The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2019. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation.
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; the Catholic tradition considers that the Catholic Church is a continuation of the early Christian community established by the Disciples of Jesus .
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The Catholic Church in the United States is the ecclesiastical communities in full communion with the Holy See in Rome and the rest of the Catholic Church.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 ...
- 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 priests were charged by 2011 in over 100 cases of childhood sexual abuse in Australia. The Catholic Church had secretly paid equivalent of $276.1 million by 2017 in compensation to thousands of childhood sexual abuse victims of priests and religious brothers.
The Catholic Church and the ancient Christian Churches see priestly ordination as a sacrament dedicating the ordinand to a permanent relationship of service, and, like Baptism and Confirmation, having an ontological effect on him. It is for this reason that a person may be ordained to each of the three orders only once.