Catholic means universal or whole. With respect to the Christian Church, the early Christians used the term to refer to the whole undivided church. It is in that sense that all Christians today claim ownership of the term, including Protestants, although they often do not capitalize the term. The word dates from the patristic fathers and to the historic creeds and was used to set apart the mainstream body of orthodox Christian believers, from those adhering to mere sects or to heretical factions.
Within names of institutions
In countries which have been traditionally Protestant, Catholic will often be included in the official name of a particular parish church, school, hospice or other insititution belonging to the Roman Catholic Church in order to distinguish it from those of other denominations. For example, the name "St. Mark's Catholic Church," makes it clear that it is not an Episcopal or Lutheran Church. Using the word to differentiate between churches in this manner, arose when Protestantism appeared, making no claim on the word "Catholic". From long use in such countries, Catholic has become shorthand for the Roman Church used by Protestant and Roman Catholic alike. Orthodox churches still favor the terms "Western Church" or "Latin Church" in reference to the Roman Catholic Church.
This example contradicts St. Augustine's definition writen a millinia before the reformation:
- "In the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep (Jn 21:15-19), down to the present episcopate. "And so, lastly, does the very name of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house. "Such then in number and importance are the precious ties belonging to the Christian name which keep a believer in the Catholic Church, as it is right they should ... With you, where there is none of these things to attract or keep me ... No one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion...For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church."
- - St. Augustine (AD 354-430 ) Against the Epistle of Manichaeus AD 397
One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Catholic in the sense of the physical institution of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is the usage intended by some denominations, such as the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Churches — and of course, the Roman Catholic Church. The term "Apostolic" refers to the unbroken organisational and physical descent from the original twelve apostles down to the present. This descent of apostolic authority is emphasised by the laying on of hands when ordaining a priest. A statement of use in this vein is made also by the Ancient Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Church, the Liberal Catholic Church and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.
The Roman Catholic Church itself puts forth a particular sense of the term in the present context. In 1864 the Roman Catholic Church issued a letter asserting that
- "the Catholic Church alone is conspicuous and perfect in the unity of the whole world and of all nations, particularly in that unity whose beginning, root, and unfailing origin are that supreme authority and 'higher principality' (St. Irenaeus http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/sainti06.htm, Against heresies 3, 3) of blessed PETER, whom they call "prince of the Apostles", and of his successors in the Roman Chair." Their interpretation is that no Church is Catholic except the one which, founded on the one PETER, grows into one 'body compacted and fitly joined together' [Eph 4:16]... (Denziger §1686).
The Roman Catholic interpretation is not the only possible reading of the passage from Ireneus. His specific language mentions "Peter and Paul" together in regards to the foundation of the Roman community of Christians, not giving primacy to Peter over Paul in the foundation or administration of Rome's community. Likewise, while Ireneus does list a short succession of Rome's Bishops, he also makes the effort to point out that St. Polycarp of Smyrna was in no way deficient in authority nor in doctrine in comparison to Rome, and actually brought correction to Rome when it fell into error.
Other groups considering themselves Catholic
Catholic may refer to any of a number of other groups which do not recognize the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome but who regard themselves as Catholic rather than Calvinistic or Puritan. Typical among these are "High Church" Anglicans, i.e., "Anglo-Catholics"). Often, this will be printed as "Catholic" but sometimes as "catholic".
The phrase "catholic epistles" is sometimes used to refer to the General Epistles of the Christian New Testament in the Bible because these epistles were not addressed to any particular city but to all in general. This use reflects its Greek derivation and is not necessarily intended to imply a relationship to a specific ecclesial community.
Capitalization is no sure guide to denominational affiliation. It may indicate formal affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church or it may not. Capitalization may indicate the holy and solemn nature of the spiritual body of believers. It emphasizes the desire for all Christians to be one. In that sense, it might seem ironic that a term designating the whole church should apply to one human organization only. However the Roman Catholic position would be that they constitute the original Catholic and universal Church, from which other groups broke away at various times in history.
The Roman Catholic Church, which makes insistent use of the term "Catholic" (e.g., in 1992 it published a "Catechism of the Catholic Church" or "CCC"), believes that the Church as a body is of divine institution, which influences their use of the term "Catholic". This profession can be observed in a number of dogmatic statements: in 1442 at the Council of Florence, the Bulla http://www.dict.org/bin/Dict?Form=Dict2&Database=*&Query=bulla "Cantata Domino" includes the phrase "The sacrosanct Roman Church, founded by the voice of our Lord and Savior..." (Denziger §703); in 1302 Boniface VIII. in the Bulla "Unam Sanctam" refers to the Church as "that 'seamless tunic' of the Lord" [Jn 19:23] (Denziger §468); in 476, St. Simplicius http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saints0r.htm wrote an epistle containing the phrase "...the successors of him upon whom the Lord imposed the care of the whole sheepfold..." (Denziger §160). Roman Catholic theology thus incorporates the idea that the Roman Catholic Church is of divine institution, i.e. that Jesus imposed upon the organisational hierarchy the duty to care for the lambs/sheep (Jn 21:15-17), which is intended as a universal overture, as Jesus came to redeem man ("who for our salvation came down" in Nicene Creed).
