The Catholic Church

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The Catholic Church

Submitted to
Prof. Merle D. Valbuena
English Dept., CASS
MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology

Stephen John S. Brillantes
March 2005

Thesis Statement: The Roman Catholic Church and the past and the present of strengthened Christianity.

I. Introduction
II. Organization and Structure
a.The Bishop
b.The Clergy
c.The Pope
d.The Cardinal
e.The Curia
f.The Eastern Rite Churches
III. Distinctive Doctrines
a.The Bible
b.The Traditions of the Church
c.Apostolic Succession
d.The Saints
IV. Worship and Practices
a.The Mass
b.The Sacraments
c.Current Related Issues
V. The Church History
a. The Early Church
b. The Medieval Church
c. The Modern Period Church
VI. Conclusion

The Catholic Church
The Roman Catholic Church and the past and present of strengthened Christianity. This term paper will discuss about the Roman Catholic Church, the largest single Christian body, composed of those Christians who acknowledge the supreme authority of the bishop of Rome, the pope, in matters of faith. The word catholic (Greek katholikos) means "universal" and has been used to designate the church since its earliest period, when it was the only Christian church. The Roman Catholic Church regards itself as the only legitimate inheritor, by an unbroken succession of bishops descending from Saint Peter to the present time, of the commission and powers conferred by Jesus Christ on the 12 Apostles. Organization and structure

The church has had a profound influence on the development of European culture and on the introduction of European values into other civilizations. Its total membership in the late 1990s was about 1 billion (about 52 percent of the total number of affiliated Christians, or 16 percent of the world population) (Oakley, 1979). The church has its greatest numerical strength in Europe and Latin America but also has a large membership in other parts of the world.

In keeping with early Christian traditions, the fundamental unit of organization in the Roman Catholic Church is the diocese, headed by a bishop. The church comprises nearly 2,000 dioceses and 561 archdioceses, which are more distinguished sees (areas of jurisdiction) that have certain responsibilities for governance in the dioceses attached to them (McGrath, 1986). The major church in a diocese is the cathedral, where the bishop presides at worship and other ceremonies. The cathedral contains the bishop's "throne" or "chair" (Latin cathedra), from which in the early church he preached to his congregation. The bishop is the chief liturgical figure in the diocese and is distinguished from the priest principally by the power to confer holy orders and to act as the usual minister of confirmation. The bishop has the highest jurisdictional powers within the diocese: He has the right to admit priests to his diocese and to exclude them from the practice of ministry within it, and he assigns priests of his diocese to parishes and other duties. The bishop often delegates administrative details to his vicar-general, his chancellor, or other officials. In larger dioceses he may be assisted by auxiliary or coadjutor bishops. Directly under the bishop are the clergy, both secular and religious. Secular clergy are not members of religious orders or congregations and have permanently been incorporated (incardinated) into the diocese under the authority of the local bishop. Secular clergy generally staff the parishes of the diocese and serve as pastors in them. The religious clergy, on the other hand, are primarily committed to their orders or congregations, which transcend diocesan boundaries. While working within a given diocese, these clergy must adhere to the bishop's decisions in matters of public worship but otherwise enjoy considerable discretion in their ministry. The same can be said of nuns (or sisters) and brothers, who are members of orders or congregations but...
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