|Part of a series on the|
|Liturgy and worship|
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with 1.2 billion members worldwide. It is among the oldest institutions in the world and has played a prominent role in the history of Western civilisation. The Catholic hierarchy is led by the Pope and includes cardinals, patriarchs and diocesan bishops. The Church teaches that it is the one true church divinely founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles and that the Pope is the sole successor to Saint Peter who has apostolic primacy.[note 1][note 2][note 3]
The Church maintains that the doctrine on faith and morals that it presents as definitive is infallible.[note 4] There are a variety of doctrinal and theological emphases within the Catholic Church, including the Eastern Catholic Churches, the personal ordinariates and religious communities such as the Jesuits, the Franciscans and the Dominicans.
The Catholic Church is Trinitarian and defines its mission as spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity. Catholic worship is highly liturgical, focusing on the Mass or Divine Liturgy during which the sacrament of the Eucharist is celebrated. The Church teaches that bread and wine used during the Mass become the body and blood of Christ through transubstantiation. The Catholic Church practises closed communion and only baptised members of the Church in a state of grace are ordinarily permitted to receive the Eucharist.
Catholic social teaching emphasises support for the sick, the poor and the afflicted through the corporal works of mercy. The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and medical services in the world. Catholic spiritual teaching emphasises spread of the Gospel message and growth in spiritual discipline through the spiritual works of mercy.
The Church holds the Blessed Virgin Mary, as mother of Jesus Christ, in special regard and has defined four specific Marian dogmatic teachings, namely her Immaculate Conception without original sin, her status as the Mother of God, her perpetual virginity and her bodily Assumption into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.[note 5] Numerous Marian devotions are also practised.
The term "catholic" is derived from the Greek word καθολικός (katholikos) meaning "universal" and was first used to describe the Church in the early 2nd century. The term katholikos is equivalent to καθόλου (katholou), a contraction of the phrase καθ' ὅλου (kath' holou) meaning "according to the whole". "Catholic Church" (he katholike ekklesia) first appears in a letter of St Ignatius written in about 110. In the "Catechetical Discourses" of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, "Catholic Church" is used to distinguish it from other groups that also call themselves the church.
Since the East–West Schism of 1054, the church that remained in communion with the See of Rome continued to call itself "Catholic" while the Eastern churches have generally been known as "Orthodox" or "Eastern Orthodox". Following the Reformation in the 16th century, the Church continued to use the term "Catholic" to distinguish itself from the various Protestant denominations that split off.
The name "Catholic Church" is the most common designation used in official church documents. It is also the term which Paul VI used when signing documents of the Second Vatican Council. However, Church documents produced both by the Holy See and by certain national episcopal conferences occasionally refer to the Roman Catholic Church. The Catechism of Pope Pius X published in 1908 also used the term "Roman" to distinguish the Catholic Church from other Christian communities who are not in full communion with the Church of Rome.
Organisation and demographics
|Major sui iuris Churches
Listed by Rite (Liturgical Tradition)
|Antiochian or West Syrian Tradition|
|Chaldean or East Syrian Tradition|
Papacy and Roman Curia
The Church's hierarchy is headed by the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, who is the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church composed of the Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the see of Rome. The current pope is Pope Francis, elected on March 13, 2013 by papal conclave.[note 6]
The office of the pope is known as the Papacy. His ecclesiastical jurisdiction is called the "Holy See" (Sancta Sedes in Latin), or the "Apostolic See" (meaning the see of the Apostle Saint Peter). Directly serving the Pope is the Roman Curia, the central governing body that administers the day-to-day business of the Catholic Church. The pope is also head of state of Vatican City State, a sovereign city-state entirely enclaved within the city of Rome. The legal entity of the Holy See is distinct from that of the Vatican City state and all foreign relations are accredited to the Holy See.
Following the death or resignation of a pope,[note 7] members of the College of Cardinals who are under age 80 meet in the Sistine Chapel in Rome to elect a new pope. The position of cardinal is a rank of honour bestowed by popes on certain ecclesiastics, such as leaders within the Roman Curia, bishops serving in major cities and distinguished theologians. Although this election, known as a papal conclave, can theoretically elect any male Catholic as pope, since 1389 only fellow cardinals have been elevated to that position.
For advice and assistance in governing, the Pope may turn to the College of Cardinals, the next highest level in the hierarchy.
Autonomous particular churches
The Catholic Church is made up of 23 autonomous particular churches, each of which accepts the paramountcy of the Bishop of Rome on matters of doctrine. These churches, also known by the Latin term sui iuris churches, are communities of Catholic Christians whose forms of worship reflect different historical and cultural influences rather than differences in doctrine. In general, each sui iuris church is headed by a patriarch or high ranking bishop, and has a degree of self-governance over the particulars of its internal organisation, liturgical rites, liturgical calendar and other aspects of its spirituality.
The largest of the particular churches is the Latin Church which reports over one billion members. It developed in southern Europe and North Africa. Then it spread throughout Western, Central and Northern Europe, before expanding to the rest of the world. The Latin Church considered itself to be the oldest and largest branch of Western Christianity, a heritage of certain beliefs and customs originating in various European countries, some of which are shared also by many Christian denominations that trace their origins to the Protestant Reformation.
Relatively small in terms of adherents compared to the Latin Church, but important to the overall structure of the Church, are the 22 self-governing Eastern Catholic Churches with a membership of 17.3 million as of 2010. The Eastern Catholic Churches follow the traditions and spirituality of Eastern Christianity and are composed of Eastern Christians who have always remained in full communion with the Catholic Church or who have chosen to reenter full communion in the centuries following the East–West Schism and earlier divisions. Some Eastern Catholic Churches are governed by a patriarch who is elected by the synod of the bishops of that church, others are headed by a major archbishop, others are under a metropolitan, and others consist of individual eparchies. The Roman Curia has a specific department, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, to maintain relations with them.
- Examples of Eastern Catholic Churches can be found in the side bar "Major Sui Iuris Churches".
|Part of a series on|
Dioceses, parishes and religious orders
Individual countries, regions, or major cities are served by local particular Churches known as dioceses or eparchies, each overseen by a Catholic bishop. Each diocese is united with one of the worldwide "sui iuris" particular churches, such as the Latin Church, or one of the many Eastern Catholic Churches. As of 2008, the Catholic Church altogether comprised 2,795 dioceses. The bishops in a particular country or region are often organised into an episcopal conference, which aids in maintaining a uniform style of worship and co-ordination of social justice programmes within the areas served by member bishops.
Dioceses are further divided into numerous individual communities called parishes, each staffed by one or more priests, deacons and/or lay ecclesial ministers. Parishes are responsible for the day to day celebration of the sacraments and pastoral care of the Catholic laity.
Ordained Catholics, as well as members of the laity, may enter into consecrated life either on an individual basis, as a hermit or consecrated virgin, or by joining an institute of consecrated life (a religious institute or a secular institute) in which to take vows confirming their desire to follow the three evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience. Examples of institutes of consecrated life are the Benedictines, the Carmelites, the Dominicans, the Franciscans, the Missionaries of Charity and the Sisters of Mercy.
