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Catholic Church

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
(Redirected from
Roman Catholic Church
)

Saint Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world
ClassificationCatholic
ScriptureBible
TheologyCatholic theology
PolityEpiscopal[1]
PopeFrancis
GovernmentHoly See
AdministrationRoman Curia
Particular churches
sui iuris
Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches
Dioceses
native languages
LiturgyWestern and Eastern
HeadquartersVatican City
FounderJesus, according to
sacred tradition
Origin1st century
Holy Land, Roman Empire[2][3]
Members1.345 billion (2019)[4]
Clergy
Hospitals5,500[5]
Primary schools95,200[6]
Secondary schools43,800
Official websitevatican.va

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the

Rome, of which the pope is head of state
.

The core beliefs of Catholicism are found in the

successor to Saint Peter, upon whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ.[15] 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.[16] The Roman Rite and others of the Latin Church, the Eastern Christian rites of the 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.[17][18]

Of its

dogmas and devotions.[20] 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 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.[21]
Among its other social services are numerous charitable and humanitarian organizations.

The Catholic Church has profoundly influenced

music and science. Catholics live all over the world through missions, diaspora, and conversions. Since the 20th century, the majority have resided in the Southern Hemisphere, partially due to secularization in Europe and increased persecution in the Middle East. The Catholic Church shared communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, disputing particularly the authority of the pope. Before the Council of Ephesus in AD 431, the Church of the East also shared in this communion, as did the Oriental Orthodox Churches before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451; all separated primarily over differences in Christology. The Eastern Catholic Churches, who have a combined membership of approximately 18 million, represent a body of Eastern Christians who returned or remained in communion with the pope during or following these schisms for a variety of historical circumstances. In the 16th century, the Reformation led to Protestantism also breaking away. From the late 20th century, the Catholic Church has been criticized for its teachings on sexuality, its doctrine against ordaining women, and its handling of sexual abuse cases
involving clergy.

Name

Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano
.

Catholic (from

eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire, when establishing the state church of the Roman Empire.[27]

Since the

Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, when those who ceased to be in communion became known as "Protestants".[29][30]

While the "Roman Church" has been used to describe the pope's Diocese of Rome since the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and into the Early Middle Ages (6th–10th century), the "Roman Catholic Church" has been applied to the whole church in the English language since the Protestant Reformation in the late 16th century.[31] Further, some will refer to the Latin Church as "Roman Catholic" in distinction from the Eastern Catholic churches.[32] "Roman Catholic" has occasionally appeared also in documents produced both by the Holy See,[note 3] and notably used by certain national episcopal conferences and local dioceses.[note 4]

The name "Catholic Church" for the whole church is used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1990) and the Code of Canon Law (1983). The name "Catholic Church" is also used in the documents of the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965),[33] the First Vatican Council (1869–1870),[34] the Council of Trent (1545–1563),[35] and numerous other official documents.[36][37]

History

Painting a haloed Jesus Christ passing keys to a kneeling man.
This fresco (1481–82) by Pietro Perugino in the Sistine Chapel shows Jesus giving the keys of heaven to Saint Peter
.

The Christian religion is based on the reported teachings of

Arian Christianity
, eventually adopted Catholicism to ally themselves with the papacy and the monasteries.

In the 7th and 8th centuries, expanding

communion
with Rome, and portions of some others established communion in the 15th century and later, forming what are called the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Early monasteries throughout Europe helped preserve Greek and Roman

classical civilization. The church eventually became the dominant influence in Western civilization into the modern age. Many Renaissance figures were sponsored by the church. The 16th century, however, began to see challenges to the church, in particular to its religious authority, by figures in the Protestant Reformation, as well as in the 17th century by secular intellectuals in the Enlightenment. Concurrently, Spanish and Portuguese explorers and missionaries spread the church's influence through Africa, Asia, and the New World
.

In 1870, the

communist countries newly aligned with the Soviet Union
, several of which had large Catholic populations.

In the 1960s, the

contraception, sexual activity outside of marriage, remarriage following divorce without annulment, and against same-sex marriage
.

