Theolgy 603: The Holy Spirit and the Church

Author: Fr. William Most


By Wm.G.Most. (c)Copyright, 1994, by Wm.G.Most

Introduction: Doctrinal Authority of Vatican II

Since we are going to study the Constitution on the Church (LG) of Vatican II,we should first speak of the doctrinal weight of this document.

It is often claimed that Vatican II meant only to be pastoral - and so we could ignore its teachings as we wish. Is this true? To get a start, we need to see that there are four levels of teaching in the Church.

1. Four levels of teaching:

a)Solemn definition.LG 25: No special formula of words is required in order to define. Wording should be something solemn, and should make clear that the teaching is definitive. Councils in the past often used the form:'Si quis dixerit...anathema sit." That is:" "If someone shall say....let him be anathema." But sometimes they used the formula for disciplinary matters, so that form alone does not prove. Further, they also could define in the capitula, the chapters. Thus Pius XII, in Divino afflante Spiritu (EB 538) spoke of such a passage of Vatican I (DS 3006 -- saying God is the author of Scripture) as a solemn definition.

The Pope can define even without the Bishops. Of his definitions LG 25 said: "His definitions of themselves, and not from consent of the Church, are rightly called unchangeable, for they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, an assistance promised him in blessed Peter. So they need no approval from others, nor is there room for an appeal to any other judgment." So collegiality even in defining is not mandatory. Yet most definitions of the Popes have been taken in collegiality, that is, with consultation of the Bishops. Even the definitions of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption were such, for the Popes did poll the Bishops by mail.

b)Second level: LG 25:"Although the individual bishops do not have the prerogative of infallibility, they can yet teach Christ's doctrine infallibly. This is true even when they are scattered around the world, provided that, while maintaining the bond of unity among themselves, and with the successor of Peter, they concur in one teaching as the one which must be definitively held." This means: (1) The day to day teaching of the Church throughout the world, when it gives things as definitively part of the faith, (2)If this can be done when scattered,all the more can it be done when assembled in Council. Thus Trent (DS 1520) after "strictly prohibiting anyone from hereafter believing or preaching or teaching differently than what is established and explained in the present decree, " went on to give infallible teaching even in the capitula, outside the canons.

To know whether the Church intends to teach infallibly on this second level, we notice both the language -- no set form required - and the intention, which may be seen at times from the nature of the case, at times from the repetition of the doctrine on this second level.

c)Third Level: Pius XII,in Humani generis: "Nor must it be thought that the things contained in Encyclical Letters do not of themselves require assent on the plea that in them the Pontiffs do not exercise the supreme power of their Magisterium. For these things are taught with the ordinary Magisterium, about which it is also true to say, 'He who hears you, hears me.' [Lk 10.16]... If the Supreme Pontiffs, in their acta expressly pass judgment on a matter debated until then, it is obvious to all that the matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot be considered any longer a question open for discussion among theologians."

We notice: (1) These things are protected by the promise of Christ in Lk 10.16, and so are infallible, for His promise cannot fail. Though that promise was first given to the 72, it is certain that the Apostles were in the group,and as the trajectory advanced, it became clear that the full teaching authority was only for them - the mission given to the 72 was preliminary,and the full meaning was made clear later when the Apostles were given the authority to bind and to loose. This was part of the broader picture: Jesus wanted only a gradual self-revelation. Had He started by saying: "Before Abraham was,I am", He would have been stoned on the spot. (2)Not everything in Encyclicals, and similar documents, is on this level - this is true only when the Popes expressly pass judgment on a previously debated matter, (3) since the Church scattered throughout the world can make a teaching infallible without defining - as we saw on level 2 - then of course the Pope alone, who can speak for and reflect the faith of the whole Church, can do the same even in an Encyclical, under the conditions enumerated by Pius XII. Really, on any level, all that is required to make a thing infallible is that it be given definitively. When a Pope takes a stand on something debated in theology and publishes it in his Acta,that suffices. The fact that as Pius XII said it is removed from debate alone shows it is meant as definitive.

In this connection, we note that LG 12 says: "The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One, cannot err in matters of belief." This means: If the whole Church, both people and authorities, have ever believed (accepted as revealed) an item, then that cannot be in error, is infallible. Of course this applies to the more basic items, not to very technical matters of theological debate. But we note this too: If this condition has once been fulfilled in the past, then if people in a later age come to doubt or deny it -- that does not make noninfallible what was once established as infallible. Many things come under this ,e.g., the existence of angels.

This does not mean, however,that the Pope is to be only the echo of the faithful.

d)Level 4: LG 25:"Religious submission of mind and of will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff even when he is not defining, in such a way, namely, that the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to according to his manifested mind and will, which is clear either from the nature of the documents, or from the repeated presentation of the same doctrine, or from the manner of speaking."

We note all the qualifications in the underlined part The key is the intention of the Pope. He may be repeating existing definitive teaching from Ordinary Magisterium level - then it is infallible, as on level 2. He may be giving a decision on a previously debated point - as on level 3, then it falls under the promise of Christ in Lk 10.16, and so is also infallible. Or it may be a still lesser intention - then we have a case like that envisioned in Canon 752 of the New Code of Canon Law: "Not indeed an assent of faith, but yet a religious submission of mind and will must be given to the teaching which either the Supreme Pontiff, or the College of Bishops [of course, with the Pope] pronounce on faith or on morals when they exercise the authentic Magisterium even if they do not intend to proclaim it by a definitive act." If they do not mean to make it definitive, then it does not come under the virtue of faith, or the promise of Christ,"He who hears you hears me". Rather,it is a matter of what the Canon and LG 25 call "religious submission of mind and of will." What does this require? Definitely, it forbids public contradiction of the teaching. But it also requires something in the mind, as the wording indicates. This cannot be the absolute assent which faith calls for - for since this teaching is, by definition, not definitive, we gather that it is not absolutely finally certain.

How can anyone give any mental assent when there is not absolute certitude? In normal human affairs, we do it all the time. Suppose we are at table,and someone asks if a dish of food came from a can, and if so, was it sent to a lab to check for Botulism. It is true, routine opening of a can would not detect that deadly poison. Yet it is too much to check every can, and the chances are very remote, so much so that normal people do not bother about it - yet their belief takes into account a real but tiny possibility of a mistake. Similarly with a doctrine on this fourth level. And further,the chances of error on this level are much smaller than they are with a can of food. Similarly,in a criminal trial, the judge will tell the jury they must find the evidence proves guilt beyond reasonable doubt. He does not demand that every tiny doubt be ruled out, even though it may mean life in prison or death.

If one should make a mistake by following the fourth level of Church teaching, when he comes before the Divine Judge, the Judge will not blame him, rather He will praise him. But if a person errs by breaking with the Church on the plea that he knew better - that will not be easily accepted.

2.On what Level does Vatican II Teaching Come?

a)We notice the distinctions of the kinds of documents - constitutions, decrees, declarations. Even the least of these would qualify for level four.

b)Early statements on its authority tend to minimize the level. (1)John XXIII in his opening address to the Council said: "Often errors vanish as quickly as they arise, like fog before the sun. The Church has always opposed these errors. Often she has condemned them with very great severity. But today, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. She considers that she meets the needs of today by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations."(AAS 54.792)

Hence the Council never used the classic formula: "If anyone says... let him be anathema." However, as noted above, there can be infallible teaching even without this formula - no special wording is required, only that there be an intention to define, made clear in any way. If it is not made clear, it is not to be considered as a definition.

(2)Yet John XXIII did not mean to contradict any previous teaching. In the same speech he said: "The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously." And he added: "But from the renewed, serene and tranquil adherence to all the teachings of the Church in its entirety, transmitted with the precision and concepts which are especially the glory of the Councils of Trent and Vatican I, the Christian, Catholic and Apostolic spirit of all hopes for a further step in the doctrinal penetration, in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine." [emphasis added] -- We notice two things: (1) He wants perfect fidelity to past teaching, (2)He wants further doctrinal penetration.

(3) He added:"The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another." Hence the Decree on Ecumenism 6 says:"If...there have been deficiencies in the way that Church teaching has been formulated -- to be carefully distinguished from the deposit of faith itself - these can and should be set right at the opportune moment."

So the language of presentation may need improvement - but the substance is not to be changed. Hence Paul VI, in Mysterium fidei, Sept 3,1965, 23-24: "The norm...of speaking which the Church...under the protection of the Holy Spirit has established and confirmed by the authority of the to be religiously preserved, and let no one at his own good pleasure or under the pretext of new science presume to change it.... For by these formulae...concepts are expressed which are not tied to one specific form of human civilization, nor definite period of scientific progress, nor one school of theological thought, but they present what the human mind...grasps of realities and expresses in suitable and accurate terminology.... For this reason these formulae are adapted to men of all times and all places" (AAS 57.758).

Of course, the fact that the ancient language expressed truth correctly, even if not always in the best possible way, does not excuse us from studying what the terms meant at the time they were written - for languages do change over time. We must not impose a modern meaning on an ancient expression.

We should notice too: At times we can see that some things were in the minds of the writers, which they did not set down on paper, e.g,the Aristotelian-Thomistic notions of substance and accidents. But Divine Providence protects only what is set down on paper - not also what is merely in the minds of the writers. God has made two commitments - to protect the teaching, and to allow human freedom. At times He must as it were walk a tight line, protecting what is really written, but not what is merely in the minds of the drafters of the text. (Cf.also the case of Gregory XVI, Pius IX, and Leo XIII in their statements on Church-state, as compared with Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Liberty.)

(4)Paul VI,in an address to the opening of the second session on Sept 29,1963 said (AAS 55.848-49):"It seems to us that the time has come to explore, penetrate and explain more and more the doctrine about the Church of Christ; but not with those solemn statements which are called dogmatic definitions, but rather in the form of declarations in which the Church in more explicit and considered teaching presents that which she holds."

(5)The Secretary of the Council on Nov.29,1963, when the Council was to vote on the Constitution on Liturgy and the Decree on the Media for Communication, said (Osservatore Romano Nov.30,1963.p.3): "The schemas which are to be voted and promulgated the next Dec.4 are of a solely disciplinary nature." We note one of these was a Constitution - which really contains little of dogmatic nature - it is mostly legislative.

(6)Doctrinal Commission on Lumen Gentium: Nov 16.1964.The Commission was asked about the doctrinal note of LG. It referred the questioner back to its own declaration of March 6,1964: "Considering the Conciliar custom and the pastoral goal of this Council, this Holy Synod defines that only those things about matters of faith and morals are to be held by the Church which it will have declared clearly as such. As to other things which the Holy Synod proposes as the doctrine of the Supreme Magisterium of the Church, all and individual faithful persons must accept and embrace them according to the mind of the Holy Synod itself, which becomes known either from the subject matter or from the manner of speaking,according to the norms of theological interpretation."

(7)Paul VI,opening speech to Third Session (AAS 56,808- 09), referring to coming work on the Constitution on the Church: "In this way the doctrine which the Ecumenical Council Vatican I had intended will be completed.... It is proper for this solemn Synod to settle certain laborious theological controversies about the shepherds of the Church, with the prerogatives which lawfully flow from the episcopate, and to pronounce a statement on them that is certain. We must declare what is the true notion of the hierarchical orders and to decide with authority and with a certainty which it will not be legitimate to call into doubt [emphasis added]." From the underlined words, it seems there was an intention to be definitive, and so, infallible, even without the solemn form of a definition.

c)Later statements:

(1)Paul VI:General audience of Jan 12,1966:"In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statements of dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility, but it still provided us teaching with the authority of the ordinary Magisterium, which must be accepted with docility...."

(2)Paul VI,Allocution to Consistory of Cardinals,May 24,1976 (Osservatore Romano,English,June 3,l976), complained: "It is even affirmed that the Second Vatican Council is not binding."

c)Conclusion on teaching level of Vatican II. Paul VI said it falls on Ordinary Magisterium level, as in the quote above from audience of Jan 12,1966. This means we have nothing on level l, solemn definitions. But we can find things on levels 2, 3, or 4. An item that is quite new, never taught before, such as some things in the Declaration on Religious Liberty, probably are on level 4. But the Constitutions on the Church and on Divine Revelation seem to have the intention to settle debated points -- cf.the text of Paul VI (b.6 above) in his speech to the opening of Third Session, saying the Constitution on the Church intended to complete the work of Vatican I on that topic,and to settle certain debated points. He mentioned some of them - as to others, each one would need individual study.

Chapter I:The Church as Mystery

Preliminary notes: 1)We will use the same marginal numbers as those in the Constitution itself. 2) The treatment is Scriptural,and so it is not systematic. So we will find repetitions of the same idea often enough, especially in the first sections.

3)The word "Mystery". In Greek it was related to mystes, one initiated into the mystery religions, who knew secret things, must keep them secret. From Plato on, the word was used for an obscure secret doctrine. In magic it meant a magic rite or formula; in Gnosticism it meant a secret revelation.

But Hebrew had no word for all the meanings of the Greek. The Hebrew word most similar is sod, "secret". Aramaic and late Hebrew used raz (e.g, in Daniel 2:18ff. There raz seems to be a Persian loanword). So in the OT it is merely something secret. In the Synoptics, the Apostles are given to know the mysteries hidden from others in parables: Mk 4:11 and parallels. For St.Paul, a mystery is a divine secret which becomes known through revelation. The chief subject is God's plan as seen in the death and resurrection of Christ. God makes known through Paul that this plan includes for the gentiles, membership in the People of God. This was a mystery hidden from the ages, that the gentiles are called to be part of the People of God (Eph 3:5-6). Marriage is also a mystery in that it symbolizes the union of Christ and the Church (Eph 5:32). There is also a mystery of iniquity, the plan of satan, already at work: 2 Thes 2:7.

1.The Council desires to bring the light of Christ to all nations.The words "Light of the nations" are the opening words of this document. They come from Is 60.1-3: "Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has arisen upon you...and the gentiles shall come to your light." Also, Simeon said of Jesus that He was " a light for revelation to the gentiles." Cf.John 1.9.

LG here says that it will present the nature and universal mission of the Church "in the tradition laid down by earlier Councils." -- note here that there will be many cases of level 2,of repetition of earlier teaching,which is infallible. It says that the Church "is as it were a sacrament - a sign and instrument, that is, of close union with God and of unity among all men." The word sacrament is here used very broadly. In first centuries it was so used, and covered anything religious and mysterious. Theologians gradually reached an agreement, by 12th century,to use the word only for external signs established by Christ to give grace.

2.We note in advance, that sections 2,3,4 each are centered, one after the other, on the Three Divine Persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

God created the world by a most free and hidden plan of His wisdom and goodness. This reflects the teaching of Vatican I that God created for His own glory. We must be careful not to misunderstand this: Bishop Gasser, president of the Committee on Faith at Vatican I, explained: "...the purpose of the created thing,and not [the purpose] of the Creator,is meant when it is said in the canon, 'that the world was created to the glory of God....[de fine creati et non creantis sermo est]'" So God did not create in order to gain glory - He cannot gain anything. Rather, He willed that His glory should come through giving good to His creatures. Hence the Report of the committee on Faith said: "The second paragraph of this chapter is written...also against those who calumniate the Catholic Church on account of her teaching in which she says that the world was created to the glory of God, as if, namely, [the Church] represented God as eager for His own if, namely the Church denied that the finis operantis [the purpose of the One acting,i.e,of God] was His own goodness, namely, that He might impart His goodness to creatures." (Both citations taken from NAOQ 27 = Wm.Most,New Answers to Old Questions).

After the fall of our first parents, the Father laid His plans at once for our salvation and so, "always provided them with the means of salvation, in view of [intuitu] Christ the Redeemer." So just as He gave to Bl.Mother the Immaculate Conception, in anticipation of the merits of Christ, so too He provided graces for salvation to all, in anticipation of Christ.(More on this later).

He predestined some to become "conformed to the image of His Son, so He would be the first born among many brothers." LG here cites Rom 8.30. In context, Paul speaks of predestination to full membership in the Church,not of predestination to heaven, except partially and indirectly - inasmuch as the Church is willed by God as the great means of salvation. (We speak of full membership, because there can be a lesser,but substantial membership,as we shall see in commenting on 16) 1 Tim 2.4: "God wills all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth." The second clause indicates He wills that final salvation come through the Church. Hence the teaching "No salvation outside the Church." However,the Fathers of the first centuries have a very broad concept of membership in the Church - we will explore it later in section l6 of LG. Cf.also the appendix of W.Most, Our Father's Plan (hereinafter = OFP). In line with this LG will say in 5 - as we will see - that the Church was already present in figure even before Christ, was prepared for in the ancient People of the Old Covenant, was established in this last age, and will be gloriously consummated at the end. And in #2 it cited Pope Gregory the Great, saying that at the end, all the just from Adam and Abel on will be gathered together in the universal Church with the Father. The thought is like that of St.Augustine, in his Retractations 1.13.3: "The very thing which is now called the Christian religion existed among the ancients, nor was it lacking from the beginning of the human race, until Christ Himself came in the flesh, when the true religion, which already existed, began to be called Christian."

On what basis does God predestine people to be full members of His People of God or Church? In Romans 9, St.Paul makes clear it is not given on the basis of merits. We seem to gather from several other texts that it is given to those who are more in need: 1 Cor 1: 26-31; Ezek 3:5-7; 5:6; Lk 10:30-37; Lk 17:11-19; Mt 11:21. And the whole book of Jonah seems to show the Chosen People were more resistant to God's grace than were the Assyrians. Hence the Mekilta de Rabbi Ishmael (4th century AD Midrash on Exodus) puts words in the mouth of Jonah: "Since the gentiles more readily repent, I might be causing the condemnation of Israel [by going to Nineveh]." On predestination to heaven, which is on a radically different basis, cf. OFP chapter 12.

3.Here LG speaks of the Church as "the kingdom of Christ already present in mystery.This is the closest the Council comes to identifying the kingdom and the Church. (More on this in comments on LG 5).

The restriction seem to indicate that the fullness of the kingdom of Christ will come only in the world to come. We will explore later the question of the meaning of the term "kingdom of God". There the text says Christ established a visible structure of the Church on earth, and adds that He handed over this one Church to Peter to be fed, and says:"this Church,in this world, as a constituted and ordered society, subsists in the Catholic Church." To anticipate, we will show that the phrase has a broad spectrum of meaning, but that it very often, as even leftish scholars admit, means the Church in this world and /or in the next. The "subsists in" indicates that the Church is a "mystery," something hidden, i.e.,there is more to it than meets the eye.

Here LG says that "by His obedience He brought about redemption." This is in line with Romans 5:19: "Just as by the disobedience of the one man, the many were made sinners, so by the obedience of the one man, the many will be made just." For His death received its value from the fact that it was done in obedience - without that, it would have been a tragedy, not a redemption. Paul VI (Osservatore Romano, Oct 14, 1966, p.12) expressed it beautifully: "[obedience] is first of all a penetration and acceptance of the mystery of Christ, who saved us by means of obedience. It is a continuation and imitation of this fundamental act of His, His acceptance of the will of the Father. It is an understanding of the principle which dominates the entire plan of Incarnation and Redemption. Thus obedience becomes assimilation into Christ, who is the Divine Obedient One."

There is discussion today on how the redemption produces its effect. Many despair of finding the answer. They start with 1 Cor 6:20 where Paul speaks of the "price" of redemption (cf.ibid 7:23). The metaphor pictures our race in captivity of satan. They point out we would not want to say the price, the blood of Christ, was paid to satan who was the captor. Nor was it paid to the Father, who was not the captor. But there is an answer. Paul VI,in his Constitution Indulgentiarum doctrina, of Jan 9,1967 wrote: "Every sin brings with it a disturbance of the universal order, which God arranged in His inexpressible wisdom and infinite love.... So it is necessary for the full remission and reparation of sins...not only that friendship with God be restored by a sincere conversion of heart, and that the offense against His wisdom and goodness be expiated, but that all the goods,both individual and social, and those that belong to the universal order, lessened or destroyed by sin, be fully reestablished, either through voluntary reparation...or through the [involuntary] suffering of penalties."

Rabbi Simeon ben Eleazar, around 170 A.D., who says he is quoting Rabbi Meir from early in that century, gives a very helpful comparison to illustrate the thought of Paul VI (Tosefta,Kiddushin 1.14): "He [anyone] has committed a transgression. Woe to him. He has tipped the scale to the side of debt for himself and for the world." The sinner takes from one pan of the scales what he has no right to have. The Holiness of God loves that objective order of goodness,and wants it rebalanced. If the sinner stole property, he can begin to rebalance by giving it back; if he stole a pleasure, he can begin to rebalance by giving up some other pleasure he might have lawfully had. But his work only begins to rebalance, for the imbalance from even one mortal sin is infinite. So if the Father wanted it - He of course,did not have to do so - the only way it could be done was to send a Divine Person, who could generate an infinite value, who could put back by His suffering and deprivations more than all sinners of all ages have taken, are taking, will take from the scales.

The redemption is also a new covenant. In the new as in the old (cf.Ex 19:5) the critical condition is obedience. Christ by His obedience, as we saw above, provided this critical condition.

Every Pope from Leo XIII to John Paul II, including also Vatican II, has taught that the generosity of the Father, to make the title for forgiveness and grace even richer, willed to join the obedience of the Mother of Jesus, as Vatican II said in LG 61: "In suffering with Him as He died on the cross, she cooperated in the work of the Savior, in an altogether singular way, by obedience ,faith, hope and burning love, to restore supernatural life to souls." LG 56 also stressed her obedience within the work of redemption. We note that if something is repeatedly taught on the ordinary Magisterium level,it is infallible. This is true of the teaching on her cooperation,for there are in all 17 texts.

Why bring in her obedience when that of Jesus is infinite? Our Father could have forgiven without any reparation, He could have forgiven by accepting any religious act of any person He might appoint,e.g., offering a mere animal sacrifice. He could have provided infinite reparation by the Incarnation in a palace with the Redemption done by a short prayers: "Father, forgive them." But His policy is clearly: as long as there is anything that will make it fuller, let it be added.

St.Thomas,in Summa I.19.5.c, said that in His love of good order, God loves to have one thing in place to serve as a title, as a reason for granting a second thing, even though that title does not move Him. So it pleased Him to enrich the titles by adding her role even in the objective redemption (the work of once-for-all earning a title to all forgiveness and grace). Following the same principle, He wills to add the work of the Saints in the subjective redemption (the work of giving out the fruits of the objective redemption). Still further, He wills that our obedience be joined to that of His Son in the Mass -- hence He ordered: "Do this in memory of me". St.Paul expresses this with his syn Christo theme: we are saved and made holy if and to the extent that we are not only members of Christ,but are also like Him. That likeness of course must include likeness in this work of rebalancing the objective order. So Luther was very wrong in saying in effect:Jesus did an infinite work; there is no need or room for anything from us.

LG 3 adds: "As often as the sacrifice of the celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out." This relates to the obedience by which He brought about Redemption. It is presented again as a title for the giving out of graces (cf.again Summa I.19.5.c) In the Cenacle, the external sign was His seeming separation of body and blood, used to express His interior attitude of obedience, willingness to die in obedience. On the cross, the external sign of His obedience was physical death, but the interior, obedience, was the same, continued from that Thursday night. On our altars,we have the same external sign as that of the Cenacle, again to express His obedience -- willingness to do whatever the Father wills, even death, if He willed it - which of course the Father does not will. But just as His obedience in death once formed the title for the infinite treasury of grace and forgiveness for us,so in the Mass, His obedience,presented again, is the title for the giving out of that which was won once-for-all on Calvary. Our obedience is to be joined to His, so as to make up the obedience of the Whole Christ, Head and Members.

The Eucharistic bread,says LG 3, signifies the unity of believers - yes, we then are to be the body of Christ our Head, whose obedience is presented again. We need, of course,to unite out obedience to His - just as Our Lady once did on Calvary,so that the obedience of Head and members melts,as it were,into the one great price of the giving out of the fruits won once-for-all. To unite it we might spend some moments before a Mass, looking to see what we have done since the last time in doing the will of the Father. If we have done well, we have something to join with His offering. If some things were not done well, we add regrets. We could look ahead too, to the time soon to come, to see: Is there something there in which I know His will, but am not fond of doing it? If so: Do I intend to do it? If not, this is no place for me. By examining in advance,we have something to join with His obedience, precisely at the moment when through the human priest, He again expresses His obedience, by the seeming separation of body and blood in the double consecration.

LG 3 says this also brings about our union: By joining our obedience to His, we should grow in obedience, which unites us to Him, and to each other inasmuch as it makes us all more fully parts of His Mystical Body. St.Augustine writes (City of God 10.20): "He willed that the daily sacrament of this should be the sacrifice of the Church, which,since it is the body of Him its Head, learns through Him to offer itself."

4.After the work of the Father and the Son,the Holy Spirit is sent a)to sanctify the Church, make her holy. Holy means two things- set aside for God (qadosh)-- growing in moral perfection.Especially through the Gifts the Spirit does this- cf.the three levels of guides: namely,a person may follow; 1) the whim of the moment which Aristotle,(Ethics 1.5) calls "a life fit for cattle"). 2)Reason - which as a matter of fact will be aided by actual graces. Yet the process of decision making is basically discursive, moving from one step to another. 3)The gifts of the Holy Spirit. Here the conclusion is given ready made, without any discursive steps,though the Gifts.This process can lead the soul to things not contrary to reason, but higher than reason would be apt to see by itself.

b)He brings souls to life - this is the same as sanctifying, for grace is the life of the soul, and sanctifying grace brings about holiness.Sanctifying graces gives the radical ability to join in the life within the Holy Trinity in the next life.

c)He dwells in the Church and in the faithful as in a temple. Note the senses of dwelling or presence - a Spirit in general is present wherever He produces effects. Inasmuch as He produces effects in the Church, He is present in the Church, and in individuals. He can be said to come several times, even though He is already there - for as we said, a Spirit is present wherever He produces effects He can come several times by producing added effects. - Mortal sin ejects the Spirit from His temple. This presence is different from the Real Presence in the Eucharist. It is different from the presence of Christ where two or three are gathered together -- a moral presence, not physical, inasmuch as He produces effects there. The Real Presence is in a class by itself above all other presences of Christ.

d)He prays in the Church - the liturgy is the action of Christ and of the Spirit. He also prays within each soul in the state of grace -- two senses (1)charismatic prayer (2)He intercedes for us -- cf.ST I.19.5.c,and OFP cap.4 ff.

e)He guides the Church into all truth. There are not new revelations -- cf.DV 4 -- but there is a gradual clarification and deepening. Hence new definitions can and do come over the centuries. Cf.also the introduction on the 4 levels of teaching - guided by the Holy Spirit.

f)He unifies the Church. A body would be dead and go into many pieces without its soul or spirit -- the Spirit makes it alive and therefore one. So too the Spirit makes the Church,the body of Christ, one.

g)He gives charismatic and sanctifying gifts. Sanctifying gifts are aimed at making one holy, i.e.,set aside for God,and the,growing in moral perfection. There are two types of sanctifying graces: 1)Habitual (also called sanctifying) and actual (a grace He gives me at this moment to lead me and to enable me to do a particular good thing here and now. Charismatic gifts are for some benefit to the community. There are again two kinds:1)miraculous,such as tongues,healing the sick etc. and nonmiraculous- the grace of being a good parent,a good teacher,a good apostles etc.All receive some of this latter group. Chief among charismatic gifts are the Pope and Magisterium, given as a benefit to the Church, to lead it by the light of the Holy Spirit into all truth, and to guide it in that truth. (Note: As to the modern charismatic movement, if all dangers - which are not rare- are avoided, it can be a valid form of spirituality, as long as one understands that the Spirit gives varied graces:it must not be pushed on all To say that all noncharismatics are "dead" is at least close to spiritual pride,the worst of vices).

h)He renews and keeps the Church youthful. For it is the Spirit that gives life -- the life that comes from the Spirit is inexhaustible - and hence eternal youth and freshness.

In all these things, we must keep in mind that all the operations of the three Persons are common to all (DS 800, 3814) - and so we are appropriating when we assign these effects to the Spirit - they are also the work of the Father and the Son.

5.Here LG speaks of the mystery of the Church, and then goes on to speak of Jesus making a beginning of His Church by preaching the coming of the kingdom. This seems to imply that the Church and the kingdom are at least in part the same thing. We recall the words of LG 3, "The Church, that is, the kingdom of Christ already present in mystery...." We wish the Council had been clearer on the relation of kingdom and Church. However,in a moment we will try to help clarify. For certain,the word kingdom cannot mean simply reign -- God always reigns. Yet He can be said to reign specially in hearts that obey Him. There were such hearts in the OT period,and more in the NT period.

LG speaks of the fact that the kingdom was promised over the ages in the Scriptures. Now Jewish literature does not in general have the expression, kingdom of heaven. Yet Jesus used it obviously with the attitude that people would understand. That was right, they would, in spite of the lack of the formal expression. For there had been many prophecies of the King Messiah, as we see from the Targums. (The official Targums, especially Onkelos on the Pentateuch and Jonathan on the prophets, are more sparing in the use of the word king - yet they consider the Messiah as descended from David. The probable reason for the sparingness is that they may go back to Maccabean times when such a title would not have been in favor.But the unofficial targums, such as Pseudo-Jonathan, commonly do use the words King Messiah. Thus Ps.J.on Gen 3.15 speaks of the days of the King Messiah.So does the same Targum on Gen 49.10.The Targums on the Hagiographa,not being official,commonly do use the words King Messiah).

However,with or without the word king,and even without the word kingdom,to a Jew,the Messiah was the descendant of David, and in that sense, a king. Further a Messiah without a Messianic kingdom, a community, would be unthinkable to a Jew in the OT times.Therefore the LG is quite right in asserting that the kingdom was promised in the OT. But the kingdom of the Messiah was only promised, not realized ( As we remarked, if kingdom means subjection to the will,to the kingship of God,that was done in the case of many individuals in OT times - and it not done by all in NT times).

Hence, we gather that one sense of the words kingdom of God is the kingdom of the Messiah, which actually is His Church. However, most ancient words and phrases have more than one meaning. As we shall see more fully presently, the words often do mean the Church, in this world, or in the next, or both. However there are other senses too, which we will examine before the sense of Church.

Jesus Himself said at the outset (Mk 1.15): "The time is fulfilled,the kingdom of God is at hand."

LG adds that the kingdom showed itself in the words, works, and especially in the very person of Christ the Messiah. It began to appear with His miracles, for as He said (Lk 11.20): "If I by the finger of God cast out devils, then the kingdom of God has come upon you (ephthasen). It was present in His very person, for the king Messiah of course would have a kingdom. Or, using a different way of speaking, He is the Head of the Mystical Body, and that Body is His Church, His kingdom.

After His resurrection, Romans 1.4 speaks of Him as being "designated Son-of-God-in-power". (The old translation predestined is incorrect. The Greek has horisthentos, without a prefix pro-). He always had full power, even in His humanity. Yet He had agreed, following the will of the Father, to empty Himself (Phil 2.7), i.e., not to use that power except to heal the sick, and to support His claims. But now, being risen, all power in heaven and on earth is given Him even in His humanity: Mt 28.18. Similarly Peter in Acts 2.36 said:"God has made Him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified." He already was all of this, but had emptied Himself.

Yet the fullness of the kingdom is to be in the world to come - ha olam ha ba, as the Jews called it. In this sense LG says the Church now is the seed and beginning of the kingdom, and longs for the completed kingdom, regnum consummatum.

The Church can be called a mystery, since it is only partly visible. It does have visible structure, and no one who knowingly rejects that can be saved. It has members visibly adhering. But it also has members who belong to it even without knowing that, and without external explicit adherence. Thus Paul in Rom 2.15 speaks of gentiles who do not know the revealed law, but yet they "show the work of the law written on their hearts." This law is written by the Spirit of God, or of Christ. Now from Rom 8.9 we learn that if someone does not have and follow this Spirit,that one does not "belong to Christ." So if one has and follows the Spirit, he does belong. But in Paul's language,to belong to Christ = to be a member of Christ, which =to be a member of His mystical Body, the Church. Hence there is much mystery, to be known fully and clearly only at the end.

In this vein, St.Justin Martyr, c.145 Apology 1.46,said that in the past some who were thought to be atheists, such as Socrates and Heraclitus, were really Christians, for they followed the Divine Logos, the Divine Word. They followed it without knowing that fact by accepting what His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, wrote on their hearts, as indicated in Romans 2:15. So Socrates in following that Spirit of Christ was accepting and following the Spirit of Christ, and belonged to Christ, was a member of Christ, was a member of the Church substantially, without visible adherence of course. This fits with what LG 16 will soon say, and with LG 49: "For all who belong to Christ, having His Spirit, coalesce into one Church and cohere with each other in Him (cf.Eph 4:16)".

As a result in LG 8. the Council will say that the Church "subsists" in the Catholic Church - more on this in section 8.

So one reason we can call the Church a mystery is that there is more to it than what meets the eye.

In saying there can be members without visible adherence, we are not contradicting official texts, but adding to them.

a)_Pius IX,in Quanto conficiamur moerore of August 10,1863 said " His supreme goodness and clemency, by no means allows anyone to be punished with eternal punishments who does not have the guilt of voluntary fault." But some who do not visibly adhere meet this description. Pius IX in the very next sentence repeats the necessity of the Church for salvation.

b)On August 9,1949, the Holy Office, by order of Pius XII, condemned the interpretation given by L.Feeney of "no salvation outside the Church" and said, citing the same Pope's Mystical Body Encyclical: "It is not always required that one be actually incorporated, but this at least is required that one adhere to it in wish and desire" which can be "a desire of which he is not aware" contained in the good dispositions mentioned.

c)Vatican II in LG 16 will explicitly say the same as we shall see.

d)John Paul II,in Redemptoris missio,10 affirms the same thing: "The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church.... For such people [those who do not know of the Church] salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church...." We are proposing to fill-in on that "mysterious relationship", and agree that those we have described are not 'formally" part of the Church, since they do not explicitly and externally adhere.

Let us add a few words on the Scriptural expression, kingdom of heaven. As we said, as actually used in the Gospels, the sense is variable - this is true of ancient words and expressions in general.

Some texts are unclear, e.g.,Rom 14.17: "The kingdom of God is not food and drink." In context, it probably means that what one eats or drinks does not determine membership or standing. Similarly, 1 Cor 4.20:"The kingdom of God lies not in talk, but in power." It probably means that their acceptance of the Church did not depend on mere words, but on the showing of the power of God in miracles.

Other texts refer to final salvation: 1 Cor 6.9-10:"The unrighteous...will not inherit the kingdom of God" i.e., reach final salvation. Eph.5.6:"No fornicator...has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." Mt 5.10:"Blessed are they who suffer persecution for the sake of justice,the kingdom of God is theirs." The Church has always understood this of martyrs.

Many texts refer to the Church in this world: Mt 21.43:"The kingdom...will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will yield a rich harvest." I.e., God's call to the Jews will not be cancelled, but their infidelity actually puts most of them outside the People of God until they repent - meanwhile, gentiles enter. Cf.Romans 11, the comparison of the tame and wild olive trees: tame tree is the original people of God, from which many branches broke off, i.e., left the people of God by rejecting Christ. Gentiles were grafted in, from the wild olive tree, in the open places.. Cf.also the parables of the net, of the wise and foolish virgins, and of the weeds in the wheat. They speak of both good and evil people in the present Church. They will be separated at the end. The parable of the mustard seed speaks of the growth of the Church in this world.

Some prominent commentators do see that in many texts the kingdom means the Church even in this world: e.g.,Jerome Biblical Commentary (1968) II,p.64 (John L.McKenzie); ibid II,pp.783-84 (David M.Stanley); W.F.Albright and C.S.Mann,in Anchor Bible Matthew p.lxxxvi. Cf.pp.lxxxix and c. Cf.also R.E.Brown, The Churches the Apostles Left Behind, (Paulist,1984,pp.1-52): " must not overlook the fact that in some of the later sections of the NT, basileia [kingdom] has been reified and localized.... the kingdom and the church have begun to be partially identified." He appeals to the parable of the weeds in the wheat (Mt 13:36-43) and Colossians 1:13-14 and Eph 2:6. In Responses to 101 Questions on the Bible (Paulist,1990,p.12) he says that in the original NAB version "Some bad choices were made, e.g., to render 'the kingdom of God' by 'the reign of God.'"

In LG 8 we find that "the Church on earth and the Church endowed with heavenly goods are not two things,but one complex reality." However,in LG 5 the Church now "longs for the consummated kingdom",the Church in heaven." So the Church on earth is part of the kingdom. 6.Most of this section consists in giving various images of Christ and the Church. Chiefly these:

1)It is the sheepfold,and the Messiah is the shepherd,

2)it is the field planted by God (cf. 1 Cor 3:6-8),

3)it is the building built by God-- Christ is the cornerstone,even though He as rejected by the 21.42,referring to Ps 118.22. At times the building is called a temple,in which the presence of God dwells. That presence dwells in individual members of Christ as well, inasmuch as God there produces the effect [a spirit does not need space: it is present wherever it produces an effect] of making the soul basically capable of the direct vision of God in the next life. 4)The Church is also our Mother -- this will be developed further in Chapter 8 of LG.

4)It is also the Jerusalem that is above, as in Gal 4.26. 5)The Church is the immaculate spouse of the Lamb.

At the end of this section, there is mention of the fact that the Church here is in exile,is a pilgrim. Cf.the opening of 1 Clement: "The Church of God in exile in Rome, to the Church of God in exile in Corinth...." LG returns to this imagery several times. Those who do not believe what LG says of the teaching mission of the Church, try to take the pilgrim image to mean the Church is still groping for the truth and does not know what is right. It is true, there is a gradual clarification of revelation over the centuries, with the result that we had a definition of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, and of the Assumption l950, in our times. And there is still room for doctrinal development - but not in such a way as to contradict previous teaching - we recall the teaching of Paul VI, in Mysterium fidei in our introduction, and, of course, all the claims of LG itself, which we saw in our introduction.

7.This section concentrates on the image of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. The major source of this doctrine is found in St.Paul, as developed in the Mystical Body Encyclical of Pius XII. The word mystical however is not found n St.Paul. It is used to describe a type of union for which there is no exact parallel. We could think of a natural body with its parts - but the relation of Christ to His members is of course not of that kind. We could think of a body which is a corporation for business. But that union is inferior to the mystical body union. Since there is no exact parallel, the word mystical was developed to describe it.

There are two groups of Epistles of St.Paul which give us the basic data.

First the Major Epistles. The chief text is 1 Cor 12,12- 2l: "For just as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of the body though many are one body; so also is Christ. For by the one Spirit we all were baptized into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free. And we all have drunk of the one Spirit. - But the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says: Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body - not for that reason does it fail to be part of the body.... But as it is, God has placed the members, each and every one of them in the body, as He willed. If all were one member, where would be the body? But actually, there are many members, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand: I have no need of you. Or again, the head cannot say to the feet: I do not have need of you. But the members of the body that seem weaker are much more necessary.... so that there may be no dissension in the body, but that the members may have the same concern for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. But you are the body of Christ,and members each in its own part. And God has placed in the Church: First, apostles, second, prophets, third, teachers... be eager for the better gifts."

The context is the treatment of charismatic gifts. Paul compares the diversity of them to the diversity of parts in the body, and says some are nobler than others. First are apostles. At the end of the list come tongues - Paul thinks Corinthians are childish about tongues.

We note that Paul does not say that they are all one in Christ, but all are the body of Christ.

In this first group of texts belong also Rom 12: 4-8, which is parallel to the above text, and 1 Cor 6:15: "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? So, so should I take the members of Christ, and make them members of a harlot?"

The interrelation of members, so that if one suffers all suffer, has a rabbinic background. Cf.Simeon ben Eleazar, c. 170 A.D.[citing Rabbi Meir, from earlier in the same century]: "He [anyone] has committed a transgression: woe on him, he has tipped the scale to the side of debt for himself and for the world; He has carried out a commandment. Blessings on him. He has tipped the scale to the side of merit for himself and for the world." (Tosefta,Kiddushin 1.14). Cf.also OFP chapter 4.

The second group of texts comes from Colossians and Ephesians. In 1 Cor & Romans, Paul does not explicitly speak of Christ as the Head, though of course that is implied if Christians are members of His Body. But he becomes quite explicit in Col & Eph. There are several aspects brought out:

a)Absolute primacy: Eph 5.23:"For the man is the head of the woman, as also Christ is the head of the Church." Col.1.18: "And He Himself is the head of the body, the Church." Col 2.18-19: "And let no one rob you of your prize, in lowering yourselves, and in worshipping angels - and not holding on to the head [Christ] from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together though its joints and ligaments, grows with divine growth."

b)Christ is the Fullness, the pleroma: (That word is familiar to the Gnostics. It is likely - not certain - Paul is working against them in these Epistles, and so uses their terms to fight them). Col 2:9: "For in Him lives permanently all the fulness (pleroma) of the divinity in a bodily way, and you have been made full in Him, who is the head of every principality and power." (And so, no need to worship them, as the Gnostics said). Col 1.19:"For it pleased [The Father] that all fullness should dwell permanently in Him."

c)The Church receives from Him, becomes His fullness. Eph 1.22-23: "And He subjected all things under His feet, and He made Him Head over all things, for the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him who is filled in all things." (Or: Who fills all things). - [Paul prays that the Ephesians may] "know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God." (Eph 3.19).

d)All this is aimed at the complete development of the pleroma. Eph 4.13: [God has given charisms, including especially that of apostles, to the Church] "until we all come together into the unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to be a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Can refer to full development of the Church to the full Christ in fullest sense, and/or the development of each individual in it in conformity with Christ.)

e)Thus Christ becomes the center of all: Eph 1.10: "He made known to us the mystery of His will, for His plan in the fullness of the times, so as to recapitulate all things in Christ"(anakephalaiosthai - could mean to restore all things in Christ, to reunite all under one sole Head, or to reunite all things in Christ as in their center).

8.This section dwells on two major aspects of the Church - it is a spiritual reality, i.e., the Mystical Body of Christ, and it is also a visible society. Yet these two are one complex reality. Further,the Church visible on earth and the Church in Heaven are not two things,but one reality.Therefore,since the council calls the Church in Heaven the kingdom (LG 3), the Church on earth is also part of the kingdom. There is only one (unica) Church of Christ, governed by the successor of Peter .However, since there are many elements of sanctification and truth outside the visible confines, the text can say that the Church "subsists in" the Catholic Church.

Part of the explanation is provided by an analogy - these two elements form one just as the divinity and humanity form one in Christ. The divinity of course, in Him is greater, not confined to, or limited by His humanity. Rather, we would say His humanity subsists in it. Similarly the Church, considered as Mystical Body,is greater than the visible structure which we see.

The relatio on this passage as found in the Acta explains the situation: "Now the intention is to show that the Church, whose deep and hidden nature is described and which is perpetually united with Christ and His work, is concretely found here on earth in the Catholic Church. This visible Church reveals a mystery - not without shadows until it is brought to full light, just as the Lord Himself through His 'emptying' came to glory.... The mystery of the Church is present in and manifested in a concrete society." (Quoted from James T. O'Connor, "The Church of Christ and the Catholic Church" in Homiletic & Pastoral, Jan. 1984, p.l4).

This concept shows also in several statements of the Council on membership in the Church. In the decree on ecumenism 22: "By the Sacrament of Baptism, whenever it is conferred rightly according to the institution of the Lord, and is received with the due disposition of soul, a person is really incorporated in the crucified and glorified Christ..." This seems to say that by Baptism a person becomes a member of the Mystical Body - which is the Church, even if Baptism is received outside the visible confines. Similarly in LG 9: "Those who believe in Christ and are reborn not from corruptible seed but from incorruptible seed by the word of the Living God, not of flesh but of water and the Holy Spirit, are constituted finally a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy people, an acquired people...who once were not a people, but now are the people of God." These two statements do seem at least to apply to all those who are baptized even in Protestantism, so that they have an imperfect membership. That imperfection is brought out in LG 14: "They are fully incorporated into the society of the Church, who, having the Spirit of Christ, accept all its organization and all the means of salvation instituted in it, and are joined in the same visible union with Christ, who rules it through the Supreme Pontiff and the Bishops, that is [they are joined] by the bonds of profession of faith, of the acceptance of ecclesiastical rule and communion." This seems to mean there can be an imperfect, less than full membership for those who are baptized, but do not accept the visible Church and its rule.

Less clarity results if we read also LG 15: "The Church knows that she is joined with those who are baptized, and adorned with the name of Christian, but do not profess the whole faith, or do not keep the unity of communion with the Successor of Peter." A similar attitude seems to show in the Decree on Ecumenism 3: "Those who believe in Christ and have properly received Baptism, are established in "a certain communion with the Catholic Church" even though it is not perfect."

To sum up:The language of these four passages seems hesitant. The first two passages seem to affirm that by Baptism one becomes a member of Christ, and so a member of the Church, even though the membership or communion will be imperfect if they do not accept the visible Catholic Church. The second two seem to say they only are joined with the Church, rather than being actual members. LG 49 seems to fit with the stronger conclusion: "For all those who belong to Christ, having His Spirit,coalesce into one Church."

We saw above in comments on LG 5 that we can by theological reasoning show that even nonbaptized persons who, like Socrates (Cf.St.Justin Martyr, Apology 1.46) follow the Divine Logos are Christians,and so are members of the Church. This fits with the teaching that the Church "subsists in" the Catholic Church. This does not mean that Protestant bodies are as it were component parts of the Catholic Church; no,even though their individualmembers may be members of the Church individually.

Important misunderstandings come from Alan Schreck.

He,in Catholic and Christian, (Servant,1984) wrote:

p.2:"I hope it will be apparent to all that this book was not written to present Catholicism as the only legitimate form of Christianity and certainly not to critize [sic] other Christians,nor to 'prove them wrong' in their beliefs."

On pp.110-13 of his Basics of the Faith: A Catholic Catechism (Servant Books,1987) says: "Catholics believe that one place the church of Christ truly exits (or subsists) is in the Catholic church.... The positive teaching stated here is a genuine expression of the Church of Christ. Never does the Second Vatican Council or any papal teaching say that the Church of Jesus Christ and the grace of salvation is limited to the Catholic Church.... These teachings are intended to break down the simple and incorrect dichotomy of one church being the 'true church' and all others being 'false' churches."

COMMENT: 1)It is true that the grace of salvation can be found elsewhere. Lumen gentium 16 says: "For they who without their own fault do not know of the Gospel of Christ and His Church, but yet seek God with sincere heart,and try, under the influence of grace,to carry out His will in practice, known to them through the dictate of conscience,can attain eternal salvation." John Paul II in his Encyclical on the Missions in 10 says the same [underline added]: "For such people [those who do not formally enter the Church, as in LG 16] salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church,does not make them formally part of the Church." We underline the word "formally" to indicate that there may be something less than formal membership, which yet suffices for salvation. A similar thought is found in LG 14 which says "they are fully incorporated who accept all its organization....." We will show presently that there can be a lesser, or substantial membership,which suffices for salvation.

Schreck has in mind a line in LG 8: "This Church, in this world as a constituted and ordered society, subsists in the Catholic Church...even though outside its confines many elements of sanctification and truth are found which, as gifts proper to the Church of Christ, impel to Catholic unity."

2)Schreck missed the words in LG 8 which speak of "this one and only [unica] Church of Christ,which we profess in the Creed...." Similarly the Decree on Religious Liberty in 1 says that" it [this decree] leaves untouched the traditional Catholic doctrine about the duty of men and societies to the true religion and the one and only [unica] Church of Christ."

So there really is only one true Church. But really,we suspect Schreck thinks that protestant churches are as it were component parts of the Church of Christ. And he thinks that follows from the words about "subsisting in" and the statement that elements of sanctification can be found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church. This is probably why,in the quote given above from his p. 2 he says that the Catholic Church is not the only legitimate form of Christianity.

But it does not really follow that there are other legitimate forms of Christianity. Pope Gregory XVI (DS 2730.Cf.Pius IX, DS 2915 and Leo XIII,DS 3250) condemned "an evil opinion that souls can attain eternal salvation by just any profession of faith, if their morals follow the right norm." So although people who do not formally join can be saved,as LG 16 says,and Redemptoris missio 10 also says,they are not saved by such a faith.It is in spite of it.

3)Yet we can account for the words about subsisting in and about finding elements of salvation outside. For this we need the help of the Fathers of the Church.

We begin with St.Justin the Martyr who c.145 Apology 1.46,said that in the past some who were thought to be atheists, such as Socrates and Heraclitus, were really Christians, for they followed the Divine Logos, the Divine Word. Further,in Apology 2.10 Justin adds that the Logos is in everyone. Now of course the Logos,being Spirit,does not take up space.We say a spirit if present wherever it prduces an effect. What effect? We find that in St.Paul,in Romans 2:14-16 where he says that "the Gentiles who do not have the law, do by nature the works of the law. They show the work of the law written on their hearts." and according to their response, conscience will defend or accuse them at the judgment.

So it is the Logos, the Spirit of Christ,who writes the law on their hearts, that,it makes known to them interiorly what they need to do. Some then could follow it without knowing that fact. So Socrates: (1)read and believed what the Spirit wrote in his heart; (2) he had confidence in it; (3) he obeyed it. We see this obedience in the fact that Socrates went so far as to say, as Plato quotes him many times,that the one who seeks the truth must have as little as possible to do with the things of the body.

Let us notice the three things, just enumerated: St.Paul in Romans 3:29 asked: "Is He the God of the Jews only? No, He is also the God of the gentiles." It means that if God made salvation depend on knowing and following the law of Moses,He would act as if He cared for no one but Jews.But God does care for all.Paul insists God makes salvation possible by faith for them (cf.Romans chapter 4).Faith in Paul includes the three things we have enumerated which Socrates did.

So in following that Spirit of Christ Socrates was accepting and following the Spirit of Christ, But then, from Romans 8:9 we gather that if one has and follows the Spirit of Christ, he "belongs to Christ". That is, He is a member of Christ,which in Paul's terms means a member of the Mystical Body ,which is the Church.

So Socrates then was a member of the Church,but not formally,only substantially. He could not know the Church. So he was saved,not by his false religious beliefs but in spite of them. He was saved by faith, and similarly protestants and others who do not formally join the Church today can be saved not as members of e.g., the Baptist church, which Schreck seems to think is an integral part of the one Church of Christ -- no, they are saved as individuals,who make use of the means of sanctification they are able to find even outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church.

Many other Fathers speak much like St.Justin. A large presentation of them can be found in Wm.Most, Our Father's Plan,in a 28 page appendix.

Lumen gentium also likes to speak of the Church as a mystery. This is correct,for it is a mystery, since it is only partly visible. It does have visible structure, and no one who knowingly rejects that can be saved. It has members visibly adhering. But it also has members who belong to it even without knowing that, and without external explicit adherence. Hence there is much mystery, to be known fully and clearly only at the end. So all other forms of Christianity are heretical and/or schismatic. They are not legitimate. And we should criticize them and prove them wrong in their heresies,contrary to what Schreck said on page 2.

For fuller data on this question,see OFP, appendix. There extensive evidence is given from the early Fathers,who make two kinds of statements: one kind seems very stringent,the other very broad, and shows a broad concept of membership in the Church. We can reconcile these two kinds of statements by recalling Romans 2.15:"They [gentiles who do not know revelation] show the work of the law written on their hearts." This echoes Jeremiah 31.33,the prophecy of the New Covenant.It means that the Spirit of God,or of Christ,writes the law,i.e,makes known to the hearts of pagans,what morality requires.If they accept that,they are,without realizing it,accepting the Spirit of Christ.But then,from Romans 8:9 we gather that one who has and follows the Spirit of Christ, belongs to Christ. That = in Paul's language, member of Christ which = member of the Church, so even these can have a membership sufficient for salvation. This seems implied also in LG 16: "Those who without their own fault do not know of the Gospel of Christ and His Church, but yet seek God with sincere heart, and try under the influence of grace, to carry out His will in practice, known to them through the dictate of conscience, can attain eternal salvation."

The Council adds that since her Founder was poor, the Church use the same means He did, and should recognize Him especially in the poor.

Also, the Church is simultaneously holy,and in need of purification. She is holy in that she has all the means of holiness and her structure is that willed by her Founder. She is in need of purification in her members, as Church history shows so sadly.

Chapter 2: The Church as People of God

9.It is the will of God to save people not as individuals,but as members of His People- as we see already in the OT.

If we made a synthesis of the thought of St.Paul it would be this: We are saved and made holy, if and to the extent that we are members of Christ, and like Him. This is what Luther overlooked, saying if we just take Christ as our Savior, we need do nothing, for His work is infinite. It is true, His work is infinite, but it is the will of the Father that we be His members,and like Him. Without that, we are not saved.We are not saved as individuals.

We can speak of a merit of heaven in a secondary sense. There are two phases:1)We get justification,i.e., first sanctifying grace, without any merit at all. It is a free gift, given on condition of faith - which itself is a gift (Eph 2:8). Of course,this does not mean that salvation is given blindly, by a blind predestination. God offers the gift of faith to all, and all receive it if they do not reject it. (We recall the process explained earlier in the context of Rom 2:14-16).(Cf.DS 1525,1532) 2)The acceptance and possession of this grace gives us a claim to heaven, which could be called a merit, for a merit is a claim t a reward (Cf.DS 1582). We get that inasmuch as by grace we are sons of God, brothers of Christ (Rom 8:17) and like Him (Rom 8:18).

This fact that we are saved not individually but as members of Christ does not deny individual responsibility, nor does it mean one need not work at his own spiritual growth. Such a view has been fostered by a new spirituality, which could be called GUN (cf.OFP 184- 92),i.e., Give-Up-Nothing. The crudest form argues that all creatures are triply good ( and may appeal to Vatican II,On Lay Apostolate 7), so there is no good in giving up anything voluntarily. Cf.Ernest Larkin,O.Carm."Desacralization and Ascetisism" in Pastoral Life,Dec.1967,p.673:"The old spirituality was a 'Jesus and me' piety, the new is centered in the community of God's People in the Body of Christ.... Growth of the person and growth of the community are correlative phenomena." Whether or not Larkin meant to go so far, many have gone to the point of thinking: Just follow the community, make the responses etc.and do not bother about individual spiritual growth. An article in Saturday Evening Post (Nov 28,1965,p.42) said:"The older generation of Catholics seem to prefer the purely pietistic and devotional form of faith because they want to be consoled,not challenged.They wish to recite the Rosary,not Encyclicals. 'They are,' says a St.Louis priest, ' spiritual gluttons, soaking up the sacraments, obsessed with saving their own souls, not the souls of Negroes or Latin Americans or with transforming society in Christ."-- One can hear the echo of the Pharisee:O God I am not like the rest of men! (Compare gifts to missions from the older generation and today).This is anti- salesmanship!

Larkin also said (p.671): "Today the question [where to find God] would likely get an answer along these lines: I find God not only in prayer - I have, indeed, real difficulty there...but also and even especially in my neighbor and my work. I do not mean that I have explicit contact with God in my work, except on occasion. But this is not necessary. As long as I am seeking to serve, to be for others, even without conscious reference to God, I am like the good Samaritan and am finding Christ in the least of His brethren." Yes this charity is good, even imperative - but the horizontal must not wipe out the vertical. A priest I know once said: "If I were alone on a desert island I could have no relation with God, for I can have it only through people."

Vatican II does not accept this GUN spirituality. Instead it teaches the value of giving up things,e.g., LG 46: "...the counsels contribute a great deal to the purification of heart and spiritual liberty. They continually stir up the fervor of charity."

LG here speaks of the ancient People of God as holy. That is Hebrew qadosh. Its first meaning is set aside for God, consecrated to God, coming under the covenant with Him. From that follows an obligation to be holy in the sense of being far advanced on the scale of moral perfection. But that is a secondary meaning of holy in Scripture.

The Old Covenant was a prefiguration and preparation for the New. Jeremiah 31.31 ff. foretold it. Jeremiah probably did not foresee fully how it was to be carried out, that the basic obedience was to be that of Jesus (for this sort of possibility cf. LG 55. But The Holy Spirit can intend and express more than the human writer sees. Hence here LG does say that de facto Jer 31 foretold what Jesus did in the Cenacle. It adds that Jesus brought together Jew and gentile in the new covenant - again, did Jeremiah foresee all this?

St.Paul in Eph 2:13-17 says Jesus made both Jew and gentile one in Himself. This of course applies only to the Jews who accepted Him, not to those who rejected Him then and now. In Romans 11:16-19 St.Paul makes a comparison of two olive trees,tame and wild.The tame tree stands for the original People of God. Many branches fell off it,i.e.,rejected Christ the Messiah the fulfillment to which the OT looked forward. In their places were engrafted many branches from the wild tree, that of the gentiles. So in one sense we can speak of a new covenant, as Jeremiah did, for it is going beyond the old, is its fulfillment; in another sense,the new is the continuation and perfection of the old.

So, sadly, we see that Jews today who reject Christ are not members of the people of God. Romans 11:1 says God has not rejected His people. Right, but most of them have rejected Him. Rom 11:29 says that the gifts of God are without repentance,that is, He has not cancelled His call or invitation to them to be part of His people. But It is one thing for Him to call, another for them to accept. Most of them still do not accept. Some Catholics are claiming today that a modern Jew need not accept Christ, can continue to reject Him and still be saved. This is true and false: It is false that they can be saved by deliberately rejecting Christ; it is true that they, like pagans, could be saved in the process we described starting with Romans 2:14-16.

We have the dignity and freedom of sons - in contrast to being in slavery in the old law,as St.Paul expresses it, e.g., in Gal 4. The word son expresses relationship in nature (we have a share in divine nature as 2 Pet 1.4 tells us) and ability to inherit - what we have not earned, and expresses freedom from slavery. Yet slave is a suitable word,and Paul often uses it, e.g., in Rom 1.1, to refer to himself. Slave expresses the fact of our total dependence on God, the fact that we owe Him everything, even if He did not reward at all. In Lk 17,10 Jesus tells us: "When you have done all things that are commanded to you, say: We are unprofitable servants, we have done what we owed." That is, God cannot gain anything from our "service".

God dwells in us as in a temple. We say He is present wherever He produces an effect - in sustaining creation, in making a soul radically capable of the vision of God.

The People of God is destined for the kingdom of God, Heaven, which was begun on earth, will be fully completed in the next world. Even though here we are sons, yet St.Paul said in Rom 8.23 that now "even though we have the first fruits of the Spirit, we groan within ourselves, waiting for adoption as sons." It means we have the start, not the completion now. Further, Paul in the same passage says all creation groans now along with us, but that it will finally be freed from the slavery to corruption.

So this People of God is on pilgrimage, for we have not here a lasting city, as Hebrews 13:14 says. We need to meditate much on the fact that this is not our city, that we are only in a waiting room as it were.

