The Roman Catholic Church has many different aspects. It evokes a religious institution, a community gathered to pray, a parish, believers taking a stand on the issues of our time, and a place of pilgrimage. The term Church, of Greek origin, designates the assembly of the people summoned. In the context of Christianity, the Church is the community called together in the name of Christ. In this article, we’ll discuss the topic of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic Church is the most important of the Christian Churches. Over the centuries it has affirmed its convictions, its traditions, and its structure. Today, in friendship with the other Churches, it still preserves its originality, and with it a unique culture.
As God’s people, the people of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ, the power of God’s Spirit is the source of the Church’s past, present, and future history. In this sense, the Roman Catholic Church is, like the Kingdom, a communion that is the work of the Holy Spirit in its members, Christians. Through the presence of the risen Christ in it, the church is holy. But it remains, despite everything, through its members, a human and fragile reality, marked by weakness and by different beliefs that can affect believers.
According to the Gospel, Jesus Himself designated one of His apostles, Peter: “You are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my Church. The martyrdom of Peter in Rome then designated the episcopal see of the city as the one around which the unity of the Church and the faith must be affirmed. This is how the primitive Church established the primacy of the bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter, around the first century.
Catholicism, also called the Catholic Church, is the branch of Christianity that recognizes the spiritual and jurisdictional authority of the pope. “Totality and universality” is the ancient Greek meaning of the term katholikos, by which the Church founded by Jesus is designated, from the first century of our era, and then the Church that remained attached to this ancient title after the divisions that appeared within the Christian world.
Roman Catholic Church bases its unity on a community of faith, sacr, aments, and religious life (one Christ, one faith). One, the Catholic faith rests on a triple foundation: Scripture, which is the word of God; Tradition, which is the continuity of divine action; and the Church, the depository and only authorized interpreter of the truth.
Who started Catholicism?
Christ’s teachings were first transmitted orally. The earliest Christian writings, especially Paul’s letters to the communities he founded, were followed by the Gospels of Matthew. Mark, Luke, and also John. Faced with the need to legislate to authenticate, among the many writings then being written, those that were faithful to the teachings of Christ, a corpus was compiled under the name “New Testament”, at the same time as the earlier Jewish writings were renamed “Old Testament”.
According to historical sources, it was the Apostle Peter himself who initiated Catholicism. And after him, the believers who followed him spiritually in the Great Schism that split the current of Christianity in two.
Similarly, in the face of the multiplication of Christian communities that appeared throughout the Mediterranean basin. From the 1st century onwards, the forms of this Church (assemblies) were structured. Which was called to preserve the message of Christ, protecting it from misinterpretation.
How many Catholics are in the world?
The number of Catholic priests stands at 414,336, up more than 271 thousand on 2018. But once again Europe stands out with the biggest drop. By more than 2,608 priests, to a total of 168,328.
There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, out of about two billion Christians. More than 40% of Catholics, or nearly half a billion members, are in Latin America, according to the BBC. As of December 31, 2019, the total number of Catholics was 1,344,403,000, which is 15.41 million more than the previous year, according to figures compiled by Fides, the Catholic missionary information body. Ten years earlier, in 2009, Fides had counted 1.18 billion Catholics.
Europe saw a decrease of 292,000 Catholics to a total of 285.6 million, while Africa saw the biggest increase of more than 8.3 million to 251.5 million.
How many Catholics are in the US?
In the Americas, the number of priests fell by 690 to a total of 121,693, and in Oceania, Catholic priests numbered 4,600. On the other hand, areas, where the number of priests is increasing, are Africa, where 1,649 more people became Catholic priests, bringing the total to 49,461, and Asia, where 1,989 people became Catholic priests, bringing the total to 70,254.
The number of Catholics in the United States is 647.2 million. Latin America has 483 million Catholics or 41.3% of the global Catholic population. Brazil is one of the top Catholic countries on the continent, with 150 million Catholics. Italy is the country with the most Catholics in Europe, with 57 million, and Congo is among the top Catholic countries in Africa, with 36 million.
The number of Catholics also increased in Asia by more than 1.9 million to a total of 149.1 million. In Oceania, the proportion of people of the Catholic faith increased by more than 118,000 to a total of 10.9 million believers. Overall, according to Fides, Catholics make up 17.74% of the world’s population, reports Agerpres.
Why does Catholics pray to Mary?
Mary’s faithfulness and holiness were shown by the fact that she, being “human, with sufferings like ours”, so loved God and gave herself to Him that, because of her purity, she was exalted above the human race. For this reason, being foreknown and foreordained, she was enabled to be cleansed by the Holy Spirit Who descended upon her and to give birth from Him to the Savior of the world Himself.
Catholics pray to the Virgin Mary because she is the mother of the most important Man in the world. The Blessed Virgin is the mother of the Champion of all champions, the King of all kings (Rev 19:16); the mother of the wisest and kindest.
Catholics pray to Mary because they also believe that the Mother of God is always near us and she is a real saint. If the Mother of God was born without original sin and all the passions that derive from it, being an exception, it is not at all to her credit.
10 Catholic Beliefs
According to Article 10 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought. Conscience and religion. This right shall include the freedom to change his religion or belief. And freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private. To manifest his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice, and observance”.