Apostolic era and papacy

Jesus' commission to Saint Peter

The

bishop of Rome are the successors to the Apostles.[44]

In the account of the Confession of Peter found in the Gospel of Matthew, Christ designates Peter as the "rock" upon which Christ's church will be built.[45][46] The Catholic Church considers the bishop of Rome, the pope, to be the successor to Saint Peter.[47] Some scholars state Peter was the first bishop of Rome.[48][note 5] Others say that the institution of the papacy is not dependent on the idea that Peter was bishop of Rome or even on his ever having been in Rome.[49] Many scholars hold that a church structure of plural presbyters/bishops persisted in Rome until the mid-2nd century, when the structure of a single bishop and plural presbyters was adopted,[50] and that later writers retrospectively applied the term "bishop of Rome" to the most prominent members of the clergy in the earlier period and also to Peter himself.[50] On this basis, Oscar Cullmann,[51] Henry Chadwick,[52] and Bart D. Ehrman[53] question whether there was a formal link between Peter and the modern papacy. Raymond E. Brown also says that it is anachronistic to speak of Peter in terms of local bishop of Rome, but that Christians of that period would have looked on Peter as having "roles that would contribute in an essential way to the development of the role of the papacy in the subsequent church". These roles, Brown says, "contributed enormously to seeing the bishop of Rome, the bishop of the city where Peter died and where Paul witnessed the truth of Christ, as the successor of Peter in care for the church universal".[50]

Antiquity and Roman Empire

Conditions in the Roman Empire facilitated the spread of new ideas. The empire's network of roads and waterways facilitated travel, and the Pax Romana made travelling safe. The empire encouraged the spread of a common culture with Greek roots, which allowed ideas to be more easily expressed and understood.[54]

Unlike most religions in the Roman Empire, however, Christianity required its adherents to renounce all other gods, a practice adopted from Judaism (see Idolatry). The Christians' refusal to join pagan celebrations meant they were unable to participate in much of public life, which caused non-Christians—including government authorities—to fear that the Christians were angering the gods and thereby threatening the peace and prosperity of the Empire. The resulting persecutions were a defining feature of Christian self-understanding until Christianity was legalized in the 4th century.[55]

Emperor Constantine

In 313,

Justinian, who in the areas under his control definitively established a form of caesaropapism,[61] in which "he had the right and duty of regulating by his laws the minutest details of worship and discipline, and also of dictating the theological opinions to be held in the Church",[62] re-established imperial power over Rome and other parts of the West, initiating the period termed the Byzantine Papacy (537–752), during which the bishops of Rome, or popes, required approval from the emperor in Constantinople or from his representative in Ravenna for consecration, and most were selected by the emperor from his Greek-speaking subjects,[63] resulting in a "melting pot" of Western and Eastern Christian traditions in art as well as liturgy.[64]

Most of the Germanic tribes who in the following centuries invaded the Roman Empire had adopted Christianity in its

heretical.[65] The resulting religious discord between Germanic rulers and Catholic subjects[66] was avoided when, in 497, Clovis I, the Frankish ruler, converted to orthodox Catholicism, allying himself with the papacy and the monasteries.[67] The Visigoths in Spain followed his lead in 589,[68] and the Lombards in Italy in the course of the 7th century.[69]

Western monasticism, exerted an enormous influence on European culture through the appropriation of the monastic spiritual heritage of the early Catholic Church and, with the spread of the Benedictine tradition, through the preservation and transmission of ancient culture. During this period, monastic Ireland became a centre of learning and early Irish missionaries such as Columbanus and Columba spread Christianity and established monasteries across continental Europe.[70]

Middle Ages and Renaissance

The Catholic Church was the dominant influence on Western civilization from

Western civilization".[73]

