Catholicism: Delving into the Holy See
Mover of nations, maker of kings, director of souls—the Catholic Church looms large on the world stage, as well as in the religious world. The sheer enormity of the Church's presence, the length of its history and the depth of its theology can intimidate the scholarly and the religious neophyte alike. But this ancient faith has entered the 21st century with gusto, maintaining an impressive presence online to help you research, explore and interact with Catholicism.
Read a Spanish-language version of this Web Guide
Though Catholicism's basic tenets are the same as those of other Christian sects, its 2,000-year history of dogma, discussion and writings distinguish it from other forms of Christianity. Explore Catholic history with the sites below.
- These sites are primarily evangelical, and don't take an unbiased stance toward the Catholic faith. Regardless, they contain a wealth of information on Catholicism. Keep in mind their respective biases while taking advantage of the education they offer.
- Many of the Catholic Web sites you'll encounter are apologetics: systematic defenses of and education about the faith. Though these are intended to convince, they can nevertheless be well researched and argued, and quite informative.
For Catholic history ...
Catholic Apologetics Information
links to articles and excerpts that explain the history of the Catholic church, including ecclesiastical history, history of heresies, persecutions of Catholics throughout history and more.
Encyclopedia is a powerful resource for anyone needing clarification of details about the Catholic faith. Of particular interest is a full chronological list of Popes
since the beginning of the Church.
Vatican II-The Voice of the Church
devotes itself to education, opinions, and analysis of Vatican II and its implications for the Church. Written by the representative of the English Benedictine Congregation attending the conference, it is a scholarly and serious resource.
For official Catholic organizations ...
The Holy See
is the official site of the Vatican. Find Catholic news, information on Vatican museums and the Vatican library, archives and more.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
is an extensive site that links to all ministries and departments of this official Church organization. If you're looking to connect with official Catholic efforts in the U.S. in any area of religion, culture, politics or media, this is the place.
For Catholic texts ...
The Holy See Archives
offers the official versions of the fundamental Catholic texts, such as the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Documents of the II Vatican Council.
Thinking of converting to Catholicism or just wanting to learn more about Catholic beliefs and practices? The sites below offer a range of sources for those new to the Catholic faith.
- The sites in this guide deal with the specific beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church. For more information regarding the basis of the Catholic faith, see the findingDulcinea Web Guide to Christianity.
is written by a convert to the faith and is a practical and educational guide to Catholic beliefs and practices. Although aimed at the new convert, its categories, found on the left sidebar, provide good resources for anyone interested in the religion.
knowledge base is actually a database of all past questions posed to its team of apologists and grammarians and their informative answers. If you're pondering something more specific, venture your own question here.
is one of the better-known apologetics sites, aiming to educate you in Catholic beliefs, practices, lifestyle and history. For more information on any issue, join the site's forum to take part in a discussion with other users.
A religion, a church, a state? In a sense, the Catholic Church is all of these, stemming from the unusual nature of the Vatican as a political, diplomatic and religious body. As such, there is a wealth of activity and events to report on, discuss and analyze in the Catholic world. Find Catholic news, including Catholic TV and radio sources, with the sites below.
- The Vatican publishes its own weekly newspaper, which is available online.
- Some of these sites are secular looks at Catholic news. Most, however, have Catholic perspectives, each incorporating the Catholic faith in a different way. Read enough of any site you visit to understand its message and point of view before you bookmark it.
provides well-written news. Designed as a clone of The New York Times site, this newspaper has many of the same features and sections you'd find on a newspaper of that style, but with a Catholic perspective.
Roman Catholic Church section, part of a larger Christianity page, gathers Catholicism-related articles from its impressive news archives and daily articles. Read up on the developments within the Catholic Church that the mainstream media is following.
Catholic News Agency
focuses on news of the Holy See. Besides its quality news reports, you'll find a number of podcasts, as well as documents and resource sections with more information from the Church, such as encyclicals.
brings you reporting (with a Catholic perspective) of news across greater Asia. Available in Italian, English and Chinese (choose the respective flags on the top right), this site is both a news agency and a mission, spreading a Catholic view of the modern world.
is a vibrant collection of articles, commentary and features on Catholic issues today. Based on the teachings and philosophy of Pope John Paul II and Vatican II, this is a forward-looking approach to the Catholic Church and faith.
For Catholic newswire services ...
is a Catholic newswire service that posts some of its content online. The site has straightforward articles on the day's news. For a quick dose of Catholic news in seven different languages, this is the place to visit.
For Catholic TV and radio ...
is the official broadcasting station of the Holy See. Available in 34 languages, its radio programs are presented in multiple formats. There are also print articles that focus on religious programs and news of the Vatican and the Pope. These articles also cover greater world affairs in a Catholic context.
Although widely dispersed around the world, the immense and diverse Catholic community can all come together online. For Catholic dating, education, discussion, business and more, use the sites below to connect with the Catholic community's global citizens.
