DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH
SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS
POPE PAUL VI
NOVEMBER 21, 1964
THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH
1. Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod
gathered together in the Holy Spirit eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Gospel
to every creature,(1) to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly
visible on the countenance of the Church. Since the Church is in Christ like a
sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God
and of the unity of the whole human race, it desires now to unfold more fully to
the faithful of the Church and to the whole world its own inner nature and
universal mission. This it intends to do following faithfully the teaching of
previous councils. The present-day conditions of the world add greater urgency
to this work of the Church so that all men, joined more closely today by various
social, technical and cultural ties, might also attain fuller unity in Christ.
2. The eternal Father, by a free and hidden plan of His own wisdom and
goodness, created the whole world. His plan was to raise men to a participation
of the divine life. Fallen in Adam, God the Father did not leave men to
themselves, but ceaselessly offered helps to salvation, in view of Christ, the
Redeemer "who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every
creature".(2) All the elect, before time began, the Father "foreknew
and pre- destined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that he should be
the firstborn among many brethren".(3) He planned to assemble in the holy
Church all those who would believe in Christ. Already from the beginning of the
world the foreshadowing of the Church took place. It was prepared in a
remarkable way throughout the history of the people of Israel and by means of
the Old Covenant.(1*) In the present era of time the Church was constituted and,
by the outpouring of the Spirit, was made manifest. At the end of time it will
gloriously achieve completion, when, as is read in the Fathers, all the just,
from Adam and "from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect,"(2*)
will be gathered together with the Father in the universal Church.
3. The Son, therefore, came, sent by the Father. It was in Him, before the
foundation of the world, that the Father chose us and predestined us to become
adopted sons, for in Him it pleased the Father to re-establish all things.(4) To
carry out the will of the Father, Christ inaugurated the Kingdom of heaven on
earth and revealed to us the mystery of that kingdom. By His obedience He
brought about redemption. The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ
now present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world.
This inauguration and this growth are both symbolized by the blood and water
which flowed from the open side of a crucified Jesus,(5) and are foretold in the
words of the Lord referring to His death on the Cross: "And I, if I be
lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself".(6) As often as
the sacrifice of the cross in which Christ our Passover was sacrificed, is
celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried on, and, in the
sacrament of the eucharistic bread, the unity of all believers who form one body
in Christ (8) is both expressed and brought about. All men are called to this
union with Christ, who is the light of the world, from whom we go forth, through
whom we live, and toward whom our whole life strains.
4. When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth (9) was
accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that He
might continually sanctify the Church, and thus, all those who believe would
have access through Christ in one Spirit to the Father.(10) He is the Spirit of
Life, a fountain of water springing up to life eternal.(11) To men, dead in sin,
the Father gives life through Him, until, in Christ, He brings to life their
mortal bodies.(12) The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the
faithful, as in a temple.(13) In them He prays on their behalf and bears witness
to the fact that they are adopted sons.(14) The Church, which the Spirit guides
in way of all truth(15) and which He unified in communion and in works of
ministry, He both equips and directs with hierarchical and charismatic gifts and
adorns with His fruits.(16) By the power of the Gospel He makes the Church keep
the freshness of youth. Uninterruptedly He renews it and leads it to perfect
union with its Spouse. (3*) The Spirit and the Bride both say to Jesus, the
Thus, the Church has been seen as "a people made one with the unity of
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."(4*)
5. The mystery of the holy Church is manifest in its very foundation. The
Lord Jesus set it on its course by preaching the Good News, that is, the coming
of the Kingdom of God, which, for centuries, had been promised in the
Scriptures: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand"(18).
In the word, in the works, and in the presence of Christ, this kingdom was
clearly open to the view of men. The Word of the Lord is compared to a seed
which is sown in a field;(19) those who hear the Word with faith and become part
of the little flock of Christ,(20) have received the Kingdom itself. Then, by
its own power the seed sprouts and grows until harvest time.(21) The Miracles of
Jesus also confirm that the Kingdom has already arrived on earth: "If I
cast out devils by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you".(22)
Before all things, however, the Kingdom is clearly visible in the very Person of
Christ, the Son of God and the Son of Man, who came "to serve and to give
His life as a ransom for many:"(23)
When Jesus, who had suffered the death of the cross for mankind, had risen,
He appeared as the one constituted as Lord, Christ and eternal Priest,(24) and
He poured out on His disciples the Spirit promised by the Father.(25) From this
source the Church, equipped with the gifts of its Founder and faithfully
guarding His precepts of charity, humility and self-sacrifice, receives the
mission to proclaim and to spread among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of
God and to be, on earth, the initial budding forth of that kingdom. While it
slowly grows, the Church strains toward the completed Kingdom and, with all its
strength, hopes and desires to be united in glory with its King.
6. In the old Testament the revelation of the Kingdom is often conveyed by
means of metaphors. In the same way the inner nature of the Church is now made
known to us in different images taken either from tending sheep or cultivating
the land, from building or even from family life and betrothals, the images
receive preparatory shaping in the books of the Prophets.
The Church is a sheepfold whose one and indispensable door is Christ.(26) It
is a flock of which God Himself foretold He would be the shepherd,(27) and whose
sheep, although ruled by human shepherds; are nevertheless continuously led and
nourished by Christ Himself, the Good Shepherd and the Prince of the
shepherds,(28) who gave His life for the sheep.(29)
The Church is a piece of land to be cultivated, the tillage of God.(30) On
that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the Prophets and in
which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has been brought about and will be
brought about.(31) That land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the
heavenly Husbandman.(32) The true vine is Christ who gives life and the power to
bear abundant fruit to the branches, that is, to us, who through the Church
remain in Christ without whom we can do nothing.(33)
Often the Church has also been called the building of God.(34) The Lord
Himself compared Himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was
made into the cornerstone.(35) On this foundation the Church is built by the
apostles,(36) and from it the Church receives durability and consolidation. This
edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God (37) in which dwells His
family; the household of God in the Spirit;(38) the dwelling place of God among
men;(39) and, especially, the holy temple. This Temple, symbolized in places of
worship built out of stone, is praised by the Holy Fathers and, not without
reason, is compared in the liturgy to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem (5*). As
living stones we here on earth are built into it.(40) John contemplates this
holy city coming down from heaven at the renewal of the world as a bride made
ready and adorned for her husband.(41)
The Church, further, "that Jerusalem which is above" is also
called "our mother".(42) It is described as the spotless spouse of the
spotless Lamb,(43) whom Christ "loved and for whom He delivered Himself up
that He might sanctify her",(44) whom He unites to Himself by an
unbreakable covenant, and whom He unceasingly "nourishes and cherishes",(45)
and whom, once purified, He willed to be cleansed and joined to Himself, subject
to Him in love and fidelity,(46) and whom, finally, He filled with heavenly
gifts for all eternity, in order that we may know the love of God and of Christ
for us, a love which surpasses all knowledge.(47) The Church, while on earth it
journeys in a foreign land away from the Lord,(48) is like in exile. It seeks
and experiences those things which are above, where Christ is seated at the
right-hand of God, where the life of the Church is hidden with Christ in God
until it appears in glory with its Spouse.(49)
7. In the human nature united to Himself the Son of God, by overcoming death
through His own death and resurrection, redeemed man and re-molded him into a
new creation.(50) By communicating His Spirit, Christ made His brothers, called
together from all nations, mystically the components of His own Body.
In that Body the life of Christ is poured into the believers who, through
the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ who suffered and
was glorified.(6*) Through Baptism we are formed in the likeness of Christ: "For
in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body".(51) In this sacred rite
a oneness with Christ's death and resurrection is both symbolized and brought
about: "For we were buried with Him by means of Baptism into death";
and if "we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, we shall
be so in the likeness of His resurrection also".(52) Really partaking of the
body of the Lord in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread, we are taken up into
communion with Him and with one another. "Because the bread is one, we
though many, are one body, all of us who partake of the one bread".(53) In
this way all of us are made members of His Body,(54) "but severally members
one of another".(55)
As all the members of the human body, though they are many, form one body,
so also are the faithful in Christ.(56) Also, in the building up of Christ's
Body various members and functions have their part to play. There is only one
Spirit who, according to His own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives
His different gifts for the welfare of the Church.(57) What has a special place
among these gifts is the grace of the apostles to whose authority the Spirit
Himself subjected even those who were endowed with charisms.(58) Giving the body
unity through Himself and through His power and inner joining of the members,
this same Spirit produces and urges love among the believers. From all this it
follows that if one member endures anything, all the members co-endure it, and
if one member is honored, all the members together rejoice.(59)
The Head of this Body is Christ. He is the image of the invisible God and in
Him all things came into being. He is before all creatures and in Him all things
hold together. He is the head of the Body which is the Church. He is the
beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the
first place.(60) By the greatness of His power He rules the things in heaven and
the things on earth, and with His all-surpassing perfection and way of acting He
fills the whole body with the riches of His glory.
All the members ought to be molded in the likeness of Him, until Christ be
formed in them.(62) For this reason we, who have been made to conform with Him,
who have died with Him and risen with Him, are taken up into the mysteries of
His life, until we will reign together with Him.(63) On earth, still as pilgrims
in a strange land, tracing in trial and in oppression the paths He trod, we are
made one with His sufferings like the body is one with the Head, suffering with
Him, that with Him we may be glorified.(64)
From Him "the whole body, supplied and built up by joints and
ligaments, attains a growth that is of God".(65) He continually distributes
in His body, that is, in the Church, gifts of ministries in which, by His own
power, we serve each other unto salvation so that, carrying out the truth in
love, we might through all things grow unto Him who is our Head.(66)
In order that we might be unceasingly renewed in Him,(67) He has shared with
us His Spirit who, existing as one and the same being in the Head and in the
members, gives life to, unifies and moves through the whole body. This He does
in such a way that His work could be compared by the holy Fathers with the
function which the principle of life, that is, the soul, fulfills in the human
Christ loves the Church as His bride, having become the model of a man
loving his wife as his body;(68) the Church, indeed, is subject to its Head.(69)
"Because in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily",(70) He
fills the Church, which is His body and His fullness, with His divine gifts (71)
so that it may expand and reach all the fullness of God.(72)
8. Christ, the one Mediator, established and continually sustains here on
earth His holy Church, the community of faith, hope and charity, as an entity
with visible delineation (9*) through which He communicated truth and grace to
all. But, the society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body
of Christ, are not to be considered as two realities, nor are the visible
assembly and the spiritual community, nor the earthly Church and the Church
enriched with heavenly things; rather they form one complex reality which
coalesces from a divine and a human element.(10*) For this reason, by no weak
analogy, it is compared to the mystery of the incarnate Word. As the assumed
nature inseparably united to Him, serves the divine Word as a living organ of
salvation, so, in a similar way, does the visible social structure of the Church
serve the Spirit of Christ, who vivifies it, in the building up of the body.(73)
This is the one Church of Christ which in the Creed is professed as one,
holy, catholic and apostolic, (12*) which our Saviour, after His Resurrection,
commissioned Peter to shepherd,(74) and him and the other apostles to extend and
direct with authority,(75) which He erected for all ages as "the pillar and
mainstay of the truth".(76) This Church constituted and organized in the
world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the
successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him,(13*) although many
elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible
structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are
forces impelling toward catholic unity.
Just as Christ carried out the work of redemption in poverty and
persecution, so the Church is called to follow the same route that it might
communicate the fruits of salvation to men. Christ Jesus, "though He was by
nature God . . . emptied Himself, taking the nature of a slave",(77) and "being
rich, became poor"(78) for our sakes. Thus, the Church, although it needs
human resources to carry out its mission, is not set up to seek earthly glory,
but to proclaim, even by its own example, humility and self-sacrifice. Christ was
sent by the Father "to bring good news to the poor, to heal the contrite of
heart",(79) "to seek and to save what was lost".(80) Similarly,
the Church encompasses with love all who are afflicted with human suffering and
in the poor and afflicted sees the image of its poor and suffering Founder. It
does all it can to relieve their need and in them it strives to serve Christ.
While Christ, holy, innocent and undefiled(81) knew nothing of sin,(82) but came
to expiate only the sins of the people,(83) the Church, embracing in its bosom
sinners, at the same time holy and always in need of being purified, always
follows the way of penance and renewal. The Church, "like a stranger in a
foreign land, presses forward amid the persecutions of the world and the
consolations of God"(14*), announcing the cross and death of the Lord until
He comes."(84) By the power of the risen Lord it is given strength that it
might, in patience and in love, overcome its sorrows and its challenges, both
within itself and from without, and that it might reveal to the world,
faithfully though darkly, the mystery of its Lord until, in the end, it will be
manifested in full light.
ON THE PEOPLE OF GOD
9. At all times and in every race God has given welcome to whosoever fears
Him and does what is right.(85) God, however, does not make men holy and save
them merely as individuals, without bond or link between one another. Rather has
it pleased Him to bring men together as one people, a people which acknowledges
Him in truth and serves Him in holiness. He therefore chose the race of Israel
as a people unto Himself. With it He set up a covenant. Step by step He taught
and prepared this people, making known in its history both Himself and the
decree of His will and making it holy unto Himself. All these things, however,
were done by way of preparation and as a figure of that new and perfect
covenant, which was to be ratified in Christ, and of that fuller revelation
which was to be given through the Word of God Himself made flesh. "Behold
the days shall come saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the
House of Israel, and with the house of Judah . . . I will give my law in their
bowels, and I will write it in their heart, and I will be their God, and they
shall be my people . . . For all of them shall know Me, from the least of them
even to the greatest, saith the Lord.(86) Christ instituted this new covenant,
the new testament, that is to say, in His Blood,(87) calling together a people
made up of Jew and gentile, making them one, not according to the flesh but in
the Spirit. This was to be the new People of God. For those who believe in
Christ, who are reborn not from a perishable but from an imperishable seed
through the word of the living God,(88) not from the flesh but from water and
the Holy Spirit,(89) are finally established as "a chosen race, a royal
priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people . . . who in times past were not a
people, but are now the people of God".(90)
That messianic people has Christ for its head, "Who was delivered up
for our sins, and rose again for our justification",(91) and now, having
won a name which is above all names, reigns in glory in heaven. The state of
this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose
hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in His temple. Its law is the new commandment
to love as Christ loved us.(92) Its end is the kingdom of God, which has been
begun by God Himself on earth, and which is to be further extended until it is
brought to perfection by Him at the end of time, when Christ, our life,(93)
shall appear, and "creation itself will be delivered from its slavery to
corruption into the freedom of the glory of the sons of God".(94) So it is
that that messianic people, although it does not actually include all men, and
at times may look like a small flock, is nonetheless a lasting and sure seed of
unity, hope and salvation for the whole human race. Established by Christ as a
communion of life, charity and truth, it is also used by Him as an instrument
for the redemption of all, and is sent forth into the whole world as the light
of the world and the salt of the earth.(95)
Israel according to the flesh, which wandered as an exile in the desert, was
already called the Church of God.(96) So likewise the new Israel which while
living in this present age goes in search of a future and abiding city (97) is
called the Church of Christ.(98) For He has bought it for Himself with His
blood,(99) has filled it with His Spirit and provided it with those means which
befit it as a visible and social union. God gathered together as one all those
who in faith look upon Jesus as the author of salvation and the source of unity
and peace, and established them as the Church that for each and all it may be
the visible sacrament of this saving unity. (1*) While it transcends all limits
of time and confines of race, the Church is destined to extend to all regions of
the earth and so enters into the history of mankind. Moving forward through
trial and tribulation, the Church is strengthened by the power of God's grace,
which was promised to her by the Lord, so that in the weakness of the flesh she
may not waver from perfect fidelity, but remain a bride worthy of her Lord, and
moved by the Holy Spirit may never cease to renew herself, until through the
Cross she arrives at the light which knows no setting.
10. Christ the Lord, High Priest taken from among men,(100) made the new
people "a kingdom and priests to God the Father".(101) The baptized,
by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated as a
spiritual house and a holy priesthood, in order that through all those works
which are those of the Christian man they may offer spiritual sacrifices and
proclaim the power of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous
light.(102) Therefore all the disciples of Christ, persevering in prayer and
praising God,(103) should present themselves as a living sacrifice, holy and
pleasing to God.(104) Everywhere on earth they must bear witness to Christ and
give an answer to those who seek an account of that hope of eternal life which
is in them.(105)
Though they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree, the
common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood
are nonetheless interrelated: each of them in its own special way is a
participation in the one priesthood of Christ.(2*) The ministerial priest, by
the sacred power he enjoys, teaches and rules the priestly people; acting in the
person of Christ, he makes present the Eucharistic sacrifice, and offers it to
God in the name of all the people. But the faithful, in virtue of their royal
priesthood, join in the offering of the Eucharist.(3*) They likewise exercise
that priesthood in receiving the sacraments, in prayer and thanksgiving, in the
witness of a holy life, and by self-denial and active charity.
11. It is through the sacraments and the exercise of the virtues that the
sacred nature and organic structure of the priestly community is brought into
operation. Incorporated in the Church through baptism, the faithful are destined
by the baptismal character for the worship of the Christian religion; reborn as
sons of God they must confess before men the faith which they have received from
God through the Church (4*). They are more perfectly bound to the Church by the
sacrament of Confirmation, and the Holy Spirit endows them with special strength
so that they are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith, both by
word and by deed, as true witnesses of Christ (5*). Taking part in the
Eucharistic sacrifice, which is the fount and apex of the whole Christian life,
they offer the Divine Victim to God, and offer themselves along with It.(6*)
Thus both by reason of the offering and through Holy Communion all take part in
this liturgical service, not indeed, all in the same way but each in that way
which is proper to himself. Strengthened in Holy Communion by the Body of
Christ, they then manifest in a concrete way that unity of the people of God
which is suitably signified and wondrously brought about by this most august
Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from the mercy of
God for the offence committed against Him and are at the same time reconciled
with the Church, which they have wounded by their sins, and which by charity,
example, and prayer seeks their conversion. By the sacred anointing of the sick
and the prayer of her priests the whole Church commends the sick to the
suffering and glorified Lord, asking that He may lighten their suffering and
save them;(106) she exhorts them, moreover, to contribute to the welfare of the
whole people of God by associating themselves freely with the passion and death
of Christ.(107) Those of the faithful who are consecrated by Holy Orders are
appointed to feed the Church in Christ's name with the word and the grace of
God. Finally, Christian spouses, in virtue of the sacrament of Matrimony,
whereby they signify and partake of the mystery of that unity and fruitful love
which exists between Christ and His Church,(108) help each other to attain to
holiness in their married life and in the rearing and education of their
children. By reason of their state and rank in life they have their own special
gift among the people of God.(109) (7*) From the wedlock of Christians there
comes the family, in which new citizens of human society are born, who by the
grace of the Holy Spirit received in baptism are made children of God, thus
perpetuating the people of God through the centuries. The family is, so to
speak, the domestic church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be
the first preachers of the faith to their children; they should encourage them
in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care
vocation to a sacred state.
Fortified by so many and such powerful means of salvation, all the faithful,
whatever their condition or state, are called by the Lord, each in his own way,
to that perfect holiness whereby the Father Himself is perfect.
12. The holy people of God shares also in Christ's prophetic office; it
spreads abroad a living witness to Him, especially by means of a life of faith
and charity and by offering to God a sacrifice of praise, the tribute of lips
which give praise to His name.(110) The entire body of the faithful, anointed as
they are by the Holy One,(111) cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest
this special property by means of the whole peoples' supernatural discernment in
matters of faith when "from the Bishops down to the last of the lay
faithful" (8*) they show universal agreement in matters of faith and
morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the
Spirit of truth. It is exercised under the guidance of the sacred teaching
authority, in faithful and respectful obedience to which the people of God
accepts that which is not just the word of men but truly the word of God.(112)
Through it, the people of God adheres unwaveringly to the faith given once and
for all to the saints,(113) penetrates it more deeply with right thinking, and
applies it more fully in its life.
It is not only through the sacraments and the ministries of the Church that
the Holy Spirit sanctifies and leads the people of God and enriches it with
virtues, but, "allotting his gifts to everyone according as He wills,(114)
He distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. By these gifts
He makes them fit and ready to undertake the various tasks and offices which
contribute toward the renewal and building up of the Church, according to the
words of the Apostle: "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone
for profit".(115) These charisms, whether they be the more outstanding or
the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and
consolation for they are perfectly suited to and useful for the needs of the
Church. Extraordinary gifts are not to be sought after, nor are the fruits of
apostolic labor to be presumptuously expected from their use; but judgment as to
their genuinity and proper use belongs to those who are appointed leaders in the
Church, to whose special competence it belongs, not indeed to extinguish the
Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to that which is good.(116)
13. All men are called to belong to the new people of God. Wherefore this
people, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole
world and must exist in all ages, so that the decree of God's will may be
fulfilled. In the beginning God made human nature one and decreed that all His
children, scattered as they were, would finally be gathered together as one.
