Richard Rohr: What Does It Mean To Be Catholic?

The word catholic comes from the Greek kata (meaning “through” or “throughout”) and holos (meaning “whole”). This word was originally used by Ignatius of Antioch as early as the year 100 to precisely include all Christians, and it is a shame that it later was used to create boundaries rather than to be inclusive. Catholicity and oneness were two of the essential “marks of the church,” those quietly discernible elements, which like “the yeast hidden in the dough” (Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:21), expand and raise the message, enabling it to include more and more.

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