Catholic Teachings

The Light Of The Wisdom Of The Saints & The Teachings Of The Catholic Church

The Light Of The Wisdom Of The Saints & The Teachings Of The Catholic Church

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The Catholic Church, sometimes referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2018.[4] As the world’s oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution,[7] it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilization.[8] The church consists of almost 3,500 dioceses (also called “local churches”) around the world on every continent, each shepherded by its bishop. The pope, who is the Bishop of Rome (and whose titles also include Vicar of Jesus Christ and Successor of St. Peter), is the chief pastor[9] of the whole church, entrusted with the universal Petrine ministry of unity and correction. The church’s international administration is the Holy See, located in the tiny, independent European nation of Vatican City in Rome, Italy, of which the pope is also head of state.

The Christian 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,[10][11][note 1] 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.[14] It maintains that it practises the original Christian faith, reserving infallibility, passed down by sacred tradition.[15] 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.[16][17]

Of its seven sacraments, the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in the Mass.[18] 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.[19] Its teaching includes Divine Mercy, sanctification through faith and evangelization 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.[20]

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