Talk:Catholic Church/Archive 24

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 23 Archive 24 Archive 25

Contents

Wrong picture description

The picture in the "History" section showing early christians in rome as martyrs has a wrong description. The scene does not show the Colosseum, but in the Circus Maximus in Rome. You can see that by the pillars which mark the turning point of the race track and could be found in the Circus Maximus, not in the Colosseum. And if you compare the painting with pictures of the Colosseum, you will see that the Colosseum has higher stands and a different architecture. The picture also appears in the article about the Colosseum though it doesn't depict the colosseum. This should be corrected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.17.227.103 (talk) 14:41, 27 December 2008 (UTC)


Too-wordy paragraph

In the section Ordained members and Holy Orders, the first pargraph needs attention. It gives important information, but it is too repetitive, impenetrable and wordy. I had a go at it, but I still think it needs cutting in half while still giving the necessary information. At present it reads:

Lay men become ordained through the sacrament of Holy Orders, and form a three-part hierarchy of bishops, priests and deacons. All of the bishops, along with the pope, cardinals, patriarchs, primates, archbishops and metropolitans, comprise the College of Bishops and are considered the successors of the apostles.[135][136] All priests, bishops and deacons may preach, teach, baptize, witness marriages and conduct funeral services, but only priests and bishops may celebrate the Eucharist or administer the sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick.[137] Only bishops are able to perform the sacrament of Holy Orders, and Confirmation is ordinarily reserved to them as well (though priests may do it under special circumstances).[138] While bishops are responsible for teaching, governing and sanctifying the faithful of their diocese, priests and deacons have these same responsibilities at a more local level, the parish, subordinate to the ministry of the bishop. Baptism is the only sacrament that may be administered by any Catholic or even a non-Christian "who has the intention of baptizing according to the belief of the Catholic Church", however, it is normally administered by a priest or deacon.[139]

Can anyone help with this? Xandar 21:38, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

This is a little better I think...

Lay men may become ordained through the sacrament of Holy Orders. Ordained clergy form a three-part hierarchy of bishops, priests and deacons. All bishops, along with the pope, cardinals, patriarchs, primates, archbishops and metropolitans, comprise the College of Bishops and are considered the successors of the apostles.[135][136] Only bishops are able to perform the sacrament of Holy Orders. Confirmation is ordinarily reserved to them as well.[138] Bishops are responsible for teaching, governing and sanctifying the faithful of their diocese, sharing these duties with the priests and deacons who serve beneath them. Only priests and bishops may celebrate the Eucharist and administer the sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick.[137] However priests, bishops and deacons may preach, teach, baptize, witness marriages and conduct funeral services. Baptism is the only sacrament that may be administered by any Catholic or even a non-Christian "who has the intention of baptizing according to the belief of the Catholic Church", however, it is normally administered by a priest or deacon.

Xandar 21:57, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. "Lay men may" - "may" is not needed. "who serve under them" is better. "Bishops are responsible for teaching, governing and sanctifying the faithful of their diocese..." no doubt technically the case, but "sanctifying" will puzzle many, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The thrust of "however" is not really clear, and it rather gives the impression that only "priests, bishops and deacons may preach, teach, baptize, witness marriages and conduct funeral services". "Conduct", "Perform" or "celebrate" would be more correct and less confusing than "witness marriages" surely? Should not the point be made that many/most deacons are married unpaid part-timers? "Baptism is the only sacrament that may be administered" maybe add "in emergencies". So:

Lay men become ordained by the sacrament of Holy Orders. Ordained clergy form a three-part hierarchy of bishops, priests and deacons. All bishops, along with the pope, cardinals, patriarchs, primates, archbishops and metropolitans, comprise the College of Bishops and are considered the successors of the apostles.[135][136] Only bishops are able to perform the sacrament of Holy Orders, and Confirmation is ordinarily reserved to them as well.[138] Bishops are responsible for teaching and governing the faithful of their diocese, sharing these duties with the priests and deacons who serve under them. Only priests and bishops may celebrate the Eucharist and administer the sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick.[137] They and deacons may preach, baptize, and conduct marriages and funeral services. Baptism is normally performed by clergy but is the only sacrament that may be administered in emergencies by any Catholic or even a non-Christian "who has the intention of baptizing according to the belief of the Catholic Church". Deacons may marry, and often have outside careers, acting unpaid in their spare time.

- about 15 chars longer than Take 1, but with more info. One could ram "the pope, cardinals, patriarchs, primates, archbishops and metropolitans" into "higher clergy", with the list in a note. Isn't it the case that techically all the others, plus some abbots etc, are only in the college because they are bishops? I'm not sure, and our article on the college is little use. Johnbod (talk) 23:24, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

I like the changes. If we were to remove the list of "types of bishops", I think we would just have to say something like: "All clergy having the rank of bishop (insert link to note) form the College of Bishops and are considered the successors of the apostles." The information that married men may become deacons is already given in the paragraph immediately following this one in the article. Xandar 23:58, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
So it does - scrub the last sentence then. Johnbod (talk) 00:04, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Okay. I'll put in what we've got. 149.254.219.168 (talk) 22:04, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Xandar, I like the rewording of the Ordained members section, well done you guys. I tried to think of a better wording but was stumped. I am glad you put in such a great effort here, it is much better than before. NancyHeise talk 00:20, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

The Church is called Roman

In reference to this edit

There are sources that explicitly say the Church is called Roman, and that it is called Roman even in the Church's own professions of faith.

These sources are citable secondary sources that report what is in the primary sources, the Church's official documents. The statement that the Church is called Roman is not based on an interpretation of the contents of the source, but is contained in them explicitly.

Wikipedia rules require mention of what these citable sources explicitly say for the sake of NPOV, since the article also mentions the contrary POV, which claims that "Roman" has been rejected and that "Catholic Church" is the Church's official name, understood, as the discussion has shown, as the only official name. Soidi (talk) 08:05, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I've reverted your edit as ill-advised since it adds really nothing to the lead and winds up saying that the "Roman Catholic Church, officially called the Catholic Church and also called the Roman (Catholic) Church" which seems redundant. I see no worthwhile distinction between "Roman Catholic Church" and "Roman (Catholic) Church" and I doubt that there are sources for "Roman (Catholic) Church" anyway. The insertion of "(Catholic)" seems to be an unsupported interpolation. I would prefer that you challenge directly the offending phrase "'Roman' was rejected" than to continue to play these games with the opening sentence of the lead.
--Richard (talk) 09:21, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I have tried to challenge the statement(s) in "note 1", but NH says "note 1" is untouchable. If I cannot challenge it within "note 1", I can only challenge it outside of that note. Can you get her to allow discussion of the note? In my opinion too, that would be better. Soidi (talk) 09:28, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
This lead is the worst lead of any that I have seen. The sentence is confusing, unnecessary for the lead, and takes a minor thing (i.e. in one or two documents the church refers to its self as Roman, but in the majority it doesn't) and places undo emphasis on it. I am with Richard in that this does not belong in the lead. Marauder40 (talk) 14:56, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree that discussion of what is the official name (if there is one) is "unnecessary for the lead". Why not move that question at least out of the first sentence? Even that would be a considerable improvement. It is obvious that much more than "one or two documents" call the Church Roman, highly important ones too, including professions of faith. Many more could be quoted directly, but the selection only gives some that are quoted in secondary sources. Soidi (talk) 17:12, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Given the lack of any progress whatsoever on this issue, might I suggest mediation? It might help to have an uninvolved person who is experienced in dealing with content issues to offer a third opinion. Karanacs (talk) 15:37, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Good idea. Soidi (talk) 17:12, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Only problem is during the FAC process there were many RfC requets and comments from outside sources including on the lead sentence, many of which were ignored. Doubt it will help much. Wasn't Richard an outside source until he got interwoven in Soidi arguements? Marauder40 (talk) 18:38, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with Marauder40 that I am no longer a neutral third party. You need someone who can remain "above the fray". --Richard (talk) 02:54, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The trouble is that many who cannot cite in their support sources at all comparable in number or explicitness with those in the edit proposed here for discussion have been voting to exclude from the article anything that does not agree with their own unverified POV. They have tried to justify their action by imposing their personal interpretation on sources that do not actually make the statement they attribute to it, and by saying, on the basis of their original research, that Lumen gentium and the like mean such-and-such, or that the form of the Pope's signature on some document means such-and-such. When faced here with several citable secondary sources that explicitly state a view contrary to theirs, they persist in ignoring them and continue to impose their own POV alone. Soidi (talk) 19:15, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
There are sources that say a QUALITY of the Church is that it is "Roman", along with "Holy," "One", and "Apostolic". What you fail to grasp is that this has NOTHING to do with the NAME of the Church. You are trying to confuse two different things in order to push a POV. Xandar 19:43, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Just as I said! The cited sources say: "The name 'Roman' has been adopted by the Church herself"; "(The Church) is called the 'holy (catholic apostolic) Roman Church'"; "commonly known as the Roman Catholic Church"; "Pius XII had actually used the term 'Roman Catholic Church'"; "The Roman Catholic Church has the two adjectives, Roman and Catholic, in its official name"; "The adjective 'Roman' is part of its official name". X here demonstrates his persistence in ignoring these sources and his insistence on imposing his own POV without admitting the existence of any other view. Soidi (talk) 19:58, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Xandar, we don't need to argue with Soidi, it is clear that he will neither accept that his sources are not discussing the Church's official name, that they aren't cited by any scholar as evidence of an official name, nor will he accept the fact that no one agrees his suggested edits. His tack is to be the last post in the section. There is some advice from Wikipedia on how to deal with this kind of editor on here. NancyHeise talk 01:17, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
How do I reply to this without saying that NH is dishonest? Two of the sources cited explicitly speak of the official name, don't they? Besides, the question here is whether the Church is called Roman. It is called Roman. It is officially called Roman. By saying that the sources are not discussing the Church's official name, NH is not only committing a verbal inexactitude but is also merely quibbling. Why does she not at last speak ad rem? Can she do no more than quibble, trail red herrings and call names? Soidi (talk) 08:30, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Massacring the lead sentence

Soidi, please stop. In your campaign to insert "Roman church", you have been making a mess of the lead sentence. Whether you are right or not about the importance of the phrase "Roman church", your edits have resulted in an unreadable lead sentence. For this reason, I have reverted your most recent edit.

Wikipedia articles should not seem to be arguing with themselves which is what your edits are resulting in. If there are differences of opinion, these should be laid out int the article in an encyclopedic tone rather than in an argumentative one.

I remain of the opinion that the locution "Roman church" is far less frequently used than "Catholic church" or "Roman Catholic Church". Finding a handful of instances of the locution "Roman church" in official documents only establishes that the phrase is sometimes used. It does not establish the relative frequency of use.

In any event, there is no easy way to introduce this into the lead without an explanation that is disproportionately detailed. As I've said before, discussion of "Roman Catholic Church" vs. "Catholic Church" vs. "Roman Church" belongs in a note such as "Note 1". I support you editing Note 1 to provide a better explication of these issues. I also support you removing "Roman was rejected" from Note 1. I do not support the mess that you have been making of the lead paragraph.

--Richard (talk) 02:52, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I find nothing whatever that I can disagree with in what Richard has written here, and I hope he is successful in opening up Note 1 for revision. I have not been permitted to touch it, even on less controversial matters such as the meaning of "catholic" at the time of Ignatius of Antioch.
Of course, the Church is far less frequently called the Roman Church than the Catholic Church: I never suggested the contrary. The verified fact that "Roman Church" is used in some of the most solemn documents shows how - I will here avoid the word "false" - lopsided Note 1 was/is.
I certainly fully agree that the matter of the name should be dealt with in an encyclopedic tone, indicating the differences of opinion, and not as at present in Note 1, even after Richard's edit.
There is much to be said in favour of returning to the opening phrase used until mid-April last. There is no need to discuss the official name question in the first words. If it is raised, it should instead be, as Richard said, only in a note to a non-controversial statement in the first lines, or (better still) it should be dealt with explicitly and in a balanced way, as it once was in this article, under the heading "Terminology". Soidi (talk) 05:52, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, Soidi, for responding in a civil and collegial manner.
I have been refraining from editing the article in deference to the work of Nancy and many editors who have worked on this article through a FAC review. Being a latecomer, I didn't want to be overbold. However, it seemed that we needed to break the logjam by starting to address the issues that you have raised and that I feel are valid. Even now, I have tried to be somewhat restrained in order to see if others would support my proposed changes.
I felt rather bold in editing the "Roman was rejected" text out of Note 1 but it seemed the only way to move forward without having you constantly putting "Roman Church" into the lead. I understand that you consider that Note 1 is still somewhat lopsided and I personally share that view. However, I would like to see more discussion from other editors before I make any additional changes to Note 1.
As for getting the whole "official name question" out of the lead, I think there may be value in doing that but that seems a rather radical change that needs further discussion rather than a unilateral edit by you or I. Can you provide a link to a revision from "mid-April last" that you prefer to the current revision?
--Richard (talk) 06:53, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Richard, many of the editors that participated in the FAC process have taken time off from editing here. They have gotten frustrated by the logjam instituted by one person. I have a feeling, you may either have to wait a little time to get input from other editors, or create a section where people vote on a possible change that shows the entire change (i.e. both the lead change and the note change) or invite people to return. People have gotten tired over argueing about this issue over serveral pages in the archives. Marauder40 (talk) 14:08, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The phrase used immediately before the mid-April introduction of "officially known" was "often referred to as the Catholic Church", as in this revision. (I have deliberately refrained from finding out who first introduced "officially known".) Several variations of that phrase were used earlier, none of them really controversial, including "also known as the Catholic Church" (this revision) and "commonly known as the Catholic Church" (this revision). Both these revisions contain a Terminology section that explained the divergence of views about the name and indicated a manner of excluding from the article all controversy on the matter. I do think that it would be useful to restore that section, improved at certain points, to the article. Soidi (talk) 10:05, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I've also previously suggested that is say simply ", or the Catholic Church," but was shouted down quite roundly by those who feel that the official name is "Catholic Church." Karanacs (talk) 15:26, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I proposed doing something similar to the Mexico article. Mexico lead says: "The United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos?·i), commonly known as Mexico", for this article I proposed it should say "The Catholic Church (Lt: name in Latin), commonly known as Roman Catholic Church." Because it doesn't make any statement about which is right or which is official or anything else for that. People complained that would mean we would have to change the article name, but I said they didn't do it for Mexico. Then people just brushed it off since Mexico isn't a FA. Marauder40 (talk) 15:47, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I see that, just now, X is again treating Note 1 as untouchable. It will be interesting to see, perhaps tomorrow, whether Richard too will accept being shouted down. Soidi (talk) 16:11, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
United Mexican States is the official name, Mexico the common or popular name. That is not the same relationship Roman Catholic Church bears to Catholic Church, where Catholic Church is the officially used name and Roman Catholic Church is the unofficial name used by some groups. Xandar 18:31, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
As we have gone into this issue AD-INFINITUM, "or" and "commonly known" are INACCURATE since they do not state the officially used and self-identified name of the Church. Unless the article is renamed Catholic Church, or and "commonly klnown as would be misleading and inaccurate. Xandar 16:10, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The problem appears to be that some sources disagree on what the official name of hte church is. Therefore, we can't say that this is inaccurate because of a fact that sources dispute. Karanacs (talk) 16:14, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
There is no source that gives any official name of the Church other than the Catholic Church. It is quite obvious that this is the name that the Church uses officially to self-identify in its key documents and pronouncements. Persisting in trying to deny this is increasingly perverse, and is based in my opinion in a certain POV that seeks for various reasons to deny the title "Catholic Church" to the Church. Xandar 18:33, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, there is no source that says official name of the church is anything other than Catholic Church. NancyHeise talk 21:03, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
No source that says that?! Our Religious Traditions. Sterling Power Lamprecht. Harvard University Press, 1950 says: "The Roman Catholic Church has the two adjectives, Roman and Catholic, in its official name". The Sacred Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. Arthur Carl Piepkorn, Philip J Secker, Robert Kolb. CEC Press, 2007 ISBN 0979528402, 9780979528408 says: The adjective 'Roman' is part of its official name". Soidi (talk) 05:44, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Neither one of these sources is talking about the Church's official name. This source [1] is just regurgitating someone's POV from long ago, not the Church's official position. The other source is not an authoritative source. Whitehead is authoritative specifically because he is used by an Roman Curia approved source that has bishop oversight (EWTN) to explain to the worldwide Catholci audience what is the Church's official name. NancyHeise talk 19:15, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
If "neither one is talking about the Church's official name", it is curious that they both speak about a word that they say is included "in its official name"! As for repetition of your curious convoluted argument about Whitehead, have you not yet taken in how ridiculous it is? You are saying in effect that absolutely everything published by the hundreds of universities that are members of the Vatican-approved IFCU is authoritative. I might tell you to learn the meaning of the Latin tag "Qui nimis probat, nihil probat", and apply it to yourself. But I will instead just quote what I see Richard has so diplomatically said below: "We have to be careful about making chains of logic which wind up evaluating a source's claims to correctness (e.g. Whitehead, EWTN, SIGNIS) and thereby giving that source undue weight". Soidi (talk) 20:53, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

The Catholic Church IS Roman! (but our lead does little to nothing to establish this fact)

After reverting out Soidi's last edit, I re-read the lead paragraph and was struck by the fact that the Catholic Church's connection with Rome is mentioned very late in the lead paragraph and explained very poorly.

Here's the way the lead paragraph reads...

What had previously been a single entity divided into what became labeled the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. Despite the split, a handful of Eastern Churches remained in (or later re-established) communion with the Pope of Rome, forming the Eastern Catholic Churches.

First of all, if we take the position that this church is called "the Catholic Church", then what is the phrase "the Roman Catholic Church" doing in the first sentence? Shouldn't it be "the Catholic Church"?

Next, in the second sentence, we talk about remaining in or re-establishing "communion with the Pope of Rome". At this point in the lead, we have not established what being in communion with Rome means. This is a critical and defining characteristic of the Catholic Church and yet it is not adequately presented in the lead. Yes, I'm sure the reader can discover this by following the link to pope or Saint Peter but this is a point that needs to be made explicit in the lead, not via the link to the pope article. We should not make the reader work hard to learn something as critical as this.

One possible solution is to change the lead to read "The Catholic Church is defined as those churches who are in communion with the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. For this reason, the church is often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church. The current pope is Benedict XVI."

And where does the phrase "Pope of Rome" come from? There is a Pope, who is Bishop of Rome. However, "Pope of Rome" suggests that there are popes of other cities and this is not true. The other bishops are primates and/or patriarchs. (I confess to not being clear on the difference between "primate" and "patriarch".)

Lastly, is there actually an entity called "the Eastern Catholic Churches"? If not, I don't think the word "forming" is quite right here. I would prefer saying "These are known as the Eastern Catholic Churches" or "These are referred to as the Eastern Catholic Churches".

--Richard (talk) 03:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Just a comment: there are other people who use the title "Pope", eg, Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria, but the primary use of the term is for the bishop of Rome. Gimmetrow 06:10, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Yeh, I figured there might be other popes although I didn't know for sure. However, the fact remains that Benedict XVI's title is not "Pope of Rome" but "Pope (of the Catholic Church)". I would bet that the Catholic Church recognizes only one pope and does not consider Benedict XVI to be one of several popes even if others use the title. I should have written more clearly in my comment above. --Richard (talk) 06:44, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Pope is in fact an unofficial term that has become official. It just means Father or Papa. (The same root as patriarch). In Catholicism there is only one Pope, although it acknowledges that some other churches have bishops bearing the honorary title pope. Stating that the church is the church in communion with the Pope is useful, however that is not dependant on the Pope being in Rome - as seen by the Avignon papacy.
However the church is not known as the Roman Catholic Church because the Pope is the Bishp of Rome. That would be a misleading statement since the usage has never been general or accepted. The name "Roman Catholic Church" only appeared in 17th Century Britain as a politer form of the abusive terms "Romanists" or "Papists". The term was always intended to deny the universal Catholicity of the Catholic Church, and present it as foreign and "other". The terms "Roman" and "Catholic" are also contradictory and form an illogical combination, since the meaning is the "Roman Universal" Church - an oxymoron. Xandar 18:52, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Please stop

The obsession of Soidi and co for adding unagreed POV chunks to the lead with inaccuracies and falsehoods has got to stop. There is no more to be pushed on your desire for the Church to be called Roman Catholic. Soidi, all you have done for the past three months on Wikipidia is push your POV on this issue. This has got to end. The lead is balanced and a compromise. It is certainly not to be padded out with large POV additions and particularly not falsehoods. I have reverted the unagreed changes to the agreed version. Xandar 16:08, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Xandar, the fact is that the church is often called "the Roman Catholic Church", if only unofficially. If this were not true, why do the first four words of this article start "The Roman Catholic Church" and why is this article titled "Roman Catholic Church"?
I know the answer since I was involved in this debate two years ago but the average reader will have no clue. We owe him/her an explanation if only a very brief summary of the issues.
--Richard (talk) 18:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The naming of the article has a LONG history. It was originally titled Catholic Church, but got moved around 2003 I think, to RCC due to arguments from people who thought this gave the CC ownership of the quality "Catholic". The separate article Catholicism was then born. Since then there have been long debates, the compromise accepted by Catholics was that the article could remain RCC, but "Catholic Church" should redirect here. I think the view was taken by many WP editors that RCC was the least ambiguous term in the English Speaking world, so should be used as the article title. This would seem to contradict WP guidance on naming in controversial instances, which states that the name by which a group self-identifies should be the name used for the title, no matter who else objects. Under that rule the article SHOULD be known as CC.
As far as giving an explanation in the lead, I think this is the wrong place. As previous experience shows, once you get started on that topic, it just grows and grows, causing more and more arguments. We decided that Catholicism is ther article to deal with all those issues. For the Lead (which is supposed to summarize the article, not add new material) all that is required IMO is an indication that RCC is a popular, but not the official name. Note 1 gives some background. Xandar 19:30, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

The church is defined as those churches in communion with the Bishop of Rome, is it not?

Xandar et al, my recent proposed edit was not about the "official name" of the Catholic Church. For the time being, I am willing to concede that the "official name" is "the Catholic Church".

However, my concern is explaining to the user the issue between "Catholic Church" vs. "Roman Catholic Church". After all, the first four words of this article are "the Roman Catholic Church". If we are to shift from "Roman Catholic Church" in the first four words to "Catholic Church" throughout the rest of the article, we owe the reader some explanation of why we are doing that.

I wrote:

The Catholic Church is defined as those churches in communion with the Bishop of Rome. For this reason, the church is often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church.

Isn't the first sentence true? Seems to me that this is the operative definition of "Catholic". How can this be objectionable?

Now, parse the second sentence carefully. I do not say that the official name of the church is "the Roman Catholic Church", simply that it is "often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church". The use of the passive voice allows some weaseling here. In truth, rightly or wrongly, both Catholics and non-Catholics often refer to the church as "the Roman Catholic Church". Some of us may feel that this is not appropriate but that is POV. The NPOV fact is that the church has been and still is often referred to as "the Roman Catholic Church".

I just posted the following above... However the church is not known as the Roman Catholic Church because the Pope is the Bishp of Rome. That would be a misleading statement since the usage has never been general or accepted. The name "Roman Catholic Church" only appeared in 17th Century Britain as a politer form of the abusive terms "Romanists" or "Papists". The term was always intended to deny the universal Catholicity of the Catholic Church, and present it as foreign and "other". The terms "Roman" and "Catholic" are also contradictory and form an illogical combination, since the meaning is the "Roman Universal" Church - an oxymoron.
I have no problem with the first sentence. However the second sentence you have produced states that the term Roman Catholic Church has an origin which is not, I believe, the true one. It also implies that the term has an ancient, established and accepted origin. The lead is not really the space to go into detailed histories of the term RCC anyway. Xandar 19:04, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Now, you may disagree with my proposed "Note 2" which was mostly a bunch of sources provided by Soidi. I think a lot of work would need to be done to fix Note 2 to be readable and acceptable but I figured just inserting the sources provided by Soidi was a good first step.

--Richard (talk) 18:48, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

WP policy states that sources should appear roughly in proportion to the number of proponents who hold each particular point of view. So just stuffing in a lot of cherry-picked supports for one viewpoint is not the right thing to do. The choice of sources needs to be agreed, reliable and with the right balance. Xandar 19:18, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
How many supports are cited in the article for the idea that there is a single official name for the Church, and that that single official name is "Catholic Church"? Does even one of the sources cited in Note 1 actually say it? X says, above, that "it is obvious". That is a poor substitute for providing sources, cherry-picked or not, that say it. (On the other hand, Note 2 does contains two sources that explicitly speak of the official name, saying that "Roman" is part of it!) Soidi (talk) 19:32, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, "Note 2" seems to set out to mislead by saying: "The name 'Roman' has been adopted by the Church herself and recognized by the world at large as the proper appellation of the only religion which has any claim to true Catholicism", this is based on a US 1903 magazine, and like the rest of the "references" many of which are original research interpretations, wrongly IMPLY that the ATTRIBUTE "Roman", which is accepted as an ATTRIBUTE, along with One, Holy, Apostolic, etc. is an endorsement of the name "Roman Catholic" as being officially accepted - which it is not. Xandar 19:53, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
And I suppose "Catholic" is not accepted as an ATTRIBUTE, but only as a name? I notice that, when you wrote "One, Holy, Apostolic, etc." you somehow forgot "Catholic"! As pointed out above, the Note 2 citations do explicitly say that "Roman" is part of the name of the Church. They state it explicitly. It is not an interpretation of what they say, as is your repeated original-research affirmation that Lumen gentium declares that "Catholic Church" is the official name. Your objection to the "1903 magazine" holds also for the claim made in the same "1903 magazine" that "Roman" has been rejected, a claim that you are heavy-handedly insisting on keeping in the article! Soidi (talk) 20:14, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
It's funny that this 1903 magazine you use supposedly says two diametrically opposite things on this issue. I can only assume it is presenting two opposing arguments. Your other sources are a scattergun of personal interpretation and confused topics. Your personal interpretation of texts using various attributes of the Church which often include the word Roman, have no bearing on the matter. Nor does the fact that on very rare occasions some Popes have used the term "Roman catholic". the overwhelming prominence and official use of the name Catholic Church in even the few documents you have located. The two sources you have that actual declare Roman Catholic to be the official name: (Piepkorn and Lamprecht)are both obscure, not readily available, and unreliable, the only recent one being a Lutheran journal article. In contrast, the sources in favour of the article text include specific official Catholic articles and the defining documents of the Church such as the Catechism and the Constitution. In addition could be added Patrick Madrid here, American Catholic Social Teaching here, and an OFFICIAL treaties, requiring Official names, such as that of 1984 with the Italian Government here. Xandar 22:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
It was writers in the "1903 magazine", not the "magazine" itself that presented the two opposing views. If you admit one as a citable source, you cannot logically exclude the other. I admit both, as views of the two writers. What personal interpretation do you claim I have put on "The name 'Roman' has been adopted by the Church herself"; "(The Church) is called the 'holy (catholic apostolic) Roman Church'"; "commonly known as the Roman Catholic Church"; "Pius XII had actually used the term 'Roman Catholi Church'"; "The Roman Catholic Church has the two adjectives, Roman and Catholic, in its official name"; "The adjective 'Roman' is part of its official name"? I have merely quoted them. The last two quotations are from Piepkorn and Lamprecht. What is obscure about these two quotations that explicitly say "Roman" is part of the Church's official name? On what possible grounds do you claim that they are unreliable, when you accept as sufficient proof that "Roman" is rejected a statement by a pseudonymous writer in a "1903 magazine"? Even if your additional quotations did say "The Church's official name is 'Catholic Church'" - which they don't - that would be irrelevant: I don't deny that sources can be found that say that. I have only shown that there are sources too that disagree, and that this fact must not be censored out of the Wikipedia article, just become some editors dislike it. Soidi (talk) 05:42, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Soidi, over 18 editors have examined the evidence and rejected your suggestions. You can continue to argue this but we can't be expected to make any changes to include your suggestions at this rate. NancyHeise talk 21:46, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
NH, the question of the universal Church being called the Roman Church had not yet been raised when your "over 18" editors voted according to their POV. You can continue to repeat your claim that they did reject it (in anticipation, it seems), but we can't be expected to consider your POV sacrosanct, when there is clear evidence to the contrary. Soidi (talk) 05:42, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

I understand and agree with Xandar's point about being careful about the age and history of the term "Roman Catholic Church". Yet, Soidi's point is that the church has called itself "Roman" for a long time. I reiterate my opinion that it makes no sense to talk about the "Roman Catholic Church" in the lead sentence without some explanation of why the church is Roman. That's why I inserted the text about the pope being the Bishop of Rome. It could be written better but I wanted to insert something for people to think about and improve upon. --Richard (talk) 22:05, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

But what you posted was (I am sure unintentionally,) not accurate, and to explain it fully will take too much space - particularly in the lead (- which is supposed to summarize the article, not add new material.) The term "Roman" as used in "Roman Catholic" is related to the centre of the Church being at Rome, but it also holds concepts of foreignness and division in the idea that there is not one universal church, but various independent "national" churches. (The Catholic Church being the "Church of Rome", not the Church of England, or Scotland or even Ireland.) Most people will realise that the prefix "Roman" has to do with Rome without specifically writing that. Xandar 22:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't suppose that the idea of "foreignness" or the idea of the supposed existence of various independent "national" churches was in the minds of Pope Innocent III when he drew up a profession of faith that called the Church Roman, nor in the mind of the Pope who drew up the Tridentine Profession of Faith, not in the mind of Pope Pius IX and the other bishops of the First Vatican Council when they, according to what the Second Vatican Council says, called the universal Church the Roman Church. Soidi (talk) 05:42, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
As earlier explained, the words of Pope Innocent you quoted also used the other normal decriptive words about the church, "holy", "apostolic," etc. That "Roman" is one of these descriptive words commonly used to denote various qualities of the Church is acknowledged. However that does not make it the name of the church. Innocent himself used the term "Catholic Church" on its own as the name of the Church, as shown in the earlier posts when you brought this up. For the umpteenth time also; the term "Roman Church" refers to the church of the Dioscese of Rome in Catholic usage, it is not the name of the worldwide church. Xandar 15:43, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
As earlier explained, the use of "catholic" by the Popes when speaking of the Church does not mean that they excluded other names for the Church. Innocent III imposed as a profession of faith: "We believe in our hearts and we profess orally that there is one Church, not that of the heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic [Church], outside of which we believe that no one will be saved." The Church Innocent III speaks of is the one that is Catholic, and Apostolic, and Holy, and Roman, the one outside of which no one will be saved, and so not just the diocese of Rome. Can you quote a single Pope, even one, who declared that the only name for the Church is "Catholic"? Soidi (talk) 19:22, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Xandar, Can't agree with the assertion that "the term "Roman Church" refers to the church of the Diocese of Rome in Catholic usage"; for example "The Church in no way remits her claim to be Catholic when she also speaks of herself as Roman. It is the distinctive mark of Catholics to be in communion with the Roman See, and this use of Roman as equivalent to Catholic is not of recent date.." goes on to quote John Henry Newman who references Gregory of Tours, Victor of Vite and Spanish councils. ("Catholic Dictionary", rev by P.E Hallet, Virtue, 1953). Another ref for use of Roman Catholic Church as a name is in "Catholic Dictionary" which forms part of the "Holy Family" edition of Catholic Bible published by the Catholic Press chicago 1950. If its argued that the Church has given up this name then first class refs are needed. To say that the Church has an "official" name surely must be capable of being referenced to multiple authorative sources who state this clearly and umambiguously. There is no argument surely as to the most common name, but then maybe "The Church" is a contender :-) Taam (talk) 07:05, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

The Catholic Church is a "Christian church", not a community

Xandar reverted to this sentence "The community is made up of an ordained ministry and the laity; members of either group may belong to organized religious communities."

The lead sentence says that "the Catholic Church is a Christian Church" with wikilinks to Ecclesia (church). So why does the last sentence of the lead paragraph start with "the community is...". Now, from an informal point of view, I have no problem considering the Catholic Church as a "community" but we have not defined "the Catholic Church" as a community in the lead paragraph, we have asserted that it is a "Christian Church". So... the last sentence should read "The church is made up of an ordained ministry and the laity; members of either group may belong to organized religious communities.". That is the edit that Xandar reverted out.

I know this is a picky point but what purpose does the word "community" add at this juncture? To me, it only serves to introduce ambiguity and confusion.

--Richard (talk) 19:00, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I reverted because changes to the lead and its order need to be agreed in discussion - particularly since the lead is something that has been put together with great difficulty by a great many people, and needs to be right for FA (or even GA). So if you have a reason for a change in order and wording it is good to discuss the reason for your change here first. Xandar 19:09, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I understand. That is why I have refrained from editing the lead until now. However, this edit seemed obvious enough to risk being bold. I don't mind being reverted. I do wish you and others would read my comment and weigh in on whether my point is valid or not. It's OK to revert but don't revert just because the lead is somehow "blessed" and "cast in stone". Revert because the proposed edit does not improve the text or because the specific new edit goes against an established consensus. --Richard (talk) 21:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think most people would care if we used Church or community, that is really not a big deal. What is more important is prose which is helped by using the word community over church because church is overused and the sentence, using "community" is factually correct. The church community is made up of an ordained ministry and the laity. Also, someone added a lot of words to the paragraph on the great schism in the lead. I think it is too much info to place into the lead and I prefer the previous wording. The lead is supposed to be a summary, not give intimate details like that. NancyHeise talk 21:49, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Yeh, I understand. I agree that this "church" vs. "community" issue is more stylistic than substantive. Your argument is that using "community" avoids over-using "church". My argument is that using "community" smacks of mindless thesaurism (i.e. using a word simply because it is an approximate synonym). Moreover, the word "community" is used twice in that sentence (at the beginning and at the end) so I would suggest that it is stylistically and semantically useful to use two different words to distinguish between the "community" at the beginning of the sentence and the "communities" at the end of the sentence. --Richard (talk) 21:55, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I have no strong feelings about this issue I just want the lead to have a prose that meets the 'brilliant' criteria. If you have a better suggestion I am for it. I don't think that we can say "church" too many times without wiping out our brilliance though :) NancyHeise talk 03:30, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus

Nancy, you reverted text describing the doctrine of "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus". That was not my edit but I was surprised at your edit comment. I can understand reverting the text in question because it is not "agreed upon" or "too much detail" but "never heard of it" and "can't find references"? What's wrong with the references in the Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus article?

