The Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church, employing the Latin liturgical rites. It is one of 24 such churches, the 23 others forming the Eastern Catholic Churches. It is headed by the bishop of Rome, the pope – traditionally also called the Patriarch of the West – with cathedra in this role at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, Italy. The Latin Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity through its direct leadership under the Holy See, founded by Peter and Paul, according to Catholic tradition.

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  • The Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church, employing the Latin liturgical rites. It is one of 24 such churches, the 23 others forming the Eastern Catholic Churches. It is headed by the bishop of Rome, the pope – traditionally also called the Patriarch of the West – with cathedra in this role at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, Italy. The Latin Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity through its direct leadership under the Holy See, founded by Peter and Paul, according to Catholic tradition. The Catholic Church teaches that its bishops are the successors of Jesus' apostles, and that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter upon whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. Of Jesus' apostles, four are associated with apostolic sees of the Western Church: 1) Peter founded Rome (together with Paul) and Syracuse, 2) Paul also founded Malta, 3) Barnabas founded Milan, and 4) James, son of Zebedee founded Santiago de Compostela. Substantial distinguishing theological emphases, liturgical traditions, features and identity of Latin Catholicism, on the other hand, can be traced back to the Latin church fathers whereof most importantly the Latin Doctors of the Church, from the 2nd-7th centuries, including in the Early African church. After the East-West schism in 1054, in the Middle Ages its members became known as Latins in contrast with Eastern Christians. Following the Islamic conquests, the Crusades were launched 1095–1291 in order to defend Christians and Christian properties in the Holy Land against persecution. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem was established in 1099 for their care, remaining until this day. Other Latin dioceses, such as the Archdiocese of Carthage where much of trinitarian theology and Ecclesiastical Latin developed, were vanquished and transformed into titular sees when Christians were forced to convert, flee, or die. A persecution that goes on until today, especially around the Islamic world. The Latin Church was in full communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church until the East-West schism in 1054. The Latin Church carried out Catholic missions to Latin America in the early modern period, and to Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia from the late modern period. The Protestant Reformation in the 16th century resulted in Protestantism breaking away, resulting in the Western Christianity orientation comprising Latin Church offshots, including also smaller groups of 19th century break-away Independent Catholic denominations. With approximately 1.255 billion members (2015), the Latin Church remains by far the largest particular church not only in the Catholic Church or Western Christianity, but in all Christianity. (en)
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  • The Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church, employing the Latin liturgical rites. It is one of 24 such churches, the 23 others forming the Eastern Catholic Churches. It is headed by the bishop of Rome, the pope – traditionally also called the Patriarch of the West – with cathedra in this role at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, Italy. The Latin Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity through its direct leadership under the Holy See, founded by Peter and Paul, according to Catholic tradition. (en)
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  • Latin Church (en)
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