66 Facts About Roman Catholic


The administrative body of the Holy See, the Roman Catholic Curia, has its principal offices in Vatican City, a small enclave of the Italian city of Rome, of which the pope is head of state.

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The Roman 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.

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Roman Catholic social teaching emphasises voluntary support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

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The Roman Catholic Church operates thousands of Roman 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.

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Roman Catholic Church has profoundly influenced Western philosophy, culture, art, music and science.

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The Roman Catholic Church shared communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, disputing particularly the authority of the pope.

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Since the East–West Schism of 1054, the Eastern Church has taken the adjective "Orthodox" as its distinctive epithet and the Western Church in communion with the Holy See has similarly taken "Roman Catholic", keeping that description after the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, when those who ceased to be in communion became known as "Protestants".

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Roman Catholic theology teaches that the contemporary Roman Catholic Church is the continuation of this early Christian community established by Jesus Christ.

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The Roman Catholic Church teaches that its public ministry began on Pentecost, occurring fifty days following the date Christ is believed to have resurrected.

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The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the college of bishops, led by the bishop of Rome are the successors to the Apostles.

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The Roman Catholic Church considers the bishop of Rome, the pope, to be the successor to Saint Peter.

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Roman Catholic Church was the dominant influence on Western civilisation from Late Antiquity to the dawn of the modern age.

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Roman Catholic's theses protested key points of Catholic doctrine as well as the sale of indulgences, and along with the Leipzig Debate this led to his excommunication in 1521.

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Roman Catholic attempted to mediate between the powers and established a Vatican relief office, to assist victims of the war and reunite families.

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Roman Catholic expressed concern against race killings on Vatican Radio, and intervened diplomatically to attempt to block Nazi deportations of Jews in various countries from 1942 to 1944.

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Nazi persecution of the Roman Catholic Church was at its most intense in Poland, and Roman Catholic resistance to Nazism took various forms.

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Some 2, 579 Roman Catholic clergy were sent to the Priest Barracks of Dachau Concentration Camp, including 400 Germans.

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Roman Catholic clergy played a leading role in the government of the fascist Slovak State, which collaborated with the Nazis, copied their anti-Semitic policies, and helped them carry out the Holocaust in Slovakia.

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Jozef Tiso, the President of the Slovak State and a Roman Catholic priest, supported his government's deportation of Slovakian Jews to extermination camps.

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Roman Catholic gave SS General Wolff a corresponding order to prepare for the action.

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Many Roman Catholic priests continued to be sent to prison for refusing to renounce allegiance to Rome.

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Several teachings of the Roman Catholic Church came under increased scrutiny both concurrent with and following the council; among those teachings was the church's teaching regarding the immorality of contraception.

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Roman Catholic instituted World Youth Day as a "worldwide encounter with the pope" for young people; it is held every two to three years.

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Roman Catholic travelled more than any other pope, visiting 129 countries, and used television and radio as means of spreading the church's teachings.

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Roman Catholic emphasised the dignity of work and natural rights of labourers to have fair wages and safe conditions in Laborem exercens.

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Roman Catholic emphasised several church teachings, including moral exhortations against abortion, euthanasia, and against widespread use of the death penalty, in Evangelium Vitae.

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Roman Catholic was known for upholding traditional Christian values against secularisation, and for increasing use of the Tridentine Mass as found in the Roman Missal of 1962, which he titled the "Extraordinary Form".

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Roman Catholic's resignation has caused controversy among a minority of Catholics who say Benedict did not fully resign the papacy.

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Pope Francis, the current pope of the Roman Catholic Church, succeeded Pope Benedict XVI in 2013 as the first pope from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first Pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.

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Roman Catholic's installation was attended by Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the first time since the Great Schism of 1054 that the Eastern Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has attended a papal installation.

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Roman Catholic Church follows an episcopal polity, led by bishops who have received the sacrament of Holy Orders who are given formal jurisdictions of governance within the church.

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Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church is headed by the pope—currently Pope Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013 by a papal conclave.

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The Roman Catholic Church holds that Christ instituted the papacy upon giving the keys of Heaven to Saint Peter.

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Eastern Roman Catholic Churches follow the traditions and spirituality of Eastern Christianity and are churches that have always remained in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church or who have chosen to re-enter full communion in the centuries following the East–West Schism or earlier divisions.

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Some Eastern Roman Catholic churches are governed by a patriarch who is elected by the synod of the bishops of that church, others are headed by a major archbishop, others are under a metropolitan, and others are organised as individual eparchies.

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The Roman Catholic Curia has a specific department, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, to maintain relations with them.

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Roman Catholic ministers include ordained clergy, lay ecclesial ministers, missionaries, and catechists.

