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.
The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church and the largest religious denomination, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide.
The Catholic Church in the United States is composed of ecclesiastical communities in full communion with the Holy See.With 23% of the United States population as of 2018, the Catholic Church is the country's second largest religious grouping, after Protestantism, and the country's largest single church or religious denomination when Protestantism is divided into separate denominations.
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The history of the Catholic Church is the formation, events, and transformation of the Catholic Church through time. The tradition of the Catholic Church claims the Catholic Church began with Jesus Christ and his teachings (c. 4 BC – c. AD 30); the Catholic tradition considers that the Catholic Church is a continuation of the early Christian community established by the Disciples of Jesus .
- Faith and Morals
- The Pope
- Worship Practices
- Nicene Creed
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Like other Christians, Catholics believe Jesus is a divine person, the Son of God. They believe that because of his love for all people, he died so that all people will live forever in heaven. The Catholic Church also recognizes the Trinity; that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are together the only God.
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church is called the Pope, which literally means "father". Catholics say Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church, and appointed the first Pope, a disciple of his named Saint Peter, to lead all Christians. Over the last 2,000 years, different Popes have led the church. The current Pope is the 266th and is called Francis and he lives in the Vatican City, a very small country inside the city of Rome, Italy. For centuries, Popes have not used their birth names, but instead use a regnal name. This custom started in the sixth century when a man named Mercury was elected Pope, it was seen as inappropriate to have a Pope named after a pagan god so he named himself John II, in honor of his predecessor, John I; it became customary in the tenth century. Since the death of Marcellus II 1555, every Pope has taken a Papal name. The Catholic Church is made of 23 "particular churches", otherwise known as rites. As well as being head of the Latin Rite of the chu...
Some of the traditional practices of Roman Catholics carried out each time they pray at home or at Church include making the sign of the cross, kneeling, and bowing. Their main ceremony is the Mass. Catholics are normally required to go to amass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation. In the United States, the Holy Days of Obligation are: Mary, Mother of God (January 1), The Assumption of Mary (August 15), The Immaculate Conception (of Mary) (December 8), The Ascension of Jesus (40 days after Easter), Christmas (December 25) and All Saints Day (November 1). The taking of the Eucharistis the height of the Mass. Catholics worship Jesus. They also venerate the Virgin Marymore than other Christians, calling her the "Mother of God," based on Elizabeth's greeting, "And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" and also on the belief that all Christians hold that Jesus is fully man and fully God at the same time. Yet, Mary, who has nothing to do with the Div...
The Catholic Church celebrates seven sacraments. A sacrament is "an outward sign instituted (started) by Christ to give grace" (a supernatural gift of God that someone did nothing to deserve). The seven sacraments are: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony (marriage). The Holy Eucharist is the most important of the sacraments, because Catholics believe that Jesus Christ becomes truly present in the form of bread and wine. This happens through transubstantiationwhich takes place in the Mass. Catholics believe in the necessity of love, hope and faith in order to gain salvation, but that these all come from grace. This is different from the 16th century interpretation created by Luther. Catholics interpret the Bible (God-given book) according to Tradition. Tradition is the transmission of the early church's life and teaching, as especially recorded in the writings of the Fathers of the Churchwho lived in the first centur...
Catholics, like many Christians, accept the Nicene Creed, a combination of the Council of Nicaea (AD 325) and the later Council of Constantinople(AD 382) as true. It is as follows: Eastern Orthodox and Protestants believe many of the same things. They sometime disagree on the role of the Virgin Mary and other saints, on what a priestcan do, and on how exactly God should be worshipped, among other things.
Catholic Church sexual abuse cases are cases of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, nuns and members of religious orders. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the cases have involved many allegations, investigations, trials, convictions, and revelations about decades of attempts by Church officials to cover up reported incidents.
- Apostolic Succession
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Old Catholic theology views the Eucharist as the core of the Christian Church. From that point the church is a community of believers. All are in communion with one another around the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, as the highest expression of the love of God. Therefore, the celebration of the Eucharist is understood as the experience of Christ's triumph over sin. The defeat of sin consists in bringing together that which is divided. Old Catholics believe in unity in diversity and often quote the Church Father Vincent of Lérins's Commonitory: "in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all."(p132)
Pre-Reformation diocese and archdiocese of Utrecht
Four disputes set the stage for an independent bishopric of Utrecht: the Concordat of Worms, the First Lateran Council,[relevant?] the Fourth Lateran Council, and confirmation of church procedural law by Pope Leo X. Also relevant was the 12th-century Investiture Controversy over whether the Holy Roman Emperor or the Pope could appoint bishops.In 1122, the Concordat of Worms was signed, making peace.The emperor renounced the right to invest ecclesiastics with ring and crosier, the symbols of t...
Overview: three stages of separation from the Roman Catholic Church
Old Catholicism's formal separation from the Roman Catholic Church occurred over the issue of papal authority. This separation occurred in The Netherlands in 1724, creating the first Old Catholic church. The churches of Germany, Austria, Bohemia, and Switzerland created the UU after Vatican I (1871), over the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility. By the early 1900s, the movement included groups in England, Canada, Croatia, France, Denmark, Italy, the United States, the Philippines, Chi...
As of 2016[update], there are 115,000 members of Old Catholic churches.
