The Latin Church before the Protestant reformation


#1

I understand that the Church in the West was called Roman Catholic by Anglicans as an Insult, but before this term was coined by Anglicans, what did the Western Catholics identify themselves as? Western Catholic, Latin Catholic, Roman Rite etc?

God Bless!


#2

[quote="BVMFatima, post:1, topic:316642"]
I understand that the Church in the West was called Roman Catholic by Anglicans as an Insult, but before this term was coined by Anglicans, what did the Western Catholics identify themselves as? Western Catholic, Latin Catholic, Roman Rite etc?

God Bless!

[/quote]

At that point I don't know that there was any need to call the Church anything other than "Catholic" or the "Church of Rome".


#3

[quote="BVMFatima, post:1, topic:316642"]
I understand that the Church in the West was called Roman Catholic by Anglicans as an Insult, but before this term was coined by Anglicans, what did the Western Catholics identify themselves as? Western Catholic, Latin Catholic, Roman Rite etc?

God Bless!

[/quote]

I hope this answers your question.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church

The term "catholic" is derived from the Greek word καθολικός (katholikos) meaning "universal" and was first used to describe the Church in the early 2nd century.[23] The term katholikos is equivalent to καθόλου (katholou), a contraction of the phrase καθ' ὅλου (kath' holou) meaning "according to the whole".[24] "Catholic Church" (he katholike ekklesia) first appears in a letter of St Ignatius written in about 110.[25] In the "Catechetical Discourses" of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, "Catholic Church" is used to distinguish it from other groups that also call themselves the church.[25][26]

Since the East–West Schism of 1054, the church that remained in communion with the See of Rome continued to call itself "Catholic" while the Eastern churches have generally been known as "Orthodox" or "Eastern Orthodox".[27] Following the Reformation in the 16th century, the Church continued to use the term "Catholic" to distinguish itself from the various Protestant denominations that split off.[27]

The name "Catholic Church" is the most common designation used in official church documents.[28] It is also the term which Paul VI used when signing documents of the Second Vatican Council.[29] However, Church documents produced both by the Holy See[30] and by certain national episcopal conferences[31] occasionally refer to the Roman Catholic Church. The Catechism of Pope Pius X published in 1908 also used the term "Roman" to distinguish the Catholic Church from other Christian communities who are not in full communion with the Church of Rome.[32]


#4

[quote="BVMFatima, post:1, topic:316642"]
I understand that the Church in the West was called Roman Catholic by Anglicans as an Insult, but before this term was coined by Anglicans, what did the Western Catholics identify themselves as? Western Catholic, Latin Catholic, Roman Rite etc?

God Bless!

[/quote]

I don't think it was said as an insult. I think the Anglican Protestants still believed they were still in perfect communion with God and while not "Roman Catholics", they were "Anglican Catholics." In other words they wanted to create a place for themselves at the table without really becoming Catholics...


#5

Don't know if this will help or not but the first recorded instance of the word "Catholic" used to describe the Christian Church was by St. Ignatius of Antioch around the year 105 or so.

St. Ignatius was a bishop (if memory serves me right) and was being taken to Rome to be executed for being a Christian. He wrote a series of letters to several churches. In one of theme he wrote to stay close to their bishop, "For wherever the bishop is, there is the Catholic Church." I believe that the name was more of a description (catholic meaning universal) than an actual title at that point.

Hope this helps!!


#6

Mostly it was just known as "the Church."


#7

The Church and Holy Church were common, I believe. It was less necessary to identify with Rome pre-Reformation.


#8

[quote="MrTheosis, post:4, topic:316642"]
I don't think it was said as an insult. I think the Anglican Protestants still believed they were still in perfect communion with God and while not "Roman Catholics", they were "Anglican Catholics." In other words they wanted to create a place for themselves at the table without really becoming Catholics...

[/quote]

I don't wish to be cynical, but I doubt the early members of the Church of England believed themselves to be Anglican Catholics. The Bishops and the Cardinal who sided with Henry VIII did so for political advantage and in some cases because they were bribed. The people themselves were led into this because of a concerted effort by Henry to discredit all those who stayed loyal to Rome. Henry not only abolished all monestaries, but razed their buildings and Cathedrals and confiscated all Catholic Church property, including all of the holy chalices and other objects made of gold, which were melted down and put in the Kings treasury. The Church real estate was divided up by King Henry and given to the nobility that stayed loyal to him instead of the Church.
When Elizabeth I came to the throne, she imprisoned her half-sister Mary Queen of Scots and considered that all other Catholics like Mary were her mortal enemies and acted accordingly. Hundreds of Catholic clergy and several thousand Catholic laity were murdered by Elizabeth and her nobles.
Of course the British nobility are embarassed about this today and do not want to admit it happened. They do not want to even admit that it was against the law in the UK to be a practicing Roman Catholic until about 1850, and it was only later that a Catholic could legally run for Parliment.
Those Anglicans and Episcopalians (who actually do not recognize the King or Queen of England as head of the Church. They broke from the C of E during the American Revolution) who constantly refer to themselves as Anglo Catholics are merely deluding themselves. As some one once properly put it, the Cof E and its off shoots are called Catholicism Lite.


#9

I prefer Catholic to Roman Catholic for precisely that reason OP


#10

[quote="BVMFatima, post:1, topic:316642"]
I understand that the Church in the West was called Roman Catholic by Anglicans as an Insult, but before this term was coined by Anglicans, what did the Western Catholics identify themselves as? Western Catholic, Latin Catholic, Roman Rite etc?

God Bless!

[/quote]

Any writings I have read from that era just talk about "The Church", "The Catholic Church", and "Christians". I don't recall ever seeing the term "Roman Catholic" in a medieval text.

Remember that communication was much slower then, so people had much less knowledge of the whole Church. I would expect that most people had no knowledge that there were Catholics in other rites.

The (RC) Church was also more assertive of its uniqueness in that era. We wouldn't allow ourselves to be called "Roman Catholic" just to make relations easier with the Orthodox, who also consider themselves Catholic.


#11

[quote="George_Stegmeir, post:8, topic:316642"]
I don't wish to be cynical, but I doubt the early members of the Church of England believed themselves to be Anglican Catholics. The Bishops and the Cardinal who sided with Henry VIII did so for political advantage and in some cases because they were bribed. The people themselves were led into this because of a concerted effort by Henry to discredit all those who stayed loyal to Rome. Henry not only abolished all monestaries, but razed their buildings and Cathedrals and confiscated all Catholic Church property, including all of the holy chalices and other objects made of gold, which were melted down and put in the Kings treasury. The Church real estate was divided up by King Henry and given to the nobility that stayed loyal to him instead of the Church.
When Elizabeth I came to the throne, she imprisoned her half-sister Mary Queen of Scots and considered that all other Catholics like Mary were her mortal enemies and acted accordingly. Hundreds of Catholic clergy and several thousand Catholic laity were murdered by Elizabeth and her nobles.
Of course the British nobility are embarassed about this today and do not want to admit it happened. They do not want to even admit that it was against the law in the UK to be a practicing Roman Catholic until about 1850, and it was only later that a Catholic could legally run for Parliment.
Those Anglicans and Episcopalians (who actually do not recognize the King or Queen of England as head of the Church. They broke from the C of E during the American Revolution) who constantly refer to themselves as Anglo Catholics are merely deluding themselves. As some one once properly put it, the Cof E and its off shoots are called Catholicism Lite.

[/quote]

The extremely shabby theological defence the Anglican Protestants put up is that the Church of Rome (Cranmer said, I think, ''like that of Antioch (ie. the Greeks) (God forbid if this is blasphemous) has erred so the Church of England is now the Catholic Church. Apart from suggesting that Catholicity is a sort of relay baton, it's demonstrable nonsense.


#12

Thanks for all your explinations, I really appreciate everyone's opinions and statements. I was expecting to hear they called themselves "Latins" or "Romans" or something similar, but I was wrong and I learned something new :)

God Bless! Your Brother in Christ,
BVMFatima


#13

Keep in mind that around the time the Church of England came into being we did not have all the Eastern *sui juris *churches that we have now.

The Maronites had always been in union with Rome but the other Eastern Churches did not break away from Orthodoxy and seek union with Rome until after the Council of Trent.

There was not much distinction to be made between Catholic Churches prior to the Protestant Reformation. The distinction was between Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox.


#14

[quote="SMHW, post:13, topic:316642"]

There was not much distinction to be made between Catholic Churches prior to the Protestant Reformation. The distinction was between Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox.

[/quote]

Run that by me again.


#15

Oh okay, I was just trying to figure out what is the proper term to call myself since I am Western Rite aka Roman(Latin).

God Bless!


#16

[quote="BVMFatima, post:15, topic:316642"]
Oh okay, I was just trying to figure out what is the proper term to call myself since I am Western Rite aka Roman(Latin).

God Bless!

[/quote]

You can call yourself a Roman Catholic, or a Catholic, or a Christian, and all of these, depending on the context. :)

This post, by Friar David, O.Carm, might help...

The Catholic Church is made up of 22 separate Churches, each with their own hierarchy. All these Churches are in communion with the Holy Father in Rome.

One does not belong to a rite, they belong to a Church. While the Roman Catholic Church uses the Latin Rite, it is still the Roman Catholic Church that you belong to.

You are right about the term Roman Catholic for you, the c*orrect name of your church would be the Latin Catholic Church*,

(emphasis added)

The whole thread in which this is posted has in-depth discussion of "Roman Catholic vs. Catholic".

I am glad that you are interested in working all this out. It's not critical, but it will help your understanding of the Church.

~ Edmundus


#17

In the Council of Florence (during the 1400s) we see Catholic Church, Roman Church, Latins, and rite of Latin Catholics used:

"For when Latins and Greeks came together in this holy synod, they all strove that, among other things, the article about the procession of the holy Spirit should be discussed with the utmost care and assiduous investigation." - The Council of Florence, Session 6 (July 6, 1439)

"First, then, the holy Roman church, founded on the words of our Lord and Saviour, firmly believes, professes and preaches one true God, almighty, immutable and eternal, Father, Son and holy Spirit; one in essence, three in persons..." - The Council of Florence, Session 11 (February 4, 1442)

"His benevolence and condescension alone have granted that after the union of the Greeks in the sacred ecumenical council of Florence, who were seen to differ from the Roman church in some articles, and after the return of the Armenians and the Jacobites, who were entangled in various opinions, they should at last, having abandoned all dissent, come together into the one right way of truth." - The Council of Florence, Session 13 (November 30, 1444)

"Also, in future the said prelates and clerics and their lay men and women, who have accepted this union and faith, can choose to be buried in the churches of Catholics, to contract marriages with Catholics, but in the rite of Latin Catholics, and to enjoy and utilize all benefits, immunities and liberties which other Catholics, both lay and clerical, possess and enjoy in the said realm." - The Council of Florence, Session 14 (August 7, 1445)

Source: papalencyclicals.net/Councils/ecum17.htm


#18

[quote="Zekariya, post:17, topic:316642"]
In the Council of Florence (during the 1400s) we see Catholic Church, Roman Church, Latins, and rite of Latin Catholics used:

"For when Latins and Greeks came together in this holy synod, they all strove that, among other things, the article about the procession of the holy Spirit should be discussed with the utmost care and assiduous investigation." - The Council of Florence, Session 6 (July 6, 1439)

"First, then, the holy Roman church, founded on the words of our Lord and Saviour, firmly believes, professes and preaches one true God, almighty, immutable and eternal, Father, Son and holy Spirit; one in essence, three in persons..." - The Council of Florence, Session 11 (February 4, 1442)

"His benevolence and condescension alone have granted that after the union of the Greeks in the sacred ecumenical council of Florence, who were seen to differ from the Roman church in some articles, and after the return of the Armenians and the Jacobites, who were entangled in various opinions, they should at last, having abandoned all dissent, come together into the one right way of truth." - The Council of Florence, Session 13 (November 30, 1444)

"Also, in future the said prelates and clerics and their lay men and women, who have accepted this union and faith, can choose to be buried in the churches of Catholics, to contract marriages with Catholics, but in the rite of Latin Catholics, and to enjoy and utilize all benefits, immunities and liberties which other Catholics, both lay and clerical, possess and enjoy in the said realm." - The Council of Florence, Session 14 (August 7, 1445)

Source: papalencyclicals.net/Councils/ecum17.htm

[/quote]

So I am coming to the conclusion Latin and Roman are interchange? :)


#19

[quote="BVMFatima, post:18, topic:316642"]
So I am coming to the conclusion Latin and Roman are interchange? :)

[/quote]

There is the Roman Church (the See of Rome) in the same sense that there is the Antiochian Church (the See of Antioch). There is Latin in the sense that there are Greeks and Armenians. There is the "rite of Latin Catholics" in the sense that there is the "rite of Byzantine Catholics". "Roman Catholic" is never used in the Council of Florence. :)

Latins belong to the Roman Church. The Roman Church uses the rite of Latin Catholics. :p


#20

[quote="Zekariya, post:19, topic:316642"]
There is the Roman Church (the See of Rome) in the same sense that there is the Antiochian Church (the See of Antioch). There is Latin in the sense that there are Greeks and Armenians. There is the "rite of Latin Catholics" in the sense that there is the "rite of Byzantine Catholics". "Roman Catholic" is never used in the Council of Florence. :)

Latins belong to the Roman Church. The Roman Church uses the rite of Latin Catholics. :p

[/quote]

That makes sense :)


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