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Roman Catholicism is the entirety of the beliefs and practices of the Western and Eastern churches which are in full communion with the Pope of Rome as the claimed successor of St. Peter the Apostle, united together as the Catholic Church. The term Roman Catholic was defined by the Roman Emperor Theodosius on February 27 AD 380 in the Theodosian Code XVI.i.2: "It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our clemency and moderation, should continue the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one Deity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title Roman Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since in our judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of divine condemnation and the second the punishment of our authority, in accordance with the will of heaven shall decide to inflict."

[Extract of English translation from Henry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1943), p. 31, cited at Medieval Sourcebook: Theodosian Code XVI by Paul Halsall, Fordham University. Retrieved Jan 5, 2007. The full Latin text of the code is at IMPERATORIS THEODOSIANI CODEX Liber Decimus Sextus (170KB download), archived from George Mason University. trieved Jan 5, 2007.]

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Palazzo dei Papi di Viterbo, the roof of which was removed in an attempt to speed up the election

The papal election from November 1268 to September 1, 1271, following the death of Pope Clement IV, was the longest papal election in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. The election of Tebaldo Visconti as Pope Gregory X, the first example of a papal election by "Compromise," was effected by a Committee of six cardinals agreed to by the other remaining ten, occurred more than a year after the magistrates of Viterbo locked the cardinals in, reduced their rations to bread and water, and legendarily removed the roof of the Palazzo dei Papi di Viterbo.As a result of the length of the election, during which three of the twenty cardinal-electors died and one resigned, Gregory X promulgated the apostolic constitution, Ubi periculum, on July 7, 1274 (or 16), during the Second Council of Lyon, establishing the papal conclave, whose rules were based on the tactics employed against the cardinals in Viterbo. The election itself is sometimes viewed as the first conclave.
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Credit: Chowells

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King (usually shortened to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Liverpool, England. It replaced the Pro-Cathedral of St. Nicholas, Copperas Hill. The cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Liverpool, the mother church of Liverpool's Catholics, and the metropolitan church of the ecclesiastical Northern Province.

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Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal (pronounced [blɛz paskal]), (June 19, 1623August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method.Pascal was a mathematician of the first order. He helped create two major new areas of research. He wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen, and later corresponded with Pierre de Fermat on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science.Following a mystical experience in late 1654, he abandoned his scientific work and devoted himself to philosophy and theology. His two most famous works date from this period: the Lettres provinciales and the Pensées. Pascal suffered from ill health throughout his life and died two months after his 39th birthday.
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St Mary's Cathedral, Perth

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Feast Day of March 14


Mathilda (c. 895 – March 14, 968) was the wife of Henry I, King of the East Franks and the first ruler of the Ottonian or Liudolfing dynasty. Their son, Otto, succeeded his father as King (and later Emperor) Otto I.

Our knowledge of Mathilda's life comes largely from brief mentions in the Res Gestae Saxonicae (Deeds of the Saxons) of the monastic historian Widukind of Corvey, and from two sacred biographies (the vita antiquior and vita posterior) written, respectively, c. 974 and c. 1003.

Mathilda was the daughter of the Westfalian count Dietrich and his wife Reinhild, and her biographers traced her ancestry back to the famed Saxon hero, Widukind (c. 730 - 807). As a young girl, she was sent to the convent of Herford, where her reputation for beauty and virtue is said to have attracted the attention of Duke Otto of Saxony, who betrothed her to his son, Henry. They were married in 909 and had three sons and two daughters:

  1. Hadwig, wife of the West Frankish duke Hugh the Great
  2. King (and later Emperor) Otto I
  3. Gerberga, wife of (1) Duke Giselbert of Lotharingia and (2) King Louis IV of France
  4. Henry I, Duke of Bavaria
  5. Archbishop Brun of Cologne

After her husband's death in 936, Mathilda remained at the court of her son Otto, until a cabal of royal advisors is reported to have accused her of weakening the royal treasury in order to pay for her charitable activities. After a brief exile at the Westfalian monastery of Enger, Mathilda was brought back to court at the urging of Otto I's first wife, the Anglo-Saxon princess Edith.

Mathilda was celebrated for her devotion to prayer and almsgiving; her first biographer depicted her (in a passage indebted to the sixth-century vita of the Frankish queen Radegund by Venantius Fortunatus) leaving her husband's side in the middle of the night and sneaking off to church to pray. Mathilda founded many religious institutions, including the canonry of Quedlinburg, a center of Ottonian ecclesiastical and secular life and the burial place of Mathilda and her husband, and the convent of Nordhausen, likely the source of at least one of her vitae. She later was canonized, with her cult largely confined to Saxony and Bavaria.
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Archbishop Dominik Duka

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Jesus Christ, whose body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine; the bread being changed (transsubstantiatio) by divine power into the body, and the wine into the blood, so that to realize the mystery of unity we may receive of Him what He has received of us. And this sacrament no one can effect except the priest who has been duly ordained in accordance with the keys of the Church, which Jesus Christ Himself gave to the Apostles and their successors.

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