Catholic dating advice
Headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, the church's doctrines are summarised in the Nicene Creed.
Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, enclaved within Rome, Italy.
In its own field it gives force to civil law only by specific enactment in matters such as the guardianship of minors.
In the 2,000-year history of the church, several complementary expressions of the Christian faith emerged throughout the world, most prominently, the Western and Eastern Christian traditions.
Its teaching includes sanctification through faith and evangelisation of the Gospel and Catholic social teaching, which emphasises support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world.
For advice and assistance in governing, the pope may turn to the College of Cardinals.
The name "Catholic Church" for the whole church is used in the 1990 Catechism of the Catholic Church, the 1983 Code of Canon Law, the documents of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, and numerous other official documents.
The Catholic Church continues these traditions, through constituent autonomous particular churches, also known as "churches sui iuris" (Latin: ").
The largest and most well known is the Latin Church, with more than 1 billion members worldwide.
The Catholic Church has influenced Western philosophy, culture, science, and art.
The Catholic Church shared communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, disputing particularly the authority of the Pope, as well as with the Oriental Orthodox churches prior to the Chalcedonian schism in 451 over differences in Christology.
From the late 20th century, the Catholic Church has been criticised for its doctrines on sexuality, its refusal to ordain women and its handling of sexual abuse cases.