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130 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed

The Church is also catholic because of her universal extension and her

presence in local communities that are known as dioceses, or eparchies in

the case of Eastern Churches, and are called “particular Churches.”

The Church of Christ is really present in all legitimately orga-

nized local groups of the faithful, which, in so far as they are

united to their pastors, are also quite appropriately called

Churches in the New Testament. . . . In them the faithful are

gathered together through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ,

and the mystery of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated. . . . In these

communities, though they may often be small and poor, or

existing in the diaspora, Christ is present, through whose power

and influence the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is

constituted. (CCC, no. 832)

These local communities are linked together through their commu-

nion with the Church of Rome and her bishop, the Pope.

In the Catholic Church, the word


is also used to refer to

those communities which have their own “ecclesiastical disciplines, litur-

gical rites, and theological and spiritual heritages” (cf. CCC, no. 835).

Thus we speak of the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches. Several

of these Eastern Churches have formal structures in the United States.

In this country, there are eparchies or dioceses for Armenian Catholics,

Melkite-Greek Catholics, Syrian Catholics, Maronite Catholics, Byzan­

tine Ruthenian Catholics, Ukrainian Catholics, Romanian Byzantine

Catholics, Chaldean Catholics, and Syro-Malabar Catholics.

The Church is catholic also because of her relationship to all people.

First of all, “the Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the

baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess

the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or commu-

nion under the successor of Peter” (CCC, no. 838, citing LG, no. 15).

Thus there exists an imperfect communion between the Catholic Church

and other Christian churches and faith communions.

The Catholic Church also acknowledges her special relationship

to the Jewish people. The Second Vatican Council declared that “this

people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts

he makes nor of the calls he issues” (LG, no. 16). When God called