mid-14c., "of the doctrines of the ancient Church" (before the East/West schism), literally "universally accepted," from French catholique, from Church Latin catholicus "universal, general," from Greek katholikos, from phrase kath' holou "on the whole, in general," from kata "about" + genitive of holos "whole" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept").
Medieval Latin catholicus was practically synonymous with Christian and meant "constituting or conforming to the church, its faith and organization" (as opposed to local sects or heresies). With capital C-, applied by Protestants to the Church in Rome c. 1554, after the Reformation began. General sense of "embracing all, universal" in English is from 1550s. Meaning "not narrow-minded or bigoted" is from 1580s. The Latin word was rendered in Old English as eallgeleaflic.
"pertaining to or of the nature of a despot or despotism," 1640s, from French despotique (14c.), from Greek despotikos, from despotēs "absolute ruler" (see despot). By 1734, "unlimited, arbitrary, tyrannical." In 18c. also despotick. Related: Despotical; despotically.
Despotic monarchs sincerely anxious to improve mankind are naturally led to endeavour, by acts of legislation, to force society into the paths which they believe to be good, and such men, acting under such motives, have sometimes been the scourges of mankind. Philip II. and Isabella the Catholic inflicted more suffering in obedience to their consciences than Nero or Domitian in obedience to their lusts. [Lecky, "History of European Morals," 1869]