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The "Catholic Church" is those churches in communion with the Bishop of Rome, that is, the Pope, who is also Patriarch of the West. Most Catholics today are "Roman Catholics." This means they worship and organize the church the way these are done in Rome (the "Latin Rite"). There are other Catholics who follow other "rites." Eastern Catholics, for instance, follow the rites of the various Eastern Churches -- so in worship and theology are very similar to the Eastern Orthodox (except, of course, when it comes to the Pope). Protestants and Roman Catholics both come out of the Latin (Western) Catholic tradition of the medieval ages.
Until the Reformation and the Council of Trent of 1545-1563 (which was the reformation of the church remaining in union with the Bishop of Rome) there was no "Roman Catholic" church as such. Protestants who have sought to keep with the Western Catholic traditions (particularly Lutherans -- whose reformation was in opposition to the "new innovations" of the medieval papacy -- and Anglicans) sometimes call themselves "evangelical catholics" -- and worship in these churches looks, to most Americans at least, more "Catholic" than "Protestant."

Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification
Sometimes called the Augsburg Accord, this is a common statement by the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation on justification -- the issue that brought about the Reformation. The fruit of official Lutheran/Roman Catholic Dialogues in the US, Germany, and internationally that began in the 1964, it was signed 31 October 1999 (the 482nd anniversary of the posting of Luther's 95 Theses) by Lutheran and Catholic authorities. For more details see these official Lutheran World Federation links or see official Catholic links on this breakthrough document in Christian unity.

The Holy See
The website of the Vatican, the "headquarters" of the Catholic Church, those churches shepherded by the Roman Pontiff, Benedict XVI, who is the successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Rome and Patriarch of the West.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
"An assembly of the Cathlic Church hierarchy who work together to unify, coordinate, promote, and carry on Cathlic activities in the United Steates," this is a close as it gets to the official national institution of the Catholic Church in the United States of America. It's history begins in 1917 when American Bishops organized to provide spiritual care for servicemen during World War I, though the USCCB in its current form came to be only in 2001.

Ecumenical dialogues in the US are co-ordinated through the USCCB. The US Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogues, which began in 1965, have been one of the theological highlights of the international ecumenical movement. Topics have included the Nicene Creed, Baptism, Eucharist, Papal Primacy, Justification, the Saints and Mary, Scripture and Tradition, and the Church's Structures and Ministries. The 11th Round of the Dialogues, The Hope for Eternal Life, began meeting in December 2005.

The Catholic Diocese of Peoria
Our local Roman Catholic diocese, established in 1877, under the spiritual care of her 8th Bishop, the Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC. Perhaps the most famous son of the Peoria Diocese is the radio/TV broadcaster and newspaper columnist Bishop Fulton Sheen, whose 1950's television series Life is Worth Living is still broadcast on Christian TV networks.

Byzantine Catholic Church in America
As I wrote above, not all Catholics are Roman Catholics. This unofficial website will help you discover the differences -- and the similarities -- between Roman and Byzantine Catholics. Included are many excellent links to official Byzantine (and other Eastern) Catholic sites.

Catechism of the Catholic Church
What the Catholic Church really teaches about just about everything. (And notice it doesn't say Roman Catholic Church.)
Eternal Word Television Network
If you've loved Mother Angelica on TV or radio, you'll love the website for the EWTN Global Catholic Network. If you can't stand her, check the site anyway, for it is an excellent resource for all sorts of Catholic materials, from official documents to helps for your devotional life.
New Advent
Another excellent, comprehensive source for Catholic documents, information, and web links -- one of the oldest on the World Wide Web. New Advent includes the latest news, the entire Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 (so some information is a bit out-of-date), St. Thomas Aquinas' magisterial Summa Theologica, and works of the Church Fathers!
The National Cursillo® Center
US web site for the international Cursillo movement for lay renewal that began on the Spanish island of Majorca in the late 1940's and came the US in 1957. The Peoria Cursillo in Christianity , one of the first in the US and a mother to the movement in many worldwide locations and in other churches, was formed in 1964 -- only 3 years after the first English-language Cursillo. De colores!

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Pr. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
1534 S. Easton Avenue
Peoria, IL 61605-3407
(309) 637-9150

Copyright © 2004-2010 Steven P. Tibbetts. All rights reserved.
Pastor Zip's Christian Web Links created -- 2 December 1996
Pastor Zip's Catholic Web Links branched -- 12 October 2004
Last Revised -- 23 April 2010

URL: http://www.pastorzip.org/catholiclinx.html