Baltimore Catechism, Lesson 12: The Marks & Attributes of the Church
Here on the next lesson presented by the Ecu-Men, we cover the Marks & Attributes of the Church: I.e. what sets her apart from all the rest. So join us as we talk about the Church Christ founded & how it is unique. Thanks for listening!
152. Which is the one true Church established by Christ?
The one true Church established by Christ is the Catholic Church. (John 10.16)
153. How do we know that the Catholic Church is the one true Church established by Christ?
Because it alone has the marks of the true Church. (John 17.11)
154. What do we mean by the marks of the Church?
Certain clear signs by which all men can recognize it as the true Church founded by Jesus Christ.
155. What are the chief marks of the Church?
The Four Marks: It is one, holy, catholic or universal, & apostolic.
156. Why is the Catholic Church one?
All its members, according to the will of Christ, profess the same faith, have the same sacrifice & sacraments, and are united under one & the same visible head, the Pope. (I Cor 10.17)
157. Why is the Catholic Church holy?
Because it was founded by Jesus Christ, who is all-holy. It teaches, according to the will of Christ, holy doctrines, & provides the means of leading a holy life, thereby giving holy members to every age. (Matt 7.17-20)
158. Why is the Catholic Church catholic or universal?
Because, destined to last for all time, she never fails to fulfill the divine commandment to teach all nations all the truths revealed by God. (Matt 24.14)
159. Why is the Catholic Church apostolic?
Because it was founded by Christ on the apostles &, according to His divine will, has always been governed by their lawful successors. (Matt 16.18)
160. How do we know that no other church but the Catholic Church is the true Church of Christ?
Because no other church has these four marks.
161. What are the chief attributes of the Catholic Church?
Authority, infallibility, and indefectibility. They are called attributes because they are qualities perfecting the nature of the Church.
162. What is meant by the authority of the Catholic Church?
It means the Pope and the bishops, as the lawful successors of the apostles, have power from Christ Himself to teach, to sanctify, & to govern the faithful in spiritual matters. (II Cor 5.20)
163. What is meant by the infallibility of the Catholic Church?
That the Church, by the special assistance of the Holy Ghost, cannot err when it teaches or believes a doctrine of faith or morals. (John 14.26)
164. When does the Church teach infallibly?
The Church teaches infallibly when it defines, through the Pope alone, as the teacher of all Christians, or through the Pope and the bishops, a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by all the faithful.
165. What is meant by the indefectibility of the Catholic Church?
That the Church, as Christ founded it, will last until the end of time. (Matt 28.20)
166. Are all obliged to belong to the Catholic Church in order to be saved?
All are obliged to belong to the Catholic Church in order to be saved. (John 14.6)
167. What do we mean when we say, "Outside the Church there is no salvation?"
We mean that Christ made the Catholic Church a necessary means of salvation and commanded all to enter it, so that a person must be connected with the Church in some way to be saved.
168. How can persons who are not members of the Catholic Church be saved?
They can be saved if, through no fault of their own, they do not know that the Catholic Church is the true Church, but they love God and try to do His will, for in this way they are connected with the Church by desire.
169. Why is the Catholic Church called the Mystical Body of Christ?
Members are united by supernatural bonds w/ one another and with Christ, their Head, thus resembling the members and head of the living human body. (Col 1.18)
Baltimore Catechism, Lesson 12:
Pope St Siricius:
Council of Trent:
Sight of Hell:
Michael Davies, English Reformation: