130 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed
The Church is also catholic because of her universal extension and her
presence in local communities that are known as dioceses, or eparchies in
the case of Eastern Churches, and are called “particular Churches.”
The Church of Christ is really present in all legitimately orga-
nized local groups of the faithful, which, in so far as they are
united to their pastors, are also quite appropriately called
Churches in the New Testament. . . . In them the faithful are
gathered together through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ,
and the mystery of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated. . . . In these
communities, though they may often be small and poor, or
existing in the diaspora, Christ is present, through whose power
and influence the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is
constituted. (CCC, no. 832)
These local communities are linked together through their commu-
nion with the Church of Rome and her bishop, the Pope.
In the Catholic Church, the word
is also used to refer to
those communities which have their own “ecclesiastical disciplines, litur-
gical rites, and theological and spiritual heritages” (cf. CCC, no. 835).
Thus we speak of the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches. Several
of these Eastern Churches have formal structures in the United States.
In this country, there are eparchies or dioceses for Armenian Catholics,
Melkite-Greek Catholics, Syrian Catholics, Maronite Catholics, Byzan
tine Ruthenian Catholics, Ukrainian Catholics, Romanian Byzantine
Catholics, Chaldean Catholics, and Syro-Malabar Catholics.
The Church is catholic also because of her relationship to all people.
First of all, “the Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the
baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess
the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or commu-
nion under the successor of Peter” (CCC, no. 838, citing LG, no. 15).
Thus there exists an imperfect communion between the Catholic Church
and other Christian churches and faith communions.
The Catholic Church also acknowledges her special relationship
to the Jewish people. The Second Vatican Council declared that “this
people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts
he makes nor of the calls he issues” (LG, no. 16). When God called