the largest denominational group within Christianity, composed of those Christians who acknowledge the supreme authority of the bishop of Rome, the pope, in matters of faith. The word catholic (Greek katholikos) means "universal" and has been used to designate the church since its beginnings, when it was the only Christian church. The church has had a critical influence on the development of European art and culture and on the introduction of European values in the New World. Its total membership in the early 1990s was about 958.4 million (about 17 percent of the world population). The Roman Catholic Church has its greatest populations in Europe and Latin America (Mexico's population is 80-90 percent Catholic) but also has significant membership in other parts of the world.
Major organisation of churches under the authority of the Vatican in Rome, with the Pope as its leader
The communion of Christian orders and groups that revere the Pope in the Vatican as the vicar of Christ in apostolic succession from the apostle Peter.
the Christian Church based in the Vatican and presided over by a pope and an episcopal hierarchy
The dominant branch of Christianity in Europe until the Protestants broke away from it. The Pope is its leader.
A major Christian religion not of the Protestant or Eastern Orthodox faith groups but characterized by formal communion with the Pope, a hierarchy of bishops and priests under the Pope, a liturgy centered in the mass, and a body of dogma formulated by the church.
A form of the Christian church headed by the Pope. The Roman Catholic Church was the only Christian religion in Western Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and held a great deal of power.
Another very large paedophile ring (see Greek Orthodox Church). Well-known for slaughtering millions of non-believers.
The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology below) is the Christian Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter.