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Pentecost

Descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

The Catholic Church or the Church is the assembly of Catholic Christians[1] in Heaven, in Purgatory and on Earth.[2] On Earth it is made up of 23 particular churches.[3] The Church began on Pentecost.[4] Based on the dates of the Death[5] and Resurrection of Jesus Christ[6], of Pentecost in relation to the First Fruits[7], and of the conversion of St. Paul[8], the Church began around 33 A.D. This article will mostly be dealing with the Church on Earth.

Teaching, Governance, and SanctificationEdit

The Church is the continuation of the redemptive mission of Jesus Christ.[9] Because of this, the Church has three offices: teaching,[10] governance,[11] and sanctification.[12]

By teaching the Church is made to live in the Truth by the Holy Spirit[13] and the Church preserves, transmits and interprets the Word of God.[14] The Church understands and hands on the faith, defines dogmas of the faith,[15] and grows in the understanding of the faith thanks to the Holy Spirit,[16] who instructs and guides all into every truth.[17]

By governance the Church is animated by the Holy Spirit[18] and the Church protects all men from sin and error.[19] The Pope and the bishops of the Church rule through service to the Word of God.[20] The Pope has full, universal and supreme power over the Church[21] and the bishop has ordinary, proper and immediate power over the diocese he heads.[22]

By sanctification the Church is made holy by the Holy Spirit[23] and the Church prays and works for all men to be made holy.[24] The Church sanctifies the day and night by the Liturgy of the Hours,[25] sanctifies Sunday and Holy Days by obedience to the Commandments,[26] and sanctifies the world by active and contemplative apostolates.[27]

HierarchyEdit

The hierarchy of the Church is the divinely instituted offices which carry out the mission of the Church.[28] These offices include, in order of lowest to highest:

  • the Diaconate - the deacons ordained not to the priesthood but to ministry[29]
  • the Presbyterate - the priests ordained to cooperate with the bishop[30]
  • the Episcopacy - the bishops ordained to the apostolic chair[31]

By virtue of their office, bishops are "the high priests, the principal dispensers of the mysteries of God, and the directors, promoters, and guardians of the entire liturgical life in the church entrusted to them."[32] Moreover, deacons are not to be confused with deaconesses, who were women, such as Phoebe, that ministered to the Church's needs.[33]

LiturgyEdit

The Liturgy is the life of the Church, whereby, Jesus Christ celebrates and makes present the Paschal Mysteries until the end of the ages; bestows the graces he won for all men by the Paschal Mysteries on the Church, and, through it, on all men; and anticipates and brings about the Second Coming. He prays with and in Christians and is prayed to by Christians, who, on Earth, share in the Liturgy of Heaven by their share in the Liturgy on Earth, especially in the sacraments, but particularly in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.[34]

In addition to the sacraments, the earthly Liturgy includes Sunday and Holy Days, the Liturgical Year, and the Liturgy of the Hours.[35] The Liturgy of the Hours, as an extension of the Eucharistic celebration, is the prayer of the Church, which does not exclude but fosters the devotions of the Church, especially adoration and worship of the Eucharist.[36]

Churches and RitesEdit

The largest church in the Catholic Church is the Roman Church.[37] The Eastern Catholic Churches, properly called, are distinct from the Eastern Orthodox Churches, which are not Catholic.[38] The Catholic Church traces its origins back to the four major churches at the time of the Apostles:

Catholic rites2

Churches and Rites

Each church in the Church has its own sacred rite and language used in the Liturgy. These include:[39]

The Roman Church

  • Roman Rite: Latin
  • Anglican Use: Latin
  • Mozarabic Rite: Latin
  • Ambrosian Rite: Latin
  • Bragan Rite: Latin
  • Dominican Rite: Latin
  • Carmelite Rite: Latin
  • Carthusian Rite: Latin

The Antiochian Church

  • Maronite Rite: Aramaic
  • Syriac Rite: West Syriac
  • Malankarese Rite: West Syriac and Malayalam
  • Chaldean Rite: Syriac and Arabic
  • Syro-Malabarese Rite: Syriac and Malayalam

