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Catholic or Roman Catholic? – Kasper on Ratzinger


“It is the Catholic Church, not the Roman Catholic Church. I know Pope Benedict is strongly against using ‘Roman Catholic’ [to describe the whole Catholic Church] because like me he lived through the Nazis. The Nazis called us römisch-katholisch to emphasize the Roman and downplay the Catholic. No German Catholic theologian would use ‘Roman Catholic’ in that way.”

Cardinal Walter Kasper, during a lecture in a course offered at the Angelicum this semester, “Ecclesiological Themes in Ecumenical Dialogue: Catholicity, Apostolicity, Unity”



  1. everythingcatholic says:

    We use the word ‘Catholic’ because that is who we are. We are the Catholic Church.

    The Catholic Church contains several ‘rites’ of which one is ‘roman’ also known as the ‘latin’ and the ‘western rite’.

    To call ourselves Roman Catholics excludes our Catholic brothers and sisters who do not participate in the Roman rite, but one of the others. Which includes the Antiochian (Syria) and the Alexandrian (Egypt) rites. And who are in full communion with the Catholic Church and the Pope.

    • A.J. Boyd says:

      I agree with your point entirely, though i would prefer the term churches rather than rites. But, that is exactly why the entire Church is Catholic, not Roman Catholic.

  2. […] have mentioned it before, but, simply put, the Catholic Church is the Catholic Church. It is not the only church that is […]

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