THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
The Chief Attributes of the Catholic Church are:
They are called attributes because they are qualities perfecting the nature of the Church.
1. AUTHORITY of the Catholic Church is meant that the Pope and Bishops, as the lawful successors of the Apostles, have power from Christ Himself to teach, to sanctify, and to govern the faithful in spiritual matters.
Authority is the power to command others. All authority is from God, and He gives it to the Church in spiritual matters. To refuse to obey the authority of the Church is to refuse to Obey Christ. He Himself said to His Disciples "He who hears you Hears Me; he who rejects you rejects Me." SEE Luke 10:16
2. INFALLIBILITY of the Catholic Church is meant that the Church, by special assistance of the Holy Spirit, cannot err when it teaches or believes a Doctrine of Faith or morals.
Infallibility does not mean that the Pope cannot commit a sin, but that in teaching a Doctrine of Faith or Morals, he is prevented by the Holy Spirit from making a mistake. The Church teaches Only Truth. The Church teaches infallibly when it defines, through the Pope alone, as the teacher of all Christians, or through the Pope and Bishops, a Doctrine of Faith or Morals to be held by all the faithful.
3. INDEFECTIBILITY of the Catholic Church is meant that the Church, as Christ founded it, will last until the end of time. Nations will rise and fall. False religions will come and go, but the Church will last forever.
The Catholic Church is called the Mystical Body of Christ because its members are united by supernatural bonds with one another and with Christ, their Head, thus resembling the members and head of the living human body.