The Alexandrian Church

  • Coptic Rite: Egyptian Coptic and Arabic
  • Ethopian/Abyssinian Rite: Geez

The Byzantine Church

  • Armenian Rite: Classical Armenian
  • Albanian Rite: Albanian
  • Belarussian/Byelorussian Rite: Old Slavonic
  • Bulgarian Rite: Old Slavonic
  • Czech Rite: Church Slavonic
  • Krizevci Rite: Old Slavonic
  • Greek Rite: Greek
  • Hungarian Rite: Greek, Hungarian and English
  • Italo-Albanian Rite: Greek and Italo-Albanian
  • Melkite Rite: Greek, Arabic, English, Portugese and Spanish
  • Romanian Rite: Romanian
  • Russian Rite: Old Slavonic
  • Ruthenian Rite: Church Slavonic
  • Slovak Rite: Church Slavonic
  • Ukranian Rite: Old Slavonic and the venacular

The Roman ("Western") Church follows the Code of Canon Law,[40] while the other 22 churches ("Eastern Catholic Churches") follow the Code of Canons for Oriental Churches.[41] In addition, the Western and Eastern Churches reckon the date of Easter differently in the liturgical year,[42] a disagreement that has existed since the late 1st century.[43]

SpiritualityEdit

Spirituality is a share in the living tradition of prayer and a ray of the light of the Holy Spirit. Saints have sometimes shared their spiritualities with others, just like Elijah gave a portion of his spirit to Elisha.[44] There are many "schools" of spirituality in the Church, such as:[45]

  • Desert spirituality
  • Benedictine spirituality
  • Francisican spirituality
  • Dominican spirituality
  • Ignatian spirituality
  • Carmelite spirituality
  • Redemptorist spirituality
  • Monfortian spirituality
  • French spirituality
  • Charismatic spirituality
  • Opus Dei spirituality

GospelsEdit

The Gospels, properly called, are the memoirs of the Apostles that tell the glad tidings of Jesus Christ.[46] These Gospels include the Gospel of St. Matthew, the Gospel of St. Mark, the Gospel of St. Luke, and the Gospel of St. John. The Acts of the Apostles is the second part of the Gospel of St. Luke.[47]

Gospel

[48]

Author

[49]

Language

[50]

Audience

[51][52][53]

Expositions

[54][55]

Teaching [56]

Principle [57]

Year(A.D.) [58]

Matthew St. Matthew, Apostle Hebrew Jews in Judea Jesus is Man & Messiah Virtue of Activity Jesus' humble genealogy c. 30-50
Mark St. Mark, companion of St. Peter Greek Gentiles in Rome Jesus is Man & Messiah Virtue of Activity Abridged Matthew c. 50-60

Luke & Acts

St. Luke, companion of St. Paul Greek Theophilus in Jerusalem

Jesus is Man & High Priest

Virtue of Activity Jesus' royal genealogy c. 60-63
John St. John, Apostle Greek Heretics the world over Jesus is God, Son of God Virtue of Contem-plation c. 63-70


During and after the time of the Apostles, other gospels were being written,[59] falsely attributed to certain people,[60] and distributed by false teachers. These pseudo-gospels should not be mistaken for the gospels written by early Christian writers to "fill in the gaps" in the events of Jesus' life.[61] However, it must be noted that the pseudo-gospels were pseudopigrapha[62] written by heretics,[63] many of them dating to the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th century.[64]

CreedsEdit

The Catholic Church has had many creeds throughout its history, both for local churches and for the whole Church, but two creeds in particular hold a special place in its life: the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed.[65]

The Apostle's Creed is prayed (optionally) at Mass during Lent and Easter,[66] and in the Oath of Fidelity,[67] because it is a summary of the Apostolic Faith and is the oldest Roman catechism,[68] while the Nicene Creed is prayed at every Mass,[69] because it is a communal profession of the Catholic Faith.[70]

Scriptures and TraditionEdit

The Church has a single Word, or Revelation, of God.[71] It is contained in two modes: a written mode called the Sacred Scriptures and a oral mode called the Sacred Tradition.[72] Divine Revelation is interpreted by the Holy Spirit[73] in Jesus Christ[74] in the Pope and in the bishops,[75] who are the vicars and legates of Jesus Christ.[76]

In addition to the Word of God, the Church has other books: Holy icons, liturgical texts of the day and season, the writings of the Church Fathers, works of spirituality, the book of creation, and the book of history. These books do not suprass or replace the Word but help Catholics to live by and meditate on the Word.[77]

CatechismEdit

The Church has had many catechetical writings in its history,[78] which aim to educate catechumens of all ages in the Christian Faith in preparation for their baptisms.[79] The current catechism that the Church uses is the Catechism of the Catholic Church[80] and the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.[81] The Church recommends the Catechism as a help, together with the Scriptures, to praying the Rosary.[82]

