Lesson 12 : On The Attributes and Marks Of The Church
122. Q. Which are the attributes of the Church?
A. The attributes of the Church are three: authority infallibility, and indefectibility.
123. Q. What do you mean by the authority of the Church?
A. By the authority of the Church I mean the right and power which the Pope and the bishops, as the successors of the Apostles, have to teach and to govern the faithful.
124. Q. What do you mean by the infallibility of the Church?
A. By the infallibility of the Church I mean that the Church cannot err when it teaches a doctrine of faith or morals.
125. Q. When does the Church teach infallibly?
A. The Church teaches infallibly when it speaks through the Pope and the bishops, united in general council, or through the Pope alone when he proclaims to all the faithful a doctrine of faith or morals.
126. Q. What o you mean by the indefectibility of the Church?
A. By the indefectibility of the Church I mean that the Church, as Christ founded it, will last till the end of time.
127. Q. In whom are these attributes found in their fullness?
A. These attributes are found in their fullness in the Pope, the visible Head of the Church, whose infallible authority to teach bishops, priests, and people in matters of faith or morals will last till the end of the world.
128. Q. Has the Church any marks by which it may be known?
A. The Church has four marks by which it may be known: it is One; it is Holy; it is Catholic; it is Apostolic.
129. Q. How is the Church One?
A. The Church is One because all its members agree in one faith, are all in one communion, and are all under one Head.
130. Q. How is the Church Holy?
A. The Church is Holy because its founder, Jesus Christ, is holy; because it teaches a holy doctrine; invites all to a holy life; and because of the eminent holiness of so many thousands of its children.
131. Q. How is the Church Catholic or universal?
A. The Church is Catholic or universal because it subsists in all ages, teaches all nations, and maintains all truth.
132. Q. How is the Church Apostolic?
A. The Church is Apostolic because it was founded by Christ on His Apostles, and is governed by their lawful successors, and because it has never ceased, and never will cease, to teach their doctrine.
133. Q. In which Church are these attributes and marks found?
A. These attributes and marks are found in the Holy Roman Catholic Church alone.
134. Q. From whom does the Church derive its undying life and infallible authority?
A. The Church derives its undying life and infallible authority from the Holy Ghost, the spirit of truth, who abides with it forever.
135. Q. By whom is the Church made and kept One, Holy, and Catholic?
A. The Church is made and kept One, Holy, and Catholic by the Holy Ghost, the spirit of love and holiness, who unites and sanctifies its members throughout the world.