Talk:Four Marks of the Church

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It seems like this article is somewhat lacking on NPOV attitude, but I don't know what the guidelines are on articles about religion.Pafferguy (talk) 20:15, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

I've placed a couple of tags on the article, as it is almost completely unsourced and seems to give an unbalanced view. At the moment it seems largely like one person's musings on the meanings of the 'four marks'. They're interesting thoughts, but I'm not sure how much encyclopedic validity they have; and I think they would be widely disputed, as almost all Christian groups use the creed including these words but not all employ the definitions given here - for example, all groups but the Roman Catholic Church would presumably dispute that complete institutional unity is necessary to constitute 'the church'; and many protestant groups would employ a different meaning of 'apostolic'.
This old revision of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church article, before it was redirected to here, contains a more nuanced approach; perhaps a substantial rewrite drawing on that would be a good idea? On the other hand, there seems to have been agreement there to merge that article (which was almost synonymous with this one) with Christian Church, so I don't know how that affects matters. TSP (talk) 13:39, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

This reader agrees. Lutherans teach that the "marks" of the church are the preaching of the Gospel and the correct administration of the sacraments. This is not to say one view is correct and that this article's or another position is wrong (Lutherans use the Apostle's Creed); instead, I say that there is not agreement, even within Christendom. When you use the word "Church", especially with a capital C, that word must be defined. Failing to do so suggests complete unanimity throughout the world and that this author represents everyone. This is not the case. I suggest revision to suggest the contents of this article is a theological idea which is commonly held, but not universally. Perhaps this entire article could be reduced to an entry in Wiktionary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:45, 11 July 2009 (UTC)


The text about the holy marks reflects a theology that can't be consider mainstream. For example, the Catholic church has recognized the it has sin, as a Church, as a whole church. The Fathers of the Church use an strong expression "Casta Meretrix" (

Even worst, this definition of a Holy Church is a serious threat to Ecumenism.

I would say the the Church is Holy because it is loved by God. It is able to sin, but God really love the Church and tries really hard to help it. What do you think?

--Hectorpal (talk) 23:22, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

removed graffiti (talk) 18:14, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Four marks (markers) not musings[edit]

The four marks discussed in the article are not cited extensively probably due to there being relatively common knowledge rooted in history. Should the person cite "The Catechism Of The Catholic Church" since these marks are described in detail there? Maybe not. Although these understandings are many centuries older than the idea of Protestantism itself, and have been used by Christians for nearly two millenia, I'm sure the author is simply listing what is an understood historical reality held within the church. What churches that have been created during the last century, or even since the reformation, have to say terms of their validity should be noted later in the article under appropriate headings.

The reality is that these markers are rooted in the earliest church writings, and clearly defined as doctrine 1300 years before protestantism existed. So they can't be written off as musings because someone may not like them. Protestant re-definition of these long held "four marks of the Church," or denial of them, can be included however. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:23, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I believe all the information above under the heading HOLY, is completely irrelevant. The page need not include discussion about theology, but convey what, in this case, the "Four Marks of the Church" means and is referring to when used. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:28, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

in need of expansion[edit]

this article lists the four marks with explanations. i doubt this subject is universally agreed upon by all christian denominations -- its just never that way. It would be ideal if we could find texts from different denominations; official sources on how this is viewed.

i also question POV of this article.

Under ONE, the statement "The Catholic Church is the only Church with full institutional and organizational unity" sounds like it should just be taken out to me. Give me 10 minutes and i'll find you 10 churches that could easily be seen as unified organizationally and institutionally. The statement that the eastern orthodox church is not should definitely have something done with that. Exactly what is the arguement that the Roman Catholic Church is more unified than the Eastern Orthodox?