It seems self-evident that the church has always taught this. My layman's understanding is that it was only in the last half a century that the door has begun to be opened for the definition of "ecclesia" to be broadened to suggest that there might be salvation outside the Catholic Church.

--Richard (talk) 22:02, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

The point is informative, but remember that the lead shouldn't normally include material that isn't detailed in the main text of the article. Xandar 23:33, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

My understanding is that the definition of "Church" has been broadened to include those who are not formally members, bringing them into a relationship with the Church in some mysterious way -see Lumen Gentium 16; but then again since this kind of teaching is not supposed to be subject to change it would more properly be described as a development of understanding if I understand the Catholic viewpoint correctly Taam (talk) 07:24, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps then it should be added in some section, perhaps under membership? The point before it is misleading without this clarification. 140.209.245.132 (talk) 23:47, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
If the lead shouldn't normally include material that isn't detailed in the main text of the article, why is there any material in the lead about a supposed official name? If the question is touched in the lead, it follows that there must be a restoration of the section that was once titled "Terminology". Soidi (talk) 05:42, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
No. Because the proper name of the article's subject is one thing that has to appear in the lead - in the first sentence in fact. Xandar 15:33, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
And when several citable sources disagree with your opinion about what is the proper name of the article's subject, what do you do? It seems you pretend they don't exist. But they do. Soidi (talk) 19:22, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Soidi, please provide links to those citable sources that disagree. I have not seen one yet and what you provide are not citable because they are not talking about the church's official name or they are your own original research of original documents. Also please point me to the editors who have agreed with your edits. From what I have seen of all your arguments, multiple editors including many non-Catholics and non-Christians have disagreed with your presentations and agreed with mine. I tried to take your side in the matter and come to agreement but I was significantly overruled by vast majority of editors. I am only trying to do what consensus has agreed. You are persistantly fighting that consensus by bringing new people to the page but even they are not agreeing with you. How can you expect me to make any changes in favor of your argument with that kind of track record? NancyHeise talk 03:32, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
What sources disagree about "the proper name of the article's subject" being "Catholic Church"? All those I have already cited disagree that there is just one proper name, at least if that proper name is "Catholic Church". Do they or do they not? Two of them explicitly speak of "the official name" and say that it contains the word "Roman". Do they or do they not? Neither Whitehead nor McClintock explicitly say that the official name is "Catholic Church". Do they or do they not? (It is only by an original-research interpretation that you are making them say that.) I will not go to the trouble to find out again what is said in the source that X dimisses as a "1903 magazine". Even if does say that "Catholic Church" is "the official" name, that would be only one POV, and another POV is expressed in the two sources that I have cited that explicitly say that the official name contains the word "Roman". Limiting the article to one POV and excluding the other is contrary to Wikipedia's basic NPOV policy. Soidi (talk) 05:42, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Richard, I am answering your question now - the first post in this section. You wanted to know how I could delete text describing the doctrine of "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus". I deleted it because it is not church doctrine and its inclusion makes the article factually incorrect. The references on that article's page are not scholarly sources, none of them have the Nihil Obstat or Imprimatur declaration from the Catholic Church that they are free of doctrinal or moral error. What I did find, that supports my deletion of that article text is pages 105-106 of Professor Alan Schreck's The Essential Catholic Catechism that does have Nihil obstat and Imprimatur. Per pages 105-6 which are under a subsection entitled "Salvation Without Discipleship?":

"What about the salvation of those who do not know, believe in, or follow Jesus Christ?...Catholics do not claim to know the eternal destiny of any individual, but do affirm certain things. 1) We know that Jesus Christ is the only Savior. Acts 4:12 teaches, 'there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.' 2)The ordinary way for one to attain salvatin through Jesus Christ is through faith, baptism, and a life of discipleship (that is faithful obedience to Jesus and his teaching). Mark 16:15-16 records Jesus' words in a postresurrection appearance: 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.' We have already noted what Jesus says about those who hear his word, believe in it, and yet do not put it into practice. Obedience to Jesus, as well as faith and baptism, are normally necessary for salvation. 3)In God's mercy it is possible for those who are not Christians to be saved through the grace of Jesus Christ. There are certain biblical texts, such as the last judgement scene in Matthew 25 and Paul's Letter to the Romans, 2:12-16, that indicate that some will be saved by Christ on account of their charity, or through having followed the dicatates of their conscience. The Second Vatican Council's 'Dogmatic Constitution on the Church' affirms this: (author quotes from Lumen Gentium 16) This passage refers to the possibility of salvation of those who have not accepted the gospel through no fault of their own, not to those who have consciously rejected and refused to believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ. ...There is no implication here that that the gospel need not be preached to non-Christians. In fact, the closing paragraph of this section from the Second Vatican Council warns that those who have not accepted the gospel often fail to attain eternal life because of the deception of Satan or through falling into despair. (author then quotes Lumen Gentium 16 again) 'But rather often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become caught up in futile reasoning and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator (cf. Rom 1:21, 25). Or some there are who, living and dying in a world without God, are subject to utter hopelessness. Consequently, to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all such men, and mindful of the command of the Lord, "Preach the gospel to every creature" (Mk 16:15), the church painstakingly fosters her missionary work.'"

Based on this passage, my deletion of "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" in the lead is warranted. NancyHeise talk 04:25, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Nancy. I readily admit to an incomplete and often erroneous layman's understanding of the Catholic faith. Also, after reading what you wrote and re-reading the article on Extra Ecclesiam null salus, I am convinced that this is another of those topics that is too complex to mention in the lead without opening up a can of worms that is better dealt with in the body of this or a related article.
That said, I wonder if you could take a look at the article on Extra Ecclesiam null salus and express your opinion as to whether it adequately communicates Catholic teaching. I recognize that the Talk Page of that article is the right place for this discussion but I don't know if you watch that page so I will start here and then move over there based on your response.
In particular, I am concerned with this sentence in the lead of that article:
The axiom (of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus) is often used as short-hand for the doctrine, upheld by both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, that the Church is absolutely necessary for salvation.
I understand that, as Schreck wrote, "the ordinary way for one to attain salvation through Jesus Christ is through faith, baptism, and a life of discipleship". However, "In God's mercy it is possible for those who are not Christians to be saved through the grace of Jesus Christ."
In your opinion, does the article on Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus communicate this? I fear that the article spends so much time establishing what has been said throughout the history of the church in support of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus that it fails to communicate the second part of church teaching. Unless one reads the Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus article very carefully, the general impression seems to be that it is, in fact, the teaching of the church.
I think we need to regularize that article so that it reflects the position presented by Schreck and states it early in the article rather than as an aside towards the end of the article. Do you agree?
--Richard (talk) 07:06, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes I absolutely agree. Presently, that article is misleading and should be corrected. I am going to copy and paste this conversation to that article's talk page now. NancyHeise talk 04:57, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Would you please explain to me in what way Schreck is thought to disagree with the teaching that there is extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, a teaching that the Church considers to be a dogma and that it interprets to mean that salvation is accessible only through the grace that comes from Christ, a grace that has a relationship with the Church (Dominus Iesus of 6 August 2000, quoted in the Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus article)? Defteri (talk) 05:20, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, Shreck provides the following analysis on pages 105-106 of The Essential Catholic Catechism, a Nihil obstat and Imprimatur source. Under a subsection entitled "Salvation Without Discipleship?":

"What about the salvation of those who do not know, believe in, or follow Jesus Christ?...Catholics do not claim to know the eternal destiny of any individual, but do affirm certain things. 1) We know that Jesus Christ is the only Savior. Acts 4:12 teaches, 'there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.' 2)The ordinary way for one to attain salvatin through Jesus Christ is through faith, baptism, and a life of discipleship (that is faithful obedience to Jesus and his teaching). Mark 16:15-16 records Jesus' words in a postresurrection appearance: 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.' We have already noted what Jesus says about those who hear his word, believe in it, and yet do not put it into practice. Obedience to Jesus, as well as faith and baptism, are normally necessary for salvation. 3)In God's mercy it is possible for those who are not Christians to be saved through the grace of Jesus Christ. There are certain biblical texts, such as the last judgement scene in Matthew 25 and Paul's Letter to the Romans, 2:12-16, that indicate that some will be saved by Christ on account of their charity, or through having followed the dicatates of their conscience. The Second Vatican Council's 'Dogmatic Constitution on the Church' affirms this: (author quotes from Lumen Gentium 16) This passage refers to the possibility of salvation of those who have not accepted the gospel through no fault of their own, not to those who have consciously rejected and refused to believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ. ...There is no implication here that that the gospel need not be preached to non-Christians."

I bolded the part of this excerpt that answers your question. Please also remember that we are not allowed to interpret original documents such as the Vatican document in your link above (which discusses this issue in paragraphs 20 and 21 [2]). If we cite an original document, we also need to have a scholar or expert who says what our article text says about the document. See WP:OR. NancyHeise talk 05:49, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Now tell me in what way I have "interpreted" Dominus Iesus, which says: "For those who are not formally and visibly members of the Church, salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church, but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit; it has a relationship with the Church, which, according to the plan of the Father, has her origin in the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit."
Or again explain to me more clearly in what way Schreck is supposed to disagree with the Church's understanding of "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" as explained in the article on the subject, which includes this quotation from Dominus Iesus. There seems to be no contradiction whatever in the part that you bolded. Defteri (talk) 06:22, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Because Shreck's book has the Nihil obstat, Imprimatur declaration, it is not in disagreement with the Church's understanding. It is a Church approved book that is explaining what the original documents mean. The article on extra Ecclesiam nulla salus does not tell Reader that which Shreck has clarified per "3)In God's mercy it is possible for those who are not Christians to be saved through the grace of Jesus Christ. There are certain biblical texts, such as the last judgement scene in Matthew 25 and Paul's Letter to the Romans, 2:12-16, that indicate that some will be saved by Christ on account of their charity, or through having followed the dicatates of their conscience. The Second Vatican Council's 'Dogmatic Constitution on the Church' affirms this: (author quotes from Lumen Gentium 16) This passage refers to the possibility of salvation of those who have not accepted the gospel through no fault of their own, not to those who have consciously rejected and refused to believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ....There is no implication here that that the gospel need not be preached to non-Christians." That article needs to include this explanation. In this Roman Catholic Church article, we removed someone's insertion of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus in the lead because 1) it was never discussed 2)it is a subject that is too detailed for the lead and the fact that the Church considers itself to contain the fullness of salvation is covered in the later section discussing the Church. NancyHeise talk 06:57, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Schreck says nothing that contradicts the article. Schreck says: "In God's mercy it is possible for those who are not Christians to be saved through the grace of Jesus Christ." The article quotes the Church's teaching that "salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which ... comes from Christ". Where's the contradiction? Schreck says: "This passage refers to the possibility of salvation of those who have not accepted the gospel through no fault of their own, not to those who have consciously rejected and refused to believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ....There is no implication here that that the gospel need not be preached to non-Christians." Here Schreck is practically repeating what the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 847-848, says. This too is given in the article. So again, where's the contradiction? Is it just possible that you have not read Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus#Roman Catholic interpretation? Defteri (talk) 08:39, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, my problem with that article is that the issue is not made clear in the lead which would lead a non-educated person to come to a different conclusion than what the Church actually offers. It is misleading because it is incomplete. The wording in the lead is unreferenced and I don't want to link to that poorly done article in this article. Also the term "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" constitutes WP:jargon which we have been told by some top reviewers to avoid. The issue of "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" more correctly belongs in the article Roman Catholic theology which we have linked in this article. If we did not already cover the issue in the subsection entitled "Church" this would be an important thing to include but we already cover it, in the appropriate section and link to Lumen Gentium, not Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, I think Lumen Gentium is a better link and I think our sentence covering the issue is complete and informative without the misleading problems encountered by linking to rarely used Latin phrase. NancyHeise talk 21:53, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't see what is your problem with Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. What is misleading about the lead of the article, which states expressly and referencedly that the doctrine does not mean that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned, and that still less does the doctrine mean that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. Does the Church teach anything different? What is missing from the article to make it complete? What wording in the lead is unreferenced? The phrase "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus", which is immediately explained in the article, is no more jargon as a title than is, for instance, "Eucharist" as a title for the corresponding article. So what is your problem with Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, which I now presume you have actually read? Defteri (talk) 10:03, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Defteri, none of my Nihil obstat imprimatur sources uses the Latin phrase that is used for the title of that article. My problem with it is that the use of that latin phrase is misleading Reader into a false understanding of Roman Catholic theology unless Reader has the tenacity to read way into the sub article. I do not think it helps the main article at all. What is your problem with having that information explained in this article's section on the Church? It is already there, linked to Lumen Gentium, minus the Latin phrase. How is our article missing anything? NancyHeise talk 04:02, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
What are you talking about? What need is there for your sources to use the Latin phrase "extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" in order to authorize the article Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus to use that phrase as its title? Or is it your personal nihil obstat and imprimatur that is needed for using well-known phrases in Latin, such as "Mysterium fidei", as titles for articles? The reader does not have to read "way into" what you call "the sub article". (I take it that by "sub article" you mean the article that is linked to - or was linked to until you unilaterally removed it.) The very first brief paragraph explains what "extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" means, and the very next brief paragraph explains what it does not mean (that everyone not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned, and that everyone visibly within the Church is necessarily saved). So what do you mean by "way into"? Defteri (talk) 11:30, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
In view of the above, I have restored to the text Richardshusr's edit that mentioned the Church's claim to be necessary for salvation. In doing so I have noticed some things that require changing. I do not think the statement that the Church acknowledges that the Holy Spirit can make use of other Christian communities to bring people to salvation is correct. Certainly the source quoted in support says nothing of the sort: CCC 865 says nothing about "other Christian communities" and speaks instead of the "one holy catholic and apostolic Church"; so I have moved this reference to where the article speaks of this. I have also found that the urls on the Vatican website's text of CCC are no longer what was given in the footnote here; so I have corrected that too. If NancyHeise reverts this edit, she ought to check that it really is the Church's teaching that the Holy Spirit can (and presumably does) use other Christian communities (rather than the means of grace that do exist within them but are distinct from them) to bring people to salvation. It sounds to me like the kind of doctrine that some traditionalist Catholics attribute to "the Conciliar Church". Defteri (talk) 14:29, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
See Catholic Christianity [3] by Peter Kreeft, a Nihil obstat Imprimatur source - pages 110-112. This book supports article text and never uses the latin phrase which we were asked by Wikipedia reviewers to eliminate per WP:Jargon. NancyHeise talk 20:56, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

New subheading : Criticisms of Church?

Such as mass-persecution and murder during the early and late middle ages? The genocidal crusades beginning in the 11th century brought on by various popes? Recent church scandals?? I just feel it is worthy topic to discuss due to the profound implications theyve had on human history. Oh yes and who could forget the wonderful inquisition?

Panzerfaust80 (talk) 19:18, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

See Criticism of the Roman Catholic Church. Already addressed there. Marauder40 (talk) 19:20, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Methinks you are wasting your time here as this article is comtrolled by zealots who are unable to see from a open perspective, and this comes from someone who was once warm to the Catholic church before encountering these people, soide excluded Taam (talk) 20:43, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
That isn't it at all. If you look at all the major religions (including ones that are at FA status) they have a main page that talks about the religion, its history, tenants, etc. and they have a criticism page. Look at the Islam page as an example. That page is a featured article. Except for a couple criticisms most are on the criticism page. What is good for Islam should also be good for other religions. Marauder40 (talk) 20:47, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I understand your point but suggest you integrate it within the main body text to avoid the ludicrous unbalanced assertions made in the the cultural influences sections. Critcism's sections to me indicate POV pushimg, but then again thats my POVTaam (talk) 20:59, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Many criticisms are addressed, many things that the first person talked about are mentioned in this article, with links to the appropriate sub-article. You can't put every criticism in a main article or the article is impossible to read and extremely long. People are already complaining about the length of this article. The techniques that seems to be acceptable in the major religions is that the article itself talks about the history, tenants, ideals, etc. and addresses some of the criticisms within the appropriate topics in the article (not seperate crit sections) and refers the person to seperate articles to address the details of the criticisms. This allows for the article to flow better. All the major religions have a main article and a criticisms of ... article. Marauder40 (talk) 21:06, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
What is wromg in my opinon is to raise subjects which lack the opposition view point, e.g the facile treatment of Cathars or Spanish civil war etc. Instead of being an ignorant POV pushing of "catholic" apologetics the article woule have been ---- catholic. Taam (talk) 21:20, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

(outdent)Individual topics can be brought up and discussed. That is what peer reviews, FACs and other things like that are for. Edits can be made as long as they are properly cited and meet other WP policies like undue weight, relivancy, POV, etc. To say an article the size of this one, that covers an institution that is 2000 years old is POV without helping to fix it in a way that meets concensus doesn't help. A lot of work has gone into the entire article from many people, some Catholic, some not. Not to mention at least right now I think the person that started this section may be doing the equivalent of WP drive-by. Marauder40 (talk) 21:30, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

All I can say, sinrcerely, is b.s (sorry to the sensitive "religious",). When I tried to suggest ever so gentlty that article was wrong I was reverted, IMO ignorantly, and then accused of being anti-christian in the FAC review. IMO you put people off catholicism with this pride full article and the arrogance displayed on this talk page. Criticisms should be integrated with the main article~. Taam (talk) 21:43, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I personally didn't see the edit you are talking about, but if you read through the Welcome pages when you joined WP you would have seen the fact that if you aren't prepared to have your edits thrown out, argued about, etc. then WP isn't the place for you. If you are willing to work towards a concensus with other editors and sometime realize that your opinion might not be right then it is. Back to the topic in general, can you show me all the criticism that are intergrate in the FA article Islam? We are supposed to strive towards what other FAs have on major religions. Islam went through a review within the last year, that means it agrees with current concensus. What is good for other major religions should be good for this one. How about a topic you are familiar with, where is the criticism in Ancient Egyptian religion. I don't see criticisms integrated in that article. The article sounds very one sides to me. The word slave doesn't appear in the entire article. People are already complaining about the length of the Roman Catholic page, can you imagine what the size of the page would be if the entire Criticism page was integrated into it. Marauder40 (talk) 14:13, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
My perception is that the article is basically controlled by a group who do not want contributions from anyone who doesn't share their outlook. The way Soidi has been abused on these pages is an example. If you think other articles are defective then the solution is to contribute to their improvement not pitch this article to the same level. I don't like criticism sections because they tend by their very nature to be unbalanced. If there are different points of view it seems logical to integrate them within the main article in some kind of, for example, chronological order. The problem with this article is that it reads as if somebody has a list of common apologetics answers to criticisms of the Church but have either ignored the viewpoint of the people who are on the hit list so to speak or else put forward very weak arguments to represent them in order to give a veneer of NPOV and balance. The cutural influence section is a variation on this theme. If its impossible to represent an issue fairly due to its complexity then its better not to treat it all. Taam (talk) 19:08, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
This article already has far more criticism in it than the articles on any other religion or denomination. The original poster in this section clearly has no idea about the real history of the Church and wants the article to repeat a series of anti-catholic myth and polemic. Taam seems to desire the same. However the material in the article is from genuine academic historical sources, not foaming-at-the-mouth websites or other such polemical sources. People wanting to push the Black Legend and other such stuff have been challenged to provide precise reliable sources for their assertions and have consistently failed to do so. Take the Spanish Civil War for example. The worst atrocity, thousands of priests and nuns massacred by Communist and Anarchist militias. Those are the facts. But leaving that aside, read the Britannica article on the Catholic Church and compare it with this one. That will tell you all you need to know with regard to Panzerfaust and Taam's POV Xandar 01:35, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
The article simply uses the Spanish civil war as a device for introducing the killing of religious as another example of how the church is persecuted. It feigns neutrality by saying this came about "Because priests and nuns were symbols of conservatism". Wow such terrible acts because they were merely symbols of conservatism? When I look at three different books I think at least I get some understanding of what took place,
"The Church was detested by the workers and labourers for preaching acceptance of poverty while amassing vast riches. Its attitude towards the poor was that of the traditional reply to a beggar when refusing alms: 'Have patience, brother'..." and so on. (p38 Beevor "The Spanish Civil War")
"The popular hatred against the Church was a consequence both of its traditional association with the right and its open legitimation of the military rebellion" (Preston p122 "The Spanish Civil War")
"The Catholic press applauded the Nazi destruction of of the German socialist and communist movements. Nazism was much admired on the Spanish right..." (Preston p31)
"The church was attacked because the way that religion had become the critical question of politics since 1931, because of the widespread subordination of priests to the upper classes, and because of the provocative wealth of many churches..If they [priests] had disgraced the metier, and had say, in the past, never worn a clean collar fo the funeral of a poor man, but always had done so for a rich man, they would probably be killed" (Thomas, p269-p273 "The Spanish Civil War")
The article is full of such devices, paying lip service to neutrality but in spirit mere apologetics that has the opposite reaction to its intended purpose - the section dealing with the Cathars is a classic example.
Though I never raised the matter I had a quick look at the Black Legend article as you suggested in the the hope it may have exemplified the points you make, however it seems to be one of the most biassed articles I have read on Wikipedia since there is no pretence at all at neutrality, i.e the very large amount of scholarly resources that describe less than favorable acts is simply ignored and the reader is left to assume it all comes under the "Black Legend", an incontrovertible fact,leaving one with the impression it has itself become a legend. Taam (talk) 06:49, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
You seem to fail to see any other but a single point of view on an issue. You have an extreme caricature view of the Catholic Church in your mindset, and seem to see anything that doesn't back that up as "biased" or "Catholic propaganda." On Spain, you take anti-Catholic writers like Beevor, (whose discussion of the Red Terror is little more than an apologetic,) and quote the most opinionated statements.
More balanced views like SG Payne in A History of Spain and Portugal: say: "inherently incompatible with the building of a strong consensual democratic regime was the doctrinaire anti-Catholic bent of the left coalition. The tenor of the new government was revealed within less than a month, on May 11, 1931, when mobs led by anarchists (and some Radical Socialists) sacked monarchist headquarters in Madrid and then proceeded to set fire or otherwise wreck more than a dozen churches in the capital. Similar arson and vandalism occurred in a score of other cities in southern and eastern Spain, in most cases with the acquiescence and in several cases with the assistance of the official Republican authorities. The quema de conventos (burning of convents) set the tone for relations between the Republican left and Spanish Catholicism. The climax came with the passage of the Republican constitution in the autumn of 1931. The new charter separated church and state, prohibited public religious processions, and outlawed much of the work of Catholic orders, with the intention of destroying Catholic education in Spain... By and large the Republican constitution was a sound document, providing for full civil liberties and representative rights, with the major exception of Catholic rights. Yet the exclusion of the latter left nearly 25 percent of the Spanish people at war with the Republic or at least the political-constitutional structure of it. This split made it impossible to unite a broad democratic majority and left the body politic divided almost from the start of the regime. Since the Republican left regarded constitutional reform to protect Catholic interests as at the very least treason, the Republic as a democratic constitutional regime was doomed from the outset.
"The Red terror began with the murder of some of the rebels as they attempted to surrender after their revolt had failed in several of the key cities. From there it broadened out to wholesale arrests, and sometimes wholesale executions, of people associated with right-wing groups or the Catholic church. In general, this was not an irrepressible outpouring of hatred by the man in the street for his "oppressors," as it has sometimes been painted, but a semi-organized activity carried out by sections of nearly all the leftist groups."
The Cathar wars are similarly a far more complex set of events tahn anti-catholic polemiscists would like to present them as. Wikipedia is not a place for myths legends and propaganda but for balanced factual and scholarly presentation. Xandar 22:43, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I have checked out the reviews of Beevors book and it continues to recieve heeps of praise from the quality press and none that I can see say he is anti-catholic. The reasons he gives for the antipathy towards the Church is confirmed by the other two sources I used, Robert Preston and Hugh Thomas, who collectively are showered with praise for their works. Once again I cannot see any anti-catholic charges being levelled against them in published reviews. At face value I can only conclude that anti-catholic epithet which is used liberally by you and others on this page is basically a method of frightening contributors away who do not conform to your requirements. The passage you give doesn't deal with the reasons for the source of the hate described in this article directed towards the Church (as the three sources I gave do), rather only the affiliations of the warring parties so I don't want to be sidetracked other than to note that the book you use, though of relatively recent composition, is no longer in print and is available on-line for free (I haven't had a chance to delve into it) which is unusual for an something regarded as a top notch resource on a modern subject. According to his Wikipedia article (so it must be true!) he is out of sync with the academic consensus whom he thinks are biassed on this subject. I note also how you try to suggest anyone who disagrees with how the Cathars are treated must be "anti-catholic polemiscists", my goodness what a world to live in. Taam (talk) 21:13, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
The article text that you dislike reflects the view of a non-Catholic Cambridge University professor who is the most highly regarded historian for the period covered. Here is a very nice chapter on the topic discussing the rise of anticlericalism from one of his Cambridge University Press books that is cited 129 times by other authors [4]. Clearly, we can not be accused of being pro-Catholic POV when we have used this person as our reference. NancyHeise talk 06:33, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand, the passage I raised relates to the Spanish Civil war in the 20th century but you now give as a citation to support the article text a book that deals with 19th century events and nothing that I can see of the Spanish civil war. Taam (talk) 14:27, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Taam has difficulty understanding that what we have placed in the article comes from university textbooks. The FA was full of his personal attacks on me and the Catholic religion, not sincere article critique. It was very difficult to work with Taam because of his refusal to accept the information cited to several scholarly sources, including those most oft used by univerisities as textbooks on Roman Catholic Church history. The information in the Cultural Influence section constituted many pages of a university textbook on Western Civilization as well as the most oft used university textbook for Roman Catholic Church history. My decision to include this information has been interpreted by others, including Taam, as evidence of POV pushing. I do not understand this accusation especially when the information comes directly from the most cited scholars and experts on the article subject. Other wikipedia editors who are not Catholic checked my sources and agreed that the wordings were paraphrased correctly and even more subdued from the way they were worded by the scholars. I had to quote the scholars exactly on the FA talk page so reviewers could see that these were important events in Church history or cultural influence that can not be avoided on this article. Efforts to make Taam and others of his POV happy would result in a Catholic Church page that omits serious significant material events and facts from the article. NancyHeise talk 03:41, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Methinks you use the same methods of Xandar, everyone is this world is either on our side or must be anti-catholic. Lets try to deal with the issues a piece at a time. You indicate in the Cultural inluences section it was the Church who brought an end to practices such as human sacrifice and polygamy in the Roman Empire, with multiple references to support these assertions. Could you please be patient with me and quote the relevant passages which say this and then I will comment further since it seems to be at odds with recognised sources I have to hand. Please remember that you included material from "recognised textbooks" before which turned out to be incorrect, i.e it wasn't anti-catholic bias as you suggest here. Taam (talk) 21:13, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Taam, I found your evaluation during FAC to be highly provacative and not intended to do anything helpful to the article. Your intention seemed to be to argue the merits of the Church, not the article. Several editors jumped into the discussion during FAC to admonish your attitude as evidenced here [5] and here [6] and [7]. Please provide a diff to when I have included material that turned out to be incorrect. Perhaps what you are referring to is one instance created in the article trim that was done by someone else who inadvertantly put two sentences together. That was not me. I was the person who corrected it. For the Cultural Influences section, I have these sources and quotes to offer you. Please remember that these sources go on for quite some pages on these issues. These are not issues that are glossed over and these are university textbooks written by professors, the one that went on for the most pages was written by several professors. See below:

