Faith/Spirituality Forum: What is the Difference
What is the Difference QUESTION from DiAnna on August 17, 2002 What is the difference between catholics and christians.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on August 30, 2002 Dear Miss DiAnna:
Catholics ARE Christians. In fact Cathilic Christians were in existance 1500 years before the first Protestant was born.
The first name for the followers of Christ was The Way. Then in Antioch, I think around 60AD, the term Christian was used. Then St. Ignatius of Antioch in 110 AD first used the term Catholic (because Catholic means universal and the Church is universal).
The Catholic Church began on Pentecost 33AD. It IS the only TRUE CHURCH in the fullness of the faith on the planet. It IS the Church that Jesus established in Matthew 16 upon Peter. The Catholic Church is the ONLY Church that is truly universal. The Orthodox Churches are national and ethnic churches. The Protestants are splintered into 30,000 sects and can hardly be considered universal, the Anglican Church is a national church.
Only what we call today the Catholic Church can truly be called universal.
By the way. There was no need to call the Church Catholic until the Protestant Revolt. Before the 16th Century the term Christian Church and Christian was used. After the Protestant revolt, with many splintering fellowships there was an obvious need to begin to clarify exactly what kind of Christian one was -- Catholic Christian, Baptist Christian, Lutheran Christian, etc.
The true Church is the Church established by Jesus upon the Chair of Peter, thus whatever fellowship of Christians who are in union with Peter (Bishop of Rome) constitutes the true Church.
Ubi Petrus, lbi Ecclesia: Where Peter is, there is the Church.
Peter was the first pope, and after Peter died another Pope was appointed, and on and on until today in unbroken succession.
Thus ALL Christians in the early Church were Catholic. Catholics wrote the New Testament, Catholic Bishops approved which books would go into the New Testament (and Old Testament), and it was the Divine Tradition passed on by Catholic Bishops that we inherent today -- even Protestants. Protestants would not know a bible, the Trinity, the life of Jesus, or that Jesus even existed without the Catholic Church.
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