Digest of terms

Catholic

literally in its Greek usage 'universal'. Applied to the church as one throughout the world, its ideal is compromised by the realities of institutional division. The contrast between catholic and protestant is focussed in difference of belief regarding the authoritative source for the belief - either teaching by church leaders in a traditional succession going back to the apostles or teaching derived directly from the Bible. 'Roman Catholic' (RC) refers to those who understand the catholic tradition as properly centred in Rome and under the authority of its arch bishop the Pope. His authority is believed to derive directly through the apostle Peter from Jesus, hence his title 'Vicar of Christ' - in the place of Christ. Official RC moral as well as doctrinal teachings are set out in the form of papal encyclicals, accessible on the Vatican website: http://www.vatican.va.

This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using the site, you agree to our use of cookies. For more information about how we use cookies click here.