Catholic Church Popular Books

Catholic Church Biography & Facts

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide as of 2019. It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilization. The church consists of 24 sui iuris churches, including the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, which comprise almost 3,500 dioceses and eparchies located around the world. The pope, who is the bishop of Rome, is the chief pastor of the church. The bishopric of Rome, known as the Holy See, is the central governing authority of the church. The administrative body of the Holy See, the Roman Curia, has its principal offices in Vatican City, a small enclave of the Italian city of Rome, of which the pope is head of state. The core beliefs of Catholicism are found in the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter, upon whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. It maintains that it practises the original Christian faith taught by the apostles, preserving the faith infallibly through scripture and sacred tradition as authentically interpreted through the magisterium of the church. The Roman Rite and others of the Latin Church, the Eastern Catholic liturgies, and institutes such as mendicant orders, enclosed monastic orders and third orders reflect a variety of theological and spiritual emphases in the church.Of its seven sacraments, the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in the Mass. The church teaches that through consecration by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. The Virgin Mary is venerated as the Perpetual Virgin, Mother of God, and Queen of Heaven; she is honoured in dogmas and devotions. Catholic social teaching emphasizes voluntary support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church operates tens of thousands of Catholic schools, universities and colleges, hospitals, and orphanages around the world, and is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world. Among its other social services are numerous charitable and humanitarian organizations. The Catholic Church has profoundly influenced Western philosophy, culture, art, music, and science. Catholics live all over the world through missions, diaspora, and conversions. Since the 20th century, the majority have resided in the Southern Hemisphere, partially due to secularization in Europe and increased persecution in the Middle East. The Catholic Church shared communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, disputing particularly the authority of the pope. Before the Council of Ephesus in AD 431, the Church of the East also shared in this communion, as did the Oriental Orthodox Churches before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451; all separated primarily over differences in Christology. The Eastern Catholic Churches, who have a combined membership of approximately 18 million, represent a body of Eastern Christians who returned or remained in communion with the pope during or following these schisms for a variety of historical circumstances. In the 16th century, the Reformation led to Protestantism also breaking away. From the late 20th century, the Catholic Church has been criticized for its teachings on sexuality, its doctrine against ordaining women, and its handling of sexual abuse cases involving clergy. Name Catholic (from Greek: καθολικός, romanized: katholikos, lit. 'universal') was first used to describe the church in the early 2nd century. The first known use of the phrase "the catholic church" (Greek: καθολικὴ ἐκκλησία, romanized: he katholike ekklesia) occurred in the letter written about 110 AD from Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans, which read: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus may be, there is the universal [katholike] Church." In the Catechetical Lectures (c. 350) of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, the name "Catholic Church" was used to distinguish it from other groups that also called themselves "the church". The "Catholic" notion was further stressed in the edict De fide Catolica issued 380 by Theodosius I, the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire, when establishing the state church of the Roman Empire.Since the East–West Schism of 1054, the Eastern Church has taken the adjective "Orthodox" as its distinctive epithet; its official name continues to be the "Orthodox Catholic Church". The Western Church in communion with the Holy See has similarly taken "Catholic", keeping that description also after the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, when those who ceased to be in communion became known as "Protestants".While the "Roman Church" has been used to describe the pope's Diocese of Rome since the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and into the Early Middle Ages (6th–10th century), the "Roman Catholic Church" has been applied to the whole church in the English language since the Protestant Reformation in the late 16th century. Further, some will refer to the Latin Church as "Roman Catholic" in distinction from the Eastern Catholic churches. "Roman Catholic" has occasionally appeared also in documents produced both by the Holy See, and notably used by certain national episcopal conferences and local dioceses.The name "Catholic Church" for the whole church is used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1990) and the Code of Canon Law (1983). The name "Catholic Church" is also used in the documents of the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), the First Vatican Council (1869–1870), the Council of Trent (1545–1563), and numerous other official documents. History The Christian religion is based on the reported teachings of Jesus, who lived and preached in the 1st century AD in the province of Judea of the Roman Empire. Catholic theology teaches that the contemporary Catholic Church is the continuation of this early Christian community established by Jesus Christ. Christianity spread throughout the early Roman Empire, despite persecutions due to conflicts with the pagan state religion. Emperor Constantine legalized the practice of Christianity in 313, and it became the state religion in 380. Germanic invaders of Roman territory in the 5th and 6th centuries, many of whom had previously adopted Arian Christianity, eventually adopted Catholicism to ally themselves with the papacy and the monasteries. In the 7th and 8th centuries, expanding Muslim conquests following the advent of Islam led to an Arab domination of the Mediterranean that severed political connections between that area a.... Discover the Catholic Church popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Catholic Church books.

