Roman Catholic (term)
- This article discusses the term "Roman Catholic", its usage and origin. For the structure and theology of the Roman Catholic Church as an institution, please see Catholic Church.
The term Roman Catholic appeared in the English language at the beginning of the 17th century, to differentiate specific groups of Christians in communion with the Pope from others; comparable terms in other languages already existed. It has continued to be widely used in the English language ever since, although its usage has changed over the centuries.
The church widely known as the Catholic Church consists of 23 autonomous churches (all of which are subject to the Pope)— one "Western" and 22 "Eastern" — governed by two sets of Codes of Canon Law. To refer to all 23 autonomous Churches together, official Church documents often use the term "Catholic Church" or, less frequently, the term "Roman Catholic Church". The usage that makes the term "Roman Catholic" mean members of the Latin Rite or Western Church to the exclusion of those who belong to the Eastern Catholic Churches does not appear in any recent document of the Holy See, and popes have used the term "Roman Catholic Church" on various occasions throughout the 20th century to mean instead the whole Church without exclusion of any part.
In popular usage, "Catholic Church" is usually understood to mean the same as "Roman Catholic Church". In compound forms such as "Roman Catholic worship" the term is sometimes used to differentiate Western (Latin Church) practices from Eastern. However, in itself the word "catholic" translates into English as "universal" or "pertaining to the whole", as opposed to "particular" or "related to a part". Being "catholic" is one of the Four Marks of the Church set out in the Nicene Creed, a statement of belief accepted by many churches, even if not in communion with the Pope.
- 1 Origin and use of the term
- 2 Current usage
- 3 Name of the Church
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
Origin and use of the term
Early and Medieval Church
The word "church" represents the Greek word ecclesia, originally meaning "meeting, assembly", the usual Septuagint translation of Hebrew qahal, "congregation [of Israel]", as in Deuteronomy 31:30 and elsewhere. The word "Catholic", meaning "universal", was first applied the Church by St. Ignatius of Antioch in his letter to the Smyrnaeans in 110. It was repeatedly used to describe the "universal" congregation of the believers of the pure Word of Christ in theological works such as St. Augustine of Hippo in his books Confessions in 394 and City of God in 410. After the 5th-century splits that followed the First Council of Ephesus and the Council of Chalcedon, the Church split again in the 11th century, with the Western Church loyal to the Pope and the Eastern Orthodox Church loyal to the Patriarch of Constantinople. St. Thomas Aquinas repeatedly used the word "Catholic" to describe the Church loyal to the Pope, the bishop of Rome, as opposed to those loyal to the bishop of Constantinople, called the Ecumenical Patriarch.
The use of the adjective "Roman" to describe the Church as governed especially by the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) became more widespread after the fall of the western Roman Empire and into the early Middle Ages. For example, the mid-eighth-century document known as the "Donation of Constantine" repeatedly declares that its grant of imperial prerogatives and patriarchal primacy is made to "the most holy Roman Church". This document became a crucial theoretical statement in the Middle Ages "to defend the universality and supremacy of Roman jurisdiction over lay rulers and their subjects in Western Christendom."
16th and 17th centuries
The terms "Romish Catholic" and "Roman Catholic", along with "Popish Catholic", were brought into use in the English language chiefly by adherents of the Church of England, which saw itself as the Catholic Church in England, so that they were not willing to concede the term Catholic to their opponents without qualification.
The reign of Elizabeth I of England at the end of the 16th century was marked by conflicts in Ireland. Those opposed to English rule forged alliances with those against the Protestant reformation, making the term Roman Catholic almost synonymous with being Irish during that period, although that usage changed significantly over time.
Like the term Anglican, the term Roman Catholic came into widespread use in the English language only in the 17th century. The terms "Romish Catholic" and "Roman Catholic" were both in use in the 17th century and "Roman Catholic" was used in some official documents, such as those relating to the Spanish Match in the 1620s. There was, however, significant tension between Anglicans and Roman Catholics at the time (as reflected in the Test Act for public office). Even today, the Act of Settlement 1701 still prohibits Roman Catholics from becoming English monarchs.
