Catholicism

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Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole.For McBrien, the "broad term" refers exclusively and specifically to that "Communion of Catholic Churches" in communion with the Bishop of Rome. Richard McBrien, The Church: The Evolution of Catholicism (New York: HarperOne, 2008), 6, 281-82, and 356. In its the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stressed that the idea of the universal church as a communion of churches must not be presented as meaning that "every particular Church is a subject complete in itself, and that the universal church is the result of a reciprocal recognition on the part of the particular Churches". It insisted that "the universal Church cannot be conceived as the sum of the particular Churches, or as a federation of particular Churches".

For many the term usually refers to Christians and churches belonging to the Roman Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See. For others it refers to the churches of the first millennium, including, besides the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church, and the Assyrian Church of the East.Ware, The Orthodox Church,...
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