LG says that we are a people purchased by Christ by His blood, the price of redemption. That price is paid not to satan, who held our race captive, but to the objective order.We saw the answer in comments on 3 above (cf.also OFP chapter 4).

Christ has given us the Church as the means of a visible union,so that it may serve as a channel of grace to all men,as the universal sacrament. For every grace given to men before Christ was given in anticipation of Christ ,and now it is given through the Church, even to those who - as explained above - do not recognize the Church. For if they follow the Spirit of Christ, even though not knowing that it is that Spirit, they belong to Christ, and as His members,they receive grace. Grace is given even in advance of that membership, so that they may become His members by following the Spirit.

10.Christ the Priest has made a kingdom of priests. All share in different ways in the one priesthood of Christ. Yet there are differences - not only in degree, but also in kind. (Cf.OFP chapter 11). For the ordained priest acts "in the person of Christ" and "effects" that is, brings about the sacrifice. Pius XII explained,to the Liturgical Conference at Assisi,Sept 22,1956 (AAS 48.717): "When the consecration of the bread and wine is validly brought about, the whole action of Christ is actually accomplished. Even if all that remains could not be completed, still, nothing essential would be lacking to the Lord's offering." So it is wrong to say, as some have said, that the priest merely makes Christ present, then all, on the same level, can offer Him.

LG 34 clarifies what is meant by spiritual sacrifices: "For all their works, prayers,and apostolic endeavors, their married and family life, their daily work, their relaxation of mind and body, if they are carried out in the Spirit, even the hardships of life, if they are patiently borne, become spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ which are offered devotedly to the Father in the celebration of the Eucharist, along with the offering of the Lord's Body." (On married life as a spiritual means,cf OFP chapter 16.)

Pius XII, in Mediator Dei (AAS 39-555-56), explained in more detail. There are two senses in which the faithful can be said to offer the great sacrifice: First, "It is clear that the faithful offer the sacrifice through the hands of the priest from the fact that the priest at the altar in offering a sacrifice in the name of all His members, does so in the person of Christ, the Head [of the Mystical Body, of which they are members]." The second sense is that of the spiritual sacrifices just mentioned: "The statement that the people offer the sacrifice with the priest does not mean that...they perform a visible liturgical rite...instead, it is based on the fact that the people join their hearts in praise, petition, expiation and thanksgiving with the prayers or intention of the priest, in fact, of the High Priest Himself, so that in the one and same offering of the Victim...they may be presented to God the Father."

To clarify further: A sacrifice consists of an external sign and interior dispositions. The outward sign is there to express and even promote the interior dispositions. In the Cenacle the outward sign was the seeming separation of body and blood; on the cross,it was the physical separation. But in both cases the real value came from the interior, His obedience to the will of the Father- cf.Rom 5.19 and LG 3 and Paul VI, cited in our comments on LG 3. The most essential sharing is in the interior dispositions, without which the death of Christ would have been a tragedy, not a redemption. So it is very unfortunate to so stress external things, such as making responses, that the impression is given that there is nothing else. The exterior without the interior is what God rebuked in the Jews,through Is 29.13: "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me."

LG adds that the people should exercise their priesthood too "by the witness of a holy life, by self-denial and active charity." This means the opposite of conforming to the world. And they are also to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks them for the reason for their faith - that is, they should know apologetics. (Cf.W.Most, Catholic Apologetics Today).

11.The sacred nature of the priestly community is especially seen in the Sacraments. Baptism makes one a member, gives the obligation of professing the faith in the world, especially by not conforming themselves to this world (cf.Rom 12:2), but by living even publicly in accord with the principles of the Spirit of Christ. Confirmation gives a title to special strength of the Holy Spirit when that is needed to proclaim the faith. Gifts of the Holy Spirit come when sanctifying grace is first received, but are increased with increases in grace, especially with Confirmation. There are three levels of guides a person may follow (cf.OFP chapter 23). Lowest is the whim of the moment, not worthy of a human being.Aristotle (Ethics 1.5) calls living according to pleasure a life fit only for cattle. On the next level, one follows reason, which de facto will be aided by actual graces, yet reason remains the chief control. Above this, on the third level, if a soul is well advanced, can come the special guidance on the wave-length of the Holy Spirit - received not by a discursive process of reason, but in one stroke. These works of the Gifts often do not give certitude - when there is a chance to consult a director or superior. If there is no such chance, they may give certitude - but there is danger here of self-deception, hence the importance of external guidance.And we should notice too,that the clear instances of functions of the Gifts on this third level, do not normally appear until one is quite advanced spiritually. The Gifts bring other favors too, especially infused light and even infused contemplation (cf.OFP chapter 22). As we saw in 10 the members of the priestly people also have a role in the offering of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The Sacrament of Penance brings reconciliation with God and with the Church - we recall St.Paul's words that when one member suffers, all suffer (1 Cor 12.26). And even the rabbis knew this, as we saw in the quote from Simeon ben Eleazar. The Anointing of the Sick commends the soul to the suffering and dying and rising Jesus. Holy Orders says LG are appointed to nourish the Church with the word and grace of God in the name of Christ. We note word is mentioned first, and recall St.Paul in 1 Cor 1.17: "Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach." The Semitic pattern means the one is more important than the other. Marriage is sanctified by a special Sacrament, for it is meant as a path to holiness Cf.OFP chapter 16,esp.p.149) citing the words of Paul VI: "Marriage and the Christian family demand a moral commitment. They are not an easy way of Christian life, even though the most common,the one on which most of God's children are called to travel. Rather it is a long path toward sanctification." Parents, says LG, "by word and example,are the first to proclaim the faith to their children " in what LG calls "the domestic church". For all are called to work for the perfection of the Father Himself(Mt 5.58):"Be you perfect,as your Heavenly Father is perfect."(cf OFP chapter 15,with quote from Pius XI that all are called to perfection in every walk of life).

12.Besides sharing in Christ's priesthood, the people have a share in His prophetic role.In the NT prophet does not basically mean one who foretells the future,though that may happen - rather, he is one with the grace to make moving exhortations to the people. So a sharing in Christ's prophetic role really means the grace to bring the influence of Christ into the world by example, a life of faith,and love,and by trying to "sell" the principles of Christ in the world. We think of Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world." This is of course the opposite of conforming to the world,of trying not to be different. The laity as such can penetrate into places where priests and religious do not go.

The whole body of the faithful have an anointing, that is, a grace from the Holy Spirit that helps them recognize what is true. Hence if the entire Church, people and authorities both, have ever believed (strict sense, of accepting as revealed) a thing, that cannot be in error. It is infallible. Of course, this does not apply to subtle and debated points in theology. Further, this does not mean that the authorities merely echo what the people believe - rather, the people believe as an echo of the authorities, even though historically, some movements, leading to definitions, have had a start at grassroots.

Also, at the time of Arianism, the people kept more faithful than did the Bishops, though St.Jerome's outburst was a great exaggeration. Really,the Emperor, at two regional councils, had gotten the Bishops, by threats and deception, to accept an ambiguous creed - not one that was strictly erroneous. (Jerome wrote, in Dialogue against the Luciferians,19: "The whole world groaned and was surprised to see itself Arian."

What if people today stop believing something once believed? What was once established as infallible cannot become erroneous or doubtful by the falling away of a later time.

LG next speaks of charismatic gifts. There are two kinds of graces - sanctifying and charismatic. Sanctifying graces include habitual (or sanctifying) grace, and actual grace. Habitual grace automatically makes the recipient holy. Actual grace is aimed at that, it is the grace sent at a given moment to lead and enable one to do a particular good thing.

Charismatic graces are not aimed at sanctification, though indirectly they may help. They are for some particular benefit to the community. There are two kinds - the miraculous and the non- miraculous. The miraculous include tongues, healings etc. The nonmiraculous include the grace of being an apostle, a teacher, a speaker, a good parent etc. So in this latter sense, all have one or another charism.

God offers sanctifying graces abundantly to all - they were earned by the infinite price of redemption, within the New Covenant. But as to charismatic miraculous graces, the Spirit gives as He wills, without regard to merit - hence priesthood is given without regard to merit. In Mt 7.22-23 Jesus says at the end some will say: "Have we not prophesied in your name, cast out devils in your name, worked wonders in your name?" And He will say: "Depart from me, you workers of iniquity. I never knew you". - So one may not even have the state of grace, and yet be able to work miracles!

As to the miraculous type - LG advises we should not rashly desire them. That would leave an opening for self-deception, or diabolic deception. And whether or not they are genuine is to be judged by the Church authorities. Not all cases of these this are from the Holy Spirit. Some are from an evil spirit, some merely autosuggestion.

13.All are called to be members of the kingdom. In Jn 10:16 Jesus says: "I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them, and they will be one fold,one shepherd." Originally this referred to the union of gentiles and Jews in the Church - a thing the first Christians were slow to understand. Does it predict all will be Christian at the end of the world? Definitely not, for in Lk 18:.8 Jesus says of the end: "When the Son of Man comes, do you think He will find faith on the earth?" Cf.also 2 Thes.2:3. Could it be that at some time before the end there will be a great age for the Church, when all, or nearly all will enter? St.Paul predicts the conversion of the Jews in Rom 11.25-26: "A blindness in part has come upon Israel until the fullness of the gentiles enter. And so all Israel will be saved." (saved here means enter the Church. Paul knows,as he shows in Rom 2:14-16, that many can reach final salvation without formally entering the Church by visible adherence.Cf.LG 16). There is a fascinating resemblance here to Lk 21.24: "Jerusalem will be trodden by the gentiles until the times of the gentiles are fulfilled." We wonder, is that fulfilled in the reestablishment of Israel in 1948 and the full capture of Jerusalem in l967?

We do not know if the conversion of the Jews is to come just before the end, or sometime before it - seems more likely just before the end. Elijah is to return. Perhaps he will be agent of their conversion. So a great age might not include the Jews.

The Church, the People of God is present in all nations, but this does not take away anything from the temporal welfare of those nations. Rather,it is a benefit, for the Church purifies what is useful and good in these communities.

The People of God is made up of various ranks, and persons with varying gifts. Included are those who follow Christ most closely, by religious life.

The Chair of Peter presides over the whole community of love. Within the community, riches are shared (Mystical Body and Communion of Saints).

14.The Church, a pilgrim on earth, is necessary for salvation. So anyone who, knowing that the Church was founded by Christ as necessary would fail to enter, could not be saved.

They are fully incorporated who receive Baptism, and accept the visible Church fully.They get this not from their own merits but from grace. (Cf.Romans 9 on God's decision to give full membership in the Church, and notice Acts 16:6-7,and compare 1 Cor 1:26-30; Ezek 3:5-7 (note Ezek 5.6--"[Jerusalem] has rebelled against my laws more than the nations."; Jonah 3; parable of good Samaritan, and the account of the 10 lepers healed. Note also Mt 11:21, where Jesus says that if the miracles done in Capernaum had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have penance in sackcloth and ashes.

In passing, we observe the mention of full membership, which seems to imply the existence of a lesser degree of membership. Please recall also our comments on 5 & 8.

The Church considers catechumens, not yet baptized, as her own (suos). Cf.St.Ambrose's sermon on Valentinian II in 392.

15.There are others who are baptized, but who do not profess the full faith, or do not recognize the Holy See. Yet they are joined with the Church. We recognize the lack of clarity in the word joined with (coniunctam). We discussed this previously, when we quoted this text. We saw however that these persons can really be members of the Church, in an imperfect way, without adherence to the visible Church. The Decree on Ecumenism,in 3 says:"Those who are justified by faith in baptism, are incorporated into Christ, and so are rightly adorned with the Christian name, and are rightly recognized by the sons of the Catholic Church as brothers in the Lord."

16.Further, there are some who have not accepted the Gospel, but are ordered to the People of God by various reasons. In the first place, the Jews, who belong to the Old Covenant, from whom Christ descended, though they do not accept Him. God's call to them is still in force, without repentance. Romans 11 foretells their final conversion. Meanwhile,the image of the tame and wild olive tree indicates that they have cut themselves off,and so are not members of the people of God. Yet even these, if in good faith,can reach final salvation, as we saw,and can have an imperfect membership, like those spoken of in Romans 2:14-16 Cf.again our comments on 5 above.

Still farther out are the Muslims. (There was never any authentication for the alleged revelations to Mohammed. Nor did he himself ever claim to work a miracle, still less a miracle worked in such a framework as to establish a tie between the miracle and the claim).They do know the one merciful God who will judge all on the last day.

There are also those who "in shadows and images seek the unknown God." These are the pagans, in idolatry. Yet in view of what we said earlier, some of these can even be considered members in an imperfect way if they meet the conditions of Romans 2:14-16, which we discussed above in 5. LG 16 does add something of great importance: "They who without fault do not know the Gospel of Christ and His Church, but yet seek God with a sincere heart, and try under the influence of grace to fulfill His will, known by the dictate of conscience, can attain eternal salvation." This is reaffirmed by the words of John Paul II in his Encylical, Redemptoris missio 10. LG adds that whatever good and true is found among them, is a preparation for the Gospel." But LG adds,paraphrasing Romans 1, that very often men,deceived by the Evil one, have become vain in their thoughts, and have exchanged the truth of God for the lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator, or, living and dying in this world without hope they are exposed to extreme despair". Hence for them the Church sends out missionaries.

We can go beyond LG here without contradicting it, by saying that one who may claim he does not believe in God, may be merely rejecting a false notion of God, and yet, by following the Spirit of Christ which makes known to him interiorly what God wills, such a one may be objectively belong to Christ,and even be in a very imperfect way a member of His Church,as we explained in 5 above. However,they live without subjective hope of eternal life, inasmuch as they do not know of it - but objectively they are not without hope, in the way we have described. However, even though they have a chance for salvation, they are in greater danger, have less security - hence the importance of missions - which today have declined though a false notion of ecumenism and of the anonymous Christian. They are saved not through but in spite of their false worship, and we say God can accept their good will shown in following the Spirit without knowing what it is.

But we must insist that they have a real chance for salvation, for we think of the reasoning of St.Paul in Romans 3.29-30: "Is He the God of the Jews alone? Is He not the God of the gentiles(pagans) too?" Paul means if God did not make provision for the salvation of pagans,He would act as though He were not their God, neglecting them, leaving them to certain eternal ruin. But He is their God too, and therefore we must hold He does make provision. LG teaches that too. So did Pius IX (DS 2866): " His supreme goodness and clemency,does not allow anyone to be punished with eternal punishment who does not have the guilt of voluntary fault." It means that if someone keeps the moral law as he knows it, he will be saved. Pius IX does not explain how the requirement of faith is met in them - yet he assures us that somehow it is met. We have made the suggestion above: In following the lead of the Spirit of Christ, interiorly making known to them what God requires, they are objectively accepting God, accepting the Spirit of Christ,and so can even be said to belong to Christ = members of Christ = members of His Church, though in an imperfect way.

17.Christ sent the Apostles to preach to the whole world.Hence the Church must continue to fulfill this.For even if a person can be saved as described above,without hearing of the Church and the Gospel,yet they are in a less secure position,and are not fulfilling the command of Christ to accept the Church.

Every follower of Christ has the obligation to spread the faith, so that the prophecy of Malachi 1:11 may be fulfilled: "From the rising of the sun even to its going down, my name is great among the gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation." The sense of this text of Malachi is disputed by scholars. One of the acceptable positions is that here used by LG. We do not know if the Council meant to determine the meaning of the text, or only to use it for an illustration.

Chapter 3: The Hierarchical Church

18.To shepherd the Church, Christ set up various ministries,for the good of the whole body. These ministers with sacred power help the all the members of the people of God to their goal. [The ministers are described as having sacred power - therefore ushers etc are not ministers in the proper sense of the word]. Following in the footsteps of Vatican I, this council teaches that Jesus sent apostles just as He himself was sent by the Father, and that the Bishops are their successors to the end of the world.So that the Episcopate might have unity He put Blessed Peter over the other Apostles.This Council repeats this teaching of Vatican I about the perpetuity,the primacy of the Pope and his infallible magisterium. Continuing in the same work it has decided to profess the doctrine about the Bishops, the successors of the Apostles. Vatican I had not completed this work.

19.Jesus set up a permanent (stabilis) college, consisting of Peter and the Apostles, with Peter as the head of the college, to sanctify and rule the Church and propagate it. They were confirmed in their mission on Pentecost.

20.Since the mission of the Church is to last to the end of time,the Apostles appointed successors,and provided that when these died, others should be properly chosen to take their places, in an unbroken succession.Among these ministries that of the Bishops holds the chief place, by succession from the beginning. So the Bishops took on the ministry of the community with the priests and deacons as helpers.They,the Bishops are the pastors,as teachers of doctrine,the priests of the sacred worship,the ministers of governing. So this council teaches that the bishops by divine institution have succeeded to the Apostles as shepherds of the Church,in such a way that he who hears them,hears Christ,he who spurns them spurns Christ and Him who sent Christ. Tertullian therefore taught (De Praescriptione haereticorum 21) that to prove a doctrine is true, one must show that the church from which he received it goes back in unbroken succession to the Apostles, and thus to Christ.

21.It is in the person of the Bishops, assisted by priests, that Christ is present to His Church. Through their service, He preaches to all nations, and administers the sacraments of faith to all who believe, and by their paternal function He generates new members of His Body, which is the Church, and, finally, by their wisdom and prudence He directs the people of the new testament to eternal happiness.

To carry out so great a function, the Apostles received a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They passed on the gift of the Spirit by the imposition of hands. Episcopal consecration gives the fullness of orders and the function [cf.Preliminary note below - the word is munus,not potestas] of teaching,sanctifying and ruling. The Bishops in a visible way take the role of Christ the Teacher, Pastor and Priest, and act in His person. It is for Bishops to take new chosen men into the college of Bishops by the Sacrament of Orders.

22.Just as Peter and the Apostles constituted a college,so in a similar,not an identical way there is a relation of Pope and the Bishops,with the Pope as the head.(Qualification taken from the preliminary explanatory note-- see below for it). Councils and also in a way the use of several Bishops to consecrate a Bishop show collegial practice.

One is admitted to this college by episcopal consecration and hierarchical communion with the head (which is not just some vague attitude, but a juridical communion - as the preliminary note explains - see below).

The college has no authority apart from the Pope. He is the supreme Pastor, and has direct authority over all in the Church, faithful and Bishops. "The Lord made Simon the rock and key-bearer of the Church, and set him up as the Pastor of His whole flock. " [This is important in view of the fact that LG 24 also teaches each Bishop has power from Christ over His own diocese, not from the Pope, except that a Bishop cannot have a diocese unless it is assigned to him by the Pope.] When and whether an action is to be taken in collegial form is for the Pope to determine (cf.Preliminary note again) The Pope having full supreme power can, whenever he so chooses, act alone,without the college.

The college of Bishops can exercise supreme authority in a general council, but to be such it must be confirmed or at least recognized by the Pope, whose place it is to call councils and preside over them.

23.The Pope is the source of unity for the whole Church,the Bishops for their own dioceses.Even though they lack jurisdiction over other dioceses, yet each Bishop should have a concern for the whole Church.As far as duty permits,they should collaborate in the work of the missions by every means in their power,by supplying workers and by spiritual and material aid. Special associations of churches have come about in the course of time, guided by Divine Providence. Some of these groups have their own rites, discipline, and theological patrimony. Especially important examples are the Patriarchal churches. Episcopal conferences, similarly, can give manifold and fertile work so that the collegial spirit may be brought into concrete application.

24.Bishops receive directly from Christ the mission of teaching and preaching. This office is a service. But the canonical mission of a particular Bishop to a particular diocese is a different thing. That can be made by (1) legitimate customs not yet revoked by the Pope, (2) by laws made or acknowledged by the Pope, (3) directly by the Pope himself. If the Pope objects or refuses, Bishops cannot be admitted to office.

25.This section was covered in detail in the introduction to this text, in dealing with the four levels of teaching.

26.The bishop,marked with the fullness of the Sacrament of Orders,is the dispenser of grace and the supreme priesthood,especially in the eucharist,which he offers or has offered. This Church of Christ is present in all lawful groups of faithful united with their shepherds,and so these can be called churches.They are,in their own place,the new People called by God in the Holy Spirit.In every communion of the altar,under the sacred ministry of the Bishop,there is a symbol of that charity and unity of the Mystical Body.Christ is present in these communities. Every legitimate celebration of the Eucharist is regulated by the Bishop.

27.The power of a Bishop is solely for spiritual good. It is ordinary and comes immediately from Christ, it is ordinary and immediate, so that Bishops are not just vicars of the Pope, they are vicars and legates of Christ, though they are regulated by the Pope, since he has immediate power over each Bishop and each one of the faithful.(And without canonical mission they may not take over a diocese).

Bishops have the power to legislate, to pass judgment, and to regulate everything pertaining to divine worship.

The Bishop should not refuse to listen to his subjects. He must give an account for their souls to God. He should consider those outside too as entrusted to him in the Lord.

28.The divinely instituted ministry is in three degrees: bishop, priest, deacon. Priests depend on the bishop but are associated with him in the honor of the priestly ministry. They make present again,by acting in the person of Christ, the once-for-all sacrifice. [It is once for all in that it created an infinite title to grace and forgiveness, even for each individual person(Gal.2.20). Yet for the giving out of that treasury,t he Mass makes the sacrifice present again. In a sacrifice there are two parts, exterior and interior. The exterior sign is there to express and promote the interior dispositions, basically,obedience to the Father. In the Cenacle the exterior sign was the seeming separation of body and blood - on the cross, it was physical separation. But in the Mass the exterior sign is still the same as in the Cenacle - and the interior dispositions of Christ on the altar are the same, really, not a repeat, but a continuation of those with which He died for death makes permanent the disposition of heart with which one leaves this world. So the Mass does make Calvary present again in this way, for the interior dispositions of Christ, from which the value comes, are present again, not repeated, but continue from Calvary, so that the people may join their interior dispositions of obedience to the Father with those of Christ: this is their greatest participation the Mass. This pertains to the "spiritual oblation spoken of in LG 10 & 34].

Priests along with the Bishop constitute a sacred priestly college, the presbyterium. In each assembly of the faithful they as it were make the Bishop present.

Priests should be concerned not only with their own parish, but with the whole diocese, even the whole Church. They should look on the Bishop as Father, whom they obey, and he should look on them as sons, not servants.

Priests should be models of their flock, and serve it.

29.Deacons are at the lower part of the hierarchy, but are a part of the hierarchy. They can baptize solemnly, administer the Eucharist, bless marriages, bring Viaticum, read Scripture to the people, preside at worship and at funerals, and administer sacramentals.

It may be possible to have a permanent diaconate, even including married men.

Preliminary Explanatory Note to Chapter 3

This note was sent "by higher authority" - clearly,the Pope. It contained some precisions on Pope and Bishops:

1.The college of Pope and Bishops is not to be understood in a strictly juridical sense, i.e., as an assembly of equals who would entrust power to a president. Rather it is a permanent or stable body whose authority is to be deduced from revelation.

The parallelism with the Apostles and Peter does not imply transmission of the extraordinary powers the Apostles had, such as working miracles. It merely means there is a proportionality between Peter-Apostles and Pope-Bishops. Hence, speaking of this parallel, 22 does not say the relation of the Pope and Bishops is precisely the same, but it is similar (non eadem sed pari ratione) .

2.A man becomes a member of the college by episcopal consecration and by hierarchical communion with the Head, the Pope. Consecration gives an ontological sharing of the sacred functions. [The word is munera,not potestates for powers would mean an ability needing nothing more in order to be ready to be used. This refers to words in 21]. For that there is still necessary a canonical or juridical determination by the Pope, which can consist in the grant of a particular office or in assigning subjects. This is given according to the norms approved by the supreme authority. It is clear that in early times this was provided by communion in the life of the Church, and later was codified in law.

It was said above that besides episcopal consecration, there is required also hierarchical communion. This communion does not mean some vague attitude, but an organic reality which calls for juridical form and is animated by love.

3. It is said in 22 that the college is the "subject of supreme and full power". There is no college without the head, the Pope. This is to be said to avoid challenge to the supreme power of the Pope. [Cf.the Council of Constance,1414, and Basle, 1439, which claimed authority over the Pope].

So we do not speak of the Pope or the Bishops taken collectively, but of the Pope alone, or the Pope along with the Bishops. Since the Pope is the head, he by himself can do certain things that in no way belong to the Bishops, e.g., He can convoke the college and direct it, approve norms of action etc. It is for the judgment of the Pope according to the needs of the Church, to determine the manner in which things are to be done - by him personally, or in a collegial manner. The Pope can whenever he so wills, act without the college. The college always exists, but does not always act. There can be no action of the Bishops as a college without the Pope.

N.B.The sacramental ontological function cannot be exercised without the hierarchical communion. The Commission however did not wish to discuss questions of liceity and validity in case this communion is lacking, as actually happens in the Eastern schismatic churches. There are various opinions on this.


There was literally a plot in the theological commission in regard to collegiality.

There were on hand three views of collegiality:

1)Extreme conservative: The college of bishops does not have supreme power until, and unless the Pope calls a council. The Pope alone has supreme power by divine right.

2.Extreme liberal:The college, with the Pope has head, has supreme power. The Pope can exercise supreme power but only by acting as head of the college. He must in conscience ask the opinion of the college before making a pronouncement,because he is obliged to express the thinking of the college.

3)Moderate view: The Pope himself has Supreme power all by himself,and the college has it in union with him,but needs his consent to exercise it.

Collegiality was discussed at length during the second session,1963. The Theological Commission had a revised text ready by March 6,1964. Pope Paul VI was not satisfied, and on May 19,1964 sent suggestions. By early June a text was ready, incorporating most of the Pope's suggestions. He approved it on July 3.

But the International Group of Council Fathers, led by Archbishop Staffa, claimed that the text was no different from a view repeatedly deplored during the 19th century as erroneous. The day after the opening of the third session, Archbishop Staffa had a list of over 70 names which he gave to the Cardinal Moderators, asking to address the general assembly before the voting began on the chapter on collegiality. He appealed to the rules of procedure which said even after the end of discussion, a minority could designate three speakers, who could go more than ten minutes, if the request was made in the name of at least 70 other Council Fathers. His petition was refused. Archbishop Staffa and the leaders of the International Group wrote a long letter to the Pope on Nov.7,1964. The Pope ordered an official investigation. Meanwhile 35 other Cardinals and superiors general of large religious orders had written to the Pope saying that the text was ambiguous.The Pope found this hard to believe, and wrote to the chief Cardinal on the list, attacking his arguments. The Cardinal went to see the Pope. He asked that theologians of his group be allowed to debate the matter before the Pope with his theologians. The Pope refused. Then one of the plotters wrote out some of the ambiguous passages and said how they would be interpreted after the Council. By Divine Providence he lost the paper, and it fell into the hands of the sounder members, who took it to the Pope. Paul VI finally, seeing he had been deceived, broke down and wept. Hence he ordered the Preliminary Explanatory note. Cf.Ralph.M.Wiltgen, The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber. The Unknown Council, Hawthorne Books, N.Y.1967.

Chapter 4: The Laity

30.Everything said about the People of God pertain to all within the Church.But some things should be said particularly about the laity.

31.The word laity includes all not in Holy Orders,or in Religious Life.The laity,in their own way,share in the priestly,prophetic,and royal office of Christ.

It is proper to the laity to engage in temporal affairs and to direct them according to God's will.- We are far here from the attitude of some politicians and judges who think they can leave their religious principles behind in their work. -The laity contribute to the sanctification of the world from within,like a leaven. Of course this implies that they are not merely conformed to the ways of the world - as so many strive earnestly to be. Especially should their life should be a witness to Christ. Cf.Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, rather be transformed having your minds made new so as to see what is the will of God what is good and well-pleasing and perfect."

32.There is a wonderful diversity in the Church, like that of which St.Paul spoke in 1 Cor 12,and Rom 12:4-5, in describing the various parts of the body, as a parallel to varied functions within the Mystical Body of Christ. In a way there is a real equality among all members, in that all are needed, and all should contribute to the building up of the Mystical Body, and to sanctifying the world. St.Paul says [Gal 3.28] that in Christ there is no Jew or Greek, no slave or free, no male or female. In context, Paul means this to refer to striving for salvation by faith. We may not extend this so as to say there is equality in all other respects - such as with or without Holy Orders, or to prove ordination of women. Paul is referring as we said just to working for salvation by faith.

All are called to holiness,even though not all follow the same path. Our Lord said (Mt.5:48): "Be you perfect,as your heavenly Father is perfect." Pius XII in his Encyclical for the third centenary of St.Francis de Sales, wrote: "Let no one think that this invitation is addressed to a small very select number, and that all others are allowed to stay in a lower degree of virtue...this law obliges everyone,without exception." It was specially suitable for Pius XI to write this on the anniversary of St.Francis de Sales, for he had splendidly explained in his Introduction to the Devout Life (1.3) that even though the ways of the spiritual life are varied in varied states, yet all are called to be perfect, and so it is possible in all states of life. Of course, the perfection of the Father is infinite - therefore the command means in practice that we can never say we have advanced far enough - there is still an unending road to travel which we can never complete. Paul VI wrote (To 13th National Congress of the Italian Feminine Center, Feb.12, 1966: "Christian marriage and the Christian family demand a moral commitment. They are not an easy way of Christian life, even though the most common,the one which the majority of the children of God are called on to travel. Rather, it is a long path toward sanctification." (This idea is developed in OFP, chapter 16).

