the keys of heaven and hell.'

Sikhism believes in equality of humanity therefore there is no hierachy of leadership, no priesthood, and both women and men may participate in religious ceremonies.

Two, Roman Catholic teaching holds to sanctity of life. It understands that when God created people 'in his image' it means that God gave life and only God can take it away. This leads the R.C. church to believe that nothing should prevent life taking place - therefore all forms of conctraception are forbidden - or prematurely end life - therefore all forms of euthanasia are forbidden although they do allow 'double effect,' i.e. giving pain relief or other treatment in order to keep the person pain free and comfortable even if as a side-effect it may lead to death.

It should be added that there and differences of teaching within different Christian groups and many denominations would not share these teachings.