According to Catholic statements, the 10 Catholic faiths are as follows:
1. Catholics despise the Bible. Priests do not allow lay people to read it.
2. Catholic priests are committed to secularism.
3. The true Church has ceased to exist because the Catholic Church has gone bad.
4. The Catholic religion is against science and progress.
5. Religion is for women and children.
6. Protestants have an exemplary moral life.
7. The end of the world is coming soon.
8. Purgatory is an invention of Catholics.
9. Man is saved by faith alone.
10. The veneration of the Virgin Mary is almost as important as that of Jesus.
After the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), the Roman Catholic Church tried to accommodate other religions and religious confessions with a tolerant and peaceful attitude. To this end, after the Council, apologetics, a subject aimed at combating doctrinal errors and heretics, was removed from the theological curriculum. This original orientation of the Church brought with it, on the one hand, great admiration from the other Churches and, on the other, allowed new religious orientations to penetrate the spiritual life of many Catholic communities, especially in Latin America.
Things that you might want to know…
St Peter’s Church in the Vatican is the most famous work of Renaissance architecture and remains one of the greatest churches in the world. Although not the mother church of Catholicism, St Peter’s is considered one of the holiest places on earth when it comes to Catholicism.
The Vatican Roman Catholic Church was built west of the Tiber River, and its central dome dominates the skyline of Rome. The foundation stone was laid in 1506, and the plan of the building was in the shape of an enormous Greek cross. Many artists contributed: Giuliano de Sangallo, Fra Giocondo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and others. St Peter’s Dome stands 136.57 meters high, making it the largest dome in the world.
By Roman Catholic tradition, the basilica is the burial place of St Peter, one of Jesus’ 12 Apostles. Some historical evidence claims that St Peter’s tomb is right under the altar of the church. The religious site is recognized worldwide as a place of pilgrimage and the region where the Pope gives all kinds of lectures to audiences of over 80 000 pilgrims from all over the world.
A major tourist attraction, the smallest in the world, Vatican City occupies an area of 0.44 square kilometers. And serves as a spiritual center for millions of Roman Catholic believers from all over the world.
The City State as it is often called, Vatican City is home to about 800 inhabitants. But none of them are permanent residents. The population of this small area around St. Peter’s Basilica is made up of priests, monks, and guardians. High-ranking dignitaries, and of course the most important resident, the Pope.
Vatican City has not always been so small. In the middle of the 19th century, the Papal State covered an area of over 44,000 square kilometers. In later years, following efforts to unify Italy, most of the existing states became part of Italy. The power of the Pope was restricted and the territory of the Papal State was reduced to the size of the Vatican. In 1929, the Lateran Treaty gave the Vatican autonomy and officially demarcated the area that today attracts millions of tourists annually. Vatican City State is defended by its army, the Swiss Guard.
Vatican City Population
The Vatican, officially the Vatican City State, is a small sovereign state, an enclave in the Italian capital, Rome. At just 0.44 km², the Vatican is the smallest country in the world. Established in 1929, the state is ruled by the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, and can be considered an ecclesiastical state, with important offices held by clerics.
According to the latest census (2019), about 825 people live in the Vatican’s 0.44 km². However, none were born here, as there are no hospitals in the Vatican. The world’s smallest country does, however, have a bank, its mobile phone network, an astronomical observatory, a flag, and a national anthem. It can also issue passports and number plates.
The Pope has supreme legislative, executive and judicial authority over the Vatican State and the Holy See. As sovereign of both entities, he is elected for life by cardinals under the age of 80. He is also assisted in running these two political entities by the Secretary of State and the Governor of Vatican City. They are appointed and dismissed by the Pope. Vatican security is provided by the well-known ‘Swiss Guard’, whose members are chosen voluntarily from Switzerland.
The Vatican library will be protected by artificial intelligence. The 80,000 documents of unmeasurable value are at risk from cyber-attacks. Digitization began in 2012 and so far is at 25%. But this digitization has attracted the interest of hackers. The Vatican has revealed that more than 100 cyber-attacks take place every month on the library founded in 1451 by Pope Nicholas the Fifth.
The Vatican Library is a place where all the Pope’s notes can be stored and archived. However, such a place that hides thousands of documents covers an area of 80 kilometers.
The Vatican has never said what is in these documents. Although over the centuries, information has come to light about the archive that resides at the Vatican. The documents in the archive hide many priceless historical treasures. Such as the papal bull excommunicating Martin Luther, and the letters of Abraham Lincoln. And the dialogues between Jefferson David and Pope Pius IX.
- St Peter’s Church in the Vatican is the most famous work of Renaissance architecture. And remains one of the greatest churches in the world. Although not the mother church of Catholicism, St Peter’s is considered one of the holiest places on earth when it comes to Catholicism.
- By Roman Catholic tradition, the basilica is the burial place of St Peter, one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus. Some historical evidence claims that St Peter’s tomb lies just below the altar of the church. The religious site is recognized worldwide as a place of pilgrimage and the region where the Pope gives all kinds of lectures to audiences of over 80 000 pilgrims from all over the world.
- Half of the world’s Christians are Catholic or 1.3 billion people. 48.6% of Catholics live in Latin America, and 22% of Catholics live in Europe.
The Roman Catholic Church foundation for papal primacy is its claim to St Peter, Prince of the Apostles. Who was killed by the Romans during the persecution of Christians? And buried right where St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican now stands.
Everything in the Catholic Church, ecclesiastical hierarchy, ceremonies. Doctrines and practices ultimately spring from the Eucharist, and all point to the Eucharist. And without it, they have no purpose. Since the Eucharist is the main way in which God comes to us. Which is the main way in which He offers His Grace. Without the Eucharist, the Church ceases to be the Church. Its importance simply cannot be overestimated.
We, the Christians concede that only God the Son was born without sin. For this reason, being foreknown and foreordained, it was enabled to be cleansed by the Holy Spirit. Who descended upon her and to give birth from Him to the Savior of the world Himself.