The laity are brothers of Christ, and of those in Holy Orders. St.Augustine said (Sermon 340)"When it frightens me that I am for you,then it consoles me to think I am with you.For I am a bishop for you; with you I am a Christian. The one is the name of an office, the other of grace. The one is a danger, the other, salvation." Cf. Wisdom 6.5-6: "Judgment is stern for the exalted. The lowly persons may be pardoned out of mercy, but the mighty shall be mightily tested." Cf.Ezekiel 3.17-21, where God told the prophet that he was a watchman. If he did not warn the wicked, God would demand an accounting.

33.The lay apostolate used to be defined as a sharing in the apostolate of the hierarchy. Vatican II broadens this,with a two part teaching: (1)"The apostolate of the laity is a sharing in the saving mission of the Church. The laity are appointed to this apostolate by the Lord Himself, through Baptism and Confirmation." This means the laity are to make the Church "present and fruitful in those places and circumstances where it is only by means of them that the Church can become the salt of the earth. This means, again, a life of witness, a life different from that of people of the world. (2)In addition, there are special works under the direction of the authorities - this is what the term lay apostolate used to mean. Laymen can even be appointed now to some ecclesiastical offices, those that do not need ordination.

The Encyclical of John Paul II,Redemptoris Missio (Dec.7,1990, 37-38,Vatican translation) spells out the need for the laity to be a leaven in the world. It refers to these areas as like the Areopagus on which St.Paul spoke in Athens: "The first Areopagus of the modern age is the world of communications.... the younger generation is growing up in a world conditioned by the mass media. is not enough to use the media simply to spread the Christian message and the church's authentic teaching. It is also necessary to integrate that message into the 'new culture' created by modern communications. ...Pope Paul VI said that 'the split between the Gospel and culture is undoubtedly the tragedy of our time' [compare the culture of pagan Rome and even Greece, permeated with a religion, even though a false one] and the field of communications fully confirms this judgment. There are many other forms of the 'Areopagus' in the modern world...commitment to peace, development and the liberation of peoples; the rights of individuals and peoples, especially those of minorities; the advancement of women and children; safeguarding the created world.... We must also mention the immense 'Areopagus' of culture, scientific research and international relations which promote dialogue and open up new possibilities.... the so-called 'religious revival' - is not without ambiguity, but it also represents an opportunity. The church has an immense spiritual patrimony to offer mankind.... It is the Christian path to meeting God, to prayer, to asceticism and to search for life's meaning. Here too there is an 'Areopagus to be evangelized." LG adds,"Thus every layman, from the gifts given him, is a witness and at the same time a living instrument of the mission of the church herself 'according to the measure of the giving of Christ'' (Eph 4:7). (The "measure of giving" refers to the charismatic category of graces, as the context in Eph shows. It does not refer to the sanctifying category, in which God has bound Himself by the covenant to offer graces leading to salvation without limit (for the title of the price paid by Christ is infinite, and for each individual person as Gal 2:20 shows - cf.Church in Modern World 22 "Each one of us can say with the Apostle, 'The Son of God loved me, and gave himself for me." Hence there is an infinite objective title in favor of each individual. So God will always offer the graces of salvation, without limit - though a person may make self hardened by repeated mortal sins, so as to be unable to be open to receive the graces offered).

In contrast, the graces of the charismatic category are aimed primarily not at the salvation of the recipient - though indirectly they may help that - but at some benefit for the Church. Here the principle is that the Spirit blows where He wills. And one may not even be in the state of grace and have even a miraculous gift such as healing the sick, as we learn from Mt.7,22-23: "Many will say to me on that day: Have we not cast out devils in your name, prophesied in your name, done many mighty works in your name, and then I will say to them: Depart from me, you workers of iniquity. I never knew you."

34.LG gives further clarification (we saw it above in LG 10) of the role of laity in offering "spiritual sacrifices". It says that all the works, prayers, family life [here let us recall the words we cited in LG 32 from Paul VI about marriage as a long path to sanctification], daily work etc. can all be spiritual sacrifices if they are taken as the will of God, and as a means of bringing the spirit of Christ into everything. Really, in a very basic sense, God needs no one - by His omnipotence He can accomplish anything. However,there is a distinction - some things He can accomplish directly only by an extraordinary intervention, that is, by miraculous means. It would be inconsistent for Him to act in an extraordinary way ordinarily. So in that area He, in a sense, needs human work, for we can do these things without miracles.

I had a grandfather who was very indulgent. He used to tell me to phone him on New Years's day, and if I could say Happy New Year before he did, he would give me a dollar [this was in the 1920s, when a dollar was worth several times what it is worth today] - it was a setup of course. He wanted to give me the dollar,and liked to do it in a such a way that I seemed to have earned it. In a somewhat parallel way, our Father in Heaven likes to provide titles for His gifts (cf. OFP chapter 4 and St.thomas Summa I.19.5.c). So He has us do the things He could not do without a miracle - and at the same time these provide a title in good order for Him to give His gifts. Some of these things are intrinsically of a higher order than others - yet the most important thing is to do His will. A motto I used to see on an office wall said: "When the one Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He writes not that you won or lost, but how you played the game."

LG adds that these spiritual sacrifices are most suitably offered at Mass,along with the offering of Christ's obedience - for in these we are obeying the will of the Father. It is good to take a few moments before each Mass to ask ourselves what we have done in carrying out His will since the last Mass.If we have done well, we can join it with the obedience of Christ, to form the one great offering of the obedience of the Whole Christ. We could also look ahead to the coming day. Sometimes we will see something in which we will find it hard to do the will of the Father. So we ask: Do I really mean to do it? If not, I had better get out of here - this is no place for me.

35.This section speaks of the prophetic office of Christ. The laity share in it by their witness to His principles as a leaven in the world - of which LG 33 already spoke. As an aid in this Christ gives all the sensus fidei- which was spoken of in LG 12,a sort of passive infallibility.

People show themselves children of the promise if they make the most of the present time (St.Paul says that the days are evil:Eph 5.16 - he means the world is run on principles often the opposite of those of Christ - and the evil spirits do have great influence) - trying to live with the outlook we shall all have when we emerge for the tombs on the last day. Then we shall see what really counted - and what did not. Hence in Col.3.1-5: "If then you have been raised up with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Think of the things that are above,not the things that are upon the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, will be manifested, then you too will be manifested with Him in glory. So mortify your members that are upon the earth - sexual looseness, uncleanness, lust...." etc. This is the syn Christo theme - the center of Paul's teaching: We should live with Christ, die with Christ, be buried with Him, rise with Him, ascend with Him. In His life, two phases - first, a hard life, suffering and death, second, glory. The more we are like Him in phase one, the more we shall be like Him in phase 2. As a result,2 Cor 4,17-18: "What is at present light and momentary in our troubles, is working beyond all measure, an eternal weight of glory for us, who do not look to the things that are seen, but the things that are not seen." Cf.also Romans 8:18. To the extent that one really lives with such an outlook, he will be a witness to Christ within the world - but this,again, is far different from trying to be just like the world. The laity also bear witness to Christ towards their children, in family life.

LG 35 urges the laity to express their eternal hope (looking forward to the future life) by "continual conversion." John Paul II spoke of this in Redemptor Hominis 20: "Without this constant ever renewed endeavor for conversion, partaking of the Eucharist would lack its full redeeming effectiveness and there would be a loss, or at least a weakening of the special readiness to offer God the spiritual sacrifice in which our sharing in the priesthood of Christ is expressed in an essential and universal manner." (We saw details of this "spiritual sacrifice" above in 34 and 10. We notice too that daily Communion without this constant effort will not only bring no gain, but instead a loss. So many receive out of mere routine, with no preparation, no thanksgiving. It would be much better for them to receive only at times, and then do it well. When St.Pius X urged frequent Communion, he had in mind the special efforts people of his day made before receiving. He would surely not be pleased with the routine and sluggishness we see today.

Marriage is specially important in this matter. Cf.again chapter 16 of OFP and Pius XI, Casti connubii DS 3707:"This mutual interior conformation of the spouses to one another, this constant concern to perfect one another, in a certain very true way, as the Roman Catechism teaches [II.8.13] can even be called the primary cause and reason for marriage, if however, marriage is not taken strictly as an institution to rightly procreate and educate children, but more broadly,as a sharing, familiarity and society of all of life."

36.Christ reached His reign- "all power is given to me in heaven and on earth"- by obedience. So all are to share in His kingly role by self-abnegation, in imitation of Him, so as to reign in mastery of self by overcoming sin. Cf.St.Augustine's interpretation of Apocalypse 20 (City of God 20.9) where he takes the 1000 reign of the just on earth with Christ to mean their reign over sin during the 1000 years from the ascension to the parousia, that is, in all the present period of time.

LG also hopes that people may work so that the goods of this earth may serve the real needs of people more properly and may be justly distributed. Let them also work so that the things of the world may not be an inducement to sin.

Let them also, while distinguishing between their lives as members of Christ, and as members of human society, realize that "no human activity, not even in temporal things, can be withdrawn from the rule of God." So again, politicians and others who think they can leave Christ's principles behind in their public work are very wrong. LG says there is an "unhappy teaching that tries to build society without regard for religion, and seeks to restrict the religious freedom of its citizens". This refers not only to communistic nations, but also hints at what The Declaration on Religious Liberty will teach in 1 - that men and societies have an obligation to the true Church, and that there is to be freedom of religion not in the sense of having a right to be wrong (as right is a claim ultimately given by God to have, to do, or to call for something. God gives no one a claim to be wrong), but in the sense of having a right not to be punished or coerced for being wrong in religious beliefs, within due limits. Just as individuals as individuals must serve God, so also states as states must do so. How far is the U.S. from this now when religion in any form is being kept out of public life! Pagan Rome did better.It worshipped false gods, but at least religion permeated everything, so that the chief officers of the state had both the right and the duty to consult the omens for the will of the gods before any public event such as a meeting of the senate or assembly, a session of court, even the beginning of war.

37.The laity have the right to receive the help of spiritual goods in abundance from their pastors. They should make known their needs with that freedom and confidence that are suitable to children of God and brothers of Christ. They should do this with respect, and with obedience to lawful commands.

Pastors should willingly listen to them and make use of what is good in their advice. They should assign duties to them, if the laity wish them (apostolate) and should leave them a reasonable amount of freedom in carrying things out, and even leave room for suitable lay initiative. Many good things will come from this arrangement.

38.Each layman is to be a witness before the world to the resurrection and life of Christ - in the sense explained above of the syn Christo theme.

Chapter 5: Universal Call to Holiness

39-42. We will treat this chapter,sections 39-42 in one unit, since there is much repetition in it, and since it praises so specially the three counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience, and says that their spirit is essential to all,bishops,priests,deacons, religious and laity.

The Church as such is unfailingly holy, since Christ gave her all the means of holiness, joined her to Himself, gave her the Holy Spirit, the Mass, the Sacraments. We recall the OT sense of holy = qadosh, set aside for God. The Church is of course that. This state calls for holiness in the sense of moral perfection. In regard to the first meaning,that of qadosh, St.Paul in 1 Cor 7:14 says that in a marriage of a pagan and a Christian: "The unbelieving man is made holy by the woman, and the unbelieving wife is made holy by the brother. If it were otherwise, your children would be unclean, but really,they are holy."

Very special means of holiness are found in the three evangelical counsels, poverty, chastity and obedience. This is important,because for some years now there has been a great error running,which is sometimes called the New Spirituality - though more often it has no name,but is simply taught as the only way to live - which OFP cap 20 calls GUN spirituality,i.e., Give Up Nothing. We explained this in comments on LG 9.

In Mt 5.48,Jesus said:"Be you perfect,as also your heavenly Father is perfect." As we saw above in LG 32 Pius XI,in his Encyclical for the third centenary of St.Francis de Sales commented on Mt 5:.48: "Let no one think that this invitation is addressed to a small, very select number, and that all others are allowed to stay in a lower degree of virtue. This law obliges everyone,without exception." In Introduction to the Devout Life 1.3 the Saint wrote brilliantly on this theme,and also pointed out that the form of holiness varies with the different states of life. It is most essential that each should fulfill the duties of his own state, and not try to live in a different state. For to be holy in the moral sense means simply to do the will of the Father completely, perfectly. That will includes doing the duties of our state in life.

Are the counsels only for religious? No,at the end of section 42 refers us to St.John Chrysostom, Homily 7,7 on Matthew. St.John takes up the objection: We are not all monks, and so need not follow these counsels. He replies: "All the divine laws are common to us and the monks, except marriage."

Jesus inculcated a spirit of poverty in the first beatitude: "Blessed are the poor in spirit." That is, those who are not attached to the things of this world (more on attachment presently). The phrase poor in spirit occurs at Qumran aniye ruach to refer to the poor who trust in God. But the Fathers of the Church saw that mere physical poverty is not to be praised, it is rather detachment, which can be found even in those who do have money. But even though it is possible to practice detachment while having much money, it is far easier if one does not have a lot, hence,the famous saying of Jesus that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. (This is Semitic exaggeration - there is no gate in Jerusalem called the camel's eye).

The second counsel chastity is practiced fully by those who abstain from marriage. Yet even within marriage, there is need of chastity - in fidelity to one's mate, and in avoiding contraception.

The third counsel is obedience - everyone has to obey at least to some extent. I saw a survey in a Sunday magazine that asserted that if the boss in a business gives an order, it is obeyed only about half of the time. Some of the disobedience is just carelessness, some of it is the attitude: "Nobody can tell me anything" - not even if he is paying me to do a thing!

St.Paul speaks strongly on the need for detachment for all in 1 Cor 7.29-31: "The time is short. As for the rest, I urge that those who have wives be as though not having them, and those who weep, as though not weeping, and those who rejoice as though not rejoicing, and those who buy as though not having, and those who use the world, as though not using it. For the appearance that this world is passing." In saying time is short,Paul means all time is so brief - it is not a mistaken notion that the end was near,as many commentators think. In Haggai 2.6.written in 520 B.C.we find God saying, "Yet a moment, a little while, and I will move heaven and earth, and the one desired by the nations shall come in." We are following St.Jerome's translation, and he in turn was following a tradition he received from the rabbis of his time that the sense was messianic. Many today translate instead, "and the treasures of the nations will come in," that would seem to mean, into Jerusalem - this would likely refer to the messianic age. So Haggai referred to the Messiah's coming, which was still 520 years in the future. Ps.90:4 says:"For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday,when it is past,or as a watch in the night." Also, we are now in the eschaton, the last period of God's dealings with the human race - for there is not to be anything to replace the Christian dispensation.(Cf.DV 4).

To help explain detachment, we think of Mt 6. 21: "Where your treasure is, there is your heart also." One can put his treasure not only in a box of coins under the floor, but in anything at all,e.g., huge meals,gourmet meals, sex, travel, study, even study of theology. All these are below God, some farther than others. The farther below God that thing is, and the more one allows himself to be pulled by it, the harder it is for thoughts and heart to rise up to God. Some are so little attached that they do no more than commit imperfection - some go even into habitual mortal sin. Detachment can be had both in and outside of marriage.

A supplementary comparison will help. We think of a galvanometer, a compass needle on its pivot with a coil of wire around it. We send a current into the coil, and the needle swings the right direction,and the right amount. It will register exactly if there is no competition from outside pulls, such as 30,000 volt power lines, or a lot of magnetic steel. If the outside pulls are very strong, and the current in the coil is mild, the current in the coil may have no effect. That current in the coil stands for grace, and the meter is my mind. Grace is gentle, it respects my freedom - outside pulls, if I let them hold me greatly, do not respect my freedom, can damage it, and can make it hard if not impossible to perceive the gentle inspirations of grace sent into the coil. Detachment aims at making one free to be guided by the Spirit.(Cf OFP chapters 19-20,and add the thoughts on the need of reparation, which can come from accepting the will of God, as explained in OFP chapter 4.)

We said that all are called to spiritual perfection. So some ask: How then can St.Paul in 1 Cor 7 say that celibacy/virginity is a better state than the married state? Does not that indicate that those who marry are deficient in generosity to God, and so cannot reach perfection? But we know that they can, for the Church so teaches as we saw above from the words of Pius XI, and there are some canonized married Saints. - Some even go so far as to reject the teaching of St.Paul. But Paul does say that celibacy/virginity is better, and we must not listen to people wiping it out today.

The key is this: We are not all called to the same form of life, the same graces. It is not enough to draw up a scale, as it were, on the wall, with the highest form of life at the top, and lower forms below it - and then measure and see how much generosity one has, and that will decide the place he takes. That impression used to be given by some vocational literature from religious orders, and it has done so much harm. The essential thing to remember is this: We cannot charge someone with a lack of generosity for following that form of life which the Father wills for Him. For many, the Father wills marriage. We saw above that it can and should be a long road to sanctification.

There is a major distinction needed here: when one says celibacy/virginity is a higher state, he does not imply that others cannot attain perfection, what is true is this: the state of abstention from marriage in itself provides objectively more powerful means for holiness. But what is objectively more effective may not be more effective for this particular person, and certainly not, if the Father wills that the person in question embrace a particular state. To choose a state different from what the Father wills would be wrong, and very dangerous to spiritual growth, even dangerous to salvation.

How can these things be true? Because in marriage one does not have just a long picnic filled with sex - rather, the psychology of male and female are so utterly different that each one, even in a fine pairing, will be able to say: "I have to give in most of the time to make this work". There we may see great selfdenial, and if it is taken as the will of God, it is greatly sanctifying. And babies are very cute part of the time, very pesky at other times. To take the whole package of their behavior,and use it as the will of God - that is very highly sanctifying. A religious may get up in the middle of the night to make a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament.At the end of the hour, he can surely go back to bed. But a parent may have to get up at just any hour when baby needs help, and the parent is not sure of being free to go back to sleep when 60 minutes have passed. Let us recall the Father's plan for sex as a means of bringing maturity (OFP cap 16), sincere interest in the other for the other's sake. If all this be taken as the will of the Father, someone in this state, even though it has objectively less powerful means for growth than does celibacy/virginity, yet the person may wind up higher on the scale of moral perfection than the one who has given up marriage.

Also, the married person has a powerful, even though sugar- coated means of being interested in another for the other's sake. Those who abstain from marriage lack this. If they are not careful to compensate for the lack, they can become selfish. Our Father so greatly loves objective goodness - in this case, the objective goodness of being sincerely interested in the other for the other's sake - that He is pleased to get it even if sugar- coating is needed to bring it about.

We will see more on the relation of religious life to married life in the next chapter.

(A misleading impression used to be common when literature for religious orders spoke of that life as a "state of perfection." Really, this was an abbreviation - the full expression was: "A state of acquiring perfection by means of the three counsels." Without the full wording, it could seem to mean all religious are already perfect, and so all others are imperfect and in a state of imperfection).

In 41 LG said that if bishops strongly exercise their ministry it is for them an outstanding means of sanctification. Quite true. But the statement could be misunderstood so as to mean that bishops need do nothing but their routine work - need not cultivate the spirit of detachment and prayer and use other means which are common to all in the Church. 41 made the same comment about priests.

Chapter 6: Religious Life

43.LG says that religious life provides a stable and more solidly based way of Christian life. This means it is a better state. That is true.

So we can say: the religious state provides more effective means,and so the state in itself is better - but it is another thing to say that a given person in that state is spiritually better. Such a one should be, having more powerful means. But whether the person is really better - perhaps yes, perhaps no.

LG next brings out that the religious state is not something in between clergy and laity. Rather, the religious state should be seen as a form of life to which some Christians - both laity and clergy - are called, while some are not called to it.

44.The counsels are a means of consecrating oneself to God completely. This is a way of getting more abundant fruit from the consecration of baptism. One does this for two reasons: (1) to get free of hindrances to love of God- cf.what we said in chapter 5 on detachment and the ability to perceive spiritual truths; (2)to dedicate self more fully to the service of God.

The more stable the bonds, the more complete the consecration.

Religious life is for the benefit of the entire Church.Cf.1 Cor 12:26,and Rabbi Simeon Ben Eleazar (c.170 A.D.Tofesta,Kiddushin,1.14): "He has carried out a commandment. Blessings on him!. He has tipped the scale to the side of merit for himself and for the world. He [anyone] has committed a transgression. Woe on him! He has tipped the scale to the side of debt for himself and for the world. " It should serve as a sign to encourage and inspire people to greater freedom from the things of this world, by showing more strongly that we are made for heavenly things. It is a closer imitation of the form of life chosen by Jesus and Mary.

45.The hierarchy oversees religious life. It should make wise laws to regulate it. But it should respect the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in accepting rules drawn up by holy persons.

The Pope has supreme supervision over all religious communities. So he can exempt an order or society from jurisdiction of Bishops. He can also put an order under a Patriarch. Even if exempt, members of religious orders should show respect and obedience to Bishops within the sphere provided by Canon Law.

The Church receives the vows of those who enter religious life, commends them to God, and gives a special blessing.

46. Religious life is not an obstacle to human development - the GUN spirituality had said that, especially it said that obedience prevents maturing. Really,if there were only a few decisions to be made by a person, and all were taken over by a superior when the person was young, there would be that problem. But there are so many decisions to be made, and not all are preempted by the religious superior. So there is ample room to cultivate both obedience as a spiritual good, and to make decisions for maturity. On the positive side, the counsels contribute a great deal to purification of heart and to spiritual freedom, they continually provide a stimulus to growth in love.

Religious life does not alienate people and make them useless to human society. In fact,the Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life, 7 says: "Institutes that are totally dedicated to contemplation, so that their members, in solitude and silence, in continual prayer and eager penance take time for God, always retain a special place in the Mystical Body of matter how urgent be the needs of the active apostolate." We recall St.Therese of Lisieux was made patroness of the missions. Missioners and other active workers may labor intensely - but there will be no fruit even if Paul plants, and Apollo waters (1 Cor 3:6) without interior grace, which is obtained by the spiritual means of which we are speaking.

47.Let all those who are called to religious life take earnest care to excel still more in that life.

Chapter 7: The Pilgrim Church

48."The Church will reach its final perfection only in the glory of heaven." Before the Council some theologians had argued that if one reaches heaven, he is no longer a member of the Mystical Body of Christ. Here it makes clear that they were wrong - really, oddly wrong, for we are saved not just as individuals, but inasmuch as we are members of Christ,of His Church, and like Him (cf.LG 9). In heaven everything will be perfectly reestablished in Christ. He is the New Adam. St.Irenaeus stressed this notion of recapitulation - putting a new head on things. The first head, Adam,had brought disaster - Christ the New Adam, undoes that work. (Irenaeus also applied this theme to Mary, the New Eve, and to the Antichrist, the head of all evil, and to the final restoration, a new beginning, which, sadly, he thought was a millennium - basing himself on Apoc.20).

Even before the coming of Christ, people were saved inasmuch as they were members of His by anticipation, and received graces in anticipation of His work.Cf,comments on LG 5 and also 2 and 16.

Rom 8.19-15 puts it beautifully: "For the expectation of creation is awaiting the revelation of the sons of God. For creation was made subject to folly, not willingly, but because of the one who made it subject." Recall Augustine's image of disobedience as the penalty of disobedience. "It is subject in hope. Because even creation itself will be freed from the slavery of corruption, into the freedom of the glory of the Sons of God. For we know that all creation groans together and is in birth pains together even until now. Not only that, but even we ourselves, though we have the first fruits, the Spirit, we ourselves groan in ourselves, waiting for the adoption of sons, the redemption of our body. For we are saved in hope. A hope that is seen, is not a hope. For what a man sees, why does he also hope for it? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait in patience."

That slavery to corruption refers to incessant breaking down of every cell in the body. They are then rebuilt.At the resurrection we will no longer be subject to this corruption and weakness.

We are subject to a different king od change also. We are on a planet that revolves every 24 hrs. and goes around the sun once a year - and the whole solar system is part of the Milky Way galaxy, which is rushing on at a dreadful speed. With death, we begin to be freed from this incessant change - for our contact with this constant change is the body. We then go into a realm with no substantial change, only accidental change, and not constant change at that, but only at some points, if we go to purgatory. If one goes right to heaven - no change until the resurrection. So one waits without a body only one instant. Similarly if one goes to hell - only one instant to resurrection.

After the resurrection - the body will no longer constantly change - so it will be freed from the slavery of corruption - and the physical world too will be freed for that slavery. Time will be no more. There will be no constant succession of future to present to past. Then there will be a renewed earth and sky, with no more corruption.

At present we are children of God, inasmuch as sanctifying grace gives the radical ability to take part in the infinite streams of knowledge and love within the Holy Trinity. But that is just the radical ability - no fruition yet.S o we wait for the full adoption of sons.

Since we know not the day nor the hour, we need to be on the watch constantly. We must, perhaps suddenly, appear before Christ the judge, for the eternal verdict. Then we will realize what Rom. 8:18 said: "The sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us" if we have been faithful - nor are the sufferings of this life anything compared to the horror, eternal horror, if we have been unfaithful.

49.When Christ returns, all will be subject under His feet, and then death, the last enemy, will be destroyed (1 Cor 15:26). Then God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. (Apoc. 21:4.) "And He who sits on the throne will say (21.5): Behold, I make all things new."

Meanwhile, "All who belong to Christ, having His Spirit, coalesce into one Church." Objectively, this means that those who follow the Spirit of Christ (Rom 2:15) even without knowing what it is, do belong to Christ (cf.Rom 8:9). But as we said above, to belong to Christ means to be a member of Christ,and that means to be a member of the Church. This is what LG seems to be saying here, probably without seeing all the implications we have brought out. (Cf.OFP appendix).

What LG at this point seems to have in mind is the union of the faithful on earth with those in purgatory and in heaven - for all belong to Christ. Those in heaven are solicitous for our welfare - they know all about us in the vision of God. And to love God means to will that He may have the pleasure of giving. That requires that people be open to His gifts, that is, obey His commands. If we will that they do this, we in one act will that He have that pleasure, and that neighbor receive His gifts. This is love: to will good to another for the other's sake. Hence love of God and love of neighbor are inseparable - but not in such a way that we ignore Him, and love Him only indirectly, through neighbor.

The souls in heaven do not cease to intercede for us. In OT we often see Moses and others appealing to God to remember Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It means to recall their merits as a reason for helping.

God can do all things directly, by omnipotence. But He prefers to act in good order - and hence in that sense He really can need human work, for humans can do things without miracles which He could do only by way of miracles. It would be contrary to good order for Him to regularly do things by miracles. Then someone could say to Him: Why did you make such laws if you do not mean to stay with them most of the time?

He does love good order. ST I.19.5 c. says that God wills that one thing be there to serve as a title for another thing, even though the title does not move Him - He is unchangeable. This comes from the fact that His Holiness loves good order,as we said (cf.OFP chapter 4 ff). Hence even though the merits of Christ alone are more than sufficient, yet in good order He wills to have the merits of Our Lady and of the Saints. And these merits also make things richer. Hence LG speaks of an enrichment of the liturgy on earth by the Saints in Heaven.

If we can say that the Saints join in the Mass - all the more Our Lady - the body and blood offered are still those she gave. And her interior dispositions are still united with His as they were at the Cross. So the more closely we are united with her at Mass, the more closely we are united with Him - and vice versa.

St.Augustine says in Epistle 194 : "When God crowns your merits, He crowns nothing other than His own gifts." For every bit of good that we are and have and do is His gift to us (1 Cor 4.7). Yet, in good order He loves to have these titles for further giving to us. And also, by grace He makes us have the intrinsic dignity of sons of God, and so works of the sons do in a secondary sense amount to a claim to a reward - this is what merit means. It is our sharing in the merit of Christ inasmuch as we are His members and are like Him. The Council of Trent says in DS 1548: "Far be it from a Christian man to trust in himself or glory in self and not in the Lord, whose goodness to all men is such that He wills that His own gifts be their merits," i.e.,their titles to reward. So the very acceptance and possession of the first grace is a ticket to Heaven:DS 1582, and in that sense can be called a merit of heaven (secondary sense only).

50. The souls in purgatory are in some way which we do not understand, informed of those who pray for them, and they in return pray for us.

The Church has always believed in the suffrages the martyrs make for us, for they have reached heaven. In the first centuries, many thought that only martyrs could have the vision of God, so that even if a person died in grace, and had (1) the refinement of soul needed for that vision (which should be gained in this life, often is not); and (2) has all his old bills paid - rectifying the imbalance of the objective order so far as he can in union with Christ - even then he would not get the vision of God until the end of the world. But gradually the belief spread that others too could reach that vision. Hence the veneration of Saints other than martyrs.

There is much spiritual inspiration to be had from the lives of the Saints. St.Augustine reached a point such that he tells us in Confessions 8.5 that he had no more intellectual difficulties left - but he still did not reach conversion, until he heard the heroic examples of St.Anthony of the desert and others. Examples move. So it is sad that so many young people today know nothing of the Saints.

It is especially in the Mass that our union with Our Lady and the Saints is realized.

51.So the Council repeats the decrees of Nicea II, Florence and Trent on the veneration of images of the Saints. Vatican II itself, in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, ruled in 125."The practice should remain firm of setting up the sacred images in the churches for the veneration of the people; however, it should be done in moderate number and suitable order, so as not to cause surprise in the Christian people, or to favor less sound devotions." LG 67 also gave the same injunction. So it is a violation of Vatican II to remove all images, especially those of Our Lord, Our Lady and St.Joseph from our churches.

Our veneration of the Saints in no diminishes our worship of the Father through Christ and in the Holy Spirit. As 2 Thes 1:9 says, at the end, "He will come to be glorified in His Saints." For their merits are His gifts, and when He crowns their merits, He crowns nothing other than His own gifts, as St.Augustine said (Epistle 194).

