For the very first 1,500 years of Christianity there was no “Catholicism” as it’s known it now, just as there was not one other styles of Christianity to distinguish it. There was just the “one, holy, catholic church” (“catholic” signifies “universal”), that had been the body of Christian believers all over the western world, united by everyday traditions, beliefs, church framework and worship. Before the Reformation (in the 1500s), in case you are a Christian, you belonged to the Catholic Church. Other type of Christianity was regarded as a heresy, not really a Christian denomination.These days, you will find numerous popular types of Christianity aside from Roman Catholicism. though the Catholic Church goes on to teach this it by itself has carried on the true tradition of the apostolic church, the next Vatican Council declared all baptized Christians to be “in a particular, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.” So to become a Catholic now means to become a particular sort of Christian: one with beliefs, methods as well as traditions which differ from those of Protestantism, Greek Orthodox, Anglicanism, along with other branches of contemporary Christianity.Roman Catholicism is definitely the largest Christian team. With over one billion adherents, Catholics constitute around one half of the world’s Christians. Catholicism is actually the vast majority of religion of Italy, Spain, and almost all Latin American nations. Throughout 2001, aproximatelly twenty four % of Americans identified themselves as Catholic, making Catholicism probably the largest Christian denomination of America (if the Protestant denominations are actually counted individually). The subsequent largest denomination, Baptists, was reported by sixteen % of Americans. Still if Protestants are believed to be as one group, Catholics continue to be a minority among America’s Christians.Distinctive Roman Catholic beliefs include the specific expert of the pope, the capability of saints to intercede on behalf of believers, the idea of purgatory as an area of afterlife purification just before entering heaven, as well as the doctrine of transubstantiation – that’s, that the bread utilized at the Eucharist becomes the true body of Christ when blessed by a priest.