(117) It was for this purpose that God sent His Son, whom He appointed heir of
all things,(118) that be might be teacher, king and priest of all, the head of
the new and universal people of the sons of God. For this too God sent the
Spirit of His Son as Lord and Life-giver. He it is who brings together the
whole Church and each and every one of those who believe, and who is the
well-spring of their unity in the teaching of the apostles and in fellowship, in
the breaking of bread and in prayers.(119)
It follows that though there are many nations there is but one people of
God, which takes its citizens from every race, making them citizens of a kingdom
which is of a heavenly rather than of an earthly nature. All the faithful,
scattered though they be throughout the world, are in communion with each other
in the Holy Spirit, and so, he who dwells in Rome knows that the people of India
are his members"(9*). Since the kingdom of Christ is not of this world(120)
the Church or people of God in establishing that kingdom takes nothing away from
the temporal welfare of any people. On the contrary it fosters and takes to
itself, insofar as they are good, the ability, riches and customs in which the
genius of each people expresses itself. Taking them to itself it purifies,
strengthens, elevates and ennobles them. The Church in this is mindful that she
must bring together the nations for that king to whom they were given as an
inheritance,(121) and to whose city they bring gifts and offerings.(122) This
characteristic of universality which adorns the people of God is a gift from the
Lord Himself. By reason of it, the Catholic Church strives constantly and with
due effect to bring all humanity and all its possessions back to its source In
Christ, with Him as its head and united in His Spirit. (10*)
In virtue of this catholicity each individual part contributes through its
special gifts to the good of the other parts and of the whole Church. Through
the common sharing of gifts and through the common effort to attain fullness in
unity, the whole and each of the parts receive increase. Not only, then, is the
people of God made up of different peoples but in its inner structure also it is
composed of various ranks. This diversity among its members arises either by
reason of their duties, as is the case with those who exercise the sacred
ministry for the good of their brethren, or by reason of their condition and
state of life, as is the case with those many who enter the religious state and,
tending toward holiness by a narrower path, stimulate their brethren by their
example. Moreover, within the Church particular Churches hold a rightful place;
these Churches retain their own traditions, without in any way opposing the
primacy of the Chair of Peter, which presides over the whole assembly of charity
(11*) and protects legitimate differences, while at the same time assuring that
such differences do not hinder unity but rather contribute toward it. Between
all the parts of the Church there remains a bond of close communion whereby they
share spiritual riches, apostolic workers and temporal resources. For the
members of the people of God are called to share these goods in common, and of
each of the Churches the words of the Apostle hold good: "According to the
gift that each has received, administer it to one another as good stewards of
the manifold grace of God".(123)
All men are called to be part of this catholic unity of the people of God
which in promoting universal peace presages it. And there belong to or are
related to it in various ways, the Catholic faithful, all who believe in Christ,
and indeed the whole of mankind, for all men are called by the grace of God to
14. This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic
faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the
Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ,
present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the
unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of
faith and baptism(124) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church,
for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever,
therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would
refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.
They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the
Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given
to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and
through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the
bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession
of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. He is not
saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere
in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only
in a "bodily" manner and not "in his heart."(12*) All the
Church's children should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed
not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ. If they fail
moreover to respond to that grace in thought, word and deed, not only shall they
not be saved but they will be the more severely judged.(13*)
Catechumens who, moved by the Holy Spirit, seek with explicit intention to
be incorporated into the Church are by that very intention joined with her. With
love and solicitude Mother Church already embraces them as her own.
15. The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who,
being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not
profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the
successor of Peter. (14*) For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking
it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They
lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and
Saviour. (15*) They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with
Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own
Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them rejoice in the episcopate,
celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of
God.(16*) They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits.
Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy
Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative
among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the
extent of the shedding of their blood. In all of Christ's disciples the Spirit
arouses the desire to be peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ,
as one flock under one shepherd, and He prompts them to pursue this end. (17*)
Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may come about. She
exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may
shine more brightly over the face of the earth.
16. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in
various ways to the people of God.(18*) In the first place we must recall the
people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ
was born according to the flesh.(125) On account of their fathers this people
remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of
the calls He issues.(126) But the plan of salvation also includes those who
acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore
the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far
distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He
who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills
that all men be saved.(128) Those also can attain to salvation who through no
fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely
seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known
to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*) Nor does Divine Providence deny
the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part,
have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive
to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon
by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(20*) She knows that it is given
by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life. But often men,
deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have
exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the
Creator.(129) Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God,
are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure
the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, "Preach
the Gospel to every creature",(130) the Church fosters the missions with
care and attention.
17. As the Son was sent by the Father,(131) so He too sent the Apostles,
saying: "Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all
days even to the consummation of the world".(132) The Church has received
this solemn mandate of Christ to proclaim the saving truth from the apostles and
must carry it out to the very ends of the earth.(133) Wherefore she makes the
words of the Apostle her own: "Woe to me, if I do not preach the Gospel",(134)
and continues unceasingly to send heralds of the Gospel until such time as the
infant churches are fully established and can themselves continue the work of
evangelizing. For the Church is compelled by the Holy Spirit to do her part that
God's plan may be fully realized, whereby He has constituted Christ as the
source of salvation for the whole world. By the proclamation of the Gospel she
prepares her hearers to receive and profess the faith. She gives them the
dispositions necessary for baptism, snatches them from the slavery of error and
of idols and incorporates them in Christ so that through charity they may grow
up into full maturity in Christ. Through her work, whatever good is in the minds
and hearts of men, whatever good lies latent in the religious practices and
cultures of diverse peoples, is not only saved from destruction but is also
cleansed, raised up and perfected unto the glory of God, the confusion of the
devil and the happiness of man. The obligation of spreading the faith is imposed
on every disciple of Christ, according to his state.(21*) Although, however, all
the faithful can baptize, the priest alone can complete the building up of the
Body in the eucharistic sacrifice. Thus are fulfilled the words of God, spoken
through His prophet: "From the rising of the sun until the going down
thereof my name is great among the gentiles, and in every place a clean oblation
is sacrificed and offered up in my name".(135)(22*) In this way the Church
both prays and labors in order that the entire world may become the People of
God, the Body of the Lord and the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and that in Christ,
the Head of all, all honor and glory may be rendered to the Creator and Father
of the Universe.
ON THE HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH
AND IN PARTICULAR ON THE
18. For the nurturing and constant growth of the People of God, Christ the
Lord instituted in His Church a variety of ministries, which work for the good
of the whole body. For those ministers, who are endowed with sacred power, serve
their brethren, so that all who are of the People of God, and therefore enjoy a
true Christian dignity, working toward a common goal freely and in an orderly
way, may arrive at salvation.
This Sacred Council, following closely in the footsteps of the First Vatican
Council, with that Council teaches and declares that Jesus Christ, the eternal
Shepherd, established His holy Church, having sent forth the apostles as He
Himself had been sent by the Father;(136) and He willed that their successors,
namely the bishops, should be shepherds in His Church even to the consummation
of the world. And in order that the episcopate itself might be one and
undivided, He placed Blessed Peter over the other apostles, and instituted in
him a permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and
communion.(1*) And all this teaching about the institution, the perpetuity, the
meaning and reason for the sacred primacy of the Roman Pontiff and of his
infallible magisterium, this Sacred Council again proposes to be firmly believed
by all the faithful. Continuing in that same undertaking, this Council is
resolved to declare and proclaim before all men the doctrine concerning bishops,
the successors of the apostles, who together with the successor of Peter, the
Vicar of Christ,(2*) the visible Head of the whole Church, govern the house of
the living God.
19. The Lord Jesus, after praying to the Father, calling to Himself those
whom He desired, appointed twelve to be with Him, and whom He would send to
preach the Kingdom of God;(137) and these apostles(138) He formed after the
manner of a college or a stable group, over which He placed Peter chosen from
among them.(139) He sent them first to the children of Israel and then to all
nations,(140) so that as sharers in His power they might make all peoples His
disciples, and sanctify and govern them,(141) and thus spread His Church, and by
ministering to it under the guidance of the Lord, direct it all days even to the
consummation of the world.(142) And in this mission they were fully confirmed on
the day of Pentecost(143) in accordance with the Lord's promise: "You shall
receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses
for me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and even to the very ends
of the earth".(144) And the apostles, by preaching the Gospel
everywhere,(145) and it being accepted by their hearers under the influence of
the Holy Spirit, gather together the universal Church, which the Lord
established on the apostles and built upon blessed Peter, their chief, Christ
Jesus Himself being the supreme cornerstone.(146)(3*)
20. That divine mission, entrusted by Christ to the apostles, will last
until the end of the world,(147) since the Gospel they are to teach is for all
time the source of all life for the Church. And for this reason the apostles,
appointed as rulers in this society, took care to appoint successors.
For they not only had helpers in their ministry,(4*) but also, in order that
the mission assigned to them might continue after their death, they passed on to
their immediate cooperators, as it were, in the form of a testament, the duty of
confirming and finishing the work begun by themselves,(5*) recommending to them
that they attend to the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit placed them to
shepherd the Church of God.(148) They therefore appointed such men, and gave
them the order that, when they should have died, other approved men would take
up their ministry.(6*) Among those various ministries which, according to
tradition, were exercised in the Church from the earliest times, the chief place
belongs to the office of those who, appointed to the episcopate, by a succession
running from the beginning,(7*) are passers-on of the apostolic seed.(8*) Thus,
as St. Irenaeus testifies, through those who were appointed bishops by the
apostles, and through their successors down in our own time, the apostolic
tradition is manifested (9*) and preserved.(10*)
Bishops, therefore, with their helpers, the priests and deacons, have taken
up the service of the community, (11*) presiding in place of God over the
flock,(12*) whose shepherds they are, as teachers for doctrine, priests for
sacred worship, and ministers for governing.(13*) And just as the office granted
individually to Peter, the first among the apostles, is permanent and is to be
transmitted to his successors, so also the apostles' office of nurturing the
Church is permanent, and is to be exercised without interruption by the sacred
order of bishops. (14*) Therefore, the Sacred Council teaches that bishops by
divine institution have succeeded to the place of the apostles, (15*) as
shepherds of the Church, and he who hears them, hears Christ, and he who rejects
them, rejects Christ and Him who sent Christ.(149)(16*)
21. In the bishops, therefore, for whom priests are assistants, Our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Supreme High Priest, is present in the midst of those who
believe. For sitting at the right hand of God the Father, He is not absent from
the gathering of His high priests,(17*) but above all through their excellent
service He is preaching the word of God to all nations, and constantly
administering the sacraments of faith to those who believe, by their paternal
functioning.(150) He incorporates new members in His Body by a heavenly
regeneration, and finally by their wisdom and prudence He directs and guides the
People of the New Testament in their pilgrimage toward eternal happiness. These
pastors, chosen to shepherd the Lord's flock of the elect, are servants of
Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God,(151) to whom has been assigned the
bearing of witness to the Gospel of the grace of God,(152) and the ministration
of the Spirit and of justice in glory.(153)
For the discharging of such great duties, the apostles were enriched by
Christ with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit coming upon them,(154) and
they passed on this spiritual gift to their helpers by the imposition of
hands,(155) and it has been transmitted down to us in Episcopal
consecration.(18*) And the Sacred Council teaches that by Episcopal consecration
the fullness of the sacrament of Orders is conferred, that fullness of power,
namely, which both in the Church's liturgical practice and in the language of
the Fathers of the Church is called the high priesthood, the supreme power of
the sacred ministry.(19*) But Episcopal consecration, together with the office
of sanctifying, also confers the office of teaching and of governing, which,
however, of its very nature, can be exercised only in hierarchical communion
with the head and the members of the college. For from the tradition, which is
expressed especially in liturgical rites and in the practice of both the Church
of the East and of the West, it is clear that, by means of the imposition of
hands and the words of consecration, the grace of the Holy Spirit is so
conferred,(20*) and the sacred character so impressed,(21*) that bishops in an
eminent and visible way sustain the roles of Christ Himself as Teacher, Shepherd
and High Priest, and that they act in His person.(22*) Therefore it pertains to
the bishops to admit newly elected members into the Episcopal body by means of
the sacrament of Orders.
22. Just as in the Gospel, the Lord so disposing, St. Peter and the other
apostles constitute one apostolic college, so in a similar way the Roman
Pontiff, the successor of Peter, and the bishops, the successors of the
apostles, are joined together. Indeed, the very ancient practice whereby bishops
duly established in all parts of the world were in communion with one another
and with the Bishop of Rome in a bond of unity, charity and peace,(23*) and also
the councils assembled together,(24*) in which more profound issues were settled
in common, (25*) the opinion of the many having been prudently considered,(26*)
both of these factors are already an indication of the collegiate character and
aspect of the Episcopal order; and the ecumenical councils held in the course of
centuries are also manifest proof of that same character. And it is intimated
also in the practice, introduced in ancient times, of summoning several bishops
to take part in the elevation of the newly elected to the ministry of the high
priesthood. Hence, one is constituted a member of the Episcopal body in virtue
of sacramental consecration and hierarchical communion with the head and members
of the body.
But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood
together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope's
power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact.
In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole
Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church.
And he is always free to exercise this power. The order of bishops, which
succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued
existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal
Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman
Pontiff and never without this head.(27*) This power can be exercised only with
the consent of the Roman Pontiff. For our Lord placed Simon alone as the rock
and the bearer of the keys of the Church,(156) and made him shepherd of the
whole flock;(157) it is evident, however, that the power of binding and loosing,
which was given to Peter,(158) was granted also to the college of apostles,
joined with their head.(159)(28*) This college, insofar as it is composed of
many, expresses the variety and universality of the People of God, but insofar
as it is assembled under one head, it expresses the unity of the flock of
Christ. In it, the bishops, faithfully recognizing the primacy and pre-eminence
of their head, exercise their own authority for the good of their own faithful,
and indeed of the whole Church, the Holy Spirit supporting its organic structure
and harmony with moderation. The supreme power in the universal Church, which
this college enjoys, is exercised in a solemn way in an ecumenical council. A
council is never ecumenical unless it is confirmed or at least accepted as such
by the successor of Peter; and it is prerogative of the Roman Pontiff to convoke
these councils, to preside over them and to confirm them.(29*) This same
collegiate power can be exercised together with the pope by the bishops living
in all parts of the world, provided that the head of the college calls them to
collegiate action, or at least approves of or freely accepts the united action
of the scattered bishops, so that it is thereby made a collegiate act.
23. This collegial union is apparent also m the mutual relations of the
individual bishops with particular churches and with the universal Church. The
Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible principle
and foundation of unity of both the bishops and of the faithful.(30*) The
individual bishops, however, are the visible principle and foundation of unity
in their particular churches, (31*) fashioned after the model of the universal
Church, in and from which churches comes into being the one and only Catholic
Church.(32*) For this reason the individual bishops represent each his own
church, but all of them together and with the Pope represent the entire Church
in the bond of peace, love and unity.
The individual bishops, who are placed in charge of particular churches,
exercise their pastoral government over the portion of the People of God
committed to their care, and not over other churches nor over the universal
Church. But each of them, as a member of the episcopal college and legitimate
successor of the apostles, is obliged by Christ's institution and command to be
solicitous for the whole Church,(33*) and this solicitude, though it is not
exercised by an act of jurisdiction, contributes greatly to the advantage of the
universal Church. For it is the duty of all bishops to promote and to safeguard
the unity of faith and the discipline common to the whole Church, to instruct
the faithful to love for the whole mystical body of Christ, especially for its
poor and sorrowing members and for those who are suffering persecution for
justice's sake,(160) and finally to promote every activity that is of interest
to the whole Church, especially that the faith may take increase and the light
of full truth appear to all men. And this also is important, that by governing
well their own church as a portion of the universal Church, they themselves are
effectively contributing to the welfare of the whole Mystical Body, which is
also the body of the churches.(34*)
The task of proclaiming the Gospel everywhere on earth pertains to the body
of pastors, to all of whom in common Christ gave His command, thereby imposing
upon them a common duty, as Pope Celestine in his time recommended to the
Fathers of the Council of Ephesus.(35*) From this it follows that the individual
bishops, insofar as their own discharge of their duty permits, are obliged to
enter into a community of work among themselves and with the successor of Peter,
upon whom was imposed in a special way the great duty of spreading the Christian
name.(36*) With all their energy, therefore, they must supply to the missions
both workers for the harvest and also spiritual and material aid, both directly
and on their own account. as well as by arousing the ardent cooperation of the
faithful. And finally, the bishops, in a universal fellowship of charity, should
gladly extend their fraternal aid to other churches, especially to neighboring
and more needy dioceses in accordance with the venerable example of antiquity.
By divine Providence it has come about that various churches, established in
various places by the apostles and their successors, have in the course of time
coalesced into several groups, organically united, which, preserving the unity
of faith and the unique divine constitution of the universal Church, enjoy their
own discipline, their own liturgical usage, and their own theological and
spiritual heritage. Some of these churches, notably the ancient patriarchal
churches, as parent-stocks of the Faith, so to speak, have begotten others as
daughter churches, with which they are connected down to our own time by a close
bond of charity in their sacramental life and in their mutual respect for their
rights and duties.(37*) This variety of local churches with one common
aspiration is splendid evidence of the catholicity of the undivided Church. In
like manner the Episcopal bodies of today are in a position to render a manifold
and fruitful assistance, so that this collegiate feeling may be put into
24. Bishops, as successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord, to whom
was given all power in heaven and on earth, the mission to teach all nations and
to preach the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain to salvation
by faith, baptism and the fulfilment of the commandments.(161) To fulfill this
mission, Christ the Lord promised the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and on
Pentecost day sent the Spirit from heaven, by whose power they would be
witnesses to Him before the nations and peoples and kings even to the ends of
the earth.(162) And that duty, which the Lord committed to the shepherds of His
people, is a true service, which in sacred literature is significantly called "diakonia"
The canonical mission of bishops can come about by legitimate customs that
have not been revoked by the supreme and universal authority of the Church, or
by laws made or recognized be that the authority, or directly through the
successor of Peter himself; and if the latter refuses or denies apostolic
communion, such bishops cannot assume any office.(38*)
25. Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel
occupies an eminent place.(39*) For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead
new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers
endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them
the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy
Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation
new things and old,(164) making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any
errors that threaten their flock.(165) Bishops, teaching in communion with the
Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic
truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ
and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious
assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special
way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not
speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme
magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are
sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will
in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his
frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.
Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of
infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ's doctrine infallibly whenever,
even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of
communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically
teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as
definitively to be held.(40*) This is even more clearly verified when, gathered
together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and
morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the
submission of faith.(41*)
And this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to
be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the
deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully
expounded. And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of
the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme
shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their
faith,(166) by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals.(42*)
And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the
Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the
assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore
they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other
judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private
person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism
of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding
or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith.(43*) The infallibility promised to
the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, when that body exercises the
supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent
of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy
Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity
But when either the Roman Pontiff or the Body of Bishops together with him
defines a judgment, they pronounce it in accordance with Revelation itself,
which all are obliged to abide by and be in conformity with, that is, the
Revelation which as written or orally handed down is transmitted in its entirety
through the legitimate succession of bishops and especially in care of the Roman
Pontiff himself, and which under the guiding light of the Spirit of truth is
religiously preserved and faithfully expounded in the Church.(45*) The Roman
Pontiff and the bishops, in view of their office and the importance of the
matter, by fitting means diligently strive to inquire properly into that
revelation and to give apt expression to its contents;(46*) but a new public
revelation they do not accept as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith.(47*)
26. A bishop marked with the fullness of the sacrament of Orders, is "the
steward of the grace of the supreme priesthood," (48*) especially in the
Eucharist, which he offers or causes to be offered,(49*) and by which the Church
continually lives and grows. This Church of Christ is truly present in all
legitimate local congregations of the faithful which, united with their pastors,
are themselves called churches in the New Testament.(50*) For in their locality
these are the new People called by God, in the Holy Spirit and in much
fullness.(167) In them the faithful are gathered together by the preaching of
the Gospel of Christ, and the mystery of the Lord's Supper is celebrated, that
by the food and blood of the Lord's body the whole brotherhood may be joined
together.(51*) In any community of the altar, under the sacred ministry of the
bishop,(52*) there is exhibited a symbol of that charity and "unity of the
mystical Body, without which there can be no salvation."(53*) In these
communities, though frequently small and poor, or living in the Diaspora, Christ
is present, and in virtue of His presence there is brought together one, holy,
catholic and apostolic Church.(54*) For "the partaking of the body and
blood of Christ does nothing other than make us be transformed into that which
we consume". (55*)
Every legitimate celebration of the Eucharist is regulated by the bishop, to
whom is committed the office of offering the worship of Christian religion to
the Divine Majesty and of administering it in accordance with the Lord's
commandments and the Church's laws, as further defined by his particular
judgment for his diocese.
