10 January 2015

Brief Catechesis on the Marks of the Church

Why is the Church called "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic"?

The Church is ONE, because:

  • It has one head and founder, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
  • It is governed under one Pope, who is the Vicar of Christ on Earth.
  • It has one Faith, which is shared by all members.
  • Members of the Church are all initiated through the same Baptism.

The Church is HOLY because:

  • It is the means established by God for the sanctification of the whole world.
  • It is holy because of the holiness of its Saints, which all members of the Church are called to share.
  • It is holy because the Sacrifice of Christ, which we offer in the Mass, makes the members of the Church holy.
  • It is holy because it is guaranteed never, ultimately, to fail in its mission.

The Church is CATHOLIC because:

  • It is intended for all people, and the invitation extended by Christ through the Church is universal.
  • It is the same Church throughout the world: local and geographical differences do not divide the Church.

The Church is APOSTOLIC in two main ways:

  • In its GOVERNMENT, because it is governed by bishops, who are the successors of the original 12 Apostles, under Peter, their head, whose successor is the Bishop of Rome (aka the Pope).
  • In its TRADITIONS, because the Faith and the Sacraments preached by the Church are the same Faith, the same Sacraments preached by the Apostles, and received by them from Christ.