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Word Count: 790
The Roman Catholic Church is the single largest Christian body Catholics are Christians who follow the pope in Rome in matters of faith Jesus Church is called catholic because it is his gift to all people The word catholic means universal and has been used to identify the church since its early period when it was the only Christian church The Roman Catholic church is the only Christian church that the descendants were appointed by Jesus Christ on to the 12 apostles The church was a good influence on the development of European culture and on the introduction of European values into other civilizations At the head of the Roman Catholic church is the pope He has the final say in all matters The bishop is the chief of the form of worship Among all the Christian churches only the Catholic Church has existed since the time of Jesus Every other Christian church is an offshoot of the Catholic Church The Eastern Orthodox churches broke away from the unity with the pope in 1054 The Protestant churches were established during the Reformation which began in 1517 Most of to days Protestant churches are actually offshoots of the original Protestant offshoots It is hard to separate the history of the Roman Catholic church from the history of Christianity The church Jesus established was known by its most common name The Catholic Church at least as early as the year 107 when Ignatius of Antioch used that name to describe the one church Jesus founded The name apparently was old in Ignatiuss time which means it may go back to the time of the apostles The church Jesus founded is apostolic because he appointed the apostles to be the first leaders of the church and their successors were to be its future leaders The apostles were the first bishops since the first century there has been an unbroken line of
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