Portal:Catholic Church

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Catholic Church Portal
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The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 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 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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The Sistine Chapel has been the location of the conclave since 1492.
The Sistine Chapel has been the location of the conclave since 1492.

A papal conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals to elect the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church (or Bishop of Rome) who is considered by Catholics to be the Successor of Saint Peter and head of the Church. A history of political interference in these elections and consequently long vacancies between popes, and most immediately the interregnum of 1268-1271, prompted the Second Council of Lyons which decreed in 1274 that the electors should be locked in seclusion cum clave (Latin for "with a key"), and not permitted to leave until a new Bishop of Rome is elected. Conclaves are now held in the Sistine Chapel in the Palace of the Vatican. In the early centuries of Christianity the bishop of Rome (like other bishops) was chosen by the consensus of the clergy and people of Rome. The body of electors was more precisely defined when, in 1059, the College of Cardinals was designated the sole body of electors. Since then other details of the process have developed. In 1970 Pope Paul VI limited the electors to cardinals under 80 years of age.

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Credit: JeremyA

Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica (officially: The Basilica Of Our Lady Of Sorrows) is a Roman Catholic house of worship in the west side neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois in the United States. Located at 3121 West Jackson Boulevard, it is along with St. Hyacinth and Queen of All Saints, one of only three churches in Illinois designated by the Pope with the title of basilica.

Selected biography

James I of England
James I of England

James VI and I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scots as James VI, and King of England and King of Ireland as James I. He ruled in Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567, when he was only one year old, succeeding his mother Mary, Queen of Scots, who had been forced to abdicate. Regents governed during his minority, which ended officially in 1578, though he did not gain full control of his government until 1581. On 24 March 1603, as James I, he succeeded the last Tudor monarch of England and Ireland, Elizabeth I, who died without issue. He then ruled England, Scotland and Ireland for 22 years, until his death at the age of 58. James achieved most of his aims in Scotland but faced great difficulties in England, including the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and repeated conflicts with the English Parliament. According to a tradition originating with historians of the mid-seventeenth-century, James's taste for political absolutism, his financial irresponsibility, and his cultivation of unpopular favourites established the foundation for the English Civil War.

Did you know...

Carved ivory box

  • ... that the 4th-century Brescia Casket (pictured) has been called "among the most formidable and enduring enigmas in the study of early Christian art"?
  • ... that Uncial 0321, thought to be the same as Uncial 067 for 164 years, was recently recognized as being a separate manuscript?
  • ... that the neighborhoods of the city of Cholula, Puebla, in Mexico have a complicated system for sponsoring its many religious festivals?

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Feast Day of December 9

18th century oil painting of Saint Juan Diego by Miguel Cabrera
Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, also known simply as Juan Diego (Spanish pronunciation: [ˌxwanˈdjeɣo]; 1474–1548), was a Chichimec peasant and Marian visionary. He is said to have been granted apparitions of the Virgin Mary on four occasions in December 1531: three at the hill of Tepeyac and a fourth before don Juan de Zumárraga, then bishop of Mexico. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, located at the foot of Tepeyac, houses the cloak (tilmahtli) that is traditionally said to be Juan Diego's, and upon which the image of the Virgin is said to have been miraculously impressed as proof of the authenticity of the apparitions. (Full article...)

Attributes: tilma
Patronage: Indigenous peoples
See also: Peter Fourier, France

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Augustine as depicted by Sandro Botticelli
Augustine as depicted by Sandro Botticelli


"Immaculate Conception"
Painting by Murillo, circa 1678.
3 December 2023 – Moro conflict, Terrorism in the Philippines
Four people are killed and around 50 others are injured in a bombing during a Catholic Mass at Mindanao State University in Marawi, Bangsamoro, Philippines. The Islamic State claims responsibility for the bombing. (Reuters)
26 November 2023 – Germany–Mali relations
German Catholic priest Hans-Joachim Lohre, who disappeared in Bamako, Mali, in November 2022 and was presumed kidnapped, is released and returns to Germany. (AFP via The News)
11 November 2023 –
Pope Francis removes Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler in Texas, United States, due to his criticism of the Catholic Church's progressive views under Francis. Strickland is temporarily replaced by Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of the Diocese of Austin. The decision comes after Strickland declined to resign when asked to do so. (AP)
8 November 2023 –
The Holy See's Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith confirms that transgender Catholics can be baptized "if it would not cause scandal or confusion", while also acknowledging the possibility of baptizing children of same-sex couples. (AFP via TOI)



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