18th and 19th centuries
The official and popular uses of the term Roman Catholic in the English language grew in the 18th century. Up to the reign of George III, Catholics in Britain who recognized the Pope as head of the Church had generally been designated in official documents as "Papists". In 1792, however, this phraseology was changed and in the Speech from the Throne, the term "Roman Catholic" was used.
By early 19th century, the term Roman Catholic had become well established in the English-speaking world. As the movement that led to Catholic Emancipation through the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829 grew, many — though not all — Anglicans and Protestants generally began to accept that being a Roman Catholic was not synonymous with being disloyal to the British Crown. While believing that in the past the term Roman Catholic may have been synonymous with rebel, they held that it was by then as indicative of loyalty as membership of any other Christian denomination. The situation had been very different two centuries before, when Pope Paul V forbade English members of his Church from taking an oath of allegiance to King James I, a prohibition that not all of them observed.
Also in the 19th century, prominent Anglican theologians such as Palmer and Keble supported the Branch Theory, which viewed the universal Church as having three principal branches: Anglican, Roman and Eastern. The 1824 issue of The Christian Observer defined the term Roman Catholic as a member of the Roman Branch of the Church. By 1828, speeches in the English parliament routinely used the term Roman Catholic and referred to the "Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church".
In the United States, the use of the term Roman Catholic and indeed the number of Roman Catholics began to grow only in the early 19th century, given that in 1790 there were only 100 Roman Catholics in New York and some 30,000 in the whole of the United States, with only 29 priests. As the number of Roman Catholics in the United States grew rapidly from 150,000 to 1.7 million between 1815 and 1850 — mostly by way of immigration from Ireland and the German Confederation — many clergy followed to serve this population, and Roman Catholic parishes were established. The terms "Roman Catholic" and "Holy Roman Catholic" thus gained widespread use in the United States in the 19th century, both in popular usage and within official documents. In 1866 President Andrew Johnson attended a meeting of the Council of the Roman Catholic Church.
American Catholics, who by the year 1900 were 12 million people and had a predominantly Irish clergy, objected to what they considered the reproachful terms Popish and Romish and preferred the term Roman Catholic.
In the early 20th century, the use of the term Roman Catholic continued to spread within the United States and Canada, to refer to individuals, parishes and their schools. For instance, the 1915 Report of the Commissioner of Education of the United States had a specific section for "Roman Catholic Parish Schools". By 1918, legal proceedings in state supreme courts (from Delaware to Minnesota) and laws passed in the State of New York used the term "Roman Catholic parish".
The term Roman Catholic is generally used on its own to refer to individuals, and in compound forms to refer to worship, parishes, festivals, etc. Its usage has varied, depending on circumstances. It is sometimes also identified with one or other of the terms "Catholic", "Western Catholic" (equivalent to "Latin Catholic"), and "Roman-Rite Catholic".
"Roman Catholic" and "Catholic"
In popular usage, "Catholic" usually means "Roman Catholic", a usage decried by some, including some Protestants. "Catholic" usually refers to members of any of the 23 constituent Churches, the one Western and the 22 Eastern. The same meaning is attributed also to "Roman Catholic" in documents of the Holy See, talks by Popes and in newspapers.
Although K.D. Whitehead has claimed that "the term Roman Catholic is not used by the Church herself" and that "the proper name of the Church, then, is 'the Catholic Church', never 'the Christian Church'", official documents such as Divini Illius Magistri, Humani generis, a declaration of 23 November 2006 and another of 30 November 2006, while not calling the Church "the Christian Church", do use "Roman Catholic" to speak of it as a whole without distinguishing one part from the rest.
When used in a broader sense, the term "Catholic" is distinguished from "Roman Catholic", which has connotations of allegiance to the Bishop of Rome, i.e. the Pope. When thus used, "Catholic" also refers to many other Christians, especially Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans, but also to others, including Old Catholics and various independent Catholic Churches, who consider themselves to be living within the "catholic" tradition. They describe themselves as "Catholic", but not "Roman Catholic" and not under the authority of the Pope.
"Roman Catholic" and "Western or Latin Catholic"
The Holy See uses the term "Roman Catholic" to refer to the entirety of the Church that is in full communion with it, encompassing both its Eastern and Western elements. For examples of statements by Popes that employ the term "Roman Catholic" in this way, see Papal references below. This is the only meaning given to the term "Roman Catholic" at that official level. However, some do use the term "Roman Catholic" to refer to Western (i.e. Latin) Catholics, excluding Eastern Catholics. An example is the statement in the book When other Christians become Catholic:
"...the individual becomes Eastern Catholic, not Roman Catholic".
Similarly the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth states that
"...not all Catholics are Roman Catholics and there are other Catholic Churches",
using the term "Roman Catholic" to refer to Western Church members alone. The same distinction is made by some writers belonging to Eastern Catholic Churches. That this view is not the only one, not alone at the level of the Holy See and in reference books such as John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, but also at a popular level, is shown by the use of terms such as "Byzantine Roman Catholic" and "Maronite Roman Catholic" as self-identification by individuals or as the name of a church building. Additionally, in other languages, the usage varies significantly.
Many, even Catholics, are unaware or only dimly aware that the Catholic Church has Western and Eastern branches. This is partly because, outside the Middle East and India, Eastern Catholics are a small fraction of the total number of Catholics.
"Roman Catholic" and "Roman Rite Catholic"
When referring to worship, the term Roman Catholic is at times used to refer to the "Roman Rite", which is not a church but a form of liturgy. The Roman Rite is distinct from the liturgies of the Eastern Catholic Churches and also from other Western liturgical rites such as the Ambrosian Rite, which have a much smaller following than the Roman Rite.
An example of this usage is provided in the book Roman Catholic Worship: Trent to today states:
"We use the term Roman Catholic Worship throughout to make it clear that we are not covering all forms of Catholic worship. There are a number of Eastern Rite churches that can justly claim the title Catholic, but many of the statements we make do not apply to them at all.".
Compared to the Roman Rite, the other Western liturgical rites have little following. Hence, the Vatican department that deals with forms of worship (including music) in the Western Church often issues documents that deal only with the Roman Rite.  Any involvement by the Holy See in questions of Eastern liturgies is handled by a different department.
Some of the writers who draw a contrast between "Roman Catholics" and "Eastern Catholics" may perhaps be distinguishing Eastern Catholics not from Latin or Western Catholics in general, but only from those (the majority of Latin Catholics) who use the Roman liturgical rite. Adrian Fortescue explicitly made this distinction, saying that, just as "Armenian Catholic" is used to mean a Catholic who uses the Armenian rite, "Roman Catholic" could be used to mean a Catholic who uses the Roman Rite. In this sense, he said, an Ambrosian Catholic, though a member of the Latin or Western Church, is not a "Roman" Catholic. He admitted, however, that this usage is uncommon.
Parishes and dioceses
When the term "Roman Catholic" is used as part of the name of a parish it usually indicates that it is a Western parish that follows the Roman Rite in its liturgy, rather than, for instance, the less common Ambrosian Rite, e.g. St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church, Oyster Bay, New York. The shorter term "Catholic" may also appear in parish names and "Roman Catholic" sometimes even appears in the compound name of Eastern Catholic parishes, e.g. St. Mary's Byzantine Roman Catholic Church.
All Catholic parishes are part of an ecclesiastical jurisdiction, usually a diocese (called an eparchy in the canon law of the Eastern Catholic Churches). These jurisdictions are usually grouped in ecclesiastical provinces, headed by a metropolitan archdiocese. All dioceses and similar jurisdictions — Eastern and Western — come under the authority of the Pope. The term "Roman Catholic archdiocese" is formally used to refer to both Western and Eastern Churches. As of January 2009, there were 630 Roman Catholic archdioceses, Western and Eastern.
Name of the Church
The terms "Catholic Church" and "Roman Catholic Church" are names for the entire church that describes itself as "governed by the successor of Saint Peter and by the bishops in communion with him". In its formal documents and pronouncements the church most often refers to itself as the "Catholic Church" or simply "the Church" (written in documents with a capital "C"). In its relations with other churches, it frequently uses the name "Roman Catholic Church", which it uses internally also, though less frequently. Some writers such as Kenneth Whitehead and Patrick Madrid argue that the only proper name for the church is "the Catholic Church".
The name "Roman Catholic Church" is occasionally used by popes, bishops, other clergy and laity, who do not see it as opprobrious or having the suggested overtone. The use of "Roman", "Holy" and "Apostolic" are accepted by the Church as descriptive names.[verification needed] At the time of the 16th-century Reformation, the Church itself "claimed the word catholic as its title over Protestant or Reformed churches". It believes that it is the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
Throughout the years, in various instances, official church documents have used both the terms "Catholic Church" and "Roman Catholic Church" to refer to the worldwide church as a whole, including Eastern Catholics, as when Pope Pius XII taught in Humani Generis that "the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing". However, some Eastern Christians, though in communion with the Bishop of Rome, apply the adjective "Roman" to the Latin or Western Church alone. Representatives of the Catholic Church are at times required to use the term "Roman Catholic Church" in certain dialogues, especially in the ecumenical milieu, since some other Christians consider their own churches to also be authentically Catholic.
In the 21st century, the three terms Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Catholic Church continue to appear in various books and publications, and scholarly debates on the proper form of reference to the Catholic Church within specific contexts continue. For instance, the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not contain the term "Roman Catholic Church", referring to the Church only by names such as "Catholic Church" (as in its title), while the Advanced Catechism Of Catholic Faith And Practice states that the term Roman is used within the name of the Church to emphasize that the center of unity of the Church is the Roman See.
There is controversy about the name "Roman Catholic Church" because of its use by members of other churches to suggest that the church in full communion with Rome is only one part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This argument is linked especially with the branch theory upheld by a minority of Anglicans, (i.e., that the church in communion with the Pope is only one branch of a divided Catholic Church, of which the Eastern Orthodox Church and Anglicanism are the other two principal branches).
In 1864, the Holy Office rejected the branch theory, affirming in a letter written to the English bishops that the Roman Church is not just a part of the Catholic Church and stating that "there is no other Catholic Church except that which is built on the one man, Peter ...." In 1870, English bishops attending the First Vatican Council raised objections to the expression "Holy Roman Catholic Church" which appeared in the schema (the draft) of the council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith. These bishops proposed that the word "Roman" be omitted out of concern that use of the term "Roman Catholic" would lend support to proponents of the Branch Theory. While the Council overwhelmingly rejected this proposal, the text was finally modified to read "The Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church".[note 1]
From 1937 to 1972, the Constitution of Ireland recognised the "special position of the Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church". The Anglican Archbishop of Dublin had objected to "Catholic Church" and quoted the Council of Trent for the longer title, which was approved by Eugenio Pacelli and Pope Pius XI. The same name is used in a 2009 Irish law.
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council did not use the term "Roman Catholic Church", and in one important passage of the dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium replaced it with an equivalent phrase, "the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in union with that successor", while also giving in a footnote a reference to two earlier documents in which the word "Roman" was used explicitly.
The two earlier documents that the council stated had applied the phrase "Roman Church" to the Church itself, the church "governed by the successor of Saint Peter and by the bishops in communion with him", were the Tridentine Profession of Faith and the First Vatican Council's dogmatic constitution on faith. Even as far back as 1208 the adjective "Roman" was applied to the Church "outside which we believe that no one is saved".
Popes have on several occasions in different contexts during the 20th and 21st centuries used the term "Roman Catholic Church" to refer to the whole church in communion with the Holy See. Example encyclicals include Divini Illius Magistri of Pope Pius XI in 1929 and, Humani generis of Pope Pius XII in 1950.
Pope Paul VI used the term "Roman Catholic Church" in the joint declarations he signed with Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople in 1965 and 1967. He also used that term in the declarations he signed with Patriarch Mar Ignatius Yacoub III of the Syrian Orthodox Church on 27 October 1971 and with Archbishop of Canterbury Donald Coggan on 29 April 1977.
Pope John Paul II referred to himself as "the Head of the Roman Catholic Church" (29 September 1979). He called the Church "Roman Catholic" when speaking to the Jewish community in Mainz on 17 November 1980, in a message to those celebrating the 450th anniversary of the Confessio Augustana on 25 June 1980, when speaking to the people of Mechelen, Belgium on 18 May 1985, when talking to representatives of Christian confessions in Copenhagen, Denmark on 7 June 1989, when addressing a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on 29 June 1989, at a meeting of the Ukrainian Synod in Rome on 24 March 1980, at a prayer meeting in the Orthodox cathedral of Bialystok, Poland on 5 June 1991, when speaking to the Polish Ecumenical Council in Holy Trinity Church, Warsaw 9 June 1991, at an ecumenical meeting in the Aula Magna of the Colégio Catarinense, in Florianópolis, Brazil on 18 October 1991, and at the Angelus in São Salvador da Bahia, Brazil on 20 October 1991.
Pope Benedict XVI called the Church "the Roman Catholic Church" at a meeting in Warsaw on 25 May 2006 and in joint declarations that he signed with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on 23 November 2006 and with Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople on 30 November 2006.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
While the phrase "Roman Catholic Church" does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Advanced Catechism of Catholic Faith and Practice states that the term "Roman" is used within the name of the Church to emphasize that the centre of unity of the Church is the Roman See. The Baltimore Catechism, an official catechism authorized by the Catholic bishops of the United States, states: "That is why we are called Roman Catholics; to show that we are united to the real successor of St. Peter" (Question 118), and refers to the Church as the "Roman Catholic Church" under Questions 114 and 131. The Catechism of Pope Pius X calls the Church Roman.
View of Eastern Catholics
Some Eastern-rite Catholics reject the description of themselves as "Roman", even though they are a part of the Catholic Church. Others are proud to call themselves Roman Catholics, and "Roman Catholic" sometimes even appears in the compound name of Eastern Catholic parish churches, e.g. St. Mary's Byzantine Roman Catholic Church.
- Glossary of the Catholic Church
- Index of Catholic Church articles
- Catholic Church hierarchy
- Catholic Church by country
- Global organisation of the Catholic Church
- List of Roman Catholic dioceses (alphabetical) (including archdioceses)
- List of Roman Catholic dioceses (structured view) (including archdioceses)
- List of Roman Catholic archdioceses (by country and continent)
- List of Christian denominations
- List of Christian denominations by number of members
- The opening words of the first chapter of the dogmatic constitution Dei Filius, which in the original draft were "Sancta Romana Catholica Ecclesia", were voted on on three separate dates. On the first occasion, when this chapter alone was considered, two votes concerned the opening words. The first was on a proposal by a few English-speaking bishops to delete the word Romana, thus changing Sancta Romana Catholica Ecclesia ("Holy Roman Catholic Church") to Sancta Catholica Ecclesia ("Holy Catholic Church"). This was overwhelmingly defeated. The second vote held immediately afterwards was on a proposal to insert a comma, so that Sancta Romana Catholica Ecclesia ("Holy Roman Catholic Church") would become Sancta Romana, Catholica Ecclesia ("Holy Roman, Catholic Church"). This too was defeated, though not as overwhelmingly as the first proposal. In a later vote, held on 12 April 1870, the text as a whole, which preserved the same opening words, was approved with 515 affirmative votes (placet) and no opposing votes (non placet); but there were 83 placet iuxta modum votes, asking for retouches, many of them regarding the opening words of chapter I. In view of the reservations thus expressed, the text presented for a final vote and approved unanimously on 24 April changed the order of the words and added "apostolica", so that Sancta Romana Catholica Ecclesia became Sancta Catholica Apostolica Romana Ecclesia ("Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church").
- "Everyone claimed to be 'catholic' and 'evangelical' and (eventually) 'reformed', but now each of these became a denominational label. The name 'Roman Catholic' conjoined the universality of the church 'over the entire world' with the specificity of 'only one single see'" () Jaroslav Pelikan, 1985, The Christian Tradition: Volume 4, Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300-1700) (Section on The Roman Catholic Particularity). University of Chicago Press ISBN 0-226-65377-3 pages 245–246
- The latest Code of Canon Law for the Western Church was promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1983 with the apostolic constitution Sacrae Disciplinae Leges  In contrast, the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, i.e., the other 22 Churches, which are not Latin, dates to 1990 . Each Eastern Church has its own additional canon law (cf. Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 64).
- See the quotes in the section on Papal references below.
- Liddell, Scott, Jones, Greek Lexicon, s.v.; the use of ecclesia dates back to the earliest Greek prose, and has cognates in Homer. KJV "congregation" represents several different Hebrew words, some of them translated differently in Greek.
- "The Donation of Constantine," in From Irenaeus to Grotius: A Sourcebook in Christian Political Thought, ed. Oliver O'Donovan and Joan Lockwood O'Donovan (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999), pp. 228-230.
- Roman Catholic at Catholic Encyclopedia online
- Charles Hefling, 2006 The Oxford guide to the Book of common prayer Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-529756-3 page 202
- A.C. Hamilton, 1997 The Spenser encyclopedia, University of Toronto Press, ISBN 0-8020-7923-7, page 160
- William Lecky 2001, A History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century Adamant Media ISBN 1-4212-1125-4 page 134
- The Critical Review, Series III, Volume XI (May 1807), published by Pickering & Chatto, London, page 104
- Lisa McClain, Lest we be damned: practical innovation and lived experience among Catholics in Protestant England (2003, ISBN 0-415-96790-2), pages 257-268
- Paul Avis, Anglicanism and the Christian church (T. & T. Clark Publishers, 2002, ISBN 0-567-08849-9) page 221
- The Christian Observer, Volume 23, 1824, page 133
- Robert Inglis, 1828, On the Roman Catholic question, published by J. Hatchard, Piccadilly, London, 1828.
- John Fletcher Hurst, Short History of the Church in the United States, A.D. 1492-1890, published by Bibliolife, 2008, ISBN 0-554-54499-7, page 82
- Erwin Fahlbusch, The encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 4, Eardsman Publishing, 2005, ISBN 0-8028-2416-1, page 626
- The United States Catholic magazine and monthly review, 1847, page 564
- José Baralt, 1999, The policy of the United States towards its territories, University of Puerto Rico Press, ISBN 0-8477-0341-X, page 119
- James Hitchcock, The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life Princeton Univ Press, 2004, ISBN 0-691-11696-2, page 165
- James J. Hennesey, American Catholics: A History of the Roman Catholic Community in the United States, Oxford University Press, 1983, ISBN 0-19-503268-3, page 159
- William D'Antonio, 2001 American Catholics AltaMira Press ISBN 0-7591-0041-1 page 1
- Israel Rupp, 1861 Religious denominations in the United States Desilver Publishers, Philadelphia page 137
- Report of the Commissioner of Education United States Office of Education, 1915, page 560
- Atlantic Reporter, Volume 98, 1917, West Publishing Co. Saint Paul, MN, page 521
- Annotated consolidated laws of the state of New York, 1918, The State of New York, page 7635
- Earle E. Cairns, 1996 Christianity through the centuries Zondervan Press ISBN 0-310-20812-2 page 452
- J.C. Cooper, Dictionary of Christianity (Taylor & Francis, Inc. 1996 ISBN 978-1-884964-49-7), p. 47
- James Hastings Nichols, Primer for Protestants (Kessinger Publishing Company 2004 ISBN 978-1-4179-9824-1), p. 9
- The New York Times Topic: Roman Catholic Church
- Kenneth D. Whitehead, One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic: The Early Church was Catholic Church (Ignatius Press 2000 ISBN 978-0-89870-802-8), Appendix I, which also misnames the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church as the "Oxford Book of the Christian Church" and treats as synonymous the terms "Roman Rite" (a liturgical rite) and "Latin Rite" (a particular Church).
- Thomas P. Rausch, Catherine E. Clifford, Catholicism in the Third Millennium (Glazier, Michael, Incorporated 2003 ISBN 978-0-8146-5899-4), p. 248. See also the List of Christian denominations#Catholicism, in which the "Catholicism" section includes the Assyrian Church of the East, the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and other Churches that call themselves Catholic.
- Paul Turner, 2007, When other Christians become Catholic. Liturgical Press. ISBN 0-8146-6216-1, page 141.
- Brian Singer-Towns, 2003, The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth. Saint Mary's Press. ISBN 0-88489-759-1, page 105.
- Fran Colie, Roman or Melkite, What's the Difference?
- Descy, Serge (1993). The Melkite Church. Boston: Sophia Press. pp. 92–93.
- Faulk, Edward (2007). 101 Questions and Answers on Eastern Catholic Churches. New York: Paulist Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-8091-4441-9.
- See examples given below in the discussion of names of parish churches.
- E.g. Arabic-speaking Melkite Catholics, who use the Byzantine liturgical rite, occasionally identify themselves as Rum Katolique with reference to the "New Rome" of Constantinople, home of their Byzantine-rite heritage (Faulk, p. 7). On the other hand, the Maronites, who are also Arabic-speaking but not of Byzantine Rite, call themselves Roman Catholics with reference to the Rome of the Popes.
- "Surrounded by Mussulmans, schismatics, and heretics, they are proud to call themselves Roman Catholics" "Maronites". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Faulk, Edward (2007). 101 Questions and Answers on Eastern Catholic Churches. New York: Paulist Press,. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-8091-4441-9.
- Joseph A. Varacalli, 2005 The Catholic experience in America Greenwood Press ISBN 0-313-32583-9 pages 125
- James White 2003, Roman Catholic Worship: Trent to Today, Liturgical Press, ISBN 0-8146-6194-7 page xv
- E.g. see Musicam Sacram  and Redemptionis Sacramentum
- Jan Michael Joncas, 1997 From Sacred Song to Ritual Music: Twentieth-Century Understandings of Roman Catholic Worship Music Liturgical Press ISBN 0-8146-2352-2 page 6
- Donald Boccardi, 2001 The history of American Catholic hymnals: since Vatican II GIA Press ISBN 1-57999-121-1 page 115
- Adrian Fortescue, 2001 The Uniate Eastern Churches Gorgias Press ISBN 0-9715986-3-0 page 3
- Examples are St. Anthony Maronite Roman Catholic Church, Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Roman Catholic Church, St. Mary Byzantine Roman Catholic Church
- For areas that are not part of a diocese or eparchy, the Church usually establishes another form of jurisdiction, e.g., apostolic vicariate, exarchate (for Eastern Catholic Churches), apostolic prefecture, territorial prelature, or mission sui juris. In special cases, the Holy See establishes an apostolic administration, as was the case when the Church began to re-establish itself in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. There are also military ordinariates with "parishes" on military bases. For further information, see Catholic Church hierarchy#Equivalents of diocesan bishops in law. See also List of Roman Catholic dioceses (alphabetical).
- Some dioceses are not part of an ecclesiastical province. See List of Roman Catholic dioceses (structured view)#Dioceses that are immediately subject to the Holy See.
- Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canons 43 and 45; Code of Canon Law, canons 331 abd 333
- See List of Roman Catholic archdioceses.
- John Meyendorff, Catholicity and the Church, St Vladimirs Seminary Press, 1997, ISBN 0-88141-006-3, page 7
- Whitehead, Kenneth (1996). "How Did the sCatholic Church Get Her Name?". Eternal Word Television Network. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
- McClintock, p. 71, quote: "The name [Roman Catholic Church] may be found in a number of Roman Catholic writers, and is generally used in the constitution of those states in which the Roman Catholic Church is recognized as one of the recognized or tolerated State churches. It is, however, not the official name used by the authorities of the Church who rather dislike it, and substitute for it the name 'Catholic' or 'Holy Catholic' Church. The name 'Roman Church' is applied, in the language of the Church, to the Church or diocese of the Bishop of Rome."
- Madrid, Patrick (2002). Why Is That in Tradition?.
- References are given below to many cases in which authorities within the Church, from the Pope down, do use it in this way
- John E. Booty, Academic American Encyclopedia, (1995) p 211 , Volume 4 published by Grolier, Inc. ISBN 0-7172-2059-1
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 811-870
- Encyclical Humani Generis, 27
- Bud Heckman, Interactive Faith: The Essential Interreligious Community-Building Handbook, Skylight Path Press, 2008, ISBN 1-59473-237-X, p. 235.
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church was issued by Pope John Paul II in 1992 on the basis of a French text (the English translation appeared only in 1994). The official Latin text, with a few revisions, appeared in 1997, and later editions in English and other languages are based on that text. The definitive English translation is available on the Holy See's website and has been printed under the auspices of various Episcopal Conferences.
- Thoms O'Brian, An Advanced Catechism Of Catholic Faith And Practice, Kessinger Publishers, 2005, ISBN 1-4179-8447-3, page 70
- Avery Dulles (1987), The Catholicity of the Church, Oxford University Press, p. 131, ISBN 0-19-826695-2
- Richard Faber, Katholizismus in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 2005, p. 42.
- Theodorus Granderath, Constitutiones Dogmaticae Sancrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani, Herder 1892, p. 5, indicates that the vote was overwhelming. Granderath's book was called "one of the most important contributions to the literature of dogmatic theology in our day" in a review in the American Ecclesiastical Review.
- Granderath, p. 27
- Jean-Yves Lacoste, Encyclopedia of Christian Theology: G - O (CRC Press, 2005 ISBN 1-57958-250-8, ISBN 978-1-57958-250-0), p. 1666
- Granderath, pp. 29-32
- Keogh, Dermot (2004-06-07). The Vatican, the Bishops and Irish Politics 1919-39. Cambridge University Press. p. 213. ISBN 9780521530521. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Keogh, Dermot (1995). Ireland and the Vatican: The Politics and Diplomacy of Church-State Relations, 1922-1960. Cork University Press. p. 136. ISBN 9780902561960. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Charities Act 2009 §99(3) Irish Statute Book
- Avery Dulles, The Catholicity of the Church, Oxford University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-19-826695-2, page 132
- Lumen gentium, chapter I, 8, with footnote 13
- Denzinger 423
- Humani generis
- 7 December 1965 and 28 October 1967.
- The Catechism of St. Pius X, The Ninth Article of the Creed, Question 20
- "Surrounded by Mussulmans, schismatics, and heretics, they are proud to call themselves Roman Catholics" (Catholic Encyclopedia, article Maronites).