Universal church

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With universal Church , the global community of faith of all Catholics is called in the Catholic Church, whose unity is represented by the Bishop of Rome. The universal church, also known as the universal church , includes all local churches .

Learning, prayer and solidarity community

The Catholic bishops in Germany understand the universal church in their declaration “All Nations His Salvation” as a community of learning, prayer and solidarity: In the learning community there are questions about the different contexts of life and the challenges that arise for a practice of faith that corresponds to the Gospel in the present day in the foreground. The prayer community lives from common prayer to God and from prayer for one another. In the solidarity community, the believers practically stand up for one another, which is particularly evident in helping the poor.

The commitment to the world church, understood as a comprehensive community, is the responsibility of every Catholic. Some organizations and institutions dedicate themselves in a special way to the work of the universal Church. These include very different actors such as "one world groups" in the parishes or the Catholic associations, the mission orders, the aid organizations Adveniat , Caritas international , Misereor , Missio , Renovabis and others, individual institutions such as the "Institute for World Church and Mission" or bodies such as the World Church Commission of the German Bishops' Conference or the German Commission Justitia et Pax .

These actors work together in the World Church Conference. The “Annual Report on the World Church”, which she publishes every summer, documents the diverse global church commitment of the various actors who regularly come together for the “Annual World Church and Mission Conference”. The World Church Internet portal provides up-to-date information on news from the world church and provides information on world church topics.

For the ecclesiological discussion of the relationship between the local Catholic Churches and the universal Church, see the entry under “ Local Church ”.


  • Maria Brinkschmidt: Political action as a universal church task. An analysis of the domestic work of Catholic aid organizations , Schöningh-Verlag, Paderborn 2016, ISBN 978-3-506-78362-2
  • Walter Bühlmann: Universal Church. New dimensions - model for 2001. With an afterword by Karl Rahner , Styria-Verlag, Graz 1987, ISBN 3-222-11512-5
  • Medard Kehl: The Church. A Catholic ecclesiology , Echter-Verlag, Würzburg 1992, pp. 211-261, ISBN 3-429-01454-9
  • Hartmut Köß: "Church of the Poor"? The development policy responsibility of the Catholic Church in Germany , Lit-Verlag, Münster 2003, ISBN 3-8258-6836-2
  • Klaus Piepel: World Church Learning Community. Learning processes in partnerships between Christians of the First and Third World , Misereor-Dialog, Vol. 9, Aachen 1993, ISBN 3-88916-110-3
  • Siegfried Wiedenhofer: Ekklesiologie , Article in: Theodor Schneider (Ed.): Handbuch der Dogmatik, Vol. 2, Patmos-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1992, pp. 47-154, ISBN 3-491-77043-2

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The German Bishops: All Nations His Salvation. The mission of the universal Church . In: Secretariat of the German Bishops' Conference (ed.): Pastoral letters and declarations . tape 76 . Bonn September 23, 2004 ( dbk-shop.de [PDF]).
  2. ^ Conference of the Universal Church. Retrieved March 14, 2018 .
  3. Annual Report World Church. Retrieved March 14, 2018 .
  4. Annual Conference of the World Church and Mission. Retrieved March 14, 2018 .
  5. World Church Internet portal. Retrieved March 14, 2018 .