Chapter 8:The Blessed Virgin Mary

Introduction: Before the Council opened, a schema had been prepared on the Blessed Virgin. The drafters hoped to promote further teaching about her and would have liked definition of her as Mediatrix of all Graces. (On the comparison of that early schema and the final text of Lumen gentium,cf.C.Balic,"El Capitulo VIII de la Constituci¢n 'Lumen gentium' comparado con el Primer Esquema de La B.Virgen Madre de la Iglesia" in: Estudios Marianos,127,1966). Trouble developed early. George Tavard in a feature article from NCWC News Service reported that in the second session, 1962: "As several speakers have pointed out the term 'Mediatrix,' as applied to May, is incompatible with the teaching of St.Paul." Now to contradict St.:Paul amounts to heresy. But,several popes had already taught,with some variation in wording, that she is Mediatrix of all graces: Leo XIII (ASS 27,1894,179 and ASS 28, 1895,130), St.Pius X ( ASS 34,1904,453- 54), Benedict XV (AAS 13,1921,334), Pius XI (AAS 29,1927,380), Pius XII (AAS 38,1946,266), and even John XXIII )AAS 51,1959,88 and Discorsi II,66). So the floor speakers in effect had charged all these Popes with heresy! Really the speeches were equivalent to heresy, for if a doctrine is taught repeatedly on the Ordinary Magisterium level (below a definition) it is considered infallible - we have just listed the teachings from 6 Popes - the repetition shows the intention to make a teaching definitive! We must remember that floor speeches in a Council are not providentially protected - only the final texts are. At the very first General Council, Nicea, in 325, about 15 Bishops denied the divinity of Christ.

The text of St.Paul to which the speakers referred was 1 Timothy 2.5: "There is one mediator of God and men." It is shocking to think any Bishop wold not understand that text of St.Paul - they were really quoting a standard Protestant objection - it merely means that there is only one Mediator who is (a) both God and man, (2) whose work depends on no other, but secondary mediators depend on Him.

In October of the second session, in 1963, there was a bitter debate leading to probably the closest vote at the Council. The council voted 1114 to 1074 to put the Marian teaching in the Constitution on the Church rather than in a separate document.

Because feelings were so strong, it was agreed to have just one speaker for each side. First,Cardinal Santos of the Philippines arose, and among other things said, speaking of her on Calvary: "She stood, suffering with Him as He died for us, meriting Redemption with Him.... The saving function of Mary who, as a result of the grace of the Redeemer, was associated with Him in the objective redemption itself,is essentially different from the function of other members,[of Christ]".

Before reporting the remarks of the opposite speaker, Cardinal Koenig, we should explain terms. The objective redemption is the work of once-for-all earning all forgiveness and grace on Calvary. The subjective redemption is the work of giving out that forgiveness and grace throughout all subsequent ages. It is clear that no other human cooperated in the objective redemption - though many Saints and ordinary people do cooperate in the subjective redemption. Her cooperation in the objective redemption was both remote and immediate. Remote cooperation was furnishing the flesh and blood by which the Second Person of the Holy Trinity could become Man and die for us. Immediate cooperation was some role in the great sacrifice itself. We stressed some because although not long before Vatican II all theologians had been forced - by numerous papal teachings - to admit some cooperation on Calvary by her, just what it was, and how it worked was the subject of much debate.

The word Coredemptrix is sometimes applied to her role in the immediate objective redemption; the term Mediatrix to her role in the subjective redemption, in dispensing all graces. Some object to the term Coredemptrix, saying the co- prefix implies equality. We reply: It could, but need not. We speak of ourselves as cooperating with grace - which does not mean we are equal to God or His grace. Pius XI once used the term in speaking to Catholic Action youth, saying they were "coredeemers"-- in the subjective redemption of course. John Paul II,in an address at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guayaquil (Osservatore Romano, March 11,1985,p.7): "In fact, Mary's role as Co-redemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son."

German Mariologists, chiefly Koester, Semmelroth, and Mueller, held her cooperation was only what they called "active receptivity." Their comparison was this: I stretch out my hand:that is active; I then receive what I had no share in producing: that is receptivity. Some lines from O.Semmelroth (Urbild der Kirche.Organischer Aufbau des Mariengeheimnisses, W—rzburg,1950).On p.60 he wrote: "Rather, she cooperated in her own subjective redemption, which means at the same time the reception of the fruits of the redemption for the whole Church." And on p.56: "In order that it [the offering of Christ] would be the offering of mankind, there is needed the subjective appropriation by mankind." This surely reminds us of classic Lutheran theology in which humans contribute nothing at all to their own redemption, they merely appropriate what Christ alone did, by taking Christ as one's personal Savior. Further, to say some other human besides Christ must appropriate His redemption in order for it to count for mankind is very wrong: Christ Himself was the New Adam, the new Head of our race.

Not strangely, Semmelroth also said, on p.54: "Mary, since she is substantially the Type of the Church, did absolutely nothing other in the Redemption than the Church herself [does]."

We can surmise why the debate was so bitter: the Germans probably wanted to speak of her as type of the Church -- in the Constitution on the Church - and then conclude as Semmelroth did that she could do nothing other than what the Church does in the immediate objective Redemption: only active receptivity, which would mean no contribution at all to meriting redemption.

In contrast, Cardinal Santos, cited above, in expressing the position of those who wanted a separate schema, said she was meriting Redemption with her Son. That would mean making a contribution to producing the claim or title to all forgiveness and grace - for merit is a claim to a reward.

So now it is really strange to read the opening words of Cardinal Koenig of Vienna, speaking for putting Marian doctrine within the Constitution on the Church: "I do not contradict the things that are explained by the other eminent Father in this matter. I contradict neither as to the doctrine, nor as to the devotion that flows therefrom. In fact, I very gladly and with my heart agree with all these things." Did he fail to understand what Cardinal Santos had really said? or was he deliberately deceiving?

We will explain more fully later, but for now, let us say that LG did call her a type of the Church in 63-65 - but there was not one word about saying she was a type of the Church in redeeming. So the German Mariologists completely failed.

The presiding Cardinal on the day of the vote announced that no matter which way they voted, it would not be downgrading her. So our utterly irresponsible media reported that the Council had voted to downgrade her! That false report caused great damage to Marian devotion. Actually, as we are going to see, Vatican II wrote more extensively about her, went farther theologically than all previous Councils combined. It could rightly be called the Marian Council.

52. God sent His Son through her in the fulness of time. This mystery of salvation is revealed and continued in the Church in which the faithful, adhering to Christ the Head, in communion with all His Saints, should also venerate her in the first place.

53.She is recognized as the true Mother of God and of the Redeemer. In anticipation of the merits of her Son, she was redeemed in a more sublime way - the Immaculate Conception. If we recall that the Father had intended that all should have an immaculate conception - for He gave to Adam and Eve the life of grace to pass on to us, then it is not a bit strange that in just this one case He allowed Himself to have what He had wanted to give to all. [ Further,since there is no time in God so we may ask: does He also in other cases allow for anticipated merits, so that we could pray for the salvation of someone already deceased? Probably yes] She is joined to Him by a close and indissoluble bond. For all the decrees of God are eternal, unchangeable. So from eternity He decreed to send His Son. But that same decree would necessarily include the provision of a Mother for that Son: Our Lady.

By this excelling gift of grace she by far surpasses all creatures in heaven and on earth. Pius XII wrote in the Mystical Body Encyclical (AAS 35, 1943, 247): "...the Virgin Mother of God whose most holy soul, more than all other creatures of God combined, was filled with the divine Spirit of Jesus Christ."

She is the Mother of the members of Christ, "because she cooperated by love that the faithful who are members of this Head, might be born in the Church. "[Augustine, De virginitate 6].Cf.also Pius XII to the Marian Congress of Ottawa, Canada, on June 19, 1947: "When the little maid of Nazareth uttered her fiat to the message of the angel...she became not only the Mother of God in the physical order of nature, but also in the supernatural order of grace she became the Mother of all, who...would be made one under the Headship of her divine Son. The Mother of the Head would be the Mother of the members. The Mother of the Vine would be the Mother of the branches" (AAS 39.271) ].Of course, this really means the same as saying she is the Mother of the Church. Paul VI at the end of the third Session, on November 18,1964, solemnly proclaimed that she is that: "We shall close this session of the Ecumenical joyfully bestowing on Our Lady the title due to her, Mother of the Church." Sad to say, many Bishops were unhappy at this (Cf.Wiltgen, op.cit.,p.241).

54.This Council intends to diligently cast light on the function of the Blessed Virgin in the mystery of the Incarnate Word and the Mystical Body, and the duty of redeemed people toward the Mother of God, the Mother of Christ and of humans, especially of the faithful, without however intending to present a complete doctrine about Mary. We notice LG speaks of her as Mother of humans, especially the faithful - implying her Motherhood extends even to those not members of the Church.

Nor does it intend to decide questions still debated among theologians. Of course,the question of her cooperation in the objective redemption would be a prime example especially in view of the great debate we have spoken of. But we add that it is quite possible that the Council said more than it realized. We shall see the reasons for this statement bit by bit as we go along. In the next section, part of the reasons for saying such a thing is possible will appear. Later we will try to show concretely precisely what teachings LG gave on this subject.

55.The Old and New Testament gradually make clear her role. The OT describes the history of salvation, by which the coming of Christ into the world is slowly prepared. The words "history of salvation" do not mean that no one could be saved before the coming of Christ. Grace was given in anticipation of the work of Christ. So the words refer to the external working out and development in stages of the process which earned all forgiveness and grace.

In DV 12 the Council had deliberately passed by an opportunity to take a stand on whether or not there is a "fuller sense", sensus plenior of Scripture, that is, whether the Holy Spirit at times had in mind more than the human writer saw. (For the statement of the Theological Commission of the council on this, cf.H.Vorgrimler,ed., Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II, Herder & Herder,1969, section by Grillmeier,p.220). In spite of that passing by of an opportunity, here the Council actually uses or takes for granted that there is such a process. For it is saying that, especially in two texts - Gen.3:5 and Is.7:14 - the Church now sees much more than what the human author may have seen: "These ancient documents, as they are read in the Church, and are understood under the light of later and full revelation, gradually bring more clearly into the light the figure of the woman, the Mother of the Redeemer. She, in this light, is already prophetically foreshadowed in the promise, given our first parents when they fell into sin, about the victory over the serpent (cf.Gen 3.15). Similarly, she is the Virgin who will conceive and bear a Son, whose name will be called Immanuel (cf. Is 7.14; Mich 5.2-3;Mt 1.22-23)."

We notice the careful language. It says that the picture of her role is understood more clearly in the light of later and clearer revelation. Therefore, it may well be that the original inspired writer of Genesis, and Isaiah, did not fully understand what they had written. So: did the inspired writer see that the woman in Gen 3.15 would be Mary? Not too likely. Some scholars today say that there is not even a victory mentioned in Gen 3:15, since the same Hebrew verb shuf is used of both the serpent and the seed of the woman. However we should not be more blind than the stiff-necked Jews (the OT repeatedly calls them that). The ancient Targums Neofiti,Pseudo-Jonathan, and Fragmentary Targum all see this line as Messianic. Further, in an allegorical way, they say that the sons of the woman will observe the Torah, and so will conquer the sons of the serpent. The Targum Neofiti definitely sees a victory: "There will be a remedy [for his wound] for the son of the woman, but for you, serpent, no remedy." [The other two Targums speak in the plural, the sons of the woman]. Now if the verse is Messianic, then of course the woman is the Mother of the Messiah = Mary. We notice the Council added cf.before Gen 3:15 and again before Is 7:14. The Modi [proposed changes] for this passage report that 12 Bishops wanted the cf.added to avoid saying that the literal sense of Gen 3.15 and of Is 7.14 was Marian .This is the only place in chapter 8 where such care was taken. In spite of that care, we still have the explicit statement of the Council that when these texts are read in the light of later and fuller revelation,the Church can see Mary foreshadowed there - even if the original writers did not see her.

About the word "foreshadowed" (adumbratur): There is a typical sense of Scripture, sometimes called a foreshadowing, in which an ancient person or event amounts to a prophecy by action or by its being of something to come later. So LG may mean that Eve was a foreshadowing of Our Lady. But we must not stress the word shadow wrongly: In one sense, it was obscure, since at least as far as we can see, the human writer of Genesis is not very likely to have seen the full import. Yet the English shadow must not be taken to mean the type is not real: it is very real,it is just that it is not seen clearly at first. Yet LG says that these two documents, Gen 3:15 and Is 7:14, "gradually bring more clearly into the light the figure of the woman, the Mother of the Redeemer." So her lines come to light, are no longer in shadow, even if we suppose the author of Genesis saw only the shadow, not what was to emerge. Even the type may be quite clear as we see when LG 63 calls Our Lady the type of the Church. She is clearer than the Church!

Some years before Vatican II, Pius XII, in the Munificentissimus Deus, in which he defined the Assumption, wrote: "We must remember especially that since the second century, the Virgin Mary has been presented by the holy Fathers as the New Eve, who, although subject to the New Adam, was most closely associated with Him in that struggle against the infernal enemy, which as foretold in the Protoevangelium [Gen 3:15] was to result in that most complete victory over sin and death, which are always tied together in the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles." So Pius XII unhesitatingly said she was foretold in the Protoevangelium. And in his Encyclical Fulgens corona, 1953, he added: "...the foundation of this doctrine [Immaculate Conception] is seen in the very Sacred Scripture in which God...after the wretched fall of Adam, addressed the serpent in thee words... 'I will put enmity....'" So if the foundation of the Immaculate Conception is in Gen 3:15, then Our Lady is there too.

On Is 7.14 the Targum gives us no direct help - though indirectly it does. St.Augustine long ago, in City of God (17.3) noted that some OT prophecies refer partly to OT people, partly to the Church and Christ. Inasmuch as Isaiah intended to give a sign to King Ahaz, it can be argued that the sign should be something in his own time, not centuries in the future. So the sign would be the birth of a son Hezekiah, to continue the line of David, at a time when that continuation was doubtful. And yet, that would hardly be a striking sign. And still further, scholars today agree that the child of Is 9:5-6 is the same child as that of 7:14 - but the Targums do see 9:5-6 as Messianic. So by implication, they knew that 7:14 was Messianic too. Why then did they not say so? At one time the Jews did say that. Rabbi Hillel, one of the greatest at the time of Christ, said Hezekiah had been the Messiah. Cf.Jacob Neusner, Messiah in Context,p.174, citing Talmud, Sanhedrin 99a. But Neusner adds, on p.190, that they gave up saying it had been Hezekiah, when they found Christians using Is 7:14. So they did know that Is 7.14 was Messianic.

Now the child in 9:5-6 is called: "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace - much too strong for Hezekiah. - So this is a case like those Augustine spoke of - where a prophecy fits partly OT, partly Christ. And this is what LG means when it says that these prophecies, read in the light of later and fuller revelation, tell of Mary - the original writers may not have seen it, but the Church can see it now.

We have here a clear case in which an inspired writer may not have seen all the implications of his words - so, a Council may write more than it sees at the time. - More on this soon.

We conclude it is best to take Is 7:14 as an example of multiple fulfillment of prophecy: it can go through more than once. So the child is both Hezekiah and Jesus (On multiple fulfillment, cf.W.Most, Free From All Error, cap.5).

Does Is 7:14 speak of a virgin birth? The Hebrew word for the woman here is almah - a young unmarried woman, presumably a virgin. But there was a word betulah - which was more specific. However the Septuagint, knowing Jewish traditions, did use Greek parthenos for almah, and the Greek definitely does mean virgin, in spite of some loose statements today by R.Laurentin (Les Evangiles de l'Enfance du Christ, 2d edition, Paris, 1982 p.486), who argues that the LXX was loose in its usage of parthenos, because in Gen 34:4 the word is used for Dinah who has just been raped. But Laurentin slipped badly, for the LXX does not have parthenos in verse 4. So in the English translation he backed up to verse 3, which does use the word. But he did not explain that v.3 is likely to be part of a concentric ring narrative style, well established in the OT. So at least he has no proof against the LXX. I have personally checked every case of the Septuagint's use of the word parthenos ,and find it even more precise than the Hebrew in all other cases - so why not here too?

As to the date of the Targums we have used - it is much debated. Yet it is clear that they have messianic prophecies without hindsight, i.e., without seeing them fulfilled in Christ, whom they hated. Further, Neusner, in the book just cited, makes an exhaustive study of the Jewish writings from after the fall of Jerusalem until the Talmud (completed 500-600 A.D). He finds that up to the Talmud, there is no interest in the Messiah, and that in the Talmud, the only OT prophecy about him they notice is that he would be of the line of David. So if the Messianic prophecy parts of the Targums were written during the period before the Talmud, they would hardly find so many references to the Messiah in the OT. (The Targums probably underwent some development. But the Messianic lines are likely to be among the oldest parts,for the reason just given).

We translated el gibbor as "Mighty God". The NAB makes it "God-hero" with no justification. Even modern Jewish versions know it is Mighty God. The Jews today have various way of getting around it. E.g., Samson Levey (The Messiah: An Aramaic Interpretation, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, 1974, p.45 and note 31 on p.153) twists the sentence structure so that the wonderful counsellor him prince of peace." this is really arbitrary: how would one know for sure which titles belong to which person? Then Levey translates the Targum to mean his name has been called Messiah by the one who gives wonderful counsel.... The Aramaic will stand this, since min qedem can mean either by, or from ancient times. But the Hebrew does not easily stand it. As Levey takes it is not easy to see in the Hebrew who calls and what he is called.

LG also says that Mary is the greatest of the anawim, the poor and humble who had confidence in the coming of the Lord. And she is the daughter of [meaning: who is] Sion - the OT often uses that expression to refer to Jerusalem. But LG refers it to Mary.

56.The Father of Mercies wanted the acceptance of the planned-for Mother, Our Lady, to come before the incarnation. Leo XIII,in Fidentem piumque, Sept 20,1896, had said that she "consented in the name of the whole human race." He was citing ST 3.30.1. LG continues "so that just as a woman had contributed to death, so also a woman should contribute to life." This is the New Eve theme so common in the Fathers,,chiefly: St.Justin Martyr, St.Irenaeus, Tertullian, St.Cyril of Jerusalem, St.Jerome, St.Ambrose, St.Augustine, and also: St.Theophilus of Antioch, Origen, St.Gregory Thaumaturgus, St.Gregory of Nyssa, St.Amphilocius, St.Ephrem, St.Epiphanius, St.Maximus, St.John Chrysostom, St.Peter Chrysologus, St.Proclus, St.Eleutherius Tornacensis, and the Epistle to Diognetus. References and still more texts, in Latin, are found in G.M.Roschini, Mariologia, 2d ed.Rome, 1947, II, 300-01, 304-09. We note that the first Eve really contributed to the fall, she did not just "actively receive" a sin from Adam - as the German Mariologists- Koester,Semmelroth and Mueller - logically should say when they speak of her role in the redemption.

She, whom the Fathers were accustomed to speak of as all holy and immune from every stain of sin, was made a new creation (therefore with nothing of the old left over) by the Holy Spirit. So the angel greets her as full of grace. We notice LG does use this translation. So did John Paul II in Redemptoris Mater. The Greek here is kecharitomene. It is the perfect participle of the verb charitoo - we notice the ending, omicron omega. This class of verbs means to put the person or thing in the state expressed by the root. E.g., leukos = white, so leukoo is to make white. Delos is clear,so deloo is to make clear. The root charis has two meanings - favor and grace ( article in NCE). So it means to put her into the state indicated by the root, favor or grace. But favor basically means just that God smiles on someone, does not say He gives anything. If for people in general we say only that He has favor for them - then it could imply they do good by their own power - which is Pelagianism. So even if we use the translation favor, we must understand it means also to give something, the something is grace. So kecharitomene means graced.

But we have here a perfect passive participle which is specially strong, and even more, the Angel uses it in place of her name - hence the version "highly favored daughter" is wrong, for it does not bring out that it is used in place of her name. If we say someone is Mr.Tennis, we mean he is the ultimate in tennis. So then kecharitomene should mean Miss Grace - the ultimate in the category of grace - and that is really much the same as full of grace.

Further, the providentially protected Magisterium helps us. Pius IX, in Ineffabilis Deus, in 1854, taught: "He so wonderfully filled her, far above all angelic spirits and all saints, with an abundance of all graces taken from the treasury of the divinity, that she, ever free from absolutely every stain of sin, and totally beautiful and perfect, showed forth such a fulness of innocence and holiness that none greater under God can be thought of, and no one but God can comprehend it." So her holiness was so great even at the start of her existence [and she grew of course, for her fullness meant that she had all the grace that, as it were, she could contain. But her capacity continued to grow] that only God Himself can comprehend it - not even the highest Archangels, Cherubim, and Seraphim can do that! Pius XII in Mystici Corporis added: "Her most holy soul was filled by the Divine Spirit of Jesus Christ, more than all other creatures of God taken together."

LG adds that in this, "embracing the salvific plan of God with a full heart, held back by no sin, she totally dedicated herself, as the handmaid of the Lord, to the person and work of her Son." If she totally dedicated herself to the person and to the work - she must have known much about Jesus, else she could not "totally dedicate herself" to the person and work of her Son.

How much could she know? Neusner ( op.cit, p.12) says that at the time there was "intense, vivid, prevailing expectation that the Messiah was coming soon." Reason: Genesis 49.10 foretold there would always be some kind of ruler from Judah until that age. Now since 41 BC they had had instead Herod, not from tribe of Judah, but half Arab, half Idumean, even though in a way he practiced Jewish religion. The Targums do know - in spite of some poor modern versions of Gen 49:10 - what Gen 49:10 meant. Jacob Neusner (op.cit., p.242) comments: "It is difficult to imagine how Gen 49:10 can have been read as other than a messianic prediction." Yet many Catholic scholars do not see what a good Jew does see!

Then the angel tells her that her Son will reign forever over the house of Jacob. Jews then mostly believed the Messiah would live and rule forever - so this would clearly tell even an ordinary Jew the son would be Messiah. At that point everything in the OT prophecies about the Messiah would at least begin to come into her mind - increased as she was pondering in her heart. The Targums show that even ordinary Jews understood so many texts (chiefly: Gen 3:15, Gen 49:10, Num.24:17, Is. 9:5-6 [and indirectly, as we saw above, also Is 7:14], and Is 11:1 and Is 53 and Micah 5).She who was full of grace would see all the more easily and fully.

But then she hears that He is to be called Son of the Most High, not in the way ordinary Jews could be so called, but precisely because she would be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. The word overshadow recalls the Divine Presence filling the tabernacle in the desert (Ex 40.34-35). So if that is the reason for calling Him Son of God, it must be a singular sense, actually, divinity. Further, Is 9.5-6, as we saw, spoke of the child as Mighty God, and the Targum knew he was the Messiah. (We discussed the translation of the Targum and of Is 9.5-6 above).- but what of her who as full of grace? Then too she would see Is 7.14 fulfilled in herself, and then would know it did speak of virginal conception.

Even Herod's theologians saw Micah 5:2 as foretelling the birth of the Messiah at Bethlehem. A modern Jewish scholar, Samson Levey, comments that the Hebrew of Micah here ("His goings forth are from of old,from ancient days") would tend to imply the preexistence of the Messiah - even though the rabbis in general seem not to have grasped it.

The Targums too knew that Is 53 spoke of the Messiah. But they, thinking the Messiah would live forever, twisted the text so that the meek lamb became an arrogant conqueror. But she who was full of grace would see - and so even before Simeon's prophecy of the sword, she would know much, too much for comfort. She accepted all this in her fiat, even as her Son, on entering into the world, said, (Heb.10.5ff): "Sacrifices and oblations you did not desire, but a body you have prepared for me.... Then I said, Lo, I come to do your will O God." He could do that since His human soul had the vision of God from the first instant - and it showed him with painful vividness all He would have to suffer. (Cf.W.Most, The Consciousness of Christ). Her fiat and His were simultaneous.(On her knowledge cf.W.Most in Faith & Reason, XI, l985,pp.51-76). The prophecy of Isaiah was supplemented by Psalm 22 and Zech.12:10.

LG adds: "Rightly then do the Holy Fathers see Mary as not just passively employed by God, but as cooperating in free faith and obedience for human salvation. For she, as St.Irenaeus said 'being obedient, became a cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.' Hence not a few ancient Fathers gladly assert in their preaching with him [St.Irenaeus]: 'The knot of the disobedience of Eve was loosed through the obedience of Mary.'"

To catch the implications of these words, we need to recall that there are two great phases to the redemption: objective, the once- for all- acquiring of a title to forgiveness and grace, and subjective, the distribution of what was won in the objective redemption. Again, objective redemption is further divided into remote and proximate or immediate. In being the Mother of the Redeemer, she furnished the very means by which He could die - this was a remote cooperation in the great sacrifice.

Now St.Irenaeus, in the complete context from which Vatican II quoted, had compared all sin, original and personal, to a tangled knot. To untie it, St.Irenaeus said, we take the end of the rope back through every turn that was taken in tying it. Then and only then is the knot untied. In this context he said what LG just quoted: "the knot of the disobedience of Eve was untied through the obedience of Mary". - Was that done with the incarnation, the conception of the Savior? No, it was not done until the great sacrifice was complete. Therefore, St.Irenaeus, a Father of the Church ,an instrument in the hands of Divine Providence, was used by the Holy Spirit to write more than he understood - just as did the inspired writers of Gen 3:15 and Is 7:14, as we have seen. And just as Jeremiah 31.31 ff in foretelling the new covenant. Jeremiah hardly foresaw that the great obedience of that covenant would be the obedience of Jesus even unto death. So we see an instrument used by Divine Providence can say more than that instrument sees or understands. So Vatican II, also an instrument of Providence, could say more about Our Lady than it realized.(More later).

Paul VI,in Marialis cultus (Feb.2,1974. 36) spoke of her as "taken into dialogue with God" at this occasion.

57."This conjunction of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation is manifested from the time of the virginal conception of Christ even to His death." LG says it was manifested, since it had existed for eternity, but only with the incarnation did it begin to appear to us. Then the Council begins to go through every one of the mysteries of the life and death of Jesus,so as to show her cooperation at each point in detail.In 60 it will start all over again,so as to show her as type of the Church.

We notice especially the comment on the virgin birth "which did not diminish her virginal integrity,but consecrated it." Some today have tried to say her virginity was only a symbol, a theologoumenon, and that physically she was not virginal. But the Council uses the word integrity here,which cannot refer to a mere symbol, it must be physical. John Paul II,in General Audience of Jan.28,1988 said: "Mary was therefore a virgin before the birth of Jesus, and she remained a virgin in giving birth and after the birth. That is the truth presented by the New Testament text, and which was expressed both by the Fifth Ecumenical Council at Constantinople in 553, which speaks of Mary as 'ever virgin' and also by the Lateran Council in 649, which teaches that 'the Mother of God...Mary...conceived (her Son) through the power of the Holy Spirit, without human intervention and in giving birth to him her virginity remained incorrupted,and even after the birth her virginity remained intact.'" (DS 503)

We note too the matter of fact way in which LG refers to the shepherds and the Magi. In 55 it had shown extreme care in using cf.with Gen 3:15 and Is 7:14 to avoid pronouncing on the literal original sense of those texts. But here it speaks without reservation, seeming to accept them at face value. On Dec.28,1966 (Insegnamenti di Paolo VI IV,pp.678-79, Vatican Press,1966), Paul VI complained that some "try to diminish the historical value of the Gospels themselves, especially those that refer to the birth of Jesus and His infancy. We mention this devaluation briefly so that you may know how to defend with study and faith the consoling certainty that these pages are not inventions of people's fancy, but that they speak the truth." He goes on, citing Cardinal Bea, a prominent liberal Scripture scholar of the day, who also defended these. John Paul II, in the Audience of Jan 28,1988 added:"To identify the source of the infancy narrative one must go back to St.Luke's remark: 'Mary kept all these things,pondering them in her heart' (Lk 2:19).Luke states this twice: after the departure of the shepherds of Bethlehem and after the finding of Jesus in the temple (cf.Lk 2:51). The evangelist himself provides us with the elements to identify in the Mother of Jesus one of the sources of the information used by him in writing 'the infancy Gospel'. Mary,who 'kept these things in her heart' (cf.Lk 2:19), could bear witness, after Christ's death and resurrection, in regard to what concerned herself and her role as Mother, precisely in the apostolic period when the New Testament texts were being written and when the early Christian tradition had its origin."

LG 57 mentions that in the finding in the temple, His parents did not understand. This does not mean they had been ignorant of the fact He was Messiah and divine - what they did not understand was the strange departure from His normal considerate behavior on this occasion. He allowed them to feel real distress, because that would be an occasion for growth in faith.(On her knowledge,cf.W.Most, "The Knowledge of Our Lady: in Faith & Reason XI, 1-2, 1985, pp.51-76).

58. The same occasion of faith was provided again at Cana ,where He seemed to refuse - (other places in OT where we have the words 'what is it to me and to you' mostly carry the note of rejection. But the outcome showed He was not rejecting). Similarly with the time when He "extolled the Kingdom beyond reasons and bonds of flesh and blood" and said blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it. He was showing that of two forms of greatness - being physically Mother of God, and one who lived in faith - the second is greater. Of course, she was at the peak in both categories. So LG adds: "as she was faithfully doing".

