PART 1-(Article 1-25)]
PART 2 (Article 26-50)
PART 3 (This Page Article 51 on)
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 multiplying 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)
of us, who are sons of God and constitute one family in Christ (cf. Heb 3:6) 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 (cf. Rv 21:24). Then the whole Church of the saints in the supreme happiness of charity will adore God and "the Lamb who was slain" (Rv 5:12), 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" (Rv 5:13-14).
THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD IN THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH
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" (Gal 4:4-5). "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 preeminent 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 Savior 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 (cf. Gen 3:15). Likewise she is the Virgin who shall conceive and bear a son, whose name will be called Emmanuel (cf. Is 7:14; cf. Mi 5:2-3; Mt 1:22-23). 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" (cf. Lk 1:28), and to the heavenly
messenger she replies: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word" (Lk 1:38). 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 Mary "the
Mother of the living,"(8) and still more often they say: "death through Eve, life through Mary."(9)
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 (cf. Lk 1:41-45). 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 (cf. Lk 2:34-35).
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 (cf. Lk 2:41-51).
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 (cf. Jn 2:1-11). 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 (cf. Mk 3:35; par. Lk 11:27-28) those who heard and kept the
Word of God, as she was faithfully doing (cf. Lk 2:19, 51). 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 (cf. Jn 19:25), 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" (cf. Jn 19:26-27).(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" (Acts 1:14), 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 (cf. Rv 19. 16) and the conqueror of sin and death.(14)
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" (1 Tm 2:5-6). 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 with Christ.
61. Predestined from eternity to be the Mother of God by that decree of divine providence
which determined the Incarnation of the Word, 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 Savior 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 difficulties, 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
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 (Rm 8:29), 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 whole and entire the faith given to her by her Spouse. 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 (cf. Eph 5:27). 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 brought forth Christ, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit and 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" (Lk 1:48).
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 (cf. Col 1:15-16) and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell (Col
1:19), is rightly known, loved and glorified, and that all his commands are observed.
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 of God
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 in the world to come, so too does she shine forth on earth, until the day of
the Lord shall come (cf. 2 Pt 3:10), 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 Savior, 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 urgent 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 Savior, 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.Return to Part 1
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1. Cf. St. Cyprian, Epist. 64, 4: PL 3, 1017, CSEL, Hartel, III B, 720; St. Hilary, In Mt. 23, 6: PL 9, 1047; St. Augustine,
passim; St. Cyril of Alexandria, Glaph in Gen. 2, 10: PG 69, 110 A.
2. Cf. St. Gregory the Great, Hom in Evang. 19, 1: PL 76, 1154 B; St. Augustine, Serm. 341, 9, 11:
PL 39, 1499f.; St. John Damascene, Adv. Iconocl. 11: PG 96, 1357.
3. Cf. St. Irenaeus, Against Heretics III 24, 1: PG 7, 966 B, Harvey 2, 131, ed. Sagnard, Sources Chr.,
4. St. Cyprian, De Orat Dom. 23: PL 4, 553, Hartel, III A, 285; St. Augustine, Serm. 71, 20, 33: PL 38, 463f.; St. John Damascene, Adv. Iconocl. 12: PG
96, 1358 D.
5. Cf. Origen, In Matth. 16, 21: PG 13, 1443 C; Tertullian Adv. Marc. 3, 7: PL 2, 357 C, CSEL 47, 3 386. For liturgical documents cf.
Sacramentarium Gregorianum: PL 78, 160 B; L. C. Mohlberg, Liber Sacramentorum Romanae Ecclesiae (Rome: 1950), 111, XC: "Deus, qui ex omni coaptacione sanctorum aeternum tibi condis
habitaculum...." The hymn Urbs Ierusalem beata in the monastic breviary and Coelestis urbs Ierusalem in the Roman breviary.
6. Cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theol., III, q. 62, a. 5,
7. Cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis (June 29, 1943): AAS 35 (1943), 208.
8. Cf. Leo XIII, Encyclical Epistle Divinum Illud (May 9, 1897): AAS
29 (1896-97), 650; Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis (June 29, 1943): AAS 35 (1943), 219-220, Denz. 2288 (3808); St. Augustine, Serm. 268, 2: PL
38, 1232, and in other works; St. John Chrysostom, In Eph., Hom. 9, 3: PG 62, 72; Didymus of Alex., Trin. 2, 1: PG 39, 449; St. Thomas, In Col. 1, 18 lect. 5, ed. Marietti, II, n. 46:
"Sicut constituitur unum corpus ex unitate animae, ita Ecclesia ex unitate Spiritus...." ("As the body is made one by the unity of the soul, so is the Church by the unity of the Spirit....")
9. Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Sapientiae Christianae (Jan. 10, 1890): AAS 22 (1889-90), 392; Leo XIII, Encyclical Epistle Satis Cognitum (Jan. 29, 1896): AAS
28 (1895-96), 710 and 724ff.; Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis (June 29, 1943): AAS 35 (1943), 199-200.
10. Cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis
(June 29, 1943): AAS 35 (1943), 221ff.; Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Humani Generis (Aug. 12, 1950): AAS 42 (1950), 571.
