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Thursday, October 4, 2007

What does the word "Catholic" mean?

The word "catholic" to the Orthodox primarily means "Fullness" or "Wholeness".

Thus to us each local canonical Diocese is Catholic, because it has the fullness of the Faith. It is complete. It is whole.

Archpriest John Morris wrote an Article in the Word Magazine that I thought would be helpful.

He said:

"St. Ignatius was the first theologian to use the term
"Catholic," which means full or whole in greek, to describe the church. The
third Bishop of antioch 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." Thus, to be truly Catholic, a local Church must operate
under the communion with the other bishops of the Church."

Dr. Father John Morris, The Word magazine volume 51 no.8 page 24 edited by John Abdullah

The word that we Orthodox use for "UNIVERSAL" is "ecumenical". Such as the 7 ecumenical councils which are "UNIVERSAL" as compared to the many local councils which are not. However, the word "ecumenical" has been demonized in modern times because it means something different in today's world that it didn't mean in ancient times.

In the christian west the word "Catholic" primarily means "universal".



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