Universal catholic church and The Catholic church

What exactly is the difference?

Please try to explain with as many easy to understand words as possible without too many links. I just want to get an understanding of the differences without go out on line to read websites I wont understand.

Thank you for your help.

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From a Catholic standpoint, the Catholic Church and the universal catholic church are the same thing.

From a Protestant standpoint, the Catholic Church is one tradition within the universal catholic church, which contains all true Christians.

If you ever see the Nicene or Apostles Creed in a Catholic church, you’ll notice in the last bit where they say: “we believe in the holy Catholic Church” they capitalize the “C”, while if you see it on a Protestant one, the “C” is not capitalized.


And in the original language of the Creeds, no capitalization.

There was also no distinction between the “Catholic Church” and the “catholic church” back then.

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The word ‘catholic’ means universal. The universal Catholic Church is actually redundant.


so any church… christian religious church is part of the catholic church?

I think that if you mean the term in a general sense, as in “universal”, and not in the sense of the proper noun, as in “Catholic Church”, then you could make a case for saying “Christian communities are part of the universal church”. However, you wouldn’t be able to say “any Christian community is part of the Catholic Church.”

I would even go so far as to say that it’s a bit too expansive to claim that any community that calls itself “christian” is, in fact, “Christian”, per se. That would depend on what they believe. (In other words, if they believe that Jesus was a nice guy, with cool teachings, but isn’t the Son of God and didn’t rise on the third day, then I would think most Christians would say that this group isn’t “Christian”, properly speaking.)


There is a “Universal Catholic Church” in the UK. It’s an offshoot of the Old Catholics, who broke with the Roman Catholic Church following Vatican I. As near as I can tell, its orders are not valid. No real connection with the Roman Catholic Church or any of the Eastern Catholic Churches in Communion with Rome.

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In the “general” or “lower-case” sense. But as I mentioned, the protestant rebellion, and even- to a degree- the Orthodox schism, forced the distinction between the Catholic Church and the catholic church.

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I mean Christian in the terms that Jesus is our Lord and Saviour… more then just a nice guy who taught well. :slightly_smiling_face:

Who’s in charge of the u niversal cathoic church? The Roman Catholic church?

Like who makes one universal cathoic church valid or not valid if the universal church includes all Christian churches?

Originally, the word “catholic” was used to note that one was talking about the Church spread throughout the world as opposed to a local Church (Church of Ephesus, Church of Corinth, Church of Antioch, etc.–what we think of now as a diocese, which is really a regional boundary where a local Church–a bishop, his clergy, and his flock celebrating the Eucharist–resides). As schisms and heresies arose even from the earliest time, such separated churches and communities were considered no longer part of this one Church spread throughout the world–they were no longer part of the catholic Church. Since the Church is one, there can only be one catholic Church, as we profess in the Creed.

Despite centuries of schisms and heresies and even the many sins of its own members, this one catholic Church remains in all its integrity as founded by Christ.

St. Augustine:

And so, lastly, does the name itself of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.


Shouldn’t there be?

Per the Protestant perspective, no one is really in charge of the catholic church. There are certainly faith leaders such as the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Anglican Communion, Patriarchs in Eastern/Oriental Orthodox traditions, synod’s and bishops for non apostolic Protestant churches, and even the Pope for the Catholic tradition.

None of these people/positions are in charge of the universal catholic church. They lead their own traditions within the catholic church.

Minimum requirements for being in the catholic church: the belief in a Trinitarian God and that Jesus was his Son and our Savior.

Jesus is, of course. So… who did Jesus leave in charge of His universal church? (See Mt 16:18 for the answer. :wink: )


There is no difference. Saint Ignatius of Antioch wrote of the Catholic Church (in Greek) it the year 107.

The reformation has thrown a wrench into the gears inasmuch as those validly baptized are members of the Body of Christ, but in a far inferior communion.

Why do so many want to be catholic but not Catholic?

Thats what Jesus said:

16 Simon Peter answered, “The Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Yea thats kind of my question. If we are one Universal catholic church why is there a Catholic church?

I think we want to be catholic meaning one church but not Catholic which I guess people feel has a different meaning.

No… that’s what Peter said, in response to a different question. What Jesus said was, “I give you (Peter) the keys of the kingdom. What you bind on earth, is bound in heaven.” :wink:

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No, because there was no difference between “Catholic” and “catholic” until the protestant revolt.


Is that why Catholic believe their church is the universal catholic church?

Do Protestants believe their church is the universal cathoic church?

There is no difference. They are one and the same

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