11. Leo XIII, Encyclical Epistle Satis Cognitum
(Jan. 29, 1896): AAS 28 (1895-96), 713.
12. Cf. Apostles' Creed, Denz. 6-9 (10-13); Nicene-Const. Creed, Denz. 86 (150), coll. Tridentine Profession of Faith,
Denz. 994, 999 (1862 and 1868).
13. It is called: Sancta (catholica apostolica) Romana Ecclesia in the Tridentine Profession of Faith, loc. cit.
and First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Session III, Constitution Dei Filius, Denz. 1782 (3001).
14. St. Augustine, City of God XVIII, 51, 2: PL 41, 614.
1. Cf. St. Cyprian, Epist. 69, 6: PL 3, 1142 B, Hartel 3 B, 754: "inseparabile unitatis sacramentum..." ("the inseparable sacrament of unity.")
2. Cf. Pius XII, Allocution Magnificate Dominum (Nov. 2, 1954): AAS 46 (1954), 669; Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei (Nov. 20, 1947): AAS 39 (1947), 555.
3. Cf. Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Miserentissimus Redemptor (May 8, 1928): AAS 20 (1928), 171; Pius XII Allocution Vous Nous Avez (Sept. 22, 1956): AAS 48 (1956), 714.
4. Cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theol., III, q. 63, a. 2.
5. Cf. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. 17, De Spiritu Sancto, II, 35-37: PG 33, 1009-1012; Nic. Cabasilas, De Vita in
Christo, bk. III, De Utilitate Chrismatis: PG 150, 569-580; St. Thomas, Summa Theol., III, q. 65, a. 3 and q. 72, a. 1 and 5.
6. Cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei
(Nov. 20, 1947): AAS 39 (1947), especially 552ff.
7. 1 Cor 7:7: "Each one has his own gift from God, one this kind and another that." Cf. St. Augustine, De Dono Persev. 14, 37: PL
45, 1015ff. "Not only continence is a gift of God; so also is the chastity of the married."
8. Cf. St. Augustine, De Praed. Sanct. 14, 27: PL 44, 980.
9. Cf. St. John Chrysostom, On John, Hom. 65, 1: PG 59, 361.
10. Cf. St. Irenaeus, Against Heretics III, 16, 6; III, 22, 1-3: PG
7, 925 C-926 A and 955 C-958 A, Harvey 2, 87ff. and 120-123; ed. Sagnard, ed. Sources Chr., 290-292 and 372ff.
11. Cf. St. Ignatius Martyr, Ad Rom., Praef.: ed. F. X. Funk, I, 252.
12. Cf. St. Augustine, Bapt. c. Donat. V, 28, 39; PL 43, 197: "Certe manifestum est, id quod dicitur, in Ecclesia intus et foris, in corde, non in corpore cogitandum."
("Surely it is obvious that what is said, inside the Church and outside, is to be understood according to the heart, and not according to the body.") Cf. ibid.,
III, 19, 26: col. 152; V, 18, 24: col. 189; In Io. Tr. 61, 2: PL 35, 1800, and often elsewhere.
13. Cf. Lk 12:48: "Of everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required." Cf. also Mt
5:19-20; 7:21-22; 25:41-46; Jas 2:14.
14. Cf. Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter Praeclara Gratulationis (June 20, 1894): AAS 26 (1893-94), 707.
15. Cf. Leo XIII, Encyclical Epistle
Satis Cognitum (Jan. 29, 1896): AAS 28 (1895-96), 738; Encyclical Epistle Caritatis Studium (July 25, 1898): AAS 31 (1898-99), 11; Pius XII, Radio Message Nell'alba (Dec. 24, 1941): AAS
34 (1942), 21.
16. Cf. Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Rerum Orientalium (Sept. 8, 1928): AAS 20 (1928), 287; Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Orientalis Ecclesiae (April 9, 1944): AAS
36 (1944), 137.
17. Cf. Instruction of the Holy Office (Dec. 20, 1949): AAS 42 (1950), 142.
18. Cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theol., III, q. 8, a. 3, ad 1.
Letter of the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston: Denz. 3869-72.
20. Cf. Eusebius of Caesarea, Praeparatio Evangelica 1, 1: PG 21, 28 AB.
21. Cf. Benedictus XV, Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud: AAS 11 (1919), 440, especially p. 451ff.; Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Rerum Ecclesiae: AAS 18 (1926), 68-69; Pius XII, Encyclical Letter
Fidei Donum (April 21, 1957): AAS 49 (1957), 236-237.
22. Cf. Didache, 14: ed. F. X. Funk, I, 32; St. Justin, Dial. 41: PG 6, 564; St. Irenaeus, Against Heretics IV 17, 5;
PG 7, 1023, Harvey, 2, 199f.; Council of Trent, Session 22, ca. 1; Denz. 939 (1742).
1. Cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Session 4, Constitution Pastor Aeternus,
Denz. 1821 (3050f.).
2. Cf. Council of Florence, Decretum pro Graecis, Denz. 694 (1307) and First Vatican Ecumenical Council, ibid.: Denz. 1826 (3059).
