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, "universal doctrine") is a concept that encompasses the beliefs and practices of numerous Christian denominations, most notably those that describe themselves as Catholic in accordance with the Four Marks of the Church, as expressed in the Nicene Creed of the First Council of Constantinople in 381: "[I believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

While catholicism is most commonly associated with the faith and practices of the Catholic Church led by the Pope in Rome, the traits of catholicity, and thus the term catholic, are also claimed and possessed by other denominations such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East.

These denominations consider themselves to be catholic, teaching that the term "designates the historic, orthodox mainstream of Christianity whose doctrine was defined by the ecumenical councils and creeds" and as such, most Reformers "appealed to this catholic tradition and believed they were in continuity with it.") is back-formed and usually refers to Roman Catholicism.

The Greek adjective katholikos, the origin of the term "catholic" means "universal".

Another major division in the Church occurred in the 16th century with the Protestant Reformation, after which many parts of the Western Church rejected Papal authority, and some of the teachings of the Western Church at that time, and became known as "Reformed" or "Protestant".

A much less extensive rupture occurred when, after the Roman Catholic Church's First Vatican Council, in which it officially proclaimed the dogma of papal infallibility, small clusters of Catholics in the Netherlands and in German-speaking countries formed the Old-Catholic (Altkatholische) Church. For times preceding the Great Schism, it refers to the Nicene Creed and especially to tenets of Christology, i.e. For times after the Great Schism, Catholicism in the sense of the Catholic Church combines the Latin Church, the Eastern Catholic Churches of Greek tradition, and the other Eastern Catholic Churches.

Many churches or communions of churches identify singularly or collectively as the authentic church.

315–386), Augustine of Hippo (354–430) further developed the use of the term "catholic" in relation to Christianity.Directly from the Greek, or via Late Latin catholicus, the term catholic entered many other languages, becoming the base for the creation of various theological terms such as catholicism and catholicity (Late Latin catholicismus, catholicitas).The use of the terms "catholicism" and "catholicity" is closely related to the use of Catholic Church.Spain, England, France, the Holy Roman Empire, Poland, Bohemia, Slovakia, Scandinavia, the Baltic states, and Western Europe in general were in the Western camp, and Greece, Romania, Russia and many other Slavic lands, Anatolia, and the Christians in Syria and Egypt who accepted the Council of Chalcedon made up the Eastern camp.This division between the Western Church and the Eastern Church is called the East–West Schism.

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