The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world’s largest Christian church, with more than one billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ,[2HP Pavilion DV4-1123US Battery
] administering the sacraments and exercising charity.
The Catholic Church is among the oldest institutions in the world and has played a prominent role in the history of Western civilisation.[
HP Pavilion DV5-2134US Battery] It teaches that it is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are the successors of Christ’s apostles and that the Pope is the sole successor to Saint Peter.[note 1][note 2][note 3] 5
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Catholic doctrine maintains that the Church is infallible when it dogmatically teaches a doctrine of faith or morals.[note 4] Catholic worship is centred on the Eucharist in which the Church teaches that bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. HP Pavilion DV4-1144US Battery
The Church holds the Blessed Virgin Mary in special regard. Catholic beliefs concerning Mary include her Immaculate Conception without original sin, her Motherhood of God  and her bodily Assumption into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.[note 5] HP Pavilion DV4-1220US Battery
Further information: Roman Catholic (term) and Catholic (Christian terminology)
The term “catholic”, derived from the Greek word καθολικός (katholikos) which means “universal” or “general”, was first used to describe the Church in the early 2nd century. The term katholikos is equivalent to καθόλου (katholou),
HP Pavilion DV5-1250US Batterya contraction of the phrase καθ’ ὅλου (kath’ holou) meaning “according to the whole”. Thus the full name Catholic Church roughly means “universal” or “whole” church.
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The combination “the Catholic Church” (he katholike ekklesia) is found for the first time in the letter of St Ignatius, written about the year 110. The words run: “Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus may be, there is the universal [katholike] Church.”
HP Pavilion DV5-1002US Battery Later, in the “Catechetical Discourses” of St. Cyril of Jerusalem the name “Catholic Church” is used to distinguish it from other groups that also call themselves the church: St Cyril writes, “And if ever thou art sojourning in any city, inquire not simply where the Lord’s House is (for the other sects of the profane also attempt to call their own dens houses of the Lord) nor merely where the Church is,
HP Pavilion DV5-1000US Battery but where is the Catholic Church. For this is the peculiar name of this Holy Church, the mother of us all, which is the spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God”.
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Since the East-West Schism of 1054, the churches that remained in communion with the See of Rome (the diocese of Rome and its bishop, the Pope, the primal patriarch) continued to call itself “Catholic”, while the Eastern churches that rejected the Pope’s primal authority have generally been known as “Orthodox” or “Eastern Orthodox”.[
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19] Following the Reformation in the 16th century, the Church continued to use the term “Catholic” to distinguish itself from the various Protestant denominations that split off.
The name “Catholic Church” is the most common designation used in official church documents (e.g., the Catechism of the Catholic Church).
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It is also the term which Paul VI used when signing the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council. However, Church documents produced by both the Holy See and by certain national episcopal conferences
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occasionally refer to the Church by the name Roman Catholic Church. The Catechism of Pope Pius X published in 1908 also used the term “Roman” to distinguish the Catholic Church from other Christian communities who are not in full communion with Rome. HP Pavilion DV4-1227US Battery
The Church holds that Christ instituted the papacy, upon giving the keys of Heaven to Saint Peter. Represented in a painting by Pietro Perugino.
The Church’s hierarchy is headed by the Bishop of Rome, the pope, a position which makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church (which is composed of the Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the see of Rome). HP Pavilion DV4-1280US Battery
HP Pavilion DV4-1281US BatteryThe current office-holder is Pope Benedict XVI, who was elected in a papal conclave on 19 April 2005.[note 6]
The office of the pope is known as the Papacy. His ecclesiastical jurisdiction is often called the “Holy See” (Sancta Sedes in Latin), or the “Apostolic See” (meaning the see of the Apostle Saint Peter). Directly serving the Pope is the Roman Curia, HP Pavilion DV6-1030US Battery
the central governing body that administers the day-to-day business of the Catholic Church. The pope is also head of state of Vatican City State, a sovereign city-state entirely enclaved within the city of Rome.
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Following the death or resignation of a pope,[note 7] members of the College of Cardinals who are under age 80 meet in the Sistine Chapel in Rome to elect a new pope.[ HP Pavilion DV6-1050US Battery
HP Pavilion DV6-3240US Battery29] The position of cardinal is a rank of honour bestowed by popes on certain ecclesiastics, such as leaders within the Roman Curia, bishops serving in major cities and distinguished theologians. Although this election, known as a papal conclave, can theoretically elect any male Catholic as pope, since 1389 only fellow cardinals have been elevated to that position.
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For advice and assistance in governing, the Pope may turn to the College of Cardinals, the next highest level in the hierarchy.
Autonomous particular churches
Main articles: Latin Church and Eastern Catholic Churches
The Catholic Church is made up of 23 autonomous particular churches, each of which accepts the paramountcy of the Bishop of Rome on matters of doctrine. HP Pavilion DV6-1122US Battery
HP Pavilion DV6-3216US Battery  These churches, also known by the Latin term sui iuris churches, are communities of Catholic Christians whose forms of worship reflect different historical and cultural influences rather than differences in doctrine. In general, each sui iuris church is headed by a patriarch or high ranking bishop,[3
HP Pavilion DV6-3210US Battery3] and has a degree of self-governance over the particulars of its internal organisation, liturgical rites, liturgical calendar and other aspects of its spirituality.
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The largest of the particular churches is the Latin Church which reports over one billion members. It developed in western Europe and North Africa before spreading throughout the world. The Latin Church considered itself to be the oldest and largest branch of Western Christianity,[
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34] a heritage of certain beliefs and customs originating in Western Europe that are also shared by many Christian denominations that trace their origins to the Protestant Reformation.
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Relatively small in terms of adherents compared to the Latin Church, but important to the overall structure of the Church, are the 22 self-governing Eastern Catholic Churches with a membership of 17.3 million as of 2010.
HP Pavilion DV6-3140US BatteryThe Eastern Catholic Churches follow the traditions and spirituality of Eastern Christianity and are composed of Eastern Christians who have always remained in full communion with the Catholic Church or who have chosen to reenter full communion in the centuries following the East-West Schism and earlier divisions.
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Some Eastern 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 consist of individual eparchies.[39
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] The Roman Curia has a specific department, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, to maintain relations with them.
Examples of Eastern Catholic Churches can be found in the side bar “Major Sui Iuris Churches”.
Part of a series on
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Dioceses, parishes and religious orders
Individual countries, regions, or major cities are served by local particular churches known as dioceses or eparchies, each overseen by a Catholic bishop. Each diocese is united with one of the worldwide “sui iuris” particular churches, such as the Latin Church, or one of the many Eastern Catholic Churches. As of 2008,
HP Pavilion DV6-3040US Battery the Catholic Church altogether comprised 2,795 dioceses. The bishops in a particular country or region are often organised into an episcopal conference, which aids in maintaining a uniform style of worship and co-ordination of social justice programmes within the areas served by member bishops.
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Dioceses are further divided into numerous individual communities called parishes, each staffed by one or more priests, deacons, and/or lay ecclesial ministers. Parishes are responsible for the day to day celebration of the sacraments and pastoral care of the Catholic laity.
Ordained Catholics, as well as members of the laity, may enter into consecrated life either on an individual basis, as a hermit or consecrated virgin,
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or by joining an institute of consecrated life (a religious institute or a secular institute) in which to take vows confirming their desire to follow the three evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience. Examples of institutes of consecrated life are the Benedictines, the Carmelites, the Dominicans, the Franciscans, the Missionaries of Charity and the Sisters of Mercy.[4HP Pavilion DV6-1230US Battery
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Further information: Catholicism by country
Total church membership (both lay and clerical) in 2007 was 1.147 billion people, increasing from the 1950 figure of 437 million and the 1970 figure of 654 million. On 31 December 2008, membership was 1.166 billion, HP Pavilion DV6-1240US Battery
an increase of 11.54% over the same date in 2000, only slightly greater than the rate of increase of the world population (10.77%).
HP Pavilion DV6-3010US Battery The increase was 33.02% in Africa, but only 1.17% in Europe. It was 15.91% in Asia, 11.39% in Oceania, and 10.93% in the Americas. As a result, Catholics were 17.77% of the total population in Africa, 63.10% in the Americas, 3.05% in Asia, 39.97% in Europe, 26.21% in Oceania, and 17.40% of the world population. HP Pavilion DV6-1250US Battery
Of the world’s Catholics, the proportion living in Africa grew from 12.44% in 2000 to 14.84% in 2008, while those living in Europe fell from 26.81% to 24.31%. Membership in the Catholic Church is attained through baptism or reception into the Church (for individuals previously baptised in non-Catholic Christian churches).[4
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] For some years until 2009, if someone formally left the Church, that fact was noted in the register of the person’s baptism.
At the end of 2007, Vatican records listed 408,024 Catholic priests in the world, 762 more than at the beginning of the year. The main growth areas have been Asia and Africa, with 21.1 per cent and 27.6 per cent growth respectively.
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In North and South America, numbers have remained approximately the same, while there was a 6.8 per cent decline in Europe and a 5.5 per cent decrease in Oceania from 2000 to 2007.
Worship and liturgy
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Main article: Catholic liturgy
Altar in St Mary’s Church in Alexandria, Virginia. The altar is at the centre of Catholic worship because it is there that the “Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” takes place.
Among the 23 autonomous (sui iuris) churches, numerous forms of worship and liturgical traditions exist, called “rites”,
HP Pavilion DV6-2157US Batterywhich reflect historical and cultural diversity rather than differences in belief. In the definition of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, “a rite is the liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony, culture and circumstances of history of a distinct people, by which its own manner of living the faith is manifested in each Church sui iuris”, but the term is often limited to liturgical patrimony. HP Pavilion DV6-1280US Battery
The most commonly used liturgy is the Roman Rite, but even in the Latin Catholic Church a few other rites are in use, and the Eastern Catholic Churches have distinct rites.
Celebration of the Eucharist
In all rites the Mass, or Divine Liturgy, is the centre of Catholic worship. The Catholic Church teaches that at each Mass the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ by the words of consecration spoken by the priest. HP Pavilion DV6-2043US Battery
The Latin Church teaches that this happens by transubstantiation. The words of consecration are drawn from the three synoptic Gospels and a Pauline letter. The Church teaches that Christ established a New Covenant with humanity through the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, as described in these biblical verses. HP Pavilion DV7-1020US Battery
Hoc est enim corpus meum…
— Roman Missal, during the words of consecration (Latin). 
Because the Church teaches that Christ is present in the Eucharist, there are strict rules about who may confect and who may receive the Eucharist. The sacrament can only be celebrated by an ordained Catholic priest or bishop.
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HP Pavilion DV7-1270US Battery Those who are conscious of being in a state of mortal sin are forbidden from receiving the sacrament until they have received absolution through the sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance). Catholics are normally obliged to abstain from eating for at least an hour before receiving the sacrament.
