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Catholic Dictionary




The vast portion of the Catholic Church, which uses the Latin liturgies and has its own distinctive canon law. Synonymous with the Latin Rite are the Western Church and Western patriarchate. The expression Latin Church is ambiguous, however. It is sometimes used in an uncomplimentary way by the Eastern Orthodox to label all Catholics "Latins" because of their allegiance to the Pope. It is also used by some Anglicans to identify what they consider one third of the whole Catholic Church, along with the Anglican and Orthodox. It is finally used, at times, by Catholics belonging to one of the Eastern (or non-Latin) Rites to distinguish this from other rites of Roman Catholicism.