To a Catholic: Was the first mention of the word "catholic" used to name the faith or to describe the faith?

If it was used to describe the faith, then when was the word put into common practise as a label of the church?

4 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A bit of both.

    According to the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, about the year 33 C.E., the structure of the Church was set up by Jesus Christ before His Ascension and then the early Christian Church was born on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and disciples.

    This same Church has referred to itself as the “Catholic Church” at least since 107 C.E. (about 10 years after the last book of the New Testament was written), when the Greek term "Katholikos" (meaning universal) appears in the Letter of St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans:

    "Wherever the bishop appear, there let the multitude be; even as wherever Christ Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church."

    We do not know how long they had been using the term "Catholic" before it was included in this rare surviving letter.

    All of this was long before the Council of Nicea and the Nicene Creed from 325 C.E. which states, "We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church."

    With love in Christ.

  • 9 years ago

    The word "catholic" means "universal." The Catholic church adopted the name because the founders believed it to be the "universal" church.

  • 9 years ago

    Description by St. Ignatius of Antioch.

    He called it the "Catholic Church," but it was a description, not a title... or an epithet if you will.

    Source(s): Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid. — Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8, J.R. Willis translation.
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    The bible mentions a number of churches. He didn't point to one of them as their mother. He, instead, pointed to Himself as their Father.

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