Liber Sacramentorum, St. Gregory, Praefatio in Cathedra St. Petri, in Natali St. Mathiae et St. Thomas: PL 78, 50, 51 and 152; cf. Cod. Vat. lat. 3548, f. 18; St. Hilary, In Ps. 67, 10: PL
9, 450; CSEL 22, 286; St. Jerome, Adv. Iovin. 1, 26: PL 23, 247 A; St. Augustine, In Ps. 86, 4: PL 37, 1103; St. Gregory the Great, Mor. in Job, XXVIII, V: PL
76, 455-456; Primasius, Comm. in Apoc., V: PL 68, 924 B, C; Paschasius Radbertus, In Matth. Bk. VIII, ch. 16: PL 120, 561 C; cf. Leo XIII, Epistle Et Sane (Dec. 17, 1888): AAS
21 (1888), 321.
4. Cf. Acts 6:2-6; 11:30; 13:1, 14:23; 20:17; 1 Thes 5:12-13; Phil 1:1 Col 4:11 and passim.
5. Cf. Acts 20:25-27; 2 Tm 4:6f. together with 1 Tm 5:22; 2 Tm 2:2; Ti 1:5; St. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor. 44, 3; ed. F. X. Funk, I, 156.
6. St. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor.
44, 2; ed. F. X. Funk, I, 154f.
7. Cf. Tertullian, Praescr. Haer. 32: PL 2, 52f.; St. Ignatius Martyr, passim.
8. Cf. Tertullian, Praescr. Haer. 32: PL 2, 53.
9. Cf. St. Irenaeus, Against Heretics III, 3, 1: PG 7, 848 A, Harvey 2, 8, ed. Sagnard, 100f., "manifestatam."
10. Cf. St. Irenaeus, Against Heretics
III, 2, 2: PG 7, 847, Harvey 2, 7, ed. Sagnard, 100, "custoditur"; cf. ibid. IV, 26, 2; col. 1053, Harvey 2, 236 and IV, 33, 8; col. 1077; Harvey 2, 262.
11. St. Ignatius Martyr, Philad. Praef.; ed. F. X. Funk, I, 264.
12. St. Ignatius Martyr, Philad. 1, 1; Magn. 6, 1; ed. F. X. Funk, I, 264 and 234.
13. St. Clement of Rome, 1. c., 42, 3-4; 44, 3-4; 57, 1-2; ed. F. X. Funk, I, 152, 156, 171f.; St. Ignatius Martyr, Philad. 2; Smyrn. 8; Magn. 3; Trall.
7; ed. F. X. Funk, I, 265f., 282; 232, 246f. etc.; St. Justin, Apol. 1, 65: PG 6, 428; St. Cyprian, Epist., passim.
14. Cf. Leo XIII, Encyclical Epistle Satis Cognitum
(Jan. 29, 1896): AAS 28 (1895-96), 732.
15. Cf. Council of Trent, Session 23, Decree De Sacr. Ordinis,
ca. 4; Denz. 960 (1768); First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Session 4, Dogmatic Constitution De Ecclesia Christi, ca. 3: Denz. 1828 (3061); Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis (June 29, 1943):
AAS 35 (1943), 209 and 212; Code of Canon Law, c. 329 § 1.
16. Cf. Leo XIII, Epistle Et Sane (Dec. 17, 1888): AAS 21 (1888), 321f.
17. St. Leo the Great, Serm.
5, 3: PL 54, 154.
18. Council of Trent, Session 23, c. 3, cites the words of 2 Tm 1: 6-7, to show that Orders is a true sacrament: Denz. 959 (1766).
19. In the Apostolic Tradition,
3, ed. Botte, Sources Chr., 27-30, "to the bishop is attributed 'primacy of priesthood.'" Cf. Sacramentarium Leonianum, ed. L. C. Mohlberg, Sacramentarium Veronens,
(Rome: 1955), 119: "To the ministry of high priesthood.... Fulfill in your priests the fullness of the mystery." Idem, Liber Sacramentorum Romanae Ecclesiae (Rome: 1960), 121-122: "Grant
them, Lord, the bishop's throne to rule your Church and all people." Cf. PL 78, 224.
20. Apostolic Tradition, 2, ed. Botte, 27.
21. Council of Trent, Session 23, c. 4,
teaches that the sacrament of Orders imprints an indelible character: Denz. 960 (1767). Cf. John XXIII, Allocution Jubilate Deo (May 8, 1960): AAS 52 (1960), 466; Paul VI, Homily
in St. Peter's Basilica (Oct. 20, 1963): AAS 55 (1963), 1014.
22. St. Cyprian, Epist. 63, 14: PL
4, 386; Hartel, III B, 713: "The priest truly acts in the place of Christ"; St. John Chrysostom, In 2 Tm, Hom. 2, 4: PG 62, 612: "The priest is a 'symbolon' of Christ." St. Ambrose,
In Ps. 38, 25-26: PL 14, 105, 1-52: CSEL 64, 203-204; Ambrosiaster, In 1 Tm 5, 19: PL 17, 479C and In Eph. 4:11-12: col. 387 C; Theodore of Mopsuestia, Hom. Catech.
