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The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church consists of 24 particular churches and almost 3,500 dioceses and eparchies around the world. The pope, who is the Bishop of Rome (and whose titles also include Vicar of Jesus Christ and Successor of St. Peter), is the chief pastor of the church, entrusted with the universal Petrine ministry of unity and correction. The church's administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, a tiny enclave of Rome, of which the pope is head of state.
The core beliefs of Catholicism are found in the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter, upon 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, enclosed monastic orders and third 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 Divine Mercy, 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 operates thousands of Catholic schools, hospitals, and orphanages around the world, and is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world. Among its other social services are numerous charitable and humanitarian organisations. (Full article...)
The Roman Catholic Church in Afghanistan is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and curia in Rome. There are very few Catholics in this overwhelmingly Islamic country - just over 100 attend mass in its only chapel - and freedom of religion has been difficult to obtain in recent times, especially under the former Taliban regime. On 16 May 2002, Pope John Paul II established a mission sui iuris for Afghanistan with Father Giuseppe Moretti as its first superior. The only Catholic church in the country is the chapel at the Italian embassy in Kabul. In 2004, the Missionaries of Charity arrived in Kabul to carry out humanitarian work. Legend from the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas and other ancient documents suggests that Saint Thomas preached in Bactria, which is today northern Afghanistan. The Nestorians planted Christianity in the area, and there have been 9 bishops and dioceses in the region, including Herat (424-1310), Farah (544-1057), Kandahar, and Balkh. This early establishment of the Church was overcome by Muslim invasions in the 7th century, though the territory was not substantially controlled by Muslims until the 9th and 10th centuries.
The Tomb of Brother André.When Brother André died, a million people filed before his coffin. His heart is preserved in a monstrance in the oratory. It was stolen in March 1973, but recovered in December 1974. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 23, 1982. The miracle cited in the beatification was the healing in 1958 of Giuseppe Carlo Audino, who suffered from cancer.
Elias Zoghby (January 9, 1912 – January 16, 2008) was the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Baalbek and a leading advocate of Catholic-Orthodox ecumenism. He is best known for his ecumenical interventions during Vatican II and his 1995 Profession of Faith, known as the Zoghby Initiative, which attempted to re-establish communion between the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church while maintaining communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Zoghby's views on topics such as Catholic–Orthodox "double communion" and dissolution of marriage were controversial. Critics labeled him the enfant terrible of his church, while supporters lauded him as an energetic visionary who sought to re-unite the Eastern Churches. Elias Zoghby was born on January 9, 1912 in Cairo. His mother, Hanne Ishak Yared, was a Melkite Greek Catholic and his father, Abdallah Mikail Zoghby, was Antiochian Orthodox convert and former Maronite Catholic.
Did you know...
Feast Day of May 10
or Saint Damien of Molokai
or Saint Damien De Veuster
: Pater Damiaan
or Heilige Damiaan van Molokai
; 3 January 1840 – 15 April 1889), born Jozef De Veuster
, was a Roman Catholic priest
from Belgium and member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary
, a missionary religious institute
. He was recognized for his ministry, which he led from 1873 until his death in 1889, in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi
for people with leprosy
(Hansen's disease), who lived in government-mandated medical quarantine in a settlement
on the Kalaupapa
Peninsula of Molokaʻi
. (Full article...
)Prayer: "Father of mercy, in Saint Damien you have given a shining witness of love for the poorest and most abandoned. Grant that, by his intercession, as faithful witness of the heart of your Son Jesus, we too may be servants of the most needy and rejected."
Patronage: People with leprosy
See also: John of Ávila, Spain
||In the most difficult hours of which we Jews of Romania have passed through, the generous assistance of the Holy See…was decisive and salutary. It is not easy for us to find the right words to express the warmth and consolation we experienced because of the concern of the supreme pontiff, who offered a large sum to relieve the sufferings of deported Jews…. The Jews of Romania will never forget these facts of historic importance.
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