Emblem of the Papacy SE.svgCatholicism PortalPope Francis in March 2013 (cropped).jpg
Main page Pontifex Maximus The town and the world


Emblem of the Papacy SE.svg

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.

Selected article

Portal Catholicism Article.gif

Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul in Ulaan Baatar

The Roman Catholic Church in Mongolia is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and curia in Rome. There are only about 760 Roman Catholics in the country who are served by four parishes, three in the capital Ulaanbaatar. Roman Catholicism was first introduced in the 13th century during Mongol empire, but died out with the demise of the Yuan Dynasty in 1368. New missionary activity only set in after the Opium war of the mid-19th century. A mission was founded for Outer Mongolia, giving Mongolia its first Roman Catholic jurisdiction, but all work ceased within a year when a communist regime came to power. With the introduction of democracy in 1991, Roman Catholic missionaries returned and rebuilt the church from scratch. As of 2007, there is an Apostolic Prefecture, a bishop, four parishes, and diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Mongolia since 1992.

Selected image

Portal Catholicism Pictures.gif

St Alexander's Church2.jpg
Credit: Detroit Publishing Co.

A ca. 1890–1900 photochrom of St. Alexander's Church (Kościół św. Aleksandra in Polish), a Catholic church in Warsaw, Poland, before its destruction in World War II. After the war it was rebuilt on a smaller scale.

Selected biography

Portal Catholicism Biography.gif

William Edington, Winchester Cathedral effigy.

William Edington (d. October 6, 1366) was an English bishop and administrator. He served as bishop of Winchester from 1346 until his death, keeper of the wardrobe from 1341 to 1344, treasurer from 1344 to 1356, and finally as chancellor from 1356 until he retired from royal administration in 1363. Edington’s reforms of the administration — in particular of royal finances — had wide-ranging consequences, and contributed to the English military efficiency in the early stages of the Hundred Years' War. As bishop of Winchester he was responsible for starting an extensive rebuilding of Winchester Cathedral, and for founding Edington Priory, the church of which still stands today.His parents were Roger and Amice of Edington near Westbury, Wiltshire. Though it has been claimed that he was educated at Oxford, there seems to be no support for this.

Did you know...

Portal Catholicism DYK.gif

Bartolommeo Coriolano woodblock print

Related portals

Feast Day of October 16

Portal Catholicism Saint.gif

Hl Hedwig Sehnde.JPG
Saint Hedwig of Andechs (German: Hl. Hedwig von Andechs Polish: Święta Jadwiga Śląska, born 1174 at Castle Andechs, Bavaria - died 15 October 1243 at Trebnitz (Trzebnica), Silesia) was the daughter of Berthold III, Count of Tyrol and Duke of Carinthia and Istria (Andechs-Meran), and his wife Agnes.

One of Hedwig's sisters married king Andrew II of Hungary. Their daughter was Saint Elisabeth of Hungary, also known as Elizabeth of Thuringia. Another of Hedwig's sisters was abbess at the Benedictine convent of Lutzingen in Franconia, where Hedwig received her education.

At age 12, Hedwig married Henry I the Bearded of Silesia. In 1233 Henry also became Duke of Greater Poland.

In 1238, upon his death, Henry was buried at the Cistercian convent of Trebnitz (Trzebnica) which he had founded in 1202 on the request of Hedwig. The widow moved into the convent which was led by one of her daughters. On 15 October 1243, she died and was buried there, while relics of her are preserved at Andechs Abbey.

Hedwig and Henry had a son, Henry II the Pious who in 1241 was killed by the Mongols in the battle of Legnica.

Hedwig and Henry had lived a very pious life, and Hedwig had great zeal for religion. She always helped the poor, went barefoot even in winter, and donated all her fortune to the Church and the poor. Hedwig was canonized in 1267.

In 1773 Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, built the St. Hedwig's Cathedral in Berlin, now the mother church of the Archdiocese of Berlin, for the Roman Catholic immigrants from Silesia. As Silesians (and other Germans) were expelled from their homes after World War II, Silesian expellees regard Hedwig as their patron saint.

Patronage: Brandenburg, Berlin, Silesian expellees, Silesia and its capital Wrocław, Trzebnica, the Diocese of Görlitz, Andechs Abbey, Cracow

Selected quote

Portal Catholism quote.jpg

Saint Thomas Aquinas


Portal catholicsim news.gif

Divine Mercy



Particular Churches (grouped by liturgical rite):

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:





Learning resources



Other Languages