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Latin Church

Largest autonomous particular Catholic church / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Latin Church (Latin: Ecclesia Latina) is the largest autonomous (sui iuris) particular church within the Catholic Church, whose members constitute the vast majority of the 1.3 billion Christians in communion with the pope in Rome. The Latin Church is one of 24 churches sui iuris in communion with the pope; the other 23 are collectively referred to as the Eastern Catholic Churches, and have approximately 18 million members combined.[3]

Quick facts: Latin Church, Type, Classification, Orientat...
Emblem of the Holy See
Latin Church
Ecclesia Latina
Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran
TypeParticular church (sui iuris)
OrientationWestern Christianity
TheologyCatholic theology
GovernanceHoly See
Full communionCatholic Church
RegionMainly in Western Europe, Central Europe, the Americas, the Philippines, pockets of Africa, Madagascar, Oceania, with several episcopal conferences around the world
LanguageEcclesiastical Latin
LiturgyLatin liturgical rites
HeadquartersArchbasilica of Saint John Lateran, Rome, Italy
Rome, Roman Empire
Branched fromChalcedonian Christianity
Members1.311 billion (2018)[2][citation needed]
Other name(s)
  • Western Church
  • Latin Catholic Church
  • Roman Church
Official websiteHoly See

The Latin Church is directly headed by the pope in his role as the bishop of Rome, whose cathedra as a bishop is located in the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, Italy. The Latin Church both developed within and strongly influenced Western culture; as such, it is also known as the Western Church (Latin: Ecclesia Occidentalis). It is also known as the Roman Church (Latin: Ecclesia Romana),[4][5] the Latin Catholic Church,[6][7] and in some contexts as the Roman Catholic Church (though this name can also refer to the Catholic Church as a whole).[8][lower-alpha 1] One of the pope's traditional titles in some eras and contexts has been the Patriarch of the West.[9]

The Latin Church was in full communion with what is referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church until the East-West schism of Rome and Constantinople in 1054. From that time, but also before it, it became common to refer to Western Christians as Latins in contrast to Byzantines or Greeks.

The Latin Church employs the Latin liturgical rites, which since the mid-20th century are very often translated into the vernacular. The predominant liturgical rite is the Roman Rite, elements of which have been practiced since the fourth century.[10] There exist and have existed since ancient times additional Latin liturgical rites and uses, including the currently used Mozarabic Rite in restricted use in Spain, the Ambrosian Rite in parts of Italy, and the Anglican Use in the personal ordinariates.

In the early modern period and subsequently, the Latin Church carried out evangelizing missions to the Americas, and from the late modern period to Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia. The Protestant Reformation in the 16th century resulted in Protestantism breaking away, resulting in the fragmentation of Western Christianity, including not only Protestant offshoots of the Latin Church, but also smaller groups of 19th-century break-away Independent Catholic denominations.

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