Not only must the Church Christ established be Catholic but, as the Nicene creed professes, she must be Holy too. In other words Holiness must be a distinguishing mark of Christ's Church. The Catholic Church has that mark for she is Holy in her founder Jesus Christ, who was holy with the holiness of God. The Church is also holy in her doctrines. The entire world testifies to this. It recognizes the Catholic Church as a tremendous force for good in the world precisely because of the doctrine she teaches. This is the very objection that some of those outside her fold hold against her, that she expects too much of frail human nature and holds her children to the practice of too high a morality. Such people do not want a church that will refuse them divorce as the Catholic Church does. They don't want a church that will stress the awful malice of sin, and the great punishment God has in store for unrepentant sinners. They don't want the Church as Christ made it, but they want a church of their own making, a church that will not bother them too much with thoughts of the next life. And they refuse to acknowledge that if the morality of the Catholic Church is high, it is because Christ made it so, as He declared: "Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Nor is the Church Holy only in her founder and her doctrine. She is holy also in the remarkable holiness of so many of her children, the Apostles who gave their lives to the spreading of Christ's kingdom upon earth, the early martyrs who likewise gave their lives to testify to their faith, and after the Apostles and Martyrs hundreds of thousands of Confessors and Virgins, men and women who in every age through the grace of God rose to sanctity in the Church He founded. Of course there are Catholics in the past and in the present who have not led and who do not lead holy lives. But this is because they do not live up to the teaching of the Church of which they are members. Christ's Church was made not only for the salvation of the just but for the salvation of sinners as well. Granted, then, that there are Catholics whose lives are not what they should be, this is but a small part of a large picture; of the Church of Christ coming down through the ages as an inspiration and a help for millions of common men and women to lead holier lives in Christ.