Roman Catholicism in Europe

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The Roman Catholic Church in Europe is part of worldwide Catholic Church. It is the largest religious group in Europe.

Demographics[edit]

About 35%[1] of the population of Europe today is Catholic, but only about a quarter of all Catholics worldwide reside in Europe. This is due in part to the movement and immigration at various times of largely Catholic European ethnic groups (such as the Irish, Italians, Poles, Portuguese, and Spaniards) to continents such as the Americas and Australia. Furthermore, Catholicism has been spread outside Europe through both historical Catholic missionary activity, especially in South America, and the past colonization and conversion of native people by Catholic European countries, specifically the Spanish, Portuguese, French colonial and Belgian colonial empires, in regions such South America, the Caribbean, Central Africa and West Africa, and Southeast Asia.[2]

The Holy See and the European episcopal conferences[edit]

Holy See–European Union relations[edit]

(see also: Holy See–European Union relations)

As the Vatican State is a theocracy, it cannot become a member of the European Union. However, traditionally there are very strong ties of the Holy See with the neighbor country of the Vatican City Italy and also with the European Union. Since 1970 the European Union accredits an official representatives from the Holy See (an Apostolic Nuncio) to the EU. Even though the Vatican City is not an official member of the European Union, it has adopted the Euro as its currency and has open borders with the Schengen Area.

Statements of the Holy See on the European integration[edit]

In 2016 Pope Francis was awarded with the Charlemagne prize. During his speech of thanks Pope Francis criticized a "crisis of solidarity"[3] in Europe and condemned "national self-interest, renationalization and particularism".[3]

The Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE)[edit]

(see also Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe)

The Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe (Latin: Consilium Conferentiarum Episcoporum Europae) (CCEE) is a conference of the presidents of the 33 Roman Catholic episcopal conferences of Europe, the Archbishop of Luxembourg, the Archbishop of Monaco, Maronite Catholic Archeparch of Cyprus, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Chişinău, the Ruthenian Catholic Eparch of Mukacheve, and the Apostolic Administrator of Estonia.[4] The of the CCEE Secretariat is located in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE)[edit]

(see also Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community)

The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (Latin: Commissio Episcopatuum Communitatis Europaeae; COMECE) is the association of Catholic Church episcopal conferences in member states of the European Union (EU) which officially represents those episcopal conferences at EU institutions.[5][6] COMECE bishops are delegated by Catholic episcopal conferences in EU member states and has a permanent Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium.[5][7] It was established in 1980 and replaced the European Catholic Pastoral Information Service (SIPECA, 1976–1980). Discussions during the 1970s about creating an episcopal conferences' liaison organization to the European Community led to the decision, on the eve of the European Parliament election, 1979, to establish COMECE.[8]

Important European Catholic lay organizations[edit]

European Catholic youth organizations[edit]

Fimcap Europe (International Federation of Catholic Parochial Youth Movements): Fimcap is an umbrella organization for catholic youth organizations, especially for youth organizations which are based at parish level. (See also: Fimcap Europe)

MIJARC Europe (International Movement of Catholic Agricultural and Rural Youth): MIJARC Europe is a platform representing the catholic, agricultural and rural youth movements in Europe.

Other important Catholic lay organizations[edit]

CIDSE (International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity): CIDSE is an umbrella organization for Catholic development agencies from Europe and North America.

Important sites for the Roman Catholic Church in Europe[edit]

(See also: List of Christian pilgrimage sites)

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Rome

Vatican City and Rome: According to the Christian tradition, Saint Peter, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ and early Christian church leader, was crucified and buried in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. On the place supposed to be the burial site of Saint Peter the St. Peter's Basilica was built. Rome is also the residence city of the pope, the leader of the Catholic church, who at the same time is also the "Bishop of Rome". Until today the Pope rules over an ecclesiastical state, the Vatican City, which encompasses 44 hectares of the city area. Rome hosts also the Papal Major basilicas. Besides the St. Peter's Basilica there are three other Major basilicas: St. John Lateran, St. Paul Outside the Walls and St. Mary Major.

Santiago de Compostela: One of the most important and famous sites for pilgrimages for the Roman Catholic Church is Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in Spain. The cathedral of the city hosts the shrine of Saint James, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and traditionally considered the first apostle to be martyred. Santiago de Compostela is the final destination of the Way of St. James (Galician: O Camiño de Santiago).

Assisi: Assisi, a town in the Umbria region in Italy, hosts two more papal basilicas: the Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Papal Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels. The Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor, commonly known as the Franciscan Order. Assisi is the town in which the founder of the order St. Francis was born and died.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PEW Report: Global Christianity
  2. ^ "Number of Catholics on the Rise". Zenit News Agency. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010. . For greater details on numbers of Catholics and priests and their distribution by continent and for changes between 2000 and 2008, see "Annuario Statistico della Chiesa dell'anno 2008". Holy See Press Office. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.  (in Italian)
  3. ^ a b "Pope Francis tells Europe, 'I Have a Dream' - Crux". 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  4. ^ "Presentation". ccee.eu. St. Gallen: Consilium Conferentiarium Episcoporum Europae. Archived from the original on 2016-01-07. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  5. ^ a b "Secretariat of COMECE (Commission of the Episcopates of the European Community)". ec.europa.eu. European Commission. Joint Transparency Register Secretariat. 2016-04-12. Transparency Register id: 47350036909-69. Archived from the original on 2016-05-02. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  6. ^ Turner, Frank (2013). "The Roman Catholic Church and the European institutions: dialogue and advocacy at the European Union". In Leuştean, Lucian N. Representing religion in the European Union: does God matter?. Routledge studies in religion and politics. London [u.a.]: Routledge. pp. 77, 82–83. ISBN 9780415685047. 
  7. ^ "Who we are". comece.eu. Brussels, BE: Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community. Archived from the original on 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2016-05-03. 
  8. ^ "Our history". comece.eu. Brussels, BE: Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community. Archived from the original on 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2016-05-03.