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The Four Marks of the Church: Reasons to Believe

The Nicene Creed identifies the Church of Christ by four marks: she is oneholycatholic, and apostolic. Only one Church fits that description.

The description in the Creed is a description of our true home. It is a lighthouse, a roadmap, a clear marker for searchers and travelers.

One. Is any other church so one that all schisms that occur in that church are clearly schisms between the old and the new, between the Church that comes from Christ and one that comes from man, between the one Church that existed from the beginning and the breakaway group? The Catholic Church is the one church all other churches have to break away from.

Is any other church one through the ages, teaching the same dogmas, never going back on herself, never saying “oops” in matters of theological or moral dogma?

Is any other church one in space as well as time? Is any other church catholic, i.e., universal? As Chesterton says, how can a missionary ask an Outer Mongolian to become a Southern Baptist?

Apostolic. Is any other church apostolic in teaching both what the apostles taught and with the authority Christ gave to them and their successors? Is any other church apostolic in sacramental succession? Among Protestant churches, only the Anglican Church even claims apostolic succession, but they broke it when Henry VIII broke with Rome, with her bishops, and with her bishops’ ability to ordain other bishops in the apostolic succession that began with St. Peter and always traced its lineage back to him.

Universal. Does any other church claim the name catholic, meaning “universal”? She is universal in many senses: for all men, for all the world, for all times, for all cultures, and teaching all that Christ and the apostles taught.

Holy. But what about holy? The Church contains many no­table, even scandalously famous, sinners. A couple of them were even popes!

Read more at Catholic Exchange. 

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