The State of the Church

Beset by scandal and a priest shortage, the Roman Catholic Church nonetheless keeps growing

The Catholic clergy is organized in a strict, sometimes overlapping hierarchy

Pope Head of the church, he is based at the Vatican. The Pope is infallible in defining matters of faith and morals. He called the recent scandals a "dark shadow of suspicion...cast over all the other fine priests who perform their ministry with honesty and integrity and often with heroic self-sacrifice"

Cardinal Appointed by the Pope, the 178 Cardinals worldwide, including 13 in the U.S., make up the College of Cardinals. As a body, it advises the Pope and, on his death, elects a new Pope

Archbishop An Archbishop is...

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