When was the Church first called “Catholic”?

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Full Question

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.”

Answer

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





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1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    “For all we know, the term was used well before that time—which is to say, in the time of the apostles.”
    .
    Wow! What a blatant attempt to “create” history. The correct answer is A.D. 107.
    .
    At that time the proto-orthodox was becoming the Orthodox, and after Rome got involved, it knocked out the competing Ebionites, Marcionites, and Gnostics, and in time became the Catholic Church. Most Christians don’t know it could have easily gone another way, with one of the other competing groups of early Christians winning the theological battles. However once Rome got involved, that pretty much spelled the end for the competing sects, which the Church then erased from memory to the best of its ability.

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