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Catholics are not permitted to receive the Eucharist as celebrated in Protestant churches, which in the view of the Catholic Church lack the sacrament of Holy Orders, and thus also lack a valid Eucharist. Likewise, Protestants are not normally permitted to receive communion in the Catholic Church.
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This is because unity with the Catholic faith is seen as necessary before one can partake of the Church’s sacraments. In relation to the churches of Eastern Christianity not in communion with the Holy See,
HP Pavilion DV7-1170US Battery the 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.”
Tridentine Mass in a chapel of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston in April 2009. This ancient form of the Roman Rite dates back to 1570; most elements are centuries older
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The Roman Rite is the most common rite of worship used by the Catholic Church. Its use is found worldwide, spread by missionary activity originating in European Catholic nations throughout Christian history.
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Two forms of the Roman Rite are authorised at present: that of the post-1969 editions of the Roman Missal (Mass of Paul VI), which is now the ordinary form of the rite and is celebrated mostly in the vernacular, i.e., the language of the people; and that of the 1962 edition (the Tridentine Mass), now an extraordinary form.[note 8] HP Pavilion DV7-1130US Battery
HP Pavilion DV7-1134US Battery An outline of the major liturgical elements of Roman Rite Mass can be found in the side bar.
In the United States, “Anglican Use” parishes have been created. They use a variation of the Roman rite that retains some of the wording of the Anglican liturgical rites.[note 9] Implementation is expected of the authorisation granted in 2009 for the creation wherever appropriate of ordinariates for groups of Anglicans who have been approved for entrance into the Catholic Church and who may in the future use a rite that incorporates elements of Anglican tradition.
HP Pavilion DV4-1028US BatteryOther Western liturgical rites (non-Roman) include the Ambrosian Rite and the Mozarabic Rite.
Eastern liturgical rites
An Eastern Catholic bishop of the Syro-Malabar Church holding the Mar Thoma Cross which symbolises the heritage and identity of the Saint Thomas Christians of India
The liturgical rites of the Eastern Catholic Churches are very similar to, HP Pavilion DV7-1444US Battery
and often identical with, the rites used by the Eastern Orthodox and other Eastern Christian churches which historically developed in Russia, Caucasus and the Balkans, Northeastern Africa and the Middle East,
HP Pavilion DV4-1020US Battery but are no longer in communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. The Eastern Catholic Churches are either groups of faithful which have restored full communion with the Bishop of Rome, while preserving their identity as Eastern Christians, or groups with which full communion has never been broken.
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The rites used by the Eastern 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. In the past some of the rites used by the Eastern Catholic Churches were subject to some degree of liturgical Latinisation.
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However, in recent years Eastern Catholic Churches have returned to traditional Eastern practices in accord with the Vatican II decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum. Each church has its own liturgical calendar. HP Pavilion DV7-1450US Battery
See also: Catholic theology and Catholic social teaching
The fundamental beliefs of the Christian religion are summarised in the Nicene Creed. For Catholics, they are detailed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Based on the promises of Christ in the Gospels, HP Pavilion DV7-2040US Battery
the Church believes that it is continually guided by the Holy Spirit and so protected infallibly from falling into doctrinal error. The Catholic Church teaches that the Holy Spirit reveals God’s truth through Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium.[63HP Pavilion DV7-2111US Battery
Sacred Scripture consists of the 73 book Catholic Bible. This is made up of the 46 books found in the ancient Greek version of the Old Testament—known as the Septuagint—and the 27 New Testament writings first found in the Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209 and listed in Athanasius’ Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter.[6
HP Pavilion DV7-3160US Battery5][note 10] Sacred Tradition consists of those teachings believed by the Church to have been handed down since the time of the Apostles. Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are collectively known as the “deposit of faith” (depositum fidei). These are in turn interpreted by the Magisterium (from magister,
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Latin for “teacher”), the Church’s teaching authority, which is exercised by the Pope and the College of Bishops in union with the Pope, the bishop of Rome. HP Pavilion DV7-2170US Battery
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Crucifixion of Christ
by Albrecht Altdorfer, 1526
The Catholic Church holds that there is one eternal God, who exists as a mutual indwelling of three persons: God the Father; God the Son; and the Holy Spirit, which make up the Trinity.
Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, God the Son. HP Pavilion DV7-2270US Battery
In an event known as the Incarnation, through the power of the Holy Spirit, God became united with human nature through the conception of Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Christ therefore is both fully divine and fully human. HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery
It is taught that Christ’s mission on earth included giving people his teachings and providing his example for them to follow as recorded in the four Gospels. HP Pavilion DV7-3060US Battery
The Church teaches that through the passion (suffering) of Christ and his crucifixion as described in the Gospels, all people have an opportunity for forgiveness and freedom from sin, and so can be reconciled to God.
HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Battery The Resurrection of Jesus gained for humans a possible spiritual immortality previously denied to them because of original sin. By reconciling with God and following Christ’s words and deeds, an individual can enter the Kingdom of God, which is the “… reign of God over people’s hearts and lives”. HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery
The Greek term “Christ” and the Hebrew “Messiah” both mean “anointed one”, referring to the Christian belief that Jesus’ death and resurrection are the fulfillment of the Old Testament’s Messianic prophecies.
According to the Catechism, the Catholic Church professes to be the “sole Church of Christ”, which is described in the Nicene Creed as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. The church teaches that its founder is Jesus Christ, who appointed the twelve Apostles to continue his work as the Church’s earliest bishops. Catholic belief holds that the Church “is the continuing presence of Jesus on earth”,[7
HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery5] and that all duly consecrated bishops have a lineal succession from the apostles. In particular, the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), is considered the successor to the apostle Simon Peter, from whom the Pope derives his supremacy over the Church. The Church is further described in the papal encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi as the Mystical Body of Christ.
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The Church teaches that the fullness of the “means of salvation” exists only in the Catholic Church, but the Church acknowledges that the Holy Spirit can make use of Christian communities separated from itself to “impel towards Catholic unity” and thus bring people to salvation.
HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery It teaches that anyone who is saved is saved through the Church but that people can be saved ex voto and by pre-baptismal martyrdom as well as when conditions of invincible ignorance are present, although invincible ignorance in itself is not a means of salvation.
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Main article: Sacraments of the Catholic Church
A priest during a baptism in Italy
According to the Council of Trent, Christ instituted seven sacraments and entrusted them to the Church. These are Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance), Anointing of the Sick (formerly called Extreme Unction,
HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery one of the “Last Rites”), Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony. Sacraments are visible rituals that Catholics see as signs of God’s presence and effective channels of God’s grace to all those who receive them with the proper disposition (ex opere operato). The Catechism of the Catholic Church categorises the sacraments into three groups, HP Pavilion DV5-1030EE Battery
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the “sacraments of Christian initiation”, “sacraments of healing” and “sacraments at the service of communion and the mission of the faithful”. These groups broadly reflect the stages of people’s natural and spiritual lives which each sacrament is intended to serve. HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery
Sacraments of Christian initiation
Main article: Sacraments of Initiation
As viewed by the Catholic Church, Baptism is the first of three sacraments of initiation as a Christian. It washes away all sins, both original sin and personal actual sins. It makes a person a member of the Church. As a gratuitous gift of God that requires no merit on the part of the person who is baptised, it is conferred even on children, HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery
 who, though they have no personal sins, need it on account of original sin. If a new-born child is in a danger of death, anyone – be it a doctor, a nurse, or a parent – may baptise the child. Baptism marks a person permanently and cannot be repeated.[87
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] The Catholic Church recognises as valid baptisms conferred even by people who are not Catholics or Christians, provided that they intend to baptise (“to do what the Church does when she baptises”) and that they use the Trinitarian baptismal formula. HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Eucharist at the canonization of Frei Galvão in São Paulo, Brazil on 11 May 2007
The Catholic Church sees the sacrament of confirmation as required to complete the grace given in baptism. When adults are baptised, HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery
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confirmation is normally given immediately afterwards, a practice followed even for infants in the Eastern Catholic Church. In the West confirmation of children is delayed until they are old enough to understand or even until they are in their teens. In Western Christianity, particularly Catholicism, the sacrament is called confirmation, because it confirms and strengthens the grace of baptism;
HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Batteryin the Eastern Church, it is called chrismation, because the essential rite is the anointing of the person with chrism, a mixture of olive oil and some perfumed substance, usually balsam, blessed by a bishop.[9
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4] Those who receive confirmation must be in a state of grace, which for those who have reached the age of reason means that they should first be cleansed spiritually by the sacrament of Penance; they should also have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to show in their lives that they are Christians. HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery
For Catholics, the Eucharist is the sacrament which completes Christian initiation, is the perpetuation of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and a banquet in which Christ himself is consumed. The Eucharistic sacrifice always includes prayers, readings from the Bible, consecration of wheat bread and grape wine, HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery
and communion by at least some of the participants (in particular the priest) in the consecrated elements, which by the consecration become, in a way surpassing understanding, the body and blood of Jesus Christ, a change known as transubstantiation. The ceremony in which a Catholic first receives the Eucharist is known as First Communion. HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery
Sacraments of healing
A Catholic believer prays in a church in Mexico.
The sacrament of penance (also called reconciliation, forgiveness, confession and conversion) exists for the conversion of those who, after baptism, separate themselves from Christ by sin. Essential to this sacrament are acts both by the sinner (examination of conscience, contrition with a determination not to sin again,
HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery confession to a priest, and performance of some act to repair the damage caused by sin) and by the priest (determination of the act of reparation to be performed and absolution). Serious sins (mortal sins) must be confessed within at most a year and always before receiving Holy Communion,
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while confession of venial sins also is recommended. The priest is bound under the severest penalties to maintain the “seal of confession”, absolute secrecy about any sins revealed to him in confession.
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Anointing of the Sick
While chrism is used only for the three sacraments that cannot be repeated (baptism, confirmation, ordination), a different oil is used by a priest or bishop to bless a Catholic who, because of illness or old age, has begun to be in danger of death. This sacrament, known as Anointing of the Sick, is believed to give comfort,
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peace, courage and, if the sick person is unable to make a confession, even forgiveness of sins. Although it is not reserved for those in proximate danger of death, it is often administered as one of the Last Rites.
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Sacraments at the service of communion
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church there are two sacraments of communion directed towards the salvation of others: priesthood and marriage (CCC 1534). Within the general vocation to be a Christian,
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these two sacraments consecrate to specific mission or vocation among the people of God. Men receive the holy orders to feed the Church by the word and grace. Spouses marry so that their love may be fortified to fulfil duties of their state (CCC 1535). HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery
Holy Orders is a sacrament in three degrees or orders, episcopate (bishops), presbyterate (priests) and diaconate (deacons), which consecrates and deputes some Christians to serve the whole body by these specific titles.[109HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery] The Church has defined rules on who may be ordained into the clergy. In the Latin Rite, the priesthood and diaconate are generally restricted to celibate men. Men who are already married may be ordained in the Eastern Catholic Churches in most countries,[112HP Pavilion DV7-1000EA Battery
] and may become deacons even in the Western Church (see Clerical marriage). But after becoming a Roman Catholic priest, a man may not get married (see Clerical celibacy) unless he is later formally laicised.
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All clergy, whether deacons, priests or bishops, may preach, teach, baptise, witness marriages and conduct funeral liturgies. Only bishops and priests can administer the sacraments of the Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance) and Anointing of the Sick. Only bishops can administer the sacrament of Holy Orders, which ordains someone into the clergy. HP Pavilion DV7-1001EA Battery
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Marriage, understood as an indissoluble union between a man and a woman, if entered into validly by any baptised man and baptised woman, is considered a sacrament by the Catholic Church. The church does not recognise divorce as ending a valid marriage and allows state recognised divorce only as a means of protecting children or property,
HP Pavilion DV7-1211EA Batterywithout allowing remarriage following such a divorce. Apart from the requirements, such as freedom of consent, that it sees as applicable to all, the church has established certain specific requirements for the validity of marriages by Catholics. Failure to observe the Church’s regulations,
HP Pavilion DV7-1213EA Battery as well as defects applicable to all marriages, may be grounds for a church declaration of the invalidity of a marriage, a declaration usually referred to as an annulment.
Judgement after death
The Church teaches that, immediately after death, the soul of each person will receive a particular judgment from God.[12
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1] This teaching also attests to another day when Christ will sit in a universal judgment of all mankind. This final judgment, according to Church teaching, will bring an end to human history and mark the beginning of a new and better heaven and earth ruled by God in righteousness.[121
HP Pavilion DV7-3178CA Battery] The basis on which each person’s soul is judged is detailed in the Gospel of Matthew, which lists works of mercy to be performed even to people considered “the least of Christ’s brothers”.[122
HP Pavilion DV7-1125EA Battery] Emphasis is upon Christ’s words that “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”.
According to the Catechism, “The Last Judgement will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life.” Depending on the judgement rendered, a soul may enter one of three states of afterlife: HP Pavilion DV7-1014CA Battery
Heaven is a time of glorious union with God and a life of unspeakable joy that lasts forever.
Purgatory is a temporary condition for the purification of souls who, although saved, are not free enough from sin to enter directly into heaven. Souls in purgatory may be aided in reaching heaven by the prayers of the faithful on earth and by the intercession of saints. HP Pavilion DV7-1002EA Battery
Final Damnation: Finally, those who persist in living in a state of mortal sin and do not repent before death subject themselves to hell, an everlasting separation from God. The Church teaches that no one is condemned to hell without having freely decided to reject God. No one is predestined to hell and no one can determine whether anyone else has been condemned.[1
HP Pavilion DV7-1130EA Battery21] Catholicism teaches that through God’s mercy a person can repent at any point before death and be saved. Some Catholic theologians have speculated that the souls of unbaptised infants who die in original sin are assigned to limbo although this is not an official doctrine of the Church.
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The Blessed Virgin Mary is highly regarded in the Catholic Church, proclaiming her as Mother of God, sinless, free from original sin and as an intercessor.
Main articles: Blessed Virgin Mary (Roman Catholic) and Roman Catholic Mariology
See also: Mary (mother of Jesus)
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Devotions to Mary are part of Catholic piety but are distinct from the worship of God. The Church holds Mary, as Perpetual Virgin and Mother of God, in special regard. Catholic beliefs concerning Mary include her Immaculate Conception without the stain of original sin and bodily assumption into heaven at the end of her life,
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both of which have been infallibly defined as dogma, by Pope Pius IX in 1854 and Pope Pius XII in 1950 respectively.
Mariology deals not only with her life but also her veneration in daily life, prayer and Marian art, music and architecture. Several liturgical Marian feasts are celebrated throughout the Church Year and she is honoured with many titles such as Queen of Heaven. Pope Paul VI called her Mother of the Church because,
HP Pavilion DV7-1008EG Battery by giving birth to Christ, she is considered to be the spiritual mother to each member of the Body of Christ. Because of her influential role in the life of Jesus, prayers and devotions such as the Rosary, the Hail Mary, the Salve Regina and the Memorare are common Catholic practices.
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The Church has affirmed certain Marian apparitions, as at Lourdes, Fátima, Guadalupe and the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. Pilgrimages to these sites are popular Catholic devotions.
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Main article: History of the Catholic Church
See also: Early history of Christianity and Historiography of early Christianity
This detail of a fresco (1481–82) by Pietro Perugino in the Sistine chapel shows Jesus giving the keys of heaven to Saint Peter.
Catholic tradition and doctrine hold that the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD in Judea within the Roman Empire. The New Testament records Jesus’ activities and teaching, his appointment of the twelve Apostles and his instructions to them to continue his work.
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The Catholic Church teaches that the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, in an event known as Pentecost, signalled the beginning of the public ministry of the Catholic Church. Catholic doctrine teaches that the contemporary Catholic Church is the continuation of this early Christian community.
HP Pavilion DV7-1075LA Battery It interprets the Confession of Peter found in the Gospel of Matthew as Christ’s designation of Saint Peter the Apostle and his successors, the Bishops of Rome to be the temporal head of his Church, a doctrine known as apostolic succession.
Spread throughout the Roman Empire
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Conditions in the Roman Empire facilitated the spread of new ideas. The empire’s well-defined network of roads and waterways allowed for easier travel, while the Pax Romana made it safe to travel from one region to another.
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The government had encouraged inhabitants, especially those in urban areas, to learn Greek, and the common language allowed ideas to be more easily expressed and understood. Unlike most religions in the Roman Empire, however, Christianity required its adherents to renounce all other gods, a practice adopted from Judaism (see Idolatry). HP Pavilion DV7-1020EA Battery
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.
HP Pavilion DV7-1050EA BatteryThe resulting persecutions were a defining feature of Christian self-understanding until Christianity was legalised in the 4th century.
In 313, the struggles of the Early Church were lessened by the legalisation of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine I. In 380, HP Pavilion DV7-1003EA BatteryChristianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire by the decree of the Emperor, which would persist until the fall of the Western Roman Empire and, later, with the Eastern Roman Empire until the Fall of Constantinople. During this time (the period of the Seven Ecumenical Councils) there were considered five primary sees according to Eusebius: Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria, known as the Pentarchy. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery
After the destruction of the Western Roman Empire, the Western Christianity was a major factor in the preservation of classical civilisation, establishing monasteries and sending missionaries to convert the peoples of northern Europe as far as Ireland in the north. In the Eastern Christianity,
Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Batterythe Byzantine Empire preserved Orthodoxy well after the massive invasions of Islam in the mid-7th century. The invasions of Islam devastated three of the five Patriarchal sees, capturing Jerusalem first, then Alexandria, and then finally, in the mid-8th century, Antioch.
Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P BatteryThe whole period of the next five centuries was dominated by the struggle between Christianity and Islam throughout the Mediterranean Basin. The battles of Poitiers and Toulouse preserved the Catholic tradition even though Rome itself was ravaged in 850 and Constantinople was besieged.
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Doctrinal disputes and schisms
See also: Criticism of Catholic actions in history
In the 11th century, already strained relations between the primarily Greek church and the Latin church in the developed into the Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity respectively, partially due to conflicts over Papal authority.
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The fourth crusade and the sacking of Constantinople by renegade crusaders proved the final breach. In the 16th century, in response to the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church engaged in a process of substantial reform and renewal, known as the Counter-Reformation.[14
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1] In subsequent centuries, Catholicism spread widely across the world despite experiencing a reduction in its hold on European populations due to the growth of religious scepticism during and after the Enlightenment.
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In 1854 Pope Pius IX with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic bishops, whom he had consulted from 1851 to 1853, proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In 1870, the First Vatican Council affirmed the doctrine of papal infallibility when exercised in specifically defined pronouncements.
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 Controversy over this and other issues resulted in a breakaway movement called the Old Catholic Church.
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council in the 1960s introduced the most significant changes to Catholic practices since the Council of Trent four centuries before. Initiated by Pope John XXIII, this ecumenical council modernised the practices of the Catholic Church,
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allowing the Mass to be said in the vernacular (local language), and encouraging “fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations.” It intended to engage the Church more closely with the present world (aggiornamento), which was described by its advocates as an “opening of the windows”.
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In addition to changes in the liturgy, it led to changes to the Church’s approach to ecumenism, and a call to improved relations with non-Christian religions, especially Judaism, in its document Nostra Aetate.
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The Council, however, generated significant controversy in implementing its reforms; proponents of the “Spirit of Vatican II” such as Swiss theologian Hans Küng claimed Vatican II had “not gone far enough” to change church policies.[ Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery
150] Traditionalist Catholics, such as Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, however, strongly criticised the council, arguing that the council’s liturgical reforms led “to the destruction of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments,” among other issues. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery
Pope John Paul II recognised the need to evangelise an increasingly secular world and used new means to reach the faithful. He instituted World Youth Day, a “worldwide encounter with the Pope”, for young people from all over the world which is celebrated every two to three years. He travelled more than any other pope, Sony Vaio VGN-NW21MF Battery
visiting 129 countries and preaching the Gospel in nearly every part of the world. He also used television and radio as means of spreading the Gospel. Sony Vaio VGN-NW21EF Battery
Main article: History of the Catholic Church since 1962
See also: Criticism of the Catholic Church
Pope John Paul II with U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
Social justice issues
Main article: Catholic social teaching
In 1978, Pope John Paul II, formerly archbishop of Kraków in then-Communist Poland, became the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years. His 27-year pontificate was one of the longest in history. Mikhail Gorbachev,
Sony Vaio VGN-NW31EF Batterythe president of the Soviet Union, credited the Polish pope with hastening the fall of Communism in Europe.
The Catholic nun Mother Teresa of Calcutta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work among India’s poor.[ Sony Vaio VGN-NW21ZF Battery
56] Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo won the same award in 1996 for “work towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor”.
Sexuality and gender issues
See also: Catholic teachings on sexual morality and Catholic ordination of women
Soon after the close of the Second Vatican Council, Church teachings about sexuality became an issue of increasing controversy due to changing cultural attitudes in the Western world (see the Sexual Revolution). In his encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968) 1Sony Vaio VGN-NW21JF Battery
, Pope Paul VI rejected all artificial contraception (though he permitted the regulation of births by means of natural family planning), contradicting those voices in the Church that saw at the time the birth control pill as an ethically justifiable method of contraception. Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M/H Battery
This teaching was continued especially by John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, where he decried contraception and abortion as well as euthanasia as symptoms of a “culture of death” and called for a “culture of life”.
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Efforts in support of the ordination of women led to several rulings by the Roman Curia or Popes against the proposal, as in Declaration on the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (1976),
Sony Vaio VGN-AW11SR/B BatteryMulieris Dignitatem (1988) and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (1994). According to the latest ruling, found in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II concluded, “I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”[16Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S/B Battery
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0] In defiance of these rulings, opposition groups such as Roman Catholic Womenpriests have performed alleged ordination ceremonies (with, reputedly, an ordaining male Catholic bishop in the first few instances) which, according to canon law, are both illicit and invalid and considered mere simulations[16
Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M Battery1] of the sacrament of Ordination.[note 11] 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,
Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S Batterywould automatically receive the penalty of excommunication (latae sententiae, literally “sentence passed”, i.e. automatically), citing canon 1378 of canon law and other church laws.
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Sex abuse cases
Main article: Catholic sex abuse cases
In the 1990s and 2000s, the issue of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy became the subject of media coverage and public debate in the United States, Ireland, Australia and other countries. The Church was criticised for its handling of abuse complaints when it became known that some bishops had shielded accused priests,
Sony Vaio VGN-AW41JF/H Batterytransferring them to other pastoral assignments where some continued to commit sexual offences. In response to the scandal, the Church has established formal procedures to prevent abuse, encourage reporting of any abuse that occurs and to handle such reports promptly, although groups representing victims have disputed their effectiveness. In September 2011,
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a submission was lodged with the International Criminal Court alleging that the Pope, Cardinal Angelo Sodano dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone Vatican Secretary of State and Cardinal William Levada head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, had committed a crime against humanity by failing to prevent or punish perpetrators of rape and sexual violence in a “systematic and widespread” concealment which included failure to co-operate with relevant law enforcement agencies.[165Sony Vaio VGN-AW21Z/B Battery
] In a statement to the Associated Press, the Vatican described this as a “ludicrous publicity stunt and a misuse of international judicial processes.” Lawyers and law professors emphasised that the case is likely to fall outside the court’s jurisdiction.  Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZS/B Battery
The Pope (from Latin: papa; from Greek: πάππας (pappas), a child’s word for father) is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle. The current office-holder is Pope Benedict XVI, who was elected in a papal conclave on 19 April 2005.[nb 1] Sony Vaio VGN-AW41ZF/H Battery
The office of the pope is known as the papacy. His ecclesiastical jurisdiction is often called the “Holy See” (Sancta Sedes in Latin), or the “Apostolic See” based upon the Church tradition that the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul were martyred in Rome. Sony Vaio VGN-AW41XH/Q Battery
The pope is also head of state of Vatican City, a sovereign city-state entirely enclaved within the city of Rome.
The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and had a prominent part in human history.[5
Sony VGP-BPS21A/b Battery] The Popes in ancient times helped in the spread of Christianity and resolve various doctrinal disputes. In the Middle Ages they played a role of secular importance in Western Europe, often serving as referees between the monarchs and averting several wars. Currently,
Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery in addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes are dedicated to ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, charitable work, and the defense of human rights.
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Having been gradually forced to give up temporal power, popes now focus almost exclusively on religious matters. Over the centuries, papal claims of spiritual authority have been ever more clearly expressed, culminating in 1870 with the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra—literally “from the chair (of St. Peter)”—to issue a formal definition of faith or morals.
Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery The first explicit such occasion (after the proclamation), and so far the last, was in 1950, with the definition of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary.
The word pope derives from Greek πάππας meaning “Father”. This title was first assumed by the Patriarchs of Alexandria, long before it was assumed by the Bishops of Rome. In fact, the first to carry the title of pope was the Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Heracleus (232–49 AD), Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery
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the 13th Alexandrine Patriarch. Papa has been the specific designation for the Archbishop of Alexandria, Patriarch of Egypt, and the See of Saint Mark, whose ecclessiastic title is “Papa Abba”, the Abba stands for the devotion of all monastics, from Pentapolis in the West to Constantinople in the East, to his guidance.
Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13B/Q BatteryAbba is the most powerful designation, that for all monks in the East to voluntarily follow his spiritual authority. The first record in history of the term “pope” is assigned to Pope Heraclas of Alexandria in a letter written by the bishop of Rome, Dionysius, to
I received this rule and ordinance from our blessed pope, Heraclas. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13A/B Battery
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest recorded use of the title “pope” in English is in an Old English translation (c. 950) of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People:
Þa wæs in þa tid Uitalius papa þæs apostolican seðles aldorbiscop. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13B/B Battery
In Modern English:
At that time, Pope Vitalian was chief bishop of the apostolic see.
It is difficult to ascertain the identity of the first Bishop of Rome to carry the title Pope of Rome. Some sources suggest that it was Pope Marcellinus (d. 304 AD), while other sources suggest that this did not happen until the 6th century, with Pope John I (523–6 AD) the first to assume this title.
Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery Bestowing the title on Rome’s Pontiff did not strip it from Alexandria’s, and the Roman Catholic Church recognizes this ecclesiastical fact. From the 6th century, the imperial chancery of Constantinople normally reserved this designation for the Bishop of Rome. From the early 6th century, Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13/S Battery
it began to be confined in the West to the Bishop of Rome, a practice that was firmly in place by the 11th century, when Pope Gregory VII declared it reserved for the Bishop of Rome.
Catholics recognize the pope as a successor to Saint Peter, whom, according to Roman Catholic teaching,
Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13/Q BatteryJesus named as the “shepherd” and “rock” of the Catholic Church, which according to Catholic dogma is the one true Church founded by Christ. Peter never bore the title of “pope”, which came into use three centuries later, but Catholics traditionally recognize him as the first pope,
Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13B/S Battery while official declarations of the Church only speak of the popes as holding within the college of the Bishops a role analogous to that held by Peter within the college of the Apostles, of which the college of the Bishops, a distinct entity, is the successor. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13A/S Battery
Protestants generally agree that Jesus singled out Peter as the focal point of the first-century church. However, they contend that the New Testament offers no proof that Jesus established the papacy nor even that he established Peter as the first bishop of Rome.[2Sony Vaio VGN-NW31EF Battery
3] The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus personally appointed Peter as leader of the Church and in its dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium makes a clear distinction between apostles and bishops, presenting the latter as the successors of the former, with the pope as successor of Peter in that he is head of the bishops as Peter was head of the apostles.[2Sony Vaio VGN-NW20ZF Battery
4] Some historians have argued that the notion that Peter was the first bishop of Rome and founded the episcopal see there can be traced back no earlier than the 3rd century. The writings of the Church Father Irenaeus who wrote around 180 AD reflect a belief that Peter “founded and organised” the Church at Rome.[26Sony Vaio VGN-NW24S Battery
] Moreover, Irenaeus was not the first to write of Peter’s presence in the early Roman Church. Clement of Rome wrote in a letter to the Corinthians, c. 96[27Sony Vaio VGN-NW26M Battery
] about the persecution of Christians in Rome as the “struggles in our time” and presented to the Corinthians its heroes, “first, the greatest and most just columns, the “good apostles” Peter and Paul.[
Sony Vaio VGN-NW20SF Battery8] St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote shortly after Clement and in his letter from the city of Smyrna to the Romans he said he would not command them as Peter and Paul did. Given this and other evidence, many scholars agree that Peter was martyred in Rome under Nero, 2Sony Vaio VGN-NW20EF Battery
although some scholars argue that he may have been martyred in Palestine.
Various Christian communities would have had a group of presbyter-bishops functioning as leaders of their local churches. Gradually, episcopacies were established in metropolitan areas. It has been conjectured[who?]
Sony VAIO VGN-FW41ZJ/H Batterythat Antioch, where Peter was before he went to Rome, may have been one of the first Christian communities to have adopted such a structure.[ Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery
33] In Rome there were many who claimed to be the rightful bishop though again Irenaeus stressed the validity of one line of bishops from the time of St. Peter up to his contemporary Pope Victor I and listed them.[
Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H Battery34] Some[who?] writers claim that the emergence of a single bishop in Rome probably did not occur until the middle of the 2nd century. In their view, Linus, Cletus and Clement were possibly prominent presbyter-bishops but not necessarily monarchical bishops. This would not affect their authority as popes in Catholic Theology. Sony VAIO VGN-FW21I Battery
The Holy See was accorded prominence in the early Church period in issues related to matters of the whole Catholic Church.
Early Christianity (c. 30–325)
It seems that at first the terms ‘episcopos’ and ‘presbyter’ were used interchangeably. The consensus among scholars has been that, at the turn of the 1st and 2nd centuries, local congregations were led by bishops and presbyters whose offices were overlapping or indistinguishable.
Sony VAIO VGN-FW41J/H Battery There was probably no single ‘monarchical’ bishop in Rome before the middle of the 2nd century … and likely later.” Other scholars and historians disagree, citing the historical records of St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Irenaeus who recorded the linear succession of Bishops of Rome (the popes) up until their own times. Sony VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery
They also cite the importance accorded to the popes in the ecumenical councils, including the early ones.
In the early Christian era, Rome and a few other cities had claims on the leadership of worldwide Catholic Church. James the Just, known as “the brother of the Lord”, served as head of the Jerusalem church,
Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Batterywhich is still honored as the “Mother Church” in Orthodox tradition. Alexandria had been a center of Jewish learning and became a center of Christian learning. Rome had a large congregation early in the apostolic period whom Paul the Apostle addressed in his Epistle to the Romans, and according to tradition Paul was martyred there. Sony VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery
During the 1st century of the Church (ca. 30–130), the Roman capital became recognized as a Christian center of exceptional importance. Pope Clement I at the end of the 1st century wrote an epistle to the Church in Corinth intervening in a major dispute, and apologizing for not having taken action earlier.[4
Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery0] However, there are only a few other references of that time to recognition of the authoritative primacy of the Roman See outside of Rome. In the Ravenna Document of 13 October 2007,
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theologians chosen by the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Churches stated: “41. Both sides agree… that Rome, as the Church that ‘presides in love’ according to the phrase of St Ignatius of Antioch (To the Romans, Prologue), occupied the first place in the taxis, and that the bishop of Rome was therefore the protos among the patriarchs. Sony VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery
They disagree, however, on the interpretation of the historical evidence from this era regarding the prerogatives of the Bishop of Rome as protos, a matter that was already understood in different ways in the first millennium.” In addition,
Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H Battery in the last years of the 1st century AD the Church in Rome intervened in the affairs of the Christian Church in Corinth to help solve their internal disputes.
Later in the 2nd century AD, there were more manifestations of Roman authority over other churches. In 189 AD, assertion of the primacy of the Church of Rome may be indicated in Irenaeus of Lyons’s Against Heresies (3:3:2):
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“With [the Church of Rome], because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree… and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition.” In 195 AD, Pope Victor I, in what is seen as an exercise of Roman authority over other churches, excommunicated the Quartodecimans for observing Easter on the 14th of Nisan, Sony VAIO VGN-FW31M Battery
the date of the Jewish Passover, a tradition handed down by St. John the Evangelist (see Easter controversy). Celebration of Easter on a Sunday, as insisted on by the pope, is the system that has prevailed (see computus).