Women constitute the majority of members of the consecrated life within the church. In 2006, the number of nuns worldwide had been in decline, but women still constituted around 753,400 members of the consecrated life, of a total worldwide membership of around 945,210. Of these members, 191,810 were men—including around 136,171 priests. Women were engaged in a variety of vocations, from contemplative prayer, to teaching, providing health care and working as missionaries.
Total church membership in 2011 (remaining steady at 17.5% of the world population) was 1.214 billion people, having increased from 437 million in 1950 and 654 million in 1970. Compared to 2010 statistics, the rate of increase was 1.5% overall, with 2.3% increase in Africa, and 0.3% in the Americas and Europe. Worldwide, the Catholic population is broken down as 48.8% from the Americas, 23.5% from Europe, 16.0% from Africa, 10.9% from Asia, and 0.8% from Oceania.
Membership in the Catholic Church is attained through baptism or reception into the Church (for individuals previously baptised in non-Catholic Christian churches). For some years until 2009, if someone formally left the Church, that fact was noted in the register of the person's baptism.
In 2011, Vatican records listed 413,418 Catholic priests in the world. The main growth areas have been Asia and Africa, with 39% and 32% growth respectively over the previous year.
Since the early 2000s the number of practicing Catholics have been reported to be declining in millions throughout the world.
Worship and liturgy
Among the 23 autonomous (sui iuris) churches, numerous forms of worship and liturgical traditions exist, called "rites", which reflect historical and cultural diversity rather than differences in belief. In the definition of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, "a rite is the liturgical, theological, spiritual, and disciplinary patrimony, culture and circumstances of history of a distinct people, by which its own manner of living the faith is manifested in each Church sui iuris", but the term is often limited to liturgical patrimony. The most commonly used liturgy is the Roman Rite in its ordinary form, but other rites are in use in the Eastern Catholic Churches and even in the Latin Church.
Celebration of the Eucharist
In all rites the Mass, or Divine Liturgy, is the centre of Catholic worship. The Catholic Church teaches that at each Mass the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ by the words of consecration spoken by the priest. The Church teaches that this happens through transubstantiation, in which the "accidents" (perceptible aspects) of the sacramental bread and wine remain, but the underlying substance is transmuted into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, and is not merely symbolic. The words of consecration are drawn from the three synoptic Gospels and a Pauline letter. The Church teaches that Christ established a New Covenant with humanity through the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, as described in these biblical verses.
Because the Church teaches that Christ is present in the Eucharist, there are strict rules about who may celebrate and who may receive the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. The sacrament can only be celebrated by an ordained Catholic priest. Those who are conscious of being in a state of mortal sin are forbidden to receive the sacrament until they have received absolution through the sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance). Catholics are normally obliged to abstain from eating for at least an hour before receiving the sacrament.
Catholics, even if they were in danger of death and unable to approach a Catholic minister, may not ask for the sacraments of the Eucharist, penance or anointing of the sick from someone, such as a Protestant minister, who is not known to be validly ordained in line with Catholic teaching on ordination. Likewise, even in grave and pressing need, Catholic ministers may not administer these sacraments to those who do not manifest Catholic faith in the sacrament. In relation to the churches of Eastern Christianity not in communion with the Holy See, the Catholic Church is less restrictive, declaring that "a certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged."
Western liturgical rites
|Structure of the
Roman Rite Mass
Roman Missal, chalice (with purificator,
|A. Introductory rites|
|B. Liturgy of the Word|
|C. Liturgy of the Eucharist|
See also: Eucharist in the Catholic Church
|D. Concluding rites|
|Source: General Instruction of the Roman Missal
The Roman Rite is the most common rite of worship used by the Catholic Church. Its use is found worldwide, spread by missionary activity originating in European Catholic nations throughout Christian history.
Two forms of the Roman Rite are authorised at present. The generally used ordinary form, celebrated mostly in the vernacular, is that of the post-1969 editions of the Roman Missal, and is known as the Mass of Paul VI. The extraordinary form, celebrated only in Latin, is that of the edition of 1962, the year of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and is known as the Tridentine Mass.[note 8] An outline of the major liturgical elements of Roman Rite Mass can be found in the side bar.
In the United States, "Anglican Use" parishes have been created. They use a variation of the Roman rite that retains some of the wording of the Anglican liturgical rites.[note 9] Implementation is expected of the authorisation granted in 2009 for the creation wherever appropriate of ordinariates for groups of Anglicans who have been approved for entrance into the Catholic Church and who may in the future use a rite that incorporates elements of Anglican tradition. Other Western liturgical rites (non-Roman) include the Ambrosian Rite and the Mozarabic Rite.
Eastern liturgical rites
The liturgical rites of the Eastern Catholic Churches are very similar to, and often identical with, the rites used by the Eastern Orthodox and other Eastern Christian churches which historically developed in Russia, Caucasus and the Balkans, North Eastern Africa and the Middle East, but are no longer in communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. The Eastern Catholic Churches are either groups of faithful which have restored full communion with the Bishop of Rome, while preserving their identity as Eastern Christians, or groups with which full communion has never been broken.
The rites used by the Eastern Catholic Churches include the Byzantine Rite, in its Antiochian, Greek and Slavonic varieties, the Alexandrian Rite, the Syriac Rite, the Armenian Rite, the Maronite Rite and the Chaldean Rite. In the past some of the rites used by the Eastern Catholic Churches were subject to some degree of liturgical Latinisation. However, in recent years Eastern Catholic Churches have returned to traditional Eastern practices in accord with the Vatican II decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum. Each church has its own liturgical calendar.
The fundamental beliefs of the Christian religion are summarised in the Nicene Creed. For Catholics, they are detailed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Based on the promises of Christ in the Gospels, the Church believes that it is continually guided by the Holy Spirit and so protected infallibly from falling into doctrinal error. The Catholic Church teaches that the Holy Spirit reveals God's truth through Sacred scripture, Sacred tradition and the Magisterium.
Sacred Scripture consists of the 73 book Catholic Bible. This is made up of the 46 books found in the ancient Greek version of the Old Testament—known as the Septuagint—and the 27 New Testament writings first found in the Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209 and listed in Athanasius' Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter.[note 10] Sacred Tradition consists of those teachings believed by the Church to have been handed down since the time of the Apostles. Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are collectively known as the "deposit of faith" (depositum fidei). These are in turn interpreted by the Magisterium (from magister, Latin for "teacher"), the Church's teaching authority, which is exercised by the Pope and the College of Bishops in union with the Pope, the bishop of Rome.
The social Gospel espoused by Jesus and Catholic social teaching place a heavy emphasis on the corporal works of mercy and the spiritual works of mercy, namely the support and concern for the sick, the poor and the afflicted. Church teaching calls for a preferential option for the poor while canon law prescribes that "The Christian faithful are also obliged to promote social justice and, mindful of the precept of the Lord, to assist the poor."