  • Most significant was its role in the spread of the Christian religion throughout the world, a process which ended practices like human sacrifice, slavery, infanticide and polygamy in Christian lands. Historians note that Catholic missionaries, popes, laymen and religious were among the leaders in the campaign against slavery, an institution that has existed in almost every culture. Christianity improved the status of women by condemning infanticide (female infanticide was more common), divorce, incest, polygamy and marital infidelity of both men and women in contrast to the evangelized cultures beginning with the Roman Empire that previously permitted these practices.
The above quote comes from the Cultural Influence section of the article. It is referenced to seven scholarly works. Listed below.
The above quote isn't from the current article - it differs in significant points. Do you mean this is a proposed revision? Taam (talk) 22:34, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Thomas Bokenkotter, A Concise History of the Catholic Church has been used as a university textbook for decades including these present universities here [8], and [9], and [10] and [11] and [12] p. 56 "Roman law allowed abortion, imposed no criminal penalty for abandonment of a child, and even permitted infanticide. It was only through Christian influence that these crimes were eventually outlawed. Divorce was consistently condemned by the Church, in keeping with its absolute prohibition by Jesus."
  • Owen Chadwick, A History of Christianity Barnes and Noble reprint p. 242 "During most of the Middle Ages the work of freeing slaves by ransom was regarded as a good work; and orders of monks, such as the Mercedarians, were founded to win liberty for slaves. ...The leaders in the campaign against slavery were of five kinds: the intellectuals of the Enlightenment; the more humane of the American and French revolutionaries; Catholic missionaries in the Americas (the Jesuits never allowed slaves in their settlements); some radical Christians such as the Quakers..., and devout English evangelicals let by the parliamentarian William Wilberforce. Britain did not finally abolish slavery itself until 1833."
  • Eamon Duffy, Saints and Sinners Yale University Press p. 221, "Gregory had a low opinion of the effects of state patronage in the Americas and the Far East. He condemned slavery and the slave trade in 1839, and backed Propaganda's campaign for the ordination of native clergy, in the face of Portugese racism. His disapproval of the Portugese misuse of the padroado (crown control of the Church) went further."
  • Mark Noll, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis University of North Carolina Press (book review from The Journal of American History here [13] p. 137 "Cochins main concern however was to present a detailed defense of the Catholic Church as working throughout the centuries to apply 'abolute principles' of Scripture that defined "the equality of men before God, the lawfulness of wages, the unity and the brotherhood of the human race," the duties of mutual love to neighbors and the Golden Rule. Cochin put into the present tense what he claimed the leaders of the Catholic Church had always done: "Occupied moreover, before everything the enfranchisement of souls, they seek to make of the master and the slave, two brethren on earth, and of these brethren, two saints in heaven. To those who suffer they say 'Wait!' to those who inflict suffering, 'Tremble!'"
  • Noble, Western Civilization the Continuing Experiment has numerous authors who are profiled here [14] and is a university textbook here's where it is listed by a Cornell Univ. professor [15] p. 446, "The most chilling tribute, however, was in humans for sacrifice. When the wars of expansion that had provided prisoners came to an end, the Aztecs and their neighbors fought 'flower wars'—highly ritualized battles to provide prisoners to be sacrificed. Five thousand victims were sacrificed at the coronation of Moctezuma II (r. 1502–20) in 1502. Even more, reportedly twenty thousand were sacrificed at the dedication of the great temple of Huitzilopochtli in Tenochtitlan." p. 456, quote "The peoples living in the Valley of Mexico believed that their conquest was fated by the gods and that their new masters would bring in new gods. The Spaniards' beliefs were strikingly similar, based on the revelation of divine will and the omnipotence of the Christian God. Cortes, by whitewashing former Aztec temples and converting native priests into white-clad Christian priests, was in a way fulfilling the Aztecs' expectations about their conquerer." "
  • Noble, Western Civilization the Continuing Experiment has numerous authors who are profiled here [16] and is a university textbook here's where it is listed by a Cornell Univ. professor [17] p. 230, "Women's lives were not as well known as men's. 'Nature produced women for this very purpose.' says a Roman legal text, 'that they might bear children and this is their greatest desire.' Ancient philosophy held that women were intellectually inferior to men, science said they were physically weaker, and law maintained that they were naturally dependent. In the Roman world women could not enter professions, and they had limited rights in legal matters. Christianity offered women opposing models... Eve.. and Mary...Christianity brought some interesting changes in marriage practices. Since the new faith prized virginity and celibacy, women now had the option of declining marriage. ...Christianity required both men and women to be faithful in marriage, whereas Roman custom had permitted men, but not women, to have lovers, prostitutes, and concubines. Christianity disproved of divorce, which may have accorded women greater financial and social security, although at the cost of staying with abusive or unloved husbands. Traditionally women were not permitted to teach in the ancient world, although we do hear of women teachers such as Hypathia of Alexandria (355-415).... Some Christian women were formidably learned. Until at least the sixth century the Christian church had deaconesses who had important responsibilities in the instruction of women and girls. Medical knowledge was often the preserve of women, particularly in the areas such as childbirth, sexual problems, and "female complaints." Christianity also affected daily life. Churchmen were concerned that women not be seen as sex objects. They told women to clothe their flesh, veil their hair..Pious women no longer used public baths and latrines. Male or female, Christians thought and lived in distinctive new ways. All Christians were sinners, and so all were equal in God's eyes and equally in need of God's grace. Neither birth, wealth, nor status was supposed to matter in this democracy of sin. Theological equality did not, however translate into social equality....Thus in some ways Christianity produced a society the likes of which the ancient world had never known, a society in which the living and the dead jockeyed for a place in a heirarchy that was at once earthly and celestial....Strictly speaking, catholic Christianity would be the one form professed by all believers. A fifth century writer said that the catholic faith was the one believed 'everywhere, all the time, by everyone.' It is no accident that the Catholic Church grew up in a Roman world steeped in ideas of universality. The most deeply held tenet of Roman ideology was that Rome's mission was to civilize the world and bend it to Roman ways."
  • Rodney Stark, professor of Social Sciences at Baylor University The Rise of Christianity, Princeton University Press p. 96 "Because infanticide was outlawed, and because women were more likely than men to convert, among Christians there were soon far more women than men, while among pagans, men far outnumbered women. p. 102 "In Athens, women were in relatively short supply owing to female infanticide, practiced by all classes, and to additional deaths caused by abortion. The status of Athenian women was very low. Girls received little or no education. Typically Athenian females were married at puberty and often before. Under Athenian law, a woman was classified as a child regardless of age, and therefore was the legal property of some man at all stages in her life. Males could divorce by simply ordering a wife out of the household. Moreover if a woman was seduced or raped her husband was legally compelled to divorce her. If a woman wanted to have a divorce, she had to have her father or some other man bring her case before a judge. Finally, Athenian women could own property but control of the property was always vested in the male to whom she 'belonged'." p. 103 "Although I begin this chapter with the assertion that Christian women did indeed enjoy considerably greater status than pagan women, this needs to be demonstrated at greater length. The discussion will focus on two primary aspects of female status: within the family and within the religious community." p. 106 "These differences are highly significant statistically. But they seem of even greater social significance when we discover that not only were a substantial number of pagan Roman girls married before the onset of puberty, to a man far older than themselves, but these marriages typically were consummated at once."
Now, Taam, you claim to have sources that dispute what these sources say. I would like to ask you to please provide quotes and names of your sources to support your assertion and I would also like for you to provide any evidence that your sources are used as university textbooks which seems to be clear evidence of mainstream view. NancyHeise talk 04:33, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
The present article reads: "The cultural influence of the Catholic Church has been vast, particularly upon western society.[22] By spreading Christianity it battled, and in certain cases eventually ended, practices like human sacrifice, slavery, infanticide and polygamy of evangelized cultures beginning with the Roman Empire.[192][193][194][195][196]" I asked for copies of the references cited in the article to substantiate the claim that it was the Church that ended practices like human sacrifice and polygamy in the Roman Empire. The direct quotes you kindly provide do not support the claim made in the article. Could you please check above and confirm. Taam (talk) 22:34, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
OK, here's how we know:
  • Concise History of the Catholic Church by Thomas Bokenkotter is a book specifically devoted to Catholic Church history.
  • Saints and Sinners, A History of the Popes by Eamon Duffy is a book specifically devoted to Catholic Church History
  • A History of Christianity by Owen Chadwick - the quote specifically mentions Catholic missionaries in the Americas, I bolded that part for you.
  • The Civil War as a Theological Crisis by Mark Noll - the quote specifically mentions the Catholic Church, I bolded that part for you.
  • Western Civilization the Continuing Experiment by Thomas Noble and many other professors of history - the first quote is discussing the Christianization of the Aztecs and other Meso Americans which is indisputed common knowledge that it was Catholic missionaries who accomanied the Spanish Conquistadores who were intimately involved in that process. The second quote is discussing the Christianization of the Roman Empire which is common knowledge that the Roman Church was intimately involved. In addition, the authors name catholic Christianity as the form of Christianity eventually professed by all believers (in the Roman Empire which is the subject they are discussing) and then go on to name the Catholic Church as growing up in the Roman Empire.
  • The Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark is discussing what life was like in the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity there. There is no dispute among scholars that the Roman Church was part of that process. See Origins and Missions section of the article [18] which is referenced to the top sources of all opinions on the matter. To make this more clear, Eamon Duffy, the author who provides the most scholarly opposing POV says of the Roman Church "Everything we know about the church in Rome during its first hundred years confirms this general picture. The Christians of the city were thought of by themselves and others as a single church, as Paul's letter to the Romans make clear." from Saints and Sinners, a History of the Popes by Eamon Duffy page 11 (paperback edition) NancyHeise talk 23:54, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I think perhaps you misunderstand me, let me try to make it clearer. The article suggests that human sacrifice came to end, as did polygamy, in the Roman Empire with the coming of Christianity . I'm not raising any other part of the world only the Roman Empire. The passages you kindly took the time to copy and present above do not support what the article presently says, unless I have missed something, but then again there seems very good reasons why they might not assert this. Could you have a read through again and comment and if needs be we can set out why this is important after the holidays because it leads into other issues Taam (talk) 14:05, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Taam, you want a source that discusses human sacrifice in the Roman Empire. Yes, there are sources that discuss that, here's one [19]. Our cited source in the article text discusses that on page 176 of his book The Rise of Christianity, I can add that page number to that cite if you prefer but it is really indisputable common knowledge among historians that Roman Empire practiced all of those items listed in the sentence before the rise of Christianity. WP:Cite does not require us to cite such things but we do anyway on this page because people have asked for it. NancyHeise talk 21:46, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Nancy, could you please copy the passage from the "Rise of Christianity" that mentions the human sacrifices (and also polygamy if relevant) that ended with the Christian era in the Roman Empire? The ref you gave to google books which treats Gladiator combat as a form of human sacrifice is likely to be controversial and fringy from my understanding, e.g I have one study that suggest the same but they also treat the burning of witches and heretics in the Christian era as human sacrifice as well. My understanding is that most scholars don't treat these as human sacrifices, as conventionally understood, and it seems dubious to go into this level of detail on an article about the Catholic Church, though maybe at some point will add to the article Human Sacrifice. One of the few things which could place a religion under the ban in the pre-Christian Roman Empire was human sacrifice. Taam (talk) 09:58, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Taam, this Cambridge University source [20] provides the evidence you seek for human sacrifice in the Roman Empire in addition to the one I already gave you here [21]. The sources support article text and common scholastic knowledge support human sacrifice. You have suggested that you are in posession of sources that contradict what our cultural influence section says, please give me some quotes and book names to support your statement. I have been very generous in offering you my quotes and sources. NancyHeise talk 03:56, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Sorry Nancy but this ref doesn't support the article text, i.e that it was Christianity that rid the Roman Empire of human sacrifice and polygamy. I don't argue that human sacrifice featured to some extant in early Roman rituals but that has nothing to do with the era the article text covers or to that which the ref supplied alludes. None of the multiple refs supplied in the article support the text either. The second ref you give I have dealt with in my previous post above above but just to emphasize the point note what the author herself says: "the suspicion [my emphasis] that gladatorial combat is a form of human sacrifice..". If you can find a ref which does indeed say what the article text claims then of course I will copy out alternate points of view. Could I also remind you to supply the text which supports the claims about polygamy in the Roman Empire being ended with the rise of Christianity. Taam (talk) 21:01, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Taam, first, I have provided you with multiple refs agreed to by consensus of many editors who have reviewed the section you dispute (both at peer review and FAC). Your personal disagreement with these referenced facts does not require me to eliminate them. Second, the sentence in Cultural Influence is discussing many societies, not just Roman Empire. The term Roman Empire is there to tell Reader which society was influenced first. I am not required to write separate sentences for each society per WP:Summary Style because we have a link to another article that specifically tells Reader the individual societal evils associated with each area of the world the Church has influenced. It just happens that Roman Empire had all of them. Rise of Christianity by Stark documents the abundant female infanticide and polygamy of Roman Empire that was not practiced by Christians, who eventually overtook the entire empire and was made the official religion. Human sacrifice was practiced by followers of Baal religion that was also addressed and discouraged by Christians and eventually that religion disappeared. I think the reason you will not provide me with any quotes for alternate views is that there are none. Please prove me wrong because I searched for them myself and went lacking. You could be a great help to me if you could give me some quotes from scholarly works that I could use to expand the article. Thanks. NancyHeise talk 05:38, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Another Problem

Someone has amended a key sentence in the lead first paragraph from the original:

"The pope, currently Benedict XVI, is the Church's highest earthly authority in matters of faith, morality and Church governance.[8] "

Replacing that with...

"The Church's highest earthly authority in matters of faith, morality and Church governance is the College of Bishops, which, however, has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head[8] (currently Pope Benedict XVI)."

They claim this is what Lumen gentium actually says. I have looked at Lumen Gentium, referenced as the source. The key section: Chapter 3 para 22 says

But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope's power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head.(27*) This power can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman Pontiff. For our Lord placed Simon alone as the rock and the bearer of the keys of the Church.

I don't think the altered version presents the most accurate picture, since the Pope is clearly the authoritative figure and the Bishops authority tends to me largely theoretical except in general Councils, but the change does have some merit, so I hyaven't reverted it yet. What wording would be right here? Xandar 01:24, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't know what wording would be right, but it should take the following passage from LUMEN GENTIUM, 25 into account:
Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ's doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.(40*) This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.(41*)
So it seems to me that the authority of "the college or body of bishops" is not just "largely theoretical except in general Councils". Defteri (talk) 05:11, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Sorry I have been away for a few days, Christmas is upon us! OK, I have some excerpts from The Essential Catholic Catechism by Professor Alan Schreck that may help this discussion. This book has the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur declarations from the Catholic Church that the book is free of doctrinal or moral error.
from page 154 subsection entitled "The Hierarchy of the Church":

"The hierarchy of the Catholic Church has been pictured as a pyramid, with those of greater authority (e.g., the pope and the bishops) at the top of the pyramid; priests, deacons, and religious in the middle; and the laity at the bottom. Because the laity are not just ruled by the hierarchy, but are served by them, perhaps the pyramid could be inverted to remind us that the hierarchy are servants of the rest of the church, with the pope being the 'Chief Servant'. Pope Gregory the Great (A.D. 590-604) called himself the 'Servant of the Servants of God,' and this has become a favorite title of the popes."

from page 155 subsection entitled "The Episcopacy or Office of Bishop" :

"Catholics believe that the bishops who govern and guide the Catholic Church today are true successors to the apostles of Jesus. The principal duty of the bishop is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ (CCC 888). ...Each bishop, at his consecration, is given a particular jusridiction (usually a geographical area) in which he is empowered to shepherd and guide God's people with the same authority that Jesus conferred on his apostles. Even though the bishops of the Catholic Church have distinct ministries and jurisdictions, the Second Vatican Council emphasized that teh bishops are to see themselves and to function as fellow members of a college or body of bishops. Practically, this means that each bishop has a pastoral concern and care for the whole church, as well as for his particular diocese or jurisdiction."

from page 156 same subsection as above:

"Catholics believe that when the bishops representing the entire world meet together for an ecumenical or worldwide council, the Holy Spirit is present in a special way. The solemn doctrinal definitions of ecumenical councils are believed by Catholics to be infallibly true, since we firmly believe that God would not allow Satan to deceive the whole body of bishops who have been called by God to teach and govern the church. Jesus' promise to his apostles that he would send the Holy Spirit to guide the Church into all truth (see Jn 16:12-15) is certainly fulfilled when the bishops concur on a matter of faith or morals. Even though an individual bishop may err, the whole college of bishops will not when they formally define a doctrine of faith or morals. (provides excerpt from Lumen Gentium 23)"

from page 158 subsection entitled "The Role of the Pope":

"The chief representative, or vicar, of Jesus Christ and the spiritual head of the Roman Catholic Church under Christ is the pope, the bishop of Rome. While Catholics understand the college of bishops to be the legitimate successors to the college of the apostles, the pope is viewed as the successor to the specific apostle singled out by Jesus to be leader and shepherd of the whole church, St. Peter. ....page 159 (author cites Lumen Gentium 22 and Catechism para 882 for the following): "'For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.'"

Based on these passages, especially the last one that I bolded, I would say that the previous wording was the correct form and I am going to change it back to what it was before if that is OK with all of you. NancyHeise talk 03:20, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
The restored wording seems over-simplified. It ignores the Council's attribution to the college of the bishops of the same powers that it attributes also to the Pope alone. The Pope has within the college or body of the bishops a position analogous to that which Peter had within the college or body of the apostles. It was to the college or body of the apostles, with Peter as its head, that Christ gave authority over the Church. It is the college or body of the bishops, with the Pope as its head, that has succeeded to that authority. Schreck does not deny this. The Pope's position needs to be mentioned, but the position of the bishops as a body must also be mentioned. Defteri (talk) 09:01, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments. Do you have a reference for your position above? I just want the article to be factually correct so I am using the information provided in the Nihil obstat Imprimatur declared source by Prof. Alan Schreck which states on page 159 (author cites Lumen Gentium 22 and Catechism para 882 for the following): "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered." That seems pretty clear to me and supports the article text in the lead describing him as the leader of the church. The information about the college of bishops is discussed the section entitled Teaching Authority. I think that info is too detailed for the lead especially since that power is confined to defining doctrine. NancyHeise talk 04:15, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Is "This College of Bishops, in which the apostolic body abides in an unbroken manner, is, in union with its head and never without this head, also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church" (canon 336 -emphasis added) enough for you? Defteri (talk) 04:59, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, yes I think you might have skipped over the part of Canon 336 that begins with the words "The head of the College of Bishops is the Supreme Pontiff,..." which supports our article text. Also, we can not simply interpret original documents ourselves which violates the Wikipedia rule WP:OR. When we link to an original document, we have to also have a reference to some scholar who is an expert on the subject saying what we are saying in the aritcle text. Our cited expert on this subject is Prof. Schreck whose book has the Nihil obstat imprimatur stamp by the Church that declares it to be free of doctrinal or moral error. Thus Shreck's evaluation of the pope's position is what we used in the article.NancyHeise talk 05:13, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Of course I did not fail to notice the first part of the canon! Here is the full text, including a part that on similar grounds I could but will not imply that you failed to notice: "The head of the College of Bishops is the Supreme Pontiff, and its members are the Bishops by virtue of their sacramental consecration and hierarchical communion with the head of the College and its members. This College of Bishops, in which the apostolic body abides in an unbroken manner, is, in union with its head and never without this head, also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church." To show that, according to Church teaching, the college of bishops (whose head is the Supreme Pontiff) is "also" (i.e. in addition to the Pope, whose position was dealt with in the preceding canons) the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church), it was surely enough to quote the part of the canon that says so, without having to quote the whole of the canon. The college does not exist without its head. But it does exist, and is itself too, like the Pope when he acts individually, the subject of supreme and full power over the universal (= catholic) Church. To quote the Code of Canon Law (and in particular a part of a canon that quotes a document of the Second Vatican Council) is no more original research than to quote Schreck, who does not deny that the college of bishops is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church. Please don't continue to use such specious arguments. Defteri (talk) 06:11, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
You are violating WP:OR because you are interpreting an original document. Can you point to any scholar who says the Pope is not the head of the Church or that he is only the head when he is in union with the college of bishops? No because per Schreck, page 159 (author cites Lumen Gentium 22 and Catechism para 882 for the following): "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.'" Shreck is discussing only the Pope, further, he is discussing the Pope alone right after he discusses the college of bishops in the preceeding section. Our article text states that the pope is the head of the church, this is directly supported by Schreck's exact wording, ie: not WP:OR. You are saying that the head of the church is the college of bishops which happens to include the pope which has no scholar to support such text. You are confusing the doctrinal authority of the college of bishops in unison with the pope with the special authority of the pope that goes beyond doctrinal authority. Our article lead is making clear to Reader the ultimate authority of the pope in all matters. The College of bishops can not act without the pope's stamp of approval ie: there is no filibuster available to the College as in the US Senate ability to override a presidential veto. NancyHeise talk 06:44, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I am not interpreting an original document: I am quoting the Code of Canon Law, not interpreting it. I have not said, as you claim, that the head of the Church is the college of bishops. I have not denied and do not deny that the Pope is head of the Church and has supreme and full power over the universal Church The Code of Canon Law says he has this power (not just "doctrinal authority"). The Code of Canon Law then goes on to say that the college of bishops (which is headed by the Pope) also has the same power (not just "doctrinal authority" - your phrase). Both statements about who holds supreme and full power over the universal (catholic) Church are the teaching of the Church, not just one of the two statements. This teaching was solemnly proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council. You surely don't object to my preference for the Church's teaching over yours! It is your teaching, not Schreck's: unlike you, he does not deny the second statement.
Though you refuse to accept the Church's teaching as quoted, maybe you will accept the same teaching when expressed by people who lack the authority of the Vatican Council's dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium and the Code of Canon Law. Would you accept what James A. Coriden says on page 71 of his An Introduction to Canon Law, where he comments on canons 330-337?
"Within the church the pope speaks and acts with apparently unlimited authority. This style of papal activity gives the impression that the papacy is an absolute monarchy, that the Roman Catholic Church is headed by an elected king. Such a perception, while understandable, is seriously mistaken. The highest authority in the Roman Catholic Church is collegiate, not monarchical. The college of bishops, with the pope at its head, is the subject of supreme authority in the church."
Since you refuse to accept the documents of the Church as reliable sources, you cannot argue that Coriden expresses the matter perhaps more strongly than do the Church's own documents. For my part, I still prefer to stick to exactly what the Church says.
Again, Schreck does not say that the college of bishops does not have supreme and full power over the Church. Defteri (talk) 08:39, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Defteri, Nancy has a valid point about primary and secondary sources. There are many ways to interpret the Constitution of the United States and thus we cannot cite the Constitution to support an interpretation because it would appear that we are the ones doing the interpretation. In fact, where there are differences of interpretation, we have to make clear that we are presenting interpretations and not facts, making clear whose interpretations we are presenting. e.g. U.S. Constitution asserts a "right to bear arms" but doesn't define precisely what that right is.
That said, I agree with Defteri regarding the quote from Coriden. It resonates with my understanding which is that the power resides in the College of Bishops but is exercised by the Pope as its head.
Question for Defteri: Does Coriden's book have Nihil obstat and Imprimatur?
Question for Nancy: Are we saying that a properly convoked Council of Bishops (e.g. a hypothetical Vatican III) could not overrule or even depose a Pope? Isn't that how we got anti-Popes in the past?
--Richard (talk) 16:48, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Richard, I wonder what you think I wish to have mentioned in the article. What I do want to have mentioned is that, according to the Church's teaching, not only the Pope, but also the College of Bishops, in union with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head, is the subject of "supreme and full power" over the universal Church. I have cited the Code of Canon Law and the Vatican Council's Lumen Gentium as saying so. They do say so. What interpretation am I adding? I can only presume that you think I want something added to the article that is some conclusion drawn from these sources through my original research. But I am putting forward no conclusion. I am only saying that these sources say something. And they do.
Your idea that "the power resides in the College of Bishops but is exercised by the Pope as its head" is an interpretation, such as I am not proposing. If you want such an interpretation inserted, you need to cite a reliable source that says so, not just an interpetation that you impose on Coriden. I am only asking that what the Church's documents actually say be inserted, without adding any interpretation whatever to what they say.
You are quite mistaken that a General Council could overrule or depose a Pope. According to present teaching - or, most clearly, according to present canon law (look at the canons at the link that I gave) - there can be no General Council, no College of Bishops, without the Pope. So any such "deposition" would rather be a resignation. The Conciliar Theory that was once propounded by some in the Church is certainly not accepted now.
I don't know whether Coriden's book, which is published by the Paulist Fathers, has "nihil obstat" and "imprimatur". And I do believe that the Code of Canon Law and the Second Vatican Council's documents did not have these words added to their original printings. Defteri (talk) 17:39, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps NancyHeise too is under the misapprehension that I want some interpretation of my own added to the article instead of just a mention of what the Church's documents say, as they say it. Defteri (talk) 17:52, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Response to Defteri (re "exercised by the Pope as its head") : Well, ahem, I knew I would get into trouble if I relied on my layman's understanding of Catholicism. I retract that stuff. Consider it inoperative. I don't want to get into a debate on Canon Law of which I am very ignorant.
Re what the Canon Law says... If there is no question about the interpretation of what is being quoted, then it's ok to quote a primary source. Nonetheless, you are on firmer ground if you say that "according to Coriden, blah, blah, blah" than if you say "according to the Code of Canon Law, blah, blah, blah". It is far more intellectually honest to say that Coriden puts forth an interpretation than to say that "Code of Canon Law says X,Y,Z" and then lead the reader to an interpretation. Besides if Coriden's book was published by the Paulist Fathers, I would guess that it has a nihil obstat and an imprimatur. The Wikipedia way is to source assertions and allow the reader to evaluate the strength of the sources (X asserts A, Y asserts not A, Z asserts B). I suspect that there isn't a lot of dispute here but we just need some clarity. The fact that I am confused suggests that neither you nor Nancy has explained it adequately for the average lay reader.
--Richard (talk) 18:26, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Let me try this again. The current text (from Nancy) states that the Pope has supreme power, etc. Defteri wants to insert text that the College of Bishops has supreme power also. The average reader would tend to ask, "So... is it "either Pope or College of Bishops"?. The answer seems to be "No, it's both". So then, in case of conflict, who gets to win? Well, we don't know. It's a hypothetical that perhaps Canon Law doesn't really come down on any one side other than to say the College of Bishops only has power when understood to be "with the Pope". What this is all about might be reserved for an article on History of Canon Law of the Catholic Church. My point is neither of you is wrong, maybe just incomplete. Let's come up with text that accurately presents Canon Law in a way that is understandable to the average lay reader (like myself). You may have to explain it a bit since the neither A nor B but both is a little confusing to people who are used to "checks and balances" concepts like the President having veto power over Congress. --Richard (talk) 18:33, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

A much better (though imperfect) parallel would be the distinction between "The Prime Minister has decided" and "The Cabinet (which is headed by the Prime Minister) has decided". It is not a matter of checks and balances, but of two entities that may issue decisions on a matter.
I disagree that it would be better to quote Coriden and give his opinion. The essential matter is what the Church says, and which nobody (except perhaps some odd editor of Wikipedia) denies that the Church says. Schreck does not deny that the College of Bishops is the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church. If he did, he would be a heretic, and the censor deputatus who declared that "nihil obstat" (there is no obstacle) in the way of publishing the book would have fallen down on his job. You know that a "nihil obstat" is not a declaration that the censor deputatus or the bishop who orders that the book be printed (the meaning of the word "imprimatur") agrees with a book's contents: it only means that the censor deputatus has declared that the contents are not contrary to faith and morals. I might disagree with Coriden's view, but it is not heretical; and so it could not be denied authorization for printing. But there is no question of someone disagreeing with what the Church has expressly taught in the Second Vatican Council and the Code of Canon Law and yet remaining truly Catholic. So why refuse to admit to the article, directly and without interpretation, what the Church clearly says in these documents? Defteri (talk) 19:16, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I should have said that I agree fully with Richardshusr's suggestion that an agreed statement be worked out. But as long as NancyHeise refuses to accept the fact that the Church does have a teaching on the subjects of supreme and full power over the whole Catholic Church, I think it would be useless for me to propose a text. I will only say that, as a legal document, the Code of Canon Law can be counted on to have a good succinct statement on the matter. Defteri (talk) 19:33, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Lumen Gentium, as evidenced above, is a document capable of interpretation on this matter. To my reading, it comes down more solidly on the side of Papal Authority, since the Pope is acknowledged in sole authority which is not limited. The College of Bishops authority is A) null without the Pope, and b) only exercisable in concert - a very rare occasionality. Of course ythis is MY interpretation. The point is that we cannot put OUR interpretation of such a document down as fact. Defteri has an interpretation of certain parts of the documents that he holds to be fact. However this is clearly NOT indisputable fact - and so becomes opinion and original interpretation. As far as I know the weight of scholarly interpretation tends toward the existing text, but if there are legitimate views the other way they can be included if weighty and verifiable enough. However the Lead is not the place to do any more than put a basic outline. Main arguments beyond in the body text. Xandar 20:47, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
What does Xandar see as ambiguous in "The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head" (Lumen Gentium 22)? Or in the same phrase as quoted slightly more succinctly in the Code of Canon Law? Xandar may wish to interpret the Church's statement as implying something or other (as perhaps Coriden does?), and his interpretation would need to be backed up with a reliable source if he wants it inserted in the article; but the statement itself is what the Church teaches, and the article's lead is not the place to discuss implications of the Church's teaching. Xandar and others do interpret what the Church says about the Pope's authority as implying various things, indeed contradictory things; but the lead is not the place for discussing these implications. The Church teaches that the Pope has supreme and full power over the Church universal. The Church teaches that the College of Bishops, which it defines as necessarily including the Pope, "also" has supreme and full power over the Church universal. What sort of Catholic is Xandar, if he rejects the Church's teaching?
"The College of Bishops authority is null without the Pope" (Xandar) is either tautology or complete nonsense: there is no such thing as the College of Bishops (as understood in the Church's documents) without the Pope. This is the Church's teaching. Why won't Xandar accept that it is the Church's teaching?
"Defteri has an interpretation of certain parts of the documents that he holds to be fact" (Xandar). What interpretation? What parts? Defteri only says that the Church teaches that the College of Bishops, which necessarily includes the Pope, "is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church". Defteri is not proposing any interpretation of what the Church teaches. Defteri is only trying to ensure that the Church's teaching about who holds supreme and full power over it is not excised from the article for the sole reason that Xandar and NancyHeise dislike what the Church teaches. Defteri (talk) 05:50, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
The ambiguity is simple. Lumen gentium states quite clearly... "The pope's power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power." That therefore goes against the statement that was put into the article, stating that Supreme authority lay with the College of Bishops. Two Supreme Authorities? Which is ultimately supreme? The answer is complex, but for practical purposes, authority agrees that executive authority lies with the Pope other than in certain very rare circumstances. Such detail can be gone into in the article text if it is wished, but for the lead the present wording best reflects the position. And getting over-dramatic about the issue and putting arguments in my mouth that I didn't express won't help much on this issue. Xandar 21:00, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
It is you, Xandar, who are doing the interpreting, arguing about the meaning of a document (and ignoring that in the same document the Church says that the College of Bishops uses its supreme and full power, without having to come together as a General Council, but "even though dispersed through the world"). I am not interpreting: I am only quoting the Church's teaching, which proclaims that each of the two (the Pope and the College of Bishops) is the subject of supreme and full power over the whole Church. Do you reject the Church's teaching? Defteri (talk) 05:27, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
The book Defteri is using does not have Nihil obstat or imprimatur designation see [22]. Further, the book does not use scripture translations from a Roman Catholic bible but from a bible translation of the National Council of the Churches of Christ which does not include Roman Catholic Church as a member organization per [23]. NancyHeise talk 23:33, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I have indicated that I personally think Coriden goes too far in what he says. What I would like the article to reflect is the Church's teaching, not Coriden's notions. Do you, NancyHeise, reject the Church's teaching? Defteri (talk) 05:27, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
On Wikipedia, it only matters what scholars and experts on the subject matter think. Per WP:Reliable source examples we are given guidance on what constitutes a good source. Schreck fits the description of a top source which is why we used his book. NancyHeise talk 21:38, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Richardshusr said: "If there is no question about the interpretation of what is being quoted, then it's ok to quote a primary source." Is he wrong? If he is wrong, and if we are not allowed to quote the Church's own teaching, then we would have to cite Coriden's view, not of course as the Church's teaching, but as the view of an expert. As for Schreck, he says the Pope has supreme power, but he does not say that the College of Bishops does not have supreme power. The fact that the Church teaches that the College of Bishops "also" has supreme and full power over the whole catholic Church is verified not only by the Church's own documents (and what more could anyone sincerely ask?), but also by quotations from those documents in other works. So, although your attachment to a phrase that may at least seem to contradict the Church's teaching makes you inflexible in refusing to admit to Wikipedia an interpretation-less statement by the Church of its own teaching (in this I praise you not), can you bend yourself enough to let that teaching in at least on the basis of scholarly books that quote the Church's teaching? They do say it is the Church's teaching, and that is all I want included in the article: an indication of what the Church actually does teach. For a start, how about what this book states? Need more? Defteri (talk) 10:02, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi Defteri, I am not stuck on one phrase. I am certainly open to better wordings. Your linked book is not Nihil obstat Imprimatur either, see [24]. You will find what you are looking for in one of the books we have used as a reference to supplement Schreck; Peter Kreeft's Catholic Christianity. Pages 100-101 discuss this subject. Please read it for yourself here [25] and tell me what you think the wording in the lead should say. NancyHeise talk 03:36, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
I am glad to hear you are not stuck on one phrase. Am I therefore allowed to touch the article which you are jealously guarding against all comers? What is that nonsense about books needing a Catholic Church imprimatur in order to be quoted on Wikipedia? Don't you know what the imprimatur means? It is often explained on books that carry an imprimatur: "No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, statements, or opinions expressed" (see for instance this book). So where did you get the idea that everything in such books are Church teaching? And, yet more to the point, where did you get the idea that any book on Catholic doctrine that does not have an imprimatur is unreliable? I have here before me the Catechism of the Catholic Church in its original official version (in Latin), ISBN 88-209-2428-5. It has no imprimatur! I also have the French version of the Catéchisme de l'Église catholique as published by the Canadian Bishops Conference, ISBN 0-88997-280-X. That too has no imprimatur! I don't have a printed edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in English, but I wouldn't be surprised if that too has been published without imprimatur. You surely don't think that absence of an imprimatur means that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is not Catholic teaching! I do not have access to pages 100-101 of Kreeft's book. Other books say that the Church teaches that the College of Bishops has supreme and full power over the Catholic Church? Does this book deny this? If it only says that the Pope has supreme and full power over the Catholic Church, that too is what the Church teaches. Defteri (talk) 11:30, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
(outdent)Deftari, I provided the link to Kreefts book for you here [26] so you can peruse it yourself instead of hammering me with your disbelief. Nihil obstat and imprimatur designations that the Catholic Church regards a book to be free of doctrinal or moral error are more than helpful on a Wikipedia page that is explaining Catholic beliefs. Since there are tens of thousands of books written on the Catholic Church, even many by such notable banned theologians such as Hans Kung, Charles Curran, or other famous Catholics whose personal interpretations of Church teachings have been rejected by the Church itself, it is a requirement that we use nihil obstat and imprimatur books. The Nihil obstat declaration on each book contains a statement beside it that says: "The nihil obstat and imprimatur are official declarations that a book or pamphlet it free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the nihil obstat and imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed." The USCCB provides guidance for us and an explanation of Nihil obstat imprimatur here [27] further guidance for books that are to be used in Catechesis (teaching the Catholic faith) are here [28], as you can see One Faith, One Lord is a catechetical book used for high school students and young adults, it is also used as one of our main sources in the Beliefs section of the article because it has this highest level of approval from the Church. All of our sources have the Nihil obstat Imprimatur but as an added level of assurance, Peter Kreeft's book has as its imprimatur William J Levada who is the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, see [29]. Both Kreeft and Schreck are used as resources for university students studying Catholicism. Thus our references include not only original documents like Lumen Gentium, the Catechism and the Code of Canon Law, we also have the Catechetical book and university references and omit those books that do not have Nihil etc. because if they can't even get an imprimatur, they can't even be considered for catechesis. Based on this I don't understand your objection to us using Nihil obstat and imprimatur books, if we didn't, it would only invite the accusation that our Beliefs section does not conform to Catholic teaching. NancyHeise talk 21:25, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
What are we talking about imprimaturs for? They don't guarantee the correctness or truth or Wikipedia-citability of what the writer says; they only say that, even if it is mistaken or just plain wrong, it is not heretical. What has that got to do with the fact that the Church teaches that the College of Bishops has full and supreme power over the whole Church? You have not produced a single citation, with or without imprimatur, that denies that. Defteri (talk) 19:48, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Enlightenment section

"In 1685 King Louis XIV of France revoked the Edict of Nantes, ending a century-long experiment in religious toleration. This and other religious conflicts of the Reformation era provoked a backlash against Christianity, which helped spawn the violent anti-clericalism of the French Revolution".

