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The church has influenced various issues in our society. The issues which have been influenced are abortion, divorce, homosexuality, and poverty. But before we look at how these issues were influenced lets first look at some of the aspects of the church.

The churches mass is made up of two parts- the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist for the duration of which the Holy Communion is rejoiced. Mass is the center of worship that Catholics participate in. Catholics are supposed to attend Mass every Sunday and on a small number of important feasts days throughout the year. Mass is a crucial aspect in marriages, funerals, and other Catholic ceremonies and its celebrated every day in the majority of all churches.

The Church also has seven sacraments which are confirmation, baptism, holy orders, Eucharist, penance, matrimony, and the anointing of the sick. Catholic theology instructs that these signs, which are established by Jesus Christ, affect the devout benefit of the partakers autonomous of their faith or virtue of their minister. In matrimony the bride and groom are the ministers of the sacrament of matrimony, not the officiating priest. Marriage is a bond amid which two baptized persons cannot be broken. According to the teachings of the church, the reason for marriage is to promote mutual love and to produce children. It is possible for the church to announce, after careful examinations, that a marriage was invalid from the beginning. Annulment is the Catholic equivalent to a divorce.

Catholics show their piety in other ways besides sacraments and Mass. The rosary of the Virgin Mary is one way. In recent years, the church has made strict obligations to fast and abstain from meat on certain days voluntary. In the U.S., the persistence of Bishops to send children to school managed by the church has been discarded.

The Roman Catholic Church has held strong spots on certain controversial concerns with issues in recent years. With the Rerum Novarum (1891) of Pope Leo XIII, popes have criticized the unfairness of the social and economical incidents brought on by industrial societies and devised remedies for them. They censured nuclear warfare, they constantly implored an end to the arms race, and tried to stop the abuse of poor nations by affluent nations. Additional topics that the Church has been more traditional on are the ban of birth control, liberalized abortion laws, and prevention of women to e ordained as deacons or priests. Minors who have been sexually abused by constituents of the clergy has become an important focus in the U.S. as well as some European nations. In the year 2002, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops endorsed a Charter for the Protection of Young People and Children. However, the Vatican did not support the Charter by claiming impending clashes among the plan's procedures and the laws of the Church. The bishops altered their policies later. In the year 2004, the first major study of child sexual maltreatment in the U.S. church has discovered that from 1950-2002, about four percent, or 4,392 priests, were engaged in committing sexual abuses to more than 10,000 children. Researches also came across that the church has spent $572 million in imbursements to victims, treatment for priests, and legal charges.

Abortion is another controversial subject that has been continually argues over for the past few years and probably many years to come. The main controversy is should abortion be legalized? There are two sides to this abortion topic the Pro-Life which are those who are against abortion and the Pro-Choice or those who believe it is the woman's right to choose if she wants to have an abortion.

Despite the Bible failing to condemn the practice of abortion, it does place great emphasis on the value of life and on the worth of the fetus. Luke 1:42."...Blesses art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." This statement by Elizabeth might imply that the pre-embryo that Mary was carrying is a child. Otherwise, she would have said, "blessed will be the fruit of thy womb".

The Bible reinforces the catholic understanding that life is sacred and in no way should it be intentionally destroyed by man. Jesus teaches us about this in the bible through his parable of the sparrow: "aren't five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one sparrow is forgotten by god. Even the hairs on your head have been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." This may seem completely irrelevant to our lives in the modern age, but it explains to us that all life is important and equal in the eyes of god. This is highly applicable when discussing abortion, that every life is important and cannot be taken for granted or just thrown away.

The word marriage is defined as a union between two people before God as an act of commitment to each other. Marriage is meant to be sacred and meant to preserve. Human experiences teaches us the bitter lesson that friendships, even long-standing and treasured ones, do not always stand the test of time. Thus, married couples do get divorced. In the Catholic Church, a divorce is not granted until it can be proven that a divorce is necessary. The same holds true for and annulment. The church has created these guidelines to safeguard the purity of marriage.

If we look in the Bible we can find passages which both allow divorce and which condemn it. In Matthew 19:9 it says separation, allowed, but not divorce. What I think this verse is referring to is a marital separation, not a divorce. That is, the marriage bond remains in place. Although the husband and the wife live separately, they are not free to remarry. Then on the other side we have Deuteronomy 22:13-19 which says that if a man accuses his wife of not being a virgin when she married him, and she is able to prove that she was a virgin, then he had to pay her farther 100 shekels of silver, and was prohibited from ever divorcing her. The passage continues, by saying that if she cannot prove her virginity, she was stoned to death. Interestingly enough, this passage allows a husband to arrange the death of his wife in certain circumstances, and thus obtain a divorce through her death.

Recently one of the most controversial issues on the news and in the media has been homosexuality, particularly gay marriage. Although there have been many views and



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