XV, 21 and 24: ed. Tonneau, 497 and 503; Hesychius of Jerusalem, In Lev. L. 2, 9, 23: PG 93, 894 B.
23. Cf. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., V, 24, 10: GCS II, 1, 495; ed. Bardy, Sources Chr.
II, 69; Dionysius, as given in Eusebius, ibid. VII 5, 2: GCS 11, 2, 638f.; Bardy, II, 168f.
24. For the ancient councils, cf. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., V, 23-24: GCS
11, 1, 488ff.; Bardy, 11, 66ff. and passim. Council of Nicea, can. 5: Conc. Oec. Decr. 7.
25. Tertullian, De Ieiunio 13: PL 2, 972 B; CSEL 20, 292, lin. 13-16.
26. St. Cyprian, Epist. 56, 3: Hartel, III B, 650; Bayard, 154.
27. Cf. Zinelli, Relatio officialis, on First Vatican Ecumenical Council: Mansi 52, 1109 C.
28. Cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Schema on the Dogmatic Constitution II, De Ecclesia Christi,
c. 4: Mansi 53, 310. Cf. Kleutgen's account of the reformed schema: Mansi 53, 321 B-322 B and Zinelli's Declaratio: Mansi 52, 1110 A. Cf. also St. Leo the Great, Serm. 4, 3: PL 54, 151 A.
29. Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 227.
30. Cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution Pastor Aeternus: Denz. 1821 (3050f.).
31. Cf. St. Cyprian, Epist.
66, 8: Hartel III, 2, 733: "The bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop."
32. Cf. St. Cyprian, Epist.
55, 24: Hartel, 642, line. 13: "One Church throughout the whole world divided into many members." Epist. 36, 4: Hartel, 575, lin. 20-21.
33. Cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Fidei Donum
(April 21, 1957): AAS 49 (1957), 237.
34. Cf. St. Hilary of Poitiers, In Ps. 14, 3: PL 9, 206; CSEL 22, 86; St. Gregory the Great, Moral., IV, 7, 12: PL
75, 643 C; Pseudo Basil, In Is. 15, 296: PG 30, 637 C.
35. St. Celestine, Epist. 18, 1-2, to the Council of Ephesus: PL 50, 505 AB, Schwartz, Acta Conc. Oec. I, 1, 1, 22;
cf. Benedict XV, Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud: AAS 11 (1919), 440; Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Rerum Ecclesiae (Feb. 28, 1926): AAS 18 (1926), 69; Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Fidei Donum
(April 21, 1957): AAS 49 (1957), 237.
36. Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Grande Munus (Sept. 30, 1880): AAS 13 (1880), 145; cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1327; c. 1350 par. 2.
37. On the rights of patriarchal Sees, cf. Council of Nicea, can. 6 on Alexandria and Antioch, and can. 7 on Jerusalem: Conc. Oec. Decr., 8; Fourth Lateran Council (1215), Constit. V:
De Dignitate Patriarcharum: ibid., 212; Council of Ferrara-Florence: ibid., 504.
38. Cf. Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Churches,
c. 216-314: regarding patriarchs; c. 324-399: on major archbishops; c. 362-391: regarding other dignitaries, in particular, c. 238 13; 216; 240; 251; 255: regarding bishops to be named by patriarchs.
39. Cf. Council of Trent, Session 5, Decr. de Reform., c. 2, n. 9; and Session 24, can. 4; Conc. Oec. Decr., 645 and 739.
40. Cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Session III, Constitution
Dei Filius, Denz. 1712 (3011). Cf. the note added to Schema I De Ecclesia (taken from St. Robert Bellarmine): Mansi 51, I 579; cf. also the revised Schema of Const. II De Ecclesia Christi,
with the commentary by Kleutgen: Mansi 53, 313 AB; Pius IX, Letter Tuas Libenter: Denz. 1683 (2879).
41. Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1322-1323.
42. Cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution Pastor Aeternus: Denz. 1839 (3074).
43. Cf. the explanation by Gasser of First Vatican Ecumenical Council: Mansi 52, 1213 AC.
ibid.: Mansi 1214 A.
45. Gasser, ibid.: Mansi 1215 CD, 1216-1217 A.
46. Gasser, ibid.: Mansi 1213.
47. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution
Pastor Aeternus: Denz. 1836 (3070) no. 26.
48. Prayer of episcopal consecration in the Byzantine rite: Euchologion to mega, Rome, 1873, 139.
49. Cf. St. Ignatius Martyr,
Smyrn. 8, 1: ed. F. X. Funk, I, 282.
50. Cf. Acts 8:1; 14:22-23; 20:17, and passim.
51. Mozarabic prayer: PL 96, 759 B.
52. Cf. St. Ignatius Martyr, Smyrn.
8, 1: ed. F. X. Funk, I, 282.
53. St. Thomas, Summa Theol., III, q. 73, a. 3.
54. Cf. St. Augustine, C. Faustum 12, 20: PL 42, 265; Serm. 57, 7: PL
38, 389, etc.
55. St. Leo the Great, Serm. 63, 7: PL 54, 357 C.
56. Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus, 2-3: ed. Botte, 26-30.
