Concept

Catholic (term)

Résumé
The word catholic (derived via Late Latin catholicus, from the ancient Greek adjective καθολικός () ) comes from the Greek phrase καθόλου () , and is a combination of the Greek words κατά () and ὅλος () . The first known use of "Catholic" was by the church father Saint Ignatius of Antioch in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans (circa 110 AD). In the context of Christian ecclesiology, it has a rich history and several usages. The word in English can mean either "of the Catholic faith" or "relating to the historic doctrine and practice of the Western Church". "Catholicos", the title used for the head of some churches in Eastern Christian traditions, is derived from the same linguistic origin. In non-ecclesiastical use, it derives its English meaning directly from its root, and is currently used to mean the following:
  • including a wide variety of things, or all-embracing;
  • universal or of general interest;
  • having broad interests, or wide sympathies;
  • inclusive, inviting.
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