Catholic is an adjective derived from the Greek adjective 'καθολικός / katholikos', meaning "general; universal" (cf. [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%2351864 Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon)].
In the context of Christian ecclesiology, it has several usages:
* The word commonly refers to the members, beliefs, and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, including all sui juris particular Churches that are in full communion with the Holy See, namely the Latin Rite and twenty-two Eastern Catholic Churches. The latter include the Ukrainian, Greek, Greek Melkite, Maronite, Ruthenian Byzantine, Coptic Catholic, Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Chaldean, and Ethiopic Rites.
* The Eastern Orthodox Church also identifies itself as Catholic, as in the title of [http://www.tserkovnost.org/catechism_filaret/catechism_filaret-1.html The Longer Catechism of the Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church].
* Most Reformation and post-Reformation Churches use the term Catholic (sometimes with a lower-case c) to refer to the belief that all Christians are part of one Church, regardless of denominational divisions. It is in line with this interpretation, which applies the word "catholic"/"universal" to no one denomination, that they understand the phrase "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" in the Nicene Creed, the phrase "the Catholic faith" in the Athanasian Creed, and the phrase "holy catholic church" in the Apostles' Creed.
* The term is used also to mean those Christian Churches which maintain that their Episcopate can be traced unbrokenly back to the Apostles, and consider themselves part of a broad catholic (or universal) body of believers. Among those who regard themselves as "Catholic", but not "Roman Catholic" , are Anglicans, and some small groups such as the Old Catholic Church, the Polish National Catholic Church, the Independent Catholic, the Ancient Catholic and Liberal Catholic Churches, as well as Lutherans (though the latter prefer the lower-case "c," and, like Anglicans, stress that they are both Protestant and Catholic).
* The term can refer to the one (singular number) Church that, according to |Matthew|16:18-19, Jesus told the Apostle Peter he would build: "And I tell you, you are כיפא (Kepha) (Aramaic for "rock"), and on this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
*Some use the term Catholic to distinguish their own position from a Calvinist or Puritan form of Reformed-Protestantism. These include High Church Anglicans, known also as Anglo-Catholics, 19th century Neo-Lutherans, 20th century High Church Lutherans or evangelical-catholics and others.
Methodists and Presbyterians believe their denominations owe their origins to the Apostles and the early Church, but do not claim descent from ancient Church structures such as the episcopate. Neither of these Churches, however, denies that they are a part of the catholic (universal) Church.
Quotes about Catholic
We pray that he will have the strength, the good health and the spiritual guidance needed to lead the Catholic Church in the many challenges it faces.In World welcomes Pope Francis as humble champion of poor
I'm excited about the opportunity for those who, for the most part, are already with the Catholic Church in their hearts.In Catholic Church Unveils Order for Ex-Episcopalians - NYTimes.com
For my whole adult life, I have considered myself a lapsed Catholic.In Pope's blunt words break new ground - again