COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A 111-year-old Catholic church in downtown Columbia is the recipient of a papal decree naming it a minor basilica, making it the first basilica in South Carolina and joins 84 other minor basilicas in the United States.
St. Peter's Catholic Church sits on the corner of Assembly Street and Taylor Street. A basilica is derived from the Greek word for "royal house" and basilicas are given "special privileges" by the pope, although the nature of those privileges wasn't defined.
A release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston states that minor basilicas are often chosen due to their antiquity, dignity, historical value, architectural and artistic worth, and significance as centers of worship. It notes that a basilica must "stand out as a center of active and pastoral liturgy."
The Diocese of Charleston states that St. Peter's Catholic Church is the only parish church in SC to host a pope when Pope John Paul II held a prayer service in September 1987.
The church in its current form was completed in 1907 but has historical roots dating back to 1821.