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The Latin Church, sometimes called the Western Church, is the largest autonomous particular church sui iuris within the Catholic Church. There are 24 such sui iuris particular churches within the Catholic Church, the others being Eastern Catholic Churches. They differ from each other in liturgical rite , devotional traditions, theology, canon law, and pastors , but they all hold the same faith, and all see full communion with the Pope as Bishop of Rome as essential to being a Catholic.

Latin Church
St. Peter's Basilica, burial place of Saint Peter
St. Peter's Basilica, burial place of Saint Peter
Classification Catholic
Orientation Western Christianity
Polity Episcopal
Leader Pope Francis
Region Rome and worldwide
Origin 1st century
Merger of Catholic Church
Separations Protestantism, Anglicanism, Old Catholicism
Members 1.197 billion (December 2011)
Other name(s) Latin Catholic Church
Official website www.vatican.va

The Latin Church, sometimes called the Western Church, is the largest autonomous particular church sui iuris within the Catholic Church. There are 24 such sui iuris particular churches within the Catholic Church, the others being Eastern Catholic Churches. They differ from each other in liturgical rite (ceremonies, vestments, chants, language), devotional traditions, theology, canon law, and pastors (even if in the same territory as another), but they all hold the same faith, and all see full communion with the Pope as Bishop of Rome as essential to being a Catholic.

The Latin Church, being the largest of these with a membership far greater than all the others combined, arose in Western Europe and North Africa, an area once encompassed by the Roman Empire, throughout which Latin was widely understood and spoken. All the other particular churches sui iuris , of which there are 23, originated farther east and are, therefore, collectively known as the Eastern Catholic Churches. Because of the population migrations, members of all of these particular churches sui iuris are no longer confined to their areas of origin and can be found all over the world.

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