Bishops thus, by praying and laboring for the people, make outpourings in
many ways and in great abundance from the fullness of Christ's holiness. By the
ministry of the word they communicate God's power to those who believe unto
salvation(168) and through the sacraments, the regular and fruitful distribution
of which they regulate by their authority,(56*) they sanctify the faithful. They
direct the conferring of baptism, by which a sharing in the kingly priesthood of
Christ is granted. They are the original ministers of confirmation, dispensers
of sacred Orders and the moderators of penitential discipline, and they
earnestly exhort and instruct their people to carry out with faith and reverence
their part in the liturgy and especially in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. And
lastly, by the example of their way of life they must be an influence for good
to those over whom they preside, refraining from all evil and, as far as they
are able with God's help, exchanging evil for good, so that together with the
flock committed to their care they may arrive at eternal life.(57*)
27. Bishops, as vicars and ambassadors of Christ, govern the particular
churches entrusted to them (58*) by their counsel, exhortations, example, and
even by their authority and sacred power, which indeed they use only for the
edification of their flock in truth and holiness, remembering that he who is
greater should become as the lesser and he who is the chief become as the
servant.(169) This power, which they personally exercise in Christ's name, is
proper, ordinary and immediate, although its exercise is ultimately regulated by
the supreme authority of the Church, and can be circumscribed by certain limits,
for the advantage of the Church or of the faithful. In virtue of this power,
bishops have the sacred right and the duty before the Lord to make laws for
their subjects, to pass judgment on them and to moderate everything pertaining
to the ordering of worship and the apostolate.
The pastoral office or the habitual and daily care of their sheep is
entrusted to them completely; nor are they to be regarded as vicars of the Roman
Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them, and are quite
correctly called "prelates," heads of the people whom they
govern.(59*) Their power, therefore, is not destroyed by the supreme and
universal power, but on the contrary it is affirmed, strengthened and vindicated
by it,(60*) since the Holy Spirit unfailingly preserves the form of government
established by Christ the Lord in His Church.
A bishop, since he is sent by the Father to govern his family, must keep
before his eyes the example of the Good Shepherd, who came not to be ministered
unto but to minister,(170) and to lay down his life for his sheep.(171) Being
taken from among men, and himself beset with weakness, he is able to have
compassion on the ignorant and erring.(172) Let him not refuse to listen to his
subjects, whom he cherishes as his true sons and exhorts to cooperate readily
with him. As having one day to render an account for their souls,(173) he takes
care of them by his prayer, preaching, and all the works of charity, and not
only of them but also of those who are not yet of the one flock, who also are
commended to him in the Lord. Since, like Paul the Apostle, he is debtor to all
men, let him be ready to preach the Gospel to all,(174) and to urge his faithful
to apostolic and missionary activity. But the faithful must cling to their
bishop, as the Church does to Christ, and Jesus Christ to the Father, so that
all may be of one mind through unity,(61*) and abound to the glory of God.(175)
28. Christ, whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, (176)
has through His apostles, made their successors, the bishops, partakers of His
consecration and His mission.(62*) They have legitimately handed on to different
individuals in the Church various degrees of participation in this ministry.
Thus the divinely established ecclesiastical ministry is exercised on different
levels by those who from antiquity have been called bishops, priests and
deacons.(63*) Priests, although they do not possess the highest degree of the
priesthood, and although they are dependent on the bishops in the exercise of
their power, nevertheless they are united with the bishops in sacerdotal
dignity.(64*) By the power of the sacrament of Orders,(65*) in the image of
Christ the eternal high Priest,(177) they are consecrated to preach the Gospel
and shepherd the faithful and to celebrate divine worship, so that they are true
priests of the New Testament.(66*) Partakers of the function of Christ the sole
Mediator,(178) on their level of ministry, they announce the divine word to all.
They exercise their sacred function especially in the Eucharistic worship or the
celebration of the Mass by which acting in the person of Christ (67*) and
proclaiming His Mystery they unite the prayers of the faithful with the
sacrifice of their Head and renew and apply (68*) in the sacrifice of the Mass
until the coming of the Lord(179) the only sacrifice of the New Testament namely
that of Christ offering Himself once for all a spotless Victim to the
Father.(180) For the sick and the sinners among the faithful, they exercise the
ministry of alleviation and reconciliation and they present the needs and the
prayers of the faithful to God the Father.(181) Exercising within the limits of
their authority the function of Christ as Shepherd and Head,(69*) they gather
together God's family as a brotherhood all of one mind,(70*) and lead them in
the Spirit, through Christ, to God the Father. In the midst of the flock they
adore Him in spirit and in truth.(182) Finally, they labor in word and
doctrine,(183) believing what they have read and meditated upon in the law of
God, teaching what they have believed, and putting in practice in their own
lives what they have taught.(71*)
Priests, prudent cooperators with the Episcopal order,(72*) its aid and
instrument, called to serve the people of God, constitute one priesthood (73*)
with their bishop although bound by a diversity of duties. Associated with their
bishop in a spirit of trust and generosity, they make him present in a certain
sense in the individual local congregations, and take upon themselves, as far as
they are able, his duties and the burden of his care, and discharge them with a
daily interest. And as they sanctify and govern under the bishop's authority,
that part of the Lord's flock entrusted to them they make the universal Church
visible in their own locality and bring an efficacious assistance to the
building up of the whole body of Christ.(184) intent always upon the welfare of
God's children, they must strive to lend their effort to the pastoral work of
the whole diocese, and even of the entire Church. On account of this sharing in
their priesthood and mission, let priests sincerely look upon the bishop as
their father and reverently obey him. And let the bishop regard his priests as
his co-workers and as sons and friends, just as Christ called His disciples now
not servants but friends.(185) All priests, both diocesan and religious, by
reason of Orders and ministry, fit into this body of bishops and priests, and
serve the good of the whole Church according to their vocation and the grace
given to them.
In virtue of their common sacred ordination and mission, all priests are
bound together in intimate brotherhood, which naturally and freely manifests
itself in mutual aid, spiritual as well as material, pastoral as well as
personal, in their meetings and in communion of life, of labor and charity.
Let them, as fathers in Christ, take care of the faithful whom they have
begotten by baptism and their teaching.(186) Becoming from the heart a pattern
to the flock,(187) let them so lead and serve their local community that it may
worthily be called by that name, by which the one and entire people of God is
signed, namely, the Church of God.(188) Let them remember that by their daily
life and interests they are showing the face of a truly sacerdotal and pastoral
ministry to the faithful and the infidel, to Catholics and non-Catholics, and
that to all they bear witness to the truth and life, and as good shepherds go
after those also,(189) who though baptized in the Catholic Church have fallen
away from the use of the sacraments, or even from the faith.
Because the human race today is joining more and more into a civic, economic
and social unity, it is that much the more necessary that priests, by combined
effort and aid, under the leadership of the bishops and the Supreme Pontiff,
wipe out every kind of separateness, so that the whole human race may be brought
into the unity of the family of God.
29. At a lower level of the hierarchy are deacons, upon whom hands are
imposed "not unto the priesthood, but unto a ministry of service."(74*)
For strengthened by sacramental grace, in communion with the bishop and his
group of priests they serve in the diaconate of the liturgy, of the word, and of
charity to the people of God. It is the duty of the deacon, according as it
shall have been assigned to him by competent authority, to administer baptism
solemnly, to be custodian and dispenser of the Eucharist, to assist at and bless
marriages in the name of the Church, to bring Viaticum to the dying, to read the
Sacred Scripture to the faithful, to instruct and exhort the people, to preside
over the worship and prayer of the faithful, to administer sacramentals, to
officiate at funeral and burial services. Dedicated to duties of charity and of
administration, let deacons be mindful of the admonition of Blessed Polycarp: "Be
merciful, diligent, walking according to the truth of the Lord, who became the
servant of all."(75*)
Since these duties, so very necessary to the life of the Church, can be
fulfilled only with difficulty in many regions in accordance with the discipline
of the Latin Church as it exists today, the diaconate can in the future be
restored as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy. It pertains to the
competent territorial bodies of bishops, of one kind or another, with the
approval of the Supreme Pontiff, to decide whether and where it is opportune for
such deacons to be established for the care of souls. With the consent of the
Roman Pontiff, this diaconate can, in the future, be conferred upon men of more
mature age, even upon those living in the married state. It may also be
conferred upon suitable young men, for whom the law of celibacy must remain
30. Having set forth the functions of the hierarchy, the Sacred Council
gladly turns its attention. to the state of those faithful called the laity.
Everything that has been said above concerning the People of God is intended for
the laity, religious and clergy alike. But there are certain things which
pertain in a special way to the laity, both men and women, by reason of their
condition and mission. Due to the special circumstances of our time the
foundations of this doctrine must be more thoroughly examined. For their pastors
know how much the laity contribute to the welfare of the entire Church. They
also know that they were not ordained by Christ to take upon themselves alone
the entire salvific mission of the Church toward the world. On the contrary they
understand that it is their noble duty to shepherd the faithful and to recognize
their ministries and charisms, so that all according to their proper roles may
cooperate in this common undertaking with one mind. For we must all "practice
the truth in love, and so grow up in all things in Him who is head, Christ. For
from Him the whole body, being closely joined and knit together through every
joint of the system, according to the functioning in due measure of each single
part, derives its increase to the building up of itself in love".(190)
31. The term laity is here understood to mean all the faithful except those
in holy orders and those in the state of religious life specially approved by
the Church. These faithful are by baptism made one body with Christ and are
constituted among the People of God; they are in their own way made sharers in
the priestly, prophetical, and kingly functions of Christ; and they carry out
for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and
in the world.
What specifically characterizes the laity is their secular nature. It is
true that those in holy orders can at times be engaged in secular activities,
and even have a secular profession. But they are by reason of their particular
vocation especially and professedly ordained to the sacred ministry. Similarly,
by their state in life, religious give splendid and striking testimony that the
world cannot be transformed and offered to God without the spirit of the
beatitudes. But the laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by
engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God.
They live in the world, that is, in each and in all of the secular professions
and occupations. They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social
life, from which the very web of their existence is woven. They are called there
by God that by exercising their proper function and led by the spirit of the
Gospel they may work for the sanctification of the world from within as a
leaven. In this way they may make Christ known to others, especially by the
testimony of a life resplendent in faith, hope and charity. Therefore, since
they are tightly bound up in all types of temporal affairs it is their special
task to order and to throw light upon these affairs in such a way that they may
come into being and then continually increase according to Christ to the praise
of the Creator and the Redeemer.
32. By divine institution Holy Church is ordered and governed with a
wonderful diversity. "For just as in one body we have many members, yet all
the members have not the same function, so we, the many, are one body in Christ,
but severally members one of another".(191) Therefore, the chosen People of
God is one: "one Lord, one faith, one baptism"(192); sharing a common
dignity as members from their regeneration in Christ, having the same filial
grace and the same vocation to perfection; possessing in common one salvation,
one hope and one undivided charity. There is, therefore, in Christ and in the
Church no inequality on the basis of race or nationality, social condition or
sex, because "there is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor
free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all 'one' in Christ Jesus".(193)
If therefore in the Church everyone does not proceed by the same path,
nevertheless all are called to sanctity and have received an equal privilege of
faith through the justice of God.(194) And if by the will of Christ some are
made teachers, pastors and dispensers of mysteries on behalf of others, yet all
share a true equality with regard to the dignity and to the activity common to
all the faithful for the building up of the Body of Christ. For the distinction
which the Lord made between sacred ministers and the rest of the People of God
bears within it a certain union, since pastors and the other faithful are bound
to each other by a mutual need. Pastors of the Church, following the example of
the Lord, should minister to one another and to the other faithful. These in
their turn should enthusiastically lend their joint assistance to their pastors
and teachers. Thus in their diversity all bear witness to the wonderful unity in
the Body of Christ. This very diversity of graces, ministries and works gathers
the children of God into one, because "all these things are the work of one
and the same Spirit".(195)
Therefore, from divine choice the laity have Christ for their brothers who
though He is the Lord of all, came not to be served but to serve.(196) They also
have for their brothers those in the sacred ministry who by teaching, by
sanctifying and by ruling with the authority of Christ feed the family of God so
that the new commandment of charity may be fulfilled by all. St. Augustine puts
this very beautifully when he says: "What I am for you terrifies me; what I
am with you consoles me. For you I am a bishop; but with you I am a Christian.
The former is a duty; the latter a grace. The former is a danger; the latter,
33. The laity are gathered together in the People of God and make up the
Body of Christ under one head. Whoever they are they are called upon, as living
members, to expend all their energy for the growth of the Church and its
continuous sanctification, since this very energy is a gift of the Creator and a
blessing of the Redeemer.
The lay apostolate, however, is a participation in the salvific mission of
the Church itself. Through their baptism and confirmation all are commissioned
to that apostolate by the Lord Himself. Moreover, by the sacraments, especially
holy Eucharist, that charity toward God and man which is the soul of the
apostolate is communicated and nourished. Now the laity are called in a special
way to make the Church present and operative in those places and circumstances
where only through them can it become the salt of the earth (2*). Thus every
layman, in virtue of the very gifts bestowed upon him, is at the same time a
witness and a living instrument of the mission of the Church itself "according
to the measure of Christ's bestowal".(197)
Besides this apostolate which certainly pertains to all Christians, the
laity can also be called in various ways to a more direct form of cooperation in
the apostolate of the Hierarchy (3*). This was the way certain men and women
assisted Paul the Apostle in the Gospel, laboring much in the Lord.(198)
Further, they have the capacity to assume from the Hierarchy certain
ecclesiastical functions, which are to be performed for a spiritual purpose.
Upon all the laity, therefore, rests the noble duty of working to extend the
divine plan of salvation to all men of each epoch and in every land.
Consequently, may every opportunity be given them so that, according to their
abilities and the needs of the times, they may zealously participate in the
saving work of the Church.
34. The supreme and eternal Priest, Christ Jesus, since he wills to continue
his witness and service also through the laity, vivifies them in this Spirit and
increasingly urges them on to every good and perfect work.
For besides intimately linking them to His life and His mission, He also
gives them a sharing in His priestly function of offering spiritual worship for
the glory of God and the salvation of men. For this reason the laity, dedicated
to Christ and anointed by the Holy Spirit, are marvelously called and
wonderfully prepared so that ever more abundant fruits of the Spirit may be
produced in them. For all their works, prayers and apostolic endeavors, their
ordinary married and family life, their daily occupations, their physical and
mental relaxation, if carried out in the Spirit, and even the hardships of life,
if patiently borne—all these become "spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God
through Jesus Christ".(199) Together with the offering of the Lord's body,
they are most fittingly offered in the celebration of the Eucharist. Thus, as
those everywhere who adore in holy activity, the laity consecrate the world
itself to God.
35. Christ, the great Prophet, who proclaimed the Kingdom of His Father both
by the testimony of His life and the power of His words, continually fulfills
His prophetic office until the complete manifestation of glory. He does this not
only through the hierarchy who teach in His name and with His authority, but
also through the laity whom He made His witnesses and to whom He gave
understanding of the faith (sensu fidei) and an attractiveness in speech(200) so
that the power of the Gospel might shine forth in their daily social and family
life. They conduct themselves as children of the promise, and thus strong in
faith and in hope they make the most of the present,(201) and with patience
await the glory that is to come.(202) Let them not, then, hide this hope in the
depths of their hearts, but even in the program of their secular life let them
express it by a continual conversion and by wrestling "against the
world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness.(203)
Just as the sacraments of the New Law, by which the life and the apostolate
of the faithful are nourished, prefigure a new heaven and a new earth,(204) so
too the laity go forth as powerful proclaimers of a faith in things to be hoped
for,(205) when they courageously join to their profession of faith a life
springing from faith. This evangelization, that is, this announcing of Christ by
a living testimony as well as by the spoken word, takes on a specific quality
and a special force in that it is carried out in the ordinary surroundings of
In connection with the prophetic function is that state of life which is
sanctified by a special sacrament obviously of great importance, namely, married
and family life. For where Christianity pervades the entire mode of family life,
and gradually transforms it, one will find there both the practice and an
excellent school of the lay apostolate. In such a home husbands and wives find
their proper vocation in being witnesses of the faith and love of Christ to one
another and to their children. The Christian family loudly proclaims both the
present virtues of the Kingdom of God and the hope of a blessed life to come.
Thus by its example and its witness it accuses the world of sin and enlightens
those who seek the truth.
Consequently, even when preoccupied with temporal cares, the laity can and
must perform a work of great value for the evangelization of the world. For even
if some of them have to fulfill their religious duties on their own, when there
are no sacred ministers or in times of persecution; and even if many of them
devote all their energies to apostolic work; still it remains for each one of
them to cooperate in the external spread and the dynamic growth of the Kingdom
of Christ in the world. Therefore, let the laity devotedly strive to acquire a
more profound grasp of revealed truth, and let them insistently beg of God the
gift of wisdom.
36. Christ, becoming obedient even unto death and because of this exalted by
the Father,(206) entered into the glory of His kingdom. To Him all things are
made subject until He subjects Himself and all created things to the Father that
God may be all in all.(207) Now Christ has communicated this royal power to His
disciples that they might be constituted in royal freedom and that by true
penance and a holy life they might conquer the reign of sin in themselves.(208)
Further, He has shared this power so that serving Christ in their fellow men
they might by humility and patience lead their brethren to that King for whom to
serve is to reign. But the Lord wishes to spread His kingdom also by means of
the laity, namely, a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace,
a kingdom of justice, love and peace (4*). In this kingdom creation itself will
be delivered from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the
sons of God.(209) Clearly then a great promise and a great trust is committed to
the disciples: "All things are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is
The faithful, therefore, must learn the deepest meaning and the value of all
creation, as well as its role in the harmonious praise of God. They must assist
each other to live holier lives even in their daily occupations. In this way the
world may be permeated by the spirit of Christ and it may more effectively
fulfill its purpose in justice, charity and peace. The laity have the principal
role in the overall fulfillment of this duty. Therefore, by their competence in
secular training and by their activity, elevated from within by the grace of
Christ, let them vigorously contribute their effort, so that created goods may
be perfected by human labor, technical skill and civic culture for the benefit
of all men according to the design of the Creator and the light of His Word. May
the goods of this world be more equitably distributed among all men, and may
they in their own way be conducive to universal progress in human and Christian
freedom. In this manner, through the members of the Church, will Christ
progressively illumine the whole of human society with His saving light.
Moreover, let the laity also by their combined efforts remedy the customs
and conditions of the world, if they are an inducement to sin, so that they all
may be conformed to the norms of justice and may favor the practice of virtue
rather than hinder it. By so doing they will imbue culture and human activity
with genuine moral values; they will better prepare the field of the world for
the seed of the Word of God; and at the same time they will open wider the doors
of the Church by which the message of peace may enter the world.
Because of the very economy of salvation the faithful should learn how to
distinguish carefully between those rights and duties which are theirs as
members of the Church, and those which they have as members of human society.
Let them strive to reconcile the two, remembering that in every temporal affair
they must be guided by a Christian conscience, since even in secular business
there is no human activity which can be withdrawn from God's dominion. In our
own time, however, it is most urgent that this distinction and also this harmony
should shine forth more clearly than ever in the lives of the faithful, so that
the mission of the Church may correspond more fully to the special conditions of
the world today. For it must be admitted that the temporal sphere is governed by
its own principles, since it is rightly concerned with the interests of this
world. But that ominous doctrine which attempts to build a society with no
regard whatever for religion, and which attacks and destroys the religious
liberty of its citizens, is rightly to be rejected (5*).
37. The laity have the right, as do all Christians, to receive in abundance
from their spiritual shepherds the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the
assistance of the word of God and of the sacraments (6*). They should openly
reveal to them their needs and desires with that freedom and confidence which is
fitting for children of God and brothers in Christ. They are, by reason of the
knowledge, competence or outstanding ability which they may enjoy, permitted and
sometimes even obliged to express their opinion on those things which concern
the good of the Church (7*). When occasions arise, let this be done through the
organs erected by the Church for this purpose. Let it always be done in truth,
in courage and in prudence, with reverence and charity toward those who by
reason of their sacred office represent the person of Christ.