57. Cf. the text of the examen
at the beginning of the consecration of a bishop, and the prayer at the end of the Mass of the same consecration, after the Te Deum.
58. Benedict XIV, Brief Romana Ecclesia
(Oct. 5, 1752), 1: Bullarium Benedicti XIV, t. IV, Rome, 1758, 21: "The bishop represents Christ, and acts by his authority"; Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis (June 29, 1943): AAS
35 (1943), 211: "Each of them, in the name of Christ, feeds and rules the particular flock assigned to him."
59. Leo XIII, Encyclical Epistle Satis Cognitum (Jan. 29, 1896): AAS
28 (1895-96), 732; Leo XIII, Letter Officio Sanctissimo (Dec. 22, 1887): AAS
20 (1887), 264; Pius IX, Apostolic Letter to the bishops of Germany (March 12, 1875) and his Consistorial Allocution (March 15, 1875): Denz. 112-3117, only in the new edition.
60. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution Pastor Aeternus, 3: Denz. 1828 (3061); cf. Zinelli, Relatio, Mansi 52, 1114 D.
61. Cf. St. Ignatius Martyr, Ad Ephes.
5, 1: ed. F. X. Funk, I, 216.
62. Cf. St. Ignatius Martyr, Ad Ephes. 6, 1: ed. F. X. Funk, I, 218.
63. Cf. Council of Trent, Session 23, De Sacr. Ordinis,
ca. 2: Denz. 958 (1765), and can. 6: Denz. 966 (1776).
64. Cf. Innocent I, Epist. ad Decentium: PL
20, 554 A, Mansi 3, 1029; Denz. 98 (215): "Presbyters, although they are priests of the second rank, do not possess the high degree of the pontificate"; St. Cyprian, Epist. 61, 3: ed. Hartel, 696.
65. Cf. Council of Trent, loc. cit., Denz. 956a-968 (1763-1778), and in particular can. 7: Denz. 967 (1777); Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Sacramentum Ordinis: Denz. 2301 (3857-61).
66. Cf. Innocent I, loc. cit.; St. Gregory of Nazianzen, Apol. II, 22: PG 35, 432 B; Pseudo Dionysius, Eccl. Hier., 1, 2: PG 3, 372 D.
67. Cf. Council of Trent, Session 22: Denz. 940 (1743); Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei (Nov. 20, 1947): AAS 39 (1947), 553; Denz. 2300 (3850).
68. Cf. Council of Trent, Session 22: Denz. 938 (1739-40). Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution on the Liturgy, nn. 7, 47.
69. Cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei
(Nov. 20, 1947): AAS 39 (1947): AAS 39 (1947), 553.
70. Cf. St. Cyprian, Epist. 11, 3: PL 4, 242 B; Hartel, II, 2, 497.
71. Order of Priestly Consecration,
at the giving of the vestments.
72. Order of Priestly Consecration, Preface.
73. Cf. St. Ignatius Martyr, Philad.
4: ed. F. X. Funk, I, 266; St. Cornelius I, as given in St. Cyprian, Epist. 48, 2: Hartel, III, 2, 610.
74. Constitutions of the Egyptian Church, III, 2: ed. F. X. Funk, Didascalia, II, 103,
Statuta Eccl. Ant. 371: Mansi 3, 954.
75. St. Polycarp, Ad Phil. 5, 2: ed. F. X. Funk, I, 300: "It is said that Christ became the deacon of all." Cf. Didache, 15, 1: ibid.,
32; St. Ignatius Martyr, Trall. 2, 3: ibid., 242; Constitutiones Apostolorum 8, 28, 4: ed. F. X. Funk, Didascalia, I, 530.
1. St. Augustine, Serm.
340, 1: PL 38, 1483.
2. Cf. Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Quadragesimo Anno (May 15, 1931): AAS 23 (1931), 121f.; Pius XII, Allocution De Quelle Consolation (Oct. 14, 1951): AAS
43 (1951), 790f.
3. Cf. Pius XII, Allocution Six Ans Sont Écoulés (Oct. 5, 1957): AAS 49 (1957), 927; concerning the "mandate" and canonical mission, cf.
Decretum De Apostolatu Laicorum, ca. IV, n. 16, with notes 12 and 15.
4. From the Preface of the feast of Christ the King.
5. Cf. Leo XIII, Encyclical Epistle Immortale Dei
(Nov. 1, 1885): AAS 18 (1885), 166ff.; Leo XIII Encyclical Letter Sapientiae Christianae (Jan. 10, 1890): AAS 22 (1889-90), 397ff.; Pius XII, Allocution Alla Vostra Filiale (March 23, 1958):
AAS 50 (1958), 220: "la legittima sana laicita dello Stato" (the legitimate and healthy laicity of the State).
6. Code of Canon Law, can. 682.
7. Cf. Pius XII, Allocution De Quelle Consolation (Oct. 14, 1951): AAS
43 (1951), 789: "Dans les batailles décisives, c'est parfois du front que partent les plus heureuses initiatives...." ("In decisive battles, it is sometimes at the front that the happiest initiatives originate"); Allocution
L'importance de la Presse Catholique (Feb. 17, 1950): AAS 42 (1950), 256.
