The Four Marks of the Church

Catholic Doctrines

INTRODUCTION

In the Nicene Creed, we profess, “We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church”: these are the four marks of the Church. They are inseparable and intrinsically linked to each other.

THE FOUR MARKS

1. ONE

There is only One Church. The Bride of Christ – the Church – is just one (Rev. 21:9-14). His Body is only one (Rom. 12:5).

2. HOLY

Founded by Jesus (Mt. 16:18). Church lives in union with Jesus Christ, the source of holiness. Through the Holy Spirit the Church leads others to holiness.

3. CATHOLIC

Catholic – means universal. His Church is everywhere, spread throughout the whole world, and has one kind of teaching. (Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12, 14)

4. APOSTOLIC

The Church traces its tradition directly from the apostles; therefore, the Church is considered apostolic. With the Holy Spirit the Church preserves and continues the teaching of the apostles. The pope and bishops are the successors of the apostles (Acts 2:1-4).

CONCLUSION

Only the Catholic Church can validly claim all four marks. It is the Catholic Church which has always been and continues to be that Church which Jesus Himself established almost 2000 years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Receive my Priestly Blessings from St. Cecilia Catholic Parish (Mzuzu Diocese – Mpherembe)

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Rev. Fr. Petros Mwale – Feedback: +265884150185 (WhatsApp only)

 

 

SOURCES

Bruce Milne, “Know the Truth” (2nd ed.) Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press, 1998.

Henry Bettenson (editor), Documents of the Christian Church, London: Oxford University Press, 1970.

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