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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Name ‘Catholic’

The early church, as they accepted the primacy of Peter, they accepted the importance of the church in Rome. St. Paul wrote in Rom. 1:8, “First of all, I give thanks to my God to Jesus Christ for all of you because your faith is heralded throughout the whole world.” The original Greek word used here for ‘Proclaimed throughout’ is ‘Kata;’ with the adjective ‘Holos’ which means ‘whole.’ Thus, the word ‘Catholic’ comes from this original Greek text of the Bible which means the Universal Church.

The word ‘Catholic’ is more ancient than the word ‘Bible.’ In order to explain the nature, mission and vision of the church, in 110 AD, an early bishop of the church, Ignatius of Antioch used this word ‘Katholicos’ (Greek word means “universal”), “where the bishop is present, where the congregation gathers, Christ is there.”


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