Roman Catholic Church usage
The Roman Catholic Church does make some use of the term "catholic" as well, within theological tracts and dogmatic statements in which the universality of Roman Catholic theology is argued. This is more common toward the early period; the word is capitalized in English translations of dogmatic statements fairly early in Church history: e.g., St. Cornelius, http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintc32.htm d. 253, wrote of the "most holy Catholic Church" (Denziger §44). An example of dogmatic use of minuscule-c "catholic" occurs in "The Creed of Epiphanius", longer form, which includes the phrase "one catholic and apostolic Church" (Denziger §14), thus asserting that the Church was intended to be universal, a usage to which is soon applied the greater dignity of the majuscule-C "Catholic". The Creed of Epiphanius (d. 403) is a slight expansion of the Nicene Creed, and some printings of it place the word "catholic" in majuscule form.http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/sainte35.htm But it is likely that the authoritative Denziger correctly renders the text; in the shorter form, Denziger §13, the word "Catholic" is placed in brackets, to infuse into the past writing the understanding that emerged, that the sense of unity and universality should be embodied in a more formal expression, in English rendered as a majuscule. Another dogmatic minuscule-c use occurs in the Denziger "Systematic Index of Dogmatic and Moral Matters," which lists "catholic" as a major category of dogmas surrounding the nature of the Church. In other dogmatic statements the Church uses the term "universal" in what appears to be an equivalent sense, though perhaps lacking the linguistic directness of implied universality which Roman Catholic theology proposes to have been bequeathed to the Roman Catholic Church by Jesus. Sometimes the "chair of unity" is referred to. A non-dogmatic — i.e. not propounded in strict definitional terms and without other criteria attaching — modern use of minuscule-c "catholic" occurs in the CCC §811 which quotes Second Vatican Council document Lumen Gentium §8, which in turn quotes a number of early creeds. Finally, see particular church for another example.
Avoidance of usage
Many Protestant Christian churches — especially Evangelicals — avoid the term completely for what they believe is an important point of faith: that no mortal man can be head of the universal Body of Christ. This, they argue, denies the meaning of "catholic" as a "church for all people" or "a church for all nations", which they claim is just as valid an interpretation of "universal" as the idea that a single organisational body constitutes the Church. They believe that to suggest that the Pope could occupy the position of head of the church is heretical and a historical innovation dating only since the Great Schism. The Orthodox churches share some of the concerns about Roman Catholic claims, but disagree with protestants about the nature of the church as one body. Thus for some, to use the word "Catholic" at all is to appear to give credence to Papal claims.
Unfortunately, the original author cited "Denzinger" several times, but did not state from which book the mayority of quotes were taken. A likely candidate is:
- Henry Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, 1954, ISBN 1-930278-22-5
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html
You may copy and modify it as long as the entire work (including additions) remains under this license.
You must provide a link to http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html
To view or edit this article at Wikipedia go to http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic
Entertainment Network. A Cyprus
Roussos Music Entertainment Company. All Rights Reserved.
are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. You may copy and
modify it as long as the entire work (including additions) remains under
this license. You must provide a link to http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
All trademarks and service marks including Napster,
MP3 Player, iRock,
MP3 Player, iRiver,
MP3 Players + iTunes,
Musical Instrument Equipment Store, BMG
Music Service, Columbia
House DVD Club, eBay,
Musical Instruments, Billboard,
Yahoo Search Marketing, MusicMatch,
Music Plus, Billboard
Stone Magazine, Walmart
and Noble book store, CDUniverse,
are property of their respective owners. Music.us has no affiliation with
but offers alternative services. Disclaimer: Uploading or downloading
of copyrighted works without permission or authorization of copyright
holders may be illegal and subject to civil or criminal liability and
penalties. Please buy
music and refrain from any illegal downloading activity. User
submitted free content, including Wikipedia encyclopedia or modification
thereof by end users, do not reflect the views and opinions of Music.us
and are for educational and research development purposes. Our website
offers advanced search for bands and artists bio and albums and browse
options for artist band biographies resources and information. We offer
blogs and community building tools for authors, bands and users. The Music.us
Entertainment Network is web's most comprehensive one-stop shopping, community
networking and education site. Find song lyrics, guitar tablature, posters,
ring tones, free MP3 downloads and hourly updating news feeds on musicians
and any genre style including rock,
and B, blues,
- Site Map
- MP3 - Music Downloads
- Song Lyrics