Formerly Essential Catholicism, this book has been retitled to reflect how, through the centuries, the Roman Catholic Church has evolved in many aspects of its teaching. The new title also reflects how theologians today grapple with ever new ways of understanding many facets of Catholic belief and practice. Who is Jesus? Or Mary? Who are the saints? How are theologians trying to understand such topics as marriage, divorce, homosexuality? What of social justice? The relationship of conscience to papal authority? Thomas Bokenkotter masterfully shows how these questions and many others have been answered in different ways through the centuries. He also translates the latest theological writings on these topics into plain language. "My aim," he says, "has been to sift through and select what seems most helpful and enlightening for those who seek an understanding of the essentials of Catholicism today." Here, then, is a book for all Catholics -- those assured in their belief and those questioning it.