The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Catholic theology is based on 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, reserving infallibility, passed down by sacred tradition. The Latin Church, the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, and institutes such as mendicant orders and enclosed monastic 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 in the Catholic Church as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, honoured in dogmas and devotions. Its teaching includes Divine Mercy, sanctification through faith and evangelisation of the Gospel as well as Catholic social teaching, which emphasises voluntary support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world.
The Roman Catholic Church, officially known as the Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, representing over half of all Christians and one sixth of the world's population. It is made up of one Western and 22 Eastern Catholic churches and divided into 2,782 jurisdictional areas around the world. These Churches look to the Pope, currently Pope Francis, as their highest visible authority in matters of faith, morals, and church governance. The primary mission of the Catholic Church is to spread the message of Jesus Christ, found in the four Gospels, and to administer sacraments that aid the spiritual growth of its members. To further its mission, the Church operates social programs and institutions throughout the world. These include schools, universities, hospitals, missions and shelters, as well as Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities that help the poor, families, the elderly and the sick.
Augustine of Canterbury (died May 26, 604) was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in 598. He is considered the "Apostle to the English", a founder of the English Church, and a patron of England.Augustine was the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him in 595 to lead a mission to Britain to convert the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent to Christianity. Kent was probably chosen because it was near the Christian kingdoms in Gaul, and because Æthelberht had married a Christian princess, Bertha, daughter of Charibert, the King of Paris, who was expected to exert some influence over her husband. Although the missionaries considered turning back before they reached Kent, Gregory urged them on, and in 597 Augustine landed on the Isle of Thanet and proceeded to Æthelberht's main town of Canterbury.
Did you know...
Feast Day of June 20
Pope Saint Silverius was Pope from June 8, 536 until March 537).He was a legitimate son of Pope Hormisdas, born before his father entered the priesthood. He was probably consecrated on June 8, 536.He opposed the restoration of the monophysite heretic, former patriarch of Constantinople Anthimus, whom Agapetus had deposed, and thus brought upon himself the hatred of Empress Theodora. Theodora then sought to have Vigilius made pope. During Silverius' papacy, it was alleged that he had purchased his elevation to the see of St. Peter from King Theodahad. On December 9, 536, the Byzantine general Belisarius entered Rome, with the approval of Pope Silverius. Theodahad's successor, Witiges, gathered together an army and besieged Rome for several months, subjecting the city to privation and starvation. It was alleged that Pope Silverius wrote to Witiges offering to betray the city.
||She [the Roman Catholic Church] may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's.
- July 26, 2017: The Holy Name of Jesus cathedral in Raleigh, North Carolina was dedicated. The groundbreaking took place on January 3, 2015.
- May 21, 2017: Pope Francis announced a consistory for the elevation of five new cardinals on 28 June. He adhered to his established pattern of appointing cardinals from the peripheries, including the first cardinals from El Salvador, Laos, Mali, and Sweden, the latter of whom will also be the first cardinal from Scandinavia.
- April 12, 2017: Pope Francis expanded the Secretariat for Communications and appointed the 13 new consultants in addition to the 16 members added on July 13, 2016. The secretariat was established in June 2015.
- December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016: During the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Rome received 21.3 million pilgrims, the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe received 22 million pilgrims, and World Youth Day in Krakow received 3 million pilgrims.
Things you can do
If you want to help, you can do the following things: