Portal:Catholicism

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Introduction

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The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within Rome, Italy.

Catholic theology is based on the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the Pope is the successor to Saint Peter to whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. It maintains that it practises the original Christian faith, reserving infallibility, passed down by sacred tradition. The Latin Church, the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, and institutes such as mendicant orders and enclosed monastic orders reflect a variety of theological and spiritual emphases in the church.

Of its seven sacraments the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in the Mass. The church teaches that through consecration by a priest the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. The Virgin Mary is venerated in the Catholic Church as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, honoured in dogmas and devotions. Its teaching includes sanctification through faith and evangelisation of the Gospel as well as Catholic social teaching, which emphasises voluntary support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world.

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Missionaries of Charity pray in their home for street children

The Roman Catholic Church in Afghanistan is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and curia in Rome. There are very few Catholics in this overwhelmingly Islamic country - just over 100 attend mass in its only chapel - and freedom of religion has been difficult to obtain in recent times, especially under the former Taliban regime. On 16 May 2002, Pope John Paul II established a mission sui iuris for Afghanistan with Father Giuseppe Moretti as its first superior. The only Catholic church in the country is the chapel at the Italian embassy in Kabul. In 2004, the Missionaries of Charity arrived in Kabul to carry out humanitarian work. Legend from the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas and other ancient documents suggests that Saint Thomas preached in Bactria, which is today northern Afghanistan. The Nestorians planted Christianity in the area, and there have been 9 bishops and dioceses in the region, including Herat (424-1310), Farah (544-1057), Kandahar, and Balkh. This early establishment of the Church was overcome by Muslim invasions in the 7th century, though the territory was not substantially controlled by Muslims until the 9th and 10th centuries.
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Credit: Diliff/Fir0002

The chapel of the Palace of Versailles, one of the palace's grandest interiors. Located in Versailles, France, Versailles is famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy which Louis XIV espoused. Originally the royal hunting lodge when he decided to move there in 1660, the building was expanded over the next few decades to become the largest palace in Europe. Louis XIV officially moved in 1682 and the Court of Versailles was the centre of power in Ancien Régime France until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in 1789.

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Elias Zoghby (January 9, 1912 – January 16, 2008) was the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Baalbek and a leading advocate of Catholic-Orthodox ecumenism. He is best known for his ecumenical interventions during Vatican II and his 1995 Profession of Faith, known as the Zoghby Initiative, which attempted to re-establish communion between the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church while maintaining communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Zoghby's views on topics such as Catholic–Orthodox "double communion" and dissolution of marriage were controversial. Critics labeled him the enfant terrible of his church, while supporters lauded him as an energetic visionary who sought to re-unite the Eastern Churches. Elias Zoghby was born on January 9, 1912 in Cairo. His mother, Hanne Ishak Yared, was a Melkite Greek Catholic and his father, Abdallah Mikail Zoghby, was Antiochian Orthodox convert and former Maronite Catholic.
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St. Florian's Cathedral

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Eulalia of Mérida was a Roman Christian child martyred in Emerita in Lusitania (modern Mérida in Spain) during the persecution of Christians in the reign of emperor Diocletian and his co-emperor Maximian. Others place her death at the time of Trajan Decius (AD 249-51). There is some dispute as to whether Saint Eulalia of Barcelona,whose story is similar, is the same person[1].

Eulalia was a devout Christian virgin, aged 12-14, whose mother sequestered her in the countryside in AD 304 because all citizens were required to avow faith in the Roman gods. Eulalia ran away to the law court of the governor Dacian at Emerita, professed herself a Christian, insulted the pagan gods and emperor Maximian, and challenged the authorities to martyr her. The judge's attempts at flattery and bribery failed. According to the Spanish-Roman poet Prudentius of the fifth century, she said:

Isis Apollo Venus nihil est,
Maximianus et ipse nihil:
illa nihil, quia factu manu;
hic, manuum quia facta colit
(Isis, Apollo and Venus are naught,
Nor is Maximian anything more;
Nothing are they, for by hand they were wrought,
He, for of hands he the work doth adore)

She was then stripped by the soldiers, tortured with hooks and torches, and burnt at the stake, suffocating from smoke inhalation. She taunted her torturers all the while, and as she expired a dove flew out of her mouth. This frightened away the soldiers and allowed a miraculous snow to cover her nakedness, its whiteness indicating her sainthood.

A shrine over her tomb was soon erected. Veneration of Eulalia was already popular with Christians by AD 350 and relics from her were distributed through Iberia. Bishop Fidelis of Merida rebuilt a basilica in her honour around AD 560. Her shrine was the most popular in Visigothic Spain. In c. 780 her body was transferred to Oviedo by King Silo. It lies in a coffin of Arab silver donated by Afonso VI in 1075.


Attributes: cross, stake, and dove
Patronage: Mérida, Spain; Oviedo, Spain; runaways; torture victims; widows
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Henry Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of Westminster


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Divine Mercy

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  1. ^ Haliczer, Stephen (2002). Between exaltation and infamy: Female mystics in the Golden Age of Spain. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 236. ISBN 0195148630.
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