Wow, this is quite a bold statement and an unsourced one at that. It pretty much holds Louis XIV soley responsible for the murderous French Revolution. Is there any substantial evidence that exponents of the Revolution were mainly from a Hugenot/Protestant family background reacting against Louis' earlier revocation? Isn't Wikipedia supposed to be from a NPOV, hense we cannot advocate one sided (and unsourced) opinions that there is a link between statesmen being against religious pluralism and a mass revolutionary reaction? Quite the opposite seems to be true. For example James II of England advocated "religious tolerance" in favour of Catholics and non-conformists, yet he was overthrown by Revolution. Which undermines the philosophical theory presented in the article of; being opposed to religious pluralism/egalitarianism = leads to revolutionary reaction to "right the unjust". - Sancteek (talk) 01:39, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

That's not what it is saying at all. The backlash was mainly among Catholics, fed up after the French Wars of Religion, oppression of the Huguenots and so on. Nor does it say an anti-religious backlash caused the Revolution. Maybe it could be phrased more clearly but frankly this comes under Subject-specific common knowledge. Johnbod (talk) 02:08, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Do you have a reliable, scholary source to show that anti-clericalism in the French Revolution has anything to do with a "backlash against opression of the Huguenots", in regards to Louis XIV's revocation of the Edict of Nantes? Currently it has no source at all. This is a new one as far as I'm concerned. The deist and atheist French Revolutionaries were the ideological enemies of all Christianity, which inculdes the Huguenots just as much as Catholics. - Sancteek (talk) 02:42, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I can only say that if its a new one to you it must be because you haven't read much on the subject. Anti-clericalism covers a wide spectrum, and can't be put neatly in boxes. There were deist and atheist priests and bishops, and Voltaire and other philosophes exploited hugely the oppression of the Huguenots without sharing their beliefs - you may recall this point was the subject of his most famous saying. Johnbod (talk) 04:43, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
This article text "This and other religious conflicts of the Reformation era provoked a backlash against Christianity, which helped spawn the violent anti-clericalism of the French Revolution". tells Reader that there were other issues that also helped spawn the violent anti-clericalism. However that sentence is unreferenced and after researching our most scholarly source, Bokenkotter, no mention of the revocation is discussed in his explanation of the French Revolution's anti-clericalism. I should also explain that we are sort of waiting until after the holidays to tackle improvement of the history section with the help of some other editors. This is one area that will be addressed in our next effort. You are welcome to help out. NancyHeise talk 05:38, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
A stylistic comment: "This and other religious conflicts..." suggests that the revocation of the Edict of Nantes was a "religious conflict". Close, but not quite. The revocation itself is not a "religious conflict" per se but rather an action made in the context of a religious conflict. And so you have a sentence that is putting apples and oranges together. Picky point, I know but there it is. A better formulation would be something like "This, taken in the context of religious conflicts all over Europe, ..."
On a more substantive tack, are we sure that religious conflicts and intolerance were the primary instigator of anti-clericalism? I'm sure they contributed but, although I have little knowledge in this area, I would have thought that clerical abuses and their role in oppression of the common people were the primary drivers. The clergy were the First Estate (cf. Estates-General of 1789) and, as such, constituted part of the power structure. I have no problem stating that religious conflicts contributed to anti-clericalism but I'm not convinced that anti-clericalism on the part of the Catholic majority arose from sympathy for the poor persecuted Huguenots. If you agree, then the sentence should be rewritten so that it does not suggest that religious conflicts played such a large role in spawning anti-clericalism.
--Richard (talk) 16:38, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
The whole process surrounding the legal act of the Revocation itself can correctly be called a conflict - see Dragonnade, Camisard etc. Johnbod (talk) 20:53, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I myself am not particularly happy with this sentence, which mssively simplifies in the interests of brevity. It is a combination of three ideas that existed in a longer previous version of the passage. This has produced cross-purposes, since it was never intended to imply that the revocation of Nantes led directly to the French revolution. Idea 1 was that the wars of religion in general produced a backlash against all forms of Christianity, including Catholicism. Idea 2 was the revocation of the Edict of Nantes as a major event of French religious history, and the ending of a period of attempted toleration. Idea 3 was the rising tide of enlightenment anti-clericalism and Gallicianism in France that formed part of the philosophical underpinning of the revolution. In the shortenings over the past nine months this was all run together into the present form. As nancy says, this can be looked at again in the light of better clarity and referencing. Xandar 20:37, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree it is over-compressed now; was this one of the Risker bits? It should be looked at in the NY. Johnbod (talk) 20:53, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I have been thinking a lot about how to redo the history section to create a better more "brilliant" prose. I rewrote the Roman Empire section by eliminating the timeline approach, replacing it with more of an overview. That eliminated the choppy feel that it had before and I think it is much better. I was hoping that we could do the same for the other sections. I am in the midst of Christmas and will be hosting some family in January (from Wisconsin where today there is a -10 wind chill, brrrrrr!) so I can't promise too much for a few weeks but am happy to pop in to comment. I hope we get the help of JB, Awadewit and Ealdgyth. They are all tied up right now too. NancyHeise talk 00:26, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Caution is needed with regard to general re-writes. The History section - as it now exists - is the result of nearly two years of line-by-line negotiation and compromise. Changes in style should cause no harm, but the FAC process has shown that a hurried rewrite can easily introduce unintended errors and conjunctions that alter the carefully-constructed meaning and balance of a section. Proposed changes to content need to be gone through thoroughly on this page. Xandar 14:48, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh I wasn't considering something as drastic as a general rewrite but something that would help prose and flow which is the point of our next effort. NancyHeise talk 21:35, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Some of the prose in the History section has got pretty bad, I admit. The first para of the Renaissance section is a case in point. Xandar 23:01, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Cultural influences / Criticisms of the Church

First off, there is a general problem regarding "Criticisms of..." articles. Some people believe that this category of articles should be merged back into the main article because of the danger of POV forking. "Criticisms of ..." articles are very difficult to write well because they are POV magnets. The alternative approach is to have a "Criticisms" section or to discuss criticisms inline with the topics. However, the "owners" of articles such as this one (or Jehovah's Witnesses or Church of LDS) tend to downplay criticisms which causes editors wishing to emphasize those criticisms to find other places to document them. I created Criticisms of the Catholic Church but I wouldn't argue that it is a well-written article. While I think there is value in having "Criticisms of..." articles for providing detailed discussion of criticisms, their existence should not be used as an excuse to remove all mention of criticisms from the primary article. Doing so violates WP:NPOV.

Thus, I think the "Cultural influences" article is a perfect example of what happens when all negative points are removed from an article. The cultural influences section suggests that the Catholic Church has had only positive influences on society and culture. This is so obviously false that it is laughable. We should not get into a discussion of whether the Catholic Church has had a net positive or net negative influence on culture but we should document all the important influences, both positive and negative.

I mean, how can we say with a straight face that the Catholic Church helped to end slavery when it condoned institutionalized oppression of native peoples as long as it was not technically slavery? Similarly, one can argue that the Catholic Church has played a role in oppressing women. This kind of hagiography diminishes the authoritativeness of Wikipedia.

--Richard (talk) 17:01, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

I think your argument here is deeply flawed. First I have to agree that "Criticism of" articles should not mean that all criticism is removed from main articles. However this does not seem to be the cas with articles such as Islam - and indeed articles for many other religious groupings on Wikipedia, where criticism within the main article is often virtually non-existent. RCC has an exceptionally good record in this respect, with criticisms spread throughout the article in a way rarely seen elsewhere.
Once again I have to respond to people who allege this article STILL doesn't have enough criticism by saying - Look at the parallel articles in Britannica, World Book etc. That is a good baseline. You will find this article more rather than less critical of its subject than those. Comments then that this article is heavily pro-Catholic biased tend to arouse suspicion that the accuser is perhaps working from a prejudicial starting-point.
The Cultural Influences section is a necessary section encyclopediacly to provide a fulkl treatment of the subject. The facts in it are real and referenced to sound sources. Criticisms on slavery and the indians have been gone into in enormous detail in FACs where cited sources backed the article's factual content. On women, Nancy has quoted some of the academic referencing in the sections on this page above. I know that some people have a strongly ingrained POV that the Church has always been an "anti-women", "anti-progress" force - but I feel that much of this is caricature or "urban legend" that has been repeated so often among those of like mind that many accept it uncritically as fact. Changes to the cultural influences section need to be supported by references to fact or solid academic opinion, not just anyone's view that certain facts are "laughable." Xandar 21:09, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Xandar, I wrote that the assertion that the church has had only positive influences on society and culture is laughable. Are you disputing that? Or, were you just parsing my comment loosely to puff up your argument?
I'm fine with having a section on cultural influences on society. Do you want to rename it "Positive cultural influences"? Or do you wish to achieve NPOV by mentioning both positive and negative cultural influences?
I'm not arguing about whether this article has more or less criticism than articles on other religions. I'm also not arguing about whether this article has enough criticism or too much. I'm arguing specifically about this one section which has not criticism in it at all.
--Richard (talk) 05:27, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
You are just wrong in stating that there is no criticism in the "Cultural Influences" section. The first paragraph contains the statement: "Some say Church teachings have perpetuated a notion that female inferiority was divinely ordained[201]" The second paragraph adds: "The 1633 Church condemnation of Galileo Galilei restricted scientific development in some European countries and created the perception of antagonism between the Church and science of that era.[202]". The third and final paragraph is largely about art. Unless you wish to criticize the quality of the paintings, there isn't a great deal of scope for critical addition. In other words, two important spheres of criticism are included and referenced proportionately to their weight. What other important and referenceable sphere of criticism of the Church's influence do you consider missing? Xandar 13:38, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Richard, if you have a reliable source for some criticisms you think we should add to the article please offer them. We have been asking people that same question over and over for a year and no one has provided any source that says the Church has had negative impact on society. When I have purposely gone looking for the negative impact, I have only come up with more and more sources that discuss the positive impact which is what led to the eventual inclusion of the Cultural Influence section. It appears to be scholarly consensus that the Roman Catholic Church has had a positive impact on society from the beginning. I could have added even more positive impacts but we were already being beaten over the head by those who thought we were being POV just because we put facts on the page - from many top sources! Putting facts on a page is not POV, although not putting them on would be. There were sources that said that the Church's insitence on the sanctitiy of marriage had a significant positive impact on society because Catholics were less likely to divorce and were more likely to work on their marriage and stay together - a situation that scientists said created a more stable and positive environment for children. There were sources that discussed how most education throughout the history of the Western Civilization was provided by the Church. Many of the first schools and all of the first schools for the poor in the US were Catholic schools. Most of the first schools and all of the schools for the poor in third world countries in Africa, Latin America, and India are Catholic Schools. The Church presently operates the largest non-governmental school system in the world. In India, the Caste system shut out Untouchables and there were no social services - it was the Catholic Church presence that broke through that and established homes for the dying, hospitals and schools for the poor in addition to orphanages. There was another source, Edward Norman, who went into the horrible life in Spain under Muslim rule. He discussed the abuses of the rulers, rampant abusive slavery, how women were treated, etc. He was making this point when discussing the crusades and inquisitions. It seems that scholars go into both the bad and good effects of what we have come to see only the bad (Crusades and Inquisitions). Another source went into how the inquiistions brought law and order to previously lawless areas and how careful the Church was to be fair. This was new in Western Civilization. Previously, people who did not think like everyone else would be taken out by a mob and burned at the stake. The inquisitions put an end to what some historians called the "pyromania of lay attempts to suppress heresy". I would argue that the Cultural Influences section is too concise. NancyHeise talk 00:11, 23 December 2008 (UTC)


"All of the schools for the poor in third world countries are catholic schools". That's a very sweeping statement. Are you saying that there is not a single "school for the poor" (whatever that means) in any third world country that is not Roman Catholic? And if so, how do you know? Millbanks (talk) 14:27, 28 December 2008 (UTC) 14:26, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Gosh I didn't mean to offend any Anglicans who also operate some schools in third world countries. My point is that there is more than a significant presence of Catholic schools in these countries. It is an undisputed fact that the Church operates the worlds largest non-governmental school system. This is referenced in the article under the section Catholic personnel and institutions. 72.144.187.253 (talk) 21:35, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I have now heard from the USPG. Roman Catholics do indeed have a huge ministry in many countries for which many people are grateful. But there is also a very large amount being done by the Anglican churches in the world of education. Anglicans provide village schools for the poor all over the third world and these schools are either heavilly subsidised or free.Millbanks (talk)
I have received additional (detailed) information, this time from the Church Missionary Society, which states that, "Protestants, particularly Presbyterians, founded numerous mission schools". They have supplied all sorts of references, if anyone is interested. Millbanks (talk) 17:23, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Numbers of Adherents

The Zenit article sited states that there are 1.15 billion (Roman) Catholics. That is odd, because when Pope John Paul II died, I was in Australia, and the media were talking about "one billion Catholics" (and apparently the number had gone up 25% since he was made Pope). After a few days I heard a rather flustered broadcaster talk about 1.4 billion, which she later repeated as "1.4 billion practicing Catholics". I'm not sure who fed her this information, and I'm equally unsure how the figures were/are calculated. And how do you define a "practicing Catholic"? I know plenty of baptised RCs, most of whom have also received first communion and been confirmed, who never go to mass. Others go occasionally. Are they "practicing"? Can a divorced person be "practicing"; or one who uses contraceptives? Millbanks (talk) 15:02, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

The Catholic Church itself does a tally of members each year, made up of returns from the worldwide bishoprics. The Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae, compiled by the Central Office for Statistics of the Church and published by the Vatican Publishing House. Those are the figures used in the article, andrefer to baptised Catholics. To be a practicing Catholic (minimally) you have to receive communion at least once a year. To be in good standing weekly and HDO mass attendance is necessary, plus specified fasting and confession. Xandar 21:19, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
The only place in the article text that states the number of Catholics is in the Catholic Institutions and Personnel section. The Church membership of 1.131 billion members mentioned in article text is referenced to Catholic News Service [30] which states that this figure comes from the 2008 Annuario Pontificio - the latest figures available. The fact that there is no way to know how many are practising Catholics is part of the article text in the article under the section Catholic Institutions and Personnel and referenced to a 2005 BBC article here [31]. There is no figure of 1.15 billion mentioned in the article. The lead states that Catholics comprise one sixth of world population and that is referenced to two sources, first, the CIA World Factbook, which uses census figures and the second from the Zenit article that gives last year's church membership number of 1.115 billion and then says that it represents 17% of world population which compares to the CIA figure of 16.99%. We provided these two refs together because they use different means to come to the same number.NancyHeise talk 00:19, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for these helpful answers, Nancy and Xandar. Yes, there must be many ways of calcuating the figures. As an Anglican we're told that there are (I think) 77 million of us, but goodness knows how they reach that figure. Here in Ireland in the 2006 census we had to state our religion, but I'm sure that the results would be different to those held by the churches. My only query is (how) do you record the numbers "in good standing", and whether the resultant figure, if it exists, should be in the article?Millbanks (talk) 10:00, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a source to offer for this knowledge but in the Catholic Church, there are registered parishioners who use church issued envelopes with their name on them to place their donations into the basket each week. If you don't use your envelopes they have no record of you coming to church on a regular basis. It is important for the Church to have this record because if you are not coming to Church regularly, you will not be allowed to be a godfather or godmother at someone's baptism or sponsor for someone's confirmation. Godparents and sponsors have to be Catholics "in good standing" who receive a letter from their pastor that is given to the pastor of the church where the person is being baptized (like your grandchildren in another state or country). Also, if you are a parent who wants to place your child in Catholic school, some parishes do not give you the in-parish tuition discount if you are not a regular church going parishioner. You may place an empty envelope in the basket but your envelope must be in there for them to consider you "in good standing". The in-parish school discount in most parishes is often quite an incentive to show up at Church on Sunday. In my parish is amounted to almost $2500.NancyHeise talk 21:34, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Again, thanks. We have similar envelope schemes, parish rolls, etc. Hence I am, I suppose, "in good standing" with my church. But it is an Anglican church. Yet I am a godfather to my Roman Catholic niece, and as such took part in a RC baptism ceremony. A few years later I read that, "only Catholics can be godparents to Catholics". My own baptism certificate says that I am a member of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, but I didn't think that the RC Church recognised me as such. Anyhow, when I asked a RC priest, "can I really be a godfather to a Roman Catholic?", he replied, "well, tecchnically I suppose you're a sponsor, but don't worry about it". I don't. Millbanks (talk) 22:33, 23 December 2008 (UTC) 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Just wanted to add some other practices. My parish has the registered family with offertory envelope program. Our diocese also has an annual parishioner census each adult is asked to fill out. We also do an "attendance count" at every Mass in October, to determine average attendance at liturgies (October is chosen because it's not a special time of the year for church attendance, and there are no extended vacation periods in the month). These three sources are somehow combined with baptismal, confirmation, and funeral records to determine parish population. Gentgeen (talk) 22:45, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Rites vs. Churches

The article incorrectly states that the Catholic Church has 22 "particular rites." This should be "particular churches." "Rite" typically denotes the liturgical practices of a given church. The Latin Church has the Roman Rite and a number of other rites such as the Ambrosian Rite, Mozarabic Rite, Dominican Rite, etc.... I tried to edit the main page to reflect this, but it was changed back. The Eastern Churches may follow the Byzantine Rite or another Rite, but there is an important distinction that I think the article fails to capture.

Adaltaredei1 (talk) 01:44, 23 December 2008 (UTC)Brad

I changed it. I think it is better to just say particular church which is what particular rite linked to anyway. NancyHeise talk 01:54, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Happy Christmas

ut animalia viderent Dominum natum

To everyone here and on Wikipedia and on all the earth.


O magnum mysterium, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, jacentem in praesepio! Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Christum. Alleluia.


Peter Damian (talk) 16:37, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Merry Chrismas!

Amen.

Richard Arvin 25 Dec 2008 1:20 PM,Malaysia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 60.53.13.81 (talk) 05:20, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

I am a convert to the Catholic Church who does not speak Latin! However, I am sure that this phrase was posted here as an act of love to all of us Catholic or not, Latin speakers or not, and I appreciate the sentiments very much. God bless you and Merry Christmas! NancyHeise talk 04:21, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
And again to you! You may know me as User: The Land Surveyor Peter Damian (talk) 19:34, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

My Latin is rusty so I could only translate about 75% of the text provided by Peter Damian. I Googled it and found several translations. After doing all that work, however, I also found a Wikipedia article here. Of course, there would be a Wikipedia article. Silly me. In any event, Merry Christmas to all of you. --Richard (talk) 15:19, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should have seen the new-born Lord,
lying in the manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.
Alleluia!

The picture is by Giotto. I thought the animals looked very sweet. Peter Damian (talk) 19:32, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

It is a terrific picture. Thanks for stopping by to cheer us up! NancyHeise talk 05:19, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

A question on name and note 1

It is certainly uncontroversial that the RCC uses the name "Catholic Church" most often to refer to itself. But footnote one goes further, and implies that "Roman Catholic Church" is incorrect (despite its frequent use, including by its members, including in official capacities--I think of the stone facade to a prominent Washington DC church, which reads "Roman Catholic Church"). And, even more problematic IMO, is the claim that "Roman" was rejected. I am pretty sure it was not "rejected", in any official capacity: if so, I would like a reference to some kind of documentary evidence of rejection, which is more than simple non-use. I would like to see the current note 1 toned down a bit in this regard. Tb (talk) 09:27, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

At least by mentioning that this is a question on which there is more than one verifiable point of view. Defteri (talk) 13:08, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
The last three pages or so of the archives are on this very subject because one user was very adamantly against note 1, while everyone else was for it. This lede is the consensus arrived at. If you want it altered in some way, I suggest reading the archives before you make said suggestion, as it is very likely that it's been covered.Farsight001 (talk) 13:14, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
Just for the record, I am also against the words in Note 1 that read "Roman was rejected" because the source suggests that the use of the word "Roman Catholic Church" was rejected for use in the official documents of Vatican I. If you read the passage from the source narrowly, it could be read to mean that they decided that phrase "Roman Catholic Church" was rejected in favor of "Catholic Church" but without declaring "Roman Catholic Church" as unacceptable. To say that "Catholic Church" is the preferred official name of the church is not necessarily to say that "Roman Catholic Church" is bad. Just that it is not as good. I would like to see Note 1 explain this issue more clearly as the terseness of "Roman was rejected" could be read to mean more than we can support from the sources.
--Richard (talk) 18:25, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

The prefix "Roman" has been in no way rejected by the Church and its occasional use by Rome has been long established and cited. That said, this is one of the most pointless arguements in all of Wikipedia. It is best to leave sleeping dogs lie on this subject and work on more productive improvements to the artciles in questions. Happy Chirstmas to all. -- Secisek (talk) 21:50, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Hi, I agree with Secisek but I must answer Defteri by pointing out that references number 3, 4, and 5 all support "Roman was rejected". Apparently, the issue of the church's name was openly considered by the bishops at the first Vatican Council and through the influence of the English bishops, the term "Roman" was "rejected". I might suggest that those who are pushing to make "Roman" be included as some sort of "official" name need to provide some references to support that push because they have so far only provided refs that are not speaking of the Church's official name or they are opinion pieces that are not supported by any source and we can not use per WP:RS. I personally do not care about the issue, I just want a factually accurate article that meets Wikipedia policies. So far, WP:Consensus (see [32],[33]), WP:RS, WP:Reliable source examples all overwhelmingly support article text that Catholic Church is the official name and "Roman" was rejected as such in the Church's most authoritative documents about itself.NancyHeise talk 04:35, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Have you misread what I wrote? All I asked was that, since a view other than the one you are fixated on exists and has been sourced, it too should be admitted to the article. I did not ask that the view expressed in the opinion pieces cited in your references number 3, 4, and 5 should be omitted. (They are only opinion pieces, not scholarly articles; if they were scholarly, they would cite some document of the Church in support of their view. You suggest that "the issue of the Church's name was openly considered by the bishops at the first Vatican Council"; if that were so, a record of it would exist, but these opinion pieces cite no such record, and I have failed to find the supposed record myself.) I only requested that the view expressed in the sources that others have cited (Soidi in particular) should also be included. These sources are not mere opinion pieces: some of them are evidently scholarly articles by recognized academicians, and they cite documents of the Church, documents that disprove the contention that the Church has rejected "Roman", since in those documents the Church itself does use this word. Keep in the article the view that "Roman" is rejected, but as long as you exclude from the article the well-sourced opinion that "Roman" is not rejected, you are preventing the article from being "a factually accurate article that meets Wikipedia policies". Defteri (talk) 11:30, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
I wished NH a merry/peaceful Christmas, intending to become more active again only when the octave is over. But perhaps I can help here by pointing her and Defteri to the source of the misapprehension that the First Vatican Council discussed the name of the Church. Look up Lacoste's Encyclopedia of Christian Theology and you will find that "35 Anglo-Saxon bishops managed to secure an emendation whereby, in order to avoid any ambiguity from an Anglican point of view, the formula Sancta romana catholica Ecclesia should be changed into Sancta catholica apostolica romana Ecclesia." (This text clearly shows a French original.) The formula in question is that of the opening words of the first chapter of the dogmatic constitution Dei Filius. It was not a question of giving or confirming a name for the Church. It was certainly not a discussion of what if anything should be considered the Church's "official" name (something that seems never to have been discussed). And it was not a "rejection" of the word "Roman", a word that was in fact kept. Soidi (talk) 19:28, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Since NancyHeise said above that she agreed with Secisek, just after Secisek stated that the prefix "Roman" has been in no way rejected by the Church, what is the contrary statement, which she previously defended, still doing in the article, where it is presented as an undoubted fact? I have added a "fact" tag to the statement. Defteri (talk) 05:45, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
On second thoughts, I presume NancyHeise does not in fact agree with that particular statement by Secisek. But since so many people here have agreed with Secisek's statement about the baselessness of the claim of rejection of "Roman", the "fact" tag is amply justified. Defteri (talk) 05:49, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Reasons why the fact tag is not with links to consensus agreement are provided below in the section discussing the abuse of RFC, tags, and persistent denial of consensus. NancyHeise talk 22:24, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Unagreed Changes to the Lead

I have reverted some significant unagreed changes to the lead made over the Christmas period by various people. The lead is an important part of the article, and has reached its present form following a GREAT DEAL of negotiation, argument and give and take between many dozens of editors and contributors. Changes of substance need to be set out here first and agreed.

One of the changes, a first sentence reading "The Catholic Church, sometimes called the Roman Catholic Church " is an interesting form, but may violate Wikipedia rules by starting with a name that is not the article name. Another change, stating that "The Church's highest earthly authority in matters of faith, morality and Church governance is the Magisterium of the Catholic Church," is not accurate since the magisterium is the teaching not the administrative authority of the Church. Other changes removed referenced, if disputed, material relevant to Note 1. This note was agreed by a large number of editors and changes also need AGREEMENT, not wild-cat editing.

Also remember the Lead is not a place to go into detail on any aspect. It is a SUMMARY of what is in the rest of the article - where detailed discussion belongs. Can we please make sure to seek an agreed form to any proposed change for the lead before making alterations please? Xandar 00:06, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Why did anyone introduce into the lead discussion of an "official name", something which the church has barely, if ever, discussed? I've gone through many reference works about the church, and none of them discuss anything remotely like the "official name". Neither do the sources supposedly provided, which on the contrary claim "Catholic Church" is the "proper name" - a completely different thing. The introduction of that point into the lead has resulted in pages of discussion over what is really at best a trivial point about the church, and at worst factually wrong. How about working to solve the problem, rather than working to maintain it? Gimmetrow 00:14, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
The discussion of the name of the Church is an important one, since we need to clearly show the proper and actual name of the Church - which is NOT the name used as the article title. The term "official" itself emerged as a means of solving the problem of the proper name of the church. "Official" is a value-neutral factual word that carries no shade of approval or otherwise. This is why words like "proper" name of the Church were rejected by editors, since it was argued they were used to express an opinion of Wikipedia. We therefore settled on "official" to show that this is the name used by the Church itself in its official documents. Sources have been produced showing this. No other name has been seriously raised as the proper or official name of the Church and so further arguments about this issue do not sderve a huge amount of purpose except for people with pedantic POVs to push. As far as solutions are concerned, an agreed form has to clearly state as per WP policy what is the actual and proper name of the Church. Do you have constructive suggestions with regard to wording that clearly states this? It may be that, in line with WP naming policies, the article needs to be renamed Catholic Church, with RCC as the secondary designation. Xandar 00:31, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Have you shown that the church even has one exclusive official name? Gimmetrow 02:03, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
An official name is that used in official and formal documents and pronouncements. Xandar 02:27, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
An official name is the one agreed to be used by an organizations highest authority. http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/churb3.htm This reference specifically says that the church's highest authority (College of Bishops) considered the Church's name and rejected "Roman" as an adjective, keeping Catholic Church as the official name used on the Churchs most official documents about herself. The source even provides the exact words used by the pope to sign these most authoritative documents. Those exact words are "Catholic Church". This source is the only source anyone has offered that is used by a Church approved worldwide Catholic media outlet to explain to viewers the official name of the Church. NancyHeise talk 05:17, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
The source that says that the Church considered the Church's name and rejected "Roman" is simply wrong, as the Church's own usage shows. The sources that disagree deserve to be mentioned also. As for the other Original Research arguments, that is all they are. Defteri (talk) 10:46, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Please provide a reference that disputes "Roman was rejected". Then show me where that reference is used by the Church herself to explain her own name to the world. Whitehead is the only source that fits all requirements. He says the bishops made a decision about the name, a decision that has not been reversed. If you think it has been reversed, please provide a ref that says so. NancyHeise talk 03:06, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

RfC: Do the existing sources demonstrate the official name of the church?

Do the existing sources demonstrate the official name of the church?

The lead currently says the Roman Catholic Church is "officially known as the Catholic Church", and uses three citations:

  • [34] says:
    • As everybody knows, however, the Church referred to in this Creed is more commonly called just the Catholic Church. It is not, by the way, properly called the Roman Catholic Church, but simply the Catholic Church.
    • So the proper name for the universal Church is not the Roman Catholic Church.
    • The proper name of the Church, then, is the Catholic Church.
  • McClintock is attributed the quote:
    • The name 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.
  • [35] says:
    • The Fathers of the fourth century tell us in a hundred different ways that the name of the Church is simply the Catholic Church.
    • All others using the name are forced to adopt prefixes. So it is with the Catholic Church. She is the original possessor of the name.

The first is discussing a "proper name", not the "official name". The second (1889) source says "Roman Catholic Church" is not "the official name", but it doesn't directly say what "the official name" actually is, only that authorities "dislike" "Roman Catholic Church" and substitute other things. Since the term "Roman Catholic Church" was used in later encyclicals, this "dislike" is not a complete rejection. The third source is an anonymous opinion piece from 1903. If it is used, another opinion piece by Hughes from the same 1903 work [36] says:

  • If "Roman" is not part of the name of the Church, neither is "Catholic." But, after all, why all this bother about the distinction between a "name" and a "full description"...?
  • I would point out that there is no authority for this supposed difference between the term "Catholic" and the terms "One," "Holy," "Apostolic", and "Roman."
  • I should prefer to call them "descriptive names," for the names of the Church do certainly describe her. "Catholic" describes her just as much as "One" or "Roman."

Others have also pointed out sources such as

Gimmetrow 01:46, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

I see that Gimmetrow has unfortunately not taken advantage of my suggestion for him to help solve the actual problem about defining the proper name of the Church as set out above, and as he claimed to be seeking to do in his post directly above. Instead he seems to have decided to pursue the sterile argument about the word "official", with a selective quoting of the sources.
In fact the two sources he repeats that actually declare Roman Catholic to be the official name: (Piepkorn and Lamprecht)are both obscure, not readily available, and unreliable, the only recent one being a Lutheran journal article. (Hardly a reliable source for this subject.) The official name of the Church is that used by the Church to define itself in its formal or defining documents important pronouncements, and agreements such as treaties. In contrast to the practically non-existent evidence for Roman Catholic, the sources in favour of the article text include specific official Catholic articles and the defining documents of the Church such as the
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church and the
  • Infallible Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, which says:
    • This is the one Church of Christ which in the Creed is professed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Saviour, after His Resurrection, commissioned Peter to shepherd, and him and the other apostles to extend and direct with authority, which He erected for all ages as "the pillar and mainstay of the truth". This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him,
  • In addition are added Patrick Madrid here, which says
    • The formal or official name for the church established by Christ is the Catholic Church. ... Roman catholic is actually a term imposed on Catholics from the outside, stemming mainly from Angilcan efforts in past centuries to portray themselves as also truly Catholic,"
  • American Catholic Social Teaching here, and also OFFICIAL treaties, requiring Official names, such as
  • The treaty of 1984 with the Italian Government here. Which is signed by the Italian Government and the Catholic Church.
Gimmetrow's notion that there is no authority for a distinction between the term "Catholic Church" and "One", "Apostolic", or "Roman" Church is thus baseless. Pronouncements and Major documents do not identify the Church as the "One Church" or the "Roman Church". they do identify it as the "Catholic Church". Xandar 02:11, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Xandar, perhaps you should re-read what was said above. However, I agree that only official statements of the church should really define the official name of the church. Of course, nowhere in the one paragraph you cite from an official church document does it say effectively: "this church is officially known as the Catholic Church". All you have are phrases used in official documents. If that defines an "official name" for the church, then you must acknowledge there are other "official names" (such as "Church of Christ" in the very paragraph of Lumen Gentium that you quote as an authority), and the lead sentence is therefore misleading as it implies there is one and only one name by which the church is "officially known". So either there are many "official names", or the church does not have an "official name". The only source which actually claims "the formal or official name" is the non-scholarly piece by Madrid, which is not a statement of the church. Is that really the best source you can come up with? For such an "important point", if you can't find an official church document which effectively says "this church is officially known as X", is it not possible to consider that maybe the church doesn't have one official name, despite the rhetoric produced by apologists? Gimmetrow 02:20, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
So you're trying to make the point that the Church doesn't have a proper or official name? I'm afraid that is neither logical or credible. Simply becauuse you claim to be looking for the exact English words "this is the official name of the Church",that does not mean those precise words in that order in an official document are required. The section quoted from Lumen Gentium defines the nature and name of the Church in the most "official" way possible. The name is used as the defining name in the Catechism, in treaties and all major documents and pronouncements. This is more than enough evidence of itself of what name the Church calls itself and uses officially. Why do you object to this? Is it painful to you? And do you seriously want to propose that "Church of Christ" is the official name of the Church? Xandar 11:40, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
You continue to equivocate between "proper" and "official". Please define precisely and exactly what you think the phrase "officially known", as used in the lead sentence, means. Gimmetrow 23:10, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
(The following was written before Gimmetrow made his latest revision, and so largely repeats the same ideas.) Xandar, where does the Catechism of the Catholic Church say anything whatever about an official name of the Church? Where does Lumen Gentium say anything whatever about an official name? The conclusions that you propose as coming from these documents are mere Original Research. The same holds for your interpretation of what Bishop Ireland wrote when he said that the demand for rights in the US was being made not by the Church in its official name but by American citizens who were Catholics. And if you appeal to the treaty between the Holy See and Italy as giving "Catholic" as the only official name of the Church, what do you make of the treaties that use instead "Roman Catholic and Apostolic", such as that with the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia? You may find opinion pieces that say the Church's one official name is what you say it is, but you will find no evidence whatever that the Church itself has declared any one name to be its official name. Defteri (talk) 06:21, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
The most authoritative reference we are using is Kenneth Whithead's book excerpt that is used by EWTN to explain to their worldwide Catholic audience the answer to the question of what is the Church's official name in their program called "Catholic Answers". EWTN is a member of SIGNIS, an organization that is listed in the official Catholic Directory of the entire worldwide church [37] and whose board of directors includes a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, part of the Roman Curia. No other reference that anyone has provided has been used by any Catholic media to explain the Church's name. EWTN is the only English speaking Catholic network with links to the Roman Curia and it is broadcast worldwide and under the direction of and in conjunction with bishop authority. Some of their programs are made in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami with the approval and support of our local bishop and the use of some of our priests (ex. Padre Alberto), with bishop approval. Other programs are made elsewhere with the approval of other bishops. Another telling point of official name is the name of the bishop's conferences around the world. See if you can find one that uses the name "Roman Catholic". I don't find any. Here's some links to English speaking ones, [38], [39], [40], [41] NancyHeise talk 11:21, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
NH is repeating her circuitous claim that, because EWTN is a member of SIGNIS, and because SIGNIS is an international association of the faithful that has Vatican recognition, then everything that EWTN publishes must be true! So without waiting for 2009, I too must repeat: Does NH think that everything published by Fordham University, Georgetown University, Seattle University, the University of San Diego, and the 28 other US universities (not to speak of the hundreds in other countries) that are members of IFCU must be true? ICFU (the International Federation of Catholic Universities) too is an international association of the faithful that has Vatican recognition. EWTN has priests on its staff, NH says. So do those universities. If EWTN is as authoritative as NH says, it is curious that it has not won recognition from the Vatican in the way SIGNIS and IFCU have. If the most authoritative reference NH can produce is Whithead's opinion about the "proper" name (he doesn't say "official" name), the claim that "Catholic Church" is "the Church's official name" arguably has not enough support to stay in the article even alongside a statement of the opposite point of view, much less to be presented as the only view that exists! Soidi (talk) 13:04, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Delteri this continued refusal to see the blindingly obvious is more than a little unbelievable. How many documents and pronouncements headed "The Catholic Church" does anyone need before they accept that this is the proper and official name of the Church? That is what this discussion is about - the PROPER name of the Church. On treaties, you fall into the same tortured errors as Soidi of confusing apples and oranges. The Dominican treaty referal is to a newspaper article. it is clear from the treaty itself that it refers to the "Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Religion," in other words the same descriptive phrase that Soidi mistakenly harps on. The treaty itself when it refers to the ORGANIZATION, states "The Dominican Republic recognises that the Catholic Church is a perfect society, and guarantees that the Catholic Church shall freely and fully exercise its spiritual power and jurisdiction, and shall be able to freely and publicly organise acts of worship." exmp. Looking at the Bolivian example refers not to a a concordat but to Bolivian constitutions which again use the descriptive phrase about the religion, not the organisation, such as: "The Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Religion", and (rearranging the attribites in a way thast shows they are a description not a name), " the Roman, Apostolic, Catholic Religion". Compare the recent concordat with Spain here, which refers to the Catholic Church; or the most recent concordat, with Croatia, [ http://www.concordatwatch.eu/showtopic.php?org_id=890&kb_header_id=14211 here], which does the same. Xandar 12:23, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
What is "blindingly obvious" to Xandar is only his own Original Research. We await the citation of even one document of the (Roman) Catholic Church that says it has picked something as its official name. The Catechism of the Catholic Church does not say it, Lumen Gentium does not say it. What document of the Church does say it? Defteri (talk) 16:50, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Can we get back to stating the facts in the article rather than distilling the facts? Here's the facts as I see them:

  1. In the past century, both "Catholic Church" and "Roman Catholic Church" are used as names in official documents such as treaties but, in the church's own documents, "Catholic Church" is used in preference to but not to the exclusion of "Roman Catholic Church" (cf. the encyclicals of Pius XII)
  2. There are strong opinions inside the church about the "Catholic Church" being the proper name of the church and against using "Roman Catholic Church". However, this notwithstanding, many inside and outside the church still use "Roman Catholic Church"
  3. These strong opinions arise from sectarian issues originating in a dispute with Anglicans about the word "Catholic"
  4. During the drafting of the official documents for Vatican I, there was a proposal to use "Roman Catholic Church" but this was rejected in favor of the "Catholic Church". This decision does not clearly affect anything other than the choice of name to be used in the Vatican I documents. Drafters of future official documents may have chosen to respect this precedent and some may have chosen not to care. However, AFAICT, the decision does not have "the force of law".
  5. The words "Roman", "Catholic", "Apostolic" and "Holy" can be used as descriptors of the church and when used in that context, all of them are considered by the church to be wholly proper and acceptable.

