The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, 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 Rome, 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, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the Pope is the successor to Saint Peter to 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.
The papal conclave of 1492 (August 6 – August 11, 1492) convened after the death of Pope Innocent VIII (July 25, 1492), elected Rodrigo Borja as Pope Alexander VI. The first conclave to be held in the Sistine Chapel, the election is notorious for allegations of simony.
Of the twenty-three cardinals participating in the conclave, fourteen had been elevated by Pope Sixtus IV. The Cardinals of Sixtus IV, known as the "Sistine Cardinals" and led by Giuliano della Rovere, had controlled the conclave of 1484, electing one of their own, Giambattista Cibo as Pope Innocent VIII.
Since 1431 the composition of the College of Cardinals had been radically transformed, increasing the number of cardinal-nephews (from 3 to 10), crown-cardinals (from 2 to 8), and representatives of powerful Roman noble families (from 2 to 4). With the exception of three curial officials and one pastor, the cardinals were "secularly-minded princes largely unconcerned with the spiritual life of either the Latin church or its members." At the time of Innocent VIII's death, the names of Cardinals Gherardo and Sanseverino had not been published, thus making them ineligible to participate in the conclave; however, both were published as an act of the College in sede vacante, Gherardo having been pushed by Orsini and Sanseverino by Sforza.
Did you know...
Feast Day of October 22
Saint Donatus (Donat, Donagh) of Fiesole
madonna with John Baptist and Saint Donatus
was an Irish
teacher and poet, Bishop of Fiesole
, about 829
. 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.
||I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favours and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity.
- July 26, 2017: The Holy Name of Jesus cathedral in Raleigh, North Carolina was dedicated. The groundbreaking took place on January 3, 2015.
- May 21, 2017: Pope Francis announced a consistory for the elevation of five new cardinals on 28 June. He adhered to his established pattern of appointing cardinals from the peripheries, including the first cardinals from El Salvador, Laos, Mali, and Sweden, the latter of whom will also be the first cardinal from Scandinavia.
- April 12, 2017: Pope Francis expanded the Secretariat for Communications and appointed the 13 new consultants in addition to the 16 members added on July 13, 2016. The secretariat was established in June 2015.
- December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016: During the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Rome received 21.3 million pilgrims, the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe received 22 million pilgrims, and World Youth Day in Krakow received 3 million pilgrims.
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