When was the Church first called “Catholic”? I know Scripture tells us when the first Christians were called Christians (at Antioch), but I don’t know when they or the Church was called “Catholic.”
The earliest document we have in which “Catholic” is used to label the Church is a letter from Ignatius of Antioch, who wrote around A.D. 107, while being taken to Rome for execution. For all we know, the term was used well before that time—which is to say, in the time of the apostles.
By Karl Keating