The 5th and 6th Marks of the Church


The Nicene Creed fittingly noted four marks of the True Church: one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic. These marks identify four essential qualities and characteristics of the Church that distinguish the True Church from any false claimants. Now my surname may be “Pope,” but I surely cannot add authoritatively to this venerable list. Nevertheless, permit me a couple of “prayerful additions” to the four marks of the Church. These cannot join the official list but I humbly submit  these “marks” for your consideration to serve in a similar way in distinguishing the True Church from false claimants and giving insight into the Church’s truest identity.

The 5th Mark of the Church: She is Hated by the World. Jesus consistently taught us to expect the hatred of the world if we are true disciples.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also (John 15:18-20).

All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub,how much more the members of his household! (Matt 10:22-24)

Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets(Luke 6:26).

One of the more painful aspects of Church life, yet one of those of which I am the most “proud,” is that we are hated very specially by the world. While it is true that some of the Evangelicals are ridiculed, few can deny that there is a very special and intense hatred for the Catholic Church, and it is widely on display. It’s never OK (nor should it be) to scorn Jews or Muslims, or to mock or attack their faith traditions. Most of the other Christian denominations (with the exception of the Evangelicals) escape the bulk of the hatred. But the Catholic Church—ah, the Catholic Church—on her it seems to be open season. We are scorned and portrayed unsympathetically in movies. Our history is misrepresented; our sins (and we do have them) are exaggerated; our teachings are called bigoted, backward, unrealistic, and out-of-date. And no matter how ugly, bigoted, and inaccurate the world’s hatred is, very few express any outrage at how we are treated and misrepresented. Try any of this on Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, etc. and the outrage and claims of bigotry are echoed by the media (as they should be). Meanwhile, Dan Brown, et al. get to go on and on about “evil” priests and bishops; a crucifix can be submerged in urine or the Blessed Mother smeared with dung and this is praised as “art” and funded by government grants.

Read the original article here

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The 5th and 6th Marks of the Church

  1. toadspittle says:

    There are no governments or nations that have lasted 2000 years. Very little else in this world can claim such antiquity and even if it tries, can it claim to have remained essentially unchanged in its dogma or teaching?
    Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism.
    Comparing a religion with nations, or governments, is silly. Might as well compare bananas with bicycles.

    A great amount of the “hate” Msngnrsgr Pope sees round every corner is, in my opinion, wishful thinking. We’d all of us sooner be hated than ignored, wouldn’t we?” Catholics are no more hated in most of the civilised world than Muslims are.
    That opinion is open to discussion, certainly.

    “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets(Luke 6:26).”
    Well, that’s a comfort for poor old Toad, isn’t it?


  2. Tom Fisher says:

    Meanwhile, Dan Brown, et al. get to go on and on about “evil” priests and bishops

    Yes, but he’s the greatest writer in English since Milton. So we forgive him:

    Her expression transformed before his eyes, her young features hardening with all the detached composure of a seasoned ER doctor dealing with a crisis.


  3. I left this message on Monsignor Pope’s website:

    “Thank you, Monsignor. What you say is good and true and consoling.”

    (And by the way, I noticed that no comment is published on Monsignor Pope’s website without first being moderated. Couldn’t something like that be done with the website of Catholicism Pure and Simple? Clearly, some of the comments posted here are not at all appropriate.)


  4. Tom Fisher says:

    Surely the distinguishing feature of a blog is that readers encounter very different view-points from their own, and there is an exchange of ideas in real time that was hardly possible before the internet. A carefully chosen book or magazine can provide an absolutely safe reading experience, but aren’t blogs about something altogether different, and complementary to that?


  5. toadspittle says:

    “Clearly, some of the comments posted here are not at all appropriate.”
    What Robert John’s getting at – is that he doesn’t like some of the comments on here and doesn’t want them to run. Honest, at least.
    (What makes a comment “appropriate” anyway?)


  6. mkenny114 says:

    I think the key phrase here is claim to have remained essentially unchanged in its dogma or teaching – Hinduism is really an umbrella term for the great many religious traditions of the Indian subcontinent, which, though bound together by a common pantheism of sorts, are quite different in many ways; Buddhism, from very early on, split into various different schools, and is often interpreted even within those schools in markedly different ways; and Judaism had to change significantly when the Temple was destroyed in 70AD, as well as in reaction to the birth of Christianity.


  7. toadspittle says:

    That Christianity has changed markedly over 2,000 years, as has Buddhism, is obviously not disputable.
    Catholicism has also changed markedly, I suggest. Originally, for some 400 years, it was totally pacifist, obeying Christ’s instructions to “Turn the other cheek,” and get killed, if necessary That changed.
    Then, later, it was considered acceptable to torture and kill people who didn’t hold Catholic views. That changed. There are probably considerably more examples of change. Oh, yes, when I was a toadpole, Limbo was a fact of life. Dogma, we were told. No arguing. Not now. All changed.
    You will say the “dogma” is unchanged.
    Limbo was just a suggestion – yes, try telling that to Father Doyle, and see what happens.
    I will reply, Catholicism is as Catholicism does.
    It has certainly changed in the last 50 years. Like it or not.


  8. mkenny114 says:


    Yes I would reply that, regarding Limbo, the actual teaching of the Church has remained unchanged, because this is precisely the point. Noone is claiming that there have not been any changes in the life of the Church throughout its history, but that its essential teaching has remained constant and consistent. The changes over the last fifty years in the attitudes of many Catholics and opinions of many theologians does not alter what the Church actually teaches one jot.

    Furthermore, the Church does not contain different schools of thought which present decidely different interpretations of the core tenets of the Faith, and which schools are actually in competition with one another as to the correct overall reading of those tenets, which is what one finds in Buddhism. There is one orthodoxy, not many, and though its content has been explicated more clearly over the years in response to changing cultural situations etc, such development of doctrine is not only consistent with what went before, but has added to the richness of the Faith overall.


  9. Originally, for some 400 years, it was totally pacifist, obeying Christ’s instructions to “Turn the other cheek,” and get killed, if necessary That changed.

    Then can you explain, Toadl, the vast number of Catholic Saints from the first centuries of the Church who were Roman Soldiers?


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s