The Catholic Church
The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church is the Christian Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Francis. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter.
The Catholic Church is the largest Christian Church and the largest organized body of any world religion. The majority of its membership is in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
As the oldest branch of Christianity, the history of the Catholic Church plays an integral part of the History of Christianity as a whole. Over time, schisms have disrupted the unity of Christianity. The major divisions occurred in 318 C.E. with Arianism, in 1054 with the East-West Schism with the Eastern Orthodox Church and in 1517 with the Protestant Reformation.
The Catholic Church has been the moving force in some of the major events of world history including the evangelization of Europe and Latin America, the spreading of literacy and the foundation of the Universities, hospitals, monasticism, the development of Art, Music and Architecture, the Inquisition, the Crusades, an analytical philosophical method, and the downfall of Communism in Eastern Europe in the late twentieth century.