The Roman Catholic Church is a long-standing religious group with more than a billion members around the world. When you look at how big it is, you won’t be wrong if you say that it is the world’s largest Christian church. You need to know what the Roman Catholic Church has been like, as well as what they believe, because of this alone. The Roman Catholic Church, which is centered in the Vatican is led by the Pope. It has a global following of roughly 1.3 billion people. Recent studies showed that one in every two Christians and one in every seven persons on the planet are Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholic Church is a long-standing religious group and boast of people from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. This article expose some of the history of the Roman Catholic Church as well as what they believe.
When did the Catholic Church begin?
The Roman Catholic Church, according to Roman Catholicism, was formed by Jesus Christ under the supervision of the Apostle Peter, the church’s head. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus promised Peter that he would build his church on him, and that “the gates of Hades” would be unable to stop him. This is the basis for this belief. It was Pope Gregory I in 590 CE who, according to the Moody Handbook of Theology, officially established the Roman Catholic Church. A new era of church authority began at this time, with the creation of “the Papal States,” a collection of regions ruled by the pope. In the present, the Catholic Church has 22 Eastern Rite Churches and a Latin Rite Church as its highest earthly authority, with the Holy See of Rome serving as a bridge between them. On a territorial basis, it is separated into jurisdictions. Also, Dioceses in the Latin Rite and eparchy in the Eastern Rites are the normal territorial units, each headed by a bishop.
What is the origin of the Roman Catholic Church?
The apostolic church was founded in Rome after Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection (circa AD 30-95). It is apparent that there was a Christian community in Rome at the time the New Testament Scriptures were penned. The Book of Acts chronicles some of St. Paul’s encounters with the Roman church, when he sent an epistle to. St. Clement of Rome (ca. 35-99), St. Ignatius of Antioch (35-108), and St. Irenaeus of Lyons and all of them spoke as though St. Peter was Rome’s first bishop (130-202). It is generally accepted that Paul was crucified in Rome, and also, Tertullian (c. 155-240) claimed Peter died in the same spot as him. For Christians, Rome became a must-see destination to see the graves of Peter and Paul, two of the most revered apostles of the early church.
The bishop of Rome was the most recognized of the western Christian ecclesiastical leaders since Rome was the capital of the Roman Empire’s western region, and because of its link to Peter and Paul. It wasn’t long after Christianity was recognized as a legitimate religion before the Pope and his emissaries were asked to weigh in on some of the most contentious subjects of the day. While the Church in Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople were at the forefront of theological innovation and dispute, Rome kept more precise archives. As a result of her testimony on theological problems, the Roman church was accorded the highest honor, as stated in the third canon of the First Council of Constantinople.
The Pope grew in authority and power in his zone of influence during the last days of the Western Roman Empire. The Roman Catholic Church stepped in to fill the hole created by the disintegration of imperial structures and systems. As time went on, successive popes asserted greater control over the church as this strained ties between Christians in the West and those in the East.
The Great Schism in Christendom
It was in 1054, after the Great Schism of the West and East that the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches splited. Two major doctrinal differences that sparked this split were the Pope’s role and power and the Nicene Creed’s filioque clause. Also, there is a difference between Western Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxism in their understanding of how the Holy Spirit is gotten. During the Reformations, Pope Benedict XVI and his supporters disagreed with Protestant reformers (Anglicans, Lutherans and Reformed) over issues of authority, soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), Scripture, and sacramental theology, resulting in yet another schism in the Roman Catholic Church (the doctrines surrounding Holy Baptism and Holy Communion). Meanwhile, Protestants battled with Roman Catholics to ensure that the liturgy and Bible remained in Latin, despite Protestants’ claims to the contrary.
Roman Catholicism’s Most Important Dates and Events
33 to 100 CE: At this time, Jesus’ twelve apostles began a missionary journey aimed at converting Jews to Christianity in various countries of the Mediterranean and Middle East.
100 CE to 325 CE: Early Christianity began to separate itself from Judaism and spread across the Mediterranean countries, Western Europe, and the Near East during this period known as the Anti-Nicene period (before the Council of Nicene).
200 CE: Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon, established the foundations of the Catholic Church under his guidance. It was established that Rome had absolute control over the government of the regional branches. The fundamental doctrines of Catholicism were established, including the absolute authority of faith.
313 CE: In 330, Constantine, the Roman emperor, legalized Christianity and moved the Roman capital to Constantinople, putting the Christian church in charge of Rome.
325 CE: The first Council of Nicaea was called by Roman Emperor Constantine I. The Council also intended to clarify basic articles of faith and establish a Roman-style church leadership structure.
590 CE: Under the guidance of Pope Gregory I, Catholic missionary efforts to convert pagan peoples to Catholicism begin. This is the start of the Catholic Church’s immense political and military power. This date is seen as the beginning of the Church as we know it in Catholicism.
1054 CE: In the Great East-West Schism, Eastern Orthodoxy and the Roman Catholic Church officially split apart.
1517 CE: Martin Luther’s 95 Theses are a formalization of arguments against Roman Catholic Church teachings and practices, and they effectively mark the beginning of Protestantism as a separate religion from the Catholic Church.
1960s CE: It was at the Second Vatican Council that the Catholic Church made a number of decisions to modernize itself while also restating church doctrine.