The Catholic Church in Europe, also known as Roman Catholic Church in Europe, is part of worldwide Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See in Rome, including represented Eastern Catholic missions. Demographically, Catholics are the largest religious group in Europe, while church attendance has declined in the past decades.
About 35% of the population of Europe today is Catholic, but only about a quarter of all Catholics worldwide reside in Europe. This is due in part to the movement and immigration at various times of largely Catholic European ethnic groups (such as the Irish, Italians, Poles, Portuguese, and Spaniards) to continents such as the Americas and Australia. Furthermore, Catholicism has been spread outside Europe through both historical Catholic missionary activity, especially in Latin America, and the past colonization and conversion of native people by Catholic European countries, specifically the Spanish, Portuguese, French and Belgian colonial empire, in regions such as South America, the Caribbean, Central Africa and West Africa, and Southeast Asia.
As the Vatican State is a theocracy, it cannot become a member of the European Union. However, traditionally there are very strong ties of the Holy See with the neighbor country of the Vatican City, Italy and also with the European Union. Since 1970 the European Union accredits an official representative from the Holy See (an Apostolic Nuncio) to the EU. Even though the Vatican City is not an official member of the European Union, it has adopted the Euro as its currency and has open borders with the Schengen Area.
In 2016 Pope Francis was awarded with the Charlemagne prize. During his speech of thanks Pope Francis criticized a "crisis of solidarity" in Europe and condemned "national self-interest, renationalization and particularism".
In December 2018 Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising and former president of COMECE, called for a deeper European integration and condemned the harmful consequences of nationalism.
The Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe (Latin: Consilium Conferentiarum Episcoporum Europae) (CCEE) is a conference of the presidents of the 33 Roman Catholic episcopal conferences of Europe, the Archbishop of Luxembourg, the Archbishop of Monaco, Maronite Catholic Archeparch of Cyprus, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Chişinău, the Ruthenian Catholic Eparch of Mukacheve, and the Apostolic Administrator of Estonia. The CCEE Secretariat is located in St. Gallen, Switzerland.
The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (Latin: Commissio Episcopatuum Communitatis Europaeae; COMECE) is the association of Catholic Church episcopal conferences in member states of the European Union (EU) which officially represents those episcopal conferences at EU institutions. COMECE bishops are delegated by Catholic episcopal conferences in EU member states and has a permanent Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium. It was established in 1980 and replaced the European Catholic Pastoral Information Service (SIPECA, 1976–1980). Discussions during the 1970s about creating an episcopal conferences' liaison organization to the European Community led to the decision, on the eve of the European Parliament election, 1979, to establish COMECE.
Fimcap Europe (International Federation of Catholic Parochial Youth Movements): Fimcap is an umbrella organization for catholic youth organizations, especially for youth organizations which are based at parish level. (See also: Fimcap Europe)
MIJARC Europe (International Movement of Catholic Agricultural and Rural Youth): MIJARC Europe is a platform representing the catholic, agricultural and rural youth movements in Europe.
CIDSE (International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity): CIDSE is an umbrella organization for Catholic development agencies from Europe and North America.
World Movement of Christian Workers consists of Catholic workingmen and workingwomen.
According to the Catholic tradition, Saint Peter, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ and leader of the early church, was crucified and buried in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. On the place supposed to be the burial site of Saint Peter the Saint Peter's Basilica was built. Rome is also the residence city of the Pope, the leader of the Catholic Church, who at the same time is also the Bishop of Rome. Until today the Pope rules over an ecclesiastical state, the Vatican City, which encompasses 44 hectares of the city area. Rome hosts also the Papal Major basilicas. Besides the Saint Peter's Basilica there are three other Major basilicas: Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran, Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
One of the most important and famous sites for pilgrimages for the Catholic Church is Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The cathedral of the city hosts the shrine of Saint James, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and traditionally considered the first apostle to be martyred. Santiago de Compostela is the final destination of the Way of Saint James (Galician: O Camiño de Santiago).
Assisi, a town in the Umbria region in Italy, hosts two more papal basilicas: the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi and the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi is the mother church of the Order of Friars Minor, commonly known as the "Franciscan Order". Assisi is the town in which the founder of the order, Saint Francis, was born and died.
The Catholic Church in Belarus is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. The first Latin Rite diocese in Belarus was established in Turaŭ between 1008 and 1013. Catholicism was a traditionally dominant religion of Belarusian nobility (the szlachta) and of a large part of the population of West Belarus.Catholic Church in Bulgaria
Catholic Church is the fourth largest religious congregation in Bulgaria, after Eastern Orthodoxy, Islam and Protestantism. It has roots in the country since the Middle Ages and is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.Catholic Church in Cyprus
The Catholic Church in Cyprus is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.Catholic Church in Estonia
The Catholic Church in Estonia is the national branch of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.Catholic Church in Gibraltar
The Catholic Church in Gibraltar is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. There are an estimated 23,000 baptised Catholics in Gibraltar, making up 72 percent of the population.Gibraltar is a single diocese led by the Bishop of Gibraltar and immediately subject to the Holy See. The incumbent, the Right Reverend Carmelo Zammit, who was appointed Bishop of Gibraltar on 24 June 2016 and received episcopal ordination on 8 September 2016, was installed there on 24 September 2016.Catholic Church in Iceland
The Catholic Church in Iceland is part of the Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. As of 2015, the Bishop of the Diocese of Reykjavík is Dávid Bartimej Tencer. The diocese is not part of any ecclesiastical province (there is no archbishop or responsible archdiocese), and the bishop reports directly to the Holy See in Rome.Catholic Church in Latvia
The Catholic Church of Latvia is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.
