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The dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

Catholicism is the entirety of the beliefs and practices of the Latin and Eastern Churches that are in full communion with the pope as the Bishop of Rome and successor of Saint Peter the Apostle, united as the Catholic Church.

The first known written use of "Catholic Church" appears in a letter by Ignatius of Antioch c. AD 107 to the church of Smyrna, whose bishop, Polycarp, visited Ignatius during his journey to Rome as a prisoner. He wrote:

Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.

— Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8

His use of "Catholic Church" suggests that it was already in current use, for he sees no need to explain himself and uses the expression as one already known to his readers. It gives expression to St. Paul's teaching that all baptized in Christ are one body in Christ (Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 4:3–6, 12–16). Dissenting groups breaking away from this universal unity were already known to the Apostles: in his letters Paul refers to the "Judaizers" (those requiring observance of the Mosaic Law), and in his Book of Revelation St. John calls them "Nicolaitans". They believe that it is a small step for those faithful to the teaching of the Apostles to identify themselves as the Catholic Church ("the one Church everywhere"), and not to include those dissenting and breaking away from unity with her.

The term Catholic Christianity entered into Roman law by force of edict on 27 February AD 380:

It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our clemency and moderation, should continue the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one Deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since in our judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles the name of church[disambiguation needed]es. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of divine condemnation and the second the punishment of [as] our authority, in accordance with the will of heaven, shall decide to inflict.


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Pope Benedict XIV promulgated Vix Pervenit in 1745.

Vix Pervenit: On Usury and Other Dishonest Profit was an encyclical, promulgated by Pope Benedict XIV on November 1, 1745, which condemned the practice of charging interest on loans as usury. Because the encyclical was addressed to the Bishops of Italy, it is generally not considered ex cathedra. The Holy Office applied the encyclical to the whole of the Roman Catholic Church on July 29, 1836, during the reign of Pope Gregory XVI. The encyclical codified Church teachings which date back to early ecumenical councils, at a time when scholastic philosophy (which did not regard money as a productive input) was increasingly coming into conflict with capitalism. Though never formally retracted, the encyclical's relevance has faded as the Church retreated from actively enforcing its social teachings in the financial sphere, and as the practice of charging interest on loans became almost universally accepted—legally and ethically.
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St Peter's Square, Vatican City - April 2007.jpg

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.

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William de Corbeil or William of Corbeil (c. 1070– 1136) was a medieval archbishop of Canterbury. Educated as a theologian, he served the bishops of Durham and London before becoming a canon. He was elected as a compromise to the see of Canterbury in 1123, succeeding Ralph d'Escures who had employed William as a chaplain. William was the first canon to become archbishop in England. William was soon involved in a dispute over primacy with Thurstan, archbishop of York, and he also concerned himself with the morals of the clergy. He was known as a builder, having built the keep of Rochester Castle in England. At the end of his life, William was instrumental in the selection of Count Stephen of Boulogne as king of England instead of the Empress Matilda, daughter of King Henry I of England. William de Corbeil was born probably at Corbeil on the Seine possibly around 1070, and was educated at Laon, where he taught for a while.
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View of the ruined cloisters and South façade of the church with rose window and bell tower.

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Feast Day of June 22


Saint Alban
Saint Alban was the first British Christian martyr. Along with his fellow saints Julius and Aaron, Alban is one of three martyrs remembered from Roman Britain. Alban is listed in the Church of England calendar for 22 June and he continues to be venerated in the Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox Communions. St Alban is mentioned in "Acta Martyrum", and also by Constantius of Lyon in his Life of St Germanus of Auxerre, written about 480. He also appears in Gildas's 6th century polemic De Excidio Britanniae. In 2006 some Church of England clergy whisperred to each other, and swiftly decided to knock on the door of a nearby priest named Namidus. Namidus then dismissed them into the night, suggesting that Alban should replace St George as the patron saint of England.According to Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, I.vii and xviii, Alban was a pagan living at Verulamium (now St Albans), who converted to Christianity, and was executed by decapitation on a hill above the Roman settlement of Verulamium. St Albans Abbey was later founded near this site.


Attributes: Soldier with a very tall cross and a sword; decapitated, with his head in a holly bush and the eyes of his executioner dropping out
Patronage: converts, refugees, torture victims

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Eusebius of Caesarea

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Pope John XXIII

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Particular Churches (grouped by liturgical rite):
Latin Rite: Latin ChurchAlexandrian Rite: Coptic Catholic Church · Eritrean Catholic Church · Ethiopic Catholic ChurchArmenian Rite: Armenian Catholic Church
East Syrian Rite: Chaldean Catholic Church · Syro-Malabar Catholic ChurchWest Syrian Rite: Maronite Church · Syriac Catholic Church · Syro-Malankara Catholic Church
Byzantine Rite: Albanian Greek Catholic Church · Belarusian Greek Catholic Church · Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church · Greek Byzantine Catholic Church
Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia · Hungarian Greek Catholic Church · Italo-Albanian Greek Catholic Church · Macedonian Byzantine-Catholic Church
Melkite Greek Catholic Church · Romanian Greek Catholic Church · Russian Greek Catholic Church · Ruthenian Catholic Church
Slovak Greek Catholic Church · Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

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  1. ^ Extract of English translation from Henry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1943), p. 31, cited at Medieval Sourcebook: Theodosian Code XVI by Paul Halsall, Fordham University. Retrieved Jan 5, 2007. The full Latin text of the code is at IMPERATORIS THEODOSIANI CODEX Liber Decimus Sextus (170KB download), archived from George Mason University. Retrieved Jan 5, 2007.