The Church enumerates "corporal works of mercy" and "spiritual works of mercy" as follows:
|Corporal Works of Mercy||Spiritual Works of Mercy|
|1. To feed the hungry.||1. To instruct the ignorant.|
|2. To give drink to the thirsty.||2. To counsel the doubtful|
|3. To clothe the naked.||3. To admonish sinners.|
|4. To harbour the harbourless (shelter the homeless).||4. To bear wrongs patiently.|
|5. To visit the sick.||5. To forgive offences willingly.|
|6. To ransom the captive.||6. To comfort the afflicted.|
|7. To bury the dead.||7. To pray for both the living and the dead.|
The Catholic Church is the largest provider of health services in the world. In 2010, the Catholic Church's Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers said that the Church manages 26% of health care facilities in the world, including hospitals, clinics, orphanages, pharmacies and centres for those with leprosy.
Religious institutes for women have played a particularly prominent role in the provision of health and education services, as with orders such as the Sisters of Mercy, Little Sisters of the Poor, the Missionaries of Charity, the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul.
The Church is also actively engaged in international aid and development through organisations such as Catholic Relief Services, Caritas International, Aid to the Church in Need, refugee advocacy groups such as the Jesuit Refugee Service and community aid groups such as the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.
Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, God the Son. In an event known as the Incarnation, through the power of the Holy Spirit, God became united with human nature through the conception of Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Christ therefore is both fully divine and fully human. It is taught that Christ's mission on earth included giving people his teachings and providing his example for them to follow as recorded in the four Gospels.
The Church teaches that through the passion (suffering) of Christ and his crucifixion as described in the Gospels, all people have an opportunity for forgiveness and freedom from sin and so can be reconciled to God. The Resurrection of Jesus gained for humans a possible spiritual immortality previously denied to them because of original sin. By reconciling with God and following Christ's words and deeds, an individual can enter the Kingdom of God, which is the "... reign of God over people's hearts and lives".
The Greek term "Christ" and the Hebrew "Messiah" both mean "anointed one", referring to the Christian belief that Jesus' death and resurrection are the fulfilment of the Old Testament's messianic prophecies.
According to the Catechism, the Catholic Church professes to be the "sole Church of Christ", which is described in the Nicene Creed as the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. The church teaches that its founder is Jesus Christ, who appointed the twelve Apostles to continue his work as the Church's earliest bishops. Catholic belief holds that the Church "is the continuing presence of Jesus on earth", and that all duly consecrated bishops have a lineal succession from the apostles. In particular, the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), is considered the successor to the apostle Simon Peter, from whom the Pope derives his supremacy over the Church. The Church is further described in the papal encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi as the Mystical Body of Christ.
The Church teaches that the fullness of the "means of salvation" exists only in the Catholic Church, but the Church acknowledges that the Holy Spirit can make use of Christian communities separated from itself to "impel towards Catholic unity" and thus bring people to salvation. It teaches that anyone who is saved is saved through the Church but that people can be saved ex voto and by pre-baptismal martyrdom as well as when conditions of invincible ignorance are present, although invincible ignorance in itself is not a means of salvation.
According to the Council of Trent, Christ instituted seven sacraments and entrusted them to the Church. These are Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance), Anointing of the Sick (formerly called Extreme Unction, one of the "Last Rites"), Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony. Sacraments are visible rituals that Catholics see as signs of God's presence and effective channels of God's grace to all those who receive them with the proper disposition (ex opere operato). The Catechism of the Catholic Church categorises the sacraments into three groups, the "sacraments of Christian initiation", "sacraments of healing" and "sacraments at the service of communion and the mission of the faithful". These groups broadly reflect the stages of people's natural and spiritual lives which each sacrament is intended to serve.
Sacraments of Christian initiation
As viewed by the Catholic Church, Baptism is the first of three sacraments of initiation as a Christian. It washes away all sins, both original sin and personal actual sins. It makes a person a member of the Church. As a gratuitous gift of God that requires no merit on the part of the person who is baptised, it is conferred even on children, who, though they have no personal sins, need it on account of original sin. If a new-born child is in a danger of death, anyone—be it a doctor, a nurse, or a parent—may baptise the child. Baptism marks a person permanently and cannot be repeated. The Catholic Church recognises as valid baptisms conferred even by people who are not Catholics or Christians, provided that they intend to baptise ("to do what the Church does when she baptises") and that they use the Trinitarian baptismal formula.
The Catholic Church sees the sacrament of confirmation as required to complete the grace given in baptism. When adults are baptised, confirmation is normally given immediately afterwards, a practice followed even for infants in the Eastern Catholic Church. In the West confirmation of children is delayed until they are old enough to understand or even until they are in their teens. In Western Christianity, particularly Catholicism, the sacrament is called confirmation, because it confirms and strengthens the grace of baptism; in the Eastern Church, it is called chrismation, because the essential rite is the anointing of the person with chrism, a mixture of olive oil and some perfumed substance, usually balsam, blessed by a bishop. Those who receive confirmation must be in a state of grace, which for those who have reached the age of reason means that they should first be cleansed spiritually by the sacrament of Penance; they should also have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to show in their lives that they are Christians.
For Catholics, the Eucharist is the sacrament which completes Christian initiation. It is the perpetuation of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and a banquet in which Christ himself is consumed. The Eucharistic sacrifice always includes prayers, readings from the Bible, consecration of wheat bread and grape wine and communion by at least some of the participants (in particular the priest) in the consecrated elements, which by the consecration become, in a way surpassing understanding, the body and blood of Jesus Christ, a change known as transubstantiation. The ceremony in which a Catholic first receives the Eucharist is known as First Communion.
Sacraments of healing
The Sacrament of Penance (also called Reconciliation, Forgiveness, Confession, and Conversion) exists for the conversion of those who, after baptism, separate themselves from Christ by sin. Essential to this sacrament are acts both by the sinner (examination of conscience, contrition with a determination not to sin again, confession to a priest, and performance of some act to repair the damage caused by sin) and by the priest (determination of the act of reparation to be performed and absolution). Serious sins (mortal sins) must be confessed within at most a year and always before receiving Holy Communion, while confession of venial sins also is recommended. The priest is bound under the severest penalties to maintain the "seal of confession", absolute secrecy about any sins revealed to him in confession.
Anointing of the Sick
While chrism is used only for the three sacraments that cannot be repeated (baptism, confirmation, ordination), a different oil is used by a priest or bishop to bless a Catholic who, because of illness or old age, has begun to be in danger of death. This sacrament, known as Anointing of the Sick, is believed to give comfort, peace, courage and, if the sick person is unable to make a confession, even forgiveness of sins. Although it is not reserved for those in proximate danger of death, it is often administered as one of the Last Rites.
Sacraments at the service of communion
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church there are two sacraments of communion directed towards the salvation of others: priesthood and marriage. Within the general vocation to be a Christian, these two sacraments consecrate to specific mission or vocation among the people of God. Men receive the holy orders to feed the Church by the word and grace. Spouses marry so that their love may be fortified to fulfil duties of their state.
Holy Orders is a sacrament in three degrees or orders, episcopate (bishops), presbyterate (priests) and diaconate (deacons), which consecrates and deputes some Christians to serve the whole body by these specific titles. The Church has defined rules on who may be ordained into the clergy. In the Latin Rite, the priesthood and diaconate are generally restricted to celibate men. Men who are already married may be ordained in the Eastern Catholic Churches in most countries, and the personal ordinariates and may become deacons even in the Western Church (see Clerical marriage). But after becoming a Roman Catholic priest, a man may not marry (see Clerical celibacy) unless he is later formally laicised.
