Faith/Spirituality Forum: Please help
Please help QUESTION from gladwin September 21, 2001 What is the meaning of the word Catholic ?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on September 28, 2001 Dear Mr. Gladwin:
The word catholic in Greek means universal.
The term catholic was first used to describe the Church that Jesus founded in approx. 107 AD by St. Ignatius of Antioch.
The reason that the Church that was founded upon Peter and carried on through time with the succession of office upon the Chair of Peter (chair = seat of authority) is called catholic is because the Church is universal. What we call the Catholic Church today is the only truly UNIVERSAL Church on the planet. There is no Protestant Church that is truly universal, and the Orthodox Church is also not universal. Thus Catholic came to be associated with the original true Church under Peter.
But before the 1600s people just called themselves Christian since there was only ONE Church in the West (most were not particularly aware of the Orthodox Church in the East); and before 1054 there really was only ONE Church and all called themselves Christian -- there was not need for differing labels.
But, when the sins of Luther, Calvin, et al caused the shameful split on the Church into what is today 30,000 splinters, it became necessary to differentiate the true Church from all the false churches, so Catholic began to be used.
But in actuality the term Roman Catholic was first used by the Anglicans. It was a term of insult and a term of self-justification for the Anglicans. The Anglicans wanted to think of themselves as catholic even though they are not, so they had to distinguish themselves of the corrupt church of Rome can came up with the term Roman Catholic.
But in fact, the only real and true Catholic Church is the Church lead by the Pope. And this Church is the only True Church in the fullness of the teaching of Jesus Christ.
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