Portal:Catholic Church

Catholic Church Portal
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The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.378 billion baptized Catholics worldwide 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 church consists of 24 sui iuris churches, including the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, which comprise almost 3,500 dioceses and eparchies located around the world. The pope, who is the bishop of Rome, is the chief pastor of the church. The Diocese of Rome, known as the Holy See, is the central governing authority of the church. The administrative body of the Holy See, the Roman Curia, has its principal offices in Vatican City, a small independent city-state and enclave within the Italian capital city of Rome, of which the pope is head of state.

The core beliefs of Catholicism are found in the Nicene Creed. 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. It maintains that it practises the original Christian faith taught by the apostles, preserving the faith infallibly through scripture and sacred tradition as authentically interpreted through the magisterium of the church. The Roman Rite and others of the Latin Church, the Eastern Catholic liturgies, and institutes such as mendicant orders, enclosed monastic orders and third orders reflect a variety of theological and spiritual emphases in the church.

Of its seven sacraments, the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in the Mass. The church teaches that through consecration by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. The Virgin Mary is venerated as the Perpetual Virgin, Mother of God, and Queen of Heaven; she is honoured in dogmas and devotions. Catholic social teaching emphasizes voluntary support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church operates tens of thousands of Catholic schools, universities and colleges, hospitals, and orphanages around the world, and is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world. Among its other social services are numerous charitable and humanitarian organizations. (Full article...)

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Coat of arms of Bishop Ivan Ljavinec of the Ruthenian Catholic Church, showing a blend of Eastern and Western heraldic styles.
Coat of arms of Bishop Ivan Ljavinec of the Ruthenian Catholic Church, showing a blend of Eastern and Western heraldic styles.

Ecclesiastical heraldry is the tradition of heraldry developed by Christian clergy. Initially used to mark documents, ecclesiastical heraldry evolved as a system for identifying people and dioceses. It is most formalized within the Catholic Church, where most bishops, including the Pope, have a personal coat of arms. Clergy in Anglican, Lutheran, Eastern Catholic, and Orthodox churches follow similar customs. Institutions such as schools and dioceses bear arms called impersonal or corporate arms.Ecclesiastical heraldry differs notably from other heraldry in the use of special symbols around the shield to indicate rank in a church or denomination. The most prominent of these symbols is the ecclesiastical hat, commonly the Roman galero or Geneva Bonnet. The color and ornamentation of this hat carry a precise meaning. Cardinals are famous for the "red hat", but other offices are assigned a distinctive hat color. The hat is ornamented with tassels in a quantity commensurate with the office.

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Credit: Diliff

Saint Peter's Square, or Saint Peter's Piazza (Italian: Piazza San Pietro), is located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the papal enclave within Rome (the Piazza borders to the East the rione of Borgo). The open space which lies before the basilica was redesigned by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1656 to 1667, under the direction of Pope Alexander VII.

Selected biography

Saint Damien of Molokai
Saint Damien of Molokai

Father Damien de Veuster (January 3, 1840 – April 15, 1889, born Jozef de Veuster and also known as Saint Damien of Molokai) was a priest from Belgium and member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a missionary religious order. Father Damien is known for his ministering of people with what was then widely known as leprosy, who had been placed under a government-sanctioned medical quarantine, on the island of Moloka'i, in the Kingdom of Hawaii. He eventually contracted the disease himself, and is widely considered a "martyr of charity". In the Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions, as well as other denominations of Christianity, Damien is considered the spiritual patron for Hansen's Disease, HIV and AIDS patients as well as outcasts. In both ecumenical religious and non-sectarian communities, Damien is being adopted as the symbol of how society should treat HIV/AIDS patients in defiance of the misconceptions of the disease, much like leprosy treatment was an outgrowth of misconceptions. Several memorials have been made to Damien worldwide. The Father Damien Statue honors the priest in bronze at the United States Capitol while a full size replica stands in front of the Hawaii State Capitol. In 2005, Damien was honored with the title of De Grootste Belg, chosen as The Greatest Belgian throughout Belgian history in polling conducted by the Flemish public broadcasting service, VRT.

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Ruins of the Old Church of Banagher, County Londonderry, in 1833
Ruins of the Old Church of Banagher, County Londonderry, in 1833

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Feast Day of April 24

Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen
Fidelis of Sigmaringen, OFMCap (1577 - 1622) was a Capuchin friar who was involved in the Catholic Counter-Reformation, and was martyred by his opponents at Seewis im Prättigau, now part of Switzerland. Fidelis was canonized in 1746. (Full article...)

Attributes: sword; palm of martyrdom; heretics; the Morning Star; trampling on the word "heresy"; with a club set with spikes; with a whirlbat; with an angel carrying a palm of martyrdom; with Saint Joseph of Leonessa
Patronage: -
See also: Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, France; Benedict Menni

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Henry Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of Westminster
Henry Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of Westminster


"Holy Eucharist"
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Eucharist.
21 March 2024 –
Pope Francis laicizes Belgian bishop Roger Vangheluwe due to allegations of abuse. (NOS)
25 February 2024 – Jihadist insurgency in Burkina Faso
Fifteen people are killed and two more injured during an attack on a Catholic Church in the village of Essakane, Oudalan Province, Burkina Faso. (BBC News)
14 February 2024 –
One person is killed and 53 others are injured when a church balcony collapses during an Ash Wednesday Mass in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines. (WION)
28 January 2024 – Turkey–Islamic State conflict
A Turkish man is shot dead by two masked gunmen at an Italian Roman Catholic church in Sarıyer, Istanbul, Turkey. The Islamic State claims responsibility. (AP)



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