The laity should, as all Christians, promptly accept in Christian obedience
decisions of their spiritual shepherds, since they are representatives of Christ
as well as teachers and rulers in the Church. Let them follow the example of
Christ, who by His obedience even unto death, opened to all men the blessed way
of the liberty of the children of God. Nor should they omit to pray for those
placed over them, for they keep watch as having to render an account of their
souls, so that they may do this with joy and not with grief.(211)
Let the spiritual shepherds recognize and promote the dignity as well as the
responsibility of the laity in the Church. Let them willingly employ their
prudent advice. Let them confidently assign duties to them in the service of the
Church, allowing them freedom and room for action. Further, let them encourage
lay people so that they may undertake tasks on their own initiative. Attentively
in Christ, let them consider with fatherly love the projects, suggestions and
desires proposed by the laity.(8*) However, let the shepherds respectfully
acknowledge that just freedom which belongs to everyone in this earthly city
A great many wonderful things are to be hoped for from this familiar
dialogue between the laity and their spiritual leaders: in the laity a
strengthened sense of personal responsibility; a renewed enthusiasm; a more
ready application of their talents to the projects of their spiritual leaders.
The latter, on the other hand, aided by the experience of the laity, can more
clearly and more incisively come to decisions regarding both spiritual and
temporal matters. In this way, the whole Church, strengthened by each one of its
members, may more effectively fulfill is mission for the life of the world.
38. Each individual layman must stand before the world as a witness to the
resurrection and life of the Lord Jesus and a symbol of the living God. All the
laity as a community and each one according to his ability must nourish the
world with spiritual fruits.(212) They must diffuse in the world that spirit
which animates the poor, the meek, the peace makers—whom the Lord in the Gospel
proclaimed as blessed.(213) In a word, "Christians must be to the world
what the soul is to the body."(9*)
THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO HOLINESS IN THE CHURCH
39. The Church, whose mystery is being set forth by this Sacred Synod, is
believed to be indefectibly holy. Indeed Christ, the Son of God, who with the
Father and the Spirit is praised as "uniquely holy," (1*) loved the
Church as His bride, delivering Himself up for her. He did this that He might
sanctify her.(214) He united her to Himself as His own body and brought it to
perfection by the gift of the Holy Spirit for God's glory. Therefore in the
Church, everyone whether belonging to the hierarchy, or being cared for by it,
is called to holiness, according to the saying of the Apostle: "For this is
the will of God, your sanctification".(215) However, this holiness of the
Church is unceasingly manifested, and must be manifested, in the fruits of grace
which the Spirit produces in the faithful; it is expressed in many ways in
individuals, who in their walk of life, tend toward the perfection of charity,
thus causing the edification of others; in a very special way this (holiness)
appears in the practice of the counsels, customarily called "evangelical."
This practice of the counsels, under the impulsion of the Holy Spirit,
undertaken by many Christians, either privately or in a Church-approved
condition or state of life, gives and must give in the world an outstanding
witness and example of this same holiness.
40. The Lord Jesus, the divine Teacher and Model of all perfection, preached
holiness of life to each and everyone of His disciples of every condition. He
Himself stands as the author and consumator of this holiness of life: "Be
you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect".(216)(2*)
Indeed He sent the Holy Spirit upon all men that He might move them inwardly to
love God with their whole heart and their whole soul, with all their mind and
all their strength(217) and that they might love each other as Christ loves
them.(218) The followers of Christ are called by God, not because of their
works, but according to His own purpose and grace. They are justified in the
Lord Jesus, because in the baptism of faith they truly become sons of God and
sharers in the divine nature. In this way they are really made holy. Then too,
by God's gift, they must hold on to and complete in their lives this holiness
they have received. They are warned by the Apostle to live "as becomes
saints",(219) and to put on "as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved a
heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience",(220) and to
possess the fruit of the Spirit in holiness.(221) Since truly we all offend in
many things (222) we all need God's mercies continually and we all must daily
pray: "Forgive us our debts"(223)(3*)
Thus it is evident to everyone, that all the faithful of Christ of whatever
rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the
perfection of charity;(4*) by this holiness as such a more human manner of
living is promoted in this earthly society. In order that the faithful may reach
this perfection, they must use their strength accordingly as they have received
it, as a gift from Christ. They must follow in His footsteps and conform
themselves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. They must
devote themselves with all their being to the glory of God and the service of
their neighbor. In this way, the holiness of the People of God will grow into an
abundant harvest of good, as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in
41. The classes and duties of life are many, but holiness is one—that
sanctity which is cultivated by all who are moved by the Spirit of God, and who
obey the voice of the Father and worship God the Father in spirit and in truth.
These people follow the poor Christ, the humble and cross-bearing Christ in
order to be worthy of being sharers in His glory. Every person must walk
unhesitatingly according to his own personal gifts and duties in the path of
living faith, which arouses hope and works through charity.
In the first place, the shepherds of Christ's flock must holily and eagerly,
humbly and courageously carry out their ministry, in imitation of the eternal
high Priest, the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls. They ought to fulfill this
duty in such a way that it will be the principal means also of their own
sanctification. Those chosen for the fullness of the priesthood are granted the
ability of exercising the perfect duty of pastoral charity by the grace of the
sacrament of Orders. This perfect duty of pastoral charity (5*) is exercised in
every form of episcopal care and service, prayer, sacrifice and preaching. By
this same sacramental grace, they are given the courage necessary to lay down
their lives for their sheep, and the ability of promoting greater holiness in
the Church by their daily example, having become a pattern for their flock.(224)
Priests, who resemble bishops to a certain degree in their participation of
the sacrament of Orders, form the spiritual crown of the bishops.(6*) They
participate in the grace of their office and they should grow daily in their
love of God and their neighbor by the exercise of their office through Christ,
the eternal and unique Mediator. They should preserve the bond of priestly
communion, and they should abound in every spiritual good and thus present to
all men a living witness to God.(7*) All this they should do in emulation of
those priests who often, down through the course of the centuries, left an
outstanding example of the holiness of humble and hidden service. Their praise
lives on in the Church of God. By their very office of praying and offering
sacrifice for their own people and the entire people of God, they should rise to
greater holiness. Keeping in mind what they are doing and imitating what they
are handling,(8*) these priests, in their apostolic labors, rather than being
ensnared by perils and hardships, should rather rise to greater holiness through
these perils and hardships. They should ever nourish and strengthen their action
from an abundance of contemplation, doing all this for the comfort of the entire
Church of God. All priests, and especially those who are called "diocesan
priests," due to the special title of their ordination, should keep
continually before their minds the fact that their faithful loyalty toward and
their generous cooperation with their bishop is of the greatest value in their
growth in holiness.
Ministers of lesser rank are also sharers in the mission and grace of the
Supreme Priest. In the first place among these ministers are deacons, who, in as
much as they are dispensers of Christ's mysteries and servants of the
Church,(9*) should keep themselves free from every vice and stand before men as
personifications of goodness and friends of God.(225) Clerics, who are called by
the Lord and are set aside as His portion in order to prepare themselves for the
various ministerial offices under the watchful eye of spiritual shepherds, are
bound to bring their hearts and minds into accord with this special election
(which is theirs). They will accomplish this by their constancy in prayer, by
their burning love, and by their unremitting recollection of whatever is true,
just and of good repute. They will accomplish all this for the glory and honor
of God. Besides these already named, there are also laymen, chosen of God and
called by the bishop. These laymen spend themselves completely in apostolic
labors, working the Lord's field with much success.(10*).
Furthermore, married couples and Christian parents should follow their own
proper path (to holiness) by faithful love. They should sustain one another in
grace throughout the entire length of their lives. They should embue their
offspring, lovingly welcomed as God's gift, with Christian doctrine and the
evangelical virtues. In this manner, they offer all men the example of
unwearying and generous love; in this way they build up the brotherhood of
charity; in so doing, they stand as the witnesses and cooperators in the
fruitfulness of Holy Mother Church; by such lives, they are a sign and a
participation in that very love, with which Christ loved His Bride and for which
He delivered Himself up for her.(11*) A like example, but one given in a
different way, is that offered by widows and single people, who are able to make
great contributions toward holiness and apostolic endeavor in the Church.
Finally, those who engage in labor—and frequently it is of a heavy nature—should better themselves by their human labors. They should be of aid to their
fellow citizens. They should raise all of society, and even creation itself, to
a better mode of existence. Indeed, they should imitate by their lively charity,
in their joyous hope and by their voluntary sharing of each others' burdens, the
very Christ who plied His hands with carpenter's tools and Who in union with His
Father, is continually working for the salvation of all men. In this, then,
their daily work they should climb to the heights of holiness and apostolic
May all those who are weighed down with poverty, infirmity and sickness, as
well as those who must bear various hardships or who suffer persecution for
justice sake—may they all know they are united with the suffering Christ in a
special way for the salvation of the world. The Lord called them blessed in His
Gospel and they are those whom "the God of all graces, who has called us
unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself, after we have suffered a
little while, perfect, strengthen and establish".(226)
Finally all Christ's faithful, whatever be the conditions, duties and
circumstances of their lives—and indeed through all these, will daily increase
in holiness, if they receive all things with faith from the hand of their
heavenly Father and if they cooperate with the divine will. In this temporal
service, they will manifest to all men the love with which God loved the world.
42. "God is love, and he who abides in love, abides in God and God in
Him".(227) But, God pours out his love into our hearts through the Holy
Spirit, Who has been given to us;(228) thus the first and most necessary gift is
love, by which we love God above all things and our neighbor because of God.
Indeed, in order that love, as good seed may grow and bring forth fruit in the
soul, each one of the faithful must willingly hear the Word of God and accept
His Will, and must complete what God has begun by their own actions with the
help of God's grace. These actions consist in the use of the sacraments and in a
special way the Eucharist, frequent participation in the sacred action of the
Liturgy, application of oneself to prayer, self-abnegation, lively fraternal
service and the constant exercise of all the virtues. For charity, as the bond
of perfection and the fullness of the law,(229) rules over all the means of
attaining holiness and gives life to these same means.(12*) It is charity which
guides us to our final end. It is the love of God and the love of one's neighbor
which points out the true disciple of Christ.
Since Jesus, the Son of God, manifested His charity by laying down His life
for us, so too no one has greater love than he who lays down his life for Christ
and His brothers.(230) From the earliest times, then, some Christians have been
called upon—and some will always be called upon—to give the supreme testimony of
this love to all men, but especially to persecutors. The Church, then, considers
martyrdom as an exceptional gift and as the fullest proof of love. By martyrdom
a disciple is transformed into an image of his Master by freely accepting death
for the salvation of the world—as well as his conformity to Christ in the
shedding of his blood. Though few are presented such an opportunity,
nevertheless all must be prepared to confess Christ before men. They must be
prepared to make this profession of faith even in the midst of persecutions,
which will never be lacking to the Church, in following the way of the cross.
Likewise, the holiness of the Church is fostered in a special way by the
observance of the counsels proposed in the Gospel by Our Lord to His
disciples.(13*) An eminent position among these is held by virginity or the
celibate state.(231) This is a precious gift of divine grace given by the Father
to certain souls,(232) whereby they may devote themselves to God alone the more
easily, due to an undivided heart. (14*) This perfect continency, out of desire
for the kingdom of heaven, has always been held in particular honor in the
Church. The reason for this was and is that perfect continency for the love of
God is an incentive to charity, and is certainly a particular source of
spiritual fecundity in the world.
The Church continually keeps before it the warning of the Apostle which
moved the faithful to charity, exhorting them to experience personally what
Christ Jesus had known within Himself. This was the same Christ Jesus, who "emptied
Himself, taking the nature of a slave . . . becoming obedient to death",(233)
and because of us "being rich, he became poor".(234) Because the
disciples must always offer an imitation of and a testimony to the charity and
humility of Christ, Mother Church rejoices at finding within her bosom men and
women who very closely follow their Saviour who debased Himself to our
comprehension. There are some who, in their freedom as sons of God, renounce
their own wills and take upon themselves the state of poverty. Still further,
some become subject of their own accord to another man, in the matter of
perfection for love of God. This is beyond the measure of the commandments, but
is done in order to become more fully like the obedient Christ.(15*)
Therefore, all the faithful of Christ are invited to strive for the holiness
and perfection of their own proper state. Indeed they have an obligation to so
strive. Let all then have care that they guide aright their own deepest
sentiments of soul. Let neither the use of the things of this world nor
attachment to riches, which is against the spirit of evangelical poverty, hinder
them in their quest for perfect love. Let them heed the admonition of the Apostle
to those who use this world; let them not come to terms with this world; for
this world, as we see it, is passing away.(235)(16*)
43. The evangelical counsels of chastity dedicated to God, poverty and
obedience are based upon the words and examples of the Lord. They were further
commanded by the apostles and Fathers of the Church, as well as by the doctors
and pastors of souls. The counsels are a divine gift, which the Church received
from its Lord and which it always safeguards with the help of His grace. Church
authority has the duty, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, of
interpreting these evangelical counsels, of regulating their practice and
finally to build on them stable forms of living. Thus it has come about, that,
as if on a tree which has grown in the field of the Lord, various forms of
solidarity and community life, as well as various religious families have
branched out in a marvelous and multiple way from this divinely given seed. Such
a multiple and miraculous growth augments both the progress of the members of
these various religious families themselves and the welfare of the entire Body
of Christ.(1*) These religious families give their members the support of a more
firm stability in their way of life and a proven doctrine of acquiring
perfection. They further offer their members the support of fraternal
association in the militia of Christ and of liberty strengthened by obedience.
Thus these religious are able to tranquilly fulfill and faithfully observe their
religious profession and so spiritually rejoicing make progress on the road of
From the point of view of the divine and hierarchical structure of the
Church, the religious state of life is not an intermediate state between the
clerical and lay states. But, rather, the faithful of Christ are called by God
from both these states of life so that they might enjoy this particular gift in
the life of the Church and thus each in one's own way, may be of some advantage
to the salvific mission of the Church.(3*)
44. The faithful of Christ bind themselves to the three aforesaid counsels
either by vows, or by other sacred bonds, which are like vows in their purpose.
By such a bond, a person is totally dedicated to God, loved beyond all things.
In this way, that person is ordained to the honor and service of God under a new
and special title. Indeed through Baptism a person dies to sin and is
consecrated to God. However, in order that he may be capable of deriving more
abundant fruit from this baptismal grace, he intends, by the profession of the
evangelical counsels in the Church, to free himself from those obstacles, which
might draw him away from the fervor of charity and the perfection of divine
worship. By his profession of the evangelical counsels, then, he is more
intimately consecrated to divine service.(4*) This consecration will be the more
perfect, in as much as the indissoluble bond of the union of Christ and His
bride, the Church, is represented by firm and more stable bonds.
The evangelical counsels which lead to charity (5*) join their followers to
the Church and its mystery in a special way. Since this is so, the spiritual
life of these people should then be devoted to the welfare of the whole Church.
From this arises their duty of working to implant and strengthen the Kingdom of
Christ in souls and to extend that Kingdom to every clime. This duty is to be
undertaken to the extent of their capacities and in keeping with the proper type
of their own vocation. This can be realized through prayer or active works of
the apostolate. It is for this reason that the Church preserves and fosters the
special character of her various religious institutes.
The profession of the evangelical counsels, then, appears as a sign which
can and ought to attract all the members of the Church to an effective and
prompt fulfillment of the duties of their Christian vocation. The people of God
have no lasting city here below, but look forward to one that is to come. Since
this is so, the religious state, whose purpose is to free its members from
earthly cares, more fully manifests to all believers the presence of heavenly
goods already possessed here below. Furthermore, it not only witnesses to the
fact of a new and eternal life acquired by the redemption of Christ, but it
foretells the future resurrection and the glory of the heavenly kingdom. Christ
proposed to His disciples this form of life, which He, as the Son of God,
accepted in entering this world to do the will of the Father. This same state of
life is accurately exemplified and perpetually made present in the Church. The
religious state clearly manifests that the Kingdom of God and its needs, in a
very special way, are raised above all earthly considerations. Finally it
clearly shows all men both the unsurpassed breadth of the strength of Christ the
King and the infinite power of the Holy Spirit marvelously working in the
Thus, the state which is constituted by the profession of the evangelical
counsels, though it is not the hierarchical structure of the Church,
nevertheless, undeniably belongs to its life and holiness.
45. It is the duty of the ecclesiastical hierarchy to regulate the practice
of the evangelical counsels by law, since it is the duty of the same hierarchy
to care for the People of God and to lead them to most fruitful pastures.(236)
The importance of the profession of the evangelical counsels is seen in the fact
that it fosters the perfection of love of God and love of neighbor in an
outstanding manner and that this profession is strengthened by vows.(6*)
Furthermore, the hierarchy, following with docility the prompting of the Holy
Spirit, accepts the rules presented by outstanding men and women and
authentically approves these rules after further adjustments. It also aids by
its vigilant and safeguarding authority those institutes variously established
for the building up of Christ's Body in order that these same institutes may
grow and flourish according to the spirit of the founders.
Any institute of perfection and its individual members may be removed from
the jurisdiction of the local Ordinaries by the Supreme Pontiff and subjected to
himself alone. This is done in virtue of his primacy over the entire Church in
order to more fully provide for the necessities of the entire flock of the Lord
and in consideration of the common good.(7*) In like manner, these institutes
may be left or committed to the charge of the proper patriarchical authority.
The members of these institutes, in fulfilling their obligation to the Church
due to their particular form of life, ought to show reverence and obedience to
bishops according to the sacred canons. The bishops are owed this respect
because of their pastoral authority in their own churches and because of the
need of unity and harmony in the apostolate.(8*).
The Church not only raises the religious profession to the dignity of a
canonical state by her approval, but even manifests that this profession is a
state consecrated to God by the liturgical setting of that profession. The
Church itself, by the authority given to it by God, accepts the vows of the
newly professed. It begs aid and grace from God for them by its public prayer.
It commends them to God, imparts a spiritual blessing on them and accompanies
their self-offering by the Eucharistic sacrifice.
46. Religious should carefully keep before their minds the fact that the
Church presents Christ to believers and non-believers alike in a striking manner
daily through them. The Church thus portrays Christ in contemplation on the
mountain, in His proclamation of the kingdom of God to the multitudes, in His
healing of the sick and maimed, in His work of converting sinners to a better
life, in His solicitude for youth and His goodness to all men, always obedient
to the will of the Father who sent Him.(9*)
All men should take note that the profession of the evangelical counsels,
though entailing the renunciation of certain values which are to be undoubtedly
esteemed, does not detract from a genuine development of the human persons, but
rather by its very nature is most beneficial to that development. Indeed the
counsels, voluntarily undertaken according to each one's personal vocation,
contribute a great deal to the purification of heart and spiritual liberty. They
continually stir up the fervor of charity. But especially they are able to more
fully mold the Christian man to that type of chaste and detached life, which
Christ the Lord chose for Himself and which His Mother also embraced. This is
clearly proven by the example of so many holy founders. Let no one think that
religious have become strangers to their fellowmen or useless citizens of this
earthly city by their consecration. For even though it sometimes happens that
religious do not directly mingle with their contemporaries, yet in a more
profound sense these same religious are united with them in the heart of Christ
and spiritually cooperate with them. In this way the building up of the earthly
city may have its foundation in the Lord and may tend toward Him, lest perhaps
those who build this city shall have labored in vain. (10*)
Therefore, this Sacred Synod encourages and praises the men and women,
Brothers and Sisters, who in monasteries, or in schools and hospitals, or in the
missions, adorn the Bride of Christ by their unswerving and humble faithfulness
in their chosen consecration and render generous services of all kinds to
47. Let each of the faithful called to the profession of the evangelical
counsels, therefore, carefully see to it that he persevere and ever grow in that
vocation God has given him. Let him do this for the increased holiness of the
Church, for the greater glory of the one and undivided Trinity, which in and
through Christ is the fount and the source of all holiness.
