What is the difference between "catholic" and "ecumenical"?


#1

From the time I was a child, I learned that catholic meant universal. When I was helping with RCIA I found in the book “This is our faith” by Michael Pennock that the root of the word ecumenical meant universal.

Hmm, I thought, two words of Greek origin meaning universal. I wonder how they are different.

Now I read that Benedict XVI in vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2007/july/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20070724_clero-cadore_en.html
says that "The exact meaning of “Catholic” is “synthesis”. "

Would someone be willing to define catholic and explain how it is different from the root of ecumenical? If catholic does mean universal, how does it mean synthesis, too?


#2

Hi,

Here’s “ecumenical”:ĕk’yə-mĕn’ĭ-kəl) also ec·u·men·ic (-mĕn’ĭk)
adj. Of worldwide scope or applicability; universal.

Of or relating to the worldwide Christian church.
Concerned with establishing or promoting unity among churches or religions.
[From Late Latin oecūmenicus, from Greek oikoumenikos, from (hē) oikoumenē (gē), (the) inhabited (world), feminine present passive participle of oikein, to inhabit, from oikos, house.]

Here’s “Catholic” from the original Catholic Encyclopedia.

I don’t know the context of the pope’s use of the wordl

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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