Portal:Catholic Church

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Introduction

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The Catholic Church, sometimes referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's oldest and largest 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 is the Holy See.

The Christian beliefs of Catholicism are found in the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter upon whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. 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, enclosed monastic orders and third 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 Divine Mercy, 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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Pietro Ottoboni, the last Cardinal Nephew, painted by Francesco Trevisani

A cardinal-nephew (Latin: cardinalis nepos; Spanish: valido de su tío; French: prince de fortune) is a cardinal elevated by a pope who is that cardinal's uncle, or more generally, his relative. The practice of creating cardinal-nephews originated in the Middle Ages, and reached its apex during the 16th and 17th centuries Pope Boniface IX, the second pope of the Western Schism, did not appoint cardinal-nephews. Until Pope Innocent XII, the only other exceptions were: Pope Innocent XI (who attempted to abolish the practice), popes who did not appoint cardinals (Pope Pius III, Pope Marcellus II, Pope Urban VII, Pope Leo XI), and Pope Adrian VI (who appointed one cardinal).The institution of the cardinal-nephew evolved over seven centuries, tracking developments in the history of the Papacy and the styles of individual popes. From 1566 until 1692, a cardinal-nephew held the curial office of the Superintendent of the Ecclesiastical State, known as the Cardinal Nephew, and thus the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The curial office of the Cardinal Nephew as well as the institution of the cardinal-nephew declined as the power of the Cardinal Secretary of State increased and the temporal power of popes decreased in the 17th and 18th centuries.
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Michelangelo's Pieta 5450 cropncleaned.jpg
Credit: Stanislav Traykov

The Pietà (pl. same; Italian for pity) is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. As such, it is a particular form of the devotional theme of Our Lady of Sorrows, and also a scene from the Passion of Christ.

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1722 facsimile of first page of Cotton manuscript of Asser's 'Life of King Alfred'

Asser (d. 908/909) was a Welsh monk from St. David's, Dyfed, who became Bishop of Sherborne in the 890s. In about 885 he was asked by Alfred the Great to leave St. David's and join the circle of learned men which Alfred was recruiting for his court. After spending a year at Caerwent due to an illness, he accepted. In 893 Asser wrote a biography of Alfred, called the Life of King Alfred. The manuscript survived to modern times in only one copy, which was part of the Cotton library. That copy was destroyed in a fire in 1731, but transcriptions that had been made earlier, allied with material from Asser's work that was included by other early writers, have enabled the work to be reconstructed. The biography is now the main source of information about Alfred's life, and provides far more information about Alfred than is known about any other early English ruler. Asser also assisted Alfred in his translation of Gregory the Great's Pastoral Care, and possibly with other works. Asser is sometimes cited as a source for the legend of Alfred having founded the University of Oxford, which is now known to be false. A short passage making this claim was interpolated by William Camden into his 1603 edition of Asser's Life. Doubts have also been raised periodically about whether the entire Life is a forgery, written by a slightly later writer, but it is now almost universally accepted as genuine.
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Feast Day of April 1

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Image of Saint Nuno Álvares Pereira
D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, O. Carm. (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈnunu ˈaɫvɐɾɨʃ pɨˈɾɐjɾɐ]; 24 June 1360 – 1 November 1431), also spelled Nun'Álvares Pereira, 7th Count of Barcelos, 3rd Count of Ourém and 2nd Count of Arraiolos, was a Portuguese general of great success who had a decisive role in the 1383-1385 Crisis that assured Portugal's independence from Castile. He later became a mystic and was later beatified by Pope Benedict XV, in 1918, and canonised by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.
Prayer: "Lord God, you called Saint Nuno Álvares Pereira to put aside his sword and follow Christ under the Patronage of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Through his prayers may we too deny ourselves, and devote ourselves to you with all our hearts. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord."


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Patrick, Archbishop of Armagh


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27 March 2020 – Impact of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic on religion
Pope Francis delivers a special Urbi et Orbi blessing in an empty Saint Peter's Square, praying for the end of the coronavirus pandemic and offering a plenary indulgence to repentant sinners before San Marcello al Corso's miraculous crucifix, which was moved from its original church in Rome two days ago. (Vatican News) (Aleteia)
24 March 2020 – 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic
2020 coronavirus pandemic in Vatican City
Roman Curia confirms three more cases, raising to four. (Il Messaggero)
22 March 2020 – 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Vatican City
Pope Francis, in a call for a worldwide prayer, announces he will hold a special service to pray for the end of the coronavirus pandemic. (Reuters)

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