Definition of Roman Catholic noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Roman Catholic

BrE BrE//ˌrəʊmən ˈkæθəlɪk//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌroʊmən ˈkæθəlɪk//
(also Catholic) (abbreviation RC) Religious people, Types of belief
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a member of the part of the Christian Church that has the Pope as its leader Culture The Roman Catholic Church was the established Church in Britain until the Reformation of the 16th century, when it was replaced by the Protestant Church of England and Church of Scotland. After this Roman Catholics were forbidden to hold public positions or receive university education. In the 19th century the Emancipation Act led to greater religious freedom, but Roman Catholics still cannot be appointed to some high positions in public life, and the king or queen may not practise the religion. The Catholic religion is the main religion in the Republic of Ireland, and there has been violent conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. The Catholic Church in the United Kingdom is led by the archbishops of Westminster, Glasgow and Armagh. See related entries: Religious people, Types of belief Word Originlate 16th cent.: translation of Latin (Ecclesia) Romana Catholica (et Apostolica) ‘Roman Catholic (and Apostolic Church)’. It was apparently first used as a conciliatory term in place of the earlier Roman, Romanist, or Romish, considered derogatory.

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