“Bride of the Lamb,”
“the holy city Jerusalem coming down out
of heaven from God, having the glory of God.”
For “the wall of
the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of
twelve apostles of the Lamb
The Church is one: she acknowledges one Lord, con-
fesses one faith, is born of one Baptism, forms only one
Body, is given life by the one Spirit, for the sake of one
4:3-5), at whose fulfillment all divisions
will be overcome.
The Church is holy: the Most Holy God is her author;
Christ, her bridegroom, gave himself up to make her
holy; the Spirit of holiness gives her life. Since she still
includes sinners, she is “the sinless one made up of
sinners.” Her holiness shines in the saints; in Mary she
is already all-holy.
The Church is catholic: she proclaims the fullness of
the faith. She bears in herself and administers the
totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all
peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompasses all
times. She is “missionary of her very nature” (
The Church is apostolic. She is built on a lasting foun-
dation: “the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (
She is indestructible (cf.
16:18). She is upheld infal-
libly in the truth: Christ governs her through Peter and
the other apostles, who are present in their successors,
the Pope and the college of bishops.
“The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we
profess to be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, . . .
subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by
the successor of Peter and by the bishops in commun
ion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sancti-
fication and of truth are found outside its visible