|Part of a series on|
|Liturgy and worship|
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with more than one billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercisingcharity.
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 one true Church founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles and that the Pope is the sole successor to Saint Peter.[note 1][note 2][note 3]
Catholic doctrine maintains that the Church is infalliblewhen it dogmatically teaches a doctrine of faith or morals.[note 4] Catholic worship is centred on theEucharist in which the Church teaches that bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ.
The Church holds the Blessed Virgin Mary in special regard. Catholic beliefs concerning Mary include herImmaculate Conception without original sin, her status asMother of God  and her bodily Assumption into Heavenat the end of her earthly life.[note 5]