The St. Peter’s Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, holds a significant place as the largest Christian institution, boasting 1.3 billion baptized Catholics globally as of 2019. Embedded within the annals of time, it stands as one of the oldest and most extensive international bodies, leaving an indelible mark on the history and evolution of Western civilization.
Comprising 24 sui iuris churches, including the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, the Church spans nearly 3,500 dioceses and eparchies scattered across the globe. At its helm sits the pope, serving as the bishop of Rome and the principal pastor of the Church. The governance stems from the bishopric of Rome, known as the Holy See, functioning as the central authority. Operating within the confines of Vatican City, the Roman Curia, the administrative body of the Holy See, stands as the nerve center with the pope at the helm as head of state.
Fundamentally rooted in the Nicene Creed, Catholicism asserts itself as the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, ordained by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission. It upholds the belief that its bishops succeed the apostles of Christ, and the pope follows in the footsteps of Saint Peter, to whom Jesus Christ bestowed primacy. The St. Peter’s Church maintains its commitment to practicing the original Christian faith propagated by the apostles, preserving it infallibly through scripture and sacred tradition, authenticated by the magisterium of the Church.
Various liturgies, such as the Roman Rite and those of the Latin Church, alongside the Eastern Catholic liturgies, as well as religious orders like mendicant orders, enclosed monastic orders, and third orders, showcase a diverse array of theological and spiritual perspectives within the Church.