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Early popes helped spread Christianity and resolve doctrinal disputes.
Nicaea to East-West Schism (325–1054)
The Edict of Milan in 313 granted freedom to all religions in the Roman Empire, beginning the Peace of the Church. In 325, the First Council of Nicaea condemned Arianism, declaring trinitarianism dogmatic, and in its sixth canon recognized the special role of the sees of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch.
Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H Battery Great defenders of Trinitarian faith included the Popes, especially Pope Liberius, who was exiled to Berea by Constantius II for his Trinitarian faith, Damasus I, and several other bishops.
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In 380 Catholicism was declared the sole state religion of the Roman Empire. While the civil power in the East controlled the church and the bishop of Constantinople, the capital, wielded much power, in the West the Bishops of Rome was able to consolidate the influence and power they already possessed.
Sony VAIO VGN-FW41E/H Battery  After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, barbarian tribes were converted to Arian Christianity or Catholicism; Clovis I, king of the Franks, was the first important barbarian ruler to convert to Catholicism rather than Arianism, allying himself with the papacy. Other tribes, such as the Visigoths, later abandoned Arianism in favour of Catholicism.
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Gregory the Great (c 540–604) who established medieval themes in the Church, in a painting by Carlo Saraceni, c. 1610, Rome.
After the fall of Rome, the pope served as a source of authority and continuity. Gregory the Great (c 540–604) administered the church with strict reform. From an ancient senatorial family, Gregory worked with the stern judgement and discipline typical of ancient Roman rule. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11J Battery
Theologically, he represents the shift from the classical to the medieval outlook; his popular writings are full of dramatic miracles, potent relics, demons, angels, ghosts, and the approaching end of the world.
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Gregory’s successors were largely dominated by the Exarch of Ravenna, the Byzantine emperor’s representative in Italy. These humiliations, the weakening of the empire in the face of Muslim expansion, and the inability of the emperor to protect the papal estates against the Lombards,
Sony VAIO VGN-FW21J Batterymade Pope Stephen II turn from Emperor Constantine V. He appealed to the Franks to protect his lands. Pepin the Short subdued the Lombards and donated Italian land to the papacy. When Leo III crowned Charlemagne (800), he established the precedent that, in the West, no man would be emperor without anointment by a pope. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11Z Battery
From the seventh century it became common for European monarchies and nobility to found churches and perform investiture or deposition of clergy in their states and fiefdoms, their personal interests causing corruption among the clergy.[5Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZRU Battery
] This practice had become common because often the prelates and secular rulers were also participants in public life.[52Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZU Battery1] To combat this and other practices that had corrupted the Church between the years 900 and 1050, centres emerged promoting ecclesiastical reform, the most important being the Abbey of Cluny, which spread its ideals throughout Europe. Sony VAIO VGN-FW46M Battery
This reform movement gained strength with the election of Pope Gregory VII in 1073, who adopted a series of measures in the movement known as the Gregorian Reform, in order to fight strongly against simony and the abuse of civil power and try to restore ecclesiastical discipline, including celibacy.[4
Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery4] The conflict between popes and secular autocratic rulers such as the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and Henry I of England, known as the question of investiture, was only resolved in 1122, by the Concordat of Worms, in which the pope decreed that clerics were to be invested by clerical leaders, and temporal rulers by lay investiture.[5Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H Battery
0] Soon after, Pope Alexander III began reforms that would lead to the establishment of canon law.
Since the beginning of the seventh century the Islamic Caliphate had conquered much of the southern Mediterranean, and represented a threat to Christianity.[ Sony VAIO VGN-FW51 Battery
53] In 1095, the Byzantine emperor Alexius I asked for military aid from Pope Urban II against the Muslim invasionns. Urban, at the council of Clermont, called the First Crusade to assist the Byzantine Empire to regain the old Christian territories, especially Jerusalem. Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery
The low point of the papacy was 867–1049. The papacy came under the control of vying political factions. Popes were variously imprisoned, starved, killed, and deposed by force. The family of a certain papal official made and unmade popes for fifty years. The official’s great-grandson, Pope John XII,
Sony VAIO VGN-FW56 Battery held orgies of debauchery in the Lateran palace. Emperor Otto I of Germany had John accused in an ecclesiastical court, which deposed him and elected a layman as Pope Leo VIII. John mutilated the Imperial representatives in Rome and had himself reinstated as pope. Conflict between the Emperor and the papacy continued,
Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S Battery and eventually dukes in league with the emperor were buying bishops and popes almost openly.
In 1049, Leo IX became pope, at last a pope with the character to face the papacy’s problems. He traveled to the major cities of Europe to deal with the church’s moral problems firsthand, notably simony and clerical marriage and concubinage. With his long journey, he restored the prestige of the papacy in the north.
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East–West Schism to Reformation (1054–1517)
A historical map of the Mediterranean states in 1400. The Western Schism lasted from 1378 to 1417.
The East and West churches split definitively in 1054. This fracture was caused more by political events than by slight diversities of creed. Popes had galled the emperors by siding with the king of the Franks, crowning a rival Roman emperor, appropriating the Exarchate of Ravenna, and driving into Greek Italy.
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In the Middle Ages, popes struggled with monarchs over power.
From 1309 to 1377, the pope resided not in Rome but in Avignon. The Avignon Papacy was notorious for greed and corruption.[5
Sony VAIO VGN-FW46Z Battery7] During this period, the pope was effectively an ally of France, alienating France’s enemies, such as England.
The pope was understood to have the power to draw on the “treasury” of merit built up by the saints and by Christ, so that he could grant indulgences,
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reducing one’s time in purgatory. The concept that a monetary fine or donation accompanied contrition, confession, and prayer eventually gave way to the common assumption that indulgences depended on a simple monetary contribution. The popes condemned misunderstandings and abuses, but were too pressed for income to exercise effective control over indulgences.
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Popes also contended with the cardinals, who sometimes attempted to assert the authority of councils over the pope’s. Conciliar theory holds that the supreme authority of the church lies with a General Council, not with the pope. Its foundations were laid early in the 13th century, and it culminated in the 15th century.
Sony VAIO VGN-NW26EG Battery The failure of the conciliar theory to gain broad acceptance after the 15th century is taken as a factor in the Protestant Reformation.
Various anti-popes challenged papal authority, especially during the Western Schism (1378–1417). In this schism, the papacy had returned to Rome from Avignon, but an anti-pope was installed in Avignon, as if to extend the papacy there.
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The Eastern Church continued to decline with the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, undercutting Constantinople’s claim to equality with Rome. Twice an Eastern Emperor tried to force the Eastern Church to reunify with the West. Papal claims of superiority were a sticking point in reunification, which failed in any event. In the 15th century, the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople.
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Reformation to present (1517 to today)
As part of the Catholic Reformation, Pope Paul III (1534–49) initiated the Council of Trent (1545–63), which established the triumph of the papacy over those who sought to reconcile with Protestants or oppose Papal claims. Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery
Protestant Reformers criticized the papacy as corrupt and characterized the pope as the antichrist.
Popes instituted a Catholic Reformation (1560–1648), which addressed the challenges of the Protestant Reformation and instituted internal reforms. Pope Paul III initiated the Council of Trent,
Sony VAIO VGN-NW24JG Batterywhose definitions of doctrine and whose reforms sealed the triumph of the papacy over elements in the church that sought conciliation with Protestants and opposed papal claims.
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Gradually forced to give up secular power, the popes focused on spiritual issues.
In 1870, the First Vatican Council proclaimed the dogma of papal infallibility for those rare occasions the pope speaks ex cathedra when issuing a solemn definition of faith or morals.
Later the same year, Victor Emmanuel II seized Rome from the pope’s control and substantially completed the unification of Italy.
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In 1929, the Lateran Treaty between Italy and Pope Pius XI established the Vatican City State, guaranteeing papal independence from secular rule. Sony VAIO VGN-FW56M Battery
In 1950, the pope defined the Assumption of Mary as dogma, the only time that a pope has spoken ex cathedra since papal infallibility was explicitly declared.
The Petrine Doctrine is still controversial as an issue of doctrine that continues to divide the eastern and western churches and separate Protestants from Rome. Sony VAIO VGN-FW35F Battery
Saint Peter and the origin of the office
See also: Primacy of Simon Peter
The dogmas and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church teach that the institution of the papacy was first mandated by interpretations of several Biblical passages, mainly Matthew 16:13–19:[nb 2]
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When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? …And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Sony VAIO VGN-NW26M Battery And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it. Sony VAIO VGN-NW24S Battery
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Catholics believe that this passage shows Jesus establishing his church on the shoulders of Simon son of John (Peter). Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery
The Catholic scholarly community agrees with the church’s interpretation that the “rock” Jesus refers to in this passage is Peter, an interpretation that some other scholars agree with.
Since the Protestant reformation, Protestant scholars have asserted that the “rock” Jesus referred to was Jesus himself,
Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery or Peter’s faith. The argument follows that, when Jesus says, “You are Peter (Greek: Πέτροζ(Petros), small stone as a pebble), and upon this rock Greek: πέτρα(petra), a large stone edifice as a cliff or ledge) I will build my Church”, Jesus is pointing to something much larger than Peter,
Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Batterybased on the clear distinction in the Greek of a small stone and a large rock cliff as well as the Greek grammatical structure, as the basis for his kingdom, not making a pope of Peter as Catholics claim.
Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR Battery The truth that Peter affirmed in verse 16 is that Jesus is Christ and faith in Him serves as the foundation of the Church and the whole set of the apostles teaching not solely or even mainly, little pebble, that is Peter. Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery
Others, using Peter’s own words, argue that Christ intended himself as the foundation of the church and not Peter. Others have argued that the church is indeed built upon Jesus and faith, but also on the disciples as the roots and foundations of the church on the basis of Paul’s teaching in Romans and Ephesians, though not primarily Peter.[67Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery
The reference to the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” here is the basis for the symbolic keys often found in Catholic papal symbolism, such as in the Vatican Coat of Arms. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery
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Election, death and resignation
Main article: Papal conclave
The Giving of the Keys to Saint Peter painted by Pietro Perugino (1492)
The pope was originally chosen by those senior clergymen resident in and near Rome. In 1059 the electorate was restricted to the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, and the individual votes of all Cardinal Electors were made equal in 1179. Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H Battery
Pope Urban VI, elected 1378, was the last pope who was not already a cardinal at his election. Canon law requires that if a layman or non-bishop is elected, he receives episcopal consecration from the Dean of the College of Cardinals before assuming the Pontificate. Under present canon law, the pope is elected by the cardinal electors, comprising those cardinals who are under the age of 80.
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The Second Council of Lyons was convened on 7 May 1274, to regulate the election of the pope. This Council decreed that the cardinal electors must meet within ten days of the pope’s death, and that they must remain in seclusion until a pope has been elected; this was prompted by the three-year Sede Vacante following the death of Pope Clement IV in 1268. Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H Battery By the mid-16th century, the electoral process had evolved into its present form, allowing for variation in the time between the death of the pope and the meeting of the cardinal electors.
Traditionally, the vote was conducted by acclamation, Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery
by selection (by committee), or by plenary vote. Acclamation was the simplest procedure, consisting entirely of a voice vote, and was last used in 1621. Pope John Paul II abolished vote by acclamation and by selection by committee, and henceforth election will be by full vote by ballot of the Sacred College of Cardinals.
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The conclave in Konstanz where Pope Martin V was elected
The election of the pope almost always takes place in the Sistine Chapel, in a sequestered meeting called a “conclave” (so called because the cardinal electors are theoretically locked in, cum clave, i.e., with key, until they elect a new pope).
Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery Three cardinals are chosen by lot to collect the votes of absent cardinal electors (by reason of illness), three are chosen by lot to count the votes, and three are chosen by lot to review the count of the votes.
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The ballots are distributed and each cardinal elector writes the name of his choice on it and pledges aloud that he is voting for “one whom under God I think ought to be elected” before folding and depositing his vote on a plate atop a large chalice placed on the altar (in the 2005 conclave, a special urn was used for this purpose instead of a chalice and plate). The plate is then used to drop the ballot into the chalice,
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making it difficult for electors to insert multiple ballots. Before being read, the ballots are counted while still folded; if the number of ballots does not match the number of electors, the ballots are burned unopened and a new vote is held. Otherwise, each ballot is read aloud by the presiding Cardinal,
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Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H who pierces the ballot with a needle and thread, stringing all the ballots together and tying the ends of the thread to ensure accuracy and honesty. Balloting continues until someone is elected by a two-thirds majority. Sony VAIO VGN-FW21I Battery
The formal declaration of “Habemus Papam” after the election of Pope Martin V
One of the most prominent aspects of the papal election process is the means by which the results of a ballot are announced to the world. Once the ballots are counted and bound together, they are burned in a special stove erected in the Sistine Chapel, with the smoke escaping through a small chimney visible from St. Peter’s Square.
Sony VAIO VGN-FW21ZRThe ballots from an unsuccessful vote are burned along with a chemical compound to create black smoke, or fumata nera. (Traditionally, wet straw was used to produce the black smoke, but this was not completely reliable. The chemical compound is more reliable than the straw.) When a vote is successful,
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the ballots are burned alone, sending white smoke (fumata bianca) through the chimney and announcing to the world the election of a new pope. At the end of the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, church bells were also rung to signal that a new pope had been chosen. Sony VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery
The Dean of the College of Cardinals then asks two solemn questions of the cardinal who has been elected. First he asks, “Do you freely accept your election?” If he replies with the word “Accepto”, his reign begins at that instant, not at the inauguration ceremony several days afterward.
Sony VAIO VGN-FW21ER BatteryThe Dean then asks, “By what name shall you be called?” The new pope then announces the regnal name he has chosen. (If the Dean is elected pope, the Vice Dean performs this task.)
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The new pope is led through the “Door of Tears” to a dressing room where three sets of white papal vestments (immantatio) await: small, medium, and large. Donning the appropriate vestments and reemerging into the Sistine Chapel, the new pope is given the “Fisherman’s Ring” by the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, Sony VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery
whom he first either reconfirms or reappoints. The pope then assumes a place of honor as the rest of the cardinals wait in turn to offer their first “obedience” (adoratio) and to receive his blessing.
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The Senior Cardinal Deacon then announces from a balcony over St. Peter’s Square the following proclamation: Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum! Habemus Papam! (“I announce to you a great joy! We have a pope!”). He then announces the new pope’s Christian name along with his newly chosen regnal name.
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Until 1978 the pope’s election was followed in a few days by the Papal Coronation. A procession with great pomp and circumstance formed from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica, with the newly elected pope borne in the sedia gestatoria. There, after a solemn Papal Mass, the new pope was crowned with the triregnum (papal tiara) and he gave for the first time as pope the famous blessing Urbi et Orbi (“to the City [Rome] and to the World”).Sony VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery
Sony VAIO VGN-FW31M Battery Another renowned part of the coronation was the lighting of a bundle of flax at the top of a gilded pole, which would flare brightly for a moment and then promptly extinguish, with the admonition Sic transit gloria mundi (“Thus passes worldly glory”). A similar warning against papal hubris made on this occasion was the traditional exclamation “Annos Petri non videbis”,
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reminding the newly crowned pope that he would not live to see his rule lasting as long as that of St. Peter, who according to tradition headed the church for 35 years and has thus far been the longest reigning pope in the history of the Catholic Church. SONY VGN-FW41E/H BATTERY
A traditionalist Catholic belief claims the existence of a Papal Oath sworn, at their coronation, by all popes from Pope Agatho to Pope Paul VI, but which since the abolition of the coronation ceremony is no longer used. There is no reliable authority for this claim. SONY VGN-FW41J/H BATTERY
The Latin term sede vacante (“while the see is vacant”) refers to a papal interregnum, the period between the death of a pope and the election of his successor. From this term is derived the term sedevacantism,
Sony VAIO VGN-NW31ZF/S Batterywhich designates a category of dissident Catholics who maintain that there is no canonically and legitimately elected pope, and that there is therefore a Sede Vacante. One of the most common reasons for holding this belief is the idea that the reforms of the Second Vatican Council and especially the replacement of the Tridentine Mass with the Mass of Paul VI are heretical,
Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF Battery and that those responsible for initiating and maintaining these changes are heretics and not true popes. Sedevacantists are considered to be schismatics by the mainstream Roman Catholic Church. SONY VGN-FW41M/H BATTERY
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For centuries, from 1378 on, those elected to the papacy were predominantly Italians. Prior to the election of the Polish cardinal Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II in 1978, the last non-Italian was Pope Adrian VI of the Netherlands, elected in 1522. John Paul II was followed by the German-born Benedict XVI, leading some to believe that, although Rome is in Italy, Italian domination of the papacy is over.
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Funeral of Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 2005, presided over by Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI
The current regulations regarding a papal interregnum—that is, a sede vacante (“vacant seat”)—were promulgated by John Paul II in his 1996 document Universi Dominici Gregis. During the “Sede Vacante”, the Sacred College of Cardinals, composed of the pope’s principal advisors and assistants,
Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/P Battery is collectively responsible for the government of the Church and of the Vatican itself, under the direction of the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church; however, canon law specifically forbids the cardinals from introducing any innovation in the government of the Church during the vacancy of the Holy See.
Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/P BatteryAny decision that requires the assent of the pope has to wait until the new pope has been elected and accepts office.
In recent centuries it was traditional, when a pope was judged to have died, for the Cardinal Chamberlain to confirm the death ceremonially by gently tapping the pope’s head thrice with a silver hammer,
Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Batterycalling his birth name each time. This custom was not followed at the death of Pope John Paul I and was not revived upon the death of Pope John Paul II. The Cardinal Chamberlain then retrieves the Ring of the Fisherman and cuts it in two in the presence of the Cardinals.
Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF/S Battery The Pope’s seals are defaced, to keep them from ever being used again, and his personal apartment is sealed.
The body then lies in state for several days before being interred in the crypt of a leading church or cathedral; all who have died in the 20th and 21st centuries have been interred in St. Peter’s Basilica. A nine-day period of mourning (novendialis) follows the interment. SONY VGN-FW41ZJ/H BATTERY
Main article: Papal resignation
The Code of Canon Law 332 §2 states, “If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.”
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The official list of titles of the Pope, in the order in which they are given in the Annuario Pontificio, is: Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God. Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF/S Battery
The official list of titles does not include all the titles that are officially used.
The best-known title, that of “Pope”, does not appear in the official list, but is commonly used in the titles of documents, and appears, in abbreviated form, in their signatures. Thus Pope Paul VI signed as “Paulus PP. VI”, the “PP.” standing for “Papa” (“Pope”).[Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF/T Battery
The title "Pope" was from the early 3rd century an honorific designation used for any bishop in the West. In the East it was used only for the Bishop of Alexandria. Pope Marcellinus (d. 304) is the first Bishop of Rome shown in sources to have had the title “Pope” used of him. From the 6th century, the imperial chancery of Constantinople normally reserved this designation for the Bishop of Rome.[
Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF/S Battery82] From the early 6th century, it began to be confined in the West to the Bishop of Rome, a practice that was firmly in place by the 11th century, when Pope Gregory VII declared it reserved for the Bishop of Rome. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF/S Battery
In Eastern Christianity, where the title “Pope” is used also of the Bishop of Alexandria, the Bishop of Rome is often referred to as the “Pope of Rome”, regardless of whether the speaker or writer is in communion with Rome or not.
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Vicar of Jesus Christ
“Vicar of Jesus Christ” (Vicarius Iesu Christi) is one of the official titles of the Pope given in the Annuario Pontificio. It is commonly used in the slightly abbreviated form “Vicar of Christ” (Vicarius Christi). While it is only one of the terms with which the Pope is referred to as “Vicar”, it is “more expressive of his supreme headship of the Church on earth, Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Battery
which he bears in virtue of the commission of Christ and with vicarial power derived from him”, a vicarial power believed to have been conferred on Saint Peter when Christ said to him: “Feed my lambs. . . . Feed my sheep” (John 21:16-17). Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/P Battery
The first record of the application of this title to a Bishop of Rome appears in a synod of 495 with reference to Pope Gelasius I. But at that time, and down to the 9th century, other bishops too referred to themselves as vicars of Christ, Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF/S Battery
and for another four centuries this description was sometimes used of kings and even judges, as it had been used in the 5th and 6th centuries to refer to the Byzantine emperor. Earlier still, in the 3rd century, Tertullian used “vicar of Christ” to refer to the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus.
Sony VAIO VGN-NW11Z/T Battery  Its use specifically for the Pope appears in the 13th century in connection with the reforms of Pope Innocent III, as can be observed already in his 1199 letter to Leo I, King of Armenia. Other historians suggest that this title was already used in this way in association with the pontificate of Pope Eugenius III (1145–1153). Sony VAIO VGN-NW11S/S Battery
This title “Vicar of Christ” is thus not used of the Pope alone and has been used of all bishops since the early centuries. The Second Vatican Council referred to all bishops as “vicars and ambassadors of Christ”,[92Sony VAIO VGN-NW11S/T Battery
] and this description of the bishops was repeated by Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Ut unum sint, 95. The difference is that the other bishops are vicars of Christ for their own local churches, the Pope is vicar of Christ for the whole Church. Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF Battery
On at least one occasion the title “Vicar of God” (a reference to Christ as God) was used of the pope.