The massive Islamic invasions of the

Poitiers halted the Islamic advance in the West and the failed siege of Constantinople halted it in the East. Two or three decades later, in 751, the Byzantine Empire lost to the Lombards the city of Ravenna from which it governed the small fragments of Italy, including Rome, that acknowledged its sovereignty. The fall of Ravenna meant that confirmation by a no longer existent exarch was not asked for during the election in 752 of Pope Stephen II and that the papacy was forced to look elsewhere for a civil power to protect it.[75] In 754, at the urgent request of Pope Stephen, the Frankish king Pepin the Short conquered the Lombards. He then gifted the lands of the former exarchate to the pope, thus initiating the Papal States. Rome and the Byzantine East would delve into further conflict during the Photian schism of the 860s, when Photius criticized the Latin west of adding of the filioque clause after being excommunicated by Nicholas I. Though the schism was reconciled, unresolved issues would lead to further division.[76]

In the 11th century, the efforts of

Gregorian Reforms regarding the independence of the clergy from secular authority. This led to the Investiture Controversy between the church and the Holy Roman Emperors, over which had the authority to appoint bishops and popes.[77][78]

In 1095,

papal authority. The Fourth Crusade and the sacking of Constantinople by renegade crusaders proved the final breach.[81]
In this age great gothic cathedrals in France were an expression of popular pride in the Christian faith.

In the early 13th century mendicant orders were founded by Francis of Assisi and Dominic de Guzmán. The studia conventualia and studia generalia of the mendicant orders played a large role in the transformation of Church-sponsored cathedral schools and palace schools, such as that of Charlemagne at Aachen, into the prominent universities of Europe.[82] Scholastic theologians and philosophers such as the Dominican priest Thomas Aquinas studied and taught at these studia. Aquinas' Summa Theologica was an intellectual milestone in its synthesis of the legacy of ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle with the content of Christian revelation.[83]

A growing sense of church-state conflicts marked the 14th century. To escape instability in Rome, Clement V in 1309 became the first of seven popes to reside in the fortified city of Avignon in southern France[84] during a period known as the Avignon Papacy. The Avignon Papacy ended in 1376 when the pope returned to Rome,[85] but was followed in 1378 by the 38-year-long Western schism, with claimants to the papacy in Rome, Avignon and (after 1409) Pisa.[85] The matter was largely resolved in 1415–17 at the Council of Constance, with the claimants in Rome and Pisa agreeing to resign and the third claimant excommunicated by the cardinals, who held a new election naming Martin V pope.[86]

The Renaissance period was a golden age for Catholic art. Pictured: the Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo

In 1438, the Council of Florence convened, which featured a strong dialogue focussed on understanding the theological differences between the East and West, with the hope of reuniting the Catholic and Orthodox churches.[87] Several eastern churches reunited, forming the majority of the Eastern Catholic Churches.[88]

Age of Discovery

The Age of Discovery beginning in the 15th century saw the expansion of Western Europe's political and cultural influence worldwide. Because of the prominent role the strongly Catholic nations of Spain and Portugal played in Western colonialism, Catholicism was spread to the Americas, Asia and Oceania by explorers, conquistadors, and missionaries, as well as by the transformation of societies through the socio-political mechanisms of colonial rule. Pope Alexander VI had awarded colonial rights over most of the newly discovered lands to Spain and Portugal[89] and the ensuing patronato system allowed state authorities, not the Vatican, to control all clerical appointments in the new colonies.[90] In 1521 the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan made the first Catholic converts in the Philippines.[91] Elsewhere, Portuguese missionaries under the Spanish Jesuit Francis Xavier evangelized in India, China, and Japan.[92] The French colonization of the Americas beginning in the 16th century established a Catholic francophone population and forbade non-Catholics to settle in Quebec.[93]

Protestant Reformation and Counter-Reformation

Martin Luther (left), originally an Augustinian monk, posted the Ninety-five Theses
(right) in 1517.

In 1415,

declaration of nullity concerning his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. When this was denied, he had the Acts of Supremacy passed to make himself Supreme Head of the Church of England, spurring the English Reformation and the eventual development of Anglicanism.[98]

The Reformation contributed to clashes between the Protestant

religious toleration to French Protestants.[99][100]

The

religious scepticism during and after the Enlightenment.[102]

Enlightenment and modern period