THE ESCHATOLOGICAL NATURE OF THE PILGRIM CHURCH
AND ITS UNION WITH THE
CHURCH IN HEAVEN
48. The Church, to which we are all called in Christ Jesus, and in which we
acquire sanctity through the grace of God, will attain its full perfection only
in the glory of heaven, when there will come the time of the restoration of all
things.(237) At that time the human race as well as the entire world, which is
intimately related to man and attains to its end through him, will be perfectly
reestablished in Christ.(238)
Christ, having been lifted up from the earth has drawn all to Himself.(239)
Rising from the dead(240) He sent His life-giving Spirit upon His disciples and
through Him has established His Body which is the Church as the universal
sacrament of salvation. Sitting at the right hand of the Father, He is
continually active in the world that He might lead men to the Church and through
it join them to Himself and that He might make them partakers of His glorious
life by nourishing them with His own Body and Blood. Therefore the promised
restoration which we are awaiting has already begun in Christ, is carried
forward in the mission of the Holy Spirit and through Him continues in the
Church in which we learn the meaning of our terrestrial life through our faith,
while we perform with hope in the future the work committed to us in this world
by the Father, and thus work out our salvation.(241)
Already the final age of the world has come upon us (242) and the renovation
of the world is irrevocably decreed and is already anticipated in some kind of a
real way; for the Church already on this earth is signed with a sanctity which
is real although imperfect. However, until there shall be new heavens and a new
earth in which justice dwells,(243) the pilgrim Church in her sacraments and
institutions, which pertain to this present time, has the appearance of this
world which is passing and she herself dwells among creatures who groan and
travail in pain until now and await the revelation of the sons of God.(244)
Joined with Christ in the Church and signed with the Holy Spirit "who
is the pledge of our inheritance",(245) truly we are called and we are sons
of God(246) but we have not yet appeared with Christ in glory,(247) in which we
shall be like to God, since we shall see Him as He is.(248) And therefore "while
we are in the body, we are exiled from the Lord (249) and having the
first-fruits of the Spirit we groan within ourselves(250) and we desire to be
with Christ"'.(251) By that same charity however, we are urged to live more
for Him, who died for us and rose again.(252) We strive therefore to please God
in all things(253) and we put on the armor of God, that we may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil and resist in the evil day.(254) Since however we
know not the day nor the hour, on Our Lord's advice we must be constantly
vigilant so that, having finished the course of our earthly life,(255) we may
merit to enter into the marriage feast with Him and to be numbered among the
blessed(256) and that we may not be ordered to go into eternal fire(257) like
the wicked and slothful servant,(258) into the exterior darkness where "there
will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth".(259) For before we reign
with Christ in glory, all of us will be made manifest "before the tribunal
of Christ, so that each one may receive what he has won through the body,
according to his works, whether good or evil"(260) and at the end of the
world "they who have done good shall come forth unto resurrection of life;
but those who have done evil unto resurrection of judgment".(261) Reckoning
therefore that "the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be
compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us",(262) strong
in faith we look for the "blessed hope and the glorious coming of our great
God and Saviour, Jesus Christ"(263) "who will refashion the body of
our lowliness, conforming it to the body of His glory(264), and who will come "to
be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at in all those who have believed"(265).
49. Until the Lord shall come in His majesty, and all the angels with Him
(266) and death being destroyed, all things are subject to Him,(277) some of His
disciples are exiles on earth, some having died are purified, and others are in
glory beholding "clearly God Himself triune and one, as He is";(1*)
but all in various ways and degrees are in communion in the same charity of God
and neighbor and all sing the same hymn of glory to our God. For all who are in
Christ, having His Spirit, form one Church and cleave together in Him.(268)
Therefore the union of the wayfarers with the brethren who have gone to sleep in
the peace of Christ is not in the least weakened or interrupted, but on the
contrary, according to the perpetual faith of the Church, is strengthened by
communication of spiritual goods.(2*) For by reason of the fact that those in
heaven are more closely united with Christ, they establish the whole Church more
firmly in holiness, lend nobility to the worship which the Church offers to God
here on earth and in many ways contribute to its greater edification.(269)(3*)
For after they have been received into their heavenly home and are present to
the Lord,(270) through Him and with Him and in Him they do not cease to
intercede with the Father for us,(4*) showing forth the merits which they won on
earth through the one Mediator between God and man,(271) serving God in all
things and filling up in their flesh those things which are lacking of the
sufferings of Christ for His Body which is the Church.(272)(5*) Thus by their
brotherly interest our weakness is greatly strengthened.
50. Fully conscious of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus
Christ, the pilgrim Church from the very first ages of the Christian religion
has cultivated with great piety the memory of the dead,(6*) and "because it
is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed
from their sins",(273) also offers suffrages for them. The Church has
always believed that the apostles and Christ's martyrs who had given the supreme
witness of faith and charity by the shedding of their blood, are closely joined
with us in Christ, and she has always venerated them with special devotion,
together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the holy angels.(7*) The Church has
piously implored the aid of their intercession. To these were soon added also
those who had more closely imitated Christ's virginity and poverty,(8*) and
finally others whom the outstanding practice of the Christian virtues (9*) and
the divine charisms recommended to the pious devotion and imitation of the
When we look at the lives of those who have faithfully followed Christ, we
are inspired with a new reason for seeking the City that is to come (274) and at
the same time we are shown a most safe path by which among the vicissitudes of
this world, in keeping with the state in life and condition proper to each of
us, we will be able to arrive at perfect union with Christ, that is, perfect
holiness. (11*) In the lives of those who, sharing in our humanity, are however
more perfectly transformed into the image of Christ,(275) God vividly manifests
His presence and His face to men. He speaks to us in them, and gives us a sign
of His Kingdom,(12*) to which we are strongly drawn, having so great a cloud of
witnesses over us (276) and such a witness to the truth of the Gospel.
Nor is it by the title of example only that we cherish the memory of those
in heaven, but still more in order that the union of the whole Church may be
strengthened in the Spirit by the practice of fraternal charity.(277) For just
as Christian communion among wayfarers brings us closer to Christ, so our
companionship with the saints joins us to Christ, from Whom as from its Fountain
and Head issues every grace and the very life of the people of God.(13*) It is
supremely fitting, therefore, that we love those friends and coheirs of Jesus
Christ, who are also our brothers and extraordinary benefactors, that we render
due thanks to God for them (14*) and "suppliantly invoke them and have
recourse to their prayers, their power and help in obtaining benefits from God
through His Son, Jesus Christ, who is our Redeemer and Saviour."(15*) For
every genuine testimony of love shown by us to those in heaven, by its very
nature tends toward and terminates in Christ who is the "crown of all
saints,"(16*) and through Him, in God Who is wonderful in his saints and is
magnified in them.(17*)
Our union with the Church in heaven is put into effect in its noblest manner
especially in the sacred Liturgy, wherein the power of the Holy Spirit acts upon
us through sacramental signs. Then, with combined rejoicing we celebrate
together the praise of the divine majesty;(18*) then all those from every tribe
and tongue and people and nation (278) who have been redeemed by the blood of
Christ and gathered together into one Church, with one song of praise magnify
the one and triune God. Celebrating the Eucharistic sacrifice therefore, we are
most closely united to the Church in heaven in communion with and venerating the
memory first of all of the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, of Blessed Joseph and the
blessed apostles and martyrs and of all the saints.(19*)
51. This Sacred Council accepts with great devotion this venerable faith of
our ancestors regarding this vital fellowship with our brethren who are in
heavenly glory or who having died are still being purified; and it proposes
again the decrees of the Second Council of Nicea,(20*) the Council of Florence
(21*) and the Council of Trent.(22*) And at the same time, in conformity with
our own pastoral interests, we urge all concerned, if any abuses, excesses or
defects have crept in here or there, to do what is in their power to remove or
correct them, and to restore all things to a fuller praise of Christ and of God.
Let them therefore teach the faithful that the authentic cult of the saints
consists not so much in the multiplying of external acts, but rather in the
greater intensity of our love, whereby, for our own greater good and that of the
whole Church, we seek from the saints "example in their way of life,
fellowship in their communion, and aid by their intercession."(23*) On the
other hand, let them teach the faithful that our communion with those in heaven,
provided that it is understood in the fuller light of faith according to its
genuine nature, in no way weakens, but conversely, more thoroughly enriches the
latreutic worship we give to God the Father, through Christ, in the Spirit.(24*)
For all of us, who are sons of God and constitute one family in Christ,(279)
as long as we remain in communion with one another in mutual charity and in one
praise of the most holy Trinity, are corresponding with the intimate vocation of
the Church and partaking in foretaste the liturgy of consummate glory.(25*) For
when Christ shall appear and the glorious resurrection of the dead will take
place, the glory of God will light up the heavenly City and the Lamb will be the
lamp thereof.(280) Then the whole Church of the saints in the supreme happiness
of charity will adore God and "the Lamb who was slain",(281)
proclaiming with one voice: "To Him who sits upon the throne, and to the
Lamb blessing, and honor, and glory, and dominion forever and ever".(282)
THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
IN THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST AND THE
52. Wishing in His supreme goodness and wisdom to effect the redemption of
the world, "when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son, born of a
woman...that we might receive the adoption of sons".(283) "He for us
men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy
Spirit from the Virgin Mary."(1*) This divine mystery of salvation is
revealed to us and continued in the Church, which the Lord established as His
body. Joined to Christ the Head and in the unity of fellowship with all His
saints, the faithful must in the first place reverence the memory "of the
glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ".(2*)
53. The Virgin Mary, who at the message of the angel received the Word of
God in her heart and in her body and gave Life to the world, is acknowledged and
honored as being truly the Mother of God and Mother of the Redeemer. Redeemed by
reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble
tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the
Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and
the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far
surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. At the same time, however,
because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are
to be saved. She is "the mother of the members of Christ . . . having
cooperated by charity that faithful might be born in the Church, who are members
of that Head."(3*) Wherefore she is hailed as a pre-eminent and singular
member of the Church, and as its type and excellent exemplar in faith and
charity. The Catholic Church, taught by the Holy Spirit, honors her with filial
affection and piety as a most beloved mother.
54. Wherefore this Holy Synod, in expounding the doctrine on the Church, in
which the divine Redeemer works salvation, intends to describe with diligence
both the role of the Blessed Virgin in the mystery of the Incarnate Word and the
Mystical Body, and the duties of redeemed mankind toward the Mother of God, who
is mother of Christ and mother of men, particularly of the faithful. It does
not, however, have it in mind to give a complete doctrine on Mary, nor does it
wish to decide those questions which the work of theologians has not yet fully
clarified. Those opinions therefore may be lawfully retained which are
propounded in Catholic schools concerning her, who occupies a place in the
Church which is the highest after Christ and yet very close to us.(4*)
II. The Role of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation
55. The Sacred Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament, as well as
ancient Tradition show the role of the Mother of the Saviour in the economy of
salvation in an ever clearer light and draw attention to it. The books of the
Old Testament describe the history of salvation, by which the coming of Christ
into the world was slowly prepared. These earliest documents, as they are read
in the Church and are understood in the light of a further and full revelation,
bring the figure of the woman, Mother of the Redeemer, into a gradually clearer
light. When it is looked at in this way, she is already prophetically
foreshadowed in the promise of victory over the serpent which was given to our
first parents after their fall into sin.(284) Likewise she is the Virgin who
shall conceive and bear a son, whose name will be called Emmanuel.(285) She
stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and
receive salvation from Him. With her the exalted Daughter of Sion, and after a
long expectation of the promise, the times are fulfilled and the new Economy
established, when the Son of God took a human nature from her, that He might in
the mysteries of His flesh free man from sin.
56. The Father of mercies willed that the incarnation should be preceded by
the acceptance of her who was predestined to be the mother of His Son, so that
just as a woman contributed to death, so also a woman should contribute to life.
That is true in outstanding fashion of the mother of Jesus, who gave to the
world Him who is Life itself and who renews all things, and who was enriched by
God with the gifts which befit such a role. It is no wonder therefore that the
usage prevailed among the Fathers whereby they called the mother of God entirely
holy and free from all stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and
formed as a new creature.(5*) Adorned from the first instant of her conception
with the radiance of an entirely unique holiness, the Virgin of Nazareth is
greeted, on God's command, by an angel messenger as "full of grace",(286)
and to the heavenly messenger she replies: "Behold the handmaid of the
Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word".(287) Thus Mary, a daughter
of Adam, consenting to the divine Word, became the mother of Jesus, the one and
only Mediator. Embracing God's salvific will with a full heart and impeded by no
sin, she devoted herself totally as a handmaid of the Lord to the person and
work of her Son, under Him and with Him, by the grace of almighty God, serving
the mystery of redemption. Rightly therefore the holy Fathers see her as used by
God not merely in a passive way, but as freely cooperating in the work of human
salvation through faith and obedience. For, as St. Irenaeus says, she "being
obedient, became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human
race."(6*) Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert in their
preaching, "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience;
what the virgin Eve bound through her unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosened by her
faith."(7*) Comparing Mary with Eve, they call her "the Mother of the
living,"(8*) and still more often they say: "death through Eve, life
57. This union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made
manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to His death it is
shown first of all when Mary, arising in haste to go to visit Elizabeth, is
greeted by her as blessed because of her belief in the promise of salvation and
the precursor leaped with joy in the womb of his mother.(288) This union is
manifest also at the birth of Our Lord, who did not diminish His mother's
virginal integrity but sanctified it,(10*) when the Mother of God joyfully
showed her firstborn Son to the shepherds and Magi. When she presented Him to
the Lord in the temple, making the offering of the poor, she heard Simeon
foretelling at the same time that her Son would be a sign of contradiction and
that a sword would pierce the mother's soul, that out of many hearts thoughts
might be revealed.(289) When the Child Jesus was lost and they had sought Him
sorrowing, His parents found Him in the temple, taken up with the things that
were His Father's business; and they did not understand the word of their Son.
His Mother indeed kept these things to be pondered over in her heart.(290)
58. In the public life of Jesus, Mary makes significant appearances. This is
so even at the very beginning, when at the marriage feast of Cana, moved with
pity, she brought about by her intercession the beginning of miracles of Jesus
the Messiah.(291) In the course of her Son's preaching she received the words
whereby in extolling a kingdom beyond the calculations and bonds of flesh and
blood, He declared blessed(292) those who heard and kept the word of God, as she
was faithfully doing.(293) After this manner the Blessed Virgin advanced in her
pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto
the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan,(294) grieving
exceedingly with her only begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart
with His sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim
which she herself had brought forth. Finally, she was given by the same Christ
Jesus dying on the cross as a mother to His disciple with these words: "Woman,
behold thy son".(295) (11*)
59. But since it has pleased God not to manifest solemnly the mystery of the
salvation of the human race before He would pour forth the Spirit promised by
Christ, we see the apostles before the day of Pentecost "persevering with
one mind in prayer with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with His
brethren",(296) and Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit,
who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation. Finally, the Immaculate
Virgin, preserved free from all guilt of original sin,(12*) on the completion of
her earthly sojourn, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory,(13*) and
exalted by the Lord as Queen of the universe, that she might be the more fully
conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords(297) and the conqueror of sin and
III. On the Blessed Virgin and the Church
60. There is but one Mediator as we know from the words of the apostle, "for
there is one God and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave
himself a redemption for all".(298) The maternal duty of Mary toward men in
no wise obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows
His power. For all the salvific influence of the Blessed Virgin on men
originates, not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. It
flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on His
mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it. In no way
does it impede, but rather does it foster the immediate union of the faithful
61. Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which
determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God, the Blessed
Virgin was on this earth the virgin Mother of the Redeemer, and above all others
and in a singular way the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord.
She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the
Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the
Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and
burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to
souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace.
62. This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent
which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without
wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the
elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her
constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.(15*)
By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still
journey on earth surrounded by dangers and cultics, until they are led into the
happiness of their true home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the
Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix.(16*)
This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds
anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator.(17*)
For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and
Redeemer. Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the
ministers and by the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really
communicated in different ways to His creatures, so also the unique mediation of
the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation
which is but a sharing in this one source.
The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary. It
knows it through unfailing experience of it and commends it to the hearts of the
faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more intimately
adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.
63. By reason of the gift and role of divine maternity, by which she is
united with her Son, the Redeemer, and with His singular graces and functions,
the Blessed Virgin is also intimately united with the Church. As St. Ambrose
taught, the Mother of God is a type of the Church in the order of faith, charity
and perfect union with Christ.(18*) For in the mystery of the Church, which is
itself rightly called mother and virgin, the Blessed Virgin stands out in
eminent and singular fashion as exemplar both of virgin and mother. (19*) By her
belief and obedience, not knowing man but overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, as
the new Eve she brought forth on earth the very Son of the Father, showing an
undefiled faith, not in the word of the ancient serpent, but in that of God's
messenger. The Son whom she brought forth is He whom God placed as the
first-born among many brethren,(299) namely the faithful, in whose birth and
education she cooperates with a maternal love.
64. The Church indeed, contemplating her hidden sanctity, imitating her
charity and faithfully fulfilling the Father's will, by receiving the word of
God in faith becomes herself a mother. By her preaching she brings forth to a
new and immortal life the sons who are born to her in baptism, conceived of the
Holy Spirit and born of God. She herself is a virgin, who keeps the faith given
to her by her Spouse whole and entire. Imitating the mother of her Lord, and by
the power of the Holy Spirit, she keeps with virginal purity an entire faith, a
firm hope and a sincere charity.(20*)
65. But while in the most holy Virgin the Church has already reached that
perfection whereby she is without spot or wrinkle, the followers of Christ still
strive to increase in holiness by conquering sin.(300) And so they turn their
eyes to Mary who shines forth to the whole community of the elect as the model
of virtues. Piously meditating on her and contemplating her in the light of the
Word made man, the Church with reverence enters more intimately into the great
mystery of the Incarnation and becomes more and more like her Spouse. For Mary,
who since her entry into salvation history unites in herself and re-echoes the
greatest teachings of the faith as she is proclaimed and venerated, calls the
faithful to her Son and His sacrifice and to the love of the Father. Seeking
after the glory of Christ, the Church becomes more like her exalted Type, and
continually progresses in faith, hope and charity, seeking and doing the will of
God in all things. Hence the Church, in her apostolic work also, justly looks to
her, who, conceived of the Holy Spirit, brought forth Christ, who was born of
the Virgin that through the Church He may be born and may increase in the hearts
of the faithful also. The Virgin in her own life lived an example of that
maternal love, by which it behooves that all should be animated who cooperate in
the apostolic mission of the Church for the regeneration of men.
IV. The Cult of the Blessed Virgin in the Church
66. Placed by the grace of God, as God's Mother, next to her Son, and
exalted above all angels and men, Mary intervened in the mysteries of Christ and
is justly honored by a special cult in the Church. Clearly from earliest times
the Blessed Virgin is honored under the title of Mother of God, under whose
protection the faithful took refuge in all their dangers and necessities.(21*)
Hence after the Synod of Ephesus the cult of the people of God toward Mary
wonderfully increased in veneration and love, in invocation and imitation,
according to her own prophetic words: "All generations shall call me
blessed, because He that is mighty hath done great things to me".(301) This
cult, as it always existed, although it is altogether singular, differs
essentially from the cult of adoration which is offered to the Incarnate Word,
as well to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and it is most favorable to it. The
various forms of piety toward the Mother of God, which the Church within the
limits of sound and orthodox doctrine, according to the conditions of time and
place, and the nature and ingenuity of the faithful has approved, bring it about
that while the Mother is honored, the Son, through whom all things have their
being (302) and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should
dwell,(303) is rightly known, loved and glorified and that all His commands are
67. This most Holy Synod deliberately teaches this Catholic doctrine and at
the same time admonishes all the sons of the Church that the cult, especially
the liturgical cult, of the Blessed Virgin, be generously fostered, and the
practices and exercises of piety, recommended by the magisterium of the Church
toward her in the course of centuries be made of great moment, and those
decrees, which have been given in the early days regarding the cult of images of
Christ, the Blessed Virgin and the saints, be religiously observed.(22*) But it
exhorts theologians and preachers of the divine word to abstain zealously both
from all gross exaggerations as well as from petty narrow-mindedness in
considering the singular dignity of the Mother of God.(23*) Following the study
of Sacred Scripture, the Holy Fathers, the doctors and liturgy of the Church,
and under the guidance of the Church's magisterium, let them rightly illustrate
the duties and privileges of the Blessed Virgin which always look to Christ, the
source of all truth, sanctity and piety. Let them assiduously keep away from
whatever, either by word or deed, could lead separated brethren or any other
into error regarding the true doctrine of the Church. Let the faithful remember
moreover that true devotion consists neither in sterile or transitory affection,
nor in a certain vain credulity, but proceeds from true faith, by which we are
led to know the excellence of the Mother of God, and we are moved to a filial
love toward our mother and to the imitation of her virtues.
V. Mary the sign of created hope and solace to the wandering people
68. In the interim just as the Mother of Jesus, glorified in body and soul
in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected is
the world to come, so too does she shine forth on earth, until the day of the
Lord shall come,(304) as a sign of sure hope and solace to the people of God
during its sojourn on earth.
