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What IS A Catholic, Anyway?

There are many kinds of Jesus Followers in the world., partly in order to incorporate so we survive when our founder is gone, had to draw a line  somewhere between Catholic Christians, Non-Catholic Christians, and other Jesus Followers such as Muslims (who revere Him as a Prophet), and Jewish Jesus followers (who view him either as a learned Rabbi or as a Messiah in a different sense than Christians).

One sad reality is that today there are Catholic denominations, Even families of denominations, that have spent an inordinate amount of time through history


arguing over (& killing each other over)

just who is and is not a Catholic.


No one can define who is or is not a Catholic outside of a ecumenical council that has ALL the Catholic bishops in the world with each having at least 2 unrelated laity to stand up for the bishop and testify that yes, the bishop does have a flock to shepherd. Someday, we will have such a council instead of all our little regional or family councils. 

The Definition: What is a Catholic?

A Catholic Is A Human Being Who Believes:

  • That the birth, life, ministry, and death of Jesus of Nazareth is an actual, historical fact.

  • That after the death of Jesus, He was resurrected to life. (Mark 16:1-9)

  • That prior to his death and after his Resurrection, Jesus taught a method of living using stories, miracles, parables that came to be called The Way.

  • That Jesus called upon certain individuals to go forth into the world, preaching The Way, and empowered them to also use stories, miracles, and parables to illustrate The Way, and Jesus sent forth humans both before and after his death and Resurrection.

  • In the baptismal creed as expressed by the Ethiopian servant in the ancient sources of Acts 8:37 “And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” or the later wording “In the name of the Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Spirit” that developed among Paul's communities. (note: many other Catholic creeds contain these terms and more, but TCC is only concerned with these creed statements.)

  • In the prayer Jesus taught, commonly called The Our Father (Matthew 6:9-13 or Luke 11:2-4)

  • That wherever two or more are gathered in Jesus Christ's name will also experience the presence of Jesus himself. (Matthew 18:20)

  • That the act of being baptized is what begins a human's movement from a Jesus Follower to a Christian.

  • That within each denomination, each Catholic church, there is a moment where a human states a desire to be part of The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and also part of that particular family, denomination, and often, local community. That human is most often accepted into the Catholic garden as an adult member via both a human ceremony (usually called Confirmation, usually considered a sacrament), and by a sincere taking to heart of that membership on the part of the human.

  • That children baptized with parent or guardian assent by another Catholic are Catholic until the age of 18, or 21 for developmentally disabled humans. While many denominations administer Confirmation in infancy or adolescence, most states and the IRS want a more concrete rule as to who is a child member or an adult member.

  • That when the Last Supper is reenacted within a liturgy, there is (at the moment of Eucharistic Consecration) a special, holy, and extremely powerful moment in time and space. Within that unique moment of time and space, a human can have a direct, personal, and unique experience with the Risen Christ.

  • That death of the body is not the end, and that there is a reunion, or reconciliation with the Risen Christ and a life after death. recognizes that a human who is a Catholic as outlined above will have various other beliefs, traditions, ceremonies.


Likewise, Humans who are Catholics will also have other unique periods of special, holy, and extremely powerful moments in time and space where a human can have a direct, personal, and unique experience with the Risen Christ, God, and/or The Holy Spirit. recognizes that some of these will take place at different local communities within different denominations of different particular family groups, but which will also, like the peal of well rung church bells, resonate and enrich the other nearby communities and the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church as a whole, even if these are not the same in every local community or denomination.

Questions? Feel Free to visit our Facebook group, Not All Catholics Are Roman....But all Catholics Are One, post them on the wall!


Is It OK If

I Don't Agree

With How



"What Is A Catholic?"


No Human will be denied membership if they believe something else, although since 2009 not a single member has said they disagree with anything except some beliefs pertaining to infant baptism. One reason we have put this definition is because some humans will read this definition and know that it does not match their beliefs at all, and we wish them well as fellow Jesus Followers.

This is a definition, not a creed.

is a community for Catholics,

but it is NOT a church.

However, TCC does reserve the right to refuse an Organizational Member Application from a Church that does not meet these very minimum standards, or from any organization who has positions or beliefs that are contrary to our mission and this minimum definition. recognizes

that many family groups & Catholic denominations

have centuries old traditions

ascribing different titles to various levels of clergy and to lay leaders.

recognizes that there are:


2 main groups of Laity:

  • Laity with no particular leadership role,

  • Lay leaders (including altar servers, Eucharistic Ministers, and lay liturgical leaders, for example)

 3 universal levels of clergy:

  • deacons/deaconess,

  • priest,

  • bishops

various forms of religious

(such as)

  • monk,

  • nun,

  • lay religious / third order religious

  • anchorites,

  • hermit

....and more within the Universal Church.

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