Roman Catholic Church
- This article is regarding the post-Schism Roman Catholic Church. For the pre-Schism Orthodox Church of Rome, see Church of Rome.
The term Roman Catholic Church refers to those churches (including the Eastern Catholic Churches and other non-Latin rite churches) in communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. It also can refer specifically to the bishops under the pope's direct jurisdiction, i.e., the Latin rite. Historically, the Church of Rome was one of the Pentarchy and enjoyed communion with the Orthodox Church. In 1054 a schism between Rome and the other patriarchal sees resulted from widening differences between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. The cause of the schism was initially a dispute over papal authority and the soundness of theology surrounding the term filioque, a word which was added by the Western churches to the Creed without the consent of the Orthodox bishops. Nevertheless, the effects of the schism were not immediately felt everywhere, and it was only over time that the current complete lack of communion between the Orthodox and Roman Catholics became widespread. The process of mutual distrust was furthered by the unfortunate sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204.
Today, the main differences between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church continue to be the inclusion of filioque in the Creed (and its concomitant theology of double-procession—that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son) and the scope of papal authority. However, most Orthodox also believe that there is a distinct difference in spirit and attitude, which is expressed in the manner of doing theology as well as concrete differences in pastoral care. Additionally, the Roman Catholic Church has made pronouncements of dogma since the Great Schism (such as Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, and papal infallibility), and other matters of doctrine (such as original sin), which are regarded as false. These pronouncements, and the theological understanding behind them, present another obstacle to the unity of Catholic and Orthodox.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church - This is the new standard in Roman Catholic teaching, published with the intent to be the basis for local catechisms around the world.
- Official website of the Vatican
- Zenit - The World Seen from Rome - An excellent source of news and reflection for worlds events from a Roman Catholic perspective.
- The Catholic Wiki Project - The equivalent project for the Roman Catholic Community
- PRAECLARA GRATULATIONIS PUBLICAE THE REUNION OF CHRISTENDOM Encyclical Letter of Pope Leo XIII June 20, 1894