69. It gives great joy and comfort to this holy and general Synod that even
among the separated brethren there are some who give due honor to the Mother of
our Lord and Saviour, especially among the Orientals, who with devout mind and
fervent impulse give honor to the Mother of God, ever virgin.(24*) The entire
body of the faithful pours forth instant supplications to the Mother of God and
Mother of men that she, who aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers,
may now, exalted as she is above all the angels and saints, intercede before her
Son in the fellowship of all the saints, until all families of people, whether
they are honored with the title of Christian or whether they still do not know
the Saviour, may be happily gathered together in peace and harmony into one
people of God, for the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.
Each and all these items which are set forth in this dogmatic Constitution
have met with the approval of the Council Fathers. And We by the apostolic power
given Us by Christ together with the Venerable Fathers in the Holy Spirit,
approve, decree and establish it and command that what has thus been decided in
the Council be promulgated for the glory of God.
Given in Rome at St. Peter's on November 21, 1964.
From the Acts of the Council*
'NOTIFICATIONES' GIVEN BY THE SECRETARY GENERAL
THE COUNCIL AT THE 123rd GENERAL CONGREGATION,
NOVEMBER 16, 1964
A question has arisen regarding the precise theological note which should be
attached to the doctrine that is set forth in the Schema de Ecclesia and is
being put to a vote.
The Theological Commission has given the following response regarding the
Modi that have to do with Chapter III of the de Ecclesia Schema: "As is
self-evident, the Council's text must always be interpreted in accordance with
the general rules that are known to all."
On this occasion the Theological Commission makes reference to its
Declaration of March 6, 1964, the text of which we transcribe here:
"Taking conciliar custom into consideration and also the pastoral
purpose of the present Council, the sacred Council defines as binding on the
Church only those things in matters of faith and morals which it shall openly
declare to be binding. The rest of the things which the sacred Council sets
forth, inasmuch as they are the teaching of the Church's supreme magisterium,
ought to be accepted and embraced by each and every one of Christ's faithful
according to the mind of the sacred Council. The mind of the Council becomes
known either from the matter treated or from its manner of speaking, in
accordance with the norms of theological interpretation."
**The following was published as an appendix to the official Latin version
of the Constitution on the Church.**
A preliminary note of explanation is being given to the Council Fathers from
higher-authority, regarding the Modi bearing on Chapter III of the Schema de
Ecclesia; the doctrine set forth in Chapter III ought to be explained and
understood in accordance with the meaning and intent of this explanatory note.
Preliminary Note of Explanation
The Commission has decided to preface the assessment of the Modi with the
following general observations.
1. "College" is not understood in a strictly juridical sense, that
is as a group of equals who entrust their power to their president, but as a
stable group whose structure and authority must be learned from Revelation. For
this reason, in reply to Modus 12 it is expressly said of the Twelve that the
Lord set them up "as a college or stable group." Cf. also Modus 53, c.
For the same reason, the words "Ordo" or "Corpus" are used throughout
with reference to the College of bishops. The parallel between Peter and the
rest of the Apostles on the one hand, and between the Supreme Pontiff and the
bishops on the other hand, does not imply the transmission of the Apostles'
extraordinary power to their successors; nor does it imply, as is obvious,
equality between the head of the College and its members, but only a proportionality between the first relationship (Peter-Apostles) and the second
(Pope-bishops). Thus the Commission decided to write "pari ratione, "
not "eadem ratione," in n. 22. Cf. Modus 57.
2. A person becomes a member of the College by virtue of Episcopal
consecration and by hierarchical communion with the head of the College and with
its members. Cf. n. 22, end of 1 1.
In his consecration a person is given an ontological participation in the
sacred functions [munera]; this is absolutely clear from Tradition, liturgical
tradition included. The word "functions [munera]" is used deliberately
instead of the word "powers [potestates]," because the latter word
could be understood as a power fully ready to act. But for this power to be
fully ready to act, there must be a further canonical or juridical determination
through the hierarchical authority. This determination of power can consist in
the granting of a particular office or in the allotment of subjects, and it is
done according to the norms approved by the supreme authority. An additional
norm of this sort is required by the very nature of the case, because it
involves functions [munera] which must be exercised by many subjects cooperating
in a hierarchical manner in accordance with Christ's will. It is evident that
this "communion" was applied in the Church's life according to the
circumstances of the time, before it was codified as law.
For this reason it is clearly stated that hierarchical communion with the
head and members of the church is required. Communion is a notion which is held
in high honor in the ancient Church (and also today, especially in the East).
However, it is not understood as some kind of vague disposition, but as an
organic reality which requires a juridical form and is animated by charity.
Hence the Commission, almost unanimously, decided that this wording should be
used: "in hierarchical communion." Cf. Modus 40 and the statements on
canonical mission (n. 24).
The documents of recent Pontiffs regarding the jurisdiction of bishops must
be interpreted in terms of this necessary determination of powers.
3. The College, which does not exist without the head, is said "to
exist also as the subject of supreme and full power in the universal Church."
This must be admitted of necessity so that the fullness of power belonging to
the Roman Pontiff is not called into question. For the College, always and of
necessity, includes its head, because in the college he preserves unhindered his
function as Christ's Vicar and as Pastor of the universal Church. In other
words, it is not a distinction between the Roman Pontiff and the bishops taken
collectively, but a distinction between the Roman Pontiff taken separately and
the Roman Pontiff together with the bishops. Since the Supreme Pontiff is head
of the College, he alone is able to perform certain actions which are not at all
within the competence of the bishops, e.g., convoking the College and directing
it, approving norms of action, etc. Cf. Modus 81. It is up to the judgment of
the Supreme Pontiff, to whose care Christ's whole flock has been entrusted, to
determine, according to the needs of the Church as they change over the course
of centuries, the way in which this care may best be exercised—whether in a
personal or a collegial way. The Roman Pontiff, taking account of the Church's
welfare, proceeds according to his own discretion in arranging, promoting and
approving the exercise of collegial activity.
4. As Supreme Pastor of the Church, the Supreme Pontiff can always exercise
his power at will, as his very office demands. Though it is always in existence,
the College is not as a result permanently engaged in strictly collegial
activity; the Church's Tradition makes this clear. In other words, the College
is not always "fully active [in actu pleno]"; rather, it acts as a
college in the strict sense only from time to time and only with the consent of
its head. The phrase "with the consent of its head" is used to avoid
the idea of dependence on some kind of outsider; the term "consent"
suggests rather communion between the head and the members, and implies the need
for an act which belongs properly to the competence of the head. This is
explicitly affirmed in n. 22, 12, and is explained at the end of that section.
The word "only" takes in all cases. It is evident from this that the
norms approved by the supreme authority must always be observed. Cf. Modus 84.
It is clear throughout that it is a question of the bishops acting in
conjunction with their head, never of the bishops acting independently of the
Pope. In the latter instance, without the action of the head, the bishops are
not able to act as a College: this is clear from the concept of "College."
This hierarchical communion of all the bishops with the Supreme Pontiff is
certainly firmly established in Tradition.
N.B. Without hierarchical communion the ontologico-sacramental function
[munus], which is to be distinguished from the juridico-canonical aspect, cannot
be exercised. However, the Commission has decided that it should not enter into
question of liceity and validity. These questions are left to theologians to
discuss—specifically the question of the power exercised de facto among the
separated Eastern Churches, about which there are various explanations."
+ PERICLE FELICI
Titular Archbishop of Samosata
General of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council
1 Cf. Mk. 16:15.
2 Col. 1:15.
3 Rom. 8:29.
4 Cf. Eph. 1:4-5 and 10.
5 Cf. Jn. 19:34.
6 Jn. 12:32.
7 1 Cor 5:7.
8 Cf. 1 Cor. 10:17.
9 Cf. Jn. 17:4.
10 Cf Eph. 1:18.
11 Cf Jn. 4:14; 7:38-39.
12 Cf. Rom. 8:10-11.
13 Cf. Cor. 3:16; 6:19.
14 Cf. Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:15-16 and 26.
15 Cf. Jn. 16:13.
16 Cf. Eph. 1:11-12; 1 Cor. 12:4 Gal. 5:22.
17. Rev. 22:17
18. Mk. 1:15; cf. Mt. 4:17.
19. Mk. 4:14.
20 Lk. 12:32.
21 Cf. Mk. 4:26-29.
22 Lk. 11:20; cf. Mt.12:28.
23 Mk. 10.45.
24 Cf. Acts 2:36; Heb. 5:6; 7:17-21.
25 Cf. Acts 2:33.
26 Jn. 10:1-10.
27 Cf. Is. 40:11; Ex. 34:11ff.
28 Cf Jn. 10:11; 1 Pt. 5:4.
29 Cf. Jn. 10:11-15.
30 l Cor. 3:9.
31 1 Rom. 11:13-26.
32 Mt. 21:33-43; cf. Is. 5:1 ff.
33 Jn. 15:1-5.
34 1 Cor. 3:9.
35 Mt 21:42; cf. Acts 4:11; 1 Pt. 2:7; Ps. 117:22.
36 Cf. 1 Cor. 3:11.
37 1 Tim. 3:15.
38 Eph. 2:19-22.
39 Rev. 21:3.
40 1 Pt. 2:5.
41 Rev. 21:16.
42 Gal. 4:26; cf. Rev. 12:17.
43 Rev. 19:7; 21:2 and 9; 22:17
44 Eph. 5:26.
45 Eph. 5:29.
46 Cf. Eph. 5:24.
47 Cf. Eph. 3:19.
48 Cf. 2 Cor. 5:6.
49 Cf. Col. 3:1-4.
50 Cf. Gal. 6:15; 2 Cor. 5:17.
51 1 Cor. 12:13.
52 Rom. 6:15.
53 1 Cor. 10:17.
54 Cf. 1 Cor 12:27.
55 Rom. 12:5.
56 Cf. 1 Cor. 12:12.
57 Cf. 1 Cor. 12.1-11.
58 Cf. 1 Cor. 14.
59 Cf. l Cor. 12:26.
60 Cf. Col. 1:15-18.
61 Cf. Eph. 1:18-23.
62 Cf. Gal. 4:19.
63 Cf. Phil. 3:21; 2 Tim. 2:11; Eph. 2:6; Col. 2:12 etc.
64 Cf. Rom. 8:17.
65 Col. 2:19.
66 Cf. Eph. 4:11-16.
67 Cf. Eph. 4:23.
68 Cf. Eph. 5:25-28.
69 Ibid. 23-24.
70 Col. 2:9.
71 Cf. Eph. 1:22-23.
72 Cf. Eph. 3:19.
73 Cf. Eph. 4:16.
74 Jn. 21:17.
75 Cf. Mt. 28:18, f.
76 1 Tim. 3:15.
77 Phil. 2:6.
78 2 Cor. 8:9.
79 Lk. 4:18.
80 Lk. 19:10.
81 Heb. 7:26.
82 2 Cor. 5:21.
83 Cf. Heb. 2:17.
84 Cf. 1 Cor. 11:26.
85 Cf. Acts 10:35.
86 Jer. 31:31-34.
87 Cf. 1 Cor. 11:25.
88 Cf. 1 Pt. 1:23.
89 Cf. Jn. 3:5-6.
90 1 Pt. 2:9-10.
91 Rom. 4:25.
92 Cf. Jn. 13:34.
93 Cf. Col. 3:4.
94 Rom. 8:21.
95 Cf. Mt. 5:13-16.
96 Neh. 13:1; cf. Deut. 23:1 ff; Num. 20:4.
97 Cf. Heb. 13:14.
98 Cf. Mt. 16:18.
99 Cf. Acts 20:28.
100 Cf. Heb. 5:1-5.
101 Cf Rev. 6:1; cf. 5:9-10
102 Cf. 1 Pt.2:4-10.
103 Cf. Acts 2:42-47.
104 Cf. Rom. 12:1.
105 Cf 1 Pt. 3:15
107 Cf. Rom; 8:17; Col. 1:24; 2 Tim. 2:11-12; 1 Pet. 4:13.
108 Cf. Eph. 5:32.
109 Cf. 1 Cor. 7, 7.
110 Cf. Heb. 13:15.
111 Cf. Jn. 2:20, 27
112 Cf. 1 Thess. 2:13.
113 Cf. Jud. 3
114 1 Cor. 12:11.
115 Cf. 1 Thess 5:12, 19-21.
116 Cf. Jn. 11:52.
117 Cf. Heb. 1:2.
119 Cf. Acts 2:42.
120 Cf. Jn. 18:36
121 Cf. Ps. 2:8.
122 Cf. Ps. 71 (72):10; Is. 60:4-7; Rev. 21:24.
123 1 Pet. 4:10.
124 Cf. Mk. 16:16; Jn. 3.5.
125 Cf. Rom. 9:4-5
126 Cf. Rom. 1 l:28-29.
127 Cf. Acts 17:25-28.
128 Cf. 1 Tim. 2:4.
129 Cf Rom. 1:21, 25.
130 Mk. 16:16.
131 Cf. Jn. 20:21.
132 Mt. 2:18-20.
133 Cf. Acts 1:8.
134 I Cor. 9:16.
135 Mal. 1:11
136 Jn. 20:21.
137 Mk. 3:13-19; Mt. 10:1-42.
138 Cf Lk. 6:13.
139 Cf. Jn. 21:15-17.
140 Rom. 1:16.
141 Cf. Mt. 28:16-20; Mk. 16:15; Lk. 24:45-48; Jn. 20:21-23.
142 Cf. Mt. 28:20.
143 Cf. Acts 2:1-26.
144 Acts 1.8.
145 Cf. Mk. 16:20.
146 Cf. Rev. 21:14; Mt. 16:18; Eph. 2:20.
147 Cf. Mt. 28:20.
148 Cf. Acts 20:28.
149 Cf. Lk. 10:16.
150 Cf. 1 Cor. 4:15.
151 Cf. 1 Cor. 4:1.
152 Cf. Rom. 15:16; Acts 20:24.
153 Cf. 2 Cor. 3:8-9.
154 Cf Acts 1:8, 2:4, Jn. 20:22-23.
155 Cf 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6-7.
156 Cf. Mt. 16.18-19.
157 Cf. Jn. 21:15 ff.
158 Mt. 16:19.
159 Mt. 18:18, 28:16-20.
160 Cf . Mt. 5:10.
161 Cf. Mt. 28:18; Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 26:17 ff.
162 Cf Acts 1:8- 2:1 ff, 9:15.
163 Cf Acts 1:17, 25; 21:19; Rom. 11:13; 1 Tim. 1:12.
164 Cf. Mt. 13:52.
165 Cf. 2 Tim. 4:1-4.
166 Cf. Lk. 22:32.
167 Cf. 1. Thess. 1:5.
168 Cf. Rom. 1:16.
169 Cf. Lk. 22:26-27.
170 Cf. Mt. 20:28; Mk. 10:45.
171 Cf. Jn. 10:11.
172 Cf. Heb. 5:1-2.
173 Cf. Heb. 13:17.
174 Cf. Rom. 1:14-15.
175 Cf. 1 Cor. 4:15.
176 Jn. 10:36.
177 Heb. 5:1-10, 7:24, 9:11-28.
178 1 Tim. 2:5.
179 Cf. 1 Cor. 11:26.
180 Cf. Heb. 9:11-28.
181 Heb. 5:1-4.
182 Jn. 4:24.
183 Cf. 1 Tim. 5:17.
184 Cf. Eph. 4:12.
185 Cf. Jn. 15:15.
186 Cf. 1 Cor. 4:15; 1 Pt. 1:23.
187 1 Pt. 5:3.
188 Cf 1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 1:1.
189 Cf Lk. 15:4-7.
190 Eph. 4:15-16.
191 1 Rom. 12:4-5
192 Cf. Eph. 4:5.
193 Gal. 3:28; cf. Col. 3.11.
194 Cf. 2 Pt. 1:1.
195 1 Cor. 12:11.
196 Cf. Mt. 20:28.
197 Eph. 4:7.
198 Cf. Phil. 4:3; Rom. 16:3ff.
199 Pt. 2:5.
200 Cf. Acts 2:17-18; Rev. 19:10.
201 Cf. Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5.
202 Cf. Rom. 8:25.
203 Eph. 6:12
204 Cf. Rev. 21:1.
205 Cf. Heb. 11:1
206 Cf. Phil. 2:8-9.
207 Cf 1 Cor. 15:27
208 Cf. Rom. 6:12.
209 Cf Rom. 8:21.
210 1 Cor. 3:23.
211 Cf. Heb. 13:17.
212 Cf. Gal. 5:12.
213 Cf Mt. 5:3-9.
214 Cf Eph. 5:25-26.
215 l Thess. 4.3; cf. Eph.1:4.
216 Mt. 5:48.
217 Cf. Mk. 12:30.
218 Cf. Jn. 13.34; 15:12.
219 Eph. 5:3.
220 Col . 3:12.
221 Cf. Gal. 5:22; Rom. 6:22.
222 Cf. Jas. 3:2.
223 1 Mt. 6:12.
224 Cf. 1 Pt. 5:3.
225 Cf. 1 Tim. 3:8-10 and 12-1
226 1 Pt. 5:10.
227 1 Jn. 4:16.
228 Cf. Rom. 5:5.
229 Cf. Col. 3:14; Rom. 13:10.
230 Cf. 1 Jn. 3:16; Jn. 15:13.
231 Cf 1 Cor. 7:32-34.
232 Cf Mt. l9:11; 1 Cor.7:7.
233 Phil. 2:7-8.
234 2 Cor. 8:9.
235 Cf 1. Cor. 7:31ff.
236 Ezech. 34:14.
237 Acts 3:21.
238 Cf Eph. 1:10; Col. 1:20; 2 Pt.3:10-13.
239 Cf. Jn. 12:32.
240 Cf. Rom. 6:9.
241 Cf. Phil. 2:12.
242 Cf 1 Cor. 10:11.
243 Cf. 2. Pt. 3:13.
244 Cf. Rom. 8:19-22.
245 Eph. 1:14.
246 Cf. 1 Jn. 3:1.
247 Cf. Col. 3.4
248 Cf. 1 Jn. 3:2
249 2 Cor. 5:6.
250 Cf. Rom. 8:23.
251 Cf. Phil. 1:23.
252 Cf. 2 Cor 5:15.
253 Cf. 2 Cor. 5:9.
254 Cf. Eph.6:11-13.
255 Cf. Heb 9:27.
256 Cf. Mt. 25:31-46.
257 Cf. Mt. 25:41.
258 Cf. Mt. 25:26.
259 Mt. 22:13 and 25:30.
260 2 Cor. 5:10.
261 Jn. 5:29; Cf. Mt. 25:46.
262 Rom. 8:18; cf. 2 Tim. 2.11-12.
263 Tit. 2:13.
264 Phil. 3,:21.
265 2 Thess. 1:10.
266 Cf. Mt. 25:31.
267 Cf. 1 Cor. 15:26-27.
268 Cf. Eph. 4:16.
269 Cf. 1 Cor. 12:12-27.
270 Cf. 2 Cor. 5.8.
271 Cf. 1 Tim. 2.5.
272 Cf. Col. 1:24.
273 2 Macc. 12:46.
274 Cf. Heb. 13:14; 11:10.
275 Cf. 2 Cor. 3:18.
276 Cf. Heb. 12:1.
277 Cf Eph. 4:1-6.
278 Cf. Rev. 5:9.
279 Cf. Heb. 3:6.
280 Cf. Rev. 21:24.
281 Rev. 5:12.
282 Rev. 5:13-14.
283 Gal. 4:4-5.
284 Cf. Gen. 3:15.
285 Cf. Is 7:14; cf. Mich. 5:2-3; Mt. 1:22-23.
286 Cf. Lk. 1:28.
287 Lk. 1:38.
288 Cf. Lk. 1:41-45.
289 Cf. Lk. 2:34-35
290 Cf. Lk. 2:41-51.
291 Cf. Jn. 2:1-11.
292 Cf. Mk. 3:35; Lk. 11:27-28.
293 Cf. Lk. 2:19, 51.
294 Cf. Jn. 19:25.
295 Cf. Jn. 19:26-27.
296 Acts 1:14.
297 Cf Rev. 19:16
298 1 Tim. 2:5-6.
299 Rom. 8:29.
300 Cf. Eph 5:27.
301 Lk. 1:48.
302 Cf. Col. 1:15-16.
303 Col 1:19.
304 Cf. 2 Pt. 3:10.
SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES (*)
(1) Cfr. S. Cyprianus, Epist. 64, 4: PL 3, 1017. CSEL (Hartcl), III B p.