Popular PietyEdit

Popular piety or popular devotion are the traditions, prayers, actions and blessed objects in the Church that help Catholics to live the Christian life. These include "the veneration of relics, visits to sanctuaries, pilgrimages, processions, the stations of the cross, religious dances, the rosary, medals,etc."[83]

Popular piety is not to be confused with the sacramentals, which are sacred signs of effects that lead one to and prepare one for the sacraments. These include such things as blessings and the rite of exorcism.[84]

AngelsEdit

Archangels

Sts. Gabriel, Raphael and Michael

Among the members of the Church on Earth are the hosts of angels in Heaven. The angels help the Church and the Church joins the angel in adoring God. In addition, each Christian is in the company of a guardian angel, who helps prepare him for Heaven, which he already shares in by faith on Earth.[85]

The Church especially worships the three archangels mentioned in the Scriptures: St. Gabriel, who announces the coming Messiah to the Prophet Daniel[86] and who announces the births of the Precursor and of the Messiah and names them "John" and "Jesus";[87] St. Raphael, who brings Tobit safely to his future wife's house and has her marry him and who frees her from an evil spirit and cures Tobit's father of blindness;[88] and St. Michael, who protects the body of Moses against Satan[89] and protects the Body of Christ, that is, the Church, [90] and who will herald the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.[91]

NotesEdit

  1. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p1.htm#751
  2. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p5.htm#954
  3. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s1c2a2.htm#1203
  4. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p1.htm#767
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_of_the_crucifixion#Year_of_death_estimates
  6. http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/First_Fruits/first_fruits.html
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shavuot#Dates_in_dispute
  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._paul#Conversion_and_mission
  9. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c3a8.htm#737
  10. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm#888
  11. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm#894
  12. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm#893
  13. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm#890
  14. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#85
  15. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#88
  16. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#94
  17. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#91
  18. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p2.htm#797
  19. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a7.htm#2420
  20. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm#894
  21. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm#882
  22. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm#895
  23. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p3.htm#824
  24. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p2.htm#798
  25. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s1c2a1.htm#1174
  26. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c1a3.htm#2187
  27. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p3.htm#863
  28. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm#874
  29. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a6.htm#1569
  30. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a6.htm#1562
  31. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a6.htm#1555
  32. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P2S.HTM#3D
  33. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/_PZ4.HTM#-499
  34. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s1c1a1.htm#1088
  35. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s1c2a1.htm#1163
  36. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s1c2a1.htm#1178
  37. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Rite
  38. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Catholic_Churches
  39. http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=2786
  40. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P2.HTM#B
  41. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_19901018_codex-can-eccl-orient-1_lt.html#CANONES_PRAELIMINARES
  42. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s1c2a1.htm#1170
  43. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.iii.x.xxiv.html
  44. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p4s1c2a3.htm#2684
  45. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_spirituality
  46. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm#125
  47. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PV8.HTM
  48. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf106.vi.iv.ii.html
  49. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf106.vi.iv.ii.html
  50. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf106.vi.iv.ii.html
  51. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_matthew#Setting:_the_community_of_the_Gospel_of_Matthew
  52. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophilus_%28Biblical%29
  53. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf106.vi.iv.iv.html
  54. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf106.vi.iv.iii.html
  55. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf106.vi.iv.iv.html
  56. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf106.vi.iv.v.html
  57. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf106.vi.iv.ii.html
  58. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#Dating
  59. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/_PZX.HTM#-4H9
  60. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnostic_gospel
  61. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Nicodemus
  62. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudopigrapha
  63. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_heresies#Early_Christianity
  64. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#Non-canonical_gospels
  65. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2.htm#192
  66. http://old.usccb.org/romanmissal/order-of-mass.pdf
  67. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19880701_professio-fidei_en.html
  68. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2.htm#194
  69. http://old.usccb.org/romanmissal/order-of-mass.pdf
  70. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c3a2.htm#167
  71. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a1.htm
  72. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#81
  73. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm#109
  74. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm#I
  75. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#85
  76. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm#894
  77. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p4s1c3a1.htm#2705
  78. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/prologue.htm#8
  79. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/prologue.htm#5
  80. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/prologue.htm#III
  81. http://www.vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html#INTRODUCTION
  82. http://www.vatican.va/special/rosary/documents/misteri_en.html
  83. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c4a1.htm#1674
  84. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c4a1.htm
  85. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p5.htm#334
  86. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PSS.HTM
  87. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PWK.HTM
  88. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PCB.HTM
  89. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/_P12I.HTM#-50U
  90. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PSX.HTM
  91. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/_P10S.HTM#-4PF

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