All clergy, whether deacons, priests or bishops, may preach, teach, baptise, witness marriages and conduct funeral liturgies. Only bishops and priests can administer the sacraments of the Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance) and Anointing of the Sick. Only bishops can administer the sacrament of Holy Orders, which ordains someone into the clergy.
Marriage, understood as an indissoluble union between a man and a woman, if entered into validly by any baptised man and baptised woman, is considered a sacrament by the Catholic Church. The church does not recognise divorce as ending a valid marriage and allows state recognised divorce only as a means of protecting children or property, without allowing remarriage following such a divorce. Apart from the requirements, such as freedom of consent, that it sees as applicable to all, the church has established certain specific requirements for the validity of marriages by Catholics. Failure to observe the Church's regulations, as well as defects applicable to all marriages, may be grounds for a church declaration of the invalidity of a marriage, a declaration usually referred to as an annulment.
Judgement after death
The Church teaches that, immediately after death, the soul of each person will receive a particular judgement from God. This teaching also attests to another day when Christ will sit in a universal judgement of all mankind. This final judgement, according to Church teaching, will bring an end to human history and mark the beginning of a new and better heaven and earth ruled by God in righteousness. The basis on which each person's soul is judged is detailed in the Gospel of Matthew, which lists works of mercy to be performed even to people considered "the least of Christ's brothers". Emphasis is upon Christ's words that "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven".
According to the Catechism, "The Last Judgement will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life." Depending on the judgement rendered, a soul may enter one of three states of afterlife:
- Heaven is a time of glorious union with God and a life of unspeakable joy that lasts forever.
- Purgatory is a temporary condition for the purification of souls who, although saved, are not free enough from sin to enter directly into heaven. Souls in purgatory may be aided in reaching heaven by the prayers of the faithful on earth and by the intercession of saints.
- Final Damnation: Finally, those who persist in living in a state of mortal sin and do not repent before death subject themselves to hell, an everlasting separation from God. The Church teaches that no one is condemned to hell without having freely decided to reject God. No one is predestined to hell and no one can determine whether anyone else has been condemned. Catholicism teaches that through God's mercy a person can repent at any point before death and be saved. Some Catholic theologians have speculated that the souls of unbaptised infants who die in original sin are assigned to limbo although this is not an official doctrine of the Church.
Devotions to Mary are part of Catholic piety but are distinct from the worship of God. The Church holds Mary, as Perpetual Virgin and Mother of God, in special regard. Catholic beliefs concerning Mary include her Immaculate Conception without the stain of original sin and bodily assumption into heaven at the end of her life, both of which have been infallibly defined as dogma, by Pope Pius IX in 1854 and Pope Pius XII in 1950 respectively.
Mariology deals not only with her life but also her veneration in daily life, prayer and Marian art, music and architecture. Several liturgical Marian feasts are celebrated throughout the Church Year and she is honoured with many titles such as Queen of Heaven. Pope Paul VI called her Mother of the Church because, by giving birth to Christ, she is considered to be the spiritual mother to each member of the Body of Christ. Because of her influential role in the life of Jesus, prayers and devotions such as the Hail Mary, the Rosary, the Salve Regina and the Memorare are common Catholic practices.
Catholic tradition and doctrine hold that the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD in Judea within the Roman Empire. The New Testament records Jesus' activities and teaching, his appointment of the twelve Apostles and his instructions to them to continue his work.
The Catholic Church teaches that the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, in an event known as Pentecost, signalled the beginning of the public ministry of the Catholic Church.Catholic doctrine teaches that the contemporary Catholic Church is the continuation of this early Christian community. It interprets the Confession of Peter found in the Gospel of Matthew as Christ's designation of Saint Peter the Apostle and his successors, the Bishops of Rome to be the temporal head of his Church, a doctrine known as apostolic succession.
Spread throughout the Roman Empire
Conditions in the Roman Empire facilitated the spread of new ideas. The empire's well-defined network of roads and waterways allowed for easier travel, while the Pax Romana made it safe to travel from one region to another. The government had encouraged inhabitants, especially those in urban areas, to learn Greek as the common language, which allowed ideas to be more easily expressed and understood. Unlike most religions in the Roman Empire, however, Christianity required its adherents to renounce all other gods, a practice adopted from Judaism (see Idolatry). The Christians' refusal to join pagan celebrations meant they were unable to participate in much of public life, which caused non-Christians—including government authorities—to fear that the Christians were angering the gods and thereby threatening the peace and prosperity of the Empire. The resulting persecutions were a defining feature of Christian self-understanding until Christianity was legalised in the 4th century.
In 313, the struggles of the Early Church were lessened by the legalisation of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine I. In 380, Christianity became the state church of the Roman Empire by the decree of the Emperor, which would persist until the fall of the Western Roman Empire and, later, with the Eastern Roman Empire until the Fall of Constantinople. During this time (the period of the Seven Ecumenical Councils) there were considered five primary sees according to Eusebius: Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria, known as the Pentarchy.
In the centuries after the destruction of the Western Roman Empire, Western Christianity was a major factor in the preservation of classical civilisation, especially classical art and literacy (see Illuminated manuscript). Through his Rule, Benedict of Nursia (c.480–543), the founder of Western monasticism exerted an enormous influence on European culture through the appropriation of the monastic spiritual heritage of the early Church and, with the spread of the Benedictine tradition, through the preservation and transmission of ancient culture. During this period, monastic Ireland became a centre of learning and early Irish missionaries such as St Columbanus and St Columba spread Christianity and established monasteries across continental Europe.
In Eastern Christianity, the Byzantine Empire preserved Orthodoxy well after the massive invasions of Islam in the mid-7th century. The invasions of Islam devastated three of the five Patriarchal sees, capturing Jerusalem first, then Alexandria and then, finally, in the mid-8th century, Antioch. The whole period of the next five centuries was dominated by the struggle between Christianity and Islam throughout the Mediterranean Basin. The battles of Poitiers and Toulouse preserved the Catholic tradition even though Rome itself was ravaged in 850 and Constantinople was besieged.
Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods
The Catholic Church was the dominant influence on Western civilisation from late antiquity to the dawn of the modern age. It was the primary sponsor of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque styles in art, architecture and music. Renaissance figures such as Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, Tintoretto, Titian, Bernini and Caravaggio are examples of the numerous visual artists sponsored by the Church.
In the eleventh century, Gregorian Reform led to the Investiture Controversy between the church and the Holy Roman Emperors, over whether secular powers or the church itself had the sole power to appoint bishops and popes. The efforts of Hildebrand of Sovana led to the creation of the College of Cardinals to elect new popes, starting with Pope Alexander II in the papal election of 1061. When Alexander II died, Hildebrand was elected to succeed him, as Pope Gregory VII. The basic election system of the College of Cardinals which Gregory VII helped establish has continued to function into the twenty-first century.
