I quote a different standpoint on the etymology of 'catholic'. I found a third Quora post on the subject, but it's less intellgible and I don't quote it.
Sverigielle Von Gothenburg, Quora, Aug 14 2017
Catholic does NOT mean universal, first and foremost.
It has become a popular belief to hold it as such, as “irregardless” has popularly substituted the word “regardless”. Irregardless is not a word, and Catholic, at the time of it's descriptive ascendence, absolutely does not mean “universal”.
Calling the Church of Rome the “Catholic” church is a whole hearted slap in the face to the Churches which Rome split away from in 1054. The Romans did this on purpose, knowingly, and to make a point. It is a political statement, to be sure, and it does not go unnoticed to the adherents of the Churches which the Latins left.
Catholic does, as one writer mentioned, come from the word Katholikos, in Greek.
HERE IS THE KEY: When Latin was still a living language, “katholikos” was not translated to mean “universal”, the word “Universalis" already existed. It was translated to “Catholicus”, because it has a different meaning than “Universalis".
Yes, even many dictionaries are wrong, sorry.
Catholicus means “whole, in and of itself complete, lacking nothing”. In other words, “Hey, you other Churches who don't like our recent inventions and don't want to have us rule over you, we don't need you. We are whole, and even without you we are lacking nothing. You bring nothing to the table, because WE are catholic, you aren't.”
Well, as the Constantinopolitan addition to the Nicene Creed stated at the tail end of the fourth century, “I believe in one holy, catholic and Apostolic Church.” And I recited that just this morning at our Divine Liturgy….without the filioque, thank you very much.
So, at the same time that the Latins were determining it wise and necessary to proclaim the heretofore Christian Churches in communion with them as schismatics because they disagreed with Roman inventions, those same Eastern Churches had to come up with a catchy title to delineate the difference in teachings. Thus the word Orthodox was added into the title. It is Greek for “correct teaching”.
Just as the Latin use of “Catholic” was meant to slap the Orthodox, the word Orthodox was meant to remind the Latins that we are still teaching the same things we taught in the year 800, back when you said we were 100% correct.
Because you once believed it, too.
In case you forgot.
It was first used by Saint Ignatius as he wrote a letter to Smyrna, on his way to Rome to be executed. Even then, the word Catholic was used to mean the entirety of the Church.
In 1870, during the First Vatican Council, English speaking bishops started really pushing the phrase “Roman Catholic Church” to emphasize a political point. It took, but not officially. To this day, as for the preceding 963 years, the Latins simply refer to themselves in official form as the “Catholic Church”. Prior to 1054, they were a part of the Catholic Church.
James Oppenheimer-Crawford, Quora dated Feb 7 2018
Why is the Catholic church called the Catholic Church? Well, it isn’t called the Catholic church.
It is called the Roman Catholic Church (RCC).
Catholic, meaning universal (look it up), is a part of the ancient creeds. We recite, “I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.” Yes, almost all of today’s mainline Church’s could quite rationally call themselves Catholic Churches. As a matter of fact, the Anglican Church, because it never specifically joined the Protestant Reformation, has always called itself a Catholic church. That it why the Episcopal Church in the USA is also a Catholic Church.
So the Catholic church is actually the RCC. Of course, having said that, some members of the RCC will prefer the name Catholic Church. While this is absolutely right, it is also absolutely right to refer to many other denominations as Catholic Churches. To designate that denomination, some qualification is needed.
Ian MacKinnell, Quora, Feb 5 2018
“Catholic” was actually a compound word in Greek. It was formed from “kata”, a preposition meaning “according to”, and “holos”, a noun or adjective meaning “the whole”. When you join “kata” to a word starting with a vowel (including the aspirated vowel we write as “ho-”), the final -a of “kata” is dropped, and the -t- is aspirated: so “kath’olou” — a Greek word meaning “on the whole” or “in general”.
So you might say that “catholic” originally meant “on the whole-ish” or “in general-ish”. The Catholic Church is the mainstream church, the church “in general” — the church overall or on the whole, as opposed to some split-away minority church.
Oddly enough, Greek speaking Christians actually preferred a different word to describe the “correct” church: “orthodox”. For the Greeks, being the majority church was not an adequate criterion: you had to be the “right teaching” or “right praising” church (i.e. “dox” as in “dogma” or “doxology”).
So Catholics claim to adhere to the “whole” church, while the Orthodox claim to do things the “right” way.