A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
That quality of the Church by which seh appears externally and can be recognized by the senses. Two kinds of visibility are distinguished. The Church is materially visible in that her members are human beings who can be identified as Catholic Christians. The Church is also formally visible in possessing certain sensibly perceptible properites, notably the required profession of a common faith, the practice of a definite ritual, and obedience to identifiable laws under an authorized hierarchy.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.