What is the name of the Church? Is it Catholic or Roman Catholic? Even many Catholics get it wrong! To set everyone straight I have some excerpts from EWTN and many other sites. By the way, do not bring up which “Rite” we are. This concerns the NAME of the Church, not the Rite.
A qualification of the name Catholic commonly used in English-speaking countries by those unwilling to recognize the claims of the One True Church. Out of condescension for these dissidents, the members of that Church are wont in official documents to be styled “Roman Catholics” as if the term Catholic represented a genus of which those who owned allegiance to the pope formed a particular species.
Accordingly, at the Newcastle Conference of the Catholic Truth Society (Aug., 1901) the cardinal explained clearly to his audience that “the term Roman Catholic has two meanings; a meaning that we repudiate and a meaning that we accept.” The repudiated sense was that dear to many Protestants, according to which the term Catholic was a genus which resolved itself into the species Roman Catholic, Anglo-Catholic, Greek Catholic, etc. But, as the cardinal insisted, “with us the prefix Roman is not restrictive to a species, or a section, but simply declaratory of Catholic.” The prefix in this sense draws attention to the unity of the Church, and “insists that the central point of Catholicity is Roman, the Roman See of St. Peter.”
Similarly, nowhere in the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council will you find the term Roman Catholic. Pope Paul VI signed all the documents of the Second Vatican Council as “I, Paul. Bishop of the Catholic Church.” Simply that – Catholic Church. There are references to the Roman curia, the Roman missal, the Roman rite, etc., but when the adjective Roman is applied to the Church herself, it refers to the Diocese of Rome!
The Creed which we recite on Sundays and holy days speaks of one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. As everybody knows, however, the Church referred to in this Creed is more commonly called just the Catholic Church. It is not, by the way, properly called the Roman Catholic Church, but simply the Catholic Church.