Q. 1. What is the meaning of the word Catholic that is attached to many institutions such as schools, hospitals, universities, religious Orders, and so on?
A. 1. When an institution bears the name Catholic, it is understood that its administration and practices are in accordance with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Catholic schools teach Catholic doctrines. Catholic hospitals administer health care in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Catholic Universities teach solid Catholic doctrine and uphold the teachings of the Magisterium.
Catholic institutions that bear the word "Catholic" in their name must receive the approval of the Diocese Bishop prior to using the word. If they fall away from the teachings of the Catholic Church, the Bishop can order that the word "Catholic" be removed from their name. For example, a hospital practicing abortion could not have the word "Catholic" in its name.
A Roman Catholic Bishop has no control over non-Catholic institutions that use the word Catholic in their name when:
- they stress that the word "catholic" simply means "universal" and anyone can use it.
- such institutions try to deceive the faithful of the Roman Catholic Church in order to recruit them to their church that was not instituted by Jesus Christ.
For the above reasons, anyone has a right to ask a Catholic institution if it is in obedience to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church or contact their local Diocese to find out if a certain Catholic institution is in good standing with the Catholic Church.