Holy Catholic Church

Holy Catholic Church The "congregation of faithful men dispersed throughout the whole world." Some persons speak of this Church as if it were a visible community, comprising all Christians as its members, as having existed from the earliest days and as retaining the same authority, which it formerly had to frame and promulgate decrees. The opponents of such views maintain that no proof can be offered "that there is or ever was any one community on earth recognized, or having any claim to be recognized as the universal Church, bearing rule over and comprehending all particular churches. They further allege that no accredited organ exists empowered to pronounce its decrees, nor any registry of those decrees. They consider therefore, that the Catholic Church is an invisible community (because its Head is so) in itself and regarded as a whole, though visible in its several parts to those of its members who constitute each separate part. SEE CHURCH.

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