Portal:Catholicism

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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 the city of Rome in 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 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 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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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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Bishop Alejandro Goic is shown wearing a red chasuble and a white miter

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Bernardino of Siena

Saint Bernardino of Siena (sometimes Bernardine, September 8, 1380 – May 20, 1444) was an Italian priest, preacher, Franciscan missionary and Christian saint.Bernardino was born in 1380 to the noble Albizeschi family in Massa Marittima (Tuscany), a Sienese town of which his father was then governor. Left orphaned at six, he was raised by a pious aunt. On the completion of his education he spent some years in the service of the sick in the hospitals. While he was studying civil and canon law in Siena, he worked in the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala throughout the bubonic plague outbreak of 1400 and even urged other young men to stay and help. He thus caught the plague, of which he nearly died.In 1402 or 1404, he joined the Franciscan order in the strict branch called Observant, of which he became one of the chief promoters, after donating all his possessions to the poor. About 1406 Saint Vincent Ferrer, while preaching at Alessandria in Piedmont, foretold that his mantle should descend upon one who was then listening to him, and said that he would return to France and Spain leaving to Bernardino the task of evangelizing the remaining peoples of Italy.
Attributes:Tablet with IHS; three mitres representing the bishoprics which he refused
Patronage:advertisers; advertising; Aquila, Italy; chest problems; communications personnel; Trevignano Romano, Italy; diocese of San Bernardino, California; gambling addicts; Italy; public relations personnel; public relations work; compulsive gambling; lung problems; lungs; against hoarseness; respiratory problems; uncontrolled gambling
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Pope Leo X


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