The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world’s oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

 

Catholic theology is based on the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ’s apostles, and that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter upon whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. It maintains that it practises the original Christian faith, reserving infallibility, passed down by sacred tradition. The Latin Church, the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, and institutes such as mendicant orders and enclosed monastic orders reflect a variety of theological and spiritual emphases in the church.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima is one of the largest Marian shrines in the world.

Marian Apparition

Marian Apparition A Marian apparition is a reported supernatural appearance by the Blessed Virgin Mary. The figure is often named after the town where it is reported, or on the sobriquet given to Mary on the occasion of the apparition. Marian apparitions sometimes are reported to recur at the same...

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Confirmation in the Catholic Church

Confirmation in the Catholic Church Confirmation or Chrismation is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. It is also one of the three sacraments of initiation into the Catholic Church, the other two being Baptism and Holy Communion. Description The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the Spirit of...

Catholic Liturgy Incensing At The Mass

Catholic Liturgy

Catholic Liturgy In the Catholic Church, liturgy is divine worship, the proclamation of the Gospel, and active charity. Liturgical principles As explained in greater detail in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its shorter Compendium, the liturgy is something that “the whole Christ”, Head and Body, celebrates — Christ, the one...

Cardinals, bishops and priests of the Roman Catholic Church attend the Funeral of Pope John Paul II

Indifferentism

Indifferentism Indifferentism, in the Catholic faith, is the belief held by some that no one religion or philosophy is superior to another. The Catholic Church ascribes indifferentism to many atheistic, materialistic, pantheistic, and agnostic philosophies. There are three basic types of indifferentism described by Catholic apologetics: absolute, restricted, and liberal or...

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Roman Rite

Roman Rite The Roman Rite (Latin: Ritus Romanus) is the main liturgical rite of the Latin Church, the main particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church. It is the most widespread liturgical rite in Christianity as a whole. The Roman Rite gradually became the predominant rite used by the Western Church, developed out of many local variants from Early Christianity on, not amounting...

Holy Ghost hole, Saints Peter and Paul Church in Söll

History of the Catholic Church

History of the Catholic Church According to the Catholic tradition the history of the Catholic Church begins with Jesus Christ and his teachings (c. 4 BC – c. AD 30) and the Catholic Church is a continuation of the early Christian community established by the Disciples of Jesus. The Church considers its bishops to be the successors...

Ecce Agnus Dei during a Solemn High Tridentine Mass

Eucharist In The Catholic Church

Eucharist in The Catholic Church The Eucharist in the Catholic Church is a sacrament celebrated as “the source and summit” of the Christian life. The Eucharist is celebrated daily during the celebration of Mass, the eucharistic liturgy (except on Good Friday, when consecration takes place on Holy Thursday, but is distributed during the...

Seven Sacraments Altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden, c. 1448

Sacraments of The Catholic Church

Sacraments of The Catholic Church There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, which according to Catholic theology were instituted by Jesus and entrusted to the Church. Sacraments are visible rites seen as signs and efficacious channels of the grace of God to all those who receive them with the...

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Consecrated Life

Consecrated Life Consecrated life is a state of life in the Catholic Church lived by believers who wish to follow Jesus Christ in a more exacting way. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it “is characterized by the public profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, in a stable state of...

A Haitian Vodou altar to the Petwo, Rada, and Gede spirits located in Boston, Massachusetts

Folk Catholicism

Folk Catholicism Folk Catholicism can be broadly described as any of various ethnic expressions of Catholicism as practiced in Catholic communities. Practices identified by outside observers as folk Catholicism vary from place to place and may sometimes contradict the official teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. In general, when aspects...

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Dogma in the Catholic Church

Dogma in the Catholic Church A dogma of the Catholic Church is defined as “a truth revealed by God, which the magisterium of the Church declared as binding.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: The Church’s Magisterium asserts that it exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it...

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Catholic Theology of Scripture

Catholic Theology of Scripture The theology of Scripture in the Roman Catholic church has evolved much since the Second Vatican Council of Catholic Bishops (“Vatican II”, 1962-1965). This article explains the theology (or understanding) of Scripture that has come to dominate in the Catholic Church today. It focuses on the...

College of Cardinals

College Of Cardinals

College Of Cardinals The College of Cardinals, formerly styled the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church. As of 5 September 2020, its current membership is 219. Cardinals are appointed by the pope for life. Changes in life expectancy partly account for the increases in...

The papal throne (cathedra), in the apse of Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran, symbolises the Holy See.

Holy See

Holy See The Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes; Italian: Santa Sede), also called the See of Rome, refers to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome with universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, as well as a sovereign entity of international law. Founded in the first century by...

The Delivery of the Keys painted by Pietro Perugino (1492)

Pope

Pope The pope (Latin: papa from Greek: πάππας pappas, “father”), also known as the supreme pontiff (Pontifex Maximus), or the Roman pontiff (Romanus Pontifex), is the bishop of Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state or sovereign of the Vatican City State. Since 1929, the pope has official residence in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. he current pope is Francis, who was elected on...

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Venial Sin

Venial Sin According to Catholicism, a venial sin is a lesser sin that does not result in a complete separation from God and eternal damnation in Hell as an unrepented mortal sin would. A venial sin consists in acting as one should not, without the actual incompatibility with the state of grace that a mortal sin implies; they do not break...

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Actual Sin

What is Actual Sin? Actual sin is sin in the ordinary sense of the word and consists of evil acts, whether of thought, word, or deed. According to the Western Christian tradition, actual sin, as distinguished from original sin, is an act contrary to the will and law of God whether by doing evil (sin of commission)...

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the largest church building in the world today.[69]

Sin (Catholic Church)

Sin (Catholic Church) Nature of Sin Since sin is a moral evil, it is necessary in the first place to determine what is meant by evil, and in particular by moral evil. Evil is defined by St. Thomas (De malo, 2:2) as a privation of form or order or due...

Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb greet each other in Abu Dhabi on 4 February (AFP)

Catholic Church and Islam

Catholic Church and Islam Relations between the Catholic Church and Islam deals with the current attitude of the Catholic Church towards Islam, as well as the attitude of Islam towards the Catholic Church and Catholics, and notable changes in the relationship since the 20th century. Second Vatican Council and Nostra aetate The...

The St. George's Cathedral of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Eastern Catholic Churches

Eastern Catholic Churches The Eastern Catholic Churches (Oriental Catholic Churches or Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, or simply the Eastern Churches or Uniates) are autonomous Churches in full communion with the Bishop of Rome (the Pope). While differing in their liturgical, theological and devotional traditions from the predominant form of Western Catholicism, these churches...

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