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The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church. With more than a billion members, over half of all Christians and more than one-sixth of the world's population.
- See also: Catholic social teaching
In addition to operating numerous social ministries throughout the world, the Church teaches that individual Catholics are required to practice the spiritual and corporal works of mercy as well. The seven corporal works of mercy are: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, and burying the dead. Welcoming strangers, immigrants, and refugees could be said to be another corporal work of mercy. The spiritual works of mercy include: instructing, advising, consoling, comforting, forgiving, bearing wrongs patiently, and praying for the living and the dead. In conjunction with the work of mercy to visit the sick, the Church offers the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, administered only by a priest. Church teaching on works of mercy and the new social problems of the industrial era led to the development of Catholic social teaching, which emphasizes human dignity and commits Catholics to the welfare of others.
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