Why not simply state the above facts and let the reader decide for themselves? We have to be careful about making chains of logic which wind up evaluating a source's claims to correctness (e.g. Whitehead, EWTN, SIGNIIS) and thereby giving that source undue weight. Instead of evaluating which source is correct, why not simply state facts which can be sourced and let the reader decide for himself? I would keep most of this out of the text of the lead but I would put it in one or more notes so that the reader can appreciate the issues involved and read more deeply if that is his wish.

We should remember that it is our job to inform the reader of facts and significant opinons (right or wrong), not to force the reader into having a "correct" opinion. The existence of a significant "wrong" opinion is still a fact (i.e. it is a fact that a significant number of people hold this "wrong" opinion).

--Richard (talk) 17:06, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Richarshusr with but one exception. His account of the Vatican I discussion is inexact. The discussion was not about what name to use in the Council's documents (plural). Other names were used in those documents both before and after this discussion of the opening words of just one chapter of just one of several documents that were planned. Furthermore the opening words of that chapter were not changed to "Catholic Church", but to "sancta catholica apostolica romana Ecclesia" = "Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church" (commas and "and" added in the most readily available English translation, but more literally: "holy catholic apostolic Roman Church"); and what was in the original draft was not "Roman Catholic Church", but "sancta romana catholica ecclesia" = "Holy, Roman and Catholic Church" (if treated in the same way as in the translation of the definite text, but more literally "holy Roman catholic Church"). With that one exception, I support his proposal. Defteri (talk) 17:54, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
The Church has an official name. It is the same name that all of the bishops conferences use in their official organizational constitutions. It is the same name you see on the letterhead and the signs out in front of every Catholic Church (please find one that uses "Roman Catholic Church"). It is the same name that all of its encyclicals, (even Pius XII's) are signed - I, XXX, Bishop of the Catholic Church, it is the same name that comprises the single most important document that explains its beliefs to the world The Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is true that in ecumenical discussions, like those with the Anglican Union, the Church has used the name "Roman Catholic" - to be polite! This does not mean that it has changed its official name, there was never any agreement by the Church's highest authority, the Pope and the College of Bishops to name the Church "Roman Catholic Church" but there was discussion and agreement reached by this body to call the church, officially "Catholic Church". This decision is documented by our top source, Whitehead, whose book excerpt was used by both Eternal Word Television Network and Our Sunday Visitor to explain to Catholics around the world, the official name of the Church. This network, is a part of an Vatican approved group of Catholic Media SIGNIS that receive Roman Curial oversight, individual bishop oversight, and whose board must contain a member of the Roman Curia's Pontifical Council for Social Communications. It is becoming amazingly ridiculous to discuss this anymore. I thought the first person to persist in this discussion was a troll because the answer, especially after the huge consensus was agreed, was so obvious to all except that person. However, I see that Defteri, a new account has joined the suspected troll's position. I placed all the links to past consensus below this section here [42] hopefully this will help. NancyHeise talk 19:32, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
In response to your claim that the Church has an official name because of what you imagine bishops conferences call themselves, two words are sufficient: Original Research. (In any case, your argument is baseless: most bishops conferences (pages 1104-1124 of the 2008 Annuario Pontificio) do not have the word "Catholic".)
In response to your repeated argument about EWTN, one word is sufficient: Ridiculous. Soidi (talk) 20:53, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I am always amazed at your responses, yes, I too have a copy of the Annuario. From my Annuario I find a sampling of these: Catholic Bishops conference of India, page 1112, Lesotho Catholic Bishops' Conference, page 1113, Catholic Bishops Conference of Liberia, page 1114, Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, page 1114, Catholic Bishops Conference of Myanmar, page 1115, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, page 1115, Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, page 1122, Catholic Bishops Conference of Thailand page 1120, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, page 1105. In fact, I went through all of the pages and I could not find a single Bishops Conference that used the term "Roman Catholic" because it was officially declared by the Church's highest authority as "rejected" for use in the official name of the church, a referenced fact that we have to include. NancyHeise talk 22:36, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Hi Nancy, in response to your request to please find one that uses "Roman Catholic Church", you have simply to Google "Roman Catholic Church". I found at least 8 websites for RCC churches in the U.S. that have names like "St. Mark Roman Catholic Church" at the top of their website. This is not offered as a decisive argument that "Roman Catholic Church" is an official name of the Catholic Church. It is, however, offered as an argument that "Roman Catholic Church" is a name that is acceptable at least to Catholic churches in the United States. If this were not true, would you not expect bishops of the dioceses in which these churches are located to have expressed an opinion against the use of such a name? --Richard (talk) 04:16, 29 December 2008 (UTC) Oh, and I just Googled "Roman Catholic diocese" and found quite a number of dioceses whose official websites are titled "Roman Catholic Diocese of ...". I think the argument for "Roman was rejected" is weakening, at least with reference to churches and dioceses in the United States. --Richard (talk) 04:19, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

The point of this discussion, however, is that we are talking about the proper or official name of the worldwide Church, not localised variants. In many English-speaking countries the term "Roman Catholic" was imposed on the Church from outside. In England, when the church was legalised in the 19th Century, it was done so under the name "Roman Catholic Church" and the government would only deal with it under that name. A few of these usages have survived locally, even after enforcement ceased, however that does not affect the key fact that the designation "Roman Catholic Church" was rejected for the Church as a whole. Worldwide, including the English-speaking world, the standard, proper and official form for all forms of use, local, national, international, is the "Catholic Church". Why is it important to state this clearly at the start of the article? Because the article title (probably contrary to WP policy) is not the actual proper or official name of the Church, therefore that proper name needs to be stated unequivocally in the first sentence. Certain people for POV reasons object to this, and therefore raise countless obtuse objections to every form of wording that attempts do this. Xandar 10:29, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
You continue to equivocate between "proper" and "official". Please define precisely and exactly what you think the phrase "officially known", as used in the lead sentence, means. Gimmetrow 23:11, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Gimmetrow, we are not inventing "official", this is what Whitehead has told us and what Catholic Media have reported. When Catholic bishops get together (College of Bishops) and make a decision, it is official. It is the highest official decision that can be made in the Catholic Church. Whitehead tells us that is what these bishops did in Vatican I. The name of the Church was considered and "Roman" was rejected. Whitehead further goes on to tell us what the name of the Church is after he tells us what it is not. He tells us what name is used on the Church's most offical documents about herself and exactly how the pope signs the name of the Church on these most official documents. You are being unreasonable in your denial of use of "official" based on this referenced historical fact. None of the sources you supply are used by the Church herself to explain to Catholics what is the name of the Church. Whitehead is the source chosen by a Church approved media organization that has bishop oversight and is a member of SIGNIS to explain this. NancyHeise talk 05:11, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Whitehead does not say "official". Your Original Research argument is no more than that. Defteri (talk) 10:46, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Removal of query tags without responding

1. "The Church herself, in her most authoritative and self-defining documents such as those of Vatican I and Vatican II uses the name 'Catholic Church'". I tagged this with a "clarification needed" tag, explaining that in those same documents the Church uses other names too; unless clarified, this statement is irrelevant in the context of showing that the Church's official name is "Catholic Church": at most it shows that "Catholic Church" is, like others, an official name. But NancyHeise removed the tag without attempting to provide the requested clarification. Is her action legitimate?

2. "The prefix 'Roman' was rejected". I tagged this a day or two ago, explaining on a part of the Talk page to which I made reference in my edit summary that, since several editors had indicated that there was evidence to the contrary, it was unjustified to present this statement as fact rather than opinion. Even NancyHeise herself had said in that same part of the Talk page that she agreed with Secisek, who had stated: "The prefix 'Roman' has been in no way rejected by the Church and its occasional use by Rome has been long established and cited." But in spite of that NancyHeise, utterly ignoring the views of other editors, simply removed the tag. Is her action legitimate?

3. The (Roman) Catholic Church "acknowledges that the Holy Spirit can make use of other Christian communities to bring people to salvation". I tagged this claim with the request for a citation, pointing out in the tag itself that the reference given immediately after this statement said nothing of the sort. I noted this on the Talk page also. NancyHeise made no attempt to provide a citation in support of the claim, but simply removed the tag. Is her action legitimate? Defteri (talk) 16:50, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Point three has been addressed some hours after the complaint was made

Points one and two are addressed below. Point three was addressed by adding a reference to Peter Kreeft's book Catholic Christianity page 110-112 which references the entire sentence, not just part of it and thus I removed the fact tag. In addition, Wikipedia does not require us to reference every sentence in the lead, the lead is a summary of sections below that are referenced. However, because of reader's strong desires for references in the lead, we have included them there too. NancyHeise talk 20:17, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
But Wikipedia does require us to provide sources for questioned statements, and not merely to remove the record of the request without answering it. By the way, until you fixed it, the Kreeft citation was attached to the next sentence, not to the one questioned. Defteri (talk) 12:25, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
WP:Cite allows you to put the reference after the cited facts, including if they occur in tow separate but connected sentences. I placed the citation after both sentences to help you be OK with it, even though policy does not require me to do that. NancyHeise talk 23:31, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Abuse of tags, RFC, and denial of consensus

When an issue has been extensively discussed and agreed by vast consensus, we are allowed to place the agreed version on the page per WP:Consensus. The item tagged by Defteri was extensively discussed and agreed to the version in the article text. In addition, the references were discussed and further consensus was reached that those references supported the article text. Thus tagging the item as "fact needed" is against consensus agreement on both content and references. Persistent arguing over this issue by the same people has not resulted in a new consensus. A summary of the name issue with links is provided here:

  • Over 15 editors considered Soidi's arguments and rejected them.[43],[44] Gimmetrow is the only editor who agreed with him on the issue of "official", he did not on agree with him on "Roman". There was never any agreement by the Church's highest doctrinal authority, the Pope together with the College of Bishops to name the Church "Roman Catholic Church" but there was discussion and agreement reached by this body to call the church, officially "Catholic Church". This decision is documented by our top source, Whitehead, whose book excerpt was used by both global Catholic network Eternal Word Television Network and Our Sunday Visitor to explain to Catholics around the world, the official name of the Church.[45] EWTN is a member of SIGNIS a Vatican approved Catholic organization whose board of directors includes a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.[46] [47] [48] Two other sources are cited in the article to support Whitehead's assertions[49] Soidi provides no sources to support his views but relies on his own personal interpretations of orginal documents WP:OR that are nowhere discussed by any author as being evidence of the Church's official name. In order to comply with Soidi's suggestions, we would have to violate WP:Consensus, WP:RS, and WP:OR. In spite of not having anyone agree with his arguments, Soidi has persistently edit warred with various editors by adding content that has been expressly rejected by consensus. NancyHeise talk 22:46, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
That is precisely what I would like people to comment on. Is it enough to appeal to a past consensus in order to ignore objective difficulties that several editors, not one alone, have presented on the Talk page and that are ignored merely on the grounds that there is said to be a consensus that, it seems, declares the difficulties non-existent? Secisek is by no means the only editor who has pointed out that "the prefix 'Roman' has been in no way rejected by the Church and its occasional use by Rome has been long established and cited". If the Church does use "Roman", how can it be right to present as undisputed fact the claim that the Church has rejected the use of "Roman"? So my question is whether NancyHeise was justified, on the grounds of some previous consensus or other, in removing the tag without addressing the difficulty? Perhaps both she and I can now leave it to others to express their views. Defteri (talk) 12:25, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

I really don't understand why the article doesn't just say something that virtually everyone can probably agree on - such as that the Roman Catholic Church "usually" or "generally" refers to itself as the Catholic Church. Surely this would be a more appropriate consensus description. What the "official" position may actually be can be argued ad nauseum regardless of what some particular "authorities" might claim. And for what it's worth it should also be noted that Eastern Rite Catholics often refer to Latin Rite Catholics as "Roman Catholics". Anyway ... Anglicanus (talk) 14:42, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

The last point is very true, but surely you can see this is one reason why "Catholic" is the name for the whole church? Johnbod (talk) 17:09, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Defteri.. The worldwide Church has rejected the use of Roman Catholic as its proper or official name. That is the point. Any alleged difficulty with this underestanding should be dealt with on the talk page and not by misusing tags on the article when references have been supplied.
Anglicanus.. we have tried several other forms of stressing the point that needs to be made, i.e. that Catholic Church is the proper or official name of the Church. Phrases such as "formally known as," "properly known as," and others have been tried in an attempt to satisfy certain objectors. However people have raised problems with all of these. "Officially known as" was the consensus reached as the best and most value-neutral term. The trouble with terms such as "or", "usually," or "generally" is that they do not impart the necessary information to the reader that "Catholic Church" is the proper name of the organisation, not "Roman Catholic Church" which the article is headlined. The form of words used in the opening line needs to impart this information. However, for POV reasons, it seems that some people will fanatically object to any form of wording that makes this fact clear. Xandar 15:04, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for responding. The fact remains, however, that the term "Roman Catholic Church" is also often used in certain "official" church and legal documents - so to suggest that "Catholic Church" is the only "official" name is simply untrue. So if the article is concerned to be accurate it needs to acknowledge and reflect this fact instead of seeking to avoid or deny it simply, it seems, because "Catholic Church" is the usual official name. The reality is that both "Catholic Church" and "Roman Catholic Church" are used as official names by church authorities - therefore "usually" would "impart the necessary information to the reader" (your words) more accurately than the current wording - which seems to obscures the facts instead of making them clear. Anglicanus (talk) 16:22, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

I am in agreement with Anglicanus. --Richard (talk) 16:31, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

The RFC needs to be refactored so that it does not focus on Nancy's actions; if you are upset with her actions, open an RFC/U (one on the user, not one to deal with page content). That said, I think it is ridiculous that this issue is still being debated. We have one side with a very strong POV that says that "Catholic Church" is the one and only one official name of what this article calls the RCC. Another strong POV believes that the church does not have one and only one official name. Legal and church documents refer to the RCC and its dioceses as multiple different names, and there is no one proclamation from the church itself that says "our official name is ...". For heaven's sake, let's find a neutral wording (like "or" or "usually known as ...") and leave the question of what the official name is completely out of this article. Karanacs (talk) 18:40, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

I must clarify, it seems, that I have nothing against NancyHeise's actions (plural) in general. She has done excellent work in many ways. The matter for discussion is not NancyHeise, but the removal of query tags in order to defend against the slightest whiff of uncertainty some consensus (even if it there really was such a consensus) about the infallibility of a claim that the Church rejected "Roman", in spite of the clear evidence cited by several editors that the claim is false. It is this one matter of insisting that the article present a single POV alone that is in question, not NancyHeise herself. There are, as Karanacs says, two strong POVs on this matter, and an article that gives only one of them is not an NPOV article. Why not give both? In short, I support Karanacs's proposal (and I think Secisek and Anglicanus and Richard do so also) that a neutral wording be used. Defteri (talk) 19:32, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
It is clear from the above that the objection is not so much to "official" as to the fact that the name of the Church is the Catholic Church. The present wording was chosen to be neutral while stating the facts. There is no evidence of the worldwide Church normatively using any official name other than the "Catholic Church." Clear sources and overwhelming evidence, including the Catechism and the Apostolic Constitution state the name to be clearly the Catholic Church. "Roman Catholic" is never used normatively, it is a term invented by 17th Century Anglicans, and where it ever appears at all is obscurely, in an infinitesimal number of largely ecumenical documents. There is no basis therefore for there to be any pretence that the terms have equal validity as the name of the Church or anything like it. Such a pretence goes against WP policy that an organisation should be named as it self-identifies, and is clear POV pushing. Since the article is named, for other reasons, "Roman Catholic Church", it is all the more important that the proper name of the organisation needs to be prominent. The fact that certain people will argue black is white to infinity on this issue does not alter the facts. Editors have shown willingness to compromise on wording and notes so long as the factual information is not hidden, and I'm sure if people want to mention One, Catholic, Apostolic, and minority use of RCC in the notes, it is possible to agree a form of words that does not distort the situation, but the fact that Catholic Church is the proper name of the organisation must remain prominently clear and not be smothered in weasel words to appease POVs, as Karanacs suggests. Xandar 22:39, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
You continue to equivocate between "proper" and "official". Please define precisely and exactly what you think the phrase "officially known", as used in the lead sentence, means. Gimmetrow 23:13, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

I have followed (and sometime been a part of) this debate as it has ebbed and flowed here at Wiki. Months will go by with all sides ignoring the issue and maintaining the status quo. Suddenly, someone will stumble across an old post by Vaquero, pick up the torch, and attempt to "correct" Wikipedia by removing every instance of "Roman Catholic" from the encyclopedia. This leads to weeks or months of POV, OR, and general circular discussions that always end status quo antebellum.

Furthermore, what I have seen is that many editors here would like to see the Church herself never use the term Roman Catholic Church - or, in some cases, use it only to refer the Western Catholic Church in union with Rome. The fact is, the Roman Catholic Church does from time to time refer to herself as a whole by that style. To pretend that this usage has been "rejected" corporately is false and citations to the contrary abound. Anglicanus and Richard are correct. The article should state that the church goes by both (and others - Holy Church, Bride of Christ, etc) but "usually" uses just Catholic Church. Claiming otherwise is simply not true.

Lastly, in an English language encyclopedia, the article should be under Roman Catholic Church. I do not even agree that Catholic Church should redirect here. I think that link should be the DAB Catholic Church page, but in the spirit of compromise I have never made an issue of this. -- Secisek (talk) 23:36, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

We all know what's behind the conflict. Some non-Catholics use the phrase "Roman Catholic Church" to imply it's just one of many Catholic Churches, and there are other equally catholic churches (such as the Anglican Catholic Church). The church clearly rejects this notion - but it doesn't reject the use of "Roman" in other non-restrictive senses. At some point some people thought this conflict could be resolved by asserting that this church is "officially known" as "Catholic Church". Unfortunately, this phrase means a legal name, similar to "The Jesuits are officially known as the Society of Jesus", or "Episcopalians in the US are officially known as The Episcopal Church and the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America". This would mean there is some clear unambiguous church document where it says "we are publicly called the Catholic Church". This hasn't been provided despite requests for a citation. Instead, when pushed, the phrase "officially known" gets interpreted to mean "a name used in official and formal documents and pronouncements." Well, there are many names used in official and formal documents and pronouncements, so to single out one of them as if that is the only official name of the church is misleading, if not false, unless properly qualified and explained. It's also beside the point. The point is that many catholics find the phrase "Roman Catholic Church" offensive in various ways. A step toward explaining this point was even removed from the article, leaving the disputed and misleading part, and that's why we're now going through dispute resolution. Gimmetrow 00:09, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Thge fact that youb refuse to accept the ample evidence available of the "ofgficial" or proper form of the name "Catholic Church" does not mean the evidence does not exist. There are NOT "many" names used by the Church officially. That is apparently original research on your point, and research of very inaccurate quality. The unassailable proper or official name of the Cghurch as self-identified and used in pronouncements is Catholic Church. We are not going to conceal that. Xandar 16:47, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Why do we even need to go into what the official name is - since there is no single source from the organization itself that says "The official name is ..."? Why not just list the two names? Encyclopedia Britannica doesn't even appear to do that - it only lists the organization as the Roman Catholic Church. I've heard many complaints that those who think the sourcing is poor for the "official" line are pushing a POV, but it appears to me (as a relatively neutral party in this discussion) that the other side is also pushing a POV. Wikipedia is supposed to report what sources say, and there are sources to support both sides (and nothing definitive from the organization to clarify). When there is nothing definitive, we either equivocate in the article (the dreaded "or" or "also known as") or ignore the issue. Karanacs (talk) 18:15, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I said I would no longer participate in this conversation, but I will give it one more try. As a non-Catholic (I am a Latter-day Saint) I have no horse in the race and I believe I am neutral. The title of the article is Roman Catholic Church; it is obvious that this appellation is accepted by the Church. However, what I find is that the CHurch uses names which apply given specific contexts. The Church calls herself RCC when in discussion with sister churches and other applicable situations. There is an ecumenical purpose as well as others when used. Conversely, when the context is removed and she refers to herself she uses the offical, universal name, Catholic Church. It is her official designation because she uses it when referring to herself in her most important documents.
There is a great deal of emotional baggage that comes with these conversations. It is almost unbelievable that this conversation has gone on for so long. I find it senseless and a waste of time and effort. Adequate references have been provided to identify the Catholic Church as such. The name of the article has already taken care of all other concerns. Please drop this and move on. Just think of all the poor little stub articles that continue to be ignored. Surely they all could have become featured articles if they had been shown the same degree of attention this single, silly topic has garnered. Please smile at my attempt to add humor. Cheers. --StormRider 19:21, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it is amusing how some people continue to insist that there is only one official name of the Church, in spite of the evidence that identifies the Catholic Church by other names also, evidence that they do not want to be even mentioned. Defteri (talk) 10:46, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Consensus can change

Nancy, this will no doubt frustrate you but I believe that you have been misinterpreting the nature of WP:CONSENSUS. I invite you to re-read that article, in particular Section 4 entitled "Consensus can change". In the current discussion, you have repeatedly relied on the authority of a past consensus of 15 editors. That consensus has now been called into question with at least 5 editors suggesting that the prior decision is not unanimously agreed upon. Now, it is true that, in the interest of getting things done, Wikipedia often lets a supermajority substitute for the unanimity needed for a true consensus. In this regard, I would like to point out that there are not currently 15 editors weighing in on the side of the current article text. By my very rough count, I only see you and Xandar (and perhaps a couple of others whose userids I forget). This is not an overwhelming consensus when compared with the 5 editors who are questioning the current article text. There may have been 15 editors supporting the current article text in the past but they are not currently involved in the discussion. Perhaps this will change in the Anno Novo but we must hear from them in the present (however loosely we choose to define that) rather than continuing to count their past opinions in perpetuam. (P.S. In the interest of article stability, we should not overturn past consenuses lightly but we should not honor them forever either.) --Richard (talk) 00:46, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

There have been dozens of editors working constructively on this article over the past year, many of them far more defensive of the proper name of the Church than Nancy or I. A lot of them are not on the page at the moment having grown weary of four solid months and hundreds of long fanatical POV-pushing posts here by Soidi and a couple of his allies. The people currently trying to break the consensus agtreement tend largely to be new arrivals on the page, who have not contributed positively to the article, and who seem like Anglicanus, and I believe Soidi, to be members of other religious groups pushing a point of view. Xandar 16:38, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Too right! I have made my views very clear in the past & see no need to repeat them every time Soidi reiterates his objection. Sadly I mostly ignore this page on my watchlist now, for the same reason I don't like NASCAR, which it so much resembles, without any overtaking of course. Johnbod (talk) 17:06, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
It is true that consensus can change. But editors have other to do than continuously check the same Article for the same issue. Consensus can change but this do NOT mean that every next month the issue shall be re-open again hoping that some previous editors are on holidays. Anyway I vote for "Catholic Church" without the "Roman". A ntv (talk) 21:25, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Just a reminder, it's not decided by a "vote". -- Secisek (talk) 22:28, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

That's true but Nancy has been arguing that the consensus of 15 editors overrules the obstinate trollish insistence of one editor. I am simply pointing out that the !vote is not 15-1 but something less than that. It is time to reassess this issue in light of the current discussion rather than simply relying on "past consensus". --Richard (talk) 08:23, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Much less than 15 to 1, as is clear. Certainly much less than justifies presenting the majority view in the article as undisputed fact. Defteri (talk) 10:46, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

What was wrong with this?

The '''Catholic Church''' or '''Roman Catholic Church'''<ref>The terms "Catholic Church" and "Roman Catholic Church" are used here as alternative names for the entire church that describes itself as "governed by the successor of Saint Peter and by the bishops in communion with him." [http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html ''Lumen Gentium'' (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church), 8]</ref> is a [[Christianity|Christian]] [[Ecclesia (church)|church]] in [[full communion]] with the [[Bishop of Rome]], currently [[Pope Benedict XVI]].

...which is how the article opened when it passed GA last February. This should be restored and the debate should dropped. Have any of the changes to this line brought the article closer to FA? I think not. --Secisek (talk) 23:54, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

The version has the benefit of starting with the proper name of the Church, the Catholic Church and would therefore require less explanation. However there is a problem with that format - that so long as the article remains titled Roman Catholic Church, the first line would be incconsistent on Wikipedia style grounds, by starting with "Catholic Church". That would probably come up at FA, and start the whole argument over again. Renaming the article Catholic Church would solve this, but at the cost of more argument. The basis has to be that the proper name of the Church is clearly shown at the start of the article, and not placed on an equal basis with an unofficial form. Xandar 16:44, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

It may come up at FA but possibly not. I am in agreement that this "official name" idea is a dead end road. The Church has no offfical name - I have the Code of Canon Law in English (sadly in storage and not at hand) but I do not recall any "offfical" name being given. We can clearly see which name is used most often in an offical capacity, but that isn't what this is about. It is about what can be cited and both names can be. I think the real problem with the opening as it was is that it is at once correct and yet it is completely satisfactory to no one - which is exactly what a consensus compromise is more often than not. I again suggest it be restored. Thoughts? --Secisek (talk) 19:18, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

I think that is an okay compromise - the sources are unclear. Karanacs (talk) 21:52, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Please provide references

Those who have sided with the use of "official" name, over 15 editors, most of whom are non-Catholics and are not new accounts have agreed that our references support it. This http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/churb3.htm reference is used by Catholic media, media that is listed as a member of an organization approved by the Vatican (SIGNIS). No other person disputing article text has provided any reference, used by any church approved media organization or any Nihil obstat, Imprimatur source that says the church's name is something other than Catholic Church. I have the Annuario Pontificio. All of the Bishops Conferences listed in the authoritative book do not use the term Roman Catholic Church. The English speaking ones use the term "Catholic Church". The Whitehead article, which is mirrored by McClintock and American Ecclesiatical Review, specifically tells us that an official agreement was reached by the Church's highest doctrinal authority concerning the Church's offical name and that agreement decided upon Catholic Church, rejecting the use of Roman. I do not understand how anyone here has a problem with this information being in the article. If an organization has an official name, that belongs in the lead sentence especially if the name of the article is something other than that official name. I ask anyone here to give me a link to where the Church decided to use any other name as its official name. I have provided three to support my argument and there are over 15 editors who agree with this. NancyHeise talk 23:14, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

And I am one of those editors. As was said above by someone else, most of us aren't posting anymore because we're so extremely tired of this issue being brought up again and again and again and again. I think that might have been Soidi's original intent, too - press the issue so much for so long that we just give in. Concensus was arrived at. Many sources were provided on our end. Pretty much none on the other end. Bring something new to the table. This constant repeated conversation is so extensive that it's probably the reason wikipedia is asking for donations right now. It's ludicrous. Farsight001 (talk) 23:45, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Farsight, I agree, one of the definitions of "troll" is a person who does not listen to consensus and persistently raises and issue that has already been decided by consensus. That is why I suspected Soidi of being a troll. NancyHeise talk 23:47, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

As I said above, I think the entire "official name" thing is beside the point, but yes, if you wish to include in the article the claim that the church has one single exclusive official name, please provide the references. Whitehead does not say that. Whitehead does not use the phrase "official name". Whitehead doesn't even say that "an official agreement was reached by the Church's highest doctrinal authority concerning the Church's official name and that agreement decided upon Cataholic Church, rejecting the use of Roman." Rather, Whitehead says the bishops at Vatican I decided not to use the phrase "Roman Catholic Church" in the documents of Vatican I. These are WP:Verifiability issues and not subject to voting. I do not understand why you don't get this. It wouldn't matter if 1000 editors said Whitehead says "official name" - the source doesn't say that. And you continuously refuse to accept other sources, including one from the very same American Ecclesiastical Review, with contrary views. So yes, as has been requested now for over a month, please provide the reference where the church in its official documents states its exclusive "official name". Gimmetrow 23:50, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Gimmetrow. Read the earlier posts and you will see the references. End of story. Xandar 01:27, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Pressing the issue until all other parties give up is a time honored method here at Wiki. Take Edmund the Martyr who a SPA sock puppet insisted was the Patron Saint of England (not St George). After about a year, everybody gave up and to this day the article states he is Patron Saint of England, followed by a passage about a recent failed attempt to have reinstated as Patron Saint of England. People can be so stupid. Please look and comment on my fresh proposal below. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Secisek (talkcontribs) 19:40, 30 December 2008

Gimmetrow says that Whithead does not say the church's official name is Catholic Church. Lets examine Whitheads exact words:

"It is not, by the way, properly called the Roman Catholic Church, but simply the Catholic Church. The term Roman Catholic is not used by the Church herself; it is a relatively modern term, and one, moreover, that is confined largely to the English language. The English-speaking bishops at the First Vatican Council in 1870, in fact, conducted a vigorous and successful campaign to insure that the term Roman Catholic was nowhere included in any of the Council's official documents about the Church herself, and the term was not included. Similarly, nowhere in the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council will you find the term Roman Catholic. Pope Paul VI signed all the documents of the Second Vatican Council as "I, Paul. Bishop of the Catholic Church." Simply that -- Catholic Church. There are references to the Roman curia, the Roman missal, the Roman rite, etc., but when the adjective Roman is applied to the Church herself, it refers to the Diocese of Rome! (see full text here http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/churb3.htm)

I bolded and italicized key phrases. How can anyone read this and come to the conclusion that Catholic Church is not the official name? The quote says it is the name of the Church, the one agreed to be used by the bishops of Vatican I and evidenced by the official documents about the Church herself. If a source says that two people went to a church and got married and does not specifically use the term husband and wife, we are allowed to say they are husband and wife without that being stated exactly which is what Gimmetrow is asking of us - and this is an unreasonable request. NancyHeise talk 04:44, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

  • "It is not, by the way properly called the Roman Catholic Church, but simply the Catholic Church." The intro to Whitehead's work sets the context as "proper" name, not "official" name. Whitehead makes an argument based in theology and fact that the proper name of the church is "Catholic Church".
  • "Roman Catholic was nowhere included in any of the Council's official documents" - a sentence restricted to the documents of Vatican I - a particular set of official documents at a particular point in time. This is actually interesting - it's too bad we don't tell readers this. Instead we get a universal assertion that "Roman was rejected", as if the term never appears in any church document anywhere after Vatican I. It reminds me of the example of peacock phrases at WP:WEASEL. Rather than this unverifiable, if not false, statement, the article should just state the fact. Gimmetrow 05:46, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
How can you say this was restricted to Vatican I when Whitehead goes on to say it was Vatican II too? These Councils created the most authoritative documents about the Church in its organization and teaching. Per Whitehead: "The English-speaking bishops at the First Vatican Council in 1870, in fact, conducted a vigorous and successful campaign to insure that the term Roman Catholic was nowhere included in any of the Council's official documents about the Church herself, and the term was not included. Similarly, nowhere in the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council will you find the term Roman Catholic. Pope Paul VI signed all the documents of the Second Vatican Council as "I, Paul. Bishop of the Catholic Church." These documents that the Bishops agreed to officially sign as Catholic Church, consciously rejecting use of Roman, are the Church's self defining documents - they are not called a "Charter" or other legal term but that is what they are - they tell the rest of the Church and the world what the Church is and does. You also overlook the conscious decision made by this body of bishops which is considered to be the church's highest decision making authority in doctrinal matters. Their decision was to call the Church "Catholic Church", "properly", for use in the Church's most authoritative "official" documents. NancyHeise talk 06:43, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Whitehead's sentence "Roman Catholic was nowhere included in any of the Council's official documents" refers to Vatican I. Do you agree with that: yes or no? He makes a similar claim about Vatican II which 1) is only about Vatican II, and 2) is disputable. Ignoring the dispute for the moment, even if we could actually say "Roman was rejected in the documents of Vatican I and II", we cannot make the jump to "Roman was rejected" without restriction. Do you agree: yes or no? Gimmetrow 14:31, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I believe Gimmetrow and Nancy both make valid points:

"The Church properly refers to herself as the "Catholic Church" in the most authoritative official documents."

This statement is the sin qua non of what we can cite. I think it is a jump to say it is an "offical" name, in the way "The Episcopal Church" is specified in their written Constitution. I'll see if I can add this into my proposal below.--Secisek (talk) 17:23, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

The article text says "officially called the Catholic Church" which is immediately followed by a note explaining that officially is used in her most authoritative documents about herself. This is a referenced FACT. Gimmetrow, Whitehead says the bishops of Vatican I made a decision on the name, rejecting Roman and choosing Catholic Church. That decision stands for all time until that same body of bishops reverses it - Whiteheads reference to Vatican II documents is to show us that the decision was still standing at the time these "most authoritative official documents" of Vatican II were signed as "I, Paul, bishop of the Catholic Church". You are violating WP:OR when you assume that Roman was rejected with restrictions because you have no reference that says the bishops put restrictions on their decision. Secisek, the documents of Vatican II are not called a "constitution" but that is what they are, they tell everyone what the Church is, and what it does - that is why Whitehead refers to them as "the most authoritative documents about herself." NancyHeise talk 03:00, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposed solution

Below has citation to a major and accepted source. It is correct. In the intrest of putting this behind us, how is this: The '''Catholic Church''' or '''Roman Catholic Church'''<ref>The third edition of the ''Oxford Dictionary of the Chritian Church'' defines the "Roman Catholic Church" as the "Christians who are in communion with the Pope" on page 1408. The same work also states on page 305 that, "Since the Reformation Roman Catholics have come to use (Catholic Church) of themselves exclusively". Both terms are used, however "Catholic Church" or simply "the Church" are most often used in offical context by the Church itself.</ref> is a [[Christianity|Christian]] [[Ecclesia (church)|church]] in [[full communion]] with the [[Bishop of Rome]], currently [[Pope Benedict XVI]].

We had already put this issue behind us when over 15 editors agreed on the current form. The only person who did not was Soidi. Your source just confirms what our sources already say, it does not provide new information but we will be happy to include that with all of our other sources if you like. When the Pope together with the College of Bishops make a decision, it is considered to be the highest authority of the Church. This body made a decision to call the Church "Catholic Church". This is a documented and referenced fact and I do not understand how we can be reasonably asked to not include this important fact. No one is being POV, we are just putting the actual referenced facts on the page. Some people who are POV, don't like this and are trying to make us eliminate a referenced fact without coming up with any reliable reference that says otherwise. NancyHeise talk 23:45, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

I disagree. First because I don't consider the "Oxford Dictionary" a NPOV for religious issues. Secondly because "Catholic Church" was the use also before the Reformation. Third because the definition is wrong: the Catholic Eastern Churches are in communion with the pope but are not "Roman". Fourth because I would like to use the name that each denomination gives to itself: that is the only way to be neutral. The only name is "Catholic Church". "Roman C.C." should be used only as alternative name. A ntv (talk) 23:52, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

First, how is that scholarly university press publication not NPOV? The book was the work of 480 contributors of all denominations (and none) from all over the world. It is authoritative and reflects the latest research. The source is above reproach. Second, prior to the Reformation the Church in the West refered to itself as Catholic in distinction to Orthodox which is stated also page 305. That said, the quote is exact and it is cited by a major work WP:RS and that is all wiki requires. Third, Rome makes use of the term Roman Catholic Church in reference to all 23 churches in communion with the Pope on occasion, so this point is a misunderstanding on your part. Fourth, the propsed text does not deny the use of Catholic Church. Other complaints? -- Secisek (talk) 00:06, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
To consider other people contributions in a talk page as "complaints" does not demonstrate NPOV. A ntv (talk) 00:18, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
It is quite easy to rebut your good faith above statements. For example you, or such anglo-centric and non-catholic dictionary, write: "prior to the Reformation the Church in the West refered to itself as Catholic in distinction to Orthodox": ok, let's check the formal documents, as the formal degree[50] of the 6th section (07.06.1439) of the Council of Florence: the distinction between the two churches is made using the terms "..Occidentalem Orientalemque dividebat ecclesiam.." (..that divided the Western and the Eastern Church..). The component of the two churches are referred to as "Latins vs Greeks". The use of the terms "Catholics vs Orthodox" is a modern use: both churches claim to be "orthodox" (=with a right doctrine) and "catholic" (=universal). Anyway in the same 1439 degree you can check the absolute lack of the term "Roman Church", while you find the name "Catholic Church" ("cattolicae ecclesiae"). In such a time the term "Roman Church" meant "the Church of the town of Rome" and it was not used together with "catholic" that means universal (the two terms are contradictory). As Xandar wrote, RCC is a 17th Century Anglican invention (see also [51]). A ntv (talk) 07:36, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

You made no contribution, you simply dismissed mine. Nancy at least made some suggestions and I now propose this:

The '''Catholic Church''' or '''Roman Catholic Church'''{{#tag:ref|The Greek word "catholic" means "universal" and was first used to describe the Church by [[Ignatius of Antioch|Ignatius]] in the late first, early second century.<ref name="woodhead">{{cite web | last =Woodhead | first =Linda | title =An Introduction to Christianity | publisher =Cambridge University Press | date =2004 | url =http://books.google.com/books?id=EsctaP__5yQC&pg=PA34&dq=ignatious+where+the+bishop+is+there+is+the+catholic+church&lr= | accessdaymonth=18 Nov|accessyear=2008}}</ref><ref name="Walsh"/> The third edition of the ''Oxford Dictionary of the Chritian Church'' defines the "Roman Catholic Church" as the "Christians who are in communion with the Pope" on page 1408. The same work also states on page 305 that, "Since the Reformation Roman Catholics have come to use (Catholic Church) of themselves exclusively". McClintock, on p. 71, makes it clear which usage is not offical: "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."<ref>{{cite web | title =American Ecclesiastical Review | publisher =Catholic University of America | date =1903 | url =http://books.google.com/books?id=LtMoAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA135&dq=catholic+church+proper+name+dispute&lr=#PRA1-PA135,M1 | accessdaymonth=27 Oct|accessyear=2008}}</ref> Both terms are is use, however "Catholic Church" or simply "The Church" are most often used in offical contexts. The Church herself, in her most authoritative and self-defining documents such as those of Vatican I and Vatican II uses the name "Catholic Church".<ref name="Madrid152">Madrid, pp. 152-158.</ref><ref name="Whitehead">{{cite web | last =Whitehead | first = Kenneth| title =How Did the Catholic Church Get Her Name? | publisher =Eternal Word Television Network | year =1996 | url = http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/churb3.htm| accessdaymonth=9 May |accessyear=2008}}</ref> |group=note}} is a [[Christianity|Christian]] [[Ecclesia (church)|church]] in [[full communion]] with the [[Bishop of Rome]], currently [[Pope Benedict XVI]]. It is the world's largest Christian Church representing over half of all Christians and one-sixth of the [[world population|world's population]].<ref name="Zenit">{{cite web | title =Number of Catholics and Priests Rises | publisher =Zenit News Agency | date =12 February 2007 | url =http://www.zenit.org/article-18894?l=english | accessdaymonth=21 February |accessyear=2008}}</ref><ref name="CIA">{{cite web | title =CIA World Factbook | publisher =United States Government Central Intelligence Agency | year =2008 | url =https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html#People | accessdaymonth=22 December |accessyear=2008}}</ref>

Several problems. As stated earlier, leading the article with "Catholic Church" when the title remains "Roman Catholic Church" is problematic. I can see this being challenged at Feature Article stage on style grounds, and that would start the same old argument again during a future FAC. The article would have to be renamed "Catholic Church" to make that stick. If we lead with "Roman Catholic Church," then we have to state unequivocally what the "actual", "real", "formal", "proper" or "Official" (take your pick) name of the Church is.
Your proposal falls down on this, edging around the subject to avoid offending certain interests. However WP policy states that the name by which a group self-identifies MUST be clearly used. The clear statement that Catholic Church is the official or proper name is removed, (even though this is hinted at by the placing of Catholic Church first in the lead sentence, this leaves ambiguity.) The use of the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church not only gives an unofficial, anglo-centric and non-catholic publication undue weight, but quotes a paragraph that works from back to front - it gives a name (RCC) and then defines the body to which it assigns that name. That is proof only of what the editors of the Oxford Dictionary have chosen to call the Church, it provides no evidence whatsoever that that is the church's actual or official name. Also phrases like "both terms are in use however," give a false impression that both have equal or near-equal validity, when the worldwide Church uses RCC on extremely rare occasions. Nor is "the Church" an official name, any more than "the palace" is the name of Buckingham Palace, even though it is used very often in the UK. A full discussion of the issue would need to state that RCC is a 17th Century Anglican invention, it was foisted on the church in certain countries in the 19th Century, and that the Church normatively uses the term Catholic Church as its proper name.
It remains a fact that no reliable secondary evidence has been produced for any other official name than the Catholic Church. One of the problems here is that some people are claiming to be against the use of the word "official", but are actually against any phrasing that clearly states the proper name of the Church. That fact does need to appear. I could go to the Church of England page, and start trolling that it isn't the only Church in England, that it also calls itself "the Church." "the Church of God," and the "Anglican Church", that I think it should be called the "Schismatic English Church," and that there aren't enough authorities to suit me that contain the precise words "the official name of this Church is the Church of England." I would not be doing anyone any good by doing that. So lets have some common sense here. Xandar 02:27, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Secisek, I am commenting on your proposal just above. I have a problem with this sentence "Both terms are is use, however "Catholic Church" or simply "The Church" are most often used in offical contexts." because we have no reference for that statement. We have references for every other statement and I think we need to just stick to what we can clearly reference otherwise we invite more useless discussions. I don't see what the Oxford source adds that was not already there in the Catholic Church approved source of Kenneth Whitehead. I think your proposal is admirable but I think we had already covered the issues already with the consensus version. Can you please identify for me what you think that version is lacking? It looks like you are in approval but want to add the Oxford source also. I don't have a problem with adding Oxford, including the quote. NancyHeise talk 04:34, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

To A ntv, I need to point that the ODCC is used through out WP as a WP:RS. Look at the edit summary on this diff just today: Historical Jesus. The source is an accepted one and, even if you could prove it to be not TRUTH, it could still be included as WP isn't about TRUTH, it is about cited facts from reliable sources...and the fact that the Dictionary of the Christian Church was not produced by the Roman Catholic Church, or any other Church, make it more reliable and free of POV - not less.

The term Roman Catholic is in use, both by the Church, her faithful, and the world at large. Pointing me to that 100 year old Catholic Encylopedia (I was using the New Advent site in the late 1990s when it only had a few thousand articles) only goes to show that the reason this has gone on for so long is because some editors are well aware of the everday use of the term "Roman Catholic". They find it personally offensive and they think Wikipedia is the place to begin to wipe it out.

Xandar also accused me of bad faith above, when I simply followed the RFC here and I have made two proposed compromises while not attacking, or even defending, any points. I don't know why I bothered because this is how it always here on this issue. I will work up a third based off Nancy latest suggestions, but I doubt it will bring this any closer to a resolution. -- Secisek (talk) 17:45, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Secisek, when did I accuse you of bad faith? My comments are critiques of your proposed changes, that's all. It's no use being overly sensitive and taking a huff if your proposals get criticised. The points about the ODCC are twofold 1) Sources can be reliable for subject A, but not so reliable on subject B. On the issue of what the Catholic Church CALLS ITSELF, and on its own beliefs, the Church itself, and bona-fide experts on it are the most reliable sources, not necessarily Anglocentric publications written by non-Catholics and based in Oxford. 2) The source does not say what you claim for it, since it does not say that Roman Catholic is the or even a official name for the Church, it just decides to call the Church the RCC. the term "Roman Catholic" may be "in use" to a greater or lesser extent in certain places, but that does not make it the proper name of the Church, or give it equal validity with the proper name. Xandar 01:05, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

You said my suggestion of a compromise was akin to trolling on other pages with terms like "Schismatic English Church" - which is clearly not what I was trying to do. The value of your opinion on this matter sinks when you make such basless attacks. As for the ODCC, for point one, see my new subsection below. For point 2, claiming that the ODCC does not refer to RC as the RC, when the Church is listed in the book under the heading RC is beyond response. This: "since it does not say that Roman Catholic is the or even a official name for the Church", is yet another strawman that I will be happy to knock on my talkpage if you want to take that there.

You do not appear to be reading what I am actually writing, (or for that matter what the ODCC is saying), and appear to be coming into this argument with an "attitude", reading your own slant into people's comments, determined to take offense. I never mentioned you in connection with the "Schismatic English Church" comment. It was a general comment, which was nowehere directed at you. It was a legitimate comparison of what might happen if Catholics went into articles about other traditions insisting that they knew so much better than the adherents about what their Church is called. As for your ODCC comment. The fact that the ODCC lists the Church as the Roman Catholic Church has no bearing whatsoever on this subject. That is an internal editorial decision made for many possible reasons by a couple of gentlemen in Oxford. If they listed barclays Bank under Bank of Mexico, that wouldn't change the name of Barclays Bank to the Bank of Mexico. What counts, especially for Wikipedia is how a group self-identifies and considers its proper name. That is what needs to be used. Xandar 21:36, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

You think I have an attitude? There you go again with your strawman. They DID NOT list "Barclays Bank under Bank of Mexico", which would be idiotic. They listed the Roman Catholic Church under the name Roman Catholic Church and this was a scholarly editorial decision made by experts on the subject of Christian Nomenclature. Your comparison again holds no water. I have not insisted that I know better than anyone - the facts speak for themselves. Nor do you have any idea what faith I am adherent of, nor should it matter. I have not taken offense to anyone's comments. Your's just become less and less relevant to the disccussion. -- Secisek (talk) 14:21, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

"Roman was rejected" revisited

The recent discussion has reverted to the question of whether "Catholic Church" is the official name of the church. This is a distraction. We may wish to get back to that question but there is far less support for questioning the assertion that "Catholic Church" is the name most frequently used and preferred by the church for referring to itself.

The issue that has substantial support is the question of whether the word "Roman" was rejected. We have sources that assert "Roman was rejected" and yet we have "existence proofs" that contradict this assertion (in the form of the encyclicals of Pius XI). So what are we to make of this? Assuming good faith on the part of Whitehead, McClintock et al, we can only assume that the word "Roman" was rejected for use in the official documents of Vatican I and Vatican II and that this decision and it supporting rationale have influenced the church's strong preference for "the Catholic Church" over "Roman Catholic Church". Nonetheless, it is clear that "the Roman Catholic Church" has been used in official documents since Vatican I and therefore "Roman was rejected" cannot be left as an unqualified assertion without giving the reader an incorrect perception of the true state of affairs. Either more needs to be said or less needs to be said.

A compromise could be reached either by deleting the phrase "Roman was rejected" or by adding a fuller explanation to the note so that it becomes clear to the reader that "Roman was rejected for use in the official documents in Vatican I and Vatican II but Roman Catholic Church has occasionally been used in some official documents since then".

--Richard (talk) 08:42, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

And, by the way, can someone explain why it is so critical to have the words "Roman was rejected" in Note 1? Would it be so awful if we simply said "officially named the Catholic Church" but left out the assertion "Roman was rejected"? Why not let the reader read the sources and decide for himself whether "Roman was rejected" and how to interpret that assertion?
And, if it is considered critical to include "Roman was rejected", why is it not useful to explain to the reader why it was rejected, the extent to which it was rejected and the extent to which it remains in use?
--Richard (talk) 08:49, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
The word "Roman" was rejected by neither Vatican I nor Vatican II. Each of them applied this adjective to the Church, Vatican I in Dei Filius, Vatican II in Lumen Gentium. Defteri (talk) 10:46, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
It isn't a reference that I personally have to hand, but I believe that the use of "Roman" was rejected in those circumstances where it was placed before "Catholic" and so appeared to qualify that word, (producing an oxymoron). "Roman" has always been used as a descriptor, along with "One," "Holy", "Apostolic" etc., in terms of adding additional attributes of the Church, or sections of it; but not as a qualifier (as in Roman Catholic), which limits the word Catholic, implying that the "Roman Catholic" is just one among many different national Catholic Churches. Defteri seems to be in some confusion between these very different usages of the word "Roman". Xandar 12:26, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, Xandar, but your interpretation was rejected by Nancy at the very beginning of this conversation. Gimmetrow 14:22, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

While googling around on the subject, I found a Priest at forums.catholic.co who asserted that "Catholic" is not an offical name, but rather, he claims, merely one of many discriptors for Christ's Church. This obviously is not a WP:RS - it may not even be correct. It was just interesting in light of Xandars comment above. -- Secisek (talk) 21:51, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Third Proposal

With nods to Nancy

The '''Roman Catholic Church'''{{#tag:ref|The third edition of the ''Oxford Dictionary of the Chritian Church'' defines the "Roman Catholic Church" as the "Christians who are in communion with the Pope" on page 1408. <s>The same work also states on page 305 that, "Since the Reformation Roman Catholics have come to use (Catholic Church) of themselves exclusively".</s> McClintock, on p. 71, makes it clear that this usage is not offical: "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."<ref>{{cite web | title =American Ecclesiastical Review | publisher =Catholic University of America | date =1903 | url =http://books.google.com/books?id=LtMoAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA135&dq=catholic+church+proper+name+dispute&lr=#PRA1-PA135,M1 | accessdaymonth=27 Oct|accessyear=2008}}</ref>|group=note}}, or properly the '''Catholic Church''' {{#tag:ref|The Church is called such in the most authoritative official documents.<ref name="Madrid152">Madrid, pp. 152-158.</ref><ref name="Whitehead">{{cite web | last =Whitehead | first = Kenneth| title =How Did the Catholic Church Get Her Name? | publisher =Eternal Word Television Network | year =1996 | url = http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/churb3.htm| accessdaymonth=9 May |accessyear=2008}}</ref> The Greek word "catholic" means "universal" and was first used to describe the Church by [[Ignatius of Antioch|Ignatius]] in the late first, early second century.<ref name="woodhead">{{cite web | last =Woodhead | first =Linda | title =An Introduction to Christianity | publisher =Cambridge University Press | date =2004 | url =http://books.google.com/books?id=EsctaP__5yQC&pg=PA34&dq=ignatious+where+the+bishop+is+there+is+the+catholic+church&lr= | accessdaymonth=18 Nov|accessyear=2008}}</ref><ref name="Walsh"/> |group=note}} is a [[Christianity|Christian]] [[Ecclesia (church)|church]] in [[full communion]] with the [[Bishop of Rome]], currently [[Pope Benedict XVI]]. It is the world's largest Christian Church representing over half of all Christians and one-sixth of the [[world population|world's population]].<ref name="Zenit">{{cite web | title =Number of Catholics and Priests Rises | publisher =Zenit News Agency | date =12 February 2007 | url =http://www.zenit.org/article-18894?l=english | accessdaymonth=21 February |accessyear=2008}}</ref><ref name="CIA">{{cite web | title =CIA World Factbook | publisher =United States Government Central Intelligence Agency | year =2008 | url =https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html#People | accessdaymonth=22 December |accessyear=2008}}</ref> The Catholic Church is a communion of 23 [[Sui Juris]] [[Particular Church#Autonomous particular Churches or Rites|particular churches]].

This solves the FA question (which I think is a strawman, anyway) by listing RCC first while immediately saying the "proper" name is CC. The notes demonstrate that while RCC is in use, CC is "proper" and used on the most "offical" defining documents. Is this any progress at all? --Secisek (talk) 21:55, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
The sentence <<The same work also states on page 305 that, "Since the Reformation Roman Catholics have come to use (Catholic Church) of themselves exclusively".>> is misleading: it looks like that before the reformation the Catholics used the term RCC, and this is false. This sentence is not at all necessary and I suggest to suppress it in the note. Than I go on not understanding why the definition of the CC shall be taken from a not-catholic text, and not from a Catholic official text. There are many that can be used as the early 20th century Cathechism of S.Pius X: "The Catholic Church is the Union or Congregation of all the baptized who, still living on earth, profess the same Faith and the same Law of Jesus Christ, participate in the same Sacraments, and obey their lawful Pastors, particularly the Roman Pontiff."[52]. A ntv (talk) 23:12, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

The p.305 sentence was included to further support the usage of Catholic Church. If you think the text is stronger without it, we can strike it.

I think it should be self-evident why we would want to use an NPOV third party source rather than a document or source produced by the very group we are attempting to define. POV concerns are less likely to be raised with a NPOV scholarly publication versus a document from the Church itself. -- Secisek (talk) 23:36, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

On issues of what a Church or Faith group believes or is called, self-produced sources are permissable on Wikipedia and are in fact the most reliable sources for those facts. A ntv is also cright in his comment on the p305 sentence, which can give the false idea that Catholic Church was not used before the Reformation. The comment on state constitutions using Roman Catholic is out of date. While I could accept use of the word "properly" instead of "officially", there was a great deal of opposition to that word at the time of the existing consensus text, based on the idea that "properly" might seem to be Wikipedia expressing an opinion. Does that opposition still exist? Xandar 01:21, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, sorry but I can't see how we could have the article say "properly called the Catholic Church" without taking a position on the dispute between Anglicans and Catholics. If I have to choose between "officially called..." and "properly called...", I would !vote for "officially called". --Richard (talk) 01:41, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

We already tried "properly called", many Anglicans opposed this use and they all favored "officially". Several of them are listed in the consensus vote for "officially" so I don't think we would be solving anything by going back to "properly". I would like to add that the Whitehead source is the only source used by Catholic media to explain the name of the Church to worldwide Catholics. Whitehead wrote a book on the Church, part of the book goes over the name issue and an excerpt of that book is what you see used by EWTN and Our Sunday Visitor in their "Catholic Answers" program. No one here has provided any sources to support their opinions that Roman was not rejected. They cite certain instances of when Roman has been used in official documents but we are not allowed to look at these ourselves and determine this as an official name, that is called WP:OR. You must have a scholar who interprets the original document. How do we know that these documents are discussing the official name of the Church when they have used "Roman" and are not speaking of the Diocese of Rome or using the term to be polite in ecumenical dealings? We don't unless we have a scholar who says so. Whitehead tells us a concious decision was reached by the Church's highest decision making authority regarding the name of the Church, a decision that has not been reversed since then by that same body. Also, I have the Annuario Pontificio, Roman Catholic is not found in this book in any of the names of the dioceses or archdioceses or names of the bishops conferences around the world. Someone here pointed to a web site by a Catholic Diocese that used "Roman" but the actual official name of the diocese does not use Roman, it is just "Diocese of Phoenix". My name on AOL is Nancy Heise, my official legal name is longer so I don't think it is very reliable to point to web sites. NancyHeise talk 02:51, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Nancy, it was I who suggested that you look at Google results for "Roman Catholic church" and "Roman Catholic diocese". The point that I was making is that there is massive evidence that churches and dioceses in the United States use "Roman Catholic Church" on their websites. Not all churches and dioceses but major dioceses such as Phoenix and Boston. This suggests that, in the United States, many churches and dioceses will refer to themselves as "Roman Catholic" without any official sanction. I think it was Xandar who drew the distinction between the "worldwide church" and "local churches and dioceses". I accept that there may be distinctions drawn between the official name in official documents (although there are obvious exceptions that have been pointed out). I personally am happy to adopt Whitehead's position but I think Whitehead is arguing for what everybody should use as the "proper name of the church", not writing about what actually is always used to name the church. In other words, our terse summary misrepresents the nature of Whitehead's writing. I am willing to accept the article stating that the official name of the church is "the Catholic Church" although I think the current sources don't fully support this without a bit of OR gluing them together. (e.g. the jump from "proper name" to "official name"). What bothers me is that the reader is presented with "Roman was rejected" without being given any help in understanding how so many churches and dioceses in the U.S. can use "Roman Catholic" and how "Roman Catholic Church" can be used in so many official documents when clearly referring to the entire worldwide church rather than just to the diocese of Rome. My proposal is to expand Note 1 to clarify what is meant by "Roman was rejected". Or, at least we should qualify that assertion by saying something like "Roman was considered less desirable for use in official documents although it continues to be used in some official documents and in some churches and dioceses." How can we let a handful of sources asserting what should be the case overrule what we know to be actual practice? Document the opinion about what should be the official name and document the actual practice about what name is often used instead of the offical name and the article will be encyclopedic. --Richard (talk) 16:55, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Whitehead does not say "a Catholic Church" is the official name and you have provided no source which does. Further, if you really believe that we cannot look at documents and determine X is an official name, then that means nobody can do that - not you, not Xandar - nobody. Therefore, there is no source which says "Catholic Church" is the official name of this church. The sentence therefore is in violation of WP:V and has been so for far too long. How about trying just "putting facts on a page" now, Nancy? Gimmetrow 03:07, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Gimmetrow, scholars and experts can look at original documents and tell us what they mean, that is why all of our RCC article had to use scholary sources instead of just citing Lumen Gentium or Canon Law or Catechism. Also, over 15 editors looked at Whitehead [53] and agreed to use "official name". You and Soidi opposed. Because I respect you so much, I went against this consensus and tried to make everyone use "or" or "properly called" and I was vastly overruled. I agreed with consensus of "official" only after everyone else perused the issue and came to overwhelming agreement that that is what the sources support.[54],[55] I will continue to agree with consensus on the issue because the editors who considered the subject are not new accounts, come from all religions or no religion, discussed the issue intelligently looking at all available sources, and came to a final decision based on referenced facts, not WP:OR. You are persistently asking me to go against this sound decision and I am sorry I just can not make you happy on this. I firmly believe you do not understand that a decision by the college of bishops was made regarding the name, that this decision constitutes the highest possible authority in the church and it is binding on the whole church unless that same body changes it, which it hasnt. Whitehead documents this and his book excerpt is used by a Church approved media source to tell this fact to the whole world. NancyHeise talk 03:47, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Also, here is more of Whitehead's book excerpt used by EWTN

"So the name became attached to her for good. By the time of the first ecumenical council of the Church, held at Nicaea in Asia Minor in the year 325 A.D., the bishops of that council were legislating quite naturally in the name of the universal body they called in the Council of Nicaea's official documents "the Catholic Church." As most people know, it was that same council which formulated the basic Creed in which the term "catholic" was retained as one of the four marks of the true Church of Christ. And it is the same name which is to be found in all 16 documents of the twenty-first ecumenical council of the Church, Vatican Council II."

Maybe you just did not read that far into the reference to see this.NancyHeise talk 03:59, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
"The Roman Catholic Church, in some contexts officially known as the Catholic Church" as the Article looks today is NOT acceptable and there is NOT a consensus. Please propose on the talk page before to do changes in the night. I'm going to revert it to yesterday status. I said it is NOT acceptable because it the true is exactly the opposite: the name the Church uses for itself is CC and in same anglo context the popular name is RCC. My proposal is of course the simpler possible: "the RCC, also known with the self-given name CC". A ntv (talk) 06:43, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I just can't believe that NancyHeise, Xandar and the one or two others who believe there is no citable view but their own will accept A ntv's quite good proposal. I hope A ntv will not take amiss my observation that it was clearly not in an "anglo context" that "Roman Catholic Church" was used by Pius XI in Divini Illius Magistri 54, by Pius XII in Humani Generis 27, and by John Paul II when addressing Croats on 23 July 1987, Danes on 7 June 1989, the Ukrainian Synod on 24 March 1980, the President of Ireland (you know the Irish don't like to be called English) on 29 September 1979, the people of Mechelen, Belgium on 18 May 1985, a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on 29 June 1989, non-Catholic religious leaders on 5 June 1991, the Polish Ecumenical Council on 9 June 1991, Jewish leaders in Mainz on 17 November 1980. If the Popes can use this name for the Church, why can't we? Defteri (talk) 10:32, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Defteri, no one has said "Roman Catholic" cannot be used as a name for the Church. Most of us have (with varying degress of reluctance) accepted this unofficial name as the article title! What we do have a legitimate right to insist however is that the proper name of the Church be allowed to be given in the lead sentence. In this respect A ntv's proposal is not an acceptable one since it again fudges the issue. 1, It uses "also known as", implying that "Catholic Church" is a secondary name to "Roman Catholic Church.," and 2. The phrase "self-given name" does not specify that this is the actual, official or proper name of the Church. That is the bottom line here. The fact that Delteri has been able to find 12 documents (mostly ecumenical ones) which mention the words "Roman Catholic", out of many tens of hundreds produced in the period, does not strengthen his cause much that RCC is the proper name or even in any way equal in validity with "Catholic Church". Xandar 20:44, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Xandar, what was discussed was whether the Church has rejected use of the word "Roman". It obviously has not. Defteri (talk) 05:48, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

What happened at the First Vatican Council

Although it is now 2009, there seems to be no need for me yet to renew my attempts to get NH & Co. to notice that theirs isn't the only POV in existence. But, since nonsense continues to be repeated about the First Vatican Council, I will make the following contribution:

The Council actually rejected a proposal by English-speaking bishops that the word "Roman" be eliminated from the dogmatic constitution Dei Filius: "Der Vorschlag einer Konzilsminderheit, das Wörtchen »römisch« zu verstreichen, wurde abgelehnt" (Richard Faber. Katholizismus in Geschichte und Gegenwart. 2005, page 42). It rejected the proposal quite overwhelmingly: those who stood up to indicate support were extremely few; those who stood up to signify rejection were almost the whole body (Theodorus Granderath. Constitutiones Dogmaticae Sancrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani. (Herder 1892) page 5). The same book summarises on pages 29-32 the process by which the Council agreed to change the opening words of the first chapter of the dogmatic constitution from "sancta romana catholica Ecclesia" to "sancta catholica apostolica romana Ecclesia", changing the order and adding an extra word, but keeping "romana". None of the speakers suggested that this particular formula or any other used elsewhere in the dogmatic constitution was to be the Church's official name, a concept that simply was not raised.

(I downloaded the pdf form of the 1892 book so as to be sure of the page numbers. Other formats that can be downloaded more quickly can be found at http://www.archive.org/stream/a584483100granuoft/a584483100granuoft_djvu.txt.) Soidi (talk) 10:49, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Solid and irrefutable. Well researched, Soidi. I think the offending word "rejected" can be removed. I have not used the phrase in any of my proposed compromises - and for all the work that still needs to be done, no one has taken issue with that deletion. --Secisek (talk) 20:13, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Hardly solid and irrefutable! We have a reference to the text of two untranslated foreign language books, (not generally acceptable as refs in English WP), one is in German and one of 1892 is in Latin. The Latin work linked to seems to have very little on the topic, which can be worked out despite my scant Latin. Nothing at all is linked to from the German book. I see nothing here to contradict our English language sources. Xandar 20:56, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
In relation to the claim that the Council rejected the use of the word "Roman", the German book states clearly that, on the contrary, the Council rejected the proposal that the word "Roman" be omitted from the name of the Church. The Latin book, when discussing the system of voting by standing up, says that this system was sufficient to show that the proposal was rejected overwhelmingly, in contrast to the proposal that a comma be inserted, when this system did not give a clear enough result, necessitating having recourse to a voice vote from each individual (page 5). On page 30, when discussing (over several pages!) the process by which "Sancta Romana catholica Ecclesia" was changed to "Sancta catholica Apostolica Romana Ecclesia", he states first that the Council accepted the opinion of the official "relator" (the Bishop of Brescia/Brixen) to reject the proposal and then, a few lines further down, that the Council Fathers voted almost unanimously to keep the words (including "Roman"). In view of that, how can Xandar seriously say that the Latin work, the most detailed work by far at our disposal, one that, unlike Whitehead, reports on the precise proposals that the Council voted on, has very little on the topic? Defteri (talk) 05:48, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
The same pages relate the proposal to change "The Holy Roman catholic Church believes..." to either "The Holy Roman and catholic Church believes..." or "The Holy Roman, catholic Church believes...". One of the bishops even referred to "Romana catholica Ecclesia" as the proper name of the Church ("quasi nomen proprium Ecclesiae") as the basis for rejecting the comma. In case the Latin is unclear, the argument of the bishop of Brixen is related in the AER[56]: "His argument prevailed so far that a majority of the Fathers voted for the omission of the comma". Gimmetrow 21:23, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Your link goes only to a page referring to the American ecclesiastical review magazine of 1903 - Soidi's source, which is also used by Nancy to make the opposing point!
On the German book, I have now managed to get a link to the right page, ex
It reads. "Das Erste Vaticanische Konzil (1870) began seine Erklarung uber den glauben zunachst mit der formulierung. " Sancta Romana catholica Ecclesia credit..."
Es wurde aber befurchtet die formel "Romisch-katholisch" konnte als einshranken der Allgemeinheit verstanden wurden. Deshalb wurde shliesslich folgenden Formulieren beschlossen. "Sancta catholica et apostolica Romana ecclesia credit..."
Translated this says: "The First Vatican Council at first began its explanation of the faith with the formula "The Holy Roman Catholic Church believes..." It was however feared that the formulation "Roman-Catholic" could be understood as a reduction of the universality of the church. Therefore the following formula was finalised "The holy catholic and apostolic roman church believes..." It adds that a proposal to strike out the word "Roman" from the latter was defeated.
This actually backs up the point that the term Roman-Catholic was specifically rejected by the 1st vatican council. The word "Roman" was not removed from the final formulation, but no-one has denied that the word "Roman" has always been used by the Church, along with One, Apostolic and Holy, as one of its descriptive qualities. As a NAME - or as anything that could be taken to be a name, the book backs up the point that the term "Roman Catholic" was specifically rejected. Xandar 22:36, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
The proposal to omit the word "Roman" was overwhelmingly rejected long before the change in the wording was accepted. As the German book says, the reason why the change was accepted was the fear (of the English-speaking bishops -- at first, the majority of the bishops could see no grounds for that fear, but they later took account of the fear of the Anglophones, and that was the reason for the change) that use of the original phrase in the document could be misinterpreted. The choice to change the order of the words and add another in this one passage does not mean that the Council outlawed the use of "Roman Catholic" as a name for the Church. Still less does it mean that it mandated the use of "Catholic" as the one official name! Defteri (talk) 05:48, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
The point is that the term "Roman Catholic" was specifically rejected - whatever the reason. "Outlawed" maybe not, but it was rejected for official use by the Council. Xandar 13:55, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Because of the fear of some English-speaking bishops that proponents of the Branch Theory might misinterpet the words "The Holy Roman Catholic Church", the Council changed that phrase to "The Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church". That is a verifiable fact. Like the verifiable fact that the Council rejected the proposal to omit the word "Roman". On the other hand, the idea that the Council decreed that the term "Roman Catholic Church" is not to be used officially to refer to the Church is not a verifiable fact: it is only an interpretation proposed by people like Whitehead (and you). This idea is not a logical conclusion from the verifiable fact of what the Council did. Furthermore, the verifiable fact that the Church's highest authorities do use the term "Roman Catholic Church" proves that the idea is not only logically flawed but is actually false. Defteri (talk) 15:31, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Read the source again. Gimmetrow 23:34, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
YOU read it again. I at least took the time to go into it properly. Xandar 23:42, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Read the source again, Xandar. I'm trying to be polite here. Gimmetrow 23:49, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
If you have a point to make about it, kindly make it and stop playing around. Xandar 23:59, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
You dismissed the source I provided without, apparently, reading it. You, apparently, have no problem with taking one side from that source, but not the other side. There is nothing further to say - you've already made my point. Gimmetrow 00:09, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
You really need to improve your attitude if you want to discuss things productively. try explaining the point you want to make, and use fewer arrogant-seeming comments. I presume the source you're talking about is not the book I was commenting on at length in the post you placed your unspecific comment directly beneath. If you are referring to the 1903 Ecclesiastical review, you have not provided a source for me to read. Your link to the 1903 magazine goes to a google contents page and no further. Xandar 00:36, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Link works for me. You need to adjust your attitude. Gimmetrow 00:45, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
I've tried it three times, and all that comes up is a contents page with no links. That source is better taken up with Nancy anyway, who seems to see something different in it than you and Soidi. Without the actual wording being relied on, I am thus forced to consider that the article(s) are either equivocal or somewhat unreliable on one side or the other. Faber backs the main point that Roman Catholic was rejected anyway. With that, goodnight. It's past 1am over here. Xandar 01:10, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
You were provided with an exact quote, and a link to the exact page in the AER. Since you had already rejected the non-English sources, there is nothing further to say on those. Gimmetrow 01:25, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

If the "exact quote" is what you posted in this section, then it is both incomplete and inaccurate, since the final form decided on by the ist vatican Council was "The holy catholic and apostolic roman church". Xandar 13:55, 2 January 2009 (UTC)


Xander, the American Ecclesiastical Reviewcan be downloaded here: http://www.archive.org/details/americanecclesia27cathuoft

To quote:


It is clear that the word ‘Roman’ in itself was not rejected. However, ‘Roman Catholic’ was rejected in the sense that it’s inclusion gave countenance to the errors cited (and not just the “Branch Theory” – although this is at the heart of this dispute). Hence the wording was changed. Hope this helps. MyTuppenceWorth (talk) 20:22, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

That seems to cover the question. And "Roman catholic" was specifically rejected. Xandar 01:41, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
MyTuppenceWorth correctly says that the use of "Roman Catholic" (these two words one after the other) was rejected from the text of Dei Filius. Xandar's conclusion that "Roman Catholic" was banned from official use generally is, as I already said, both logically flawed (his idea is not a logical conclusion from what the Council decided) and actually false (the Church has continued to use "Roman Catholic Church" in other documents, so the phrase is not at all banned).
MyTuppenceWorth is perhaps wrong in his personal conclusion that the Council made the change because of all the arguments mentioned by "one of the Fathers", seeing that the one (English-speaking?) bishop argued against any mention of the word "Roman", but the Council kept the word. However, this is a minor point, about which I will not argue. The main point is that the Council rejected use of the two words "Roman" and "Catholic" immediately one after the other in the document under consideration, but it did not not declare that "Roman Catholic" (even in that order) should never be used of the Church. Defteri (talk) 05:08, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
It was not a personal opinion but a comment on the given source passage “On hearing these reasons, the Deputation withdrew their recommendation”. Who’s to say which or how many of the reasons swayed each the Fathers but they “secured the votes of the whole assembly with scarcely an exception.” MyTuppenceWorth (talk) 13:19, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. Defteri (talk) 14:36, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Comment on Whitehead

I permit myself to add that much of the nonsense that has been said of the First Vatican Council here is due not to quoting Whitehead, but to misinterpreting him. He is not to blame for all of it, though there is nonsense also in what Whitehead does say. He says: "The term Roman Catholic is not used by the Church herself". That is plainly untrue. And there are non sequiturs such as his argument that, since "Catholic Church" is used in certain documents (in reality along with other names, even in the same documents), "Catholic Church" is therefore the only "proper" name. In the same way, he takes it that, because "Roman Church" can mean the local Church in Rome, it can mean nothing else. Whitehead is evidently no scholar. A glance at his footnote-less source-less expression of a personal opinion is enough to show that. The contrast between it and the scholarly studies that I cited above is striking. But I have not objected to including Whitehead's view. I have objected and do object to presenting it as the only view there is.

