The first known written use of "Catholic Church" appears in a letter by St.Ignatius of Antioch about A.D. 107 to the church of Smyrna, whose bishop, Polycarp, visited Ignatius during his journey to Rome as a prisoner: in his letter to Smyrna, Ignatius wrote, "Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." (Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 8) His use of "Catholic Church" suggests that it was already in current use, for he sees no need to explain himself and uses the expression as one already known to his readers. It gives expression to St. Paul's teaching that all baptized in Christ are one body in Christ (Gal.3:28; Eph.4:3-6, 12-16). Dissenting groups breaking away from this universal unity were already known to the Apostles: in his letters Paul refers to the "Judaizers" (those requiring observance of the Jewish Law), and in his Book of Revelation St. John calls them "Nicolaitans". They believe that it is a small step for those faithful to the teaching of the Apostles to identify themselves as the Catholic Church ("the one Church everywhere"), and not to include those dissenting and breaking away from unity with her.
The term Catholic Christianity entered into Roman law by force of edict under the Roman Emperor Theodosius on February 27 AD 380 in the Theodosian Code XVI.i.2: "It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our clemency and moderation, should continue the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one Deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since in our judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of divine condemnation and the second the punishment of [as] our authority, in accordance with the will of heaven, shall decide to inflict."
[Extract of English translation from Henry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1943), p. 31, cited at Medieval Sourcebook: Theodosian Code XVI by Paul Halsall, Fordham University. Retrieved Jan 5, 2007. The full Latin text of the code is at IMPERATORIS THEODOSIANI CODEX Liber Decimus Sextus (170KB download), archived from George Mason University. Retrieved Jan 5, 2007.]
Saint William of York, (d. 1154) also known as William FitzHerbert, William I FitzHerbert and William of Thwayt, was an Englishpriest and Archbishop of York. FitzHerbert is unusual in having been Archbishop of Yorktwice, both before and after his rival Henry Murdac. He was a relative of King Stephen of England, and the king helped secure FitzHerbert's election to York after a number of candidates had failed to secure papal confirmation. FitzHerbert faced opposition from the Cistercians who, after the election of the Cistercian Pope Eugenius III, managed to have the archbishop deposed in favor of the Cistercian Murdac. From 1147 until 1153, FitzHerbert worked to secure his restoration to York, which he finally achieved after the deaths of both Murdac and Eugenius. He did not retain the see long, as he died shortly after returning to York, allegedly having been poisoned. After his death miracles were reported at his tomb, and in 1227 he was declared a saint. Read more...
Saint Peter Chrysologus (Greek: Ἅγιος Πέτρος ὁ Χρυσολόγος, Petros Chrysologos meaning Peter the "golden-worded") was Bishop of Ravenna from about 433 until his death. Peter was born in Imola, where he was ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. Pope Sixtus III appointed Peter to the See of Ravenna in about the year 433, apparently rejecting the candidate elected by the people of the city. The traditional account, as recorded in the Roman Breviary, is that Sixtus had a vision of St. Peter and St. Apollinaris, the first bishops of Rome and Ravenna respectively, who showed Sixtus a young man and said he was to be the next Bishop of Ravenna. When the group from Ravenna arrived, including Cornelius and his archdeacon Peter from Imola, Sixtus recognized Peter as the young man in his vision and consecrated him as a bishop. Peter was known for his short but inspired homilies; after hearing his first homily as bishop, Empress Galla Placidia is said to have given him the surname Chrysologus, meaning golden-worded. He explained topics such as the Apostles' Creed, John the Baptist, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the mystery of the Incarnation in simple and clear language. He advocated daily reception of Holy Communion. Peter died in the year 450 or later, when on a visit to his birthplace. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIII in 1729. Attributes: bishop being presented to Pope Sixtus III by Saint Peter and Saint Apollinaris of Ravenna; bishop holding a dish Patronage: Homilists
We are compelled, our faith urging us, to believe and to hold—and we do firmly believe and simply confess—that there is one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside of which there is neither salvation nor remission of sins.