The Catholic Church, sometimes referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2018. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution,  it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilization . 
The Catholic Church is the largest Christian church in the world. Over one billion people are members of the Catholic Church. It is the world's largest religious group. It is part of the same Church started by Jesus Christ and his former protégé 2,000 years ago.
According to the Catholic tradition, the history of the Catholic Church begins with Jesus Christ and his teachings (c. 4 BC – c. AD 30) (according to Catholicism and not actual historical documentation) and the Catholic Church is a continuation of the early Christian community established by the Disciples of Jesus.
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 church or religious denomination.
As traditionally the oldest form of Christianity, along with the ancient or first millennial Eastern Orthodox Church, the non-Chalcedonian or Oriental Churches, and the Church of the East, the history of the Catholic Church is integral to the history of Christianity as a whole. It is also, according to church historian, Mark A. Noll, the "world's oldest continuously functioning international institution."
The Catholic Church has different rules for the priesthood in the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches than in the Latin Church. The chief difference is that most of the Eastern Catholic Churches ordain married men, whereas the Latin Church, with very few exceptions, enforces mandatory clerical celibacy .
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The term Old Catholic Church was used from the 1850s by groups which had separated from the Catholic Church over certain doctrines, primarily concerned with papal authority; some of these groups, especially in the Netherlands, had already existed long before the term. These churches are not in full communion with the Holy See.
The appointment of bishops in the Catholic Church is a complicated process that requires the participation of several officials. In the Latin Church, the local synod, the papal nuncio (or apostolic delegate), various dicasteries of the Roman Curia, and the Pope all take a part; since the 1970s it has become common practice for the nuncio to ...
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.
The Christian Palmarian Church of the Carmelites of the Holy Face (Spanish: Iglesia Cristiana Palmariana de los Carmelitas de la Santa Faz), officially One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Palmarian Church, commonly called the Palmarian Catholic Church (Iglesia Católica Palmariana), is a small schismatic Traditionalist Catholic church with an episcopal see in El Palmar de Troya, Spain.