The Roman Catholic Church is based in the Vatican City. It is one of the oldest Christian sects on Earth and the largest organized religious sect in the world.
The Roman Catholic Church most often called the Catholic Church, is the Christian Church in full communion with His Holiness Pope Sixtus VI, also known as the Bishop of Rome. It traces its origins to the original, undivided Christian community founded by St. Peter, with its traditions first established by the Twelve Apostles and maintained through unbroken Apostolic Succession.
The Catholic Church is not only the largest Christian Church, but also the largest organized body of any world religion (at least until it was banned in Aztlan). While the Vatican City is seen as central, the Catholic Church is a worldwide organization made up of one Western or Latin Rite and several Eastern Rite-specific Churches. The Church is divided into jurisdictional areas, usually on a territorial basis. The standard territorial unit is called, in the Latin Rite, a diocese, and in the Eastern Rites, an eparchy, each of which is headed by a bishop.
The Catholic Church position about the Awakening has evolved from a position against metahumanity and magic ("unholy and ungodly by their very nature") to consider metahumans capable of salvation and magic not inherently evil. This change of position has been the cause of several outright schisms, such as with the French Catholic Church and the German Catholic Church, as well as minor schisms between Rome and local dioceses and archdioceses over implementation of policy, such as in Spain.
The Awakening has also resulted in the Church facing great social and political challenges, especially in former strongholds like Ireland (now Tír na nÓg) and Latin America (specifically, Aztlán) where societies and the state have taken direct and hostile action against the Church and its public practitioners. This has itself resulted in the Church taking more aggressive measures to protect the faith and the faithful in these lands through the actions of organizations like the New Jesuits and the New Templars.
The "Enlightened" faction within the Catholic Church is the progressive element in the Church. Which consists of a good number of the younger cardinals, a significant chunk of the lower Diocesan clergy and the open-minded religious orders (e.g. the Benedictines, Franciscans, and Sylvestrines). Whose agenda is getting the Roman Catholic Church to adapt to the Sixth World. It is supported by branches in the Philippines, Brazil, France, and China.
The "Conservative" faction is supported by branches in several conservative nations, including Spain, Bavaria, Poland, and Italy. They are backed by the Dominicans, New Jesuits, and Augustinians in addition to many of the Curia's high-ranking officials. The views of those in this faction toward magic and metahumans varies, with the hardliner elements viewing metahumans as being abominations and everything magical as unholy.
Events of the 21st Century
John Paul IV's Reign
2012 In March, in Vatican City, a Papal Bull is issued confirming Pope John Paul IV's position against metahumans and further denouncing all things magical as "unholy and ungodly by their very nature." (Shadows of Europe)
John XXV's Reign
2013 In Vatican City, Pope John Paul IV dies in his sleep. He is replaced by a moderate Brazilian cardinal who takes the name John XXV. Despite this change in power, several Irish Catholic bishops who had refused to accept John Paul IV's denouncement of metahumans, break from the Catholic Church and instead go to the Church of Ireland, a small splinter church. (Tír na nÓg)
2023 In Fatima, Portugal, during a visit by Pope John XXV, a new apparition of the Virgin Mary appears before thousands of witnesses. This event reinforces the Pope's declaration against metahumans and further pushes the Portuguese Catholic community into a conservative mindset. (Shadows of Europe)
2027 Aztlan revokes the Roman Catholic Church's tax-free status. In the following years, a detailed audit leveled charges of tax evasion and outright fraud against important church figures, including the Most Reverend Jésus de la Torrez, Tenochtitlán's archbishop. (azt.94)
2036 Open war in Italy is only avoided when Pope John XXV negotiates a settlement between the corporations and the sindaci (mayors). The cities of Genoa, Milan and Turin are written off as a catastrophe zone and renamed the GeMiTo. (Shadows of Europe)
Sixtus VI's Reign
2075 Pope John XXV passes away in Vatican City. He is succeeded by Pope Sixtus VI, an Italian cardinal and a member of the Order of St. Sylvester. Pope Sixtus VI has indicated a desire to work with and reunite with other Christian Churches, and he has also shown an interest in reaching out to and preaching with non-metahuman sapients in order to fully share with them in God's Grace.
The Rules/Orders of the Saints
- Benedictines: Guardians of the church's ancient knowledge and heritage.
- Carmelites: All-female order, whom are missionaries, healers, and charity workers.
- Dominicans: Bureaucrats, administrators, diplomats, and teachers.
- Franciscans: Missionaries, social workers, healers, and mendicant preachers.
- New Jesuits: Protectors and guardians of the church and its congregations.
- Jesuits: Bureaucrats, teachers, judges, and evangelists.
- Augustinians: Protectors of the church's Matrix system and libraries.
- Sylvestrines: Magical protectors and exorcists.
- Hospitalares: Warrior knights and healers.
- Trinitarians: Protectors of those whom are oppressed or find themselves under unlawful servitude.
- Artifacts Unbound
- Awakenings: New Magic in 2057
- Conspiracy Theories
- Germany Sourcebook
- The Grimoire: 14th Edition, 2050
- The Grimoire: 15th Edition, 2053
- Habemus Papam (announcement of the election of Pope Sixtus VI)
- Loose Alliances
- Shadows of Europe
- Sprawl Survival Guide
- Spy Games
- Sixth World Almanac
- State of the Art: 2064
- Street Grimoire
- Street Magic
- Threats 2
- Tír na nÓg