Best Seller Catholic Church Books of 2023

  • The Fifth Gospel synopsis, comments

    The Fifth Gospel

    Ian Caldwell

    The instant New York Times bestseller from the author of the international sensation The Rule of Four combines a lost gospel, a contentious relic, and a dying pope’s final wish int...

  • Catechism of the Catholic Church synopsis, comments

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    U.S. Catholic Church

    Over 3 million copies sold! Essential reading for Catholics of all walks of life.Here it is the first new Catechism of the Catholic Church in more than 400 years, a complete ...

  • The Autobiography of Henry VIII synopsis, comments

    The Autobiography of Henry VIII

    Margaret George

    The Autobiography of Henry VIII is the magnificent historical novel that established Margaret George's career. Evocatively written in the first person as Henry VIII's private journ...

  • Strange Fire synopsis, comments

    Strange Fire

    John F. MacArthur

    In Strange Fire, bestselling author and pastor John MacArthur chronicles the unsavory history behind the modern Charismatic movement.What would God say about those who blatantly mi...

  • The Malta Exchange synopsis, comments

    The Malta Exchange

    Steve Berry

    A deadly race for the Vatican’s oldest secret fuels New York Times bestseller Steve Berry’s next international Cotton Malone thriller: The Malta Exchange."Berry is the master scien...

  • A Minute in the Church synopsis, comments

    A Minute in the Church

    Gus Lloyd

    In this easy to read 48 page booklet, you'll find oneminute explanations about what Catholics believe and why.Using faith, reason and a healthy dose of Scripture, this book helps t...

  • Catholicism synopsis, comments


    Robert Barron

    “Catholicism takes a path less traveled in leading us to explore the faith through stories, biographies, and images.”Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New YorkWhat is Catholicis...

  • A Minute In the Church Volume II synopsis, comments

    A Minute In the Church Volume II

    Gus Lloyd

    Many people have questions about the Catholic faith, both nonCatholic and Catholic alike. In A Minute in the Church Volume II, Gus Lloyd answers common questions to and objections ...

  • NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha synopsis, comments

    NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha


    Accurate. Beautiful. Trusted.Renowned for its beautiful balance of scholarship and readability, the NRSV faithfully serves the church in personal spiritual formation, in the liturg...

  • Catechism of the Catholic Church synopsis, comments

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Catholic Church

    Catechism of the Catholic Church is a summary of the principles and practices of the Catholic Church in a questionandanswer format. This classic edition was used as a valuable teac...

  • The Third Secret synopsis, comments

    The Third Secret

    Steve Berry

    Explosive in both its pace and its revelations, The Third Secret is a remarkable international thriller. Bestselling author Steve Berry tackles some of the most controversial ide...

  • The Vatican Diaries synopsis, comments

    The Vatican Diaries

    John Thavis

    The New York Times–bestselling inside look at one of the world’s most powerful and mysterious institutionsFor more than twentyfive years, John Thavis held one of the most remarkabl...

  • Innocent Blood synopsis, comments

    Innocent Blood

    James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell

    In this riveting followup to The Blood Gospel, the first book in the thrilling and atmospheric Order of the Sanguine series, New York Times bestselling authors James Rollins and Re...

  • History of the Catholic Church synopsis, comments

    History of the Catholic Church

    Cynthia Cameron PhD, Susan B. Reynolds MEd, MTS, Chris Welch PhD & Thomas H. Groome EdD

    The Credo series explores the concepts outlined in the document of The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework for Young ...

  • Poison synopsis, comments


    Sara Poole

    In the simmering hot summer of 1492, a monstrous evil is stirring within the Eternal City of Rome. The brutal murder of an alchemist sets off a desperate race to uncover the plot t...

  • Jesus of Nazareth synopsis, comments

    Jesus of Nazareth

    Pope Benedict XVI & Joseph Ratzinger

    “This book is . . . my personal search ‘for the face of the Lord.’” –Benedict XVIIn this bold, momentous work, the Pope––in his first book written as Benedict XVI––seeks to salvage...

  • The Benedict Option synopsis, comments

    The Benedict Option

    Rod Dreher

    A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER"Already the most discussed and most important religious book of the decade." David BrooksIn this controversial bestseller, Rod Dreher calls on Amer...

  • The Immortality Key synopsis, comments

    The Immortality Key

    Brian C. Muraresku

    THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER As seen on The Joe Rogan Experience! A groundbreaking dive into the role psychedelics have played in the origins of Western civilization, and the real...

