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Catholic Facts

A type of Christian Church

  • The word Catholic comes from the Greek phrase kath'holou.
  • Catholic relates to the historic doctrine and practice of the Western Church.
  • It was first used to describe the Christian Church in the early 2nd century to emphasize its universal scope.
  • The Roman Catholic Church consists of 23 churches sui iuris, in full communion with the Bishop of Rome. The largest of these, the Latin Rite, consists of nearly 95% of the population of the Roman Catholic Church; the remaining 5% consist of the 22 Eastern Catholic Churches.
  • To avoid confusion between this concept and the Roman Catholic Church, above, theologians writing in English will refer to the former as the "Church catholic", using the lower-case.
  • A letter written by Ignatius of Antioch to Christians in Smyrna around 106 is the earliest surviving witness to the use of the term Catholic Church.
  • The first Mass in the English-speaking American colonies was held on Saint Clement's Island in Maryland on March 25, 1634, and was the beginning of the Archdiocese of Washington.
  • There are 219,714 Catholic parishes in 168 countries.
  • U. S. Catholicsm grew by 1.5% in 2009 with 68 million Catholics - more than any other U. S. religion.
  • Mississippi is the most religious state in the U. S. and Vermonters are the least religious.
  • Savannah, once the capital of Georgia, was begun by Englishman James Oglethorpe and a 1732 Royal Charter as a colony which did not accept Catholics, rum, or slaves.
  • There are 2.2 million Catholics in Pakistan.
  • 85% of the Philippines is Roman Catholic.
  • Vatican has 900 citizens and 3,000 employees.
  • Zucchetto is the name of a Catholic cleric's skullcap. Pope - white, Cardinal - scarlet, Bishop - purple, Priest - black.
  • Olive trees were used for crucifixion.
  • There is no funeral mass during Holy Week.
  • Seth was Adam and Eve's third son.
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