Having said this, I can again retire from active involvement. Soidi (talk) 13:24, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree with this assessment. Whitehead's essay has always struck me as a polemic rather than as a statement of fact. --Richard (talk) 16:35, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid all the nonsense in this argument for the past 4 months comes from Soidi, who has pursued a near fanatical approach on this issue, devoting all his WP activity to arguing his POV that black is white. The world Catholic Church refers to itself constantly and consistently, and has done so from the 1st centuries as the Catholic Church. Despite googling and researching constantly for four months, no more than a handful of minor usages of "Roman Catholic", generally for ecumenical relational reasons, have been found. In contrast to this are the thousands of consistent and solid usages of "Catholic Church" from infallible definitions to the great pronouncements of the Church. Of course all this is OR anyway, and Soidi has produced no serious sources to back his argument that "Roman Catholic", "Roman Church" or "Church of Christ" are the official names of the Church. Xandar 21:10, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
IMHO, the nonsense is the Xandar's refusal to accept that there are people who do not hold the same view that he propounds and who have sources to back them up. Defteri (talk) 05:48, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

See below. -- Secisek (talk) 21:57, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Primary/secondary/tertiary sources

It was again suggested that using primary source to define the Church is preferable to the NPOV scholarly Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church.

From WP:OR:

Policy from same:

User:Ealdgyth, a well-respected editor with 8 FAs to her credit points out on her talk page:

Which describes ODCC, as well. I could reproduce the experts and sources that contributed to the Roman Catholic article here if it would ease anybody's concerns. To say a source may reliable on one subject but not another maybe true. If I was using the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church as a source for an article about fluid mechanics, source-subject reliability could be called into question. Using the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church as a source for an article on a Christian Church invites no such criticism. The source passes WP:RS and the quote can't be exluded because you personally disagree with it. I will look over the other comments and produce another compromise. This is the only way this is going to go anywhere. -- Secisek (talk) 20:04, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

You do not appear to have been listening to what has been said. The quote from the ODCC is A) From a source with no great expertise on the Church's naming issues, and B) The quote provided is not in any way a claim that the Official name of the Church is "Roman Catholic Church." All it consists of is a decision by ODCC editors to deal with the Church under that title. It is like quoting the title of this Wikipedia article as "proof" that the Church is called the "Roman Catholic Church". The ODCC and the passages quoted are irrelevant to the principal issue here, since what we are concerned with is not what the editors of the Oxford Dictionary decide to call the Church, but what the Church uses as its normative, proper, actual or official name. Xandar 21:16, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

It can be cited from a secondary source and the issue here is what names is the Church known by. Take you strawman out of here: it would not be "quoting the title of this Wikipedia article as 'proof'" because Wikipedia cannot be used as source for Wikipedia. The two instances are nothing alike. Don't try to dismiss the citation on grounds that don't exist. This is moot, see below any way. -- Secisek (talk) 21:55, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

No the issue here is what is the actual, proper name of the Church. The name by which it knows itself and frames its most important documents and actions. That is Wikipedia policy. In this respect the decision of the Oxford Dictionary, Wikipedia, Chambers, the Lutheran federation or the Chinese Ministry of Defence or any other body on what to call it is irrelevant. The actual name used by the Church is what matters. Xandar 23:25, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

No, you are wrong: that is not WP policy and may you me need to refresh yourself on it: Wikipedia:Verifiability. This has nothing to do with what you "feel" is "actual" or "proper". It is about what can be cited by WP:RS.

Wikipedia can say that the Roman Catholic Church is called the Roman Catholic Church because the ODCC said so. Period. That is all that matters. Re-read the policy I quoted above. Re-read what I just typed - and let's move on.

Also, this has nothing to do with: "Chambers, the Lutheran federation or the Chinese Ministry of Defence". Can you make any post on this page without resorting to strawmen? Maybe you don't know what one is, so I'll wiki it for you. If you were unfamilliar Wikipedia Policy prior till now, I apologiese for my tone. -- Secisek (talk) 14:35, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

.

  • You are still very much mistaken - and looking at the wrong policy altogether. The policy that covers this is Wikipedia:Naming_conflict. This states:

And also...

This is why the opinion of the Oxford Dictionary editors is not relevant here. Xandar 01:52, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

No one is trying to deny that the Roman Catholic Church makes use of the term Catholic Church - and sees it as term for their use exclusivly. You are trying to deny that the Roman Catholic Church is also known as the Roman Catholic Church. Which it is - at times self-identifying as such. The fact that it is known as such in ODCC - and by millions of English-speakers is citable. It is also clear that you are trying to suppress this fact in this article.
"Roman Catholic Church" passes all three criteria in the policy you cite:

Is the name in common usage in English? (check Google, other reference works, websites of media, government and international organisations; focus on reliable sources)

It is in common usage.

Is it the official current name of the subject? (check if the name is used in a legal context, e.g. a constitution)

A legal context, yes. This name is used in legal documents through out the world where it is an established or tolerated Church.

Is it the name used by the subject to describe itself or themselves? (check if it is a self-identifying term)

If not a prefered term, only those on the most extreme end of this position would assert that the Church has NEVER refered to itself as the Roman Catholic Church. I know some people fringe have been shouting that those instances "don't count", but this isn't a child's sporting event. They DO "count" and the term passes the criteria just as surely as "Catholic Church" does. -- Secisek (talk) 22:39, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

The fact is you started by quoting the wrong policy. Correctly, on naming, a self-identifying body should be called by its own self-designated name. "Common usage" does not apply ahead of this principle. As for "official name" the official name is that which the body ITSELF uses, not as you say above, "legal documents where it is an established or tolerated church". The Church officially uses Catholic Church in all its major self-defining documents and pronouncements. It does not use "Roman Catholic" in these and Vatican 1 specifically rejected that use. The issue of NEVER, is a red herring, by that definition a name used once in one of a thousand documents, makes that an official name on a level with its real name! It is quite obvious that Catholic Church is the name consistently and overwhelmingly used by the worldwide Church officially to identify itself and that Roman Catholic is almost never used. Yes the church is "known as" the roman catholic Church by many. That is not denied. What I cannot understand is the insistence against all the evidence and the sources that this is how the Church identifies itself. It is not. Xandar 23:15, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

You point out, "As for 'official name' the official name is that which the body ITSELF uses". Then you reverted an edit - not made by me - that stated "(the Church) which officially calls itself the Catholic Church". That is word for word what you say - no...demand - the article should read. Confused editing, at best. -- Secisek (talk) 23:34, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

The only reason that Xandar brings forward for claiming that "Catholic Church" is the Church's official name is that it is in official self-identifying use. Other names too are in official self-identifying use. The fact that "Catholic Church" is used more frequently than other names does not make it the only official name. This is surely obvious. Defteri (talk) 05:33, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Important, possibly debate changing, information

I was working on a fourth proposal. I went to the most basic, well known, and most universal of all American school Catechisms. I was shocked myself to find that the Baltimore Catechism - for generations, THE educational book of faith for Roman Catholic Children in America - the book that both my parents and all four of my grandparents, along with tens of millions of others, learned their faith by, uses both terms. Moreover, they often simply use, "the Church" - I knew I wasn't making that (supra) up..."the Palace", indeed!

They used both at least as recently as Baltimore Catechism 4, which is the most recent one available in the public domain. I am working on a full report of my findings, but here are some high lights:


This dispute is so pointless. This one is my favorite so far:

How offical was this book? Check out this sandbox.

If the book was/is wrong, this book may be the very reason why almost no American Roman Catholics "know" that they are "supposed to be offended" by the term Roman Catholic. Our parents, and their parents, and beyond were taught that Roman Catholic was a name for the Church we belonged to in our parish schools and our CCD classes for generations.

Both sides here at Wikipedia need to accept that opinion is devided on this subject and start a fresh. Roman is not rejected and - I am now convinced - it is the opinion of some individuals, not Church policy - that Roman Catholic is unacceptable. That siad, the Catholic Church IS also the name most used by the Church itself in the most offical defining documents and this needs to be made clear, as well. This is going to hurt a lot feelings, but it is the only way forward.

In short, "get over it" and let's get something together that will pass FA. I'll see what I can come up with. -- Secisek (talk) 21:48, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

.

  • Secisek, The text you quote is different from that of the standard Baltimore Catechism here, which says:
Only with regard to the single para 133 is the text you quote using "Holy Roman Catholic Church" used. This is in a paragraph intended to be exceptionally specific and to exclude other churches claiming Catholicity.
However, the first and defining name of the church given in the Catechism is in Paragraph 10:
So you seem to be interpreting from a variant text of an outdated regional catechism from the USA. "Roman Catholic" has occasionally been used regionally, this has already been said. Usually this has been where the state imposed the usage on the Church. For the usage in today's worldwide church see Catechism of the Catholic Church. Xandar 23:20, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
"Baltimore Catechism" for sure does NOT represented the official position of the CC. It was a local document full of problems. The Catechism to check is the official one, the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" you can find on the Vatican website. A ntv (talk) 00:35, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

A ntv you may not be familliar with Baltimore. It was not a "local document", unless you mean local to the USA. Baltimore was the Mother Diocese in the USA and to pick up on that cities name and suggest it was "local" shows ignorance of the work itself and Anglo-American Catholicism in general. Baltimore was indeed official in every way, shape, and form, being an American version of the Catechism that came out of Trent. Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia calls it "one of the most influential books in the History of Catholicism in the U.S.". An online edition can be found here [57]

I am holding and quoting out of Baltimore Catechism IV, which was the most recent version and it updated a number of passages. Although the Catholic Information Center on Internet proudly points out: "The Baltimore Catechism is a timeless classic. The only changes that have been made in the Church, since it was written, are those in the area of discipline. No changes have been made in the area of doctrine and morality. The same Faith that was believed when the Baltimore Catechism was written, is the same Faith that is believed today."

user:Xandar, you pulled quotes from Baltimore Catechism II, so it is you that seem to be "interpreting" from a variant text of an outdated...catechism from the USA." Not me.

The 1994 Catechism refered above to is indeed the current one (and the first update since Trent which Baltimore was based on). My copy is in storage, but I don't recall it using Roman Catholic in any instance. No matter, as I don't believe anyone here has denied that the Church uses that name - or for that matter perfers it. The crux seems to be some editors refuse to acknowledge that the society - and indeed the Church itself - does refer to itself as Roman Catholic on occasion and Baltimore, one more time Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia calls it "one of the most influential books in the History of Catholicism in the U.S." not only refers to the Church as the "Roman Catholic Church" but acctually say "That is why we are called Roman Catholics". Now, how do we want phrase this: the Church is called both, perfers just one, and some don't like the other? That is all the note has to say...we cite it, and we are done. --Secisek (talk) 15:02, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

I would support a formulation along the lines of what Secisek proposes. I waver on the question of the "official name". Personally, I support Whitehead's position but as a Wikipedian, I have to say that I have not seen a source that states unequivocally that the official name of the church is "the Catholic Church" just sources that argue that the proper name is "the Catholic Church".
I might suggest some expansion of Secisek's proposal to explain why the church "prefers to be called the Catholic Church", why "some don't like the appellation Roman Catholic" and where "Roman Catholic is more likely to be used" (e.g. in Anglo countries and perhaps in Spanish-speaking countries).
Finally, I would like to ask if anyone knows the geographic extent to which "Roman Catholic" is used by Catholics to refer to themselves and their church. Specifically, what is meant by "the Anglo countries"? Is "Roman Catholic" a popular locution outside of the U.K. and U.S.? What about Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? Or, is this less of an issue because there are fewer Catholics in those countries?
--Richard (talk) 19:30, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
The reference copies available and archived, which I linked to, do not contain the wording you quote - which is obviously a variant or addition. I quoted the Standard edition 2 of the catechism, which is the most widely used form. But neither dows the much longer Version 4 (intended as aids for catechism teachers) in the publicly archived form include the "Roman Catholic" that Secizek has transcribed.

Roman catholic is rarely used by Catholics anywhere to refer to themselves and their Church. They overwhelmingly use the term "Catholic Church" - and so do most other people. Xandar 02:00, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

First, "Roman catholic is rarely used by Catholics anywhere to refer to themselves and their Church." Can you cite this? If you can't, it's opinion. Secondly, I have my mother's copy of the Fourth Baltimore in my hands. (She is an RCIA instructor who was given an award by Cardinal George last year.) You have been reduced to asserting that I am lying. The quotes above were reproduced verbatium. It says Roman Catholic Church in a number of instances, including the ones I cited (with page and passage numbers) above. -- Secisek (talk) 04:20, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

A proposed compromise

How about

The Roman Catholic Church, which prefers to use the name Catholic Church (Latin: ecclesia catolica) in official documents, .... (or alternatively "in official contexts")

This would be the opening of the lead with a note which explains the points that I outlined above

  1. why "the Catholic Church" is the form preferred by the worldwide church
  2. where "Roman Catholic Church" is used by Catholics (e.g. U.K., United States, some Spanish-speaking countries)
  3. what sectarian/theological issues cause "the Roman Catholic Church" to be promoted by some and disliked by the Church

--Richard (talk) 19:46, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

With regard to your geographical question, is it not rather that it is in English-speaking countries (where Anglicanism is/was strong) that Catholics tend to dislike the term "Roman Catholic"? At the First Vatican Council, it was the English-speaking bishops who objected to having the two adjectives in that order in Dei Filius; the others at first found it hard to understand the objection. The article in the Catholic Encyclopedia by H. Thurston (who, being from an English-speaking ambience, disliked "Roman Catholic") could trace no use of "Roman Catholic(s)" by Anglicans earlier than 1588; but it quotes a 1575 book by a Catholic that speaks of the "Catholique Romane Church" (spelling of the time), and then explains this as "simply a translation of the phraseology common both in Latin and in the Romance languages 'Ecclesia Catholica Romana', or in French 'l'Eglise catholique romaine'". So it seems that "catholica romana" and "catholique romaine" were in use by Latin- and French-speaking Catholics much earlier than 1575. (In fact the usage seems to go some centuries further back, as indicated in a source cited earlier in this discussion.) So "Roman Catholic" did not originate among Protestants: what originated among Protestants was an interpretation of "Roman Catholic" as meaning only part of the Catholic Church. In Switzerland, for instance, you will find "römisch-katholische Kirche", "Eglise catholique romaine" in use by Catholics. Am I wrong? Defteri (talk) 20:58, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
I would argue that is not necessary. "The Roman Catholic Church, officially called the Catholic Church... is a referenced fact, why do we need to add "which prefers to use the name" when it IS the name? I would like to add that the Whitehead quote cited to EWTN comes from a book called "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic" by Kenneth Whitehead page 301 published by Ignatius Press ISBN 0898708028. Per Whitehead, the name Catholic Church has been the official name of the Church since the year 325. At Vatican II, the bishops considered the official name again and agreed to use Catholic Church, rejecting Roman as a prefix. That historical fact, documented by Whitehead allows us to reference "Roman was rejected". I do not see how anyone can argue these facts, they are black and white and no one has offered any reference that gives authoritative evidence otherwise. NancyHeise talk 20:55, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, NancyHeise. Neither at Vatican I nor at Vatican II did the bishops consider the official name, either for the first time or "again". Have you not read the account above of the actual discussion at the First Vatican Council, and the bishops' decided rejection not of "Roman", but of a proposal to omit "Roman"? Defteri (talk) 21:02, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
It's also a cited fact that at Vatican I, the bishop of Brixen argued that "Roman catholic Church" was "proprium nomen Ecclesiae", and that was the basis for rejecting a comma in "Roman, catholic Church". (NH's AER, p.77). Gimmetrow 21:30, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Whitehead is a more reliable reference because it is the only source used by Vatican approved Catholic media to explain to a worldwide Catholic audience the name of the church. The reference comes from a scholarly work by an author who is a respected expert [58]. "Roman was rejected" is a referenced fact of Vatican I as is the fact that Catholic Church has been the official name of the Church in its official documents since 325. Defteri's source, Catholic Encyclopedia, and American Ecclesiastical Review also discuss the age of the name and that Roman Catholic was introduced by Protestant England who forced the Catholic Church to adopt Roman in legal documents under duress. If we want to put that info in the note I don't have a problem with it but I do have a problem with elimination of referenced, consensus agreed text based on other people's personal opinions not backed up with reliable sources. We need to respect the fact that the Church used Whitehead to explain its own name and not any of the other sources others have supplied here. NancyHeise talk 21:41, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
EWTN is not "Vatican-approved". Period. The one Church was called "Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic" long before there were any Protestants. Period. Defteri (talk) 05:08, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Defteri, your 1575 book could have been speaking of the Roman Catholic Church (Latin Rite) as opposed to the Eastern Catholic Church, both of which comprise the whole Catholic Church which is why we don't call ourselves Roman Catholics - it is a meaning that omits the Eastern Church. NancyHeise talk 21:49, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Innocent III was not speaking about the Latin Church, when he spoke about it as the "one Church ... outside of which we believe no one is saved". Defteri (talk) 05:08, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
But there is that all important comma between the words: "we confess the one Church, not of heretics but the Holy Roman, Catholic and Apostolic (Church) outside which we believe that no one is saved"MyTuppenceWorth (talk) 13:29, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Isn't "not of heretics" a parenthesis? Doesn't it mean: "We confess the one Church - not the Church of heretics - but the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which we believe that no one is saved"? Defteri (talk) 14:36, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
As has been explained to you multiple times, the Whitehead text does not support the notion that "Roman" was rejected, nor that "Catholic Church" is the one and only exclusive legal name for the church. If you want to retain the content in the article, you need to provide solid reliable sources. You have not provided those references, therefore the content should be removed. Gimmetrow 21:58, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Gimmetrow, I sided with your POV on this and vast consensus disagreed. I eventually sided with consensus but you have not. I see you have eliminated "Roman was rejected" even though that is a FACT, referenced to three sources. Can you please show me the consensus that supports your edit? I am not going to say anything because I personally don't care if it is in there or not. But you are inviting endless discussion by your edit and I am not going to support you on it because consensus shows that sources DO support that phrase. Lets just see if nobody notices. NancyHeise talk 22:22, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
When was "Roman" rejected? Not by the First Vatican Council. Not by the Second Vatican Council. So when was "Roman" rejected? Defteri (talk) 05:08, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Nancy, I think everyone should be able to live with this diff [59]. Who cannot, and why? Not what I wanted, but not objectionable. Are we there? -- Secisek (talk) 22:48, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

All the reliable sources properly quoted on this page agree that "Roman Catholic" was rejected at the 1st Vatican Council as the name of the Church. Attempts to argue that the formulation "Roman Catholic" is in any way official, or existed prior to the Reformation are unbelievably tenuous. Xandar 02:14, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
"Roman Catholic" (using the two words immediately one after the other) was rejected from use in one document. Its use elsewhere was not rejected. Its official use elsewhere is in fact accepted by the Church, not rejected. Defteri (talk) 05:08, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Defteri, there is a website (http://www.shc.edu/theolibrary/docs.htm) that provides links to documents of Ecumenical Councils. Could you show me one document that uses the name "Roman Catholic" for the Catholic Church. I have searched myself and I cannot find anything. MyTuppenceWorth (talk) 14:19, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
I can show you lots of cases in which twentieth-century (and so post-Vatican I) Popes have used "Roman Catholic Church". I mentioned several of them above, under "With nods to Nancy". Defteri (talk) 14:36, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

To say even that Vatican I rejected "Roman Catholic" is false. It's a cited fact that the bishops of Vatican I agreed with the argument of the bishop of Brixen that "Roman Catholic Church" was a/the proper name of the church. It's too bad one side would not accept the descriptive text: "There is a strong body of opinion within the Catholic Church that the name "Catholic Church" should be used exclusively and that the name "Roman Catholic Church" should be avoided because of the sectarian connotations associated with that name." Gimmetrow 17:22, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Xandar, you are not accepting reality. Your demonstration that the Church doesn't prefer the term is off set by the demonstrations here that the term IS used by the church sometimes in offical documents, in the famous offical Baltimore Catechism, and - less offically - on church bulletins, in phone directories, and the occasional stone facade all over the Anglophonic world. Whitehead's oppinion - and yours - is a minority one and you, and a small but steady line of editors before you, have attempted to make Wikipedia ground zero in the battle to Right this Great Wrong that does not exist. I grew up a Roman Catholic, my family is Roman Catholic, I went exclusively to Catholic schools (sic) until university where I was taught that I was a Roman Catholic. I never even heard that the term was taken as a slight by some until a wacky University Chaplin told me so. This dispute exists for a handfull of people in the wider world and here at Wikipedia. That is it. The number of people world-wide actually offended by the use of "Roman Catholic Church" is probably less the number of people who demand a return to the Tridentine Mass. You are trying to give them undue weight with the ridculous suggestion that Rome has offically rejected use of the term "Roman Catholic Church - which it hasn't. The evidence is everywhere that they use it from time to time. Consensus seems to have conceded "offically" which is a stretch, but clarifed by the note. The Catholic Encyclopedia - which was a triumph of scholarship, tho clearly biased, when it came out - now isn't worth much except as a historical document. That said EVEN IT states: "members of that Church are wont in official documents to be styled 'Roman Catholics'"
I added in the origins of the term from the OED per New Advent because it is citable, but I also added in the ODCC material as it is citable as well. I hope this is acceptable. -- Secisek (talk) 19:56, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Secizek. "Roman Catholic Church" is NOT the name of the Church. Even your own sources admit it was coined in 17th Century England. There is overwhelming evidence of the proper and official name of the Church, which has been presented ad-auseam here. As well as ample evidence that the Church rejected the title Roman Catholic. The usage defined and used by the worldwide Catholic Church and by Catholics worldwide is "Catholic Church", and in the worldwide Church documentation and pronouncements "Roman Catholic" is virtually non-existent. Your "catholic Encyclopedia" quote above is outdated and you clearly misunderstood it. It refers to members of the church being styled "Roman Catholics" in GOVERNMENT official documents." Your own childhood memories of a particular anglophone local community are irrelevant here, and you are defying Wikipedia policy by continuing to insist on favouring your preferred designation. You have also again broken the need to reach consensus by pasting unagreed and misleading quotes from old Oxford Dictionaries into the article. You have been told that the material in these quotes was misleading, yet you STILL pasted it in without agreement. Xandar 22:08, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Hey, it was a suggestion that I thought might address your concerns that the "orgins" of the terms were being censored. One that you liked to some degree, since you left part of it in. You complain about the usage of the OED, but you left in a quote that suited you, I see.

I think it is pretty clear that I am not engaing in Wikipedia:Tendentious editing, but I am trying to find something that will become a consensus version. It was clear to me that they were talking about GOVERNMENT official documents. I ask you again, do you want this article to say that the usage doen't exist? Because it does. What "Wikipedia policy" am I violating? --Secisek (talk) 22:25, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Didn't quite understand all the argument, but here is a pointer to the online catechism. There is nothing about the "Roman Catholic" in there, but isolating the adjective to merely "Roman" yielded "Roman pontiff", "Roman liturgy" and others. Student7 (talk) 23:52, 3 January 2009 (UTC)


As it now stands

Xandar made an edit. I added in a citation and I am satisfied. Can we reach consensus on what stands here: [60]. I hope so. We also try to get a more recent OED and see what it says. the 1912 date could pose a problem for FA. -- Secisek (talk) 22:31, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

I pulled the 1912 quote in favour of the current Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English which says much the same. Hope this where it needs to be. -- Secisek (talk) 22:40, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

[61] This is the version after Secisek's changes above and I like it! It explains both Roman and official name. I hope everyone else likes it too because this version addresses the origins of both names which I think is a satisfactory improvement. NancyHeise talk 00:10, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
The latest version omits the 17th Century origin for the term RCC, I see. And part of the wording I thought misleading i.e "The third edition of the Oxford Dictionary of the Chritian Church defines the "Roman Catholic Church" as the "Christians who are in communion with the Pope" ... has come back. This seems to imply an "official" veneer to "Roman Catholic Church" by including an unneeded, at this point, definition. However I'll hold my approval or disapproval until we see whether this proposal actually has prospects of being a final solution. Xandar 00:38, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Could these two notes be merged? They're both good, but having them both is a bit cluttered in the first sentence and makes them look a bit as if they're fighting. TSP (talk) 00:42, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I think the notes could be merged and I think that we could add Whiteheads comments about the use of Roman Catholic beginning in 17th century per Xandars comments. NancyHeise talk 00:58, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes. One note is better than two, I think. Xandar 01:00, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid that Nancy's recent edits have inserted the most blatantly incorrect parts of Whitehead's position :-(
"The term Roman Catholic is not used by the Church herself; it is a relatively modern term, confined largely to the English language." The term Roman Catholic as used by the Church, refers to the Diocese of Rome or to the Roman Rite (Latin Rite) which excludes parts of the worldwide Catholic Church that use other rites.
Both of these are obviously false - when Pius XIII said "the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing" (Italian "il Corpo mistico di Cristo e la Chiesa cattolica romana sono una sola identica cosa" - I can't find it in Latin, oddly) in Humani generis I think it's reasonably clear that he meant neither the Latin Rite nor the Diocese of Rome; similarly, I don't believe that groups such as The Joint Working Group between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches are meant to only speak for the Latin Rite (which is in any case not the same thing as the Roman Rite). Most certainly the Church itself uses the term rarely and avoids it where possible; but it does use it, and when it does, it always seems to use it synonymously with Catholic Church. If Whitehead's opinion is to be included, it can only be as an opinion; balanced perhaps by the American Ecclesiastical Review ("The name 'Roman' has been adopted by the Church herself and recognized by the world at large as the proper appellation of the only religion which has any claim to true Catholicism"). Or it could be kept out entirely, as it was previously. TSP (talk) 02:16, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Those sentences are referenced. The first one is a direct quote from Whitehead. I dont understand the problem people have with that information in the article especially when the reference is used by a Vatican approved Catholic media outlet to explain to viewers the name of the Church. TSP, Whitehead is not an opinion piece, it is a scholarly book excerpt used by EWTN in their Catholic Answers program to explain to worldwide viewers the name of the Church. The American Ecclesiastical Review piece you cite is and opinion piece. We eliminated both it and an opposing view in the same publication because we are not allowed to use opinion pieces per WP:RS. NancyHeise talk 02:18, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, I made some adjustments to the note per TSP's concerns. Please see again. NancyHeise talk 02:38, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
"These sentences are referenced", but to a source that is obviously unscholarly and inexact, as we have seen, and that is contradicted by other sources. And to call a certain media outlet Vatican-approved is indeed rich, since that media outlet changed its by-laws precisely to avoid any "interference" by a Vatican envoy! (See page 4, with the end of page 3, of this article.) Defteri (talk) 05:25, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Defteri, you need to put your talk after the one above it not in between, I just saw your post here. EWTN is a member if SIGNIS whose board is comprised of at least one representative of the Roman Curia. EWTN is the largest Catholic media outlet in the world [62] [63]. I think that fact alone makes their use of Whitehead significant. Would you prefer we use a source that is not used by Catholic media? We have already included those. Why do you have a problem with using a source that is used by Catholic media. Have you not read WP:NPOV? NancyHeise talk 01:08, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Reversals without responding to queries

Would it not be better for the team that keeps edit-warring against all comers to, at least sometimes, respond to the objections that are raised, instead of constantly reverting?

The following difficulties have been raised against NancyHeise's latest text.

According to Kenneth Whitehead, in his book One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic which was used by Catholic media to explain the Church's name to worldwide viewers. Is this not a violation of WP:UNDUE? How can it be claimed that particular authority attaches to whatever is published by EWTN, a network that changed its by-laws precisely to avoid being subjected to oversight by an envoy of the Holy See?

"The term 'Roman Catholic' is not used by the Church herself; it is a relatively modern term, confined largely to the English language."<ref name="Whitehead"/> But the term is in fact used by the Catholic Church's joint commission for theological dialogue with Anglicans (why call it an "organization" of all terms, unless it was to hide the fact of its semi-official status?) and similar commissions for dialogue with the Eastern Orthodox Church (e.g.Faith, Sacraments and the Unity of the Church), Oriental Orthodoxy (e.g. Address of Pope Paul VI - words by the Pope, not by a commission or by the Pontifical Council itself) and the World Council of Churches (e.g. Final Communiqué), and is found both in the official Latin text (why did NancyHeise speak only of the "Italian version" of just one document, unless it was to suggest falsely that this was merely an error found only in a single translation, and that this was the only papal document that, even in a faulty translation, used the term "Roman Catholic Church") and in the various language versions of the papal encyclicals Humani generis and Divini Illius Magistri published on the Vatican website, and is used repeatedly in speeches by the Popes. It is by no means largely confined to the English language, a language in which it appeared later than in other languages. It is a relatively modern term in English (little more than 400 years of existence), but only like many other terms that existed in Latin and other languages for centuries before being adopted in English. So how can Whitehead's opinion (it is only an opinion, an unfounded one at that) be legitimately presented as the only one that exists?

Originally, it was a translation of Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, (as far as I can see, the source does not say this) apparently first used in place of the earlier Roman, Romanist, or Romish, which were considered derogatory.<ref name="OxDictionary">Compact Oxford English Dictionary, p. ?</ref> This too does not seem to be quite what the source says. In addition, the source only speaks of the use of the English term in exactly the form "Roman Catholic" (not for instance "Catholique Romane"). The term "Roman Catholic" (or if you wish "romana catholica" and "catholica romana" and "catholique romaine" and, no doubt, "católica romana" and the like) was in use in Latin centuries before it first began to be used in English.

Within the Church, the term refers to the Diocese of Rome or to the Roman Rite (Latin Rite) which excludes parts of the worldwide Catholic Church that use other rites (see Eastern Catholic Churches).<ref name="Whitehead"/> Here Whitehead's opinion needs to be balanced by better views. Not one document of the Church can be produced that uses "Roman Catholic Church" to refers to the Latin Rite alone; the Roman Rite is a liturgical rite, not a particular Church; and it is surely illegitimate to make the implicit claim that the term "Roman Catholic Church" is never used of the whole Church: it is so used in many documents of the Church, including the encyclicals Divini Illius Magistri and Humani Generis. Defteri (talk) 11:02, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Defteri. You are the one giving UNDUE WEIGHT to a tiny number of exceptions to the General Rule that the worldwide Church does not use "Roman Catholic" to describe herself, and in fact specifically rejected the term. These exceptions are largely politeness and to prevent long disputes over naming issues in Ecumenical environments such as ARCIC where other churches lay claim to Catholicity. Weight is put on the Church's own sources on this matter, because in view of Wikipedia Naming Policy, (quoted above), the name by which a body chooses to SELF-IDENTIFY is the one which Wikipedia should use. You have no reference for your claims that "Roman Catholic Church" existed in other languages before English. The references state it was a 17th Century English construction. All the evidence shows that the standard form has always been the Catholic Church. What you are doing is performing skewed "Original Research" to back up your own misaprehensions, and then wanting to paste it into the article. Xandar 12:05, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Even one exception would be enough to prove false the claim that the Church does not use "Roman Catholic" to describe herself and has specifically rejected the term.
To whom was Pius XII being polite, when he wrote: "The Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing"? Or Innocent III, when he required people returning from heresy to confess the one Church, not that of heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which we believe that no one is saved?
Of course the Church was called Roman Catholic in languages other than English before the 17th century. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the phraseology "Ecclesia Catholica Romana" or in French "l'Eglise catholique romaine" was common both in Latin and in the Romance languages before 1575 (16th century). And do you imagine Innocent III became Pope only in the 17th century?
It would indeed be good to give weight to the Church's own documents, such as those I have referred to, rather than to a writer who does not quote a single Church document to support his view that the Church decided it would never call itself Roman Catholic - and yet it does call itself the Roman Catholic Church (as well as other names). Defteri (talk) 12:39, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
There is ample reliable 2nd party attribution that the Church rejected "Roman-Catholic" as a formal name. Your objections are OR. We've been through Innocent III who didn't use the term Roman-Catholic. It is not a medieval term. He used the term Catholic Church most of the time, and occasionally other descriptive formulations which mixed the descriptives One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman, in various orders at various times. "Roman-Catholic" itself in the modern meaning is a nonsense that would never be used by the Church or anyone else when there was no "other" Catholic Church to require a category definer like "Roman" before Catholic. Googling for a couple of rogue documents among thousands, and then claiming this as "proof" that the Catholic Church uses Roman Catholic Church as its proper name is not only Original Research, but blatantly misleading. Adding your and Soidi's list of documents to the article gives a false impression, which, for balance, would require the article contain a complete list of the documents that refer to the Church as the Catholic Church. We would then have a 4,000kb article! Xandar 21:58, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Xandar, the Church's own documents amply show that it does refer to itself as the Roman Catholic Church. No matter how many times people like you say it doesn't do so, the fact that it does remains. It refers to itself more frequently as the Catholic Church. So what? The fact remains that it does also refer to itself as the Roman Catholic Church. One document for each name would be enough to show it uses both: there is no need for lists. Defteri (talk) 05:08, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I honestly don't understand how anyone can have a problem with the text now. We are clearly explaining both terms using third party sources. Defteri wants to include a link to every mention of Roman Catholic but the problem with that is that we are not allowed to ref things to original documents alone and no scholar cites these as evidence of the Church's official name. We already mention that Roman Catholic a term commonly used to refer to Catholic Church and we have a ref for that already. How does ARCIC cause problems? It is an organization, a separate organization from the Catholic Church. NancyHeise talk 00:27, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I do not "want to include a link to every mention of Roman Catholic". I just want the fact to be recognized that the Church does refer to itself as Roman Catholic. One link in the article would be enough. The more numerous links here are only to bring home to people who, by edit-warring, are excluding that fact from the article that it is a fact. Defteri (talk) 05:08, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

I really doubt Whithead is correct when he says, "Within the Church, the term refers to the Diocese of Rome or to the Roman Rite (Latin Rite) which excludes parts of the worldwide Catholic Church that use other rites (see Eastern Catholic Churches)." He is confusing "Roman Church" and "Roman Catholic CHurch" As we all know, this is not about what is correct, but what can be cited, and it is. I think good points have been raised about the dubious nature of citing EWTN, which is why I wanted to cite Whitehead's book if we could.

I would still favour including the ODCC definition to esablish usage of the term Roman Catholic Church. Usage of Catholic Church is established, the origins of CC and RCC are discussed, but there is no citation to RCC's use. Roman Catholic Church? Who says this? The ODCC does.

That said, all statements are cited and I have no further serious objections to it as it stands. I am not happy with it, but it is acceptable. I hope others will agree.


BTW - I don't feel the ARCIC mention adds anything here either way.-- Secisek (talk) 04:03, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't know if there's an official ruling but "Roman Catholic", when used in the Eastern catholic Churches particul;arly, refers to the Western Rite Church, not themselves. Xandar 15:36, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
There is not even one 20th or 21st-century instance of a Pope or the Holy See using "Roman Catholic" to refer to the Latin Rite alone. Others may use "Roman Catholic" to mean the Latin Rite; but the Holy See does not. Some also use "Immaculate Conception" to mean Mary's virginal conception of Jesus; but that is not the meaning of the Immaculate Conception. Defteri (talk) 16:58, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

For the record, Xandar is wrong and Defteri is correct. I have seen contrasts be made between "Roman Catholic" and "Eastern Catholic" in opinion pieces: and it was wrong when it was done there. NEVER have I seen any semi-offical writer - or even specialist - make this mistake. Why? Because as was pointed out above. In the Roman Catholic Church itself "Roman Church" refers to the local Church of that diocese, not the whole Western Rite. "Roman Catholic Church also does not refer to the entire Western Rite, as we all know the origns of the term and we know that is not what it means. It is a term used by some, but only rarely by the Church herself, to describe the the 23 Churches in communion with Bishop of Rome. Period. --Secisek (talk) 22:58, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Humani Generis

What did Pope Pius say when he used the term "Roman Catholic Church"? It is certain he was not using the term as the official name: Here is the actual text of Humani Generis that uses the term:

27. Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the Sources of Revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing.[6] Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation. Others finally belittle the reasonable character of the credibility of Christian faith.[64]

Clearly he is not making a statement of fact himself but bringing up what others say to then dissect the message. Defteri, it is difficult for me to believe that you would point to this document as proof that the Church herself uses the term "Roman Catholic". This is why we need scholarly sources not personal interpretations of Wikipedia editors. Please understand that we can not get too excited about this use of Roman Catholic as evidence of official papal use of the name. Do you have any more papal encyclicals to point us to? I will be happy to include them in the note if I can find them. I happen to know that the document was not signed Roman Catholic Church but Catholic Church which seems to me to be a greater evidence of official name than the popes perusings on what "others say". NancyHeise talk 00:38, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Clearly Pope Pius XII is also making a statement of fact about what he said in his encyclical Mystici Corporis. That other encyclical, he says, "teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing." Of others he says that they say they aren't bound by that doctrine, that they (not necessarily the same people) reduce to a meaningless formula the need to belong to the true Church, that they belittle the reasonableness of the credibility of the faith. Of his own teaching he says that the Mystical Body of Christ and "the Roman Catholic Church" are one and the same thing.

I see you still have not adjusted the text of your Note 1 (which, however, you no longer treat as untouchable - Soidi must be pleased) to take account of the queries raised, nor have you answered the queries here. Defteri (talk) 05:08, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, Nancy, but I think you need to reread what Pope Pius XII wrote...
Some say.... (what do they say?) that they are not bound by the doctrine (which doctrine are they not bound by?) the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the Sources of Revelation, (and what do the Sources of Revelation teach?) that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing.
If you agree with this reading of Pius XII's text, you can only conclude that he believes that " the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing" and that he does not mean the "Diocese of Rome" but the entire Catholic Church. I do think it would be useful to check the original Latin text and make sure that the phrase "Roman Catholic Church" is used in the Latin. --69.236.185.246 (talk) 04:48, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Above comment was made by me when I thought I was logged in but I guess I wasn't. --Richard (talk) 07:31, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Vatican.va doesn't seem to host a latin text, but the phrase seems the same in the 5 languages given. Eg: " selon laquelle le Corps Mystique et l'Eglise catholique romaine sont une seule et même chose" in French. Gimmetrow 04:55, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I cannot find on the Internet the full text of the encyclical, and it might take me two weeks or so to get the printed text where I am at present. But the Latin text of the essential phrase is question ("Corpus Christi Mysticum et Ecclesiam Catholicam Romanum unum idemque esse") is quoted here and here and in several other pages not in English (but quoting the Latin phrase). A fuller extract from the encyclical, perhaps all of what NH quoted above, is given in http://books.google.com/books?id=-cFH5VPRyIEC&pg=PA64&lpg=PA64&dq=%22unum+idemque+esse%22&source=web&ots=hju1zhei4R&sig=UelQKUFmMjZj4ZfuuusY15xvgLk&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result this book] . That should be more than enough for our purposes. (By the way, yes, I am somewhat pleased (just a little) that, though there has been no improvement in substance, NH has accepted the possibility of a slight melting, even if only by herself, of what she had insisted was deep-frozen for the foreseeable future. But far more than that is needed to make an NPOV article.) Soidi (talk) 05:53, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Once again this is all pointless, because it is A) Original research and interpretation. B) The actual meaning of or what is intended by the usage of the phrase cannot be decided on or defined by us or by Wikipedia. C) An unusual or exceptional usage in official documents, even IF it does refer to the entire Church, or if is the Pope's, (rather than the Pope's reporting of others,) choice of wording. Even within this document, the word "Catholic" (unqualified) appears 18 times, including the title, and the words "Roman Catholic" only once. Even if it were not a document from over half a century ago, this would not go anywhere close to beginning to prove usage of Roman Catholic as an official name of the Church. The rarity of the quote alone proves the opposite. Xandar 15:33, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Xandar, in Humani Generis does Pope Pius XII call the Church the Roman Catholic Church or does he not? Can you sincerely say that he does not? Speaking about the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, he himself calls it "the Roman Catholic Church", and does not say that this is a phrase that others use. You don't need a university degree, or any form of original research, to see that. This fact is not contradicted by the fact that he called the Church other things as well, including the Catholic Church, the Church, and the Mystical Body of Christ (he wrote: "If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ - which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church - we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression 'the Mystical Body of Christ'"). There are dozens of instances of the Popes and the Holy See speaking of the Church as the Roman Catholic Church. Even one is enough to disprove the claim that the Church rejects the adjective "Roman". Defteri (talk) 16:58, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
When I copied the phrase of Pius XII that I quoted above, I did not advert to the fact that there too he calls the Church - the whole Church - the Roman Church. But he does. I have now added italics to that word. The quotation is from the encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi. Defteri (talk) 17:04, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
The words of Pius XII's text are “which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing.[6]” The full text of the encyclical can be read here: http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12HUMAN.HTM
However, notice the reference [6] which directs the reader to:

Cfr. Litt. Enc. Mystici Corporis Christi, A.A.S., vol. XXXV, p. 193 sq. This is a reference to another encyclical of Pius XII “Mystici Corporis Christi”. This can be viewed here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_29061943_mystici-corporis-christi_en.html

The abriviation “Cfr.” In the reference above means "Cfr." mean paraphrase or summary of the following: “13. If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ - which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church [12] - we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression "the Mystical Body of Christ" - an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the Holy Fathers.” MyTuppenceWorth (talk) 17:35, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for supporting me by again quoting what I myself quoted immediately above. Yes, as well as expressly calling the Church the Roman Catholic Church in Humani Generis, Pius XII says that in Mystici Corporis Christi he had already said what amounted to the same thing. Defteri (talk) 17:48, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Apologies, I hadn’t refresh the page I was viewing. 189.61.15.130 (talk) 18:51, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Enough with the edit-warring

For weeks now, we've been going back and forth between "officially", "usually", etc for the naming issue. I've removed both words for now, so that it just says "known as the Catholic Church" until consensus is reached here on what the text should be. If the long-term edit-warring continues, the page is going to have to be fully-protected until the discussion is over. Let's discuss the matter here, not on the page itself. Karanacs (talk) 18:00, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. In view of this, I have now removed my RfC about the reverting without responding to enquiries. As for Richardshusr's proposal below, it is obvious that I support it. Defteri (talk) 19:03, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, Karanacs, I agree with your desire to suppress the edit-warring. I had noticed it also but, since it didn't rise to a 3RR violation, I had been letting it slide for the time being.
However, your proposed temporary solution "known as the Catholic Church" is absolutely not acceptable because the sentence winds up suggesting that the church's real name is the "Roman Catholic Church" but is known as "the Catholic Church" which is a position that I don't think anybody here would adopt except perhaps the most ardent Anglicans.
I have substituted "which officially calls itself the Catholic Church" with the idea that such a formulation doesn't say that the church never calls itself "the Roman Catholic Church". The sentence just suggests that the church usually calls itself "the Catholic Church" in official contexts. Any explanation of the name "Roman Catholic Church" can be explained in Note 1.
I do agree with your suggestion that we hash all of this out here on the Talk Page rather than being overbold and inviting reverts from the Heise/Xandar faction.
--Richard (talk) 21:57, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
It is always the wrong version. I removed truly awful prose ("officially usually") without making a judgement call on which of those two words should be in the article. That was not meant to be a compromise statement. By making changes, you are furthering the long-term edit war that has been simmering here, after a specific warning on this talk page that this will no longer be tolerated. I ask that you please revert yourself and confine discussion to the talk page rather than edit summaries; otherwise I will protect the page and seriously consider sanctioning individual editors. Enough is enough. Karanacs (talk) 22:03, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Hey, Karanacs, chill out. Read my response to the message that you left on my Talk Page. --Richard ([[User

talk:Richardshusr|talk]]) 22:38, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

P.S. I agree with you that "usually officially" sounds atrocious. It's just that you would have been better off to go back to just plain "officially called" which isn't the point of contention at the present moment although some editors may wish to revisit the question later. Your proposal of "known as the Catholic Church" is NOT an improvement and I don't think any of the currently involved editors would be in favor of that phrasing. --Richard (talk) 22:42, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
"The Roman Catholic Church, officially known as the Catholic Church," is the standing consensus wording as agreed, and remains so unless a new consensus wording is agreed. Xandar 01:40, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Xandar, I think that "officially calls itself" or "officially refers to itself as..." is superior to "officially known as..." because "known as..." is an comment about what other entities know the church as whereas "calls itself..." or "refers to itself as..." is a comment about what the church calls itself. The discussion up to this point has clearly established that, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the church calls itself "the Catholic Church". The discussion has also established that, in some official documents (not documents of the Church per se but treaties and similar documents), the Catholic Church is referred to as "the Roman Catholic Church". However, these are almost always documents that involve entities other than the church. Thus the church is sometimes known by other entities as "the Roman Catholic Church" but it almost always refers to itself as "the Catholic Church" in its own official documents. --Richard (talk) 05:04, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm... I notice that Secisek has replaced "known as..." with "calls itself...". I would have preferred to get Xandar and Nancy's agreement before going back to "calls itself..." but I hope that they will concur with my argument above. --Richard (talk) 05:09, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
"Calls itself" is not on for the reasons set out below. As for Richard's suggestions, "officially refers to itself" etc. agreement here is what is needed for any change to consensus. Xandar 11:23, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

I think you are right about the chilling out. I have reached my limit of reading POV pushing (from both sides), POV pushing denial (from both sides) and an apparent inability to understand and/or come to agreement on what is a reliable source and what the sources actually say. This has happened on just about every issue that has been brought up on this page. I am going to unwatch now and let the rest of you figure it out. I assume I will see the article again when it gets back to FAC. Karanacs (talk) 15:54, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

"Rarely used" vs. "Disliked/Not preferred" vs. "Not rejected"

I would like to urge everybody to focus the current discussion on whether or not "Roman Church" and "Roman Catholic Church" were rejected as official and proper names of the Catholic Church. I think everybody agrees that, by far and away, the most frequent usage in official church documents is "the Catholic Church". So arguing that "Roman Catholic Church" occurs rarely or even "only once" is really missing the point.

I haven't seen anybody argue against the assertion that "Roman Catholic Church" is not preferred and even disliked by many within the church. For that matter, I think everybody agrees that "Catholic Church" was selected in preference to "Roman Catholic Church" for use in the official documents of Vatican I and that "the Catholic Church" is used consistently throughout the official documents of Vatican II. Thus, in a narrow meaning of the word "rejected", "Roman Catholic Church" was "rejected" in favor of "Catholic Church".

I don't think anyone is arguing that "Roman Catholic Church" is a more proper name of the church than "Catholic Church". or that the</s?> Nor is anyone disputing that the church uses "Catholic Church" as its most frequent (by far) official name. What we are arguing is that "Roman Catholic Church" is not improper and is, in fact, used on a number of occasions in official church documents to refer to the worldwide church.

IMHO, the focus of the discussion should be on whether or not the so-called "rejection" of "Roman Catholic" at Vatican I was primarily one of preference (i.e. "Catholic Church" in preference to "Roman Catholic Church") for use in those documents or whether there was an official decision to ban the use of "Roman Catholic Church" in all official contexts from that point forward. Do we accept the truth and significance of the account of the bishops standing in favor of the assertion that "Roman Catholic Church" is a proper name of the church? If so, "Roman was rejected" gives the reader wrong understanding of the status of the phrase.

Many of the evidences put forth establish that "Roman Catholic Church" is still used both by the worldwide church (meaning the Vatican) and by local churches and dioceses in the United States. Thus, a bald assertion that "Roman was rejected" simply gives the reader the wrong impression even if, with certain qualifiers, the statement is true. We must remember that our goal is to give the reader a neutral and accurate understanding of the facts and significant opinions, letting him decide for himself which opinions to accept and which to reject.

As I've said before, we should either take out "Roman was rejected" completely or expand the text to clarify what was the true nature of the "rejection" at Vatican I and what the current state of affairs is.

--Richard (talk) 18:09, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Richard is on the right the track here. I go back to my formula above: The "Roman Catholic Church" (cite ODCC) and - in her most offical documents - the "Catholic Church" (cite documents, etc)... the note then says: Rome herself prefers CC and some in the church do not like RCC (cite whithead) - which orignated in 17th century (cite Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English - which could be used in place of ODCC above as one editor seems to rather dislike it)...
That is it! What is worng with this? Its over. The problem is there are always editors (and they come and go) who don't want this to be over. It goes back to the righting of great wrongs.
The fact that "Roman Catholic Church" is used at times by the Church itself and the fact that nearly every major reference publication uses it as a primary name is dismissed as Anti-Catholic bias. Editors "know in that hearts" that all those reference works are "wrong" and - while there is nothing anyone can do to change the OED or Brittanica - Wikipedia can be the one place that gets it "right". This gets so boring so fast. Both names are used, one is favoured in the Church and one is disliked by some. Get on with it.
-- Secisek (talk) 23:10, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
The WP position is that names used by organizations themselves should be used. Everyone agrees that English-speaking governments etc use RCC, and it is no doubt on that basis that Britannica etc choose their titles - "nearly every" of course reflects what the Not-the-Roman-Catholic Encyclopedia (old & new) do, among others. Johnbod (talk) 15:40, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
The position is quite simple:
  • If "Roman Catholic Church" were considered an acceptable name (let alone an official name) bu the worldwide church, it would be used far more often. In fact the name is almost never used (for the reasons given by the First Vatican Council.) It does not appear in the defining documents of Vatican !! Nor in the Catechism of the Church, which uses and reasserts the Vatican II definition of Catholic Church. Roman Catholic Church was indeed rejected for use by Vatican I, and with a few rare exceptions, mostly ecumenical, the Church has continued this policy, the more so since Vatican II. Even in countries where, for legal reasons, "Roman Catholic" was long enforced on the Church, this local usage is declining in line with worldwide policy.
  • What some English-language reference publications choose to call the Church has no bearing on its actual name. Wikipedia policy is that the name by which the church self-identifies should be used.
  • People keep saying "this is boring", but then they keep on persisting and persisting in trying to wrongly portray "Roman Catholic Church" as being in some way the Church's official name, and to continue to deny that the proper term is the Catholic Church. Most people, even most Catholics, are willing to allow the article to remain "Roman Catholic Church," but because of this, the PROPER name has to be clearly set out. I have no problem with the note saying that the Church has on rare occasions or in certain countries used or tolerated the name RCC. But I balk when attempts are made to imply that RCC is used as an official name by the Church, either by giving Undue Weight to rare quotations, misapplying dictionary headings, or other forms of Original research such as seeking-out single usages in fifty year-old documents. The current note says that RCC is used by ARCIC. I can see no justification for much more other than it very rarely appears in some other documents. Xandar 01:34, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Xandar you have not understood my position since I followed the RfC here and began commenting. I have never made - nor supported - any edit to an effect that would "wrongly portray" 'Roman Catholic Church' as being in some way THE official name of the church nor have I denied that in the most offical documents, the Church calls itself the "Catholic Church". Xandar, unlike Nancy, you have never constructivly attmpted to comment on anything I have proposed - you have engaged in cheap dime-store rehtorical tricks to try to bring this process to halt - I a can only assume to preserve the previous "consensus version" that clearly is not approved by consensus at present. You have dismissed every suggestion I have made, except keeping the Oxford quotation that you "feel" is correct while dismissing all the others, even ones from essentialy the same source.
On the talk page here, you argue that Wikipedia policy states that we should use the name that the "Church calls itself", yet you just reverted an edit claiming the phrase "(the Church) 'calls itself' the Catholic Church' sounds illegitimate". Which is it? You don't even know what you are talking about anymore. You reverted an edit that stated in the opening what the Catholic Church calls itself. That has been the entire premise of your arguement: the article should make it clear that the Church calls itself the Catholic Church, because that is what it calls itself. You might need to break from this. -- Secisek (talk) 02:52, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I will only add that Xandar constantly ignores the fact that "Catholic Church" isn't the only name "by which the church self-identifies". Defteri (talk) 09:40, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Secizek. You seem to want to personalise the whole issue instead of trying to come to agreement. Don't get so sensitive, thinking every remark I make refers to you personally. A clear Wikipedia consensus stands until a new one is negotiated and agreed on the talk page. This will involve understanding the positions and the reasons behind them and obeying the rules. Writing, the Church "calls itself" the Catholic Church is A) Not consensus wording, and B) giives by the phrasing the impression that the church has no right to call itself this. As in "John Brown calls himself, Lord Burton." Whether this was intentional or not, the wording gives this effect, and is not used elsewhere in wikipedia. There is no... "Ceylon calls itself Sri Lanka", "Bombay calls itself Mumbai" etc.
Defteri, You are trying wrongly, to state that the church self-identifies as the RCC. What I want is the name by which it DOES self-identify to be clear, and the unofficial name by which some others identify it to be clear. Xandar 10:45, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

The simple fact is that some prominent Roman Catholics do also use the name "Roman Catholic Church" - and not only in ecumenical contexts. There are numerous examples of this that I am personally aware of. A recent example is a letter by the Archbishop of Brisbane in Australia, John Bathersby, about irregularities at the South Brisbane parish. The letter is linked to on the parish's website homepage at http://southbrisbane.wordpress.com Afterwriting (talk) 11:03, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

The very site you refer to calls itself St Mary's Catholic Church. The fact that some individuals or localities occasionally use RCC does not affect the name of the worldwide Church. As has been said we have no problem with the note saying that the Church has on rare occasions or in certain countries used or tolerated the name RCC, but that is as far as it goes and our sources take us. Xandar 11:30, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
That is a very erroneous argument (or one of us is invincibly ignorant). You just seem to ignore those facts that you don't like and insist on those that you do. You really do seem to be clutching at straws. The use of "Roman Catholic Church" by RC authorities is nothing like as "rare" as you want to believe. There are also degrees of what constitutes "official" use and it is well-established that "RCC" also has some status as an official name. Afterwriting (talk) 12:00, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
None of that is "established" Afterwriting. It is YOUR Original research, or opinion. What HAS been established by reliable sources is that Catholic Church is the proper name of the Church, and RCC was rejected as the name, with reasons given, by Vatican 1. You are not satisfied with the overwhelming evidence on the usage of Catholic Church, nor the fact that we are quite willing to say there is some very limited use of RCC in some areas. So the ignorance is not on this side of the argument. Xandar 12:03, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

The real problem - and this really does seem to boil down to some kind of ignorance - are fanatical editors who choose to constantly ignore any inconvenient facts that get in the way of their cherished opinions. Afterwriting (talk) 12:15, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

My last comment was not intended as a personal criticism of Xandar. It was more one of frustration at this whole issue - which is only going to continue until an improved form of words are used. The so-called consensus version is not adequate and needs to be replaced. The recently reverted edit by Secisek was a considerable improvement and should be seriously considered. Afterwriting (talk) 12:30, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Secizeks version was not an improvement for the reasons stated. Another form of wording has to be carefully agreed. Xandar 13:05, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

In this case then please start the process of agreeing on another form of words instead of apparently insisting on the current version. And please ditch Whitehead as a source - he is simply not up to scratch as a reliable source. Afterwriting (talk) 13:46, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but sources aren't ditched because you don't like them. There is nothing wrong with the current version, which is solidly referenced, and states the facts, even though some POVs may disagree with it. If a BETTER form of words can be come up with that will get agreement from article editors and others, then this will have to be considered on its merits. At the moment a lot of people are chipping in with different points of view, but only a few are looking at the entire discussion, the naming rules, the actual sources and the whole picture. Any change will be worthwhile only if it produces an end to the arguments on this issue. Xandar 15:29, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
"Sources aren't ditched simply because you don't like them". That includes sources which don't agree with Whitehead, right? Gimmetrow 18:03, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

I am afraid I can't agree to ditching Whitehead as a source for these reasons:

  • 1)He is the only source used by Catholic media to explain the Church's name
  • 2)He is used by the largest Catholic media in the world (EWTN) to explain the Church's name [65].
  • 3)The piece is not an opinion piece but an excerpt from a scholarly book used on EWTN's Catholic Answers program to explain to subscribers the church's name.

These facts make him the most reliable source of any that have been tossed around here. I am not opposed to including opposing POV's but we have not seen any opposing POV's that could be considered reliable sources. NancyHeise talk 02:10, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

The last alleged fact is no fact: someone who makes easily disproved contrary-to-fact statements such as "The term Roman Catholic is not used by the Church herself" is no scholar. On Church matters EWTN is no match for www.vatican.va, which gives many instances of the use of "Roman Catholic" by the Church herself, and Whitehead is no match for the Popes and the departments of the Holy See that do speak of the Roman Catholic Church. Defteri (talk) 05:33, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

The Status of "Roman Catholic Church"

This would seem to be the nub of the issue. Some people want, for whatever reason, to insist that "Roman Catholic Church" is an official or semi-official name used by the Church itself to describe itself. Why they are quite so heated on insisting on this I cannot tell.

As Richard has written, evidence is pretty overwhhelming that Catholic Church is the title used officially by preference by the Church. Authorities show it to be the officially used name. "Roman Catholic" has no official backing, and in fact was rejected by Vatican 1 for use in the Council's pronouncements. This is a pretty clear distinction. RCC is an unofficial term. Xandar 15:53, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

There is clear evidence that terms other than "Catholic Church" are used officially by the Church, and in that sense have official backing. There is evidence also that "Catholic Church" is a title used officially and that it is used more frequently than other titles (with the probable exception of "the Church"). There is no evidence that it is the only officially used title. There is evidence that the First Vatican Council voted overwhelmingly to call the Church both Roman and Catholic, but agreed not to put the two adjectives in that order. There is no evidence that the First Vatican Council declared that the Church should never be called Roman Catholic. Which of these statements do you challenge? Your statement that "RCC is an unofficial term" is contradicted by the fact of actual official use of the term. Defteri (talk) 16:32, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Defteri. Also, while WP policy has a catchphrase "verifiability, not truth", I think it's absurd to include Whitehead's verifiable but incorrect statement "The term 'Roman Catholic' is not used by the Church herself", while excluding contrary verifiable statements. The Church does in fact use the term in some contexts. Gimmetrow 18:03, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
How about "The One True Church of Rome"? Easy day!--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 21:39, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't know what is so difficult about official and unofficial names. Because a name is occasionaly used in specific circumstances, does not make it an official name, "used by the Church." There is one name that is the name of the Church in its key official documents and pronouncements.That name is not Roman catholic. In fact other alternate terms such as Holy Catholic apostolic, Roman or Church of Christ, are used more often than Roman Catholic. If someone called Sandra Smith also has the unofficial name "Sandy", that may be used by certain people. She may even sign certain letters that way, or have a mug or doorplate with Sandy written on it. However that does not change the fact that her proper official name is Sandra Smith, not Sandy. Xandar 22:10, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
If her official name is Sandra, it is because she was officially registered under that name or had her name legally changed to Sandra, and there is documentary evidence for this. The Church has never formally adopted any particular official name. The only evidence that "Catholic Church" is her official name is that she has more mugs with "Catholic Church" written on them, than mugs with other names, although she has mugs with other names written on them also. Defteri (talk) 05:33, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem we are having here is that Gimmetrow and Defteri are suggesting we insert language that we can not reference to any source and asking us to eliminate language that is referenceable to the most authoritative source we have, Whitehead, which is the only source used by Catholic media to explain the name. NancyHeise talk 02:12, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Whitehead is no authoritative source. And the problem is that the NancyHeise-Xandar team are refusing to recognize the existence of any view but their own. Others would accept presentation of the NancyHeise-Xandar view in the article, but not its presentation as the only one there is. Defteri (talk) 05:33, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

FAC

This discussion has once again passed into the twighlight zone, with an editor restoring essentialy a version of January 4th under the edit summary "Consensus version". What ever has been done here in the last few weeks, it has certainly proven that the previous version does not represent a true consensus and the current version does not even resemble that one. Being a version that includes the parts of my work that Xandar has aproved of, none he hasn't, and the highly dubious contention from Whitehead. Frankly, the previous "Consensus version" was better that this one, which is more muddy than it has been in a long time.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I have never suggested that ""Roman Catholic Church" is an official or semi-official name used by the Church itself to describe itself." Xandar, you have been excellent at distorting your opponents positions to something you can easily disprove.

I have been saying that the Church does use Roman Catholic Church to some small extent, and society at large does to a much greater extent. I have cited this with WP:RS. I see that this will not be resolved with the editors here at present and I excuse myself from the current debate. I know that the purpose of tendentious editing is to chase good faith editors away from disputes to better achieve the goals of the soapboxers. Sadly, people pursue this strategy because it works sometimes. It just diid here with Karnack and myself. It seems clear that this issue will block the article at FAC unless a true consensus version arises. I feel badly for Nancy, who has put so much work into this article and has attempted to be productive in this exchange. Best of luck. -- Secisek (talk) 17:10, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Secisek. It seems you jumped in here with no previous knowledge of the article, and with a big chip on your shoulder, determined to make arrogant personal attacks on editors who have spent months and years on this article, in the firm conviction that only you are right. You have tried to make changes without consensus and breaking the previous consensus without agreement. Your whole attitude has been deplorable, and you leave making blackmailing threats to try to disrupt at FA since you haven't got your way. That is not the way to act on Wikipedia. Xandar 21:14, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Xandar, I have worked on and off for a solution to this admitedly difficult problem over the last couple of years, leaving the debate when it gets bogged down by unconstructive editors or when a short term compromise has been reached as has happened in the past. I brought no chip or ax, but I did propose a number of compromises - all of which were dismissed out of hand - largely by you and you alone. This article has seen the work of over 3,000 editors and there are only handful of editors who have put in more work than I have on it, not that it should make my contributions to this debate any less or more valid.
You say I have a "firm conviction that only" I am right. I proposed a number of cited compromises, each one different, that you, unlike Nancy, never seriously commented on. If I do have a position, I would be willing to bet you could not even articulate it, given your distortion of every suggestion I made. You never showed any understanding of any of my proposals - you just knew they were "wrong" - and you always presented a strawman's arguement of one sort or another to "prove" it.
I also made no threat about the FAC, which I for one would like to see that article pass. I left the debate as you made it clear my input would not make any head way in this discussion. I may return when cooler heads rule the day, but nothing will be resolved in the short term from the looks of it. It is you, not I, who should be ashamed of their behaviour. I stand on my good faith proposals, my good relations with other editors on both sides of the debate, and my wider record here at Wikipedia. -- Secisek (talk) 21:50, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
You even headed your piece "FAC", and what you write sounds like attempted blackmail to me. The issue of the sentence "officially known as" NEVER arose at any of the FACs, it has been a bugbear of one person who has devoted all his energy to trolling the issue over the past 4 months. Your main suggestion was to add irrelevant and somewhat misleading quotes from Oxford Dictionaries to the article - as if they defined the name of the Church. Sorry, but the editors of Oxford dictionaries do not decide the name of the Church. You added pieces to the article without consensus and which you had previously been warned were misleading. Any time your changes were questioned you reverted to personal abuse and attacks. That is deplorable behaviour and you really ought to review the way you interact with people. It's all in the record above. Xandar 22:30, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

It speaks for itself. -- Secisek (talk) 22:36, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes. I have attempted to provide logical, reasoned responses to arguments. You have consistently personalised the issues and posted ultimatums and insults. Xandar 23:01, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, you can have the last word here then. I say again, your "logical, reasoned responses" speak for themselves. -- Secisek (talk) 02:00, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

I felt Secisek's contributions were worthwhile and helpful, his suggestions led us to include text explaining Roman Catholic more fully which I think is an improvement. I think his edits and comments were made in good faith and I am sad to see that the two of you are not getting along. I want to keep both of you on this page and have your help and input. NancyHeise talk 02:02, 7 January 2009 (UTC)