For advice and assistance in governing, the pope may turn to the College of Cardinals.
The canon law of the Catholic Church is the system of laws and legal principles made and enforced by the hierarchical authorities to regulate the church's external organisation and government and to order and direct the activities of Catholics towards the church's mission.
"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth shall be loosed in heaven." Jesus to Peter in the Gospel of Matthew, The crossed gold and silver keys of the Holy See symbolise the keys of Simon Peter, representing the power of the papal office to loose and bind.
In parallel to the diocesan structure are a variety of religious institutes that function autonomously, often subject only to the authority of the pope, though sometimes subject to the local bishop.
The Catholic Church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ, 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 in the Catholic Church as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, honoured in dogmas and devotions.
The Catholic Church has influenced Western philosophy, culture, science, and art.
The Catholic Church shared communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, disputing particularly the authority of the Pope, as well as with the Oriental Orthodox churches prior to the Chalcedonian schism in 451 over differences in Christology.