The title “Vicar of Peter” (Vicarius Petri) is used only of the Pope, not of other bishops. Variations of it include: “Vicar of the Prince of the Apostles” (Vicarius Principis Apostolorum) and “Vicar of the Apostolic See” (Vicarius Sedis Apostolicae).[83Sony VAIO VGN-NW24S Battery
] Saint Boniface described Pope Gregory II as vicar of Peter in the oath of fealty that he took in 722. In today’s Roman Missal, the description “vicar of Peter” is found also in the collect of the Mass for a saint who was a pope. Sony VAIO VGN-NW26M Battery
The title “Servant of the Servants of God”, although used by Church leaders including St. Augustine and St. Benedict, was first used by Pope St. Gregory the Great in his dispute with the Patriarch of Constantinople after the latter assumed the title “Ecumenical Patriarch”.Sony VAIO VGN-NW20ZF Battery
It was not reserved for the pope until the 13th century. The documents of the Second Vatican Council reinforced the understanding of this title as a reference to the pope’s role as a function of collegial authority, in which the Bishop of Rome serves the world’s bishops. Sony VAIO VGN-NW20SF Battery
Patriarch of the West
From 1863 until 2005, the Annuario Pontificio included also the title “Patriarch of the West”. This title was first used by Pope Theodore I in 642, and was only used occasionally. Indeed, it did not begin to appear in the pontifical yearbook until 1863. On 22 March 2006, Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/P Battery
the Vatican released a statement explaining this omission on the grounds of expressing a “historical and theological reality” and of “being useful to ecumenical dialogue”. The title Patriarch of the West symbolized the pope’s special relationship with, Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/P Battery
Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery and jurisdiction over, the Latin Church—and the omission of the title neither symbolizes in any way a change in this relationship, nor distorts the relationship between the Holy See and the Eastern Churches, as solemnly proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council.
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Other titles commonly used are “His Holiness”, “Holy Father”. In Spanish and Italian, “Beatísimo/Beatissimo Padre” (Most Blessed Father) is often used in preference to “Santísimo/Santissimo Padre” (Most Holy Father). In the medieval period, “Dominus Apostolicus” (“the Apostolic Lord”) was also used. Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/w Battery
As indicated above, the Pope normally signs documents using the title “Papa” in the abbreviated form “PP.” and with the numeral, as in “Benedictus PP. XVI” (Pope Benedict XVI). Exceptions are bulls of canonization and decrees of ecumenical councils, which the Pope signs with the formula, “Ego N. Episcopus Ecclesiae catholicae”,
Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S Battery without the numeral, as in “Ego Paulus Episcopus Ecclesiae catholicae” (I, Paul, Bishop of the catholic/universal Church). The Pope’s signature is followed, in bulls of canonization, by those of all the cardinals resident in Rome, and in decrees of ecumenical councils, by the signatures of the other bishops participating in the council, each signing as Bishop of a particular see.
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Papal bulls are headed N. Episcopus Servus Servorum Dei (“Name, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God”). In general, they are not signed by the Pope, but Pope John Paul II introduced in the mid-1980s the custom by which the Pope signs not only bulls of canonization but also, using his normal signature, such as “Benedictus PP. XVI”, bulls of nomination of bishops.
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Regalia and insignia
Main article: Papal regalia and insignia
“Triregnum”, also called the “tiara” or “triple crown”, represents the pope’s three functions as “supreme pastor”, “supreme teacher” and “supreme priest”. Recent popes have not, however, worn the triregnum, though it remains the symbol of the papacy and has not been abolished. In liturgical ceremonies the Pope wear an episcopal mitre (an erect cloth hat).
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Pastoral Staff topped by a crucifix, a custom established before the 13th century (see papal cross).
Pallium, or pall, a circular band of fabric worn around the neck over the chasuble. It forms a yoke about the neck, breast and shoulders and has two pendants hanging down in front and behind, and is ornamented with six crosses.
Sony VAIO VGN-FW46S BatteryPreviously, the pallium worn by the Pope was identical to those he granted to the primates, but in 2005 Pope Benedict XVI began to use a distinct papal pallium that is larger than the primatial, and was adorned with red crosses instead of black. Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/S Battery
“Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven”, the image of two keys, one gold and one silver. The silver key symbolizes the power to bind and loose on Earth, and the gold key the power to bind and loose in Heaven.
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Ring of the Fisherman, a gold ring decorated with a depiction of St. Peter in a boat casting his net, with the Pope’s name around it.
Umbraculum (better known in the Italian form ombrellino) is a canopy or umbrella consisting of alternating red and gold stripes, which used to be carried above the pope in processions. Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF Battery
Sedia gestatoria, a mobile throne carried by twelve footmen (palafrenieri) in red uniforms, accompanied by two attendants bearing flabella (fans made of white ostrich feathers), and sometimes a large canopy, carried by eight attendants. The use of the flabella was discontinued by Pope John Paul I. The use of the sedia gestatoria was discontinued by Pope John Paul II.
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The coat of arms of the Holy See. That of the State of Vatican City is the same except that the positions of the gold and silver keys are interchanged.
In heraldry, each pope has his own Papal Coat of Arms. Though unique for each pope, the arms are always surmounted by the two keys in saltire (i.e., crossed over one another so as to form an X) behind the escutcheon (shield) (one silver key and one gold key, Sony VAIO VGN-NW31ZF/S Battery
tied with a red cord), and above them a silver triregnum with three gold crowns and red infulae (lappets—two strips of fabric hanging from the back of the triregnum which fall over the neck and shoulders when worn).
Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MR Battery This is blazoned: “two keys in saltire or and argent, interlacing in the rings or, beneath a tiara argent, crowned or”). With the recent election of Benedict XVI in 2005, his personal coat of arms eliminated the papal tiara; a mitre with three horizontal lines is used in its place, with the pallium, a papal symbol of authority more ancient than the tiara, the use of which is also granted to metropolitan archbishops as a sign of communion with the See of Rome, was added underneath of the shield.
Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MG BatteryThe distinctive feature of the crossed keys behind the shield was maintained. The omission of the tiara in the Pope’s personal coat of arms, however, did not mean the disappearance of it from papal heraldry, since the coat of arms of the Holy See was kept unaltered.
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The flag most frequently associated with the pope is the yellow and white flag of Vatican City, with the arms of the Holy See (blazoned: “Gules, two keys in saltire or and argent, interlacing in the rings or, beneath a tiara argent, crowned or”) on the right-hand side (the “fly”) in the white half of the flag (the left-hand side—the “hoist”—is yellow). Sony VAIO VGN-FW56E Battery
The pope’s escucheon does not appear on the flag. This flag was first adopted in 1808, whereas the previous flag had been red and gold, the traditional colors of the papacy. Although Pope Benedict XVI replaced the triregnum with a mitre on his personal coat of arms, it has been retained on the flag. Sony VAIO VGN-FW56J Battery
Status and authority
Main articles: Primacy of the Roman Pontiff and Papal infallibility
To maintain contacts with local clergymen and Catholic communities, the popes grant private audiences as well as public ones. Here the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross from Uden (Netherlands) are received by Pope Pius XII. Sony VAIO VGN-NW24EG Battery
First Vatican Council
The status and authority of the Pope in the Catholic Church was dogmatically defined by the First Vatican Council on 18 July 1870. In its Dogmatic Constitution of the Church of Christ, the Council established the following canons: Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery
“If anyone says that the blessed Apostle Peter was not established by the Lord Christ as the chief of all the apostles, and the visible head of the whole militant Church, or, that the same received great honour but did not receive from the same our Lord Jesus Christ directly and immediately the primacy in true and proper jurisdiction: let him be anathema. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery
If anyone says that it is not from the institution of Christ the Lord Himself, or by divine right that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in the same primacy, let him be anathema.
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If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction, but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world; Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery
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or, that he possesses only the more important parts, but not the whole plenitude of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate, or over the churches altogether and individually, and over the pastors and the faithful altogether and individually: let him be anathema.
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We, adhering faithfully to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God, our Saviour, the elevation of the Catholic religion and the salvation of Christian peoples, with the approbation of the sacred Council, teach and explain that the dogma has been divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontiff, Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery
when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians by his supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the universal Church,
Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery through the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, operates with that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished that His church be instructed in defining doctrine on faith and morals; and so such definitions of the Roman Pontiff from himself, but not from the consensus of the Church, are unalterable. But if anyone presumes to contradict this definition of Ours, which may God forbid: let him be anathema.” Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery
Second Vatican Council
Pope Pius XII, wearing the traditional 1877 Papal Tiara, is carried through St Peter’s Basilica on a sedia gestatoria c. 1955.
In its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (1964), the Second Vatican Council declared:
“Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place. For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery
who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old, making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock. Bishops,
Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff,
Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown so that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery
His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.
… this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded. Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN Battery
And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith, by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals. And therefore his definitions, of themselves, Sony VAIO VGN-SR31M Battery
and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery
but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith. The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery
when that body exercises the supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith.”
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Pope Pius VII, bishop of Rome, next to Cardinal Caprara. The Pope wears the pallium, a liturgical vestment that is used heraldically at the foot of the coat of arms of Benedict XVI.
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Residence and jurisdiction
The pope’s official seat or cathedral is the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, and his official residence is the Palace of the Vatican. He also possesses a summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, situated on the site of the ancient city of Alba Longa. Until the time of the Avignon Papacy, the residence of the Pope was the Lateran Palace, donated by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.
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The Pope’s ecclesiastical jurisdiction (the Holy See) is distinct from his secular jurisdiction (Vatican City). It is the Holy See that conducts international relations; for hundreds of years, the papal court (the Roman Curia) has functioned as the government of the Catholic Church.
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The names “Holy See” and “Apostolic See” are ecclesiastical terminology for the ordinary jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome (including the Roman Curia); the pope’s various honors, powers, and privileges within the Catholic Church and the international community derive from his Episcopate of Rome in lineal succession from the Apostle Saint Peter (see Apostolic Succession). Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery
Consequently, Rome has traditionally occupied a central position in the Catholic Church, although this is not necessarily so. The Pope derives his pontificate from being Bishop of Rome but is not required to live there; according to the Latin formula ubi Papa, ibi Curia, wherever the Pope resides is the central government of the Church, provided that the pope is Bishop of Rome. As such, between 1309 and 1378, Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery
the popes lived in Avignon, France (see Avignon Papacy), a period often called the Babylonian Captivity in allusion to the Biblical exile of Israel.
Though the Pope is the diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Rome, he delegates most of the day-to-day work of leading the diocese to the Cardinal Vicar, who assures direct episcopal oversight of the diocese’s pastoral needs, Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery
not in his own name but in that of the Pope. The current Cardinal Vicar is Agostino Vallini, who was appointed to the office in June 2008.
Antichristus, a woodcut by Lucas Cranach of the pope using the temporal power to grant authority to a generously contributing ruler
Though the progressive Christianisation of the Roman Empire in the 4th century did not confer upon bishops civil authority within the state, Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery
the gradual withdrawal of imperial authority during the 5th century left the pope the senior imperial civilian official in Rome, as bishops were increasingly directing civil affairs in other cities of the Western Empire. This status as a secular and civil ruler was vividly displayed by Pope Leo I’s confrontation with Attila in 452.