In the early 13th century mendicant orders were founded by Francis of Assisi and Dominic de Guzmán. The studia conventuale and studia generale of the mendicant orders played a large role in the transformation of Church sponsored cathedral schools and palace schools, such as that of Charlemagne at Aachen, into the prominent universities of Europe. Scholastic theologians and philosophers such as the Dominican priest Thomas Aquinas studied and taught at these studia. Aquinas' Summa Theologica was an intellectual milestone in its synthesis of the legacy of Ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle with the content of Christian revelation.
Doctrinal disputes and schisms
In the 11th century, strained relations between the primarily Greek church and the Latin Church separated them in the East–West Schism, partially due to conflicts over papal authority. The Fourth Crusade and the sacking of Constantinople by renegade crusaders proved the final breach. In the 16th century, in response to the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church engaged in a process of substantial reform and renewal, known as the Counter-Reformation. In subsequent centuries, Catholicism spread widely across the world despite experiencing a reduction in its hold on European populations due to the growth of religious scepticism during and after the Enlightenment.
In 1854 Pope Pius IX with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic bishops, whom he had consulted from 1851 to 1853, proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In 1870, the First Vatican Council affirmed the doctrine of papal infallibility when exercised in specifically defined pronouncements. Controversy over this and other issues resulted in a breakaway movement called the Old Catholic Church.
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council in the 1960s introduced the most significant changes to Catholic practices since the Council of Trent four centuries before. Initiated by Pope John XXIII, this ecumenical council modernised the practices of the Catholic Church, allowing the Mass to be said in the vernacular (local language) and encouraging "fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations." It intended to engage the Church more closely with the present world (aggiornamento), which was described by its advocates as an "opening of the windows". In addition to changes in the liturgy, it led to changes to the Church's approach to ecumenism, and a call to improved relations with non-Christian religions, especially Judaism, in its document Nostra Aetate.
The Council, however, generated significant controversy in implementing its reforms; proponents of the "Spirit of Vatican II" such as Swiss theologian Hans Küng claimed Vatican II had "not gone far enough" to change church policies.Traditionalist Catholics, such as Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, however, strongly criticised the council, arguing that the council's liturgical reforms led "to the destruction of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments," among other issues.
Pope John Paul II sought to evangelise an increasingly secular world. He instituted World Youth Day as a "worldwide encounter with the Pope" for young people which is now held every two to three years. He travelled more than any other pope, visiting 129 countries, and used television and radio as means of spreading the Church's teachings. In 2012, the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, the Church called a new Synod to discuss re-evangelising lapsed Catholics in the developed world.
Social justice issues
In 1978, Pope John Paul II, formerly archbishop of Kraków in then-Communist Poland, became the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years. His 27-year pontificate was one of the longest in history.Mikhail Gorbachev, the president of the Soviet Union, credited the Polish pope with hastening the fall of Communism in Europe.
The Catholic nun Mother Teresa of Calcutta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work among India's poor. Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo won the same award in 1996 for "work towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor".
Sexuality and gender issues
Soon after the close of the Second Vatican Council, Church teachings about sexuality became an issue of increasing controversy due to changing cultural attitudes in the Western world (see the sexual revolution).
The Church teaches that sexual intercourse should only take place between a married man and woman, and should be without the use of artificial birth control or contraception. In his encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968), Pope Paul VI firmly rejected all artificial contraception, thus contradicting dissenters in the Church that saw the birth control pill as an ethically justifiable method of contraception, though he permitted the regulation of births by means of natural family planning. This teaching was continued especially by John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, where he clarified the Church's position on contraception, abortion and euthanasia by condemning them as part of a "culture of death" and calling instead for a "culture of life".
The Church teaches that homosexual inclinations are "objectively disordered" and so homosexual behaviour is "contrary to the natural law". The Church teaches that people who have homosexual tendencies are called to live chastely. Because of these teachings, as well as its teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman, the Catholic Church firmly opposes same-sex marriage.
In religious vocations, Catholic women and men are ascribed different roles—men serve as deacons, priests, friars, monks, brothers, abbots or in episcopal positions while women serve as nuns, religious sisters or abbesses. Monks and brothers often house together in monasteries while nuns and sisters may house themselves in convents—though an abbey may host a religious community of men or women. In other roles, the Church does not distinguish between men and women, who may be equally recognised as saints, Doctors of the Church, catechists in schools, altar servers, Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass, or as readers (lectors) during the liturgy.
Women constitute the great majority of members of the consecrated life. While Holy Orders are reserved for men, Catholic women have played diverse roles in the life of the church, with religious institutes providing a formal space for their participation and convents providing spaces for their self-government, prayer and influence through many centuries. Religious sisters and nuns have been extensively involved in developing and running the Church's worldwide health and education service networks.
Efforts in support of the ordination of women led to several rulings by the Roman Curia or Popes against the proposal, as in Declaration on the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (1976), Mulieris Dignitatem (1988) and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (1994). According to the latest ruling, found in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II concluded, "I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful." In defiance of these rulings, opposition groups such as Roman Catholic Womenpriests have performed alleged ordination ceremonies (with, reputedly, an ordaining male Catholic bishop in the first few instances) which, according to canon law, are both illicit and invalid and considered mere simulations of the sacrament of Ordination.[note 11] The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith responded by issuing a statement clarifying that any Catholic bishops involved in ordination ceremonies for women, as well as the women themselves if they were Catholic, would automatically receive the penalty of excommunication (latae sententiae, literally "sentence passed", i.e. automatically), citing canon 1378 of canon law and other church laws.
Sex abuse cases
In the 1990s and 2000s, the issue of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy became the subject of media coverage and public debate in countries around the world. The Church was criticised for its handling of abuse complaints when it became known that some bishops had shielded accused priests, transferring them to other pastoral assignments where some continued to commit sexual offences. In response to the scandal, the Church has established formal procedures to prevent abuse, encourage reporting of any abuse that occurs and to handle such reports promptly, although groups representing victims have disputed their effectiveness.
- Roman Catholic (term)
- Catholic Church by country
- List of popes
- Catholic liturgical rites
- List of Roman Catholic hymns
- Roman Curia
- Vatican Secret Archives
- Institute for Works of Religion
- Catholic scientists
- Catholic artists
- Catholic religious institutes
- Role of the Catholic Church in Western civilisation
- Relations between Catholicism and Judaism
- Catholicism and sexuality
- Catholic Church and evolution
- Folk Catholicism
- Political catholicism
- Catholic guilt
- Vatican Library
- Index of Vatican City-related articles
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 77: "In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority." Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time."
- [Declaration on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church "Dominus Iesus", 17: Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church. ... "The Christian faithful are therefore not permitted to imagine that the Church of Christ is nothing more than a collection – divided, yet in some way one – of Churches and ecclesial communities; nor are they free to hold that today the Church of Christ nowhere really exists, and must be considered only as a goal which all Churches and ecclesial communities must strive to reach."
- Responses to Some Questions regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine of the Church: It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 890: "The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium's task to preserve God's people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church's shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:"
- According to Munificentissimus Deus, paragraph 44: "... we [Pope Pius XII] pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."
- The Annuario Pontificio, the list of popes, does not assign numbers to the positions in its listing.
