Perhaps he meant that the term ‘Roman Catholic’ was first used in the 16th century (the 1500s) when all the Protestant groups started to get going–although perhaps more often we heard Papist. Because technically speaking there is no such thing as “The Roman Catholic church”. However, it has become a convenient shorthand usage which is often understood to refer to the Latin rite (and also the Eastern churches in communion with the Pope).
It’s a lot like the term “Protestant Reformation”. The Protestants (who are the majority in the U.S.) are the ones who underwrote public schools and who provide school texts, so most non-Catholic students learn about the “Protestant Reformation” as this great positive thing that came about solely and simply in response to ‘reforming’ the ‘corrupt’ Catholic church.
As in most successful ‘distortions’ of the truth, there is a grain of truth in that there were some specific abuses going on at the time, and that, historically speaking, certain ‘waves’ of abuses would happen from place to place to place, all from individuals. Just as, in the beginning, Judas, while he appeared to be just as faithful a disciple as any other of the twelve, was lining his pocket and betraying the Lord. Did Judas’s abuses mean that Christ was wrong in ‘picking him’ or that the entire Christian faith was wrong because ‘1 out of 12’ of the apostles was corrupt? Of course not. And as time went on, we have various Christians (think Annianas and Sapphora, who lied about the money they made in selling their goods and tried to keep some for themselves) right in the middle of other good faithful Christians who fell into abuses, had ‘itching ears’, shacked up with a father’s ex-mistress, etc. Did that mean all Christianity was corrupted? Of course not.
There were many factors that brought about the Protestant break–anticlericalism was one, nationalism another, and plain old common greed yet another. In order to justify themselves and appear ‘righteous’, some went on not only to say that they were ‘stopping certain corrupt practices’ but even further to say that some practices weren’t just corrupt, but flat out doctrinally wrong. IOW, instead of acknowledging that they (the so-called reformers) went too far in their attacks on individual clergy, they started to claim that the whole idea of clergy wasn’t really Christian to start with. Thus, no longer would the ‘reformers’ have to feel ‘uncomfortable’. And once they started trying to whitewash over their own errors and justify themselves, some groups started to cherry pick Scripture here, and some tried to rewrite Scripture there. . .until you have not just one ‘group’ of ‘reformers’ but dozens and dozens of groups who differ on just about everything but their long rooted disobedience to authority.