A question about the word 'Catholic'

Did the Church call itself the Catholic Church (as a proper name/proper noun/capitalized) to differentiate itself from heretical sects?

The Church has been Catholic from the 1st century. The English word Catholic is a transliteration of the Greek katholikos which is a compound word from kata, which means according to, and holos, which means whole. catholic.com/tracts/what-catholic-means

iow the Church ἐκκλησία , τῆς] throughout all καθ’kata ὅλης holos] is the Kataholos Church = Catholic Church. The Church Jesus started and gave all His promises to.

Where does kata holos appear in scripture?

Acts 9:31 the church throughout all ἐκκλησία,καθ’,ὅλης ,τῆς ,Judea and Galilee and Sama’ria…"

Bp Ignatius of Antioch didn’t invent the name “Catholic Church.” And it was in Antioch where the disciples were first called Christian Acts 11:26 . Ignatius uses both names in his writings, Catholic Church and Christian (e.g. letter to Smyrna).
[LIST]
*]St Ignatius, Bp of Antioch, ~69 a.d. - ~107 a.d., ordained by apostles, disciple of St John the apostle, called the Church the Catholic Church Epistle to the Smyrnæans (ch 8) of which schismatics won’t be going to heaven Epistle to the Philadelphians (ch 3) . As an aside, where would Ignatius learn to teach that warning and corresponding terrible consequence for one’s soul from, for commiting and remaining in the sin of schism / division from the Catholic Church? Paul condemned division / dissention from the Church Romans 16:17-20 , Galatians 5:19-21 and Jesus does NOT approve of division in His Church John 17:20-23 , and since the HS only teaches what comes from Jesus John 16:12-15 no one can say the HS inspired all the division we see today in Christianity. There is no expiration date to that warning and condemnation
*]St Polycarp, Bp Smyrna, disciple of St John called the Church the “Catholic Church” The Martyrdom of Polycarp
*]Muratorian canon earlychristianwritings.com/text/muratorian.html uses authority of “Catholic Church”
*]Irenaeus ~180 a.d. wrote “Against Heresies” called the Church the “Catholic Church” Adversus haereses [Bk 1 [URL=“http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103110.htm”]Chapter 10 v 3], and also Irenaeus who was taught by Polycarp, teaches all must agree with Rome [Bk 3, [URL=“http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm”]Chapter 3, v 2-3]
*]Cyprian~250 a.d. calls the Church the Catholic Church Epistle 54
*]The Nicene Creed, 325 a.d., it’s a matter of faith to believe in the “One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church”
*]Augustine ~395 There are many other things that most justly keep me in her * bosom. . . . 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, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself 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.Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental (ch 5 v6)
]etc
[/LIST]The same Church Pope Francis is over today, 267th successor to St Peter.

I think it was more to distinguish themselves from the Jewish church. Jesus and the Apostles were all Jews, so there was a tendency to view Christians as a Jewish sect (indeed, the Roman government took this view, which is why the very early Church was not persecuted).

By calling itself “universal,” they emphasized that anyone could become Catholic (whereas only a person born Jewish could truly be a Jew).

v 3], and also Irenaeus who was taught by Polycarp, teaches all must agree with Rome [Bk 3, [URL=“http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm”]Chapter 3, v 2-3]
*]Cyprian~250 a.d. calls the Church the Catholic Church Epistle 54
*]The Nicene Creed, 325 a.d., it’s a matter of faith to believe in the “One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church”
*]Augustine ~395 There are many other things that most justly keep me in her * bosom. . . . 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, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself 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.Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental (ch 5 v6)
]etc
[/LIST]The same Church Pope Francis is over today, 267th successor to St Peter.

Thank you Steve. Very clear and cogent post. Thank you for the Historical and Biblical references to the term Catholic Church. Especially for the Biblical sources of “Catholic Church” in Acts 9:31 where it says ekklesia Kath olos. l ἐκκλησία,καθ’,ὅλης ,τῆς ,

Yet Jesus only had 3 years of public life. And we know the Jews couldn’t wait to execute Jesus. Then there is Saul Acts 8:1-3

The Roman government didn’t get involved in the persecution until the Jews forced them to get involved.