- The last resignation occurred on 28 February 2013, when Pope Benedict XVI retired, citing ill health in his advanced age. The next most recent resignation occurred in 1415, as part of the Council of Constance's resolution of the Avignon Papacy.
- The Tridentine Mass so called because standardised by Pope Pius V after the Council of Trent in the 16th century, was the ordinary form of the Roman-Rite Mass until superseded in 1969 by the Roman Missal of Paul VI; its continued use, in the version found in the 1962 edition of the Missal, is authorised by the 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.
- In 1980, Pope John Paul II issued a pastoral provision that allows establishment of personal parishes in which members of the Episcopal Church (the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion) who join the Catholic Church retain many aspects of Anglican liturgical rites as a variation of the Roman rite. Such "Anglican Use" parishes, numbering fewer than ten, exist only in the United States.
- The 73-book Catholic Bible contains the Deuterocanonicals, books not in the modern Hebrew Bible and not upheld as canonical by Protestants. The process of determining which books were to be considered part of the canon took many centuries and was not finally resolved in the Catholic Church until the Council of Trent.
- According to Roman Catholic Womanpriests "The principal consecrating Roman Catholic male bishop who ordained our first women bishops is a bishop with apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church in full communion with the pope."
- NOTE: CCC stands for Catechism of the Catholic Church. The number following CCC is the paragraph number, of which there are 2865. The numbers cited in the Compendium of the CCC are question numbers, of which there are 598.
- "World's Catholic population steady". Catholic Culture.org. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 13May 2013..
- O'Collins, p. v (preface).
- "Catechism of the Catholic Church - Christ's Faithful - Hierarchy, Laity, Consecrated Life". Vatican.va. 1946-02-20. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Sacraments of the Catholic Church". Princeton.edu. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Church Membership". Orthodoxresearchinstitute.org. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- Father William G. Frost - the Church and Salvation - http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/chura5.htm
- "Vatican congregation reaffirms truth, oneness of Catholic Church". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine of the Church". Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- "The Apostolic Tradition". Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (6 August 2000). "Dominus Iesus, 1 and 17". Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- Second Vatican Council, Lumen gentium, 25
- "The teaching office". Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican. Retrieved 28 April 2011. "889 in order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility."
- "The teaching office". Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
- Second Vatican Council. "Chapter III, paragraph 25". Lumen Gentium. Vatican. Retrieved 24 July 2010. "by the light of the Holy Spirit ... vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock."
- Colin Gunton. "Christianity among the Religions in the Encyclopedia of Religion," Religious Studies, Vol. 24, number 1, on page 14. In a review of the an article from the Encyclopedia of Religion, Gunton writes"... [T] he article [on Catholicism in the encyclopedia] rightly suggests caution, suggesting at the outset that Roman Catholicism is marked by several different doctrinal and theological emphases."
- "Compendium of the CCC, 11". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Compendium of the CCC, 226". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Compendium of the CCC, 388". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1399". Vatican.va. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- Agnew, John (12 February 2010). "Deus Vult: The Geopolitics of Catholic Church". Geopolitics 15 (1): 39–61. doi:10.1080/14650040903420388.
- "Pope Benedict XVI. 1 January 2012 – Feast of Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary". Vatican.va. 1 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XII: "Munificentissimus Deus: Defining the Dogma of the Assumption". 1 November 1950. Accessed 15 June 2011.
- MacCulloch, Christianity, p. 127.
- "Definition at www.Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Catholic". Catholic Encyclopedia. Newadvent.org. 1 November 1908. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "Cyril of Jerusalem, Lecture XVIII, 26". Tertullian.org. 6 August 2004. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- McBrien, Richard (2008). The Church. Harper Collins. p. xvii. Online version available Browseinside.harpercollins.com. Quote: "[T]he use of the adjective 'Catholic' as a modifier of 'Church' became divisive only after the East–West Schism ... and the Protestant Reformation ... In the former case, the Western Church claimed for itself the title Catholic Church, while the East appropriated the name Orthodox Church. In the latter case, those in communion with the Bishop of Rome retained the adjective "Catholic", while the churches that broke with the Papacy were called Protestant."
- Libreria Editrice Vaticana (2003). Catechism of the Catholic Church Retrieved 1 May 2009.
- The Vatican. Documents of the II Vatican Council. Retrieved 2009-05-04. Note: The Pope's signature appears in the Latin version.
- Examples: the encyclicals Divini Illius Magistri of Pope Pius XI and Humani generis of Pope Pius XII; joint declarations signed by Pope Benedict XVI with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on 23 November 2006 and Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople on 30 November 2006.
- Example: The Baltimore Catechism, an official catechism authorised by the Catholic bishops of the United States, states: "That is why we are called Roman Catholics; to show that we are united to the real successor of St Peter" (Question 118) and refers to the Church as the "Roman Catholic Church" under Questions 114 and 131 (Baltimore Catechism).
- "The Catechism of St Pius X, The Ninth Article of the Creed, Question 20". Cin.org. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- Jaroslav Pelikan, Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 4: Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300–1700) (University of Chicago Press 1985 ISBN 978-0-226-65377-8), p. 114
- Robert Feduccia (editor), Primary Source Readings in Catholic Church History (Saint Mary's Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-88489-868-9), p. 85. Accessed at Google Books
- "Vatican City State – State and Government". Vaticanstate.va. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. "Country Profile: Vatican City State/Holy See". Travel and Living Abroad, 27 February 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012
- Duffy (1997), p. 415
- Duffy (1997), p. 416
- Duffy (1997), pp. 417–8
- McDonough (1995), p. 227
- "Orientalium Ecclesiarum". Vatican Council II. 2. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- CCEO, Canon 56. English Translation
- "General Essay on Western Christianity", Overview of World Religions. Division of Religion and Philosophy, University of Cumbria. 1998/9 ELMAR Project. Accessed 1 April 2012.
- Ronald G. Roberson. "Eastern Catholic Churches Statistics 2010". CNEWA. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- CCEO, Canons 55–150. English Translation
- CCEO, Canons 151–154
- CCEO, Canons 155–173
- CCEO, Canons 174–176
- Vatican, Annuario Pontificio 2009, p. 1172.
- Annuario Pontifico per l'anno 2010 (Città di Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010)
- Barry, p. 52
- Canon Law 573-746 Catholic Church Canon Law. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- "Europe | Catholic nuns and monks decline". BBC News. 2008-02-05. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- Froehle, pp. 4–5
- Bazar, Emily (16 April 2008). "Immigrants Make Pilgrimage to Pope". USA Today. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
- Code of Canon Law, canon 11.. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- "Practicing Catholics declining | The Daily Standard Archive". Dailystandard.com. 2012-12-28. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- CCC, 1200–1209
- CCEO, canon 28 §1 in an unofficial English translation. The official text is "Ritus est patrimonium liturgicum, theologicum, spirituale et disciplinare cultura ac rerum adiunctis historiae populorum distinctum, quod modo fidei vivendae uniuscuiusque Ecclesiae sui iuris proprio exprimitur." (A rite is the liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary heritage, differentiated by peoples' culture and historical circumstances, that finds expression in each sui iuris Church's own way of living the faith).
