- The Church is holy because God is holy
, and because Christ and the Holy Spirit are holy.
The holiness of the Church comes from God. The members of the Church are holy to the extent that they live in communion with God. Within the earthly Church, people participate in God’s holiness. Sin and error separate them from this divine holiness as it does from the divine unity. Thus, the earthly members and institutions of the Church cannot be identified as such with the Church as holy. The faith and life of the Church on earth is expressed in its doctrines, sacraments, scriptures, services, and saints which maintain the Church’s essential unity, and which can certainly be affirmed as “holy”
because of God’s presence and action in them.