Timeline of the Catholic Church

As one of the oldest branches of Christianity, along with the Orthodox Church, the non-Chalcedonian or Oriental Churches and the Church of the East,[1] the history of the Roman Catholic Church is integral to the history of Christianity as a whole. This article covers a period of just under two thousand years.

Over time, schisms have disrupted the unity of Christianity. The major divisions occurred in c.144 with Marcionism,[2] 318 with Arianism, 1054 to 1449 (see East–West Schism) during which time the Western Church under the See of Rome parted ways with the Orthodox Churches of the East, and in 1517 with the Protestant Reformation. The Roman Catholic Church has been the driving force behind some of the major events of world history including the Christianization of Western and Central Europe and Latin America, the spreading of literacy and the foundation of the universities, hospitals, the Western tradition of monasticism, the development of art and music, literature, architecture, contributions to the scientific method, just war theory and trial by jury. Roman Catholicism has played a powerful role in global affairs, including the Reconquista, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Investiture Controversy, the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire, and the Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe in the late 20th century.

Ministry of Jesus and founding

Main article: Chronology of Jesus
Byzantine image depicting Jesus as Christ pantocrator
  • Although the calculations of Dionysius Exiguus put the birth of Jesus in the year that in consequence is called AD 1, history places his birth more likely some time between 6 and 4 BC.

Early Christianity


Head of Constantine's colossal statue at Musei Capitolini


Justinian I depicted on a mosaic in the church of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy


Notre-Dame Cathedral – designed in the Gothic architectural style.


Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City



19th century

20th century

21st century

Benedict XVI, the first Pope elected in the 21st century

See also

Further reading

The History of the Catholic Church, From the Apostolic Age to the Third Millennium James Hitchcock, Ph.D. Ignatius Press, 2012 ISBN 978-1-58617-664-8


Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church. Crocker, H.W.

Bokenkotter, Thomas. A Concise History of the Catholic Church. Revised and expanded ed. New York: Image Books Doubleday, 2005. ISBN 0-385-51613-4


  1. The Orthodox Church and some other predominantly non-Western Churches are also apostolic in origin — i.e., they also trace their origins back to the founding of the Church at the time of the Apostles
  2.  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Marcionites". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.: "...they were perhaps the most dangerous foe Christianity has ever known."
  3. Chadwick, Henry, pp. 23–24.
  4.  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. John the Evangelist". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  5. St. John the Evangelist, ewtn.com, retrieved September 30, 2006
  6. McMullen, p. 44.
  7. De Imperatoribus Romanis – Constantine I, retrieved February 23, 2007
  8. Duffy, p. 29.
  9. Duffy, p. 30.
  10. "Suave Molecules of Mocha" Archived March 9, 2005, at the Wayback Machine. Coffee, Chemistry, and Civilization, New Partisan – A Journal of Culture, Arts and Politics, March 7, 2005, retrieved October 23, 2006
  11. Hubert Jedin, Church history, 619
  12. Schism of SSPX Pete Vere, My Journey out of the Lefebvre Schism: All Tradition Leads to Rome, Catholic Education Resource Center, retrieved November 20, 2006
  13. Benedict XVI, Meeting with the representatives of science in the Aula Magna of the University of Regensburg (September 12, 2006)
  14. Faith, Reason and the University Memories and Reflections from official Vatican website, retrieved October 18, 2006
  15. "Three Stages in the Program of De-Hellenization" by Pope Benedict XVI, Zenit News Agency, retrieved October 18, 2006
  16. Pope Is Regretful That His Speech Angered Muslims, Sep. 17, 2006, L.A. Times, retrieved October 18, 2006
  17. Al Qaeda threat over pope speech, Sep. 18, 2006, CNN.com retrieved October 18, 2006
  18. Qaeda-led group vows "jihad" over Pope's speech, Sep. 18, 2006, Reuters, retrieved October 18, 2006
  19. Moto Proprio, De Aliquibus Mutationibus, June 11, 2007
  20. Kleiber, Reinhard (2008). "Iran and the Pope Easing Relations". Quantara. Archived from the original on December 31, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
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