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Catholicism is a term which in its broadest sense refers to the beliefs and practices of Christian denominations that describe themselves as catholic. It commonly reflects traditions of Catholic theology, doctrine, liturgy, ethics, and spirituality. Associated traits often include or claim to include episcopal polity, sacramental theology, apostolic succession and sacred tradition. "Catholicism" and "catholic" in these senses refer to various Christian churches, as well as their beliefs and practices.

Catholicism (from Greek καθολικισμός, katholikismos, "universal doctrine") is a term which in its broadest sense refers to the beliefs and practices of Christian denominations that describe themselves as catholic. It commonly reflects traditions of Catholic theology, doctrine, liturgy, ethics, and spirituality. Associated traits often include or claim to include episcopal polity, sacramental theology, apostolic succession and sacred tradition. "Catholicism" and "catholic" in these senses refer to various Christian churches, as well as their beliefs and practices.

The most frequent uses refers to the faith and practices of the Catholic Church, consisting of the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See of Rome, as understood by the Four Marks of the Church. "Catholic" and "Catholicism" are also especially used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Church of the East, the Anglican Communion and the Independent Catholic denominations, all of which consider themselves within the universal and apostolic church.

In the sense of indicating continuity of faith and practice from the first millennium, "catholic" is also used in some other Christian traditions, such as some Methodist Lutheran, Moravian, and Reformed churches, in claiming to be "heirs of the apostolic faith", as delineated in the Nicene Creed. These denominations consider themselves to be catholic, teaching that the term "designates the historic, orthodox mainstream of Christianity whose doctrine was defined by the ecumenical councils and creeds" and as such, most Reformers "appealed to this catholic tradition and believed they were in continuity with it." For instance, within the Anglican Communion, the Oxford Movement of the 19th century promoted Anglo-Catholicism, which emphasized the importance of doctrines such as the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and apostolic succession.

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