Portal:Catholic Church

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The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church and the largest religious denomination, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . 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 church consists of 24 particular churches and almost 3,500 dioceses and eparchies around the world. The pope, who is the Bishop of Rome, is the chief pastor of the church. The bishopric 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 enclave 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 Latin Church, the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, 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 emphasises voluntary support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church operates thousands of Catholic schools, 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 organisations. (Full article...)

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Pope Leo XIII

Catholic social teaching comprises those aspects of Catholic doctrine which relate to matters dealing with the collective aspect of humanity. The foundations of modern Catholic social teaching are widely considered to have been laid by Pope Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical letter Rerum Novarum. A distinctive feature of Catholic social teaching is its concern for the poorest members of society. This concern echoes elements of the Jewish law and of the prophetic books of the Old Testament, and recalls the teachings of Jesus Christ recorded in the New Testament, such as his declaration that "whatever you have done for one of these least brothers of Mine, you have done for Me." Another distinctive feature of Catholic social doctrine is the way in which it has consistently critiqued modern social and political ideologies both of the left and of the right: communism, conservatism, socialism, libertarianism, capitalism, liberalism and Nazism have all been condemned, at least in their pure forms, by the Popes at one time or another.

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The incipit of the Gospel of Matthew from the Lindisfarne Gospels, an illuminated Latin manuscript of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The manuscript was produced in Lindisfarne in Northumbria in the late 7th century or early 8th century, and is generally regarded as the finest example of the kingdom's unique style of religious art. It is currently in the collection of the British Library.

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Thomas is the first known Bishop of Finland. Only a few facts remain about his life. He resigned in 1245 and died in Visby three years later.The only reference to Bishop Thomas during his episcopate in Finland is a letter signed by him in Nousiainen in 1234, which granted certain lands around the parish to his chaplain, Wilhelm .The letter is the first surviving letter ever written in Finland.No further information on bishop's activities has survived before he was granted resignation by Pope Innocent IV on 21 February 1245. According to the Pope, Thomas had admitted committing several felonies, like torturing a man to death and forging a papal letter. Church representatives to oversee the resignation were the Archbishop of Uppsala and the Dominican prior of the Dacian province. Thomas donated his books to the newly established Dominican convent in Sigtuna and went on to live his last years in the Dominican convent in Visby, Gotland. He died there in 1248, shortly before the Second Swedish Crusade which cemented the Swedish rule in Finland for more than 550 years.

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A page from the illuminated Queen Sofia Bible of 1455

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Photo of the incorrupt body of Saint Catherine Labouré
Catherine Labouré (May 2, 1806 – December 31, 1876) was a French nun who was a member of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and is a Marian visionary. She is believed to have relayed the request from the Blessed Virgin Mary to create the famous Miraculous Medal of Our Lady of Graces worn by millions of people around the world. Labouré spent forty years caring for the aged and infirm. For this, she is called the patroness of seniors. (Full article...)

Attributes: Daughters of Charity habit, Miraculous Medal
Patronage: Miraculous Medal, infirmed people, the elderly

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Patrick, Archbishop of Armagh


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"Christ in Limbo"
Painting by Fra Angelico,1441-1442
11 November 2021 – Internal conflict in Myanmar
The Catholic cathedral Sacred Heart at Pekon in the Diocese of Pekhon in Burma’s Shan state was among several structures that were reportedly hit by military artillery fire on Nov. 9 amid continuing armed clashes between government and rebel forces. (Catholic News Agency), (Fides)
8 November 2021 – Holy See–Switzerland relations
Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis meets with the State Secretary of the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to mark 100 years of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and the Holy See. The joint declaration, according to the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, called for the promotion of “peace and human rights, the worldwide abolition of the death penalty, the protection of minorities, and interreligious dialogue.” (Swissinfo), (Catholic World News)
4 November 2021 –
Pope Francis appoints Raffaella Petrini as the new secretary general of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, becoming the highest-ranking woman in the Roman Curia and the first woman to ever hold the position. (Vatican News)
1 November 2021 –
Parishioners of Saint Ann’s Catholic Church, a predominantly African American congregation in the East Baltimore Midway neighborhood, Historic St. Francis Xavier, and St. Wenceslaus, seek to make the case that the church should immediately canonize six Black American Catholics. The candidates include Mother Mary Lange, a Baltimore nun who started and ran a school for Black children in the Fells Point area of the city during the era of slavery. (The Washington Post)



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