CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH OF UNITY
I am happy today to wear the baptismal font that constitution of our Holy Church Unity.
respect for tradition, holy Fathers of the Church,
to help build a living Church, tolerant, loving, stripped of superfluous and concentrated on the essentials:
transmit love, truth, find the spirit of the early Christians, out of all sectarianism,
illuminating the world and respecting the word of truth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God bless those who contributed to its drafting, those working for its development and to everyone who reads them.
FIRST CHAPTER :
The Church's Mystery
1. The purpose of the Constitution on the Church
God is Light, He became incarnate in Jesus Christ became man to save us from the degradation of sin. CHURCH UNITY eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Gospel spread to all men the light of Christ that shines on the face of the Church (cf. Mk 16: 15). The Church is in Christ the sign and instrument of intimate union with God and of the unity of all mankind, it proposes to put in a brighter light, for his faithful and for the world whole, by attaching themselves to his universal mission.
2. The universal design of the Church
God wanted to raise men to participation in the divine life; become sinners in Adam, he did not abandon them, without giving them constantly beneficial aid in consideration of Christ the Redeemer, "who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation" (Col 1, 15) .
> 3. The mission of the Church
God incarnate in Jesus Christ inaugurated the kingdom of heaven on earth, while revealing its mystery and, by his obedience, effected redemption. The Church, which is the kingdom of God already present in mystery, operates worldwide, its visible growth. Whenever the sacrifice of the Cross by which Christ our Passover is sacrificed (1 Cor 5: 7) is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out. At the same time, through the sacrament of the Eucharistic bread, represented and realized the unity of the faithful in Christ, form one body (cf. 1 CO10, 17). To this union with Christ, light of the world, which we do, that we live in, towards which we strive, all men are called.
4. The sanctification of the Church
When completed on earth the work of redemption of Christ (cf. Jn 17: 4), the Holy Spirit was sent to strengthen and encourage the Church in order that believers in Christ, the sole spirit, access to the decline without Light (cf.Ep 2, 18). It is he, the Spirit of life, the source of gushing water for eternal life (cf. Jn 4: 14; 7: 38-39), which gives life to men and that is omnipresent and fills the universe (cf. 1 Cor 3: 16; 6, 19). The Holy Spirit helps us to pray and made us son of God by adoption (cf. Gal 4: 6; Rom 8: 15-16.26). This Church that fed into all the truth (cf. Jn 16: 13), and which ensures the unity of the community and the department, he built and runs through the diverse hierarchical and charismatic gifts, he adorns its fruit (cf. Eph 4: 11-12; 1 Cor 12: 4; Gal 5, 22). By virtue of the Gