What is the origin of the term “Mother Church” or “Holy Mother Church” as applied to the Catholic Church? A Protestant friend was wondering. Thank you.
The Church is considered to be a mother to its members because it is the Bride of Christ
(Eph. 5:21-33) and, as such, dispenses the grace Christ won to its members and “rears” those members in the Christian life. That is why the Church is referred to as “Mother Church” or “Holy Mother Church.”