Portal:Catholicism

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Catholicism is the entirety of the beliefs and practices of the Western 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 St.Ignatius of Antioch about A.D. 107 to the church of Smyrna, whose bishop, Polycarp, visited Ignatius during his journey to Rome as a prisoner: in his letter to Smyrna, Ignatius 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." (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 (Gal.3:28; Eph.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 Jewish Law), and in his Book of Revelation St. John calls them "Nicolaitans". 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 under the Roman Emperor Theodosius on February 27 AD 380 in the Theodosian Code XVI.i.2: "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."

[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.]

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An image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Nahuatl: Nicān Mopōhua), also called the Virgin of Guadalupe (Spanish: Virgen de Guadalupe) is a 16th century Roman Catholic icon depicting an apparition of the Virgin Mary. It is Mexico's most beloved religious and cultural image. Our Lady of Guadalupe is known in Mexico as "La Virgen Morena", which means "The brown-skinned Virgin". Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast day is celebrated on December 12, commemorating the account of her appearances to Saint Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City from December 9 through December 12, 1531.The Virgin of Guadalupe is a cultural symbol of significant importance to the Mexican identity.The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City is the second most visited Roman catholic shrine on the world after the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican.The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is often read as a coded image. Miguel Sanchez, the author of the 1648 tract Imagen de la Virgen María, described the Virgin's image as the Woman of the Apocalypse from the New Testament's Revelation 12:1: "arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars."
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Credit: Raffaello Sanzio

The School of Athens or "Scuola di Atene" in Italian is one of the most famous paintings by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1509 and 1510 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

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Bishop Albin's seal.

Albin (or Albinus) (d. 1269) was a 13th-century prelate of the Kingdom of Scotland. A university graduate, Albin is known for his ecclesiastical career in the diocese of Brechin, centred on Angus in east-central Scotland.Almost certainly a native of Angus, he appears to be a descendant of David of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon, brother of King William I of Scotland, through an illegitimate son whom Earl David settled in the area around Brechin.Albin, himself an illegitimate child, made his career as a churchman in the local diocese, and served for some time as precentor of Brechin Cathedral before, in 1246, being elected Bishop of Brechin. He remained Bishop of Brechin until his death in 1269.Albin became Bishop of Brechin following an election and then a successful appeal for confirmation to the papacy. Pope Innocent IV's mandate for confirmation gave the details of the election.
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Crumbling stone walls of the Santa Maria de Ovila monastery stand without a roof

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Feast Day of April 23


Adalbert of Prague

Saint Adalbert of Prague (Czech: About this sound Vojtěch ; Polish: Wojciech; c. 956–April 23, 997), a bishop of Prague, was martyred in his efforts, to convert the Baltic Prussians. He was later made the patron saint of Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, and Prussia.Adalbert (Vojtěch) was born in a Czech noble family of Prince Slavník and his wife Střezislava in Libice nad Cidlinou, Bohemia. His father was a rich and independent ruler of the Zličan princedom that rivaled Prague (see Slavník's dynasty). Adalbert had five full brothers: Soběbor (Slavnik's heir), Spytimir, Pobraslav, Porej, Caslav and a half-brother Radim (Gaudentius) from his father's liaison with another woman. Radim chose a clerical career as did Adalbert, and the name Gaudentius. Adalbert was a well-educated man, having studied for about ten years (970-80) in Magdeburg under Saint Adalbert of Magdeburg. Upon the death of his mentor, he took on the name Adalbert. Gifted and industrious, Adalbert soon became well-known all over Europe.In 980 Adalbert finished his studies at Magdeburg school and returned to Prague where he became a priest. In 981 his father, Prince Slavnik, and both his mentors died.
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Patronage:Bohemia; Poland; Prussia
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Robert Bellarmine, SJ, Doctor of the Church
Sharing in solicitude for all the Churches, bishops exercise this episcopal office of theirs, received through episcopal consecration, in communion with and under the authority of the Supreme Pontiff. All are united in a college or body with respect to teaching the universal Church of God and governing her as shepherds.
Robert Bellarmine Decree on the Bishops' Pastoral Office

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Pope John XXIII

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