This and similar texts really are cases in which her faith had to as it were hold on in the dark. God often puts souls into such positions, to provide an occasion of great growth. On this cf.OFP,129-31.

LG continues: "So to the Blessed Virgin went forward in the pilgrimage of faith, and in faith bore with (sustinuit) her union with her Son even to the Cross, where, not without divine plan, she stood, vehemently grieved together with her Son and joined herself to His sacrifice with a motherly heart, lovingly consenting to the immolation of the Victim born of her." LG says she went forward, advanced, in faith. She was full of grace at the start, but it was a relative fulness, i.e., her capacity could and did grow,and so her capacity for grace advanced.

We recall too that St.Paul presents faith as including four things:1)If God speaks a truth, we believe it in our mind; 2)If He makes a promise, we are confident He will keep it; 3) If He tells us to do something, we do it in the "obedience of faith"(Rom 1:5); 4)all of this to be done in love. - Of course, she was doing all this to the full.

It says she stood in accord with the divine plan (LG 61 will repeat this point): she was not there as a private person, but as the one appointed by the Father to cooperate, as the New Eve. Further,she was asked to consent to the immolation of her Son. To understand this, we recall that spiritual perfection consists in the alignment of our will with the will of the Father. But at the Cross, it was His will that His Son should die, die then, die so horribly. It was the will of Her Son to do this. Therefore she was asked not just to refrain from screaming against it - she was asked to positively will that He die, die then, die so horribly.

This cost of this to her was beyond our ability to understand. The grief of any Mother at the death of her Son is in proportion to two things: (1) the pain she sees in him, (2) her love for him. The pain she saw was beyond our imagination. Our crucifixes give no impression of the scourges, the blood, the dirt. She saw it all before her eyes. As to her love: love and holiness are interchangeable terms in practice. But at the start, as we saw from Pius IX (Ineffabilis Deus), she had such holiness/love that "none greater under God can be thought of, and no one but God can comprehend it." So her suffering was in proportion to a love that is beyond the power of any actual creature to comprehend - only God Himself can understand it. So her suffering was multiplied by this love, which is beyond our ability to grasp - so therefore it is strictly true to say her suffering was beyond anything any creature can grasp - only God Himself can do so (cf.W.Most, "Pope deepens Conciliar theology", in Miles Immaculatae, Rome XXVI,4.1990,pp. 329-45).

The redemption was in the form of a new covenant. In a covenant, the essential condition is obedience. At Sinai God had said (Ex 19.5): "If you really hearken to my voice and keep my covenant, you will be my special people." That is, you will get favor on condition of obedience. In the new covenant, the essential obedience was that of her Son. LG 3 had said, "by His obedience He brought about redemption." Cf. also Rom 5.19, and the text we cited from Paul VI on obedience as the central feature of redemption.

Without obedience, His death would have been only a tragedy, not a redemption. But it was obedient, obedience was the covenant condition.

But now we recall that LG 56 had said "by being obedient she became a cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race." LG 61 will say that she "cooperated by obedience, faith, hope and burning love, to restore supernatural life to souls." So she shared in that which gave His death all its value,in obedience. That obedience took the form of aligning her will with that of the Father and her Son,i.e.,she had to consent,to positively will His death,as we explained above.

Let us recall again that she was there not as a private person, but as one appointed to cooperate, as the New Eve. The Father had made her intrinsically suited for this role by the Immaculate conception. Now - would He do that, make her apt, and call on her to do so difficult a thing as to will the death of her Son, in a covenant framework in which the essential condition was obedience, and then not accept her obedience, her cooperation as part of the covenant condition? Of course not! Therefore, her cooperation formed part of the covenant condition - which is the same as saying, part of the price of redemption!. Of course,this was in dependence totally on Him: her very ability to do anything came from Him.

Now it is fully clear that her role could not be merely receiving actively that which Christ alone earned, to which she contributed nothing? The German Mariologists, as we saw, wanted to say that. But the Council has said she shared in the covenant condition, as we just saw. That was not just receiving from Christ, it was cooperating with Him, sharing in the obedience that alone gave value to His sacrifice. So the Council, without realizing it,has: (1)rejected the German theory and, (2) taught she shared even in the covenant condition, which is the price of redemption. All this in spite of its words, early in LG Chapter 8 that it did not intend to settle controversies. But we have shown that someone who is an instrument in the hands of Providence can teach more than he realizes - we saw it with Gen 3.15 and Is 7.14 as explained by LG 55 itself. We saw it in Jer 3.31 ff. We saw it in St.Irenaeus. Now we see the same pattern in the Council itself.

This conclusion is reinforced by noting that Msgr.G.Philips of Louvain, a chief drafter of this chapter, in his commentary on it, shows he did not fully understand the chapter he had drafted. (G. Philips, L'Eglise et son mystŠre aux DeuxiŠme concil du Vatican. Descl‚e,Paris,1968 II.157-68 - reprinted in Ephemerides Mariologicae XXIV,1974.pp.87-97.Here we cite this reprint). In his commentary on 61-62 on p.92 he thinks that only "a mental distinction...between the acquisition and the distribution of grace is possible", that is, between the work of Calvary, the objective redemption, and the subsequent work of distribution of grace, the subjective redemption. But on p.90 of this commentary he says that her cooperation was "concretized in her unconditional obedience," while on p.92 he said her present role (subjective redemption) is one of intercession. But: obedience and intercession are not the same thing. They are not merely mentally distinct. In obedience, she does the will of the Father; in intercession she asks the Father to do her will in granting graces to her children. So the two motions go in opposite directions, and are by no means identified, as they would be if there were only a mental distinction. Rather, obedience, as we just saw, was part of the covenant condition, joining with the obedience of her Son, which was the essential covenant condition. So Philips did not fully understand the text he had so large apart in framing.Cf.also W.Most."Mary's Cooperation in the Redemption, in Faith & Reason XIII.1.pp.28 - 61.

At the Cross, LG explains that she was given as a Mother to John. This means she is our Spiritual Mother. We will see more of it in LG 61-62.

59.At Pentecost we see the Apostles with Mary, all imploring the gift of the Spirit. The Council does not say so, but when we recall the flabbiness of the Apostles, we can well think they were tempted to give up hope by the end of the 9 days. She would have encouraged them.

At the end of her earthly course, she was taken up, assumed into Heaven. We note the wording, borrowed from Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus - he was not absolutely certain she had died. A few Fathers assert she did not. More probably she did, in likeness to her Son.

Then she was crowned as Queen with the King, forever. Pius XII had given 4 titles for Queenship (Bendito seia, May 13, 1946. AAS 38-266): "He, the Son of God, reflects on His heavenly Mother the glory, the majesty and the dominion of His kingship. For, having been associated to the King of Martyrs in the ineffable work of human redemption as Mother and cooperatrix, she remains forever associated with Him, with a practically unlimited power, in the distribution of the graces which flow from the Redemption. - Jesus is King throughout all eternity by nature and by right of conquest: through Him, with Him, and subordinate to Him, Mary is Queen by grace, by divine relationship, by right of conquest, and by singular choice [of the Father]. And her kingdom is as vast as that of her Son and God, since nothing is excluded from her dominion."

The four titles are: (1) by grace - we call one a queen for being the highest in a category: She is full of grace. (2)by divine relationship: He is King by nature, being God, she is Mother of God. (3)by right of conquest - in Him this means redemption- so it means same in her - the text gives three qualifications, "through, with and subordinate to Him" - these are obvious, spelled out in 3 ways. So there must be no understood restriction beyond these. Therefore except for subordination, by right of conquest means same with her as with Him.- Contrast the German active receptivity theory.

(4)by singular choice - one can be King or Queen by choice of the people. Here it is by choice of the Father.

Her dominion extends as far as that of Jesus. We do not think of two powers, one infinite, one finite - no, they act as a unit - per modum unius. Benedict XV calls her "omnipotentia supplex" - suppliant omnipotence (April 19,1915.AAS 7.201). She shared in earning all graces - logically,she should share in giving out all.

Even though she is finite, she can, in the light of the vision of God, know even our individual needs. We are very numerous, but not infinite in number- not too much for an intellect illumined by a light of glory proportioned to fulness of grace so great that only God can comprehend it (Pius IX,Ineffabilis Deus, 1854).

To sum up: We see then that from eternity before time began,to eternity after time has ended, and in every one of the mysteries of His life and death in between, she is "always sharing His lot (Pius XII said this in Munificentissimus Deus (AAS 42.768,Nov.1,1950).This chapter of Vatican II spelled this out in detail. Now since we can do no better than to imitate the ways of the Father, and since He has freely chosen to put her everywhere in His approach to us, the logical - but not mandatory - thing would be for us to give her a similarly all-pervading place in our response to Him, in our own spiritual lives. We say not mandatory - for the objectively best is not required of everyone, and, considering individual differences, might not even be best for each one. To do so would be to live out most fully a complete consecration to her. LG 67 will say that everything the Church has recommended in devotion to her in the past is still of great importance. Of course, that includes consecration. So Vatican II built a splendid theological base for living out a complete consecration.

60.Here we begin a new section, partly repeating what is said before - on the relation of Mary to the Church. There had been a hot debate in the second session, as we saw: where to put the teaching on her: in this document, or a separate document. This document won, in a very close vote. The reason for the fuss over where to put it is likely to be that the German Mariologists were also behind it - Cardinal Koenig of Vienna, as we saw, spoke for using this document. They argued that since the Church only receives from Christ in the redemption - does not produce anything - then since she is a type of the Church, she cannot do any more.- Really, this is a Protestant theology of redemption: people contribute nothing, they just appropriate, make their own what Christ has done. They take Christ as their personal Savior.(Cf.Otto Semelroth, cited in the introduction to this chapter.

We note the apologetic tone in this section. Protestants like to appeal to the text of 1 Tim 2.5-6,"One Mediator" to rule out Mary. Sadly, as we saw, some floor speakers at the Council tried the same. Cf.G.Tavard, Council Daybook 2.52: "It would be inconsistent for the Council to approve...the use of a term which contradicts the New Testament. As several speakers have pointed out, the term Mediatrix as applied to Mary is incompatible with the teaching of St.Paul...." This implied a charge of heresy against several Popes, who had used that title for her - cf.the listing in note 16, on 61 (note by the Council). Cf.also a more complete listing of texts in our introduction to this chapter 8.

LG 60 insists that the Father's use of Mary was not by necessity, but by free choice - obviously true. It is helpful to relate this to the principle of St.Thomas in I.19.5.c which says that in His love of good order, God is pleased to have one thing in place to serve as a title, or reason, for giving a second thing, even though that title does not move Him. Briefly, He did not need her in the objective redemption. But it pleased Him to observe good order, and to make all things as rich as possible for our race. Similarly, He did not need her, or the other Saints,in the subjective redemption. He really needed no titles in the subjective redemption at all, to give out what had been so richly earned in the objective redemption; yet He does provide those titles, especially the Mass, which presents again His obedient offering.

It helps to consider what we might call the alternatives of redemption. After the fall of Adam and Eve, and after looking ahead to all future sins, the Father did mean to restore our race.He had several options before Him: 1)Forgive without any reparation. But this would not satisfy His love of good order, nor be so rich for us; 2)He could have appointed any mere human to do any religious act and count it as the whole of redemption, even though it would be merely finite; 3)He could have sent His Son to be born in a palace, equipped with every possible luxury. He would not have to do any more than be born -or He might add a prayer: "Father forgive them." Then He would ascend in a blaze of glory forever, without dying at all (This would be infinite merit, since done by an Infinite Person; it would also be infinite satisfaction, which is had when something difficult is done: it was a great come-down for a Divine Person to become incarnate); 4) He went beyond the palace to the stable, beyond a prayer to the cross. This was literally infinity beyond infinity, for option 3 would have been infinite. In mathematics, infinity plus a finite number does not grow. But this is not the low ground of mathematics, but the high realm of divine generosity. 5) It is evident.His policy is this: If there is any way to make it even richer,it will be done. He saw in option 2 He could have used a mere creature for the whole of redemption: why not then add Our Lady's cooperation? So He did, as we have seen.

61."The Blessed Virgin,predestined from eternity along with the incarnation of the Divine Word as the Mother of God, by plan of Divine Providence, was on this earth the kindly Mother of the Divine Redeemer, His associate singularly, more than others, and the humble handmaid of the Lord. In conceiving Christ, in bringing Him forth, in nourishing Him, in presenting Him to the Father in the Temple, in suffering with her Son as He died on the cross, she cooperated in the work of the Savior in an altogether singular way, by obedience, faith hope and burning love, to restore supernatural life to souls. As a result she is our Mother in the order of grace."

We note again her eternal union, in the decree for the incarnation. All God's decrees are eternal as is His Being. In decreeing the incarnation, He necessarily also provided for the Mother. Hence the eternal union. That union, as we saw, extends through every mystery of His life and death which the Council reviews in detail, and continues on into eternity after the end of time, where she is eternally Queen with Him the Divine King.

LG shows that she cooperated in the redemption all through His life - for He merited for us through all His life. It was only by positive decree of the Father that the Cross was required. Any small thing He did would be enough to redeem countless worlds.

She cooperated in the work of the Savior, in restoring supernatural life to souls - that is, in redeeming us. She did it in an altogether singular way - no one else was appointed to officially cooperate, not even St.John. Pius XI once spoke of workers in Catholic Action as "coredeemers" - true,but only in the subjective, not in the objective redemption.

She cooperated by obedience, faith, hope and burning love. The three theological virtues are obvious. But we notice again the obedience,and recall that that is what gave all the value to His sacrifice, it is that which was the covenant condition. So she did share in that condition, which is the same as saying she shared in the price of redemption.

In a covenant there are two levels. If we ask why the Father gives favors under it, there are two answers: On basic level, no creature can generate a claim on Him by its own power. So whatever He gives is the result of unmerited, unmeritable generosity. But on a secondary plane, given the fact that He has freely entered into a covenant, saying as it were: "If you do this I will do that", then if humans fulfill their part, He owes it to Himself to give favor. So even the redemption by Christ was on this secondary level.It was not that the Father, because Christ came, dropped anger, became willing to love us. No, it was because the Father always loved us that Christ came. Since we see the redemption is on this secondary level - we can easily see that there is no problem in saying she could cooperate in it.

We see this too if we think of the alternatives of redemption, which we have already reviewed.

We note that a covenant is like a contract. In a contract, each one gives something of at least about equal value. The price of redemption He paid was of course infinite. So that to which the Father obligated Himself was also infinite: an inexhaustible treasury of forgiveness and grace. Still further, this title or claim is not merely for the human race in a block -it is- but it is also for each individual person ,because of Gal 2:20: "He loved me, and gave Himself for me." Vatican II in Church in Modern World 22 said: "Each one of us can say with the Apostle: The Son of God loved me, and gave Himself for me."

Could someone then think: With such a title going for me, I could go on a long spree of sin, and then pull up in time? No, for two reasons: 1) The repentance at the end would not he a real repentance, for there would be no change of heart: it would be all preplanned; 2)A long spree of sin produces hardening, with the result that even if God is willing to forgive, the sinner is not open to receive.

G.Philips, in the commentary from which we cited above, objected that graces are not like jewels that could be stored in a box. Correct: We do not mean that. We mean a claim under covenant has been generated, as a result of which the Father obliges Himself to make available forgiveness and grace without end at the times at which it is needed.

That price then generates the claim. Some have worried: To speak of a price uses the imagery that our race was in captivity: the price was paid to the captor for our freedom. But, the captor was satan. We would not say that the blood of Christ was paid to satan. Neither was it paid to the Father, for He was not the captor. What then? It was paid to rebalance the objective order, which the Holiness of God so intensely wishes. (This was explained in our commentary on 3 above).

As a result of this cooperation "she is our Mother in the order of grace." In the natural order, a Mother must first share in bringing new life to being - then take care of it, so long as she is willing, able, and needed. She shared in bringing new life, the life of the soul, by her role in the objective redemption, the great Sacrifice. By her role in distributing all graces, she fulfills the second requirement. Natural mothers after a while are not much needed - but we will always need grace. Natural mothers may be unable or unwilling to help - never so with Mary.

62.Her motherhood extends from the consent she gave at the annunciation, which she unhesitatingly continued under the cross - even willing His death,as we saw - even to the final consummation of all the elect. For after being assumed into Heaven, she has not put aside this role, but she continues to care for the brothers of her Son until they arrive in the house of the Father. For this reason, "She is invoked in the Church with the titles of Advocate, Auxilatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix."

Some say the Council buried the title of Mediatrix. Protestant observers at the Council had said in advance that if the Council called her Mediatrix, there would be no more dialogue, at least on her.(Cf. Estudios Marianos 27,1966.p.174 by Fr.Balic, one of the drafters of this Chapter).

Why did not the Council add "of all graces"? First, not needed - since it taught she shared in earning all graces, it follows she shares in dispensing all. Second, it did refer us in note 16 to several Popes who did teach she is Mediatrix of all graces: Leo XIII, St.Pius X, Pius XII. And besides these, given in the note, we could add John XXIII. For a complete list of references to 12 papal texts saying she is Mediatrix of all graces. cf.W.Most. Catholic Beliefs:The Bottom Line (Marytown,l988,#49).

In deference to the Protestant observers, LG now adds that her role does not detract from Christ, and that no creature can be put on the same plane with Him.- Of course not, nor do we do that even when we say she shared in paying the price of redemption - for her very ability to cooperate came entirely from Him. So she is not on the same plane.

63-65.Here LG speaks of her as a type of the Church - a point dear to the German Mariologists. However, thanks to Divine Providence, the Council did not speak of the parallel of which the German Mariologists spoke.It mentions her as a type of the Church only in a very limited way - in the order of faith, love, and perfect union with Christ. The Church too is both virgin and mother. The Church hopes to imitate Mary's perfection. Thinking of her and raising its eyes to her,the Church and contemplating her in the mystery of the Word made flesh,is reverently led more deeply into the supreme mystery of the Incarnation. For Our Lady unites and echoes the greatest points of the faith in herself,and while she is preached and honored,leads us to her Son and to His Sacrifice.The Church thus is made more like her Type or model in Our Lady. Also,in her apostolic work,the Church rightly looks to her who begot Christ.She is the exemplar of the motherly affection by which all working in the apostolic mission of the Church should be animated.

But all this includes no mention of her as a parallel to the Church in the work of redemption.

One suspects it was the German Mariologists, led by Cardinal Koenig, who got this section into LG. It quotes only a very few Fathers - cf.the notes given by the Council. Everything in these 3 sections is true, but not of major moment.

66.She is exalted after her Son, more than angels and men. Her cult however differs not only in degree, but also in kind from that due to God - who receives worship in the strict sense.

67.The Council deliberately teaches this Marian doctrine, and admonishes all the sons of the Church, that they should generously promote devotion to her, and "should consider the practices and exercises of piety, recommended by the Magisterium in the course of past centuries, as still of great importance." All this in site of updating! So everything the Church has ever recommended in the line of devotion to her is still very important. The Council did not enumerate these things - it is clear they include the Rosary - Paul VI mentioned that specially in an Encyclical Christi Matri Rosarii of Sept 15, l966. It also renews the decrees on the veneration of statues - decried by the ancient Iconoclasts, and now by newer ones. The Constitution on Liturgy calls for the use of images in 125, adding that they should be moderate in number.

John XXIII in Journal of a Soul,p.315, wrote: "...since the beginning of 1953 I have pledged myself to recite it devoutly in its entirety" [all 15 decades of the Rosary]. Paul VI in Signum magnum of May 13,1967: "We exhort all the sons of the Church to renew personally their consecration to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of the Church."

LG 67 also advises to avoid false exaltation of her - this means devotions that are not solidly based on doctrine. But if one follows the doctrine of LG chapter 8 - and notes that the Father has given her an all-pervading role,she is everywhere in His approach to us - it is practically impossible to have too much. It warns also against narrow restrictions on devotion, and against whatever could mislead those outside the Church.

True devotion depends, it says, on true faith - that is, on solid doctrine.

68.She now is the image and beginning of what the Church hopes to be. She is a sign of definite hope and consolation to the Church on her pilgrimage.

69.The Council is pleased to note that some separated brethren also have devotion to her, especially the Eastern Orthodox.

Given at Rome,Nov 21,1964. ***

Closing Address of Paul VI at end of Third Session,Nov.21,1964

Many of the Fathers of the Council have made this wish their own, asking for an explicit declaration during the Council of her role as Mother which the Virgin exercises over the Christian people. To accomplish this aim, we have considered it consecrate a title in honor of the Virgin which has been suggested by various parts of the Catholic world.... Therefore, for the glory of the Virgin Mary and for our own consolation, we proclaim the Most Holy Mary as Mother of the Church, that is to say, of all the People of God, of the faithful as well as the pastors, who call her their most loving Mother."

There was a standing ovation for this announcement. Applause interrupted the Pope seven times during the entire address.

He also said that his thoughts turned to the whole world "which our venerated predecessor, Pius XII, not without inspiration from on high, solemnly consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary...we have decided to send a special mission to order to carry the Golden Rose to...Fatima.... In this way we intend to entrust to the care of this heavenly Mother the whole human family....O Virgin Mary, Mother of the Council, to you we recommend the entire Church."

Theo 603 -- Rev. William Most Appendix Spring 1992

Appendix I:

Decree on Ecumenism Summary

Preliminary observation: This decree shows a more sharp change than any other document of Vatican II. To grasp this we need to keep in mind three distinctions: 1)Doctrine -- This we believe because of the promises of Christ; Vatican II reversed no doctrine,made only a few small changes by giving decisions on previously debated points; 2)Legislation or commands: Vatican II made large changes in the legislation on liturgy -- We should obey commands unless immoral.The changes in liturgy of course are not immoral. But some Bishops do give immoral commands,e.g, an order to use textbooks for Catholic schools which do not convey the faith or even contradict it; 3)Prudence or good judgment -- this refers to either of the two items above. But here there is no promise of Christ,no claim by the Church,to protection in prudence. So if someone thinks something is done in defective or poor prudence,he is not breaking with the Church (e.g,the prudence of liturgical changes or of handling of ecumenism). So these three distinctions are important: someone not knowing them might break on the matter of prudence,but then, not knowing the lines and distinctions, might go on to break on items 1 or 2,where he should not break.

In the Patristic age, writers were anything but ecumenical: they hit the heretics hard. A strong instance was the work of St.Cyprian Against Demetrian, who was the local governor. So it seems they spoke strongly even though some born in the heresy may not have been guilty personally.

Before Vatican II the Church did not speak so strongly as the Fathers, yet ecumenism was carefully restricted. Now Vatican II strongly encourages it: all should take part at least by prayer, while specialists can engage in dialogue.

This is a difference in prudence, not in doctrine. We might ask: Were conditions different in the Patristic age, so that they and Vatican II were both right in the prudential aspect of their judgments?

Introduction by the Council

1.The restoration of unity is one of the chief goals of the Council. Christ founded one Church. The division contradicts His will and is a scandal to the world,and a hindrance to the preaching of the Gospel.

The Lord of the ages has begun to pour forth more abundantly a desire of unity. Hence there has arisen an ecumenical movement.

The Council wills to propose to all Catholics the helps, ways and means by which they can respond to this divine call.

I: The Principles of Catholic Ecumenism

2.Jesus prayed that all might be one. To make firm His holy Church everywhere even to the end of time, Christ gave the task of teaching, ruling and sanctifying to the college of the Twelve, and chose Peter among them to whom He promised the keys. He wills that His people grow in unity and the profession of one faith. The model and principle of the unity is the Trinity of Divine Persons.

3.Already from the beginning, divisions arose, in later centuries the divisions were larger, and large communities were separated from the full communion with the Catholic Church, sometimes not without fault on both sides. Those born in such communities who are imbued with the faith of Christ cannot be charged with the sin of separation. For these who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized, are placed in a certain communion with the Catholic Church, even if it is not perfect. Not a few impediments, at times grave ones, to full ecclesiastical community arose. Nonetheless,being justified by faith in Baptism, they are incorporated in Christ, and so are rightly adorned with the Christian name, and are rightly recognized by the sons of the Catholic Church as brothers in the Lord.

Furthermore, certain elements of which the Church itself is built, can be found in some number and excellence even outside the visible boundaries of the Church: the written word of God, the life of grace, faith, hope, and love and other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit which come from Christ and lead to Him and pertain to the one Church of Christ. Not a few actions of the Christian religion are done by the separated brothers which in varied ways can generate the life of grace,and are to be called apt to open the entrance into the communion of salvation.

So the Spirit of Christ does not refuse to use as means of salvation the churches themselves and separated communities whose power is derived from the fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church. Yet they do not enjoy that unity which Jesus Christ willed to give to all. Only through the Catholic Church of Christ can the fullness of all the means of salvation be reached. For we believe that the Lord entrusted all the gifts of the New Covenant to the one apostolic college over which Peter presides to form the one body of Christ on earth, to which they are fully incorporated, who in some way already pertain to the people of God. This people during its earthly pilgrimage even though in its members it remains subject to sin,grows in Christ until it arrives at the whole plenitude of eternal glory in the heavenly Jerusalem.

What was just said is very true, but some have distorted it. So Cardinal Jozef Tomko, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, in addressing the International Conference on Mission Work, criticized by name two theologians and the U.S.Maryknoll Society. These two are Paul Knilter, a lay theologian of Xavier University, and Fr.Michael Amaldoss,S.J., an assistant in Rome to the Superior General of the Jesuits. They give the impression that one religion is a good as another, since it is true that one can be saved without formally joining the Catholic Church - cf. LG 16 cited above. Knilter wrote a book, No Other Name? and edited another called The Myth of Christian Uniqueness: Towards a Pluralistic Theology of Religions (This second one is published by Orbis Books of Maryknoll. Cardinal Tomko said this second book is an example of confusing ecumenical outreach with denying the unique and definitive role of Jesus in salvation. Knilter pointed to an article in Maryknoll's magazine: "It [Maryknoll] now seeks to discover the faith and goodness that exists in people of different religions,rather than to announce Christianity or Christ to them."

4.This Council urges all Catholics to recognize the signs of the times and to diligently take part in ecumenical work. It urges elimination of all words, judgments and works which do not correspond to the condition of separated brethren, in fairness and truth and which therefore make mutual relations more difficult. It also recommends dialogues between well prepared experts. For by this dialogue the more accurate knowledge of the doctrine and life of each Communion can be known and all will gain a fairer appreciation of these. Also encouraged are those common efforts in duties to the common good called for by every Christian conscience. They also come together for common prayer where permitted. Finally let all examine their fidelity to the will of Christ for the Church and start vigorously on the work of renovation and reformation. All these things, done under the vigilance of the pastors, prudently and patiently contribute to fairness and truth, concord and collaboration so that in this way, little by little, obstacles can be overcome that impede perfect ecclesiastical communion and all Christians may be gathered into the unity of the one Church which subsists in such a way that it cannot be lost in the Catholic Church.

The Catholic faithful in ecumenical action should be solicitous for the separated brethren, praying for them, communicating with them about affairs of the Church, taking the first step to them. Let them sincerely and attentively consider the things that are to be renewed and done in the Catholic family itself.

For although the Catholic Church is endowed by God with all revealed truth and all the means of grace, yet her members do not always live with the fervor with which they should. So all Catholics should tend to Christian perfection and strive that the Church, carrying about the humility and mortification of Jesus, may be cleansed and renewed from day to day, until Christ presents her to Himself as a glorious Church, without spot or wrinkle.

While keeping unity in necessary things, let all preserve due liberty in the various forms of the spiritual life and discipline and in the diversity of liturgical rites, even in the theological development of revealed truth.

On the other hand it is necessary that Catholics gladly recognize and esteem the truly Christian good things flowing from the common patrimony which are found among the separated brothers.

II.The Practice of Ecumenism

5.Care for restoring unity is a concern of the whole Church, both faithful and Shepherds.

6.The Church in its pilgrimage is called by Christ to this reform in fidelity to its vocation, which as a human and earthly institution it perpetually needs. Hence if some things whether in morals or in ecclesiastical discipline or even in the expression of doctrine - which is to be carefully distinguished from the deposit of faith - have been less accurately conserved, at the suitable time they should be restored rightly and in due fashion.

A good example of this matter of wording is found in the language which has been used to speak of original sin: it was called a stain, and transmitted by heredity. John Paul II,in a General Audience of Oct 1,1986 said: "In context, it is evident that original sin in Adam's descendants has not the character of personal guilt. It is the privation of sanctifying grace in a nature which, through the fall of the first parents, has been diverted from its supernatural end. It is a 'sin of nature' only analogically comparable to 'personal sin.'" Again, it is often said that by it our mind is darkened and will weakened. John Paul II,General Audience of Oct 8,1986: "...according to the Church's teaching, it is a case of a relative and not an absolute deterioration, not intrinsic to human faculties...not of a loss of their essential capacities even in relation to the knowledge and love of God." This means that our nature is reduced to the state it would have been in if God had created Adam and Eve with only basic humanity, and without the added coordinating gift and the gift of grace. In such a state, the various drives within us, in body and soul, each operate blindly, with no thought for the other needs or the needs of the whole person. So then emotions tend to cloud mind and pull on the will.

However, Paul VI in Mysterium fidei (Sept 3,1965) said that the old language while less good, is not wrong: "The rule of speaking which the Church in the course of long ages, not without the protection of the Holy Spirit, has introduced, and has strengthened by the authority of Councils...must be kept sacred, and no one at his own whim or under pretext of new knowledge may presume to change them." 7.Thee is no rightly called ecumenism without interior conversion. So from the Divine Spirit we should implore grace of sincere self- denial,humility and meekness in serving and fraternal liberality towards others. Therefore we humbly beg pardon of God and of the separated brethren just as we forgive our debtors.