8. Cf. 1 Thes 5:19 and 1 Jn 4:1.
9. Epist. ad Diognetum, 6: ed. F. X. Funk, I, 400; cf. St. John Chrysostom,
In Matth. Hom. 46 (47) 2: PG 58, 78, on the leaven in the dough.
1. The Roman Missal, Gloria in excelsis. Cf. Lk 1:35, 4:34; Mk 1:24; Jn 6:69 (ho hagios tou theou);
Acts 3:14; 4:27, 30; Heb 7:26; 1 Jn 2:20; Rv 3:7.
2. Cf. Origen, Comm. Rm 7, 7: PG 14, 1122 B; Pseudo-Macarius, De Oratione, 11: PG 34, 861 AB; St. Thomas, Summa Theol.,
II-II, q. 184, a. 3.
3. Cf. St. Augustine, Retract. II, 18: PL 32, 637f.; Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis (June 29, 1943): AAS 35 (1943), 225.
4. Cf. Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Rerum Omnium (Jan. 26, 1923): AAS 15 (1923), 50 and 59-60; Encyclical Letter Casti Connubii (Dec. 31, 1930): AAS
22 (1930), 548; Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Provida Mater (Feb. 2, 1947): AAS 39 (1947), 117; Allocution Annus Sacer (Dec. 8, 1950): AAS 43 (1951), 27-28; Allocution Nel Darvi
(July 1, 1956): AAS 48 (1956), 574f.
5. Cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theol., II-II, q. 184, a. 5 and 6; De Perf. Vitae Spir., c. 18; Origen, In Is. Hom. 6, 1: PG 13, 239.
6. Cf. St. Ignatius Martyr, Magn. 13, 1: ed. F. X. Funk, I, 241.
7. Cf. St. Pius X, Exhortation Haerent Animo (Aug. 4, 1908): AAS 41 (1908), 560f.; Code of Canon Law,
can. 124; Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Ad Catholici Sacerdotii (Dec. 20, 1935): AAS 28 (1936), 22f.
8. Order of priestly consecration, introductory exhortation.
9. Cf. St. Ignatius Martyr, Trall. 2, 3: ed. F. X. Funk, I, 244.
10. Cf. Pius XII, Allocution Sous la Maternelle Protection (Dec. 9, 1957): AAS 50 (1958), 36.
11. Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Casti Connubii (Dec. 31, 1930): AAS 22 (1930), 548f.; cf. St. John Chrysostom, In Ephes. Hom. 20, 2: PG 62, 136ff.
12. Cf. St. Augustine,
Enchir. 121, 32: PL 40, 288; St. Thomas, Summa Theol., II-II, q. 184, a. 1; Pius XII, Apostolic Exhortation Menti Nostrae (Sept. 23, 1950): AAS 42 (1950), 660.
13. On the counsels in general, cf. Origen, Comm. Rm X, 14: PG 14 1275 B; St. Augustine, De S. Virginitate 15, 15: PL 40, 403; St. Thomas, Summa Theol.,
I-II, q. 100, a. 2 C (end); II-II, q. 44, a. 4 ad 3.
14. On the excellence of holy virginity, cf. Tertullian, Exhort. Cast. 10: PL 2, 925 C; St. Cyprian, Hab. Virg. 3 and 22:
PL 4, 443 B and 461 A f.; St. Athanasius (?), De Virg.: PG 28, 252ff.; St. John Chrysostom, De Virg.: PG 48, 533ff.
15. On spiritual poverty,
cf. Mt 5:3; 19:21; Mk 10:21; Lk 18:22; on obedience, Christ's example is given in Jn 4:34; 6:38; Phil 2:8-10; Heb 10:5-7. There are many texts on this from the Fathers and founders of orders.
16. On the effective practice of the counsels which is not imposed on all, cf. St. John Chrysostom, In Matth. Hom. 7, 7: PG 57, 81f.; St. Ambrose, De Viduis 4, 23: PL 16, 241f.
1. Cf. Rosweydus, Vitae Patrum, Antwerp 1628; Apophtegmata Patrum: PG 65; Palladius, Historia Lausiaca: PG
34, 995ff.; ed. C. Butler, Cambridge 1898 (1904); Pius XI, Apostolic Constitution Umbratilem (July 8, 1924): AAS 16 (1924), 386-387; Pius XII, Allocution Nous Sommes Heureux (April 11, 1958): AAS
50 (1958), 283.
2. Paul VI, Allocution Magno Gaudio (May 23, 1964): AAS 56 (1964), 566.
3. Cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 487 and 488, par 4; Pius XII, Allocution
Annus Sacer (Dec. 8, 1950): AAS 43 (1951), 27f.; Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Provida Mater (Feb. 2, 1947): AAS 39 (1947), 120ff.
4. Paul VI, Allocution Magno Gaudio
(May 23, 1964): AAS 56 (1964), 567.
5. Cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theol., II-II, q. 184, a. 3 and q. 188, a. 2; St. Bonaventure, Opusc. X, Apologia Pauperum,
c. 3, 3: ed. Opera, Quaracchi, vol. 8, 1898, 245 a.
6. Cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Schema De Ecclesia Christi, ca. XV, and annotation 48: Mansi 51, 549f. and 619f.; Leo XIII, Letter
Au Milieu des Consolations (Dec. 23, 1900): AAS 33 (1900-01), 361; Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Provida Mater (Feb. 2, 1947): AAS 39 (1947), 114f.
7. Cf. Leo XIII, Constitution
Romanos Pontifices (May 8, 1881): AAS 13 (1880-81), 483; Pius XII, Allocution Annus Sacer (Dec. 8, 1950): AAS 43 (1951), 28f.
8. Cf. Pius XII, Allocution Annus Sacer
(Dec. 8, 1950): AAS 43 (1951), 28; Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Sedes Sapientiae (May 31, 1956): AAS 48 (1956), 355; Paul VI, Allocution Magno Gaudio (May 23, 1964): AAS
56 (1964), 570-571.
9. Cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis (June 19, 1943): AAS 35 (1943), 214f.
10. Cf. Pius XII, Allocution Annus Sacer (Dec. 8, 1950):
AAS 43 (1951), 30; Allocution Sous la Maternelle Protection (Dec. 9, 1957): AAS 50 (1958), 39f.
1. Council of Florence, Decretum pro Graecis, Denz. 693, (1305).
2. Besides older documents against any kind of invocation of spirits, from the time of Alexander IV (Sept. 27, 1258), cf. the encyclical of the Holy Office, De Magnetismi Abusu (Aug. 4, 1856): AAS
(1865), 177-178, Denz. 1653-1654 (2823-2825); reply of the Holy Office (April 24, 1917): AAS 9 (1917), 268, Denz. 218 (3642).
3. For a synthesis of this Pauline doctrine, cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis (June 19, 1943): AAS 35 (1943), 200 and passim.
4. Cf., among others, St. Augustine,
Enarr. in Ps. 85, 24: PL 37, 1095; St. Jerome, Liber Contra Vigilantium 6: PL 23, 344; St. Thomas, In 4 Sent., d. 45, q. 3, a. 2; St. Bonaventure, In 4 Sent.,
d. 45, a. 3, q. 2; etc.
5. Cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis (June 19, 1943): AAS 35 (1943), 245.
6. Cf. many inscriptions in the Roman catacombs.
7. Cf. Gelasius I, the Decretal De Libris Recipiendis 3: PL 59, 160, Denz. 165 (353).
8. Cf. St. Methodius, Symposium, VII, 3: GCS (Bonwetsch), 74.
9. Cf. Benedict XV, Decretum Approbationis Virtutum in Causa Beatificationis et Canonizationis Servi Dei Ioannis Nepomuceni Neumann: AAS 14 (1922-23); many allocutions of Pius XI on the saints: Inviti
all'eroismo. Discorsi... vol. I-III, Rome 1941-1942, passim; Pius XII, Discorsi e Radiomessaggi, vol. 10, 1949, 37-43.
10. Cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei
(Nov. 20, 1947): AAS 39 (1947): AAS 39 (1947), 581.
11. Cf. Heb 13:7; Eccl 44-50; Heb 2:3-40. Cf. also Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei (Nov. 20, 1947): AAS 39 (1947):
AAS 39 (1947), 582-583.
12. Cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution De Fide Catholica, ca. 3, Denz. 1794 (3013).
13. Cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis
(June 19, 1943): AAS 35 (1943), 216.
14. In regard to gratitude to the saints, cf. E. Diehl, Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres, 1, Berlin, 1925, nn. 2008, 2382 and passim.
15. Council of Trent, Session 25, De invocatione...Sanctorum: Denz. 984 (1821).
16. Roman Breviary, Invitatory for the feast of All Saints.
17. Cf. e.g., 2 Thes 1:10.
18. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, ch. 5, n. 104.
19. Canon of the Roman Mass.
20. Second Council of Nicea, Act. VII: Denz. 302 (600).
21. Council of Florence, Decretum pro Graecis, Denz. 693 (1304).
22. Council of Trent, Session 35, De Invocatione, Veneratione et Reliquiis Sanctorum et Sacris Imaginibus,
Denz. 984-988 (1821-1824); Session 25, Decretum de Purgatorio, Denz. 983 (1820); Session 6, Decretum de Iustificatione, can. 30: Denz. 840 (1580).
23. From the preface granted to some dioceses.
24. Cf. St. Peter Canisius, Catechismus Maior seu Summa Doctrinae Christianae, ch. III, ed. crit. F. Streicher, par. I, p. 15-16, n. 44 and pp. 100-101, n. 49.
25. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, ch. 1, n. 8.
1. Creed of the Roman Mass: Symbol of Constantinople: Mansi 3, 566; cf. Council of Ephesus, ibid. 4, 1130 (and ibid. 2, 665 and 4, 1071); Council of Chalcedon, ibid.
7, 111-116; Second Council of Constantinople, ibid. 9, 375-396.
2. Canon of the Roman Mass.
3. St. Augustine, De S. Virginitate 6: PL 40, 399.
4. Cf. Paul VI,
Allocution to the Council (Dec. 4, 1963): AAS 56 (1964), 37.
