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The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church and the largest religious denomination, 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 is the chief pastor of the church. The church's administration, the Holy See, has its principal offices 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 taught by the apostles, preserving the faith infallibly through scripture and sacred tradition as authentically interpreted through the Magisterium of the church. 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 as the Perpetual Virgin, Mother of God, and Queen of Heaven; she is honoured in dogmas and devotions. Catholic social teaching 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 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 September 17
Hildegard of Bingen
(German: Hildegard von Bingen
: Hildegardis Bingensis
; 1098 - 17 September 1179), also known as Saint Hildegard
and the Sibyl of the Rhine
, was a German Benedictine abbess
active as a writer, composer, philosopher, mystic
during the High Middle Ages
. She is one of the best-known composers of sacred monophony, as well as the most recorded in modern history. She has been considered by many in Europe to be the founder of scientific natural history
Hildegard's convent elected her as magistra in 1136; she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. She wrote theological, botanical, and medicinal texts, as well as letters, hymns and antiphons for the liturgy and poems, while supervising miniature illuminations in the Rupertsberg manuscript of her first work, Scivias. There are more surviving chants by Hildegard than by any other composer from the entire Middle Ages, and she is one of the few known composers to have written both the music and the words. One of her works, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play. She is also noted for the invention of a constructed language known as Lingua Ignota. (Full article...)
Attributes: abbess with book and pen at an escritoire, giving a letter to a messenger, three bright towers on the side
Patronage: natural scientists and linguists
See also: Pedro de Arbués, Spain; Stanislaus Papczy?ski, Poland; Zygmunt Szcz?sny Feli?ski, Poland
||After the great Pope John Paul II, the Cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble labourer in the vineyard of the Lord. The fact that the Lord knows how to work and to act even with inadequate instruments comforts me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers.
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