I would suggest, that usage of the word is too colloguial. Catholic refering to the Church, “the pillar and foundation of truth” already meant a specific Church, a specific belief system in the 1st century, and it was the Church and belief system to be believed in the same way by all everywhere. As in no dissent in thinking or belief from, but perfect unity John 17:20-23 , else it produces serious consequences for one’s soul. Romans 16:17-20 , Galatians 5:19-21. It’s interesting, the biggest persecutor of the Church in the beginning, was the one who wrote those warnings for the Church.

***Does ***and/or ***did ***the Church call herself Catholic?

Aside the creed, which other churches and ecclesial communities likewise profess.

:hmmm:

tee

I would just ask THEM, how is your organization listed in the phone book? If I’m new in town, and I ask for the Catholic Church, would any of those communities point to their own? :nope: Besides, what would it gain them someday to lie about that now? We all come face to face with Jesus and no one will pull the wool over His eyes.

Augustine in ~395 a,d, said it well (all emphasis mine)

“There are many other things that most justly keep me in her the Catholic Church’s] bosom. . . . 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, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself 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”.Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental (ch 5 v6)

It is in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians, according to Sacred Scripture (Acts).

Well, it is Ignatius, second bishop of Antioch, successor of Peter, who writes:

wherever the bishop goes, let the multitude assemble, just as wherever Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.

The term Christian was born in Antioch to denote the disciples of the Christ. Equally it would seem that the term Catholic was first employed in Antioch to distinguish the One Church established by Christ - though one cannot state that the term originated in Antioch or from Ignatius.

Very good points. Thank you.

This may have been cited, but:

“The Faith of the Early Fathers,” vol. 1 (Jurgens, ed.), p. 25, paragraph 65. Quoting St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, AD 110:

“Wherever the Bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”

Yeah, we have been “Catholic” for a few years.

The Greek kata certainly does mean according to under certain conditions, but kata can also have other slants to its meaning. One is motion downwards but another interesting one is distribution, of a whole divided into parts.

So the kata could be suggesting ‘rites’, individually but collectively the Church, or dioceses, but collectively the Church.

True.

I merely make the points,
[LIST]
*]some think Catholic is NOT specific but non specific.
*]To which I ask, how could one be warned in scripture not to divide from something that is nebulously understood? Especially considering the serious consequence in scripture attached to division from the Catholic Church as well as the person who does it and remains divided is condemned. And considering we see that warning expressed from the beginning, throughout Catholic Church history for 2000 years, that requires a specific understanding of what Catholic is…
*]As you point out, a “rite” by definition is understood to be fully united to and not divided from, in this case, the chair of Peter in Rome.
[/LIST]My point therefore is, from early on, Catholic moved from adjective, to noun, and more specifically a proper name, for a very specific Church, “the pillar and foundation of truth”, the only Church Our Lord established and gave all His promises to.

Hi. I am aware of the early Church fathers writings that they mention “Catholic” in their writings, but I am most curious about referring to themselves as “the Way”.

In today’s first reading from Acts 9:1-20 it states the following: "Saul was still breathing threats to slaughter the Lord’s disciples. He had gone to the high priest and asked for letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, that would authorize him to arrest and take to Jerusalem any followers of the Way, men or women, that he could find.
universalis.com/mass.htm
So I’m just curious why aren’t we called the Way Church? What made them change from being called followers of the Way to the Catholic Church? And, do any of the early Church fathers mention this name in their writings?
Thanks.

When Jesus said I am “the way”, John 14:6 , people who followed Jesus were following the one who called Himself the way. Jesus “the way” however, started a Church Matthew 16:18.

And the church throughout all ἐκκλησία,καθ’,ὅλης ,τῆς is the Kataholos (Catholic) Church. where does that come from? ( #2 )

I was just reading a writing by Eddius Stephanus on the Synod of Whitby AD 664 where he records that king Oswiu and the entire synod recognized the apostolic see and the chair of Peter in Rome,

He is the porter and keeps the keys. With him I will have no differences nor will I agree with those who have such, nor in any single particular will I gainsay his decisions so long as I live.

I guess they understood things the same back then too.

The Way does not seem to be a proper noun but instead seems to be comparative (opposite or juxtaposed) to the way of the Law, this way versus that way. This High Priest versus that high priest.

I can’t personally make the references to “the way” in the Acts into a title. I don’t think the early church referred to themselves as the Way church.

Thanks your post helped clear up the confusion. I also came across this that was helpful:
catholic.com/quickquestions/if-jesus-was-a-jew-why-are-we-catholic

ewtn.com/faith/teachings/churb4.htm

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