The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the world. It traces its origins back to Jesus Christ, who founded it on Peter, one of his apostles. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, but that everyone has an obligation to help others find their way to God.
The word “catholic” means “universal” or “general.” The Roman Catholic Church teaches that there are many ways people can be made right with God and so it recognizes other Christian denominations as part of its family.
The history of the Roman Catholic Church begins in the 1st century AD with Jesus’s apostles, including Peter and Paul, who established churches throughout the Roman Empire after Jesus’s death and resurrection (see Acts 10:9-48). After they died, other bishops were chosen by those churches to lead them. These men were called “popes,” because they were considered to be successors of Peter. They exercised authority over all of Christendom (the whole Christian world) until the Protestant Reformation in 1517 AD.
The Roman Catholic Church has its own system of beliefs and practices, distinct from other Christian denominations. Moreover, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that there is one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It also teaches that Mary was conceived without sin and that she remains sinless throughout her life and was assumed into heaven at her death.