There are around 476,700 Catholics — around 22.7% of the total population.Catholic Church in Liechtenstein
The Catholic Church in Liechtenstein is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.
Around three quarters of the population is Catholic. Prior to 1997, the principality was part of the Swiss Diocese of Chur. In 1997, the Archdiocese of Vaduz was created, covering the whole of the principality. The first and to date only archbishop is Wolfgang Haas.Catholic Church in Lithuania
The Catholic Church in Lithuania is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.
Lithuania has the highest density of Catholics of all the Baltic states: there are two million Catholics, which is 79% of the total population (2002). The country is divided into eight dioceses including two archdioceses and a military ordinariate. In 2007 there were 779 Catholic priests and 677 parishes. Lithuania is the northernmost predominantly Catholic country in the world, being slightly farther north than the Republic of Ireland.Catholic Church in Moldova
The Catholic Church in Moldova is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.Catholic Church in Monaco
The Catholic Church in Monaco is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.
Per the Constitution of Monaco (Art. 9) Catholicism is the official church of Monaco, and is the majority religion.
Religious freedom is also guaranteed by the constitution.
The Archdiocese of Monaco is part of the Catholic Church of France and has been so from the beginning of its history. The country forms a single archdiocese.
Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate is the cathedral of the Monaco archdiocese, other Catholic churches include the Saint Charles Church, Church St. Devote, Saint Martin Church, and Saint Nicholas Church. Catholic chapels include the Chapel of Mercy, Chapel of the Sacred Heart, and the Carmelite Chapel. The former Chapel of Visitation is now an art museum.Catholic Church in Poland
There are 41 Catholic dioceses of the Latin Church and two eparchies of the Eastern Churches in Poland. These comprise about 10,000 parishes and religious orders. There are 33 million Catholics (the data includes the number of infants baptized). The primate of the Church is Wojciech Polak, Archbishop of Gniezno. According to 2014 statistical yearbook, 85.8% of Poland's population is Catholic.Catholic Church in San Marino
The Catholic Church in San Marino is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the leadership of the Pope in Rome.Catholic Church in Serbia
The Catholic Church in Serbia is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. There are 356,957 Catholics in Serbia according to the 2011 census, which is roughly 5% of the population. Catholics are mostly concentrated in several municipalities in northern Vojvodina, and are mostly members of ethnic minorities, such as Hungarians and Croats.Catholic Church in Slovakia
The Catholic Church in Slovakia is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.
Around 62% of the total population is Latin Catholic and another 3.8% is Greek Catholic. The country is divided into 8 dioceses including 3 archdioceses, and there is also a separate jurisdiction for those of the Byzantine Rite, see Slovak Greek Catholic Church.
Slovakia is the fourth most Catholic Slavic country, after Poland, Croatia and Slovenia.Catholic Church in Slovenia
The Catholic Church in Slovenia is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.
There are total of 1,511,980 (73.15%) Catholics in Slovenia in 2017 by official statistics published by Catholic Church of Slovenia. The country is divided into six dioceses, including two archdioceses. The diocese of Maribor was elevated to an archdiocese by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. Additionally, the pope created three new sees, namely Novo Mesto, Celje and Murska Sobota.
Archbishop Juliusz Janusz is the Apostolic Nuncio to Slovenia, the Titular Archbishop of Caprulae and the Apostolic Delegate to Kosovo.Catholic Church in Spain
The Catholic Church in Spain is part of the Catholic Church under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome, and the Spanish Episcopal Conference.Catholic Church in Ukraine
The Catholic Church in Ukraine (Ukrainian: Католицька церква в Україні) is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.
The majority of Catholics in Ukraine belong to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, while significant numbers of others belong to the Latin Church (known as Roman Catholic), Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church, or Armenian Catholic Church.Old Roman Catholic Church in Europe
The Old Roman Catholic Church in Europe (ORCCE) is an Old Roman Catholic Church located in Brighton, United Kingdom.
The ORCCE regards itself as a Catholic church of the Western tradition following the Roman Rite. It has fellowship with other ecclesiastical bodies internationally through inter-communion agreements and international ecumenical bodies; the World Council of Churches through the International Council of Community Churches).The church's apostolic succession is through Arnold Harris Mathew's lineage and traced back to Roman Catholic bishops.