- Always be careful when sharing personal information online. For more information on how to protect yourself and your family while taking advantage of what the online community has to offer, read the findingDulcinea Internet Security Web Guide.
For Catholic portal sites ...
is a gateway to the Catholic world online. With feature articles, tools for the faith, reviews, a Catholic dictionary and more, this site tries to encompass all aspects of a Catholic lifestyle.
is a bilingual site (English and Spanish) that tries to cover the full range of Catholic life with articles and resources. Browse the site to find daily prayers, news, Mass times and more.
is a portal site and community tool. Find links to all kinds of Catholic sites and services, such as the "Find A Church" clickable map tool. A membership enables church ministries, organizations and other institutions to access a full suite of online tools, including free Web hosting, e-mail and other Catholic community-enhancing features.
For Catholic community organizations ...
The Pope Benedict XVI Fan Club
is your stop for everything papal. Unofficial and informal, you'll find a biography of the man, links, interviews, resources and a blog.
National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry
exists to help foster, develop and shepherd the Catholic youth community. Find information on the organization's programs, and links at the bottom left of the page to other Catholic youth organizations.
For Catholic dating sites...
is a dating site specifically for Catholic singles. This company also runs similar sites for Jewish and other Christian singles.
has a quick sign-up process. Included in your profile are answers to basic questions about your agreement with Catholic teaching, although disagreements don't preclude you from joining. Though primarily a Catholic dating site, it is open to non-Catholics, as well as people simply looking to meet other Catholics for professional or friendly reasons.
They say you can't throw a stone in Rome without hitting a Catholic church. For those of us elsewhere (or less inclined to cast the first stone), there are online tools to help you find a Catholic church.
- Many "Find a Church" sites are user-generated, meaning a church must enter itself into the database. As a result, not all sites list the same results. If you can't find what you're looking for on one, try your luck on another.
- The Catholic Church is hierarchical: If you're having trouble finding a local church, contact your local diocese for help.
is intended to help travelers find an appropriate place to attend Mass, but it can be useful for anyone looking for a church. Search by location, country, zip code or phone number, or include criteria such as services offered (for example, adoration, confession or devotion), languages served and more.
lets you search for Catholic parishes by name, city, state, zip code, pastor, Diocese, area code or phone number.
is a simple church locator for all major Christian denominations and Judaism. Results are simple, consisting of the church name and address.
The Catholic Church is not only a religious organization, it is also one of the largest charity and relief bodies in the world. Volunteer with the Catholic Church and work for social justice, economic development, health education, disaster relief and more.
- Your church is another great resource for finding communities in need of help. Ask the clergy (or members involved in the community) if they are aware of any Catholic charities or if they know of any volunteer opportunities.
To find Catholic charities ...
has a great list of Catholic organizations and causes held in high esteem in the Catholic community. Scroll down the page to find the list on the right side.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
offers information on the issues, campaigns and organizations of the USCCB that focus on social issues. Here you'll find information on ways to get involved with all their efforts.
Catholic Relief Services
is the official international relief and humanitarian agency of the Catholic community, operating in more than 90 countries in need of development and relief services. Its expansive site presents information on CRS efforts, as well as the resources you need to get involved with all the relief, food security, agriculture, fair trade, health services and other charity work done by the organization.
With the large presence of the Vatican and Catholic churches on the Web, it's easy to forget that the Catholic Church is made up primarily of its members. Culture, religion, faith, charity, the Vatican, world news: All can be found on Catholic blogs.
- The blogosphere is huge, even the Catholic corner of it, so a comprehensive list of the best-quality Catholic blogs out there is nearly impossible to compile. To find more Catholic blogs, surf the blogrolls of the Catholic blogs you enjoy.
- Remember that blogs are a highly subjective source of information and are not intended to represent the values and opinions of the entire Catholic community.
For Catholic blog directories ...
Catholic Blog Directory
is a simple but rich alphabetical list of Catholic blogs, with additional sections for blogs by members of the clergy. Browse here for some real finds.
Saint Blogs Parish
is a directory of hundreds of Catholic blogs. Browse the categories listed at the top of the page.
For some leading Catholic blogs ...
is an excellent window on the modern world through the eyes of Catholics, written by a group of politically and demographically diverse bloggers.
Whispers in the Loggia
meticulously tracks the day-to-day events of the Catholic church. The author, Rocco Palmo, has cultivated an array of insider sources, and his blog has about 8,000 readers a day, some of whom are Church officials. Palmo claims that the Pope himself reads the blog, but even if he doesn't, the blog is a detailed source for lay people curious about the Vatican.
focuses more on issues of faith and doctrine than on news or current events. Come here for a layperson's take on the state of the Catholic faith and for theological discussion.
is a playful yet well-written blog on Catholicism, the world and the life of its author, a lay ecclesial minister. True to its name, the author doesn't shy away from the kind of language and emotion you find on the rest of the blogosphere, bringing a refreshing everyday humanity to her writing.
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