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Roman Catholic doctrine has developed over the centuries, reflecting direct teachings of early Christians, formal definitions of heretical and orthodox beliefs by ecumenical councils and in papal bulls, and theological debate by scholars.

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Sacred Scripture consists of the 73 books of the Roman Catholic Bible, consisting of 46 Old Testament and 27 New Testament writings.

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Roman Catholic doctrine is authoritatively summarised in the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, published by the Holy See.

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Roman Catholic Church holds that there is one eternal God, who exists as a perichoresis of three hypostases, or "persons": God the Father; God the Son; and God the Holy Spirit, which together are called the "Holy Trinity".

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Roman Catholic Church teaches dogmatically that "the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, not as from two principles but as from one single principle".

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Roman Catholic Church teaches that it is the "one true church", "the universal sacrament of salvation for the human race", and "the one true religion".

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The New Testament records several events considered integral to the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church, including Jesus' activities and teaching and his appointment of the apostles as witnesses to his ministry, suffering, and resurrection.

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Roman Catholic belief holds that the church "is the continuing presence of Jesus on earth" and that it alone possesses the full means of salvation.

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Roman Catholic Church teaches that, immediately after death, the soul of each person will receive a particular judgement from God, based on their sins and their relationship to Christ.

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Roman Catholic Church teaches that it was entrusted with seven sacraments that were instituted by Christ.

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In relation to the churches of Eastern Christianity not in communion with the Holy See, the Roman Catholic Church is less restrictive, declaring that "a certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged.

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Roman Catholic Church sees the sacrament of confirmation as required to complete the grace given in baptism.

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The ceremony in which a Roman Catholic first receives the Eucharist is known as First Communion.

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The present ordinary form of Mass in the Roman Catholic Rite, found in the post-1969 editions of the Roman Catholic Missal, is usually celebrated in the local vernacular language, using an officially approved translation from the original text in Latin.

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An instruction issued four years later spoke of the two forms or usages of the Roman Catholic Rite approved by the pope as the ordinary form and the extraordinary form.

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Pope Pius V's Roman Catholic Missal was subjected to minor revisions by Pope Clement VIII in 1604, Pope Urban VIII in 1634, Pope Pius X in 1911, Pope Pius XII in 1955, and Pope John XXIII in 1962.

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Since 2014, clergy in the small personal ordinariates set up for groups of former Anglicans under the terms of the 2009 document Anglicanorum Coetibus are permitted to use a variation of the Roman Catholic Rite called "Divine Worship" or, less formally, "Ordinariate Use", which incorporates elements of the Anglican liturgy and traditions, an accommodation protested by Anglican leaders.

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The Eastern Roman Catholic Churches are groups of faithful who have either never been out of communion with the Holy See or who have restored communion with it at the cost of breaking communion with their associates of the same tradition.

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Rites used by the Eastern Roman Catholic Churches include the Byzantine Rite, in its Antiochian, Greek and Slavonic varieties; the Alexandrian Rite; the Syriac Rite; the Armenian Rite; the Maronite Rite and the Chaldean Rite.

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Eastern Roman Catholic Churches have the autonomy to set the particulars of their liturgical forms and worship, within certain limits to protect the "accurate observance" of their liturgical tradition.

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However, in recent years Eastern Roman Catholic Churches have returned to traditional Eastern practices in accord with the Vatican II decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum.

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Roman Catholic social teaching, reflecting the concern Jesus showed for the impoverished, places a heavy emphasis on the corporal works of mercy and the spiritual works of mercy, namely the support and concern for the sick, the poor and the afflicted.

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Roman Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and medical services in the world.

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Roman Catholic Church calls all members to practise chastity according to their state in life.

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Similarly, the Roman Catholic Church opposes artificial insemination regardless of whether it is homologous or heterologous (from a donor) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF), saying that the artificial process replaces the love and conjugal act between a husband and wife.

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Roman Catholic Church teaches that "homosexual acts" are "contrary to the natural law", "acts of grave depravity" and "under no circumstances can they be approved", but that persons experiencing homosexual tendencies must be accorded respect and dignity.

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Certain dissenting Roman Catholic groups oppose the position of the Roman Catholic Church and seek to change it.

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In defiance of these rulings, opposition groups such as Roman Catholic Womenpriests have performed ceremonies they affirm as sacramental ordinations which, according to canon law, are both illicit and invalid and considered mere simulations of the sacrament of ordination.

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The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith responded by issuing a statement clarifying that any Catholic bishops involved in ordination ceremonies for women, as well as the women themselves if they were Catholic, would automatically receive the penalty of excommunication, citing canon 1378 of canon law and other church laws.

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