The Catholic Church
The Catholic Church -
The word Catholic comes from the Greek ‘Katholicos’ meaning ‘Universal’.
The faithful of the Church come from all around the world. What binds all these people together is their faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and recognition of the Pope as the successor of St. Peter as the visible head of Christ’s Church on earth.
Pope Francis, elected on 13th March 2013, is the 266th and current Pope, the successor of St. Peter, who Jesus appointed as the first head of the Church on earth, as written in the Gospel:
"Thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it."
Gospel of St. Matthew 16:18
The Four Marks of the Church
When we say the Nicene Creed we profess that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, the qualities of the Church shared by the Holy Spirit. This Creed was written many centuries ago as an aid to remind the faithful of their belief.
One: God is one in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Church is one in the Spirit, residing in the hearts of all those who believe.
Holy: Jesus Christ is the source of all holiness. Through the Holy Spirit the Church leads believers to holiness. This holiness is found in the love that believers have for the Church and for each other.
Catholic: this means ‘Universal’. The Church is universal because through common baptism all the faithful throughout the world are united by believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. After his resurrection, Jesus himself sent his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to the entire world.
Apostolic: the Church traces its tradition from the very Apostles appointed by Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit has inspired the Church throughout history to continue the teaching of the Apostles, in an unbroken line from the first century and the first Pope, St. Peter, to the current Holy Father, and St. Peter’s 265th successor, Pope Francis.