  • Letters to a Young Catholic synopsis, comments

    Letters to a Young Catholic

    George Weigel

    “An engaging, lucid, and informative introduction to the teachings and traditions of Catholicism” (Wall Street Journal), from one of America’s most prominent Catholic intellectuals...

  • What Makes Us Catholic synopsis, comments

    What Makes Us Catholic

    Thomas H. Groome

    What makes a Catholic a Catholic? According to Thomas Groome, an expert on the essential ingredients of Catholic Christianity, Catholics share certain vital features of life and id...

  • Searching for Sunday synopsis, comments

    Searching for Sunday

    Rachel Held Evans

    Are you struggling to connect with your church community? Do you find yourself questioning the core beliefs that you once held dear? Searching for Sunday, from New York T...

  • Pope Joan synopsis, comments

    Pope Joan

    Donna Woolfolk Cross

    “Pope Joan has all the elements one wants in a historical dramalove, sex, violence, duplicity, and longburied secrets. Cross has written an engaging book.”Los Angeles Times Bo...

  • The Case for Christ synopsis, comments

    The Case for Christ

    Lee Strobel

    Is there credible proof that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God? In The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and New York Times bestsell...

  • The Borgias synopsis, comments

    The Borgias

    Jean Plaidy

    For the first time in one volume, Jean Plaidy’s duet of Borgia novels brings to life the infamous, reckless, and passionate family in an unforgettable historical saga.Madonna of th...

  • The Catholic Church synopsis, comments

    The Catholic Church

    Hans Küng

    In this extraordinary book, the renowned Hans Kung chronicles the Roman Catholic Church’s role as a world power throughout history. He examines great schisms between East and Wes...

  • The Articles of Faith of a Biblical Tradition Catholic Church synopsis, comments

    The Articles of Faith of a Biblical Tradition Catholic Church

    Yared, Guzman

    A short manual on faith, the Articles of Faith of the Biblical Tradition Church

  • Snow synopsis, comments


    John Banville

    NATIONAL BESTSELLERSHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA HISTORICAL DAGGER AWARDA Globe and Mail Best Book of the YearA New York Times Editors’ Choice Pick“Banville sets up and then de...

  • History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French Revolution synopsis, comments

    History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French Revolution

    James MacCaffrey

    The fifteenth century may be regarded as a period of transition from the ideals of the Middle Ages to those of modern times. The world was fast becoming more secular in its tendenc...

  • Christianity synopsis, comments


    Diarmaid MacCulloch

    The New York Times bestseller and definitive history of Christianity for our timefrom the awardwinning author of The Reformation and SilenceA product of electrifying scholarsh...

  • Catholic Bible synopsis, comments

    Catholic Bible

    The World English Bible

    Hypertextbased navigation a) Direct access to Books and Chapters b) Navigation through the Chapters of a Book c) Direct access to a single Verse Additional reading resources a) His...

  • NRSV, Catholic Edition Bible synopsis, comments

    NRSV, Catholic Edition Bible

    Catholic Bible Press

    Accurate. Beautiful. Trusted.Renowned for its beautiful balance of scholarship and readability, the NRSV faithfully serves the Church in personal spiritual formation and in the aca...

  • Church History in Plain Language synopsis, comments

    Church History in Plain Language

    Bruce Shelley

    Church History in Plain Language makes church history clear, memorable, and accessible to every reader.Dr. Bruce Shelley makes church history come alive in this classic book that h...

  • The Wounded Healer synopsis, comments

    The Wounded Healer

    Henri J. M. Nouwen

    A hopefilled and profoundly simple book that speaks directly to those who want to be of service in their church or community, but have found the traditional ways often threatening ...

  • Credible Threat synopsis, comments

    Credible Threat

    J. A. Jance

    Ali Reynolds and her team at High Noon Enterprises must race against the clock to save an archbishop who faces mysterious death threats in this “masterly study of the effects of gr...

  • The Case for Christ synopsis, comments

    The Case for Christ

    Lee Strobel

    Is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God? Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chica...

  • The Confessor synopsis, comments

    The Confessor

    Daniel Silva

    Dark secrets are revealed in Vatican City in this Gabriel Allon thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva.In Munich, a Jewish scholar is assassinated. In Veni...

  • Absolute Monarchs synopsis, comments

    Absolute Monarchs

    John Julius Norwich

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   In a chronicle that captures nearly two thousand years of inspiration and intrigue, John Julius Norwich recounts in riveting detail the histories...