Portal:Catholicism

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Catholicism is the entirety of the beliefs and practices of the Latin and Eastern Churches that are in full communion with the pope as the Bishop of Rome and successor of Saint Peter the Apostle, united as the Catholic Church.

The first known written use of "Catholic Church" appears in a letter by Ignatius of Antioch c. AD 107 to the church of Smyrna, whose bishop, Polycarp, visited Ignatius during his journey to Rome as a prisoner, he wrote:

Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.

— Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8

His use of "Catholic Church" suggests that it was already in current use, for he sees no need to explain himself and uses the expression as one already known to his readers, it gives expression to St. Paul's teaching that all baptized in Christ are one body in Christ (Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 4:3–6, 12–16). Dissenting groups breaking away from this universal unity were already known to the Apostles: in his letters Paul refers to the "Judaizers" (those requiring observance of the Mosaic Law), and in his Book of Revelation St. John calls them "Nicolaitans". They believe that it is a small step for those faithful to the teaching of the Apostles to identify themselves as the Catholic Church ("the one Church everywhere"), and not to include those dissenting and breaking away from unity with her.

The term Catholic Christianity entered into Roman law by force of edict on 27 February AD 380:

It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our clemency and moderation, should continue the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one Deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since in our judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of divine condemnation and the second the punishment of [as] our authority, in accordance with the will of heaven, shall decide to inflict.


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A view of Mission San Juan Capistrano in April of 2005.

Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded on All Saints' Day November 1, 1776 by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order. Named for a 15th century theologian and "warrior priest" who resided in the Abruzzo region of Italy, San Juan Capistrano has the distinction of being home to the oldest building in California still in use, a chapel built in 1782; known alternately as "Serra's Chapel" and "Father Serra's Church," it is the only extant structure wherein it has been documented that the padre officiated over mass. One of the best known of the Alta California missions (and one of the few missions to have actually been founded twice — others being Mission San Gabriel Arcángel and Mission La Purísima Concepción) — the site was originally consecrated on October 30, 1775 by Father Fermín Lasuén, but was quickly abandoned due to unrest among the indigenous population in San Diego.
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Credit: Sanchezn

Notre Dame de Paris, known simply as Notre Dame in English , is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris, France, with its main entrance to the west. It is still used as a Roman Catholic cathedral and is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris.

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Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa (Albanian: Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu; Albanian pronunciation: [ˈaɡnɛs ˈɡɔndʒa bɔˈjadʒu]) (August 26, 1910 – September 5, 1997) was an Albanian Roman Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata (Calcutta), India in 1950. For over forty years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity's expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries. By the 1970s she had become internationally famed as a humanitarian and advocate for the poor and helpless, due in part to a documentary, and book, Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work. Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity continued to expand, and at the time of her death it was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools.
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madonna with John Baptist and Saint Donatus
Saint Donatus (Donat, Donagh) of Fiesole was an Irish teacher and poet, Bishop of Fiesole, about 829-876. His feast day is October 22.

In an ancient collection of the Vitae Patrum, of which an eleventh century copy exists in the Laurentian library of Florence, there is an account of the life of Donatus, which includes the following.

Donatus was born in Ireland, of a noble family. About 816 he visited the tombs of the Apostles in Rome with his friend, Andrew the Scot. On his journey northwards he was led by Divine Providence to the cathedral of Fiesole, which he entered at the moment when the people were grouped around their altars praying for a bishop to deliver them from the evils, temporal and spiritual, which afflicted them. Raised by popular acclaim to the See of Fiesole, Donatus instituted a revival of piety and learning in the Church over which he was placed. Donatus made Andrew his deacon.

He himself did not disdain to teach "the art of metrical composition", the "Life" is interspersed with short poems written by the saintly bishop. The best known of these is the twelve-line poem in which he describes the beauty and fertility of his native land, and the prowess and piety of its inhabitants. Donatus also composed an epitaph in which he alludes to his birth in Ireland, his years in the service of the princes of Italy (Lothair and Louis), his episcopate at Fiesole, and his activity as a teacher of grammar and poetry.



Attributes: in the garb of a bishop with an Irish wolfhound at his feet. He is also shown pointing out a church to his deacon Andrew.
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  1. ^ Extract of English translation from Henry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1943), p. 31, cited at Medieval Sourcebook: Theodosian Code XVI by Paul Halsall, Fordham University. Retrieved Jan 5, 2007, the full Latin text of the code is at IMPERATORIS THEODOSIANI CODEX Liber Decimus Sextus (170KB download), archived from George Mason University. Retrieved Jan 5, 2007.