There is a religious communion claiming a divine commission, and holding all other religious bodies around it heretical or infidel; it is a well-organized, well-disciplined body; it is a sort of secret society, binding together its members by influences and by engagements which it is difficult for strangers to ascertain. It is spread over the known world; it mak be weak or insignificant locally, but it is strong on the whole from its continuity; it may be smaller than all other religious bodies together but is larger than each separately. It is a natural enemy to governments external to itself; it is intolerant and engrossing and tends to a new modelling of society; it breaks laws, it divides families. It is a gross superstition; it is charged with the foulest crimes; it is despised by intellect of the day; it is frightful to the imagination of the many. And there is but one communion such. (208)
Blessed John Henry Cardinal, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine
n., The fellowship or mutual relationship between members of one church, or between bodies which recognize each other fully as branches of the universal Christian Church.
[Middle English communioun, Christian fellowship, Eucharist, from Old French communion, from Latin Latin commūniō, mutual participation, from commūnis, common]