Under HOLY and CATHOLIC, both sections seem to characterize traits which only apply to the Eastern Orthodox Church. can someone check this? (talk) 08:27, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Certainly there are other churches who dispute the position of the Catholic church. That is a well known fact. What needs to happen here is to add a set of qualifiers that say something like: "The teachings of the Catholic church state that it is A, B, C,, etc." where A, B, C, .. etc. are the claims to uniqueness, etc. It does not make sense to delete all those statements, because they are statements that form part of the teachings of Catholicism. However, they need to be qualified as teachings, not statements that are subject to universal agreement.
Moreover, I see no other specific items that the NPOV flag on this page has asserted. Hence, if those are the only issues, I will clean them up and remove the flag in a few days.Else please provide reasons now. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 15:03, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
sounds good to me. i dont plan on working majorly on this article. but it would be nice if someone took time to make this a good article. (talk) 18:38, 10 March 2009 (UTC)


Concerning the unicity of the Church, it is not really sufficient from a doctrinal point of view to say that it comes from belief in one Lord Jesus Christ (monotheism). A more detailed explanation of this belief is found in the doctrine of the body of Christ and the encyclical Mystici Corporis, which describes the Church as the mystical body of Christ. Therefore, the Church taken as a whole is comparable to Jesus himself, who is unique. Concerning the likelihood of schism, and specifically the East-West schism, recent doctrinal statements such as subsistit in have asserted that the Church of Christ remains one and has never really been entirely separated because of an ecclesiology of communion, by which sacraments such as baptism, eucharist and ordination are equally valid for both sides of the historic schism. The recent declaration of Ravenna also reaffirms the belief in an ecclesiastic protos in the person of the bishop of Rome. ADM (talk) 11:28, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

'Further Reading' Problem[edit]

I recently placed a link to a blog that was talking about this exact subject from a Protestant, paleo-orthodox perspective but it was rejected. Why? The blog was thorough in citing its Scriptural sources, though it was undeniably biased (as apologetic religious articles are by nature). Is there a way to put the external link back up, without having it removed? I guess I really thought it fit the wikipedia guidlines. —Preceding unsigned comment added by The.famous.adventurer (talkcontribs) 09:20, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

See WP:ELNO #11: blogs are generally not appropriate external links, unless they are written by a recognized authority. +Angr 14:39, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Roman Catholics, and...[edit]

Paragraph 3 of the Section "History" states erroneously that Catholics believe the in profession of these four marks that "catholic" implies a self-referential exclusivity of the Roman Catholic Church. Indeed, Catholics (not just "Roman" Catholics) will say that the fullness of the expression of the "Church of Christ" is found within its visible communion. But the Church also teaches that other Christians, while not visibly connected with the Catholic Church, will posess some degree of this attibute professed in the creed. [cf. CCC 836-38ff] It would seem that, unlike the claim of the article, that the Church would see "Catholic" not as an exclusive title, but as an adjectival attribute.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (pp. 830ff) explains that there are two senses that are understood by the adjective "Catholic" in the creed: First that the Church is "universal" in the sense of "according to the totality" of the revelation of Christ... scripture, sacraments, apostolic succession, Sacred Tradition and teaching, etc. Second, that the mission of the Church is to draw the whole human race, across space and time, into Communion with the Lord.

I do not at this moment have access to the McBrien article (check the spelling on his name in the article/references). This doesn't sound like him... unless he was making a critique of this very point. I wonder if he is being taken out of context to set up a 'straw man' that confirms dismissive tone against the Catholic Church's supposed-claims in the paragraph. Fr. McBrien, while widely-written and frequently on TV, is hardly an authoritative source of trusted teaching about the Church... cf, the Wikipedia article on him, re: "controversy". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:00, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

New Article for Attributes[edit]

When one types Attributes of the Church", they are redirected here. In Roman Catholicism, there is a separate concept of Attributes, which are indefectibility, infallibility, and authority. According to the article, some protestants refer to them at attributes. Perhaps an Attributes (Catholic Church) link to a new article would be best. Ref: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:24, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

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