From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Catholicism is the faiths, practices and doctrines of a Catholic Church, but especially of the Roman Catholic Church. From Latin catholicus from Ancient Greek καθολικός (katholikos) from κατά (kata, “according to”) + ὅλος (holos, “whole”).
In the sense of indicating historical continuity of faith and practice, the term "Catholicism" is at times employed to mark a contrast to Protestantism, which tends to look solely to the Bible as interpreted on the principles of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation as its ultimate standard.
From Old French catholique, from Latin catholicus, from Ancient Greek καθολικός (katholikós, “universal”), from κατά (katá, “according to”) + ὅλος (hólos, “whole”).
History of the term Catholic
The earliest evidence of the use of the term Catholic Church is the Letter to the Smyrnaeans that Ignatius of Antioch wrote in about 107 to Christians in Smyrna. Exhorting Christians to remain closely united with their bishop, he wrote: "Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church."
From the second half of the second century, the word began to be used to mean "orthodox" (non-heretical), "because Catholics claimed to teach the whole truth, and to represent the whole Church, while heresy arose out of the exaggeration of some one truth and was essentially partial and local". In 380, Emperor Theodosius I limited use of the term "Catholic Christian" exclusively to those who followed the same faith as Pope Damasus I of Rome and Pope Peter of Alexandria. Numerous other early writers including Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315–386), Augustine of Hippo (354–430) further developed the use of the term "catholic" in relation to Christianity.
- Decadence and Catholicism (1994) by Ellis Hanson
- Catholic Church
- Catholic guilt
- Catholic Legion of Decency
- Criticism of the Catholic Church
- Index Librorum Prohibitorum
- Religious order