8.This conversion of heart and holiness of life, along with private and public prayers for christian unity are to be considered as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement, and can rightly be called spiritual ecumenism.

In certain special situations such as prayers prescribed for unity, and in ecumenical meetings, it is permitted, even to be desired, that Catholics join in prayer with the separated brethren. These prayers are a very effective means of obtaining unity.

However, worship in common may not be considered as a means to be used indiscriminately for restoring Christian unity. There are two principles of this communication, that of expressing the unity of the Church, and participation in the means of grace. The expression of unity generally forbids common worship. The obtaining of grace at times recommends it. Episcopal authority should prudently decide the concrete manner of acting.[We add: here there is real danger of giving an impression that one church is as good as the other. This is a question of prudence, not of doctrine].

9.We should get to know the mind of the separated brethren. For this, study is required. Catholics properly prepared should acquire better knowledge of doctrine and history of the spiritual life and cult, and of religious psychology and culture that the separated brethren have. To attain this it is very helpful to have meetings of the two sides especially to study theological questions, provided that those who take part, under the vigilance of the authorities, be really experts.

10.Sacred theology and other branches of knowledge should be treated historically and under the ecumenical aspect, so that they may be more precisely true. It is very important for future pastors and priests to learn a theology carefully elaborated in this way, and not in a polemic way. [Comment: Does this mean we should not learn apologetics? Probably not, that can be learned separately. But,howsoever much agreement may be reached on peripheral matters, unless Protestants and others come to accept the principle of the teaching authority of the Church - there is still no real union].

11..The manner and order of expressing the Catholic faith should not become an obstacle to dialogue with the separated brothers. It is necessary that the full doctrine be lucidly presented. For nothing is so foreign to true ecumenism as that false irenicism in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers damage and its genuine and certain sense is obscured. One should also note that there is an order or hierarchy of Catholic doctrines, since the relation of these items with the foundation of Christian faith is varied. [For examples of violations of this section, see the examples of excesses by A.Dulles, at the end of this summary].

12.Since today cooperation in social matters is widespread, all are called to work together, all the more those who believe in God, and most especially all who bear the Christian name. Cooperation among Christians expresses in a living way that conjunction in which they are united together. Such cooperation should contribute to a good appreciation of the dignity of the human person, the promotion of peace, the application of the principles of the Gospel to social life, the progress of the arts and sciences in a Christian way, and in taking remedies against the afflictions of our times such as famine, disasters, illiteracy and need, homelessness and unfair distribution of goods.

III.Churches and Ecclesial Communities Separated from the Apostolic Roman See.

13.We turn to the two chief splits in the seamless tunic of Christ. The first happened in the east at first over dogmatic formulas of Ephesus and Chalcedon, later by a break in ecclesiastical communion of the Patriarch and Rome. The other is commonly called the Reformation. The Anglican Communion holds a special place. Yet these various divisions differ much among themselves.

The Eastern Churches

14.The churches of East and West for many centuries went their own ways, but yet there was brotherly communion and the same sacramental life, with the Roman See moderating, by common consent. It is pleasing to recall that many local particular churches flourished in the East, first among them being the Patriarchal Churches.

Likewise we should not fail to note that the Churches of the East from the beginning have a treasury, from which the Western Church took many things in liturgy, in spiritual tradition, and in the juridical order. And it is important that fundamental dogmas about the Trinity and the Word of God who was incarnate from the Virgin Mary, were defined in Eastern ecumenical councils.

The inheritance from the Apostles was accepted in diverse forms and modes. These things, besides external causes, because of a lack of mutual understanding and charity, gave the opportunity for separations.

15.All know with what love the Eastern Christians conduct the sacred liturgy. In this liturgical cult they praise Mary ever Virgin in very beautiful hymns and they honor many Saints, including Fathers of the universal Church. Since those Churches, even though separated, have true sacraments, a certain communication in worship, in suitable circumstances and with ecclesiastical approval, is not only possible but to be encouraged.

In the East there are found the riches of those spiritual traditions, especially monachism. Monastic life moved from there to the West.

Let all know that the very rich Eastern patrimony in liturgy and spirituality should be venerated, conserved and cherished.

16.To remove all doubt, the Council declares that the Churches of the East, mindful of the unity of the whole Church, have the faculty of ruling themselves according to their proper rules, since they are more suited for the character of their faithful.

17.Similar things are to be said about the diverse theological expressions. It is not surprising that certain aspects of a revealed mystery at times are perceived more fittingly and presented better by one than by the other, in such a way that theological formulas often are complementary rather than opposed. We note that the theological traditions of the East are excellently rooted in Sacred Scripture. So this Council declares that all this patrimony, spiritual, liturgical, disciplinary, and theological, in the varied traditions pertains to the full catholicity and apostolicity of the Church.

18.Considering all these things, this Council repeats what was said by previous councils and Popes, namely, that to restore unity or conserve it, nothing more than what is necessary is demanded. (Cf.Acts 15.28).

Separate Churches and Ecclesial Communities in the West

19.These, even though separated, "are joined in a special affinity and bond with the Catholic Church because of having had for a long time in past centuries the Christian life in ecclesiastical communion".[Comment:This is an example of straining. The fact they once were one with us does not produce any bond now]. Since they differ so much not only from us but also among themselves, it would be very difficult to describe them. We hope that in all the ecumenical sense and mutual esteem will gradually grow. Yet we must admit that there are difficulties of great weight, especially in the interpretation of revealed truth.

20.Yet we rejoice seeing the separated brethren looking towards Christ and the font and center of ecclesiastical communion. Touched with the desire of union with Christ, they are driven more and more to seek unity.

21.A love and reverence, almost a cult, of Sacred Scripture leads our brothers to a constant and diligent study of the Sacred pages. But Christians separated from us affirm the divine authority of the sacred books in a different way than we - various ones hold various views about the relation of Scripture and the Church, in which according to the Catholic faith the authentic Magisterium holds a special place in explaining and preaching the written Word of God. Yet the Sacred Utterances in the dialogue itself are excellent instruments in the powerful hand of God to attain that unity.

22. By Baptism when it is conferred according to the Lord's institution, and is received with proper disposition of soul, a person is really incorporated into the crucified and glorified Christ and is regenerated to life. So Baptism is a sacramental bond of unity among all those regenerated by it. Yet Baptism is of itself only the beginning. Baptism is ordered to the complete profession of faith and to complete incorporation into the institute of salvation. The ecclesial communities separated from us, even though their full unity with us coming from Baptism is lacking, and even though we believe that they, especially because of the lack of the Sacrament of Orders, have not kept a genuine and full substance of the Eucharistic mystery, yet, while in the Holy Supper they make memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, they profess that life in Christ is signified and they await His glorious coming. So the doctrine about the Lord's Supper, the other sacraments, and the cult and the ministry of the Church should be an object of dialogue.

23.Faith in Christ brings fruits in praise and thanksgiving; there is also a living sense of justice and a sincere charity for neighbor. This active faith brings forth not a few institutes for relieving the spiritual and corporal misery of others, to educate youth, to make the social conditions of life more human, to establish universal peace. Since many Christians do not always understand the Gospel on moral matters in the same way as Catholics, ecumenical dialogue about the moral application of the Gospel can take its beginning there.

24.The Council exhorts the faithful to abstain from any levity or imprudent zeal which could harm the progress of unity. For their ecumenical action should not be other than fully and sincerely Catholic, that is, faithful to the truth. The Council strongly hopes that the undertakings of the sons of the Church may advance along with the undertakings of separated brothers without placing any obstacle to the ways of Providence and without prejudice to the future impulses of the Holy Spirit. Further, it declares it is aware that the work of reconciling Christian in the unity of the one only Church of Christ is beyond human powers and capabilities. Hence it puts its hope entirely in the prayer of Christ for the Church, in the love of the Father for us, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Examples of ecumenical excess by A.Dulles:

l.Proceedings of Catholic Theological Society of America,1976, p.240: "Indirectly,however,the Council worked powerfully to undermine the authoritarian theory and to legitimate dissent in the Church....Vatican II quietly reversed earlier positions of the Roman magisterium on a number of important issues.....The Declaration on Religious Freedom accepted the religiously neutral State,thus reversing the previously approved view that the State should formally profess the truth of Catholicism....." COMMENT: Cf.Vatican II,On Religious Liberty #1."It leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine about the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and the only Church of Christ." p.242:"By its actual practice of revisionism,the Council implicitly taught the legitimacy and even the value of dissent.In effect,the Council said that the ordinary magisterium of the Roman pontiff had fallen into error and had unjustly harmed the careers of loyal and able theologians."

2. Origins.NC Documentary Service Dec.26,1974.At a convocation honoring the retired Episcopalian bishop of Southern Ohio at Xavier University on Dec.6:"In other words,I am suggesting that the Catholic Church, while continuing to propose these doctrines [Immaculate Conception and Assumption ] as true,should abolish the canonical penalties presently connected with the questioning or denial of these doctrines. If this were done,the church could declare its readiness to enter into full communion with other Christians provided the only issue between them and herself were the present unreadiness to accept the dogmas of 1854 and 1950."

3. The Survival of Dogma NY,1971.p.164:"It is far from obvious that the dogmas of the Church,having been 'revealed by God himself,' cannot be revised by the Church.... Our findings suggest that the Catholic dogmas as presently formulated and understood may be significantly changed...."

Appendix II:Declaration on Religious Liberty

Because of the claims,and subsequent schism,made by Archbishop Lefebvre that the Declaration on Religious Liberty of Vatican II (Dignitatis humanae hereinafter DH) contradicted teachings of Gregory XVI, Pius IX,and Leo XIII, we will make a careful comparison to texts. We must add that something taught repeatedly on the Ordinary Magisterium level is infallible.Such seems to be the case with the teaching of these three Popes.Hence,no matter on what level Vatican II,was teaching in this Declaration,the charge amounts to a charge that a general council taught heresy. Then the promises of Christ would be at least largely void.

It is of capital importance to use sound theological method in all things, especially in this matter. God has made two promises,to protect the teaching of the Church, and to give free will to humans. At times He needs, as it were, to walk a tight line to carry out both. Therefore,in some texts - such as some of those below - we may suspect that the Pope had in his mind more strenuous things than what he set down on paper, we must say that only the things put down on paper are protected by Divine Providence - not all what he may or may not have had in his mind.


Gregory XVI, in Mirari vos of August 15,1832.DS 2730: "We now continue with a most fertile cause of evils by which we deplore that the Church at present is being afflicted, that is, indifferentism, or that evil opinion....that by any profession of faith whatsoever, the eternal salvation of the soul can be attained, if morals are kept to the norm of the right and good.... And from this must putrid font of indifferentism flows that absurd and erroneous view or rather insanity, that liberty of conscience should be asserted and claimed for just anyone."

COMMENTS: The first sentence merely means that it does make a difference objectively what faith one professes. But it does not mean that all Protestants are certainly damned - that would be the error of Feeney. Rather, one may be saved not by just any profession of faith, but in spite of a wrong one. Even Pius IX, famed for his strong words against indifferentism,insisted that " His supreme goodness and clemency by no means allows anyone to be punished with eternal punishments who does not have the guilt of voluntary fault." (Quanto conficiamur maerore,Aug 10,1863: DS 2966). The second sentence merely rejects the idea that one has a right to be in error. A right is a claim, ultimately coming from God, to have, to do, or to call for something. God surely gives no one a claim to be wrong. Vatican II, as we shall see, merely asserts one has a right not to be put in prison etc. for being wrong.

The vehemence, and almost emotional quality of the language, makes one suspect Gregory XVI might have had in mind more drastic ideas than what he put down on paper.

Pius IX, Quanta cura,Dec.8,1864.ASS 3.162: [We have added numbers for convenience in commenting]". 1."For you know well...that there are not a few, who...applying that impious and absurd principle of what is called naturalism, dare to teach, 'that the best state of public society and civil progress absolutely requires that human society should be so constituted and governed, that there is no consideration of religion, as if it [religion] did not exist, or at least with no distinction made between true and false religions.'" COMMENTS: Pius IX here condemns a proposition, which is printed as a quotation, but the Acta Sanctae Sedis gives no source for it. It seems, then, that it was framed precisely to be a condemned and false proposition. Such condemned propositions are normally declared false if even one thing is wrong with them.

This proposition is false because (a) the state as a state should worship God, and in the way He has made known that He wills. Therefore to ignore religion is wrong. (b)For the same reason, the state should make its own the true religion, and not treat all religions indiscriminately. This need not mean repression of false religions.

Vatican II,in DH 1 taught: "It leave untouched the traditional Catholic doctrine about the moral duty of men and societies towards the true religion and the one Church of Christ." This means,of course, an established Church. As we said, it would not imply repression of other churches. Even pagan Greece and Rome realized that the state as a state needs God's help: hence the state as a state must worship God. We add: If God makes known which way He wills to be worshipped, of course we must follow it.

The application of that principle is difficult: (a) In the we have legal positivism, which means that the state does not know what is morally right or wrong: all it can do is make things right or wrong by passing laws. So today it gives special favor to homosexuality! (b)We may ask: has history shown that the state is really incapable of determining what God wills, what is the true religion? Such ignorance could excuse the state from this duty. We think of the horrors of Islamic states such as Iran, who claim their laws are all ordered by God! And in ages when there was union of Church and State, it usually meant domination of the Church by the civil power. - Difficult choice!

2."And they do not hesitate to assert, contrary to the doctrine of Scripture, the Church, and the holy Fathers that 'that is the best condition of society in which the government does not acknowledge the duty of coercing by set penalties, the violatores of the Catholic religion, except to the extent that public peace requires.'"

COMMENT: Here again we have a condemned proposition, with no sources for it given in the AAS. We note that the Latin violatores is very strong, whereas in English violation is often weak - a parking meter may say that for a few minutes overtime. Harpers' Latin Dictionary says that violare means "treat with violence, injure, invade, profane, outrage." So it must be some really strong action positively against the Church.

3."As a result of the altogether false idea of the regime of society, they do not fear to promote that erroneous opinion....called insanity by our Predecessor Gregory XVI, namely, 'that liberty of conscience and of worship is a proper right of each man, which ought to be proclaimed by law and asserted in every rightly constituted society, and [it should be proclaimed] that the citizens have liberty of all sorts ,which should be restrained by no authority, whether ecclesiastical or civil, in virtue of which they are able to privately and publicly manifest and declare all ideas whatsoever, orally or in print.'"

COMMENTS: As usual with condemned propositions, this one is made extremely strong, so it can most obviously be seen as wrong: (1) One does not have a right to be wrong, as we said above. Vatican II merely asserted a right to freedom from coercion. (2)Note that the right includes "liberty of all sorts" - a sweeping thing, which would include even things contrary to public order and would go beyond the "due limits" of Vatican II DH 2. It would even let headhunters do as their god orders, i.e., cut off heads. (3)It allows propagation of all ideas whatsoever, no matter how foul, and not even ecclesiastical authority would have a right to stop them.

Pius IX,Syllabus,Dec.8,1864. DS 2915,2977 - 80: DS 2915: "Each one is free to embrace and profess that religion which, led by the light of reason, he thinks true." COMMENT: This is false because no one has a right to be wrong, as explained above. DS 2977:'In this our time it is no longer expedient for the Catholic religion to be considered as the sole religion of the state, excluding all other cults whatsoever." COMMENT: It is false because it would still be good for the state to profess the Catholic faith, but would not need to prohibit other faiths. Compare DH 1. DS 2978: "Hence, it is worthy of praise that in certain regions called Catholic it has been provided by law that for persons immigrating there it is permitted to hold public worship of each cult." COMMENT: For men to be able to hold false beliefs is not "worthy of praise", even though out of respect for conscience no one should be forced to act against even an erroneous conscience. But, as Pius XII taught in Ci riesce (text to be given below) the common good of the universal Church requires that error be permitted. In fact, in determined circumstances, God does not even give the state a right to suppress erroneous things, namely, when the common good of Church and state call for tolerance. DS 2979:"It is not true to say that civil liberty for each cult, and likewise full power given to all to manifest any opinions and thoughts whatsoever more easily leads to corrupting the morals and souls of people, and to propagating indifferentism." COMMENT: We notice the word "any... whatsoever". That makes the statement outrageously broad: one could then say there is no harm in advocating cutting off other people's heads as ordered by the gods of the headhunters, or homosexuality, or polygamy. DS 2980:"The Pope can and should reconcile and adjust himself with progress, with liberalism, and with recent attitudes of civil society." COMMENT: He cannot reconcile himself to such ideas as the notion that error has rights, or that the state should be indifferent to religion.

Leo XIII, Immortale Dei.Nov.1,1885 ASS 18: 1. "So too, that liberty of thinking and of publishing anything whatsoever,with no restraint at all, is not a good by its own nature over which human society should rightly rejoice, but is the font and origin of many evils... for this reason, a state errs from the rule and prescription of nature if it allows a license of opinion and actions to such an extent that without penalty it is permitted to lead minds away from the truth and souls from virtue." COMMENT: Again,we note the deliberately sweeping language condemning a liberty that can publish just anything, and with no restraint at all. Surely that is not something society should rejoice over. 2. "Really,if the Church judges that it is not permitted that various kinds of divine worship have equal rights with the true religion, yet it does no for this reason condemn the rulers of states who, to attain some great good or prevent evil, patiently allow each [kind of cult] to have place in the state." COMMENTS: Here the Pope concedes that all kinds of religions can be permitted as long as they are not given the same rights as the true religion. He means that the state should worship by the true religion and not by the others. This is the same as the thought of DH 1.

Leo XIII, Libertas Praestantissimum, June 20,1888.ASS 20. 1."It is scarcely necessary to say that there can be no right for a freedom that is not moderately tempered,but which goes beyond measure and bounds.... For if a boundless license of speaking and writing be conceded to just anyone, nothing is going to remain holy and inviolate, not even those greatest, most true judgments of nature, which are to be considered as the common and most noble patrimony of the human race." COMMENT: Again, the Pope speaks against most extreme things. 2.(a bit earlier in the same document):"...while not conceding any right to things that are not true and honorable, it [the Church] does not refuse to let public authority endure these, that is, to avoid some greater evil, or to attain or keep some greater good. The most provident God, though He is infinite in power and can do all things, yet permits evils in the world, in part,s o as not to impede greater good, in part so greater evils will not follow. In ruling states, it is right to imitate the Ruler of the World." COMMENT: Such things have no right to exist, since God does not give them a claim: no one has a right to be wrong.

Pius XII,Ci riesce,Dec.6,1953.AAS 45: The Pope asked: "Can it be that in determined circumstances, He [God] does not give to man any mandate, or impose a duty, finally, that He gives no right to impede and to repress that which is erroneous or false?...Christ in the parable of the cockle gave the following admonition: Let it be that the cockle grow in the field of the world along with the good seed, for the sake of the harvest."[Cf.Mt.13:24-30]. COMMENT: We notice he said that "in determined circumstances" God does not even give a right to repress. What are these circumstances? A bit farther on he added: He [the Catholic statesman] in his decision will let himself be guided by the harmful consequences which arise with tolerance, compared with those that will be found in the international community by way of the acceptance of tolerance.... in such individual cases, the attitude of the Church is determined by the preservation and in consideration of the common good, the common good of the Church, and of the State in individual states on the one hand, and on the other hand, the common good of the universal Church...."

Conclusions from the above Papal texts:

1.Error has no rights, since rights are a claim given ultimately by God. He gives no claim to error. This does not condemn the idea that people may have a right not to be imprisoned etc.for error. DH will affirm that.

2.Yet the common good of the state and the Church may dictate the need of tolerance of error. Pius XII added, in Ci riesce that God does not even give a right to suppress error in circumstances in which the common good requires tolerance.

3.It is false to say that one can be saved by just any faith. This is the sense of the strong condemnations of indifferentism. But one may say that one could be saved in spite of an erroneous faith (cf.Pius IX, Quanto conficiamur moerore. LG 16 will say it more clearly as will Redemptoris missio 10 of John Paul II.).

4.The state as a state should worship God, in the way in which He has made known He wishes it. This need not call for suppression of other faiths - cf. #2 above. DH 1 also states this.

5.The strongest statement above is in the Quanta cura of Pius IX when he says that the state in suppressing error must do more than just suppress what is demanded by public order. We have not yet seen what DH does on this score. We will see that it too demands more than what public order calls for, in 4 & 7.

6.There is no right of publication of just anything.There are some limits.

APPENDIX II) TEXTS OF VATICAN II, DIGNITATIS HUMANAE (Sectional numbers given in margin)

1.a)" leaves untouched the traditional Catholic doctrine about the moral duty of men and societies to the true religion and the only Church of Christ." COMMENT: The Council reaffirms completely the traditional teaching on the obligation of the state to profess Catholicism. Mere reason shows that: just as an individual must worship God for his own needs, so the state as state must worship for its needs. Pagan Greece and Rome thought this way. We add: If God has shown the way He wills to be worshipped, of course, there is an obligation to follow it. This need not mean repressing other faiths of course. One could still ask: Has the state historically shown itself incapable of determining what is the true religion? Cases like Islam make one wonder. On the other hand, without a union we are apt to get legal positivism, such as the practice has today: the state does not know what is right or wrong in itself - all it can do is make something right or wrong by passing a law. So today it even favors homosexuality. b): "Besides,in treating of this religious liberty, the Sacred Synod intends to develop the doctrine of recent Popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and about the constitutional order of society." COMMENT: Since the council intends to evolve, it did not mean to contradict. The Church has long evolved various teachings without contradicting. It is significant that John Courtney Murray denied the teaching of 1a above. Therefore the Council did not entirely follow him. Some have noted that the Council did not give references to the more recent Popes. Actually, Leo XIII, in Immortale Dei ,did warn against coercing consciences (DS 3177): "The Church is accustomed to take care that no one be forced to embrace the Catholic faith when unwilling, as Augustine wisely reminded:"A person cannot believe if he does not do it willingly." Cf. DS 3246,3251. And Pius XII in Ci riesce,as we saw above,taught that in determined circumstances, God does not even give the state any right to repress error. This applies when the public good calls for it. Pius XII seems to imply these circumstances are always present:AAS 45, pp. 799, 801.

2. 1."This Vatican Synod declares that the human person has a right to religious liberty. Liberty of this kind consists in this, that all persons should be immune from coercion either on the part of individuals, or of social societies, and of any human power at all, and this in such a way that in a religious matter neither should anyone be forced to act against his conscience, or impeded from acting according to his conscience privately and publicly. either alone or in association with others, within due limits." COMMENT: Since this section was hammered out with much labor, it must be interpreted with equal care. We note in addition that John Courtney Murray, in his introduction to this declaration in the Abbott edition of Vatican II said (p.674): "The conciliar affirmation of the principle of freedom was narrowly limited - in the text." He thinks it will in practice be given wider scope or have wider effects.

It is important to note that the focus is on not coercing consciences: a man must not be forced to act against his conscience, or impeded from acting according to his conscience in private and in public. This seems to mean that one must not violate his conscience when the conscience orders something. What if his conscience merely permits something? It is not clear that a person has that added right, for the purpose of not forcing action against conscience seems to be that no one should force a man to sin. There would be sin in going against a positive order of conscience to either do or to omit something. But if a conscience merely permitted something but did not command it, the person would not be sinning if he merely omitted something that he was free to do but not required to do. In that event, if a Protestant's conscience permitted him to write to attack the Catholic Church, but did not command that, this declaration probably would not say he was to be free of coercion, since the omission would not be sinful for him. It is not likely that his conscience would be apt to command him to attack.

Though conscience is not likely to order publishing an attack on Catholic doctrine, it could easily order a man to publish his own doctrine, and to join in social worship.

About the words "within due limits"-- they are not precise. Someone might claim they meant the same as "public peace" in the document of Pius IX. Pius IX clearly requires the state to do more than just maintain public peace in this matter.Howsoever Vatican II also requires more. In 4: "Religious communities also have the right not to be impeded in orally and publicly teaching and testifying to their faith. However, in spreading religious faith and practices, all must abstain always from every kind of action which seems to be coercion or improper or less right persuasion, especially towards the uneducated and the poor. Such a way of acting must be considered as an abuse of their own rights and infringement of the rights of others. And in 7: "Since civil society has the right of protecting itself against the abuses that could happen under the pretext of religious liberty, it pertains especially to the civil authority to provide protection of this kind ;it should not be done in an arbitrary manner or unfairly favoring one side, but according to juridical norms that are in accord with the objective moral order, which are required for the effective protection of rights for all citizens, and for the peaceful settlement of conflict of rights, and by a sufficient care for that honorable public peace which is the well-ordered living together in true justice, and [required] by due custody of public morality."

We conclude: Vatican II does require much more than keeping public peace. It requires that the sects refrain from unfair persuasion aimed at the uneducated and the poor - that would be "an abuse of their rights"; it requires care for public morality.

2. 2: "It also declares that the right to religious liberty is really founded in the very dignity of the human person.... According to this dignity, all are impelled by their own nature, and are bound by moral obligation to seek the truth.... They cannot satisfy this obligation...unless they have psychological freedom and at the same time immunity from external coercion." COMMENT: The coercion in mind is that of physical force, which would come from the civil state. It does not rule out the use of the divinely given authority of Christ to proclaim His truth and to say all are obligated by His divine authority to accept it.

Therefore Archbishop Lefebvre was completely without justification in his claims.


We explained a special point of theological method in the introduction to Appendix B. Here we need to note another special point, namely: If we seem to have on hand two truths, which seem to clash head on, and they are there even after we recheck our work, we must not try to force one to fit with the other. No, we must faithfully state both points, hoping that sometime someone will find how to make them fit. The Fathers did very well on this matter. For example, in dealing with the difficult texts of Lk 2:52 and Mk 13:32 on the human knowledge of Jesus, most of the Fathers made two kinds of statements, one kind affirming ignorance, the other denying it.Finally, on the Lucan text St.Athanasius found how to reconcile the statements; later, Pope St.Gregory the great did the same for the Markan text.(For details see Wm.G.Most, The Consciousness of Christ).

The same situation is found in regard to texts both of the Fathers and of the Magisterium on membership in the Church. One kind seems very severe, the other kind, very broad.

For commentary on each text, please see.W.Most, Our Father's Plan, Appendix. a) Restrictive Tests of the Fathers

The Shepherd of Hermas, Similitudes 9.16:(c.140 AD) "The apostles and the teachers who preached the name of the Son of God, when they fell asleep in the power and faith of the Son of God preached also to those who had fallen asleep earlier, and they gave them the seal of the preaching. They therefore went down into the water with them, and came up again."

St.Irenaeus.Against Heresies 3.24.1:c.140-202 AD) "God places in the Church apostles, prophets, doctors...those who are not partakers of these, who do not run to the Church, deprive themselves of life through evil opinions and wicked working."

Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 2.9:(c.208-11 AD) "He who does not enter through the a thief and a robber. Therefore it is necessary for them to learn the truth through Christ and to be saved, even if they happen on philosophy."(Clement also quotes verbatim the above text of Shepherd of Hermas).

Origen, Homily on Jesu Nave 3.5:(c.249-51 AD) "If anyone of the people wishes to be saved, let him come to this house, so that he can attain salvation, to this house in which the blood of Christ is a sign of redemption.... Therefore let no one persuade himself, let no one deceive himself: outside this house, that is, outside the Church, no one is saved; for if anyone goes outside, he becomes guilty of his own death."

St.Cyprian, On the Unity of the Catholic Church 6:(c.251 AD) "The power of baptism cannot be greater or more powerful, can it, than confession [of the faith], than suffering, such that someone who confesses Christ before men, is baptized in his own blood. And yet, neither does this baptism profit a heretic, even though after confessing Christ, he is killed outside the Church."

Lactantius, Institutes 4.30.11:(c.305-10 AD) "Whoever does not enter there [the Church] or whoever goes out from there, is foreign to the hope of life and salvation."

St.Augustine, On Nature and Grace 2.2:(c.415 AD) "If Christ did not die for no purpose, therefore all human nature can in no way be justified and redeemed from the most just anger of God...except by faith and the sacrament of the blood of Christ." Against Julian 4.3.25:(c.421 AD) "Nor can you prove by them that which you want, that even infidels can have true virtues." [He is speaking of gentiles in Rom.2.14-16, whom he thinks must mean converted gentiles. Other gentiles could not have true virtues, and so could not be saved].

St.Cyril of Alexandria, On Psalms 30:22:(c.428 AD) " ...mercy is not obtainable outside the holy city."

St.Fulgentius of Ruspe, On Faith, to Peter 38.81:(c.500 AD) "Not only all pagans, but also all Jews and all heretics and schismatics, who finish their lives outside the Catholic Church, will go into eternal fire.... No one, howsoever much he may have given alms, even if he sheds his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remains in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church." ibid.36.79: "Baptism can exist...even among heretics...but it cannot be beneficial outside the Catholic Church."

b)Restrictive Texts of the Magisterium

Pope Innocent III, Profession of Faith for the Waldensians (1208: DS 792): "We believe in our heart and confess in our mouth that there is one Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic apostolic Church, outside of which we believe no one is saved."

Lateran Council IV (1215: DS 802): "There is one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all is saved."

Pope Boniface VIII, Unam sanctam (1302: DS 870): "Outside of which there is neither salvation nor remission of sins.... But we declare, state and define that to be subject to the Roman Pontiff is altogether necessary for salvation." [The second part merely means there is no salvation outside the Church, for it is quoted from St.Thomas Aquinas, Contra errores Graecorum 36. #1125 where context shows the sense].