Immediately after forming the UU, Old Catholic theologians dedicated themselves to a reunion of the Christian churches. The Conferences of Reunion in Bonn in 1874 and 1875 convoked by Döllinger, a leading personality of Old Catholicism, are famous. Representatives of the Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches were invited. They discussed denominational differences as the ground for restoring church communion. They assumed the following principles for participation: acceptance of the Christological dogma of First Council of Nicaea and Council of Chalcedon; Christ's foundation of the Church; the Holy Bible, the doctrine of the undivided Church, and the Church fathers of the first ten centuries as the genuine sources of belief; and Vincent of Lérins's Commonitoryas a preferred method for historical research. Reunion of the churches had to be based on a re-actualization of the decisions of faith made by the undivided Church. In that way the original unity of the Church could be made v...
Old Catholicism values apostolic succession by which they mean both the uninterrupted laying on of hands by bishops through time and the continuation of the whole life of the church community by word and sacrament over the years and ages. Old Catholics consider apostolic succession to be the handing on of belief in which the whole Church is involved. In this process the ministry has a special responsibility and task, caring for the continuation in time of the mission of Jesus Christ and his Apostles.
The Old Catholic Church shares some of the liturgy with the Catholic Church and similar to the Orthodox, Lutherans, and Anglicans of the high churchtradition. Christ-Catholic Swiss bishop Urs Küry dismissed the Catholic dogma of transubstantiation because this Scholastic interpretation presumes to explain the Eucharist using the metaphysical concept of "substance". Like the Orthodox approach to the Eucharist, Old Catholics, he says, ought to accept an unexplainable divine mystery as such and should not cleave to or insist upon a particular theory of the sacrament. Because of this approach, Old Catholics hold an open view to most issues, including the role of women in the Church, the role of married people within ordained ministry, the morality of same sex relationships, the use of conscience when deciding whether to use artificial contraception, and liturgical reforms such as open communion. Its liturgy has not significantly departed from the Tridentine Mass, as is shown in the tran...Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church. Henry R.T. Brandreth. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1947.Episcopi vagantes in church history.A.J. Macdonald. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1945.This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Neale, John M (1858). History of the so-called Jansenist church of Holland; with a sketch of its earlier annals, and some...The Old Catholic Church: A History and Chronology (The Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, No. 3). Karl Pruter. Highlandville, Missouri: St. Willibrord's Press, 1996.
"La Sainte Trinité dans la théologie de Dominique Varlet, aux origines du vieux-catholicisme". Serge A. Thériault. Internationale Kirchliche Zeitschrift, Jahr 73, Heft 4 (Okt.-Dez. 1983), p. 234-245.
Union of Utrecht
1. Union of Utrecht of The Old Catholic Churches 2. Old-Catholic Church of the Netherlands 3. Catholic Diocese of the Old Catholics in Germany 4. Old-Catholic Church of Switzerland 5. Old-Catholic Church of Austria 6. Old-Catholic Church of the Czech Republic 7. Old-Catholic Church of Slovakia
Union of Utrecht dependent churches
1. Old-Catholic Mission in France and Fraternité St Vincent de Lérins 2. Old-Catholic Mission in Italy 3. Old-Catholic Mission in Sweden and Denmark
- Church directives
- Estimating numbers
- Homosexuality and the episcopacy
- Religious orders
The canon law of the Catholic Church requires that clerics "observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven". For this reason, priests in Roman Catholic dioceses make vows of celibacy at their ordination, thereby agreeing to remain unmarried and abstinent throughout their lives. The 1961 document entitled Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders stated that homosexual men should not be ordained. However, this was l
The 1961 document entitled Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders stated that homosexual men should not be ordained. However, this was left to bishops to enforce and most did not, holding homosexuals to the same standards of ce
In November 2005, the Vatican completed an Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders. Publication was made through the Congregation for Catho
The Belgian college of bishops elaborated that the sexual restrictions for seminary and priesthood candidates apply equally to men of all sexual orientations. The Vatican followed up in 2008 with a directive to implement psychological screening for candidates for the priesthood.
In Adomnan of Iona's biography of Columba there is an anecdotal story about two priests with a strong attachment to one another "in a carnal way". One was Findchan, described as the founder of the monastery of "Scotic Artchain" in Tiree. The other priest was Aed Dub. Peter Damian
Pope Francis has directly faced questions from journalists about whether a "gay lobby" effectively operates within the Vatican itself, and investigative journalists have caught several high-ranking Vatican clerics engaging in homosexual sexual activity or relationships. In Octobe
Studies find it difficult to quantify specific percentages of Roman Catholic priests who have a homosexual orientation in the United States. Nevertheless, several studies suggest that the incidence of homosexuality in the Roman Catholic priesthood is much higher than in the gener
A number of senior members of the clergy have been alleged to have engaged in homosexual activity. Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who retired in 2002, was alleged to have been in a relationship with a former graduate student; Juan Carlos Maccarone, the Bishop of Santiago del Estero in Argentina, retired after video surfaced showing him engaged in homosexual acts; and Francisco Domingo Barbosa Da Silveira, the Bishop of Minas in Uruguay, resigned in 2009 after it was alleged that he had broken his
The General Chapter of the Dominican Order held in Caleruega in 1995 "affirmed that the same demands of chastity apply to all brethren of whatever sexual orientation, and so no one can be excluded on this ground." In February 2006, the president of the Religious Conference of Spain, Alejandro Fernández Barrajón declared that " maturity is what must be insisted on, when selecting candidates for priesthood or religious life. Conditioning persons on their sexual orientation is not ...
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