720. S. Hilarius Pict., In Mt 23, 6: PL 9, 1047. S. Augustinus, passim. S.
Cyrillus Alex., Glaph in Gen. 2, 10: PG 69, 110 A.
(2) Cfr. S. Gregorius M., Hom in Evang. 19, 1: PL 76, 1154 B. S Augustinus,
Serm. 341, 9, 11: PL 39, 1499 s. S. Io. Damascenus, Adv. Iconocl. 11: PG 96,
(3) Cfr. S. Irenaeus, adv. Haer, 111 24, 1: PG 7, 966 B; Harvey 2, 13i, ed.
Sagnard, Sources Chr., p 398.
(4) S. Cyprianus, De Orat Dom. 23: PL 4, 5S3, Hartel, III A, p. 28S. S.
Augustinus, Serm. 71, 20, 33: PL 38, 463 s. S. Io. Damascenus, Adv. Iconocl. 12:
PG 96, 1358 D.
(5) Cfr. Origenes, In Matth. 16, 21: PG 13, 1443 C, Tertullianus Adv. Marc.
3, 7: PL 2, 357 C, CSEL 47, 3 p. 386. Pro documentis liturgicis, cfr.
Sacramentarium Gregorianum: PL 78, 160 B.Vel C. Mohlberg, Liber Sactamentorum
romanae ecclesiae, Romao 195O, p. 111, XC:.Deus, qui ex omni coaptacione
sanctorum aeternum tibi condis habitaculum..... Hymnus Urbs Ierusalem beata in
Breviario monastico, et Coclest urbs Ierusalem in Breviario Romano.
(6) Cfr. S. Thomas, Sumtna Theol. III, q. 62, a. 5, ad 1.
(7) Cfr. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl Mystici Corporis, 29 iun. 1943 AAS 35
(1943), p. 208.
(8) Cfr. Leo XIII, Epist. Encycl Divinum illud, 9 maii 1897: AAS 29
(1896-97) p. 6S0. Pius XII, Litt Encyl. Mystici Corporis, 1. c., pp 219-220;
Denz. 2288 (3808).S. Augustinus, Serm. 268, 2: PL 38 232, ct alibi. S. Io.
Chrysostomus n Eph. Hom. 9, 3: PG 62, 72. idymus Alex., Trin. 2, 1: PG 39 49 s.
S. Thomas, In Col. 1, 18 cet. 5 ed. Marietti, II, n. 46-Sieut constituitur unum
eorpus ex nitate animae, ita Ecelesia ex unil atc Spiritus.....
(9) Leo XIII, Litt. Encycl. Sapientiae christianae, 10 ian. 1890 AAS 22
(1889-90) p. 392. Id., Epist. Encycl. Satis cognitium, 29 iun. 1896; AAS 28
(1895-96) pp. 710 ct 724 ss. Pius XII, Litt. Eneyel. Mystici Corporis, 1. c.,
(10) Cfr. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Mystici Corporis, 1. c., p. 221 ss. Id.,
Lin. Encycl. Humani genesis, 12 Aug. 1950: AAS 42 (1950) p. 571.
(11) Leo XIII, Epist. Encycl. Satis cognitum, 1. c., p. 713.
(12) Cfr. Symbolum Apostolicum: Denz. 6-9 (10-13); Symb. Nic.-Const.: Denz.
86 (150), coll. Prof. fidei Trid.: Denz. 994 et 999 (1862 et 1868).
(13) Dieitur. Saneta (catholica apostolica) Romana Ecelesia .: in Prof.
fidei Trid., 1. c. et Concl. Vat. I, Sess. III, Const. dogm. de fide cath.:
Denz. 1782 (3001).
(14) S. Augustinus, Civ. Dei, XVIII, 51, 2: PL 41, 614.
(1) Cfr. S. Cyprianus, Epist. 69, 6: PL 3, 1142 B; Hartel 3 B, p. 754:
inseparabile unitatis sacramentum ..
(2) Cfr. Pius XII, Alloc. Magnificate Dominum, 2 nov. 1954: AAS 46 (1954) p.
669. Litt. Encycl. Mediator Dei, 20 nov. 1947: AAS 39 (1947) p. 555.
(3) Cfr. Pius XI, Litt. Encycl. Miserentissimus Redemptor, 8 maii 1928: AAS
20 (1928) p. 171 s. Pius XII Alloc. Vous nous avez, 22 sept. 1956: AAS 48 (1956)
(4) Cfr. S. Thomas, Summa Theol. III, q. 63, a. 2.
(5) Cfr. S. Cyrillus Hieros., Catech. 17, de Spiritu Sancto, II, 35-37: PG
33, 1009-1012. Nic. Cabasilas, De vita in Christo, lib. III, de utilitate
chrismatis: PG 150, 569-580. S. Thomas, Summa Theol. III, q. 65, a. 3 et q. 72,
a. 1 et 5.
(6) Cfr. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Mediator Dei 20 nov. 1947: AAS 39 (1947),
paesertim p. 552 s.
(7) I Cor. 7, 7: . Unusquisque proprium donum (idion charisma) habet ex Deo:
alius quidem sic alius vero sic .. Cfr. S. Augustinus, De Dono Persev. 14, 37:
PL 45, 1015 s.: Non tantum continenti Dei donum est, sed coniugatorum etiam
(8) Cfr. S. Augustinus, D Praed. Sanct. 14, 27: PL 44, 980.
(9) Cfr. S. Io. Chrysostomus, In Io. Hom. 65, 1: PG 59, 361.
(10) Cfr. S. Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. III, 16, 6; III, 22, 1-3: PG 7, 925 C-926
Aet 955 C - 958 A; Harvey 2, 87 s. et 120-123; Sagnard, Ed. Sources Chret., pp.
290-292 et 372 ss.
(11) Cfr. S. Ignatius M., Ad Rom., Praef.: Ed. Funk, I, p. 252.
(12) Cfr. S. Augustinus, Bapt. c. Donat. V, 28, 39; PL 43, 197: Certe
manifestum est, id quod dicitur, in Ecdesia intus et foris, in corde, non in
corpore cogitandum. Cfr. ib., III, 19, 26: col. 152; V, 18, 24: col. 189; In Io.
Tr. 61, 2: PL 35, 1800, et alibi saepe.
(13) Cfr. Lc. 12, 48: Omni autem, cui multum datum est, multum quaeretur ab
eo. Cfr. etiam Mt. 5, 19-20; 7, 21-22; 25 41-46; Iac., 2, 14.
(14) Cfr. Leo XIII, Epist. Apost. Praeclara gratulationis, 20 iun. 1894; AAS
26 (1893-94) p. 707.
(15) Cfr. Leo XIII, Epist. Encycl. Satis cognitum, 29 iun. 1896: ASS 28
(1895-96) p. 738. Epist. Encycl. Caritatis studium, 25 iul. 1898: ASS 31
(1898-99) p. 11. Pius XII, Nuntius radioph. Nell'alba, 24 dec. 1941: AAS 34
(1942) p. 21.
(16) Cfr. Pius XI, Litt. Encycl. Rerum Orientalium, 8 sept. 1928: AAS 20
(1928) p. 287. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl Orientalis Ecclesiae, 9 apr. 1944: AAS 36
(1944) p. 137
(17) Cfr. Inst. S.S.C.S. Officii 20 dec. 1949: AAS 42 (1950) p.142.
(18) Cfr. S. Thomas, Summa Theol. III, q. 8, a. 3, ad 1.
(19) Cfr. Epist. S.S.C.S. Officii ad Archiep. Boston.: Denz. 3869-72.
(20) Cfr. Eusebius Caes., Praeparatio Evangelica, 1, 1: PG 2128 AB.
(21) Cfr. Benedictus XV, Epist. Apost. Maximum illud: AAS 11 (1919) p. 440,
praesertim p. 451 ss. Pius XI, Litt. Encycl. Rerum Ecclesiae: AAS 18 (1926) p.
68-69. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Fidei Donum, 21 apr. 1957: AAS 49 (1957) pp.
(22) Cfr. Didache, 14: ed. Funk I, p. 32. S. Iustinus, Dial. 41: PG 6, 564.
S. Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. IV 17, 5; PG 7, 1023; Harvey, 2, p. 199 s. Conc. Trid.,
Sess. 22, cap. 1; Denz. 939 (1742).
(1) Cfr. Conc. Vat. I, Sess. IV, Const. Dogm. Pastor aeternus. Denz. 1821
(2) Cfr. Conc. Flor., Decretum pro Graecis: Denz. 694 (1307) et Conc. Vat.
I, ib.: Denz. 1826 (3059)
(3) Cfr. Liber sacramentorum S. Gregorii, Praefatio in Cathedra S. Petri, in
natali S. Mathiae et S. Thomas: PL 78, 50, 51 et 152. S. Hilarius, In Ps. 67,
10: PL 9, 4S0; CSEL 22, p. 286. S.Hieronymus, Adv. Iovin. 1, 26: PL 23, 247 A.
S. Augustinus, In Ps. 86, 4: PL 37, 1103. S. Gregorius M., Mor. in lob, XXVIII,
V: PL 76, 455-456. Primasius, Comm. in Apoc. V: PL 68, 924 BC. Paschasius Radb.,
In Matth. L. VIII, cap. 16: PL 120, 561 C. Cfr. Leo XIII, Epist. Et sane, 17
dec. 1888: AAS 21 (1888) p. 321.
(4) Cfr. Act 6, 2-6; 11, 30; 13, 1, 14, 23; 20, 17; 1 Thess. 5, 12-13; Phil.
1, 1 Col. 4, 11, et passim.
(5) Cfr. Act. 20, 25-27; 2 Tim. 4, 6 s. coll. c. I Tim. 5, 22; 2 Tim. 2, 2
Tit. 1, 5; S. Clem. Rom., Ad Cor. 44, 3; ed. Funk, 1, p. 156.
(6) S. Clem. Rom., ad Cor. 44, 2; ed. Funk, I, p. 154 s.
(7) Cfr. Tertull., Praescr. Haer. 32; PL 2, 52 s.; S. Ignatius M., passim.
(8) Cfr. Tertull., Praescr. Haer. 32; PL 2, 53.
(9) Cfr. S. Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. III, 3, 1; PG 7, 848 A; Harvey 2, 8;
Sagnard, p. 100 s.: manifestatam.
(10) Cfr. S. Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. III, 2, 2; PG 7, 847; Harvey 2, 7;
Sagnard, p. 100: . custoditur ,., cfr. ib. IV, 26, 2; col. 1O53, Harvey 2, 236,
necnon IV, 33, 8; col. 1077; Harvey 2, 262.
(11) S. Ign. M., Philad., Praef.; ed. Funk, I, p. 264.
(12) S. Ign. M., Philad., 1, 1; Magn. 6, 1; Ed. Funk, I, pp. 264 et 234.
(13) S. Clem. Rom., 1. c., 42, 3-4, 44, 3-4; 57, 1-2; Ed. Funk. I, 152, 156,
171 s. S. Ign. M., Philad. 2; Smyrn. 8; Magn. 3; Trall. 7; Ed. Funk, I, p. 265
s.; 282; 232 246 s. etc.; S. Iustinus, Apol., 1, 6S G 6, 428; S. Cyprianus,
(14) Cfr. Leo XIII, Epist. Encycl. Satis cognitum, 29 iun. 896: ASS 28
(1895-96) p. 732.
(15) Cfr. Conc. Trid., Sess. 23, ecr. de sacr. Ordinis, cap. 4; enz. 960
(1768); Conc. Vat. I, ess. 4 Const. Dogm. I De Ecclesia Christi, cap. 3: Denz.
1828 (3061). Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Mystici Cororis, 29 iun. 1943: ASS 35
(1943) p. 209 et 212. Cod. Iur. Can., c. 29 1.
(16) Cfr. Leo XIII, Epist. Et sane, 17 dec. 1888: ASS 21 (1888) p. 321 s.
(17) S. Leo M., Serm. 5, 3: PL 54, 154.
(18) Conc. Trid., Sess. 23, cap. 3, citat verba 2 Tim. 1, 6-7, ut demonstret
Ordinem esse verum sacramentum: Denz. 959 (1766).
(19) In Trad. Apost. 3, ed. Botte, Sources Chr., pp. 27-30, Episcopo
tribuitur primatus sacerdotii. Cfr. Sacramentarium Leonianum, ed. C. Mohlberg,
Sacramentarium Veronense, Romae, 195S, p. 119: ad summi sacerdotii
ministerium... Comple in sacerdotibus tuis mysterii tui summam.... Idem, Liber
Sacramentorum Romanae Ecclesiae Romae, 1960, pp. 121-122: Tribuas eis, Domine,
cathedram episcopalem ad regendam Ecclesiam tuam et plebem universam.. Cfr. PL
(20) Trad. Apost. 2, ed. Botte, p. 27.
(21) Conc. Trid., Sess. 23, cap. 4, docet Ordinis sacramentum imprimere
characterem indelebilem: Denz. 960 (1767) . Cfr. Ioannes XXIII, Alloc. Iubilate
Deo, 8 maii 1960: AAS S2 (1960) p. 466. Pall1us VI, Homelia in Bas, Vaticana, 20
oct. 1963: AAS 55 (1963) p. 1014.
(22) S. Cyprianus, Epist. 63, 14: PL 4, 386; Hartel, III B, p. 713: Saccrdos
vice Christi vere fungitur .. S. Io. Chrysostomus, In 2 Tim. Hom. 2, 4: PG 62,
612: Saccrdos est symbolon . Christi. S. Ambrosius, In Ps. 38, 25-26: PL 14, 105
1-52: CSEL 64, 203- 204. Ambrosiascr In I Tim. S 19: PL 17, 479 C ct in Eph. 4,
1;-12: col. 387. C. Theodorus Mops., from. Catech. XV, 21 ct 24: ed. Tonneau,
pp. 497 et 503. Hesychiu Hieros., In Lcv. L. 2, 9, 23: PG 93, 894 B.
(23) Cfr. Eusebius, Hist. ecl., V, 24, 10: GCS II, 1, p. 49S; cd. Bardy,
Sources Chr. II, p. 69 Dionysius, apud Eusebium, ib. VII 5, 2: GCS 11, 2, p. 638
s.; Bardy, II, p. 168 s.
(24) Cfr. de antiquis Conciliis, Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. V, 23-24: GCS 11, 1,
p. 488 ss.; Bardy, 11, p. 66 ss. et. passim. Conc. Nicaenum. Can. S: Conc. Oec.
Decr. p. 7.
(25) Tertullianus, de Iciunio, 13: PL 2, 972 B; CSFL 20, p. 292,lin. 13-16.
(26) S. Cyprianus, Epist. 56, 3: Hartel, 111 B, p. 650; Bayard, p.154.
(27) Cfr. Relatio officialis Zinelli, in Conc. Vat. I: Mansi S2,1 109 C.
(28) Cfr. Conc. Vat. 1, Schema Const. dogm. 11, de Ecclesia Christi, c. 4:
Mansi S3, 310. Cfr. Relatio Kleutgen de Schemate reformato: Mansi S3, 321 B -
322 B et declaratio Zinelli: Mansi 52 1110 A. Vide etiam S. Leonem M. Scrm. 4,
3: PL 54, 151 A.
(29) Cfr. Cod. Iur. Can., c. 227.
(30) Cfr. Conc. Vat. I, Const.Dogm. Pastor aeternis: Denz. 1821 (3050 s.).
(31) Cfr. S. Cyprianus, Epist. 66, 8: Hartel 111, 2, p. 733: .. Episcopus in
Ecclesia et Ecclesia in Episcopo ..
(32) Cfr. S. Cyprianus, Epist. SS, 24: Hartel, p. 642, line. 13: . Una
Ecclesia per totum mundum in multa membra divisa .. Epist. 36, 4: Hartel, p.
575, lin. 20-21.
(33) Cfr. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Fidci Donum, 21 apr. 1957: AAS 49 (1957)
(34) Cfr. S. Hilarius Pict., In Ps. 14, 3: PL 9, 206; CSEL 22, p. 86. S.
Gregorius M., Moral, IV, 7, 12: PL 75, 643 C. Ps.Basilius, In Is. 15, 296: PG
30, 637 C.
(35) S. Coelestinus, Epist. 18, 1-2, ad Conc. Eph.: PL 50, 505 AB- Schwartz,
Acta Conc. Oec. 1, I, i, p. 22. Cfr. Benedictus XV, Epist. Apost. Maximum illud:
AAS 11 (1919) p. 440, Pius XI. Litt. Encycl. Rerum Ecclesiae, 28 febr. 1926: AAS
18 (1926) p. 69. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Fidei Donum, 1. c.
(36) Leo XIII, Litt. Encycl. I Grande munus, 30 sept. 1880: ASS 13 (1880) p.
14S. Cfr. Cod. Iur. | Can., c. 1327; c. 13S0 2.
(37) De iuribus Sedium patriarchalium, cfr. Conc. Nicaenum, I can. 6 de
Alexandria et Antiochia, et can. 7 de Hierosolymis: Conc. I Oec. Decr., p. 8.
Conc. Later. IV, anno 1215, Constit. V: De dignigate Patriarcharum: ibid. p.
212.-| Conc. Ferr.-Flor.: ibid. p. 504.
(38) Cfr. Cod. luris pro Eccl. I Orient., c. 216-314: de Patriarchis; c.
324-399: de Archiepiscopis I maioribus; c. 362-391: de aliis dignitariis; in
specie, c. 238 3; 216; 240; 251; 255: de Episcopis a Patriarch nominandis.
(39) Cfr. Conc. Trid., Decr. de I reform., Sess. V, c. 2, n. 9; et Sess. I
XXlV, can. 4; Conc. Oec. Decr. pp. 645 et 739.
(40) Cfr. Conc. Vat. I, Const. dogm. Dei Filius, 3: Denz. 1712l (3011). Cfr.
nota adiecta ad Schema I de Eccl. (desumpta ex.S. Rob. Bellarmino): Mansi 51, I
579 C, necnon Schema reformatum I Const. II de Ecclesia Christi, cum I
commentario Kleutgen: Mansi 53, 313 AB. Pius IX, Epist. Tuas libener: Denz. 1683
(41) Cfr. Cod. Iur. Can., c. 1322-1323.
(42) Cfr. Conc. Vat. I, Const. dogm. Pastor Aecrnus: Denz. 1839 (3074).
(43) Cfr. ecplicatio Gasscr in Conc. Vat. I: Mansi 52, 1213 AC.
(44) Gasser, ib.: Mansi 1214 A.
(45) Gasser, ib.: Mansi 1215 CD, 1216-1217 A.
(46) Gasser, ib.: Mansi 1213.
(47) Conc. Vat. I, Const. dogm. Pastor Aesernus, 4: Denz. 1836 (3070) no. 26
(48) Oratio consecrationis cpiscopalis in ritu byzantino: Euchologion to
mega, Romae, 1873, p. 139.
(49) Cfr. S. Ignatius M. Smyrn 8, 1: ed. Funk, 1, p. 282.
(50) Cfr. Act. 8, 1; 14, 22-23; 20, 17, et passim.
(51) Oratio mozarabica: PL 96 7S9 B
(52) Cfr. S. Ignatius M., Smyrn 8, 1: ed. Funk, I, p. 282.
(53) S. Thomas, Summa Theol. III, q. 73, a. 3.
(54) Cfr. S. Augustinus, C. Faustum, 12, 20: PL 42, 26S Serm. 57, 7: PL 38,
(55) S. Leo M., Serm. 63, 7: PL 54, 3S7 C.
(56) Traditio A postolica Hippolyti, 2-3: ed. Botte, pp. 26-30.
(57) Cfr. textus examinis in initio consecrationis episcopalis, et Oratio in
fine vissae eiusdem consecrationis, post Te Deum.
(58) Benedictus XIV, Br. Romana Ecclesia, 5 oct. 1752, p 1: Bullarium
Benedicti XIV, t. IV, Romae, 1758, 21: . Episcopus Christi typum gerit, Eiusque
munere fungitur. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Mystici Corporis, 1. c., p. 211: .
Assignatos sibi greges singuli singulos Christi nomine pascunt et regunt.
(59) Leo XIII, Epist. Encycl. Satis cognitum, 29 iun. 1896: ASS 28 (1895-96)
p. 732. Idem, Epist. Officio sanctissimo, 22 dec. 1887: AAS 20 (1887) p. 264.
Pius IX itt. Apost. ad Episcopol Geraniae, 12 mart. 1875, et alloc. onsist., 15
mart. 187S: Denz. 112-3117, in nova ed. tantum.