- CCC, 1324–1331
- See Luke 22:19, Matthew 26:27–28, Mark 14:22–24, 1Corinthians 11:24–25
- "Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Canon of the Mass." Wikisource, The Free Library. 17 Oct 2010, 04:54 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 21 Aug 2011 <http://en.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Canon_of_the_Mass&oldid=2142007>. Note: the Latin: "Hoc est enim corpus meum ..." translates to English: "For this is my body ..."
- Kreeft, p. 326
- Kreeft, p. 331
- Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms of Ecumenism, 132
- "CCC, 1400". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1399". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Copyright © 2011, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.
- Stuard-will, Kelly (2007). Karitas Publishing, ed. A Faraway Ancient Country.. United States: Gardners Books. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-615-15801-3. More than one of
- This edition was promulgated by a decree of 23 June 1962; the first session of the council took place on 11 October of the same year.
- Apostolic Constitution of Pope Benedict XVI: "Anglicanorum Coetibus: Providing for Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans Entering into Full Communion with the Catholic Church". 4 November 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
- Marthaler, preface
- John Paul II, Pope (1997). "Laetamur Magnopere". Vatican. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- Paul VI, Pope (1964). "Lumen Gentium chapter 2". Vatican. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- "CCC, 80–81, 84–86". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- Schreck, p. 21
- Schreck, p. 23
- Schreck, pp. 15–19
- Schreck, p. 30
- 1983 CIC, canon 222 §2.
- "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy". Newadvent.org. 1 October 1911. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "Catholic hospitals comprise one quarter of world's healthcare, council reports :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)". Catholic News Agency. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- McGrath, pp. 4–6.
- CCC, 608
- Schreck, p. 113.
- Barry, p. 26
- Kreeft, pp. 71–72
- CCC, 811.
- Kreeft, p. 98, quote "The fundamental reason for being a Catholic is the historical fact that the Catholic Church was founded by Christ, was God's invention, not man's ... As the Father gave authority to Christ (Jn 5:22; Mt 28:18–20), Christ passed it on to his apostles (Lk 10:16), and they passed it on to the successors they appointed as bishops."
- Schreck, p. 131
- Barry, p. 46
- CCC, 880. Accessed 20 August 2011
- Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, Vatican City, 1943. Accessed 20 August 2011
- CCC, 1113–1114, 1117
- Kreeft, pp. 298–299
- "CCC, 1210–1211". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1275". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1263". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1267". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1282". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1250". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- Lazowski, Philip (2004). Understanding Your Neighbor's Faith: What Christians and Jews Should Know About Each Other. KTAV Publishing House. p. 157. ISBN 0-88125-811-3. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "CCC, 1272". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1256". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1285". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Code of Canon Law, canon 883". Intratext.com. 4 May 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 695". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Code of Canon Law, canon 891". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Compendium of the CCC, 267". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Council of Florence: Bull of union with the Armenians". Ewtn.com. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- CCC, 1310 and 1319
- "CCC, 1322". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1365–1372". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1382–1384". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1408". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1333". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1376". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Compendium of the CCC, 296". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Compendium of the CCC, 297". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Compendium of the CCC, 302–303". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Compendium of the CCC, 304–306". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Compendium of the CCC, 309". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Compendium of the CCC, 316". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Compendium of the CCC, 319". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- CCC 1534
- Canons 1008–1009 of the Code of Canon Law as modified by the 2009 motu proprio Omnium in mentem
- Canon 1031 Catholic Church Canon Law. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- Canon 1037, Catholic Church Canon Law. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- Niebuhr, Gustav (16 February 1997). "Bishop's Quiet Action Allows Priest Both Flock And Family". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 April 2008.
- Committee on the Diaconate. "Frequently Asked Questions About Deacons". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- Canon 42 Catholic Church Canon Law. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- Canon 375, Catholic Church Canon Law. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- Barry, p. 114.
- "CCC, 1638". Vatican.va. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- "CCC, 1625". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1631". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "CCC, 1629". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- CCC, 1021–22, 1051
- Matthew 25:35–36
- Schreck, p. 397
- "Saints' Prayers for Souls in Purgatory". Ewtn.com. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- Luke 23:39–43
- "Library : The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized". Catholic Culture. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- Schreck, p. 199–200
- Barry, p. 106
- Barry, p. 122–123
- Schreck, p. 368
- Baedeker, Rob (21 December 2007). "World's most-visited religious destinations". USA Today. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
- Kreeft, p. 980.
- Bokenkotter, p. 30.
- Bokenkotter, p. 24.
- MacCulloch, Christianity, pp. 155–159, 164.
- How The Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe by Thomas Cahill, 1995.
- Cahill, Thomas. How the Irish Saved Civilization. Hodder and Stoughton, 1995.
- Woods, pp. 115–27
- Duffy, p. 133.
- Woods, pp. 44–48
- Bokenkotter, pp. 158–159
- Norman 81
- "John Paul II, General Audience, March 24, 1993". Vatican.va. 24 March 1993. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- Leith, Creeds of the Churches (1963), p. 143
- Duffy, Saints and Sinners (1997), p. 232
- Fahlbusch, The Encyclopedia of Christianity (2001), p. 729
- "CONSTITUTION ON THE SACRED LITURGY SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM". Vatican.va. 4 December 1963. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- Duffy, pp. 270–276
- Duffy, Saints and Sinners (1997), p. 272, p. 274
- Pope Paul VI. Nostra Aetate: Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions. 28 October 1965. Retrieved 2011-06-16. According to Section 4: "True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures."
- Bauckham, p. 373
- O'Neel, Brian. "Holier Than Thou: How Rejection of Vatican II Led Lefebvre into Schism", This Rock, Volume 14, Number 4. San Diego: Catholic Answers, April 2003.
- "WYD 2011 Madrid – Official Site – What is WYD?". Madrid11.com. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- Maxwell-Stuart, P.G. (2006). Chronicle of the Popes: Trying to Come Full Circle. London: Thames & Hudson. p. 234. ISBN 978-0-500-28608-1.
- "2 April – This Day in History". History.co.uk. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- Peter and Margaret Hebblethwaite and Peter Stanford (2 April 2005). "Obituary: Pope John Paul II". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "Press Release – The Nobel Peace Prize 1979". Nobelprize.org. 27 October 1979. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "Press Release – Nobel Peace Prize 1996". Nobelprize.org. 11 October 1996. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- Paul VI, Pope (1968). "Humanae Vitae". Vatican. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
- Bokenkotter, p. 27, p. 154, pp. 493–494
- CCC, 2358
- "CCC, 2357". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "CCC, 2359". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- CCC 1601–1605
- Geoffrey Blainey; A Short History of Christianity; Penguin Viking; 2011
- Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis of John Paul II to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone Copyright 1994 Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 5 June 2011
- "Code of Canon Law, canon 1379". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "Ordinations: Response Regarding Excommunication Decree". 2011 Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA, Inc. Retrieved 5 June 2011
- "Vatican decrees excommunication for participation in 'ordination' of women", Catholic News Agency. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- David Willey (15 July 2010). "Vatican 'speeds up' abuse cases". BBC News. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- Asci, Donald P. (2002) The Conjugal Act as Personal Act. A Study of the Catholic Concept of the Conjugal Act in the Light of Christian anthropology, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, pp. 364 ISBN 0-89870-844-3
- "Canon 42". 1983 Code of Canon Law. Vatican. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- "Catechism of the Catholic Church". Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 1994. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Barry, Rev. Msgr. John F (2001). One Faith, One Lord: A Study of Basic Catholic Belief. Gerard F. Baumbach, Ed.D. ISBN 0-8215-2207-8.
