The Church - Vocabulary Mark of the Church One

The Church - Vocabulary
Mark of the Church- The four essential characteristics of the church begun by Jesus.
One – Members of the church from one Body of Christ, with Jesus as the head and the Holy
Spirit as the source of its life.
Holy- We are not born holy, but we share in God’s Holiness. Jesus’ death and resurrection
prepared the way for people to become holy. We become holy by prayer, sacraments, and
serving others.
Catholic- Universal and worldwide. Those who hear and accept that Jesus is the Salvation,
and who celebrate the Paschal Mystery in liturgical traditions and rites.
Apostolic- The church grew because of the faith of the Apostles, Jesus’ chosen leaders.
Magisterium – the official teaching voice of the church. Consists of the Pope , Cardinals and
Bishops of the world.
Doctrines- Official church teachings, expressed by the Magisterium. (example: Original Sin)
The fundamental truth of the doctrine will not change but over time, the church’s
understanding of the doctrine can develop to include other points of view.
Dogma- Doctines taught under the fullest seriousness and authority of the church. (examples:
The Holy Trinity, Incarnation, Resurrection)
Holy Trinity- Three divine persons, God the Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit.
Incarnation- The dogma that God became human in Jesus.
Resurrection- The Dogma that Jesus was raised from the dead.
Church- The community of people who believe in Jesus Christ, have been baptized in him and
follow his teachings.
Ecumenical Councils- The gatherings of the pope and bishops as they come together to
make decisions on the issues of faith, morals and the life of the church.
Gift of Infallibility- The gift of the Holy Spirit that keeps the church free from error in her
beliefs and teachings.
Apostolic succession- The Apostles’ authority has been handed down to their successors,
the pope and bishops of the Catholic Church.
Pope- The Bishop of Rome, believed to be the successor of Saint Peter.
Bishops- Believed to be the successors of the Apostles.
Vatican Council ll- The Ecumenical Council documents written in three years (1962-1965)
that revised the issues of global justice and the role of the laity in the church.
Laity- Laypeople of the church. Those Catholics who have not been ordained as a clergy.
Those who are not a priest, deacon or bishop.
The Apostles Creed- A very early statement of belief of the Catholic faith. A statement of
heartfelt active belief that is based on the faith of the Apostles themselves.