Essay The Church And The Catholic Church

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Catholic is an uncomfortable word for many protestants because of its modern day association with the Roman church. However, the church fathers who wrote the Nicene Creed did not understand catholic to mean the Roman Catholic Church. The visible and invisible idea can also be helpful when determining what it means to be catholic. Along with a distinction of true and imitating Christians, a distinction must be drawn between true and imitating churches. The early church differentiated between the two by describing the true church as catholic. Cyril of Jerusalem warns, “if you ever have cause to visit a strange town, do not ask simply… “Where is the church?” Instead, ask “Where is the catholic church?” Explaining the meaning of catholic, Cyril states, “the church is called “catholic” because it extends through all the world, from one end of the earth to another; and because it teaches completely, and without any omissions, all the doctrines which ought to be known to humanity concerning both things that are visible and invisible.” Concerning Cyril’s first distinction, modern Christians will often refer to the church as universal. Summarizing Thomas Aquinas, one can say that the church is universal in that it spans across the entire globe, to all people, and through all time. As technology continues to make the world smaller, the concept of the church spanning across the globe and to all types of people has grown easier to grasp. However, the church expanding throughout all…

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