Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Universal; embracing all; wide-extending.
  • Not narrow-minded, partial, or bigoted; free from prejudice; liberal; possessing a mind that appreciates all truth, or a spirit that appreciates all that is good.
  • In theology: Originally, intended for all parts of the inhabited world; not confined to one nation, like the Jewish religion, but fitted to include members of all human races: applied to the Christian religion and church.
  • Constituting, conforming to, or in harmony with the visible church, which extended throughout the whole Roman empire and adjacent countries, possessed a common organization and a system of intercommunion, and regulated dispnted questions by ecumenical councils, as distinguished from local sects, whether heretical or simply schismatic, but especially from those which did not accept the decrees of ecumenical councils: as, the Catholic Church; the Catholic faith.
  • Historically derived from the ancient undivided church before the great schism, and acknowledging the decrees of its councils as recognized by the Greek or Eastern Church.
  • Claiming unbroken descent (through the apostolic succession) from and conformity to the order and doctrine of the ancient undivided church, and acknowledging the decrees of its councils as received by both the Greek and the Latin Church. In this sense the word Catholic is applied by Anglican writers to their own communion. Claiming to possess exclusively the notes or characteristics of the one, only, true, and universal church—unity, visibility, indefectibility, succession, universality, and sanctity: used in this sense, with these qualifications, only by the Church of Rome, as applicable only to itself and its adherents, and to their faith and organization; often qualified, especially by those not acknowledging these claims, by prefixing the word Roman. More specifically, an epithet distinguishing the faith of the universal Christian church from those opinions which are peculiar to special sects. A designation of certain of the epistles in the New Testament which are addressed to believers generally and not to a particular church. The catholic epistles are James, Peter I. and II., John I., and Jude. John II. and III. are also usually included. Belonging as property to the church at large, as distinguished from a parish or a monastic order: in ancient ecclesiastical literature used to designate certain church buildings, as a bishop's church in contrast with a parish church, or a parish church which was open to all in distinction from monastic churches.
  • noun [capitalized] A member of the universal Christian church.
  • noun [capitalized] A member of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • noun Same as catholicos.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A person who accepts the creeds which are received in common by all parts of the orthodox Christian church.
  • noun An adherent of the Roman Catholic church; a Roman Catholic.
  • noun the name assumed in 1870 by members of the Roman Catholic church, who denied the ecumenical character of the Vatican Council, and rejected its decrees, esp. that concerning the infallibility of the pope, as contrary to the ancient Catholic faith.
  • adjective Universal or general.
  • adjective Not narrow-minded, partial, or bigoted; liberal.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to, or affecting the Roman Catholics.
  • adjective the epistles of the apostles which are addressed to all the faithful, and not to a particular church; being those of James, Peter, Jude, and John.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of the Western Christian church, as opposed to the Orthodox church.
  • adjective Of the Roman Catholic church.
  • noun A member of a Catholic church.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective free from provincial prejudices or attachments
  • noun a member of a Catholic church
  • adjective of or relating to or supporting Catholicism

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek καθολικός (katholikos), from κατά (kata, "according to") + ὅλος (holos, "whole")

Examples

  • I don't know where he got his theology, but I can assure you he didn't get it from eight years with good catholic nuns and eight years with Jesuit priests, many of whom had studied Catholic theology at its source -- Rome.

    Can torture be worth it? An update | RELIGION Blog | dallasnews.com

  • Francois Laisney's 2001 book IS FEENEYISM CATHOLIC? does a thorough demolition job on Feeneyism, and in particular on how it simply chops-and-changes traditional Catholic teaching for its own sorry ends.

    Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

  • So, to have the Pope who is the leader of the universal catholic church standing in this space which represents the American contribution of today and the universal Catholic experience, and the symbolism of this has been powerful.

    CNN Transcript Apr 19, 2008

  • Ever the catholic, affable Catholic, Dulles goes on emphasis added:

    Archive 2007-11-01

  • Ever the catholic, affable Catholic, Dulles goes on emphasis added:

    Getting perspective on ecumenism

  • I love the catholic part of being Catholic (and here I mean it in the sense of the faith tradition and not necessarily its instatiation in the Roman Catholic Rite)- it's vision of universality and it's rich pot of traditions to draw from even if we cannot always (even often?) make it manifest.

    Good Questions

  • I love the catholic part of being Catholic (and here I mean it in the sense of the faith tradition and not necessarily its instatiation in the Roman Catholic Rite)- it's vision of universality and it's rich pot of traditions to draw from even if we cannot always (even often?) make it manifest.

    Archive 2007-11-01

  • But I have encountered more than one person, both in my past as a student and in my recent career as a blogger, who still manages to believe that, while they are formally Protestant, in the sense of belonging to a Protestant church, they are materially more catholic than either the Catholic or the Orthodox churches.

    Protestants who think they're Catholic

  • But I have encountered more than one person, both in my past as a student and in my recent career as a blogger, who still manages to believe that, while they are formally Protestant, in the sense of belonging to a Protestant church, they are materially more catholic than either the Catholic or the Orthodox churches.

    Archive 2006-10-01

  • Philip Bess, a Chicago architect of catholic and Catholic tastes, countered with this appreciation from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI:

    You Want to Debate With the Pope About Art?

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