When did the Church begin? Was it born on Pentacost, or was it always in exsistance (in another form) in the Hebrew faith of Abraham? Why is the Church today called ‘Catholic’? Is it because in the past the Church was not universal, but only for the Jews?
Pentecost is considered the “birthday” of the church.
Why is the Church today called ‘Catholic’?
That’s what the early church called it even in the New Testament. The Greek in Acts 9:31 actually says, 9:31 ἡ μεν ουν εκκλησια καθ᾽ ὁλης της ιουδαιας και γαλιλαιας και σαμαρειας ειχεν ειρηνην οικοδομουμενη και πορευομενη τω φοβω του κυριου, και τη παρακλησει του ἁγιου πνευματος επληθυνοντο.
“Ekklesia kath olos”= Catholic Church, and interestingly enough translated as “the church throughout all”…or “universal church”
St. Ignatius of Antioch, disciple and close friend of St. John the apostle, and bishop of the church in Antioch and martyr for the faith uses the name in writing his letter to the church at Smyrna in like 110 AD and says, (In chapter 8)
[size=] See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Christ Jesus does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles. Do ye also reverence the deacons, as those that carry out[through their office] the appointment of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper(18) Eucharist, which is[administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. 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. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.(2) even as where Christ is, there does all the heavenly host stand by, waiting upon Him as the Chief Captain of the Lord’s might, and the Governor of every intelligent nature. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize, or to offer, or to present sacrifice, or to celebrate a love-feast.(1) But that which seems good to him, is also well-pleasing to God, that everything ye do may be secure and valid.
Now Smyrna was a good ways off from Antioch and so it’s doubtful that he would have used that name for the church if they wouldn’t also have shared and understood it.
Is it because in the past the Church was not universal, but only for the Jews?
No, not really, as you can see above.
I hope that is helpful.:)[/size]
Yes, Pentecost is considered to be the birthday of the Church.
God started salvation through his chosen people, the Jews. But with the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ, salvation was opened to all. Hence, the universality, or catholicity, of salvation. Christ is the Catholic Church.
There is another thread going which says the Church was born when Jesus’ heart was pierced at Calvary, and was publically revealed at Pentecost. I think the person who posted got it from the CCC.