"ROMAN" Catholic Church


Hello Everyone!


Can anybody tell what is the official name of the Church? Is the word “ROMAN” really included in the name or this is some sort of an addition to identify us with some other “catholic” church.

Thanks a lot…

Blessings to everyone!!!


It has been used officially by the Church to both refer to just the Roman rite, but also the whole Church in Communion with the Bishop of Rome. Nowadays, it is used primarily to refer to the Roman rite, not the Church as a whole.

Some non-Catholics use it to promote branch theory and to deny the universality of our Church, to say the Church in communion with the bishop of Rome is only part of the Catholic Church. On the other hand, we believe it is the Catholic Church.


The correct title is the “Catholic Chuch”.

The Catholic Church is made up of 22 distinct Churches, one (and the largest of which) is the Roman Church.

The others include

Rutherian Catholic
Melkite Catholic
Syro-Malbar Catholic
Chaldean Catholic ( the Christians in Iraq)

All of these are part of the Catholic Church and all are equally Catholic, just not Roman Catholic :wink:


Not sure what the ‘official’ name might be. Perhaps;
The ‘One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church’.

The English added the Roman bit during the reformation in a propaganda attempt to alienate the Church from its people by making it sound as foreign to them as possible. Much like some americans and other nationalities prefer not to call themselves Roman Catholics, they’re american or whatever but to aviod an appearance of divisiveness they drop it and say Catholic only.


Given the origin of the term, it still smacks of pejorative undertones in its use. Although usage has muted that somewhat, it’s still there, and I’ve not infrequently encountered its pejorative use.

The card I carry in my wallet that askes for a priest to be called in case of accident or illness says, “I am Catholic.” That’s what I say, too. Besides, why should I acknowledge and use a label that was pinned on the Church by her enemies?




I’d use it because of that - that is, if only to honour those who were murdered/exectuted for being Roman Catholics - I refuse to see a title like Roman, Welsh, Dutch, as insulting but will use the title to remember those who suffered unjustly for it.
The Church is universal, homogenous, the first Pope was martyred in Rome, and Rome became the centre of the Church and the Church is loyal to its centre.


The back of the crucifix on my rosary says “I am Catholic, please call a priest”. So I guess Catholic is enough to communicate to the world what your religious affiliation is.


I do not see Roman Catholic as pejorative. It is descriptive. After all I have seen the Orthodox refer to themselves as the One Holy Catholic and Aposotlic Church. From their point of view the Roman Church went into schism from the Catholic church.

Then many Anglicans refer to themselves as Catholics.

And there are oodles of independent Catholic Churches whose clergy call themselves Catholic Priests and whose Bishops refer to themselves as Catholic Bishops. Here is just a miniscule list of them.










Maybe you see why to call yourself Roman Catholic is neither pejorative nor non descript. All of the above are also “Catholics” and would indentify themselves as such.

Rev North


You can start sleeping in the garage and cal yourself a car…but that doesn’t make it so. Those groups listed above are not Catholic regardless of what they call themselves. If you are not united with the See of Peter then you are NOT Catholic (notice the big C).





Regardless of what you may say they (groups I listed above) do call themselves Catholic. And I could list many…many…many more “Catholic Churches”. To call yourself “Roman Catholic” draws a sharp destinction.

Anglicans refer in various rites to ourselves as the Catholic Church.

Rev North (Anglo Catholic slowly journeying eastward - homeward bound to the Church founded by Christ)


Again, they can call themselves ANYTHING they’d like but that doesn’t make it so. They may think of themselves as catholic (small c) if they like but to be Catholic (big C) means you are in union with the Pope. You may reject that but it is the truth. Always has been always will be until the end of the world.



And the Vatican copyrighted the term “Catholic”?

I don’t know about those groups I listed but of course the Orthodox Church is THE church from whom you went into schism so I guess they most of all could refer to themselves as the “Catholic Church”. Hey…maybe it is the RCC that is infringing on a heavenly patent :wink:

Rev North


Sure, lots of groups CLAIM to be Catholic, but as St Augustine pointed out, if a stranger in town asks a heretic to point him towards “the Catholic Church”, the heretic will NOT point out his own denomination’s meeting house no matter what it claims to be, but will unhestitatingly point out the real Catholic Church.

And as in 4th-century Africa, so today: if you asked a London policeman (who happened to be a High Church “Catholic” Anglican) to direct you to “the Catholic cathedral”, it’s London to a brick that he would NOT direct you to St Paul’s Anglican cathedral.

“Roman Catholic” was invented by 17th-century Anglicans as a deliberate insult to imply that Catholics are traitors to their country and that Anglicanism, and no other, is “the true Catholic Church”. It is used similarly by militantly anti_Catholic protestants and secularists to this day. The phrase is virtually never used in non-English-speaking countries. Do NOT give in to using it. Be proud to be a Catholic and to belong to the Catholic Church.

NB also “Roman Catholic Church” is NOT the correct title of the Church to which 98% of Catholics belong. It is called “the Latin(-rite) Church”.


It came as a great shock to me me to find that there were people other than Anglicans in England. As a young man in Canada and raised by an English grandmother I assumed that to be genuinely English was to be Anglican. I now have a friend who was born in England and whose family is still there. His family has been of the Bretheren denomination for a few generations.

My grandmother had a great deal of respect for Catholics but considered them to be a rather superstitious lot. That was generous as she considered people like Baptists to be odd little groups.

{I just thought about it and that last part is funny because it somewhat smacks of Bishop Schori’s remarks about Episcoplains being better educated and more sensitive to global responsibility as stewards of the environment than Catholics in terms of why the Episc Church is smaller (Catholics have more children due to lack of education and lack of concern about the environment???). Her remarks may not reflect the way she actually feels but I think they were interpreted the way I paraphrased them. I know there were some folks irritated here by the remarks}.

Rev North


There is no proper name for our church. Catholic is a description… the closest proper name you could get to in the Catechism is the ‘Church of Christ’ (def. not to be confused with the Protestant community of the same name).


I’d identify myself as Catholic or precisely Chaldean Catholic. The use of the words “papists” and “Romans” are insults by the enemies of the Church. These labels were created, AFAIK, during the “reformation” (really, a rebelion) to confuse the laity.


Hey…maybe it is the RCC that is infringing on a heavenly patent :wink:

Check your history. St. Ignatius of Antioch in his letter to Smyrnaeans wrote around 110 AD:

“Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”

Again, you can call yourself whatever you’d like but it doesn’t make it so.



Baloney. The word catholic means universal. It was never used as a proper name and never intended as such. The English used the word Roman to distinguish between those who adhered to the Roman Catholic Church and the Roman pontiff and those who split away such as the Anglicans and Lutherans. The English believed and still believe that their church is catholic and they would be correct.


If you slept in the garage and began supernaturally developing into a car until you were indistinguishable from a car, would you be a car even though you weren’t manufactured on the assembly line in Detroit?

I’m a bishop and I posses a valid Eucharist (or at least so says the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) therefore Jesus Christ is present at mass with me and thus I am Catholic. It is true no matter what you refuse to call me.

And Rev North, how could you neglect to mention my church??? :crying: :smiley: btw it sounds as if we are on a very similar path do not give up or turn aside, God bless you my brother.


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