Roman Church , Roman Catholic Church , Catholic Church , Church?


It may have come from his days in the army in WW2 , but when asked his religion my dad would say “RC” .

If I walk over the border of my parish I enter St Mary’s parish , and on their notice-board outside of the church I read “St Marys Roman Catholic Church” .

I have never had any problems with being called a Roman Catholic or saying that I am a member of the Roman Catholic Church .

Some do .

And I wonder “Why?” , and in some instances I know why .


I do think some avoid stating they are Roman Catholic because many think Catholics are not Christians and the word Catholic, will be argued by protestants who like to do so to mean universal. Thus how can one be a Roman universal Christian? It’s ridiculous.

I say I am a Roman Catholic Christian.

That covers all if ut,’


A lot of non-catholics twist things around … a lot.


“Roman Church” refers to the Church of Rome, that particular or local church of the city of Rome (the diocese of Rome). This particular Church is the head or chief of all the particular Churches.

“The Church” is ambiguous in the sense that it can refer to a particular church or the universal Church, although nowadays it is usually used in the latter sense.

The universal Church is sometimes referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, due to the headship of the Church of Rome and the communion of the rest of the Church with it, but technically it only refers to those particular Churches which operate under the laws and customs of the Roman Rite. There are other [adjective] Catholic Churches with their own customs and rites [Ukrainian, Syro-Malabar, Melkite, Maronite, etc.), which are all part of the one Catholic Church founded by Christ.

But yeah, one shouldn’t take Roman as an insult if you are a Roman Catholic and if you’re, say, a Maronite Catholic, it is probably just a matter of ignorance, not malice. On the other hand, when someone says “Romish” nowadays then they are usually using it as a pejorative.


Uhggg not this from you again.


Taking into consideration the Eastern Catholic Churches, I as an Eastern Catholic prefer the term Catholic Church, not Roman Catholic Church. I’m Maronite not Roman Catholic. I’m done with this. It’s been basically beaten to death recently. I’m done.


[quote=“Genesis315, post:4, topic:488068”]
The universal Church is sometimes referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, due to the headship of the Church of Rome and the communion of the rest of the Church with it, but technically it only refers to those particular Churches which operate under the laws and customs of the Roman Rite.

Well said in my opinion.

I think you mean With their own customs and rites not Without.


Roman Catholic is a pet peeve of mine.

I call myself a Catholic of the Latin (or Roman) Rite.

I’m not in a separate church from all my fellow, non-Latin rite, Catholics.


You’re right. I was thinking of Latin Catholic Church. Although doing a quick search on the Vatican website, certain congregations and dicasteries have used it in their documents in the narrower sense (usually the council for promoting Christian unity, when discussing the population makeup of a region or the affiliations of participants in an event).


They are not quite the same. Latin refers to the particular Church of the West. Roman Rite refers to the liturgical rite most common in the Latin Church, one of a few rites currently or historically practiced, such as the Mozarabic and Ambrosian Rites. Roman when applied to the whole Church means in communion and under the leadership of the Bishop of Rome.

That’s correct.


Oooop!!! I will edit that! :flushed:


Perhaps you can explain to me better what you mean by the Church considers you Roman Catholic.
Look at the Catechism It is not called the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church but Catechism of the Catholic Church. I use to be hard and fast on this but recently I have learned that Roman isn’t that bad however I still refer to myself as being Catholic of the Latin rite.


In the US (where I reside), they are essentially the same thing. It is quite rare to encounter a Latin, non-Roman rite Mass. I’m mostly concerned with showing the unity of the church, not in being lawyerly in my statements.


Whenever the Church has used the term Roman Catholic, which it has done since at least 1208 AD, it has always meant the whole Church, and never just the Latin Rite.


I know when we say it in modern times we are referring to the the Latin Rite. However I read somewhere, don’t remember off the top of my head, from a well known Catholic Apologist that it was originally a derogatory term started by the Protestant Reformation. Over the years Catholics had taken it as a badge of honour. I wish I could remember where I read that.

I have run into a few protestants, and I find it funny since we were the original, that think were not Christian but Roman Catholic. Most of the Protestants that I know or run into however just think were one of the many denominations of Christians that have some weird traditions. Most think they are harmless traditions while some think they are not harmless but most consider us Christians.

My Baptist friend thinks we are saved like they are, have some weird traditions-but does not really have any issues with them, and knows we are Christians. The only faith traditions communities he takes issue with being called Christian is the JW and the Seventh Day Adventist.


Catholic Church, Latin Rite


True , the Catechism does not speak of the Roman Catholic Church .

But if we go back a few years to the Baltimore Catechism we read " The Roman Catholic Church is the only one that can show these marks, and is, therefore, the only true Church" and “The title catholic belongs to the Roman Catholic Church alone” .

Clearly the Baltimore Catechism is speaking of the Universal Church when in these instances it uses the term Roman Catholic Church .


I’ve never had any problem referring to myself as an “RC” or felt any negative connotation. Then again, I have spent most of my life in areas where there were large numbers of “RCs” and if we just said “Catholic” people assumed “RC”.


Many Popes have used the term “Roman Catholic Church” to refer to the entire Church in communion with and under the leadership of the Bishop of Rome, as well as in encyclicals, treaties, and other official documents.

Some examples:

Pius XII in Humani generis:

Benedict XVI to the Ambassador of Slovenia to the Holy See:

Benedict XVI to the Archbishop of Canterbury:

John Paul II to the President of the Irish Republic:

Benedict XVI to the Metropolitan Archbishop of Bucharest:

Paul VI to the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church:

Paul VI to the Coptic Orthodox Church:

Paul VI to the new Minister of Great Britain to the Holy See:




John Paul II to the Archbishop of Canterbury:

Pope Benedict XVI in an address in Warsaw:

And there are countless more, going back to well before the Reformation.

I highly doubt that a Pope would use the term “Roman Catholic” in a letter addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury if the term were in any way disparaging.

The myth that it is disparaging in a weird conspiracy theory spawned by clueless persons in 19th century Britain. Why it got so much mileage when it is so easily shot down is beyond me.

If any Catholic of any particular church objects to being called a member of the Roman Catholic Church, they’ll have to take it up with the Pope.

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