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 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...

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

Roman Catholic Church

Roman Catholic Church The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church is the Christian Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter. The Catholic Church is the largest Christian Church and...

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Catechism of the Catholic Church

Catechism of the Catholic Church The Catechism of the Catholic Church (Catechismus Catholicae Ecclesiae; commonly called the Catechism or the CCC) is a catechism promulgated for the Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II in 1992. It sums up, in book form, the beliefs of the Catholic faithful. A catechism (“to teach orally”) is a summary or exposition of doctrine and serves as...

Science and The Catholic Church

Science and The Catholic Church The relationship between science and the Catholic Church is a widely debated subject. Historically, the Catholic Church has often been a patron of sciences. It has been prolific in the foundation and funding of schools, universities and hospitals, and many clergy have been active in...

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of prayer and fasting. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and falls on the first day of Lent, the six weeks of penitence before Easter. Ash Wednesday is traditionally observed by Western Christians. It is observed by Catholics in the Roman Rite, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Moravians, Independent Catholics, as well as by many...

Thomism

What Is Thomism? Thomism is the philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work and thought of Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), philosopher, theologian, and Doctor of the Church. In philosophy, Aquinas’ disputed questions and commentaries on Aristotle are perhaps his most well-known works. In theology, his Summa Theologica is one of the most influential documents in medieval theology and continues...

Thomas Aquinas

Who Is Thomas Aquinas? Saint Thomas Aquinas OP (Tommaso d’Aquino, lit. “Thomas of Aquino”; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian[8][9] Dominican friar, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. He is an immensely influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis.[10] The name Aquinas identifies his...

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Just War Theory

Just War Theory Just war theory (jus bellum justum) is a doctrine, also referred to as a tradition, of military ethics studied by military leaders, theologians, ethicists and policy makers. The purpose of the doctrine is to ensure war is morally justifiable through a series of criteria, all of which must...

A depiction of the general absolution given to the Royal Munster Fusiliers by Father Francis Gleeson on the eve of the Battle of Aubers Ridge.

What is Absolution?

Absolution Absolution is the remission of sin, or of the punishment due to sin, granted by the Church. (For remission of punishment due to sin, see CENSURE, EXCOMMUNICATION, INDULGENCE.) Absolution proper is that act of the priest whereby, in the Sacrament of Penance, he frees man from sin. It presupposes on the part of the penitent,...

Divine Mercy

Divine Mercy The Divine Mercy is a devotion to Jesus Christ associated with the apparitions of Jesus to Faustina Kowalska. The venerated image under this Christological title refers to what Kowalska’s diary describes as “God’s loving mercy” towards all people, especially for sinners.[1][2] Kowalska was granted the title “Secretary of Mercy” by the Holy See in the Jubilee Year of 2000.[3][4][5] Kowalska...

Catholic Church And The Age Of Discovery

Catholic Church And The Age Of Discovery The Catholic Church during the Age of Discovery inaugurated a major effort to spread Christianity in the New World and to convert the indigenous peoples of the Americas and other indigenous people by any means necessary. The evangelical effort was a major part...

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

Catholic Church

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...

Prayers For All Kinds of Problems

Catholic Spirituality

Catholic Spirituality Catholic spirituality includes the various ways in which Catholics live out their Baptismal promise through prayer and action. The primary prayer of all Catholics is the Eucharistic liturgy in which they celebrate and share their faith together, in accord with Jesus’ instruction: “Do this in memory of me.” The Catholic bishops at the Second Vatican Council decreed...

Catholic Bible

What Is Catholic Bible? Within Catholicism, the Bible comprises the whole 73-book canon recognized by the Catholic Church, including the deuterocanonical books. It is sometimes referred to as the Catholic Bible. Books included The Catholic Bible is composed of the 46 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament. Old Testament Pentateuch : Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy Historical books : Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1...

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