The Catholic Faith was started by Jesus. The term "Catholic" was coined in the early 100's by St. Ignasus of Antioch as he was being brought to Rome to be fed to the lions. He preached of a "universal" faith that is open to all people slave or free, male or female, Jew or Gentile. Jesus, Paul and others preached the same thing. They just didn't coin the word "universal" to describe it. The word "catholic" (small 'c') means universal. The Catholic Church was not started by any one person; it was founded by Answer Jesus started the Catholic Church and chose Peter to be the leader of the church after his Ascension. Mt 16, 13-20 (Before Jesus' death) - When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." No human, but rather the Father revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus stated that Peter would be the foundation of his church. Jon 21, 15-19 (Following Jesus' Resurrection) When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." He then said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him "Yes, Lord, you know I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me" and he said to him, "Feed my sheep. Amen, amen I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stetch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this,he said to him, "Follow me." Before Jesus' death Peter denied Jesus multiple times here after the Resurrection the Lord puts the question to him and he affirms Jesus multiple times and Jesus tells him three times to take care of his sheep. God told Peter he would be the shepherd over the whole flock. Acts 15, 7-9 (following Jesus' Ascension) After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, "My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit just as he did us. He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts." Peter states what Jesus had said in Apostles presence, that he was chosen to lead the church and "tend to the Lord's flock" and to expand it to all., acting in the fullness of His divinity. Catholics believe it to be the original form of Christianity; as promised, the Holy Spirit has continued to guide the understanding of the Church, and Her doctrine has developed over the course of 2000 years. At first the Christians were not organized into any official structure, though from the New Testament we see that there were leaders. The recognized leaders were the Apostles, and the congregations of each locality had local leaders, called "elders", "presbyters", or "pastor/teachers". The Apostles, as shown in the Book of the Acts, approved of and laid hands on these local presbyters---that is, they had to pass on the authority Christ granted them. This is today called Apostolic Succession. For one special question, the Apostles and the rest of the church met together in Jerusalem (Acts 15, 1-35) in what is called the Council of Jerusalem: there was disagreement regarding (a) whether or not Christianity should be taken beyonf Judaism (b) whether non-Jewish Christians had to observe Jewish laws. In this meeting, the leaders of the early Church settled these matters: the decision was to send people to the Gentiles and not to burden them with observing Jewish laws, even though the Jewish Christians continued to do so. Catholics believe that immediately after the Ascension of Christ, Peter was the first leader (spokesperson) of the Church. As predicted by the Apostles, a variety of different ideas about Christ and about God were advanced by people claiming to be Christians. These doctrines had to be tested against the teachings of the Apostles; remember, there was not yet a written body of Christian texts. The Apostolic Tradition, those things taught orally by the Apostles, was to be the guide for Truth. This was in accordance with the directive Christ gave when he said, "Whoever hears you, hears Me." It was to the apostles (that is, the authoratative Church) that this statement was made. It was NOT made to the body of believers at large. Teachings at variance with apostolic tradition were rejected as "heresies", that is, as false teachings. Eventually, in the 4th century, these apostolic traditions became the basis for the establishment of the Canon, that is, the collection of sacred writings Christians worldwide today call . The Church reviewed thousands of texts, measuring each against apostolic tradition, and included only those which did not differ from those traditions. All the writings held sacred by the Jews (called the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament) were automatically accepted as God's word. Gradually, even though it was still illegal to be Christian, a certain amount of organizational structure began to develop. Because it happened in the Roman Empire, the pattern and names from Roman government were adopted by the church. When it finally became legal to be Christian, the Catholic Church flourished as never before.
Catholic Answer"Roman Catholic" started out as a slur used by protestants in the Church of England. The Catholic Church never uses "Roman." Yes, Catholicism is the religion that was started by Our Blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on His Apostle, Saint Peter, read St. Matthew's Gospel 16:17-19.
(Catholic answer) Thousands of years old, all of the people Jesus saved years ago started the catholic religion. Now for thousands of years, this religion has continued. So the basic answer would be, "Thousands of years".Roman Catholic answer:The Roman Catholic "religion" has its roots in the Old Testament, but was formed as a church by Jesus and Holy Spirit at Pentecost about 1,977 years ago, ten days after Jesus ascended into Heaven.