The Catholic Church is the Oldest Institution in the world whose history can be traced back to almost 2000 years. It began in Jerusalem by a small nucleus of Disciples who shared faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It spread quickly to other cities of the Roman Empire. Its inflexible opposition to Roman culture and religions aroused the savage fury of the Sate and many members of the early Catholic Church perished when they refused to conform. But this persecution instead magnified the spiritual powers of these members of the early Church.
In what could be regarded as divine providence, the Catholic Church won over the support of Emperor Constantine and dealt a decisive victory over the pagan Roman religions. By 312 AD, the emblem, depicting the monogram of Christ was part of the banner adorned by Roman Troops.
For nearly 1000 years, the Catholic Church presided over the total life of Christendom and animated its laws, Institutions, customs, literature, Art, and Architecture with its faith in Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic Popes soon established their supreme authority over the whole Western Christendom. These powerful papal Monarchs brilliantly epitomized in Pope Innocent III, who controlled vast ecclesiastical machinery that regulated in minute details the moral and social behavior of the medieval men.—Kings, Princess, towns people as well as peasants.
There were schisms no doubt, that afflicted the Catholic Church which saw the period of Reformation during which a section of the church broke away to form the Protestant Church with its headquarters at the Canterbury in England.
In our recent times, the turning point of this oldest Institution was in 1978 when Pope Paul the VI died at the age of 80. His death touched off a fascinating series of events in Rome. A pope who was pontificated immediately after Pope John Paul VI died within 90 days rather mysteriously. Infact, there have since been speculations that there was a Mafia hand within the Vatican in his death.
Pope John Paul II then reigned over the Papacy from 1978-2005 bringing in an illustrious era of growth of the Catholic Church. Across the world, He traveled widely in very continent and his capacity to speak many languages made Pope John Paul II the most Multi- Lingual Pope in the History of the Catholic Church.
The big thorn in the Institution of the Catholic Church will for along time be the yearning demands for reform, especially the case for the ordination of women priests and the difficult issue of celibacy. Many priests have created great sexual scandals in America and Ireland recently and the more these happen, the sharper the call for the marriage of Catholic priests gets echoed. We hope and pray that this oldest institution that seeks to uphold its ancient traditions, survives the call for change that it has resisted for thousands of years.