Skip to main content

Theology & Ministry Library Research Guide: Church History

Church History

Also known as "The Teaching of the (twelve) Apostles, the Didache is often regarded as the oldest extant manual of church order. Previously known only by name from passing patristic references, the Greek text was discovered in 1873 by Archbishop Philotheos Bryennios, metropolitan of Nicomedia, in the library of the patriarch at Constantinople and published a decade later. Further fragments of Greek, Coptic, Ethiopic, and Georgian versions have subsequently been found. Examination of the document revealed a close relationship between portionsof the the Didache and later canonistic works such as the Latin/Syriac 'Didascalia' and the Latin "Doctrina apostorlorum.' The compiler of the seventh book of the Apostolic Constitutions incorporated the entire Didache into his work in a modified recension. [from the New Catholic Encyclopedia]

The First Council of Nicaea (325 AD) was the first ecumenical council of the Church. It resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine, called the Nicene Creed. With the creation of the creed, a precedent was established for subsequent local and regional councils of Bishops (Synods) to create statements of belief and canons of doctrinal orthodoxy—the intent being to define unity of beliefs for the whole of Christendom.

The Council; of Trent (Concilium Tridentinum), held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent (or Trento, in northern Italy), was an ecumentical council of the Catholic Church. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Catholic Reformation.

The Roman Catechism (also called, the Catechism of the Council of Trent or the Catechism of Pius V) was first published in 1566 under the authority of the Council of Trent. It was not intended for common use by the laity, but as a general use reference book for priests and bishops.

Catechism of the Council of Trent for Parish Priests

BX 1958 .E5 1982

The second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first and most recent ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. The council opened under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII on October 11, 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI on December 8, 1965. Meeting in four sessions, the council produced sixteen major documents, two dogmatic and three declarations.

Vatican II: The Basic Sixteen Documents...

BX 830 1962 .A3 F54 1996

The Catholic Church believes that 'saints' are ordinary and typical human beings who made it into heaven by living holy lives in obedience to God's will and are now in heaven for eternity. The title 'Saint' is a spiritual pronouncement , made by the Pope after a careful and thorough investigation, that this particular person is indeed in heaven. Catholic devotion to the saints is nothing more than respect and admiration for the memory of the deceased heroes and martyrs of the Church.