- Bauer, Susan Wise (2010). The History of Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-05975-5.
- Bethell, Leslie (1984). The Cambridge history of Latin America. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23225-2.
- Bokenkotter, Thomas (2004). A Concise History of the Catholic Church. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-50584-1.
- Bunson, Matthew (2008). Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Almanac. Our Sunday Visitor Publishing. ISBN 1-59276-441-X.
- Bruni, Frank; Burkett, Elinor (2002). A Gospel of Shame: Children, Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church. Harper Perennial. p. 336. ISBN 978-0-06-052232-2.
- Chadwick, Owen (1995). A History of Christianity. Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-7607-7332-7.
- Clarke, Graeme (2005), "Third-Century Christianity", in Bowman, Alan K., Peter Garnsey and Averil Cameron. The Cambridge Ancient History 2nd ed., volume 12: The Crisis of Empire, A.D. 193–337, Cambridge University Press, pp. 589–671, ISBN 978-0-521-30199-2.
- Collins, Michael; Price, Mathew A. (1999). The Story of Christianity. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0-7513-0467-0.
- Coriden, James A; Green, Thomas J; Heintschel, Donald E. (1985). The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary, Study Edition. Paulist Press. ISBN 978-0-8091-2837-2.
- Davidson, Ivor (2005). The Birth of the Church. Monarch. ISBN 1-85424-658-5.
- Derrick, Christopher (1967). Trimming the Ark: Catholic Attitudes and the Cult of Change. New York: P.J. Kennedy & Sons. vi, 154 p.
- Duffy, Eamon (1997). Saints and Sinners, a History of the Popes. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07332-1.
- Dussel, Enrique (1981). A History of the Church in Latin America. Wm. B. Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-2131-6.
- Fahlbusch, Erwin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Christianity. Wm. B. Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-2415-3.
- Froehle, Bryan; Mary Gautier (2003). Global Catholicism, Portrait of a World Church. Orbis books; Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, Georgetown University. ISBN 1-57075-375-X.
- Gale Group. (2002) New Catholic Encyclopedia, 15 vol, with annual supplements; highly detailed coverage
- Hastings, Adrian (2004). The Church in Africa 1450–1950. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-826399-6.
- Herring, George (2006). An Introduction to the History of Christianity. Continuum International. ISBN 0-8264-6737-7.
- John Paul II, (2006) He Gave Them the Law of Life as Their Inheritance, in:Man and Woman He created Them. A Theology of the Body, transl. M. Waldstein, Boston: Pauline Books and Media, pp. 617–663 ISBN 0-8198-7421-3
- Koschorke, Klaus; Ludwig, Frieder; Delgado, Mariano (2007). A History of Christianity in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, 1450–1990. Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-8028-2889-7.
- Kreeft, Peter (2001). Catholic Christianity. Ignatius Press. ISBN 0-89870-798-6.
- Latourette, by Kenneth Scott. Christianity in a Revolutionary Age: A History of Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries (5 vol. 1969); detailed coverage of Catholicism in every major country
- Leith, John (1963). Creeds of the Churches. Aldine Publishing Co. ISBN 0-664-24057-7.
- MacCulloch, Diarmaid (2010). Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-02126-0. originally published 2009 by Allen Lane, as A History of Christianity
- MacCulloch, Diarmaid (2003). The Reformation. Viking. ISBN 0-670-03296-4.
- MacMullen, Ramsay (1984), Christianizing the Roman Empire: (A.D. 100–400). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-585-38120-6
- Manning, Henry Edward, Cardinal (1892). The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost: or, Reason and Revelation [and the vindication of the Catholic Church and of its claims]. Fourth ed. London: Burns and Oates.
- Marthaler, Berard (1994). Introducing the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Traditional Themes and Contemporary Issues. Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-3495-0.
- McBrien, Richard and Harold Attridge, eds. (1995) The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-065338-5.
- McManners, John, ed. The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity. (Oxford University Press 1990). ISBN 0-19-822928-3.
- Norman, Edward (2007). The Roman Catholic Church, An Illustrated History. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-25251-6.
- O'Collins, Gerald; Farrugia, Maria (2003). Catholicism: The Story of Catholic Christianity Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-925995-3.
- Perreau-Saussine, Emile. Catholicism and Democracy: An Essay in the History of Political Thought (2012)
- Phayer, Michael (2000). The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930–1965. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-33725-9.
- Pollard, John Francis (2005). Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy, 1850–1950. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-81204-7.
- Rhodes, Anthony (1973). The Vatican in the Age of the Dictators (1922–1945). Holt, Rinehart and Winston. ISBN 0-03-007736-2.
- Riley-Smith, Jonathan (1997). The First Crusaders. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-511-00308-0.
- Schwaller, John Frederick. (2011) The history of the Catholic Church in Latin America: from conquest to revolution and beyond (NYU Press)
- Smith, Janet, ed. (1993) Why "Humanae Vitae" Was Right, San Francisco: Ignatius Press.
- Smith, Janet (1991) "Humanae Vitae", a Generation Later, Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America Press,
- Stewart, Cynthia. (2008) The Catholic Church: A Brief Popular History 337 pages
- Vatican, Central Statistics Office (2007). Annuario Pontificio (Pontifical Yearbook). Libreria Editrice Vaticana. ISBN 978-88-209-7908-9.
- Vidmar, John (2005). The Catholic Church Through the Ages. Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-4234-1.
- Wilken, Robert (2004). "Christianity". in Hitchcock, Susan Tyler; Esposito, John. Geography of Religion. National Geographic Society. ISBN 0-7922-7317-6.
- Woods Jr, Thomas (2005). How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. Regnery Publishing, Inc. ISBN 0-89526-038-7.
|Find more about Catholic Church at Wikipedia's sister projects|
|Definitions and translations from Wiktionary|
|Media from Commons|
|Learning resources from Wikiversity|
|News stories from Wikinews|
|Quotations from Wikiquote|
|Source texts from Wikisource|
|Textbooks from Wikibooks|
|Travel information from Wikivoyage|
- Vatican.va – official website of the Holy See
- News.va – official news website
- Vatican YouTube – official YouTube channel
Read in another language
This page is available in 124 languages
- Беларуская (тарашкевіца)
- Chavacano de Zamboanga
- Diné bizaad
- Emiliàn e rumagnòl
- Fiji Hindi
- Bahasa Indonesia
- Basa Jawa
- Bahasa Melayu
- Norsk bokmål
- Norsk nynorsk
- Tok Pisin
- Runa Simi
- Саха тыла
- Simple English
- Српски / srpski
- Srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски
- Tiếng Việt