Transliteration of the Greek "katholikos" which means "universal" or "throughout the whole." The phrase "he katholike ekklesia" (the catholic church) was first used by early Christian leaders (esp. Augustine) to denote the entire body of believers as opposed to individual bodies.

The universal Christian church in the world today is technically catholic but is called "Christian."which had its beginnings in the first century A.D.

The recognized "Catholic Church" with the various non-Christian traditions is technically the church of Rome where the Pope is supreme Pontiff, which had its beginnings in the 2nd - 4th Cent. A.D.