Pope Clement VI, Epistle of Sept 29,1351: DS 1051): "No man...outside the faith of the Church and obedience to the Roman Pontiff can finally be saved."

Council of Florence (1442: DS 1351): "It firmly believes, professes and preaches, that none who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can partake of eternal life, but they will go into eternal fire...unless before the end of life they will have been joined to it [the Church] and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body has such force that only for those who remain in it are the sacraments of the Church profitable for salvation; and fastings, alms, and other works of piety and exercises of the Christian soldiery bring forth eternal rewards [only] for them. 'No one, howsoever much almsgiving he has done, even if he sheds his blood for Christ, can be saved, unless he remains in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.'" [Internal quote at end is from Fulgentius,as we saw above].

Broad Texts of the Magisterium

Pope Pius IX ,Quanto conficiamur moerore (1863: DS 2866): " His supreme goodness and clemency, by no means allows anyone to be punished with eternal punishments who does not have the guilt of voluntary fault. But it is also a Catholic dogma, that no one outside the Catholic Church can be saved, and that those who are contumacious against the authority of the same Church [and] definitions and who are obstinately separated from the unity of this Church and from the Roman Pontiff, successor of Peter, to whom the custody of the vineyard was entrusted by the Savior, cannot obtain eternal salvation."[emphasis added].

Pope Pius XII, Mystici corporis (1943:DS 3821): "They who do not belong to the visible bond of the Catholic Church...[we ask them to] strive to take themselves from that state in which they cannot be sure of their own eternal salvation; for even though they are ordered to the mystical body of the Redeemer by a certain desire and wish of which they are not aware [implicit in the general wish to do what God wills], yet they lack so many and so great heavenly gifts and helps which can be enjoyed only in the Catholic Church."

Holy Office, Aug 9,1949, condemning doctrine of L.Feeney (DS 3870): "It is not always required that one be actually incorporated as a member of the Church, but this at least is required: that one adhere to it in wish and desire. It is not always necessary that this be explicit...but when a man labors under invincible ignorance, God accepts even an implicit will, called by that name because it is contained in the good disposition of soul in which a man wills to conform his will to the will of God."

Vatican II, Lumen gentium 16:(1964 AD) For they who without their own fault do not know of the Gospel of Christ and His Church, but yet seek God with sincere heart, and try, under the influence of grace, to carry out His will in practice, known to them through the dictate of conscience, can attain eternal salvation."

John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio #10 ( Dec.7, 1990): "The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all. But it is clear that today, as in the past, many people do not have an opportunity to come to know or accept the Gospel revelation or to enter the church.... For such people, salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the church, does not make them formally a part of the church, but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through his or her free cooperation." [emphasis added].

Broad Texts of the Fathers

Pope St.Clement I, Epistle to Corinth 7.5-7 (c.95 AD): "Let us go through all generations, and learn that in generation and generation the Master has given a place of repentance to those willing to turn to Him. Noah preached repentance, and those who heard him were saved. Jonah preached repentance to the Ninevites; those who repented for their sins appeased God in praying, and received salvation, even though they were aliens [allotrioi] of God."

St.Justin Martyr, Apology 1.46 (c.150 AD): "Christ is the Logos [Divine Word] of whom the whole race of men partake. Those who lived according to Logos are Christians, even if they were considered atheists, such as, among the Greeks, Socrates and Heraclitus." Apology 2.10:" Christ...was and is the Logos who is in everyone, and foretold through the prophets the things that were to come, and taught these things in person after becoming like to us in feeling."

Shepherd of Hermas, Vision 2.4.1:(c.140-55 AD): The angel asks Hermas who he thinks the old woman was who appeared. He thought it was the Sibyl: "You are wrong.... It is the Church. I said to him: Why then an old woman? He said: Because she was created first of all; for this reason she is an old woman, and because of her the world was established."

Second Clement 14.2 (prob.c 150 A.D.): "The books of the prophets and the apostles [say] that the Church is not [only] now, but from the beginning. She was spiritual, like also our Jesus. She was manifested in the last days to save us."

St.Irenaeus, Against Heresies 4.28.2:(c.140-202 AD): "There is one and the same God the Father and His Logos, always assisting the human race, with varied arrangements, to be sure, and doing many things, and saving from the beginning those who are saved, for they are those who love and, according to their generation (genean) follow His Logos." Ibid. 4.6.7: "For the Son, administering all things for the Father, completes [His work] from the beginning to the end.... For the Son, assisting to His own creation from the beginning, reveals the Father to all to whom He wills." Ibid. 4.22.2: "Christ came not only for those who believed from the time of Tiberius Caesar, nor did the Father provide only for those who are now, but for absolutely all men from the beginning, who, according to their ability, feared and loved God and lived justly...and desired to see Christ and to hear His voice."

Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 7.17:(c.20-11 AD): "From what has been said, I think it is clear that there is one true Church, which is really ancient, into which those who are just according to design are enrolled." Ibid 1.5: "Before the coming of the Lord, philosophy was necessary for justification to the Greeks; now it is useful for piety...for it brought the Greeks to Christ as the law did the Hebrews." Ibid. 1.20.99:" Philosophy of itself made the Greeks just, though not to total justice; it is found to be a helper to this, like the first and second steps for one ascending to the upper part of the house, and like the elementary teacher for the [future] philosopher]."

Origen, On Canticles 2.11-12:(c.240 AD): "Do not think I speak of the spouse or the Church [only] from the coming of the Savior in the flesh, but from the beginning of the human race, in fact, to seek out the origin of this mystery more deeply with Paul as leader, even before the foundation of the world." Against Celsus 4.7:(c.248 AD): "...there never was a time when God did not will to make just the life of men. But He always cared, and gave occasions of virtue to make the reasonable one right. For generation by generation this wisdom of God came to souls it found holy and made them friends of God and prophets." On Romans II.9-10:(after 244 AD) [the law was written on hearts: Cf.Rom 2.14-16] "that they must not commit murder or adultery, not steal, not speak false testimony, that they honor father and mother, and similar things...and it is shown that each one is to be judged not according to a privilege of nature, but by his own thoughts he is accused or excused, by the testimony of his conscience." Homily on Numbers 16.1: (after 244 AD): "Since God wants grace to abound, He sees fit to be present....He is present not to the [pagan] sacrifices, but to the one who comes to meet Him, and there He gives His word [Logos?]."

Hegemonius (?) Acts of Archelaus with Manes 28:(c.325-50 AD): "From the creation of the world He has always been with just men.... Were they not made just from the fact that they kept the law, 'Each one of them showing the work of the law on their hearts...?'[cf.Rom 2.14-16] For when someone who does not have the law does by nature the things of the law, this one, not having the law, is a law for himself.... For if we judge that a man is made just without the works of the much more will they attain justice who fulfilled the law containing those things which are expedient for men?"

Arnobius, Against the Nations 2.63:(c.305 AD): "But,they say :If Christ was sent by God for this purpose, to deliver unhappy souls from the destruction of ruin - what did former ages deserve which before His coming were consumed in the condition of mortality? .... Put aside thee cares, and leave the questions you do not understand; for royal mercy was imparted to them, and the divine benefits ran equally through all. They were conserved, they were liberated, and they put aside the sort and condition of mortality."

Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History 1.1.4:(c.311 -25 AD): "But even if we [Christians] are certainly new, and this really new name of Christian is just recently known among the nations, yet our life and mode of conduct, in accord with the precepts of religion, has not been recently invented by us; but from the first creation of man, so to speak, it is upheld by natural inborn concepts of the ancient men who loved God, as we will here show.... But if someone would describe as Christians those who are testified to as having been righteous, [going back] from Abraham to the first man, he would not hit wide of the mark."

St.Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 18.5 [at funeral of his father, a convert]:(c.374 AD): "He was ours even before he was of our fold. His way of living made him such. For just as many of ours are not with us, whose life makes them other from our body [the Church], so many of those outside belong to us, who by their way of life anticipate the faith and need [only] the name, having the reality." Oration 8.20 [on his sister Gorgonia]: "Her whole life was a purification for her, and a perfecting. She had indeed the regeneration of the Spirit, and the assurance of this from her previous life. And, to speak boldly, the mystery [baptism] was for her practically only the seal, not the grace."

St.John Chrysostom, On Romans II.5:(c.391 AD): "For this reason they are wonderful, he [Paul,in Romans 2:14-16] says, because they did not need the law, and they show all the works of the law....Do you not see how again he makes present that day [Judgment in 2.16] and brings it near...and showing that they should rather be honored who without the law hastened to carry out the things of the law? ... Conscience and reasoning suffice in place of the law. Through these things he showed again that God made man self-sufficient in regard to the choice of virtue and fleeing evil.... He shows that even in these early times and before the giving of the law, men enjoyed complete Providence. For 'what is knowable of God' was clear to them, and what was good and what was evil they knew." Homilies on John 8.1: ( c.389 AD): "Why,then, the gentiles accuse us saying: What was Christ doing in former times, not taking care...? We will reply: Even before He was in the world, He took thought for His works, and was known to all who were worthy."

St.Ambrose, On Cain and Abel 2.3.11:(after 375 AD): "Our price is the blood of Christ....Therefore He brought the means of health to all so that whoever perishes, must ascribe the cause of his death to himself, for he was unwilling to be cured when he had a remedy.... For the mercy of Christ is clearly proclaimed on all."

St.Augustine, City of God 18.47:(413-26 AD): "Nor do I think the Jews would dare to argue that no one pertained to God except the Israelites, from the time that Israel came to be... they cannot deny that there were certain men even in other nations who pertained to the true Israelites, the citizens of the fatherland above, not by earthly but by heavenly association."

Retractions 1.13.3: (426-27 AD): "This very thing which is now called the Christian religion existed among the ancients, nor was it lacking from the beginning of the human race until Christ Himself came in the flesh, when the true religion, that already existed, began to be called Christian."

Epistle 102.11-13,15:(406-12 AD): "Wherefore since we call Christ the Word [Logos], through whom all things were made...under whose rule [was/is] every creature, spiritual and those from the beginning of the human race who believed in Him and understood His somewhat [utcumque] and lived according to His precepts devoutly and justly, whenever and wherever they were, beyond doubt they were saved through Him.... And yet from the beginning of the human race thee were not lacking persons who believed in Him, from Adam up to Moses, both in the very people of Israel...and in other nations before He came in the flesh."

St.Prosper of Aquitaine, De vocatione omnium gentium 2.5: (c.450 AD): "...according to it [Scripture] ...we believe and devoutly confess that never was the care of divine providence lacking to the totality of men....To these, however [who have not yet heard of Christ] that general measure of help, which is always given from above to all men, is not denied."

St.Nilus, Epistle 1.154:(perhaps c.430 AD): "In every nation the one who fears God and does justice is acceptable to Him. For it is clear that such a one is acceptable to God and is not to be cast aside, who at his own right time flees to the worship of the blessed knowledge of God."

St.Cyril of Alexandria, Against Julian 3.107: (433-41 AD): "For if there is One over all, and there is no other besides Him, He would be Master of all, because He was Maker of all. For He is also the God of the gentiles, and has fully satisfied by laws implanted in their hearts, which the Maker has engraved in the hearts of all [cf.Rom 2.14-16]. For when the gentiles, [Paul] says, not having the law, do by nature the things of the law, they show the work of the law written on their hearts. But since He is not only the Maker and God of the Jews [cf.Rom 3.29] but also of the gentiles...He sees fit by His providence to care not only for those who are of the blood of Israel, but also for all those upon the earth."

Theodoret of Cyrus, Interpretation of the Epistle to Romans 2.14-16:(425-50 AD): "For they who, before the Mosaic law, adorned their life with devout reasonings and good actions, testify that the divine law called for action, and they became lawgivers for themselves.... He [St.Paul] shows that the law of nature was written on hearts.... According to this image, let us describe the future judgment and the conscience of those accepting the charge and proclaiming the justice of the decision." Remedy for Greek Diseases 6.85-86:(429-37 AD): "But if you say: Why then did not the Maker of all fulfill this long ago? You are blaming even the physicians, since they keep the stronger medicines for last; having used the milder things first, they bring out the stronger things last. The all-wise Healer of our souls did this too. After employing various medicines...finally He brought forth this all-powerful and saving medicine.

Pope St.Leo the Great, Sermon 23.4:(440-61 AD): "So God did not take are of human affairs by a new plan, or by late mercy, but from the foundation of the world He established one and the same cause of salvation for all. For the grace of God by which the totality of the saints always had been justified was increased when Christ was born, but did not begin [then]."

Pope St.Gregory the Great, Epistle VII.15:(540- 604 AD): "When He descended to the underworld, the Lord delivered from the prison only those who while they lived in the flesh He had kept through His grace in faith and good works." Homilies on Ezekiel 2.3: "The passion of the Church began already with Abel, and there is one Church of the elect, of those who precede, and of those who follow.... They were, then, outside,but yet not divided from the holy Church, because in mind, in work, in preaching, they already held the sacraments of faith, and saw that loftiness of Holy Church."

Primasius,Bishop of Hadrumetum, On Romans 2.14- 16:(c.560 AD): "'By nature they do the things of the law....' He [Paul] speaks either of those who keep the law of nature, who do not do to others what they do not want to be done to themselves; or, that even the gentiles naturally praise the good and condemn the wicked, which is the work of the law; or, of those who even now, when they do anything good, profess that they have received from God the means of pleasing God.... 'And their thoughts in turn accusing or even defending, on the day when God will judge the hidden things of men.' He speaks of altercations of thought....and according to these we are to be judged on the day of the Lord."

St.John Damascene, Against Iconoclasts 11:(late 7th cent. to 754 AD): "The creed teaches us to believe also in one Holy Catholic and Apostolic church of God. The Catholic Church cannot be only apostolic,for the all-powerful might of her Head, which is Christ,is able through the Apostles to save the whole world. So there is a Holy Catholic Church of God, the assembly of the Holy Fathers who are from the ages, of the patriarchs, of prophets, apostles, evangelists, martyrs, to which are added all the gentiles who believe the same way."

Conclusions from the Above Texts

1.Following proper theological method, the Fathers and the Magisterium saw two things: a)the Church is necessary for salvation; b)In some way God must make provision for those who do not find the Church. This was already stated in Romans 3.29 by St.Paul. If He did not do that,He would act as though He were not their God- He would condemn millions to hell who never had a chance!. Such a God could not be a God at all, but a monster.

2.In an effort to find how to fit the two together, most of them expressed a very broad concept of membership in the Church. Then one can say that there is no salvation outside the Church, but that the concept of membership is very broad, and covers even those who do not find the Church.

3.The early Magisterium texts at first seem very stringent. It is likely they had in mind those who culpably reject the Church - the words of Pius IX about those who are contumacious and obstinate fit with this and did not apply to those who through no fault of their own do not find the Church. The words of Romans 3.29 call for this interpretation.

Later Magisterium texts speak of those who pertain to the Church or are joined to the Church by even an unconscious desire, contained in the will to do what is right. John Paul II spoke of a mysterious grace.

Our proposal, expressed above in our comments on LG 5 do not contradict these things. Rather, they try to fill in, taking a lead from St.Justin that some in the past could have been Christians because they followed the Logos, who is in all. We attached the thought of St.Justin to Romans 2:14-16. This is not strained, for when we say the Logos, a Spirit is present, we really mean He is producing an effect: His presence is not spatial. What effect does He produce? He produces the effect of making known to them interiorly what the law requires, so that the law is written on their hearts, as Rom 2:15 said, following Jeremiah 31:33. (All actions done by the Three Divine Persons outside the Divine nature are common work to all three. Cf.DS 800. Hence we may say God did it, or the Logos did it, or the Spirit of Christ - all mean the same).

Then, if, for example Socrates - explicitly mentioned by St.Justin - follows the law on his heart, Socrates does not know the source of that law. It is really the Spirit of Christ who writes it. In accepting it, Socrates objectively accepts the Spirit of Christ. Since he accepts and follows that Spirit, he of course follows the Logos. But in Romans 8:9 we hear that "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." So then, one who does have and follow that Spirit, does belong to Christ .But to belong to Christ in St.Paul's language means to be a member of Christ - which is a member of the Church, by substantial membership, even though without formal external adherence.

So people of this sort who follow the law on their hearts are members of the Church, and as such, can be saved. This fits especially well with the words of Vatican II in LG 16.

Appendix IV) Summary of Dei Verbum

Preliminary notes:

1.This text had a stormy history. The original draft was presented in Nov.1962. There was much opposition.A vote taken to have it rewritten-- 60% wanted that,but it needed 2/3. So Pope John XXIII ordered the rewriting. After many changes it was finally approved on Nov.18,1964. There were chiefly three hot points in the discussions: 1)What is Tradition in itself? What is the relation of Scripture and Tradition,or is there only one source of revelation? 2)What of inerrancy? 3) What of historicity of the Gospels? On Oct 2,1964 Cardinal Koenig of Vienna rose,said there are many errors in Scripture,gave three instances - they can all be answered.

2.There is stress on Christ as the full revelation of the Father. He is,it is true.But that does not preclude specific teachings. There has been a tendency to avoid them. Cf.Gabriel Moran & Sr.Maria Harris,in National Catholic Reporter, Nov 22,1967,p.6.


1.The Council intends to follow in the footsteps of Trent and Vatican I in presenting the true doctrine about divine revelation and its transmission.

Revelation in Itself

2.It pleased God to reveal Himself.This economy of revelation takes place by actions and by words intrinsically connected,so that the works manifest and reinforce the doctrine and the things signified by the words,while the words proclaim the works and cast light on the mystery contained in them. Christ is the mediator and the fullness of revelation.

3.God in creating all thing through the Word and conserving them, gives constant testimony of Himself through created things. Intending to open up the way of heavenly salvation, He also manifested Himself to our first parents.After their fall,by promising redemption,He lifted them up into the hope of salvation.

4.After speaking in many and varied ways in the prophets,in the last days He spoke to us in His son. The Word speaks the words of God and consummates the work the Father gave Him to do.He who sees Him sees the Father.So the Christian economy as the new and definitive covenant,will never be superseded,and now no new public revelation is to be expected before the return of Christ.

5.The "obedience of faith" (Rom 1.5) is to be given to God who reveals, by which a person freely commits himself totally to God, giving full obedience of mind and will to God who reveals,and voluntarily assenting to what He reveals.We need a grace to come before and to go along with this faith,and to perfect it.

COMMENT:The definition of faith given in DV 5 is from Vatican I.If unfolded it means: 1)If God speaks a truth,faith requires intellectual belief; 2) if He make a promise, faith requires confidence; 3)If He gives a command,faith requires obedience:Rom 1:5,"the obedience of faith". 4)All to be done in love. Luther made a fatal mistake, he thought faith was only confidence the merits of Christ apply to me - then one can sin much (cf.his Epistle 501 to Melanchthon: "Pecca fortiter sed crede fortius"),and he said faith makes it all right.He did not notice St.Paul has a broader definition of faith; he did not notice that faith includes obedience,so it cannot be used to justify disobedience as Luther thought.

6.The Council confesses that God can be known by the light of natural reason,but that revelation brings it about that even things not impervious to reason may be known by all,with firm certitude,and without error.

II.The Transmission of Divine Revelation

7.So that what He revealed might be transmitted to all generations,Christ commanded the Apostles to preach the Gospel to all,which was done faithfully by the Apostles in oral preaching and by examples and institutions, and by those Apostles and apostolic men who under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit put down in writing the message of salvation. So that the Gospel might continue whole and living in the Church, the Apostles left Bishops,giving them their teaching office. COMMENT: DV & 8 explain the process on which Form and Redaction Criticism depend.Gospels develop in three steps: 1)Words and acts of Christ (He would adapt His words to current audience); 2)The Apostles and others at start report what He did and said - they might use different words, adapting to the audience,but would keep the sense; 3)Some individuals inspired by the Spirit, wrote down part of this original teaching. This was the Gospels therefore The Church has something more basic than the Gospels -its own ongoing teaching. In as much as even leftists admit three stages,they implicitly admit what we have said.

8.So the apostolic preaching,which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, is to be kept in continuous succession up to the consummation of the world. Hence the Apostles warn that people should hold to the traditions which they received by mouth or by letters(cf.2 Thes 2.15).This apostolic Tradition advances in the Church under the assistance of the Holy Spirit,for it grows both by reception of the words handed on and by the contemplation and study of those who believe,pondering them in their hearts.The Church tends to the fullness of divine truth constantly as the centuries go on until in her the words of God may be consummated.

The words of the Holy Fathers testify to this life-giving presence. Through the same Tradition the whole canon of the Sacred Books becomes known to the Church,and the Sacred Letters are deeply understood in her and are constantly rendered active.So God who spoke once, converses without intermission with the Spouse of His beloved Son. And the Holy Spirit leads the believers into all truth.

9.So Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are closely connected with each other and communicate with each other. For both,coming forth from the same divine source,coalesce as it were into one and tend to the same end. For Sacred Scripture is the speaking of God inasmuch as it is entrusted to writing under the inspiration of the Spirit; Sacred Tradition fully transmits the word of God,entrusted by Christ and the Holy Spirit to the Apostles.Hence the Church has its certitude about all things revealed not only through Sacred Scripture. So each [Scripture and Tradition] are to be received and respected with equal piety and reverence. COMMENT:We distinguish Tradition and tradition - latter is only customs.DV 9 strains to make it sound like only one source,yet we can see it still teaches there are two,Scripture and Tradition. 10.Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture constitute one sacred deposit of the word of God. However the task of authoritatively interpreting the word of God,written or handed on,has been entrusted solely to the living Magisterium of the Church,whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This Magisterium is not above the word of God,but ministers to it, teaching only what has been handed on.So Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so interconnected that one does not stand without the other.Together they effectively contribute to the salvation of souls.

III.The Inspiration of Sacred Scripture and its Interpretation.

11.Holy Mother Church holds as sacred and canonical the complete books of Old and New Testament,with all their parts, because,being written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,they have God as their author,and as such have been handed on to the Church. In producing the sacred books,God chose men,whom He employed as they used their faculties and powers,in such a way that with Him working in them and through them,they,as true authors,would set down in writing all the things He willed and those things alone.

Since then everything that the inspired authors assert is asserted by the Holy Spirit,for this reason the Scriptures are to be confessed as teaching firmly,faithfully and without error that truth which God for our salvation willed to have consigned to the sacred writings. [See comments below on underlined parts].

COMMENTs:1.In DV 11-12 we see literary genre in background.To find out what the sacred writer meant,we must see what genre he used. Whatever, in that framework,he asserts, is asserted by the Holy Spirit. 2.R.Brown (In New Jerome Biblical Commentary) and others insist DV 11, in the part we underlined,lets us say that only things needed for salvation are without error -- can be error in science, history, even religion. But the Council gave series of notes,referring back to earlier documents,especially Vatican I, which says God is the Author. He cannot be the author of any error, so Brown is wrong. Pius XII in Divino afflante Spiritu (EB 538) said that statement of Vatican I is a solemn definition. Vatican II would not reverse a solemn definition.

12.Since God in Scripture speaks with men in human fashion, the interpreter,in order to see what God willed to have communicated, must carefully study what the inspired writers really intended to say and what God willed to manifest in their words.

To understand the intention of the sacred writers, we must consider literary genres, for the truth is expressed in various modes -- historical,prophetical,poetical and other modes.So the interpreter must seek out what the inspired writer,considering his time and culture, intended to express via the means of literary genres.

But since Scripture is to be read and interpreted by the same Spirit by which it was written,to understand rightly,one must look not less diligently to the content and unity of all of Scripture,considering the living Tradition of the whole Church and the analogy of faith. It is for exegetes to work according to these rules to more deeply explain Scripture,so that by as it were a preliminary study,the judgment of the Church may mature.For everything in the interpretation of Scripture ultimately falls under the judgment of the Church.

COMMENT: DV 12 insists that in interpreting,we must note that there is one chief Author, the Holy Spirit, for all of Scripture - so one part cannot contradict another (some make Mark's picture of Our Lady clash with Luke's).It also insists we must consider the Tradition of the whole Church and the analogy of faith - as to latter: If any proposed interpretation would clash even by implication with any teaching of the Church - it is false. DV 12 adds that the work of scholars is only preliminary - the real judgment rests with the Church.

13.So in Scripture there is seen,always keeping to the truth and holiness of God, an admirable condescension of eternal Wisdom.For the words of God are made like to human speech,just as the Word of the Eternal Father,taking on the infirmity of flesh,became like to men.

The Old Testament

14.The most loving God intending and preparing the salvation of the whole race,in a singular plan chose a people for Himself.The economy of salvation told by the sacred writers in the Old Testament,is found as the true word of God in the books of the Old Testament.So these divinely inspired books retain their permanent value.

15.The plan of the Old Testament was especially aimed at preparing the coming of Christ,the redeemer of all,and of the Messianic kingdom.these books,even though they contain imperfect and temporary things,yet show a true divine pedagogy.

16.So God is the author and inspirer of both Testaments.He arranged everything so that the new would lie hidden in the old and the Old would open up the New. In the NT things acquire and show their complete meaning.

V: The New Testament

17.The Word of God is presented in an excelling manner in the books of the NT. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and began the kingdom of God on earth; by deeds and words He manifested His Father and Himself and by His death, resurrection and ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit completed His work. He drew all to Himself: this mystery [that all are called] was not made known to other generations as it is now revealed to the Apostles and Prophets in the Holy Spirit.

18 It is clear that the Gospels excel other NT writings.The Church has always and everywhere held the apostolic origin of the four Gospels. For what things the Apostles by command of Christ preached, they and apostolic men handed on to us,with the inspiration of the Spirit, the foundation of faith the quadruple Gospel.

19.The Church has firmly and most constantly held and does hold that the four Gospels, whose historicity it affirms without hesitation, faithfully hand down what Jesus in His mortal life really did and taught. The Apostles after His ascension,handed on these things to their hearers with the fuller understanding which they enjoyed, being taught by the glorious events of Christ and by the light of the Spirit of truth. The four Evangelists selected certain things out of many handed down orally or in writing,and put some things into a synthesis or explained them according to the state of the churches; they kept the form of proclamation, in such a way that they always communicated to us true and sincere things about Jesus.

COMMENT:In spite of Cardinal Koenig,DV 19 insists the Gospels give us what Jesus "really did and taught" and they give "true and sincere things" on Him. So Gospels are historically correct,considering genre as usual.

20.The NT Canon contains beside the four Gospels,also the Epistles of St.Paul and other apostolic writings inspired by the Holy Spirit in which, by wise counsel of God,the things about Christ are confirmed.

VI:The Scriptures in the Life of the Church

21.The Church always venerates the Scriptures as it does the Lord's Body, when, especially in the Liturgy it takes the bread of life from the table of the word of God. It holds that the Scriptures along with Sacred Tradition are the supreme rule of faith,that they unchangeably impart the word of God Himself.So all preaching, just as the Church itself,should be nourished and guided by Scripture.There is such power in the word of God that it is the support and vigor of the Church, and the strength of soul for the sons of the faith.

22.The faithful must have broad access to Scripture. Hence the Church from the beginning made its own the Septuagint,and held in honor other versions,oriental and Latin,especially the Vulgate. The Church sees to it that versions be prepared rightly in various languages,especially translating from the original texts. If some versions are made by work in common with separated brethren, with the approval of the Church, they can be used by all Christians.

23.The Church,to attain more profound understanding of the Scriptures,promotes the study of the Holy Fathers of the East and West, and the sacred Liturgy. Let Catholic exegetes and others who cultivate sacred theology work together, under the vigilance of the Magisterium,to investigate and propose the divine letters with apt helps so that as many as possible of the ministers of the word may provide the food of the Scriptures fruitfully for the people,according to the sense of the Church.

24.Because they are inspired,the sacred pages are as it were the soul of theology. By the word of the same Scripture,the ministry of the word, pastoral preaching,catechesis and christian instruction, in which the liturgical homily should have an outstanding place, wholesomely flourishes.

25.Hence all clerics,especially priests and others who as deacons or catechists work in the ministry of the word,should be familiar with the Scriptures by careful study.The Council exhorts all,especially religious, that by frequent reading of the divine Scripture they learn the eminent knowledge of Jesus Christ.For ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ [St.Jerome]. Moreover they should remember that prayer should go along with the reading of sacred Scripture. It is for the Bishops to opportunely provide versions of the sacred texts which are provided with necessary and sufficient explanations.Further,editions of Scripture with suitable notes should be provided also for the use of nonChristians.

26.So the reading and study of the sacred Books, should more and more fill the hearts of men.Just as by frequent Holy Communion the life of souls grows,so we hope that a new spiritual impulse may come from increased veneration for the Word of God which remains forever. Abbreviations AAS = Acta Apostolicae Sedis ASS =Acta Sanctae Sedis BAR = Biblical Archaeology Review CBQ = Catholic Biblical Quarterly DB = Denzinger-Bannwart,Enchiridion Symbolorum (early ed.of DS) DS =Denzinger- Sch"nmetzer,Enchiridion Symbolorum DV = Vatican II, Dei verbum (Constitution on Revelation) EB = Enchiridion Biblicum FFAE = W.Most,Free From All Error J = W.Jurgens,The Faith of the Early Fathers (English of RJ) LG = Vatican II, Lumen gentium (Constitution on Church) NAOQ = W.Most, New Answers to Old Questions OFP = W. Most, Our Father's Plan RJ = Rou‰t de Journel,Enchiridion Patristicum