The Universal Church as Parish Community

“The term the ‘Catholic Church’ applies in Ignatius – and in all contemporary sources – to the local Eucharistic community: each church is, indeed, the Church of God in its fullness because what gives that fullness is God’s presence, the Body of Christ indivisibly manifested in each Eucharist. This understanding of Catholicity, however, is not congregationalism; Catholicity implies unity with past (apostolicity) and with the future (eschatology), and also unity in faith and life with all the other churches that share the same Catholicity. Local churches are identical in their faith, and therefore always interdependent. Although celebrated locally, the Eucharist has a cosmic or universal significance. The church is always the same Church of God, although she ‘sojourns’ in different geographic locations.” (John Meyendorff in Tradition Alive: On the Church and Christian Life in our Time, edited by Michael Plekon, pg. 127)