5. Cf. St. Germanus of Constantinople, Hom. in Annunt. Deiparae: PG 98, 328 A; In Dorm.
2: col. 357; Anastasius of Antioch, Serm. 2 de Annunt., 2: PG 89, 1377 AB; Serm. 3, 2: col. 1388 C; St. Andrew of Crete, 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; St. Sophronius, Or. 2 in Annunt., 18: PG 87 (3), 3237 BD.
6. St. Irenaeus, Against Heretics, III, 22, 4: PG
7, 959 A; Harvey, 2, 123.
7. St. Irenaeus, Against Heretics, III, 22, 4: PG 7, 959 A; Harvey, 2, 124.
8. St. Epiphanius, Haer. 78, 18: PG 42, 728 CD; 729 AB.
9. St. Jerome, Epist. 22, 21: PL 22, 408; cf. St. Augustine, Serm. 51, 2, 3: PL 38, 335; Serm. 232, 2: col. 1108; St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. 12, 15: PG
33, 741 AB; St. John Chrysostom, In Ps. 44, 7: PG 55, 193; St. John Damascene, Hom. 2 in Dorm. B.M.V., 3: PG 96, 728.
10. Cf. Council of Lateran, (649 AD), can. 3: Mansi 10, 1151; St. Leo the Great, Epist. ad Flav.: PL 54, 759; Council of Chalcedon: Mansi 7, 462; St. Ambrose, De Inst. Virg.: PL 16, 320.
11. Cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis (June 29, 1943): AAS 35 (1943), 247-248.
12. Cf. Pius IX, Bull Ineffabilis
(Dec. 8, 1854): Acts of Pius IX, I, I, 616; Denz. 1641 (2803).
13. Cf. Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus (Nov. 1, 1950): AAS
42 (1950): Denz. 2333 (3903); cf. St. John Damascene, Enc. in Dorm. Dei Genitricis, Hom. 2 and 3: PG 96, 721-761, especially col. 728 B; St. Germanus of Constantinople, In St. Dei Gen. Dorm., Serm.
1: PG 98 (6), 340-348; Serm. 3: col. 361; St. Modestus of Jerusalem, In Dorm. SS. Deiparae: PG 86 (2), 3277-3312.
14. Cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Ad Coeli Reginam
(Oct. 11, 1954): AAS 46 (1954), 633-636; Denz. 3913ff.; cf. St. Andrew of Crete, Hom. 3 in Dorm. SS. Deiparae: PG 97, 1089-1109; St. John Damascene, De Fide Orth., IV, 14: PG 94, 1153-1161.
15. Cf. Kleutgen, corrected text De Mysterio Verbi Incarnati, ch. IV: Mansi 53, 290; cf. St. Andrew of Crete, In Nat. Mariae, Serm. 4: PG
97, 865 A; St. Germanus of Constantinople, In Annunt. Deiparae: PG 98, 321 BC; In Dorm. Deiparae, III: col. 361 D; St. John Damascene, In Dorm. B. V. Mariae, Hom. 1, 8: PG
96, 712 BC-713 A.
16. Cf. Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Adiutricem Populi (Sept. 5, 1895): AAS 15 (1895-96), 303; St. Pius X, Encyclical Letter Ad Diem Illum (Feb. 2, 1904): Acta,
I, 154 Denz. 1978a (3370); Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Miserentissimus (May 8, 1928): AAS 20 (1928), 178; Pius XII, Radio Message (May 13, 1946): AAS 38 (1946), 266.
17. St. Ambrose, Epist. 63: PL 16, 1218.
18. St. Ambrose, Expos. Lc. II, 7: PL 15, 1555.
19. Cf. Pseudo-Peter Damian, Serm. 63: PL
144, 861 AB; Godfrey of St. Victor, In Nat. B. M., Ms. Paris, Mazarine, 1002, fol. 109; Gerhoch of Reichersberg, De Gloria et Honore Filii Hominis, 10: PL 194, 1105 AB.
20. St. Ambrose, loc. cit. and Expos. Lc. X, 24-25: PL 15, 1810; St. Augustine, In Io. Tr. 13, 12: PL 35, 1499; cf. Serm. 191, 2, 3: PL
38, 1010, etc.; cf. also Ven. Bede, In Lc. Expos. I, ca 2: PL 92, 330; Isaac of Stella, Serm. 51: PL 194, 1863 A.
21. Sub tuum praesidium.
22. Second Council of Nicea
(787): Mansi 13, 378-379; Denz. 302 (600-601); Council of Trent, Session 25: Mansi 33, 171-172.
23. Cf. Pius XII, Radio Message (Oct. 24, 1954): AAS 46 (1954), 679; Encyclical Letter
Ad Coeli Reginam (Oct. 11, 1954): AAS 46 (1954), 637.
24. Cf. Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam Dei (Nov. 12, 1923): AAS 15 (1923) 581; Pius XII, Encyclical Letter
Fulgens Corona (Sept. 8, 1953): AAS 45 (1953), 590-591.
From the Acts of the Council
Given by the Secretary General of 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."
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.
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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
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 number 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 11).
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
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.
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 number 22, paragraph 2, 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
Secretary General of the
Second Vatican Ecumenical Council
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