Sony VGP-BPS13A/B BatteryThe first expansion of papal rule outside of Rome came in 728 with the Donation of Sutri, which in turn was substantially increased in 754, when the Frankish ruler Pippin the Younger gave to the pope the land from his conquest of the Lombards. Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery
The pope may have utilized the forged Donation of Constantine to gain this land, which formed the core of the Papal States. This document, accepted as genuine until the 15th century, states that Constantine I placed the entire Western Empire of Rome under papal rule. In 800 Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish ruler Charlemagne as Roman Emperor, Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery
a major step toward establishing what later became known as the Holy Roman Empire; from that date onward the popes claimed the prerogative to crown the Emperor, though the right fell into disuse after the coronation of Charles V in 1530. Pope Pius VII was present at the coronation of Napoleon I in 1804, but did not actually perform the crowning. Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery
As mentioned above, the pope’s sovereignty over the Papal States ended in 1870 with their annexation by Italy.
Popes like Alexander VI, an ambitious if spectacularly corrupt politician, and Pope Julius II, a formidable general and statesman, were not afraid to use power to achieve their own ends, which included increasing the power of the papacy. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery
This political and temporal authority was demonstrated through the papal role in the Holy Roman Empire (especially prominent during periods of contention with the Emperors, such as during the Pontificates of Pope Gregory VII and Pope Alexander III). Papal bulls, interdict, and excommunication (or the threat thereof) have been used many times to increase papal power. The Bull Laudabiliter in 1155 authorized Henry II of England to invade Ireland. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery
In 1207, Innocent III placed England under interdict until King John made his kingdom a fiefdom to the Pope, complete with yearly tribute, saying, “we offer and freely yield…to our lord Pope Innocent III and his catholic successors, the whole kingdom of England and the whole kingdom of Ireland with all their rights and appurtenences for the remission of our sins”.[1Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X Battery
22] The Bull Inter caetera in 1493 led to the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, which divided the world into areas of Spanish and Portuguese rule. The Bull Regnans in Excelsis in 1570 excommunicated Elizabeth I of England and declared that all her subjects were released from all allegiance to her. The Bull Inter Gravissimas in 1582 established the Gregorian Calendar. Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H Battery
Under international law, a serving head of state has sovereign immunity from the jurisdiction of the courts of other countries, though not from that of international tribunals. This immunity is sometimes loosely referred to as “diplomatic immunity”, which is, strictly speaking, the immunity enjoyed by the diplomatic representatives of a head of state.
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International law treats the Holy See, essentially the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, as the juridical equal of a state. It is distinct from the state of Vatican City, existing for many centuries before the foundation of the latter. (It is common, however, for publications to use “Holy See”, “Vatican/Vatican City”, Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H Battery
and even “Rome” interchangeably, and incorrectly.) Most countries of the world maintain the same form of diplomatic relations with the Holy See that they entertain with other states. Even countries without those diplomatic relations participate in international organizations of which the Holy See is a full member. Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR Battery
It is as head of the Holy See, not of Vatican City, that the U.S. Justice Department ruled that the Pope enjoys head-of-state immunity.[1Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Battery
Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery27] This head-of-state immunity, recognized by the United States, must be distinguished from that envisaged under the United States’ Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, which, while recognizing the basic immunity of foreign governments from being sued in American courts, lays down nine exceptions, Sony VPCF22J1E Battery
including commercial activity and actions in the United States by agents or employees of the foreign governments. It was in relation to the latter that, in November 2008, the United States Court of Appeals in Cincinnati decided that a case over sexual abuse by Catholic priests could proceed,
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Sony VPCF13M1E/H Battery provided the plaintiffs could prove that the bishops accused of negligent supervision were acting as employees or agents of the Holy See and were following official Holy See policy.
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In April 2010 there was press coverage in Britain concerning a proposed plan by atheist campaigners and a prominent barrister to have Pope Benedict XVI arrested and prosecuted in the UK for alleged offences, dating from several decades before, in failing to take appropriate action regarding Catholic sex abuse cases and concerning their disputing his immunity from prosecution in that country.[13
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0] This was generally dismissed as “unrealistic and spurious”. Another barrister said that it was a “matter of embarrassment that a senior British lawyer would want to allow himself to be associated with such a silly idea”. Sony VPCF22L1E Battery
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Objections to the papacy
Antichristus, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, from Luther’s 1521 Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist. The Pope is signing and selling indulgences.
The Pope’s claim to authority is either disputed or not recognised at all by other churches. The reasons for these objections differ from denomination to denomination. Sony VPCF22M1E Battery
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Orthodox, Anglican and Old Catholic churches
Other traditional Christian churches (Assyrian Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Old Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Independent Catholic Churches, etc.) accept the doctrine of Apostolic Succession and,
Sony VPCF13M1E/B Batteryto varying extents, papal claims to a primacy of honour while generally rejecting that the pope is the successor to Peter in any unique sense not true of any other bishop. Primacy is regarded as a consequence of the pope’s position as bishop of the original capital city of the Roman Empire,
Sony VPCF1318E/H Batterya definition explicitly spelled out in the 28th canon of the Council of Chalcedon. These churches see no foundation to papal claims of universal immediate jurisdiction, or to claims of papal infallibility. Several of these churches refer to such claims as ultramontanism.
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Main article: Historicism (Christian eschatology)
Many Christian denominations reject the claims of Petrine primacy of honor, Petrine primacy of jurisdiction, and papal infallibility. These denominations vary from simply not accepting the Pope’s claim to authority as legitimate and valid, to believing that the Pope is the Antichrist from 1 John 2:18,[13
Sony VPCF13E8E Battery4] the Man of Sin from 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12, and the Beast out of the Earth from Revelation 13:11-18. The sweeping rejection includes some denominations of Lutherans: Confessional Lutherans hold that the pope is the Antichrist, stating that this article of faith is part of a quia rather than quatenus subscription to the Book of Concord. Sony VPCF22S1E Battery
In 1932, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) adopted A Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod, which a small number of Lutheran church bodies now hold. Statement 43, Of the Antichrist: Sony VPCF22S8E Battery
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Christus, by Lucas Cranach. This woodcut of John 13:14–17 is from Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist. Cranach shows Jesus kissing Peter’s foot during the footwashing. This stands in contrast to the opposing woodcut, where the Pope demands others kiss his feet.
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Antichristus, by the Lutheran Lucas Cranach the Elder. This woodcut of the traditional practice of kissing the Pope’s toe is from Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist. The two fingers the Pope is holding up symbolizes his claim to be the Church’s substitute for Christ’s earthly presence.
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43. As to the Antichrist we teach that the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures concerning the Antichrist, 2 Thess. 2:3-12;1 John 2:18, have been fulfilled in the Pope of Rome and his dominion. All the features of the Antichrist as drawn in these prophecies, including the most abominable and horrible ones, for example,
Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery that the Antichrist “as God sitteth in the temple of God”, 2 Thess. 2:4; that he anathematizes the very heart of the Gospel of Christ, that is, the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins by grace alone, for Christ’s sake alone, through faith alone, without any merit or worthiness in man (Rom. 3:20-28; Gal. 2:16);
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that he recognizes only those as members of the Christian Church who bow to his authority; and that, like a deluge, he had inundated the whole Church with his antichristian doctrines till God revealed him through the Reformation—these very features are the outstanding characteristics of the Papacy. (Cf. Smalcald Articles, Triglot, p. 515, Paragraphs 39-41; Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery
p. 401, Paragraph 45; M. pp. 336, 258.) Hence we subscribe to the statement of our Confessions that the Pope is “the very Antichrist.” (Smalcald Articles, Triglot, p. 475, Paragraph 10; M., p. 308.)
The claim of temporal power over all secular governments, including territorial claims in Italy, raises objection.[
Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery] The papacy’s complex relationship with secular states such as the Roman and Byzantine Empires are also objections. Some disapprove of the autocratic character of the papal office. In Western Christianity these objections both contributed to and are products of the Protestant Reformation. 13
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Main articles: Antipope and Western Schism
Groups sometimes form around antipopes, who claim the Pontificate without being canonically and properly elected to it.
Traditionally, this term was reserved for claimants with a significant following of cardinals or other clergy. 9
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The existence of an antipope is usually due either to doctrinal controversy within the Church (heresy) or to confusion as to who is the legitimate pope at the time (see schism). Briefly in the 15th century, three separate lines of popes claimed authenticity (see Papal Schism). Even Catholics don’t all agree whether certain historical figures were popes or antipopes. Though antipope movements were significant at one time, they are now overwhelmingly minor fringe causes.
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Other uses of the title “pope”
In the earlier centuries of Christianity, the title “Pope”, meaning “father”, had been used by all bishops. Some popes used the term and others didn’t. Eventually, the title became associated especially with the Bishop of Rome. In a few cases, the term is used for other Christian clerical authorities. Sony VPCF23S1E Battery
In the Roman Catholic Church
The “Black Pope” is a name that was popularly, but unofficially, given to the Superior General of the Society of Jesus due to the Jesuits’ importance within the Church. This name, based on the black colour of his cassock, Sony VPCF231S1E Battery
was used to suggest a parallel between him and the “White Pope” (since the time of Pope Pius V the Popes dresses in white) and the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (formerly called the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith), whose red cardinal’s cassock gave him the name of the “Red Pope” in view of the authority over all territories that were not considered in some way Catholic. In the present time this cardinal has power over mission territories for Catholicism, Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery
essentially the Churches of Africa and Asia, but in the past his competence extended also to all lands where Protestants or Eastern Christianity was dominant. Some remnants of this situation remain, with the result that, for instance, New Zealand is still in the care of this Congregation.
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In the Eastern Churches
Since the papacy of Heraclas in the 3rd century, the Bishop of the Alexandria in both the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria continue to be called “Pope”, the former being called “Coptic Pope” or, more properly, Sony VPCF24Q1E Battery
“Pope and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Orthodox and Apostolic Throne of Saint Mark the Evangelist and Holy Apostle” and the last called “Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa”.
In the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church and Serbian Orthodox Church, it is not unusual for a village priest to be called a “pope” (“поп” pop). Sony VPCF23QIE Battery However, this should be differentiated from the words used for the head of the Catholic Church (Bulgarian “папа” papa, Russian “папа римский” papa rimskiy). Sony VPCCW1S1R Battery
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In New Religious Movements
Some New Religious Movements, especially those that have disassociated themselves from the Catholic Church yet retain a Catholic hierarchical framework, will use the designation “pope” for a movement’s founder or current leader. Sony VPCCW1S1T/R Battery
One example in Africa is the Legio Maria Church of Africa. Another example is Cao Dai, a Vietnamese faith that duplicates the Catholic hierarchy, which is declared legitimate by religious authorities in Cao Dai due to the fact that, according to them, God created both Catholicism and Cao Dai. Sony VPCCW1S1T/W Battery
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