Holy Church

One of the things implicit in the appellation “holy” as applied to the Church . . . is that the Church from the beginning has been endowed with the sacramental means to help make holy the sinners who are found in her ranks. The Church has been given the sacraments along with the word precisely in order to be able to help make sinners holy.

It was in this sense that Paul was able to write, “Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the Church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27). The holiness of the Church, of which the creed properly speaks, has always had reference to her divine Founder and to what the Church was founded by him with the power and authority to do, not with the condition of her members.

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