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Understanding the Churches and Rites of the Catholic Church

Last edited 3rd February 2010

Understanding the Churches and Rites of the Catholic Church

The average Catholic – as well as the average non-Catholic – believes that the Catholic Church is one monolithic church, with one way of celebrating Mass and a single hierarchy which rules that church. However, the truth is much more complex, so much so that I’m reminded of the saying, “I don’t believe in organized religion, I’m Catholic.”

In reality the Catholic Church is made up of over 20 sui juris churches. What does sui juris mean?


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