The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the worlds largest Christian church. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity. The Catholic Church is among the oldest institutions in the world and has played a prominent role in the history of Western civilisation. It teaches that it is the church founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are the successors of Christs apostles and that the Pope is the successor to Saint Peter.Catholic doctrine maintains that the Church is infallible when it dogmatically teaches a doctrine of faith or morals.
Catholic worship is centred on the Eucharist in which the Church teaches bread and wine are supernaturally transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ. The Church holds the Blessed Virgin Mary in special regard. Catholic beliefs concerning Mary include her Immaculate Conception and bodily Assumption at the end of her earthly life.