Patheos Watermark

You are running a very outdated version of Internet Explorer. Patheos and most other websites will not display properly on this version. To better enjoy Patheos and your overall web experience, consider upgrading to the current version of Internet Explorer. Find more information HERE.

Ethics and Community

Community Organization

The Roman Catholic Church is hierarchically organized, with local parishes and dioceses as its building blocks, led by bishops whose leaders are in communion with the pope.


The Roman Catholic clergy is comprised of the sacramental roles of deacons, priests, and bishops, with administrative roles extending up to the pope as leader of the world's Catholics. The magisterium is the Church's teaching authority.

Principles of Moral Thought and Structure

Moral thought begins in the conscience informed by natural law. The Ten Commandments and Jesus' life are the foundations for Catholic moral action, which has resulted in the Church's strong social teachings.

Vision for Society

The Roman Catholic Church seeks to build a society that is more human, that protects the dignity of the human person, and that fosters a renewed emphasis on charity in social life as the norm for all activity.

Gender and Sexuality

Roman Catholicism teaches that the sexes are complementary, that all are called to chastity, and that marriage is a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman.