The Catholic Church, more correctly the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church. The word 'catholic' derives from the Greek and means a person who belongs to the universal Christian church. The Roman Catholic Church is headed by the Pope (as Bishop of Rome), who is also, since 1929, the ruler of the Vatican City, a tiny city-state within Rome.
Roman Catholics were once almost exclusively Europeans, but now many are non-Europeans and increasing rapidly so during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Regarding a general description, see the many general encyclopedias in the "External links" section.
As is the case for many other churches, the Roman Catholic Church has become increasingly politically correct on various issues. An important event regarding this was the Second Vatican Council, which traditionalists condemned. Sedevacantists argue that the position of Pope is vacant since the Second Vatican Council.
Roman Catholic priests are required to be celibate. This was imposed upon the clergy with force in 1123 and again in 1139 and has been argued to have contributed to dysgenics. Another controversy is Homosexuality and the Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic Church was and is an influential opponent of birth control, which earlier has been argued to counter-act dysgenics among Europeans (as discussed in the article on dysgenics), but that now contributes to the rapid population growth of non-Whites in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa. (See also White demographics).
The Roman Catholic Church (as well as the Orthodox Church) are completely opposed to female priests, described by some Bishops as "heretics". As early as 494 AD, in response to reports that women were serving at the altar in the south of Italy, Pope Gelasius I wrote a letter condemning female participation in the celebration of the Eucharist.
The teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, as emphasized by Pope John Paul II in the apostolic letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis, is that "the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgement is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful". This teaching is embodied in canon law (1024) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church by the canonical statement:
- "Only a baptized man (Latin: vir) validly receives sacred ordination".
Insofar as priestly and episcopal ordination are concerned, The Church teaches that this requirement is a matter of divine law; it belongs to the deposit of faith and is unchangeable. In 2007, the Holy See issued a decree stating that attempted ordination of a woman would result in automatic excommunication for the women and Bishops attempting to ordain them, and in 2010, that attempted ordination of women is a "grave delict" and a "crime against The Faith".
The relationship between Judaism and the Roman Catholic Church is complex, with frequent accusations of anti-Semitism being leveled at Rome, in particular their standpoint that 'The Jews murdered Our Lord Jesus Christ', a position they held firmly until the 21st century. However The Church generally gave Judaism a special exemption by allowing it to continue to exist, instead of prohibiting it when it had the power to do so, as was the case for all other non-Christian religions and Christian heresies. Regarding some of the controversies, see the articles on:
Professor Kevin MacDonald has argued that the Roman Catholic Church in part aroused an anti-Jewish movement due to resource competition between Jews and non-Jews and in response to the Jewish group evolutionary strategy.
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Roman Catholicism
- Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 Edition: Roman Catholic Church
- Encyclopedia.com: Roman Catholicism
- Catholic Encyclopedia at Catholic.com
- Catholic Encyclopedia on New Advent
- Catholic Encyclopedia on Catholicity
- Catholic Encyclopedia full text via Hathi Trust
- Religion: Who Strikes at the Pope, Time, 1938
- de Poncins, Vicomte Léon, Freemasonry and the Vatican - A Struggle for recognition, English-language edition, Britons Publishing Company, London, 1968.
- The Church and anti-Semitism—again. http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2009/02/the-church-and-anti-semitism%E2%80%94again/
- St. John Chrysostom on the Jews: Creating an Anti-Jewish Group Strategy http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2015/02/st-john-chrysostom-on-the-jews-creating-an-anti-jewish-group-strategy/