Originally Posted by Neezar
They? Who is They
can not disprove it either. lol
They are The Roman Curia.
The Roman Curia is the Court of The Pope, and The Government of The Vatican City State. The Curia includes a list of Fifteen Cross Country Departments led by a Prefect....in early times these were to help establish the church across the world...for example Congregation Index Librorum Prohibitorum...In short a department for classifying books, and deciding which ones were good...and which ones were to be censored. The Curia produced a list of banned books...most of them not suprisingly Astronomical or Natural Sciences based. The Catholic Church held sway on what could get published and distributed in Europe...anything contrary to their beliefs was smushed. Right now only Eleven Congregations exist, one of which is The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith...which Historically speaking, was the The Holy Inquizition. These are helpful in maintainence rather then establishment.
Aside from that, there are three Tribunerals. Essentially the Legal Judiciary of the Roman Church.
Beneith that lie currently nine Councils for various different things, from Culture, to Christian Unity
Beneith that is The Government of The Holy See
Below that is Two insitutes directly associated with the Pope himself
That, in a nut shell, is the Roman Curia, or Court of The Papacy. Aside from this is what is known as The Religious Orders...and they are divided into three sections. The College of Cardinals. These are senior Priests who are Elevated to the Position of Princes of The Church. Various members of the college will lead the different councils, tribunerals, and congregations of the Curia. But their main function is to assemble on the death of a pope, and go into a Conclave for the ellection of a new Pope. There is no telling how many Cardinals there can be, it is a whim of a Pope who will call a consistory every so often and choose whomever he wants...though they are usually all ArchBishops. They remain Cardinals for life, but are forced into retirement at 75, they may vote in a conclave so long as they are 79 years or younger in age.
Below them are the Contemplative Denominations, the vast majority of these were wiped out during the reformation. But many of the Orders exist, they are just really small...an example, the Benedictine, The Fransiscans, The Dominicans (who were mainly the ones involved in the Inquizitions) and The Jesuits. In the olden days, these were the insitutions that created the universities and taught the masses...it was from these insitutions that books could be banned by the congregation mentioned before...let me put this in perspective for you...in a country, the size of the State of California...the Roman Catholic Church at its height had more then SEVEN HUNDRED contact points for these Orders. Thats seven hundred outlets that will ban a book of learning if so deemed...and seven hundred less places you might be able to read a book on astronomy in an age where, outside of the Churches influence, outside of those seven hundred outlets...most couldnt read or write.
Below all that lie the Episcopate. The general heirachy of the Church, an archBishop, above Bishops, above Priests, above Decons.
This network feeds the grass roots Churches down the road from wherever it is you live, and suplies the best part of two billion people with The Faith.