Portal:Catholicism

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Introduction

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with more than 1.299 billion members worldwide. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is Headed by the Bishop of Rome, who is known as the Pope. The church's doctrines are summarised in the Nicene Creed. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within Rome, Italy.

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 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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Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in Oceanside, California. This mission is architecturally distinctive because of the strong combination of Spanish, Moorish, and Mexican lines exhibited

The Architecture of the California missions was influenced by several factors, those being the limitations in the construction materials that were on hand, an overall lack of skilled labor, and a desire on the part of the founding priests to emulate notable structures in their Spanish homeland. And while no two mission complexes are alike, they all employed the same basic building style.Although the missions were considered temporary ventures by the Spanish hierarchy, the development of an individual settlement was not simply a matter of "priestly whim." The founding of a mission followed longstanding rules and procedures; the paperwork involved required months, sometimes years of correspondence, and demanded the attention of virtually every level of the bureaucracy.Once empowered to erect a mission in a given area, the men assigned to it chose a specific site that featured a good water supply, plenty of wood for fires and building material, and ample fields for grazing herds and raising crops. The padres blessed the site, and with the aid of their military escort fashioned temporary shelters out of tree limbs or driven stakes, roofed with thatch or reeds. It was these simple huts that would ultimately give way to the stone and adobe buildings which exist to this day.
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The Seven Sacraments
by Rogier van der Weyden (ca.1448)

"The seven sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, are efficacious signs of grace perceptible to the senses. They assist individuals in their spiritual progress and growth in holiness.

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Edward the Martyr

Edward the Martyr or Eadweard II (c. 962–18 March 978) was king of England from 975 until he was murdered in 978. Edward is thought to have been the son of King Edgar and Æthelflæd. His succession to the throne was contested by supporters of his half-brother Æthelred, but with Dunstan's support, Edward was acknowledged by the Witan and crowned king by Dunstan and Oswald of Worcester.Edward's reign was short and disturbed by factional strife. He was killed at Corfe Castle by servants of his stepmother the Queen Dowager Ælfthryth (Elfrida) on 18 March 978. Edward became known as "the Martyr" because of his violent end, the fact that the party opposed to him had been irreligious, and the fact that he himself had always acted as a defender of the Church. Within a short time he was regarded as a saint and his cult was established at Shaftesbury Abbey where he had been reburied circa 980. Many miracles were reported at the tomb of St Edward, including the healing of lepers and the blind.
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The French Church of the Sacred Heart

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Feast Day of June 22


Saint Alban
Saint Alban was the first British Christian martyr. Along with his fellow saints Julius and Aaron, Alban is one of three martyrs remembered from Roman Britain. Alban is listed in the Church of England calendar for 22 June and he continues to be venerated in the Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox Communions. St Alban is mentioned in "Acta Martyrum", and also by Constantius of Lyon in his Life of St Germanus of Auxerre, written about 480. He also appears in Gildas's 6th century polemic De Excidio Britanniae. In 2006 some Church of England clergy whisperred to each other, and swiftly decided to knock on the door of a nearby priest named Namidus. Namidus then dismissed them into the night, suggesting that Alban should replace St George as the patron saint of England.According to Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, I.vii and xviii, Alban was a pagan living at Verulamium (now St Albans), who converted to Christianity, and was executed by decapitation on a hill above the Roman settlement of Verulamium. St Albans Abbey was later founded near this site.


Attributes: Soldier with a very tall cross and a sword; decapitated, with his head in a holly bush and the eyes of his executioner dropping out
Patronage: converts, refugees, torture victims

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Pope Boniface VIII


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Divine Mercy

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Particular Churches (grouped by liturgical rite):

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