In 1054, an Eastern part of the Catholic Church severed itself, in the East-West Schism. The church in Western Europe which followed the Pope, became known as the Roman Catholic Church. The churches in the rest of the world, which did not think that the Pope should lead all Christians, became known as the Orthodox Church. "Orthodox" means "correct belief;" as they believe that they have kept the teachings of the early church, and the Roman Catholics have not.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide as of 2019. It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilization.
The Catholic Church is led by the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, who lives in Vatican City. According to Catholics, the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, who also guides the Pope. The Church teaches that the Pope cannot be wrong when he when speaks officially on the subject of Catholic faith and morals. The Popes have only used this infallibility very rarely, but have done so throughout history.
Roman Catholic" is sometimes used to differentiate members of the Catholic Church in full communion with the pope in Rome from other Christians who also self-identify as "Catholic". It is also sometimes used to differentiate adherents to the Latin Church and its use of the Roman Rite from Catholics of the Eastern Catholic Churches.
Jan 5, 2023 · Roman Catholicism, Christian church that has been the decisive spiritual force in the history of Western civilization. Along with Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism, it is one of the three major branches of Christianity. The Roman Catholic Church traces its history to Jesus Christ and the Apostles.
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The history of the Catholic Church is the formation, events, and historical development of the Catholic Church through time. The tradition of the Catholic Church claims the Catholic Church began with Jesus Christ and his teachings; the Catholic tradition considers that the Catholic Church is a continuation of the early Christian community established by the Disciples of Jesus .