|Catholic Church Portal
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 and largest 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 is the Holy See.
The Christian beliefs of Catholicism are 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, 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 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.
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.
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.
Did you know...
- ... that the idea for the Red Scapular of the Passion (pictured), approved by Pope Pius IX, is said to have been given to a French nun by visions of Jesus and Mary in 1846?
- ... that Father Nicolas Sarrabat, SJ, a French scientist and Jesuit, conducted experiments on the circulation of plants, argued that magnetism was caused by a fire at the Earth's centre, and discovered the largest comet ever recorded?
- ... that Father Lucien Galtier, the first Catholic priest in Minnesota, was responsible for renaming the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota, from its previous name of Pig's Eye?
Feast Day of November 14
||Praise consists in the love of God, in wonder at the goodness of God, in recognition of the gifts of God, in seeing God in all things He gives us, ay, and even in the things that He refuses to us; so as to see our whole life in the light of God; and seeing this, to bless Him, adore Him, and glorify Him.
- 13 November 2019 – Catholic Church sexual abuse cases
- The Australian High Court agrees to hear a final appeal from ex-Vatican treasurer and convicted child sex offender George Pell, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting three teenage choirboys. (Reuters)
- 27 October 2019 –
- Since convening on 6 October, the synod of Catholic bishops from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela, and Suriname gather with Pope Francis in Rome. According to the bishops, "a deep personal, social and structural conversion" is needed in response to the "unprecedented" environmental and social crisis in the Amazon. (Catholic News Service)
- 13 October 2019 –
- At Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City, Pope Francis canonizes the 19th-century Anglican convert John Henry Newman, who was a unifying figure in both the Anglican and Catholic churches. (ABC News)
- 2 October 2019 –
- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks out about China's religious freedom violations during a visit to the Vatican. (Catholic News Agency)
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