The three attributes of the church are unity, holiness, and catholicity. Unity refers to the belief in one faith and the bond among the members of the church. Holiness signifies the pursuit of moral righteousness and living according to God’s teachings. Catholicity implies the universality and inclusivity of the church, embracing all people regardless of culture, race, or background.
Detailed response to the query
The three attributes of the church, as traditionally recognized, are unity, holiness, and catholicity. These attributes encompass the fundamental characteristics that define the nature and purpose of the church.
Unity is a core attribute of the church, signifying the belief in one faith and the bond among its members. It emphasizes the importance of harmony, cooperation, and solidarity among believers. As the Apostle Paul beautifully stated in Ephesians 4:3, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Holiness is another essential attribute of the church, representing the pursuit of moral righteousness and living according to the teachings of God. It encourages believers to strive for personal growth, to follow a life of piety, and to embrace ethical conduct. As the book of Leviticus 19:2 states, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.”
Catholicity, not to be confused with the Roman Catholic Church, refers to the universality and inclusivity of the church. It implies that the church is not limited to one particular group or region but embraces people from all walks of life, cultures, races, and backgrounds. This notion is rooted in the belief that the church is a global community that transcends boundaries and unites diverse individuals in worship and service.
Here are some interesting facts about the attributes of the church:
The concept of unity in the church is deeply rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of Matthew 16:18, Jesus says, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
Holiness in the church is often associated with the concept of sanctification, which denotes the process of being set apart for God’s purposes. This understanding is drawn from the writings of various early Church Fathers, such as Augustine and Athanasius.
The term “catholicity” is derived from the Greek word “katholikos,” which means “universal” or “common to all.” It was first used by Ignatius of Antioch in the early second century to describe the all-inclusive nature of the church.
The attributes of unity, holiness, and catholicity are considered sacramental attributes of the church in the various Christian traditions. They are seen as the marks that distinguish the true church founded by Jesus Christ.
Table: Attributes of the Church
|Unity||Belief in one faith and the bond among members of the church.|
|Holiness||Pursuit of moral righteousness and living according to God’s teachings.|
|Catholicity||Universal and inclusive nature of the church, embracing all people.|
In conclusion, the three attributes of the church, unity, holiness, and catholicity, reflect the essence of its identity. Unity emphasizes the bond between believers, holiness emphasizes moral righteousness, and catholicity emphasizes the inclusivity of the church. These attributes are intertwined and serve as guiding principles for its members. As theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar once said, “Without the church, God’s holiness, the splendor of his love, would remain incomprehensible to the world.”
Response to your question in video format
Fr. Ripperger discusses the attributes of the Church, which are different from the marks of the Church. These attributes are indefectibility, constitution, and liturgy. Indefectibility means that the Church will remain imperishable and its teachings will never change. The constitution refers to the hierarchical structure of the Church that will always be present. And the Church will always have the Mass, even if individuals may not always have access to it. These attributes will always be present as long as the Church exists. The speaker emphasizes that while individual churches within the Church can fall into heresy, the Church itself will remain true to its nature and teachings. He also discusses the infallibility of the Church, stating that it is necessary for salvation and that it applies to the Pope, councils, and certain agencies of the Church. Overall, the attributes of the Church ensure its continuity and provide certainty to its members.
Many additional responses to your query
The attributes of the Church are three: 1. authority, infallibility, and indefectibility.
First, the church is doxological, it’s oriented to the glory of God. Second, the church is Word-centered. It’s centered on the incarnate Word, who is Jesus Christ, and the inspired Word: Scripture. The church confesses sound doctrine—what it believes about God, Jesus Christ, and the Spirit. Thirdly, the church is to be Spirit-activated.
A true church can be distinguished by three primary characteristics:
The Catechism notes that the Church is one for three reasons: first, because of its source, which is the Holy Trinity, a perfect unity of three divine persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; second, because of its founder, Jesus Christ, who came to reconcile all mankind through the blood of the cross; and third, because of its "soul," the Holy Spirit, who dwells in the souls of the faithful, who unites all of the faithful into…
1. AUTHORITY 2. INFALLIBILITY 3. INDEFECTIBILITY They are called attributes because they are qualities perfecting the nature of the Church.
The attributes of the Church are three: 1.authority, infallibility, and indefectibility.
People are also interested
- Sacred Scripture – The Old Testament and New Testament.
- Apostolic Tradition – The Living Tradition of the Church and the Liturgies.
- The Living Magisterium – The teaching authority of the Pope in Communion with the Bishops.