The Catholic Church is the largest denomination of Christians with roughly 1 billion people and is based in Rome.. It teaches that it is the same Church started by Jesus Christ and his followers about 2,000 years ago.
The word catholic comes from the Greek word "katholicos", which means "universal." It was first used in the Nicene Creed. Other Christian communities separate from the Catholic Church also consider themselves part of the "one universal Church" mentioned in the Creed, because they believe the concept of "Church" to include all the elect, which they believe exist in many Christian denominations. Often, the word Roman is added - incorrectly - due to its headquarters in Vatican City, which is in the city of Rome, Italy. Typically, people who call themselves 'Catholic' mean that they are a member of the Catholic Church. It also means that they follow the teachings of the Church.
People in the Roman Catholic Church are all over the world, but many Catholics live in Latin America, but also in United States, Canada, Western Europe, Southern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Philippines, India, South Korea and Oceania.
The Roman Catholic Church is led by the Pope, who lives in the Vatican City. According to Catholics, the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, who also guides the Pope. The Church teaches that when the Pope speaks in order to affirm a Catholic belief('ex cathedra') he cannot be wrong. This infallibility the Popes have used throughout history; some examples include the Tome of St. Leo, the declaration of the Immaculate Conception, and various anathemas (religious condemnations issued by the Popes against certain heresies).
According to the Catholic Church, the first Pope was the Apostle Peter, because in the Gospel it is written that Jesus Christ would make Peter the "rock" (foundation) of the Church (Gospel of Matthew 16:18, thou art Peter ('rock'), and upon this rock I will build my church).
Right now the pope is Pope Francis.
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