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Catholic Dictionary




The unchanged Latin rendering of the Greek ekkl_sia, meaning assembly or community. The Bible uses the term in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew kahal in both a secular and a religious sense. In the New Testament the word is used of the whole community of the believers in Christ (Matthew 16:18) and of a singly community of the faithful (Romans 6:5). The Catechism of Trent defines Ecclesia as the Church, which is the faithful of the whole world (I, 10,2). (Etym. Latin ecclesia, universal or an individual Church; from Greek ekkl_sia, assembly of people called together.)