(60) Conc. Vat. I, Const. dogm. Pastor aeternus, 3: Denz. 1828 ( 3061) .
Cfr. Relatio Zinelli: Mand 1 2, 1114 D.
(61) Cfr. S. Ignatius M., ad ephes. 5, 1: ed. Funk, I, p. 216.
(62) Cfr. S. Ignatius M., ad phes. 6, 1: cd. Funk, I, p. 218.
(63) Cfr. Conc. Trid., Sess. 23, sacr. Ordinis, cap. 2: Denz. 958 (1765), et
can. 6: Denz. 966 (1776).
(64) Cfr. Innocentius I, Epist. d Decentium: PL 20, 554 A; sansi 3, 1029;
Denz. 98 (215): Presbyteri, licet secundi sint sa erdotcs, pontificatus tamen
api em non habent.. S. Cyprianus, Epist. 61, 3: ed. Hartel, p. 696.
(65) Cfr. Conc. Trid., l. c., Denz. 962-968 (1763-1778), et in specie l an.
7: Denz. 967 (1777). Pius l II, Const. Apost. Sacramentum ordinis: Denz. 2301
(66) Cfr. Innocentius I, 1. c. S. Gregorius Naz., Apol. II, 22: PGS, 432 B.
Ps.-Dionysius, Eccl. ier., 1, 2: PG 3, 372 D.
(67) Cfr. Conc. Trid., Sess. 22: Denz. 940 (1743). Pius XII, Litt. Encycl.
Mediator Dei, 20 nov. 1947: AAS 39 (1947) p. 553; Denz. 2300 (3850).
(68) Cfr. Conc. Trid. Sess. 22: Denz. 938 (1739-40). Conc. Vat.II, Const. De
Sacra Liturgia, n. 7 et n. 47.
(69) Cfr. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Mediator Dei, 1. c., sub. n. 67.
(70) Cfr. S. Cyprianus, Epist. 11, 3: PL 4, 242 B; Hartel, II, 2, p. 497.
(71) Ordo consecrationis sacerdotalis, in impositione vestimentorum.
(72) Ordo consecrationis sacerdotalis in praefatione.
(73) Cfr. S. Ignatius M. Philad. 4: ed. Funk, I, p. 266. S. Cornelius I,
apud S. Cyprianum, Epist. 48, 2: Hartel, III, 2, p. 610.
(74) Constitutiones Ecclesiac aegyptiacae, III, 2: ed. Funk, Didascalia, II,
p. 103. Statuta Eccl. Ant. 371: Mansi 3, 954.
(75) S. Polycarpus, Ad Phil. 5, 2: ed. Funk, I, p. 300: Christus dicitur .
omnium diaconus factus .. Cfr. Didache, 15, 1: ib., p. 32. S.Ignatius M. Trall.
2, 3: ib., p. 242. Constitutiones Apostolorum, 8, 28, 4: ed. Funk, Didascalia,
I, p. 530.
(1) S. Augustinus, Serm. 340, 1: PL 38, 1483.
(2) Cfr. Pius XI, Litt. Encycl. Quadragesimo anno 15 maii 1931: AAS 23
(1931) p. 121 s. Pius XII, Alloc. De quelle consolation, 14 oct. 1951: AAS 43
(1951) p. 790 s.
(3) Cfr. Pius XII, Alloc. Six ans se sont ecoules, 5 oct. l9S7: AAS 49
(19S7) p. 927. De mandato et missione canonica, cfr. Decretum De Apostolatu
laicorum, cap. IV, n. 16, cum notis 12 et 15.
(4) Ex Praefatione festi Christi Regis.
(5) Cfr. Leo XIII, Epist. Encycl. Immortale Dei, 1 nov. 188S: ASS 18 (188S)
p. 166 ss. Idem, Litt. Encycl. Sapientae christianae, 10 ian. 1890: ASS 22
(1889-90) p. 397 ss. Pius XII, Alloc. Alla vostra filfale. 23 mart. l9S8: AAS S0
(145R ) p. 220: Ia Iegittima sana laicita dello Stato ..
(6) Cod. Iur. Can., can. 682.
(7) Cfr. Pius XII, Alloc. De quelle consolation, 1. c., p. 789: Dans les
batailles decisives, c'est parfois du front que partent les plus heureuses
initiatives..Idem Alloc. L'importance de la presse catholique, 17 febr. 1950:
AAS 42 (1950) p. 256.
(8) Cfr. l Thess. S, 19 et 1 lo. 4, 1.
(9) Epist. ad Diogneum, 6: ed. Funk, I, p. 400. Cfr. S. Io.Chrysostomus, In
Matth. Hom. 46 (47) 2: PG 58, 78, de fermento in massa.
(1) Missale Romanum, Gloria in excelsis. Cfr. Lc. 1, 35; Mc. 1, 24, Lc. 4,
34; Io. 6, 69 (ho hagios tou theou); Act. 3, 14; 4, 27 et 30;Hebr. 7, 26, 1 Io.
2, 20; Apoc. 3, 7.
(2) Cfr. Origenes, Comm. Rom. 7, 7: PG 14, 1122 B. Ps.- Macarius, De
Oratione, 11: PG 34, 861 AB. S. Thomas, Summa Theol. II-II, q. 184, a. 3.
(3) Cfr. S. Augustinus Retract. II, 18: PL 32, 637 s. Pius XII Litt. Encycl.
Mystici Corporis, 29 iun. 1943: AAS 35 (1943) p. 225.
(4) Cfr. Pius XI, Litt. Encycl. Rerum omnium, 26 ian. 1923: AAS 15 (1923) p.
50 ct pp. 59-60. Litt. Encycl. Casti Connubii, 31 dec. 1930: AAS 22 (1930) p.
548. Pius XII, Const. Apost. Provida Mater, 2 febr. 1947: AAS 39 (1947) p. 117.
Alloc. Annus sacer, 8 dec. 1950: AAS 43 (1951) pp. 27-28. Alloc. Nel darvi, 1
iul. 1956: AAS 48 (1956) p. 574 s.
(5) Cfr. S. Thomas, Summa Theol. II-II, q. 184, a. 5 et 6. De perf . vitae
spir., c. 18. Origenes, In Is. Hom. 6, 1: PG 13, 239.
(6) Cfr. S. Ignatius M., Magn. 13, 1: ed. Funk, I, p. 241.
(7) Cfr. S. Pius X, Exhort. Haerent animo, 4 aug. 1908: ASS 41 (1908) p. 560
s. Cod. Iur. Can., can. 124. Pius XI, Litt. Encycl. Ad catholici sacerdotii, 20
dec. 1935: AAS 28 (1936) p. 22 s.
(8) Ordo consecrationis sacerdotalis, in Exhortatione initiali.
(9) Cfr. S. Ignatius M., Trall. 2, 3: cd. Funk, l, p. 244.
(10) Cfr. Pius XII, Alloc. Sous la maternclle protection, 9 dec. 1957: AAS
50 (19S8) p. 36.
(11) Pius XI, Litt. Encycl. Castf Connubii, 31 dec. 1930. AAS 22 (1930) p.
548 s. Cfr. S. Io Chrysostomus, In Ephes. Hom. 20, 2: P. 62, 136 ss.
(12) Cfr. S. Augustinus, Enchir. 121, 32: PL 40 288. S. Thomas Summa Theol.
II-II, q. 184, a. 1. Pius XII, Adhort. Apost. Menti nostrae, 23 sept. 1950: AAS
42 (1950) p. 660.
(13) De consiliis in genere, cfr. Origenes, Comm. Rom. X, 14: PG 14 127S B.
S. Augustinus, De S. Viginitate, 15, 15: PL 40, 403. S. Thomas, Summa Theol.
I-II, q. 100, a. 2 C (in fine); II-II, q. 44, a. 4 ad 3
(14) De praestantia sacrae virginitatis, cfr. Tertullianus, Exhort. Cast.
10: PL 2, 925 C. S. Cyprianus, Hab. Virg. 3 et 22: PL 4, 443 B et 461 A. A. S.
Athanasius (?), De Virg.: PG 28, 252 ss. S. Io. Chrysostomus, De Virg.: PG 48,
(15) De spirituali paupertate et oboedientia testimonia praccipua
S.Scripturae et Patrum afferuntur in Relatione pp. 152-153.
(16) De praxi effectiva consiliorum quae non omnibus imponitur, cfr. S. Io.
Chrysostomus, In Matth. Hom. 7, 7: PG S7, 8 I s. 5. Ambrosius, De Vidu s, 4, 23:
PL 16, 241 s.
(1) Cfr. Rosweydus, Viqae Patrum, Antwerpiae 1628. Apophtegmata Patrum: PG
65. Palladius, Historia Lausiaca: PG 34, 995 ss.; ed. C. Butler, Cambridge 1898
(1904). Pius XI, Const. Apost. Umbratilem, 8 iul. 1924: AAS 16 (1924) pp.
386-387. Pius XII, Alloc. Nous sommes heureux, 11 apr.1958: AAS 50 (1958) p.
(2) Paulus VI, Alloc. Magno gaudio, 23 maii 1964: AAS 56 (1964) p. 566.
(3) Cfr. Cod. Iur. Can., c. 487 et 488, 40. Pius XII, Alloc. Annus sacer, 8
dec. 1950, AAS 43 (1951) p. 27 s. Pius XII, Cons. Apost. Provida Mater, 2 Febr.
1947: AAS 39 (1947) p. 120 ss.
(4) Paulus VI, 1. c., p. S67.
(5) Cfr. S. Thomas, Summa Theol. II-II, q. 184, a. 3 et q. 188, a. 2. S.
Bonaventura, Opusc. X, Apologia Pauperum, c. 3, 3: cd. Opera, Quaracchi, t. 8,
1898, p. 245 a.
(6) Cfr. Conc. Vat. I. Schema De Ecclesia Christi, cap. XV, et Adnot. 48:
Mansi 51, 549 s. et 619 s. Leo XIII, Epist. Au milieu des consolations, 23 dec.
1900: AAS 33 (1900-01) p. 361. Pius XII, Const. Apost. Provida Mater, 1. c., p.
(7) Cfr. Leo XIII, Const. Romanos Pontifices, 8 maii 1881: AAS 13 (1880-81)
p. 483. Pius XII, Alloc. Annus sacer, 8 dec. 1950: AAS 43(1951) p. 28 8.
(8) Cfr. Pius XII, Alloc. Annus sacer, 1. c., p. 28. Pius XII, Const. Apost.
Sedes Sapientiae, 31 maii 19S6: AAS 48 (1956) p. 355. Paulus VI, 1. c., pp.
(9) Cfr. Pius XII Litt. Encycl. Mystici Corporis, 19 iun. 1943: AAS 35
(1943) p. 214 s.
(10) Cfr. Pius XII, Alloc. Annus sacer, 1. c., p. 30. Alloc. Sous la
maternelle protecrion, 9 dec. l9S7: AAS 50 (19S8) p. 39 s.
(1) Conc. Florentinum, Decretum pro Graecis: Denz. 693 (1305).
(2) Praeter documenta antiquiora contra quamlibet formam evocationis
spirituum inde ab Alexandro IV (27 sept. 1958), cfr Encycl. S.S.C.S. Officii, De
magne tismi abusu, 4 aug. 1856: AAS (1865) pp. 177-178, Denz. 1653 1654
(2823-2825); responsioner S.S.C.S. Offici, 24 apr. 1917: 9 (1917) p. 268, Denz.
(3) Videatur synthetiea espositi huius doctrinae paulinae in: Piu XII, Litt.
Encycl. Mystici Corporis AAS 35 (1943) p. 200 et passilr
(4) Cfr., i. a., S. Augustinus, Enarr. in Ps. 85, 24: PL 37, 1095 S.
Hieronymus, Liber contra Vigl lantium, b: PL 23, 344. S. Thomas In 4m Sent., d.
45, q. 3, a. 2. Bonaventura, In 4m Sent., d. 45, a. 3, q. 2; etc.
(5) Cfr. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Mystici Corporis: AAS 35 (1943) p. 245.
(6) Cfr. Plurimae inseriptione in Catacumbis romanis.
(7) Cfr. Gelasius I, Decretalis De libris recipiendis, 3: PL 59, 160, Denz.
(8) Cfr. S. Methodius, Symposion, VII, 3: GCS (Bodwetseh), p. 74
(9) Cfr. Benedictus XV, Decretum approbationis virtutum in Causa
beatificationis et canonizationis Servi Dei Ioannis Nepomuecni Neumann: AAS 14
(1922 p. 23; plures Allocutiones Pii X de Sanetis: Inviti all'croismo
Diseorsi... t. I-III, Romae 1941-1942, passim; Pius XII, Discorsi Radiomessagi,
t. 10, 1949, pp 37-43.
(10) Cfr. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl : Mediator Dei: AAS 39 (1947) p . 581.
(11) Cfr. Hebr. 13, 7: Eccli 44-50, Nebr. 11, 340. Cfr. etia Pius XII, Litt.
Encycl. Mediati Dei: AAS 39 (1947) pp. 582-583
(12) Cfr. Cone. Vaticanum Const. De fide catholica, cap. 3 Denz. 1794
(13) Cfr. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Mystici Corporis: AAS 35 (1943) p. 216.
(14) Quoad gratitudinem erga ipsos Sanctos, cfr. E. Diehl, Inscriptiones
latinae christianae vereres, 1, Berolini, 1925, nn. 2008 2382 et passim.
(15) Conc. Tridentinum, Sess. 25, De invocatione... Sanctorum: Denz. 984
(16) Breviarium Romanum, Invitatorium infesto Sanctorum Omnium.
(17) Cfr. v. g., 2 Thess. 1, 10.
(18) Conc. Vaticanum II, Const. De Sacra Liturgia, cap. 5, n. 104.
(19) Canon Missae Romanae.
(20) Conc. Nicaenum II, Act. VII: Denz. 302 (600).
(21) Conc. Florentinum, Decretum pro Graecis: Denz. 693 (1304).
(22) Conc. Tridentinum Sess. 35, De invocatione, veneratione et reliquiis
Sanctorum et sacris imaginibus: Denz. 984-988 (1821-1824); Sess. 25, Decretum de
Purgatorio: Denz. 983 (1820); Sess. 6, Decretum de iustificatione, can. 30:
Denz. 840 (1580).
(23) Ex Praefatione, aliquious dioecesibus concessa.
(24) Cfr. S. Petrus Canisius, Catechismus Maior seu Summa Doctrinae
christianae, cap. III (ed. crit. F. Streicher) pas I, pp. 15-16, n. 44 et pp.
100-1O1, n. 49.
(25) Cfr. Conc. Vaticanum II Const. De Sacra Liturgia, cap. 1 n. 8.
(1) Credo in Missa Romana: Symbolum Constantinopolitanum: Mansi 3, 566.
Cfr. Conc. Ephesinum, ib. 4, 1130 (necnon ib. 2, 665 et 4, 1071); Conc.
Chalcedonense, ib. 7, 111-116; Cow. Constantinopolitanum II, ib. 9, 375-396.
(2) Canon Missae Romanae.
(3) S. Augustine, De S. Virginitate. 6: PL 40, 399.
(4) Cfr. Paulus Pp. VI, allocutio in Concilio, die 4 dec. 1963: AAS 56
(1964) p. 37.
(5) Cfr. S. Germanus Const., Nom. in annunt. Deiparae: PG 98, 328 A; In
Dorm. 2: col. 357. Anastasius Antioch., Serm. 2 de Annunt., 2: PG 89, 1377 AB;
Serm. 3, 2: col. 1388 C. S. Andrcas Cret. Can. in B. V. Nat. 4: PG 97, 1321 B.
In B. V. Nat., 1: col. 812 A. Hom. in dorm. 1: col. 1068 C. - S. Sophronius, Or.
2 in Annunt., 18: PG 87 (3), 3237 BD.
(6) S. Irenaeus, Adv. Hacr. III, 22, 4: PG 7, 9S9 A; Harvey, 2, 123.
(7) S. Irenaeus, ib.; Harvey, 2, 124.
(8) S. Epiphanius, Nacr. 78, 18: PG 42, 728 CD; 729 AB.
(9) S. Hieronymus, Epist. 22, 21: PL 22, 408. Cfr. S. Augwtinus, Serm. Sl,
2, 3: PL 38, 33S; Serm. 232, 2: col. 1108. - S. Cyrillus Hieros., Catech. 12,
15: PG 33, 741 AB. - S. Io. Chrysostomus, In Ps. 44, 7: PG SS, 193. - S. Io.
Damasccnus, Nom. 2 in dorm. B.M.V., 3: PG 96, 728.
(10) Cfr. Conc. Lateranense anni 649, Can. 3: Mansi 10, 1151. S. Leo M.,
Epist. ad Flav.: PL S4, 7S9. - Conc. Chalcedonense: Mansi 7, 462. - S.
Ambrosius, De inst. virg.: PL 16, 320.
(11) Cfr. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Mystici Corporis, 29 iun. 1943: AAS 35
(1943) pp. 247-248.
(12) Cfr. Pius IX, Bulla Ineffabilis 8 dec. 1854: acta Pii IX, I, I, p. 616;
Denz. 1641 (2803).
(13) Cfr. Pius XII, Const. Apost. Munificensissimus, 1 no. 1950: AAS 42
(1950) ú Denz. 2333 (3903). Cfr. S. Io. Damascenus, Enc. in dorm. Dei
gcnitricis, Hom. 2 et 3: PG 96, 721-761, speciatim col. 728 B. - S. Germanus
Constantinop., in S. Dei gen. dorm. Serm. 1: PG 98 (6), 340-348; Serm. 3: col.
361. - S. Modestus Hier., In dorm. SS. Deiparae: PG 86 (2), 3277-3312.
(14) Cfr. Pius XII Litt. Encycl. Ad coeli Reginam, 11 Oct. 1954: AAS 46
(1954), pp. 633-636; Denz. 3913 ss. Cfr. S. Andreas Cret., Hom. 3 in dorm. SS.
Deiparae: PG 97, 1089-1109. - S. Io. Damascenus, De fide orth., IV, 14: PG 94,
(15) Cfr. Kleutgen, textus reformstus De mysterio Verbi incarnati, cap. IV:
Mansi 53, 290. cfr. S. Andreas Cret., In nat. Mariac, sermo 4: PG 97, 865 A. -
S. Germanus Constantinop., In annunt. Deiparae: PG 98, 321 BC. In dorm.
Deiparae, III: col. 361 D. S. Io. Damascenus, In dorm. B. V. Mariae, Hom. 1, 8:
PG 96, 712 BC-713 A.
(16) Cfr. Leo XIII, Litt. Encycl. Adiutricem populi, 5 sept. 1895: ASS 15
(1895-96), p. 303. - S. Pius X, Litt. Encycl. Ad diem illum, 2 febr. 1904: Acta,
I, p. 154- Denz. 1978 a (3370) . Pius XI, Litt. Encycl. Miserentissimus, 8 maii
1928: AAS 20 (1928) p. 178. Pius XII, Nuntius Radioph., 13 maii 1946: AAS 38
(1946) p. 266.
(17) S. Ambrosius, Epist. 63: PL 16, 1218.
(18) S. Ambrosius, Expos. Lc. II, 7: PL 15, 1555.
(19) Cfr. Ps.-Petrus Dam. Serm. 63: PL 144, 861 AB. Godefridus a S.
Victore. In nat. B. M., Ms. Paris, Mazarine, 1002, fol. 109 r. Gerhohus Reich.,
De gloria ct honore Filii hominis, 10: PL 194, 1105AB.
(20) S. Ambrosius, l. c. et Expos. Lc. X, 24-25: PL 15, 1810. S.Augustinus,
In lo. Tr. 13, 12: PL 35 1499. Cfr. Serm. 191, 2, 3: PL 38 1010; etc. Cfr. ctiam
Ven. Beda, In Lc. Expos. I, cap. 2: PL 92, 330. Isaac de Stella, Serm. 51. PL
194, 1863 A.
(21) Sub tuum praesidium
(22) Conc. Nicaenum II, anno 787: Mansi 13. 378-379; Denz. 302 (600-601) .
Conc. Trident., sess. 2S: Mansi 33, 171-172.
(23) Cfr. Pius XII, Nunius radioph., 24 oct. 1954: AAS 46 (1954) p. 679.
Litt. Encycl. Ad coeli Reginam, 11 oct. 1954: AAS 46 (1954) p. 637.
(24) Cfr. Pius XI, Litt. Encycl. Ecclesiam Dei, 12 nov. 1923: AAS 15 (1923)
p. 581. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Fulgens corona, 8 sept. 1953: AAS 45 (1953) pp.