The Catholic Church was established by Jesus Christ as a means to salvation for all. Jesus established Peter, the rock, to be the head of His Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (see Matthew 16: 18) For nearly 2,000 years, the Popes have been the direct successors of Peter, the first Pope and leader of the Church. The beliefs of the Catholic Church are best summed up in the Nicene Creed, adopted at the Council of Nicea in 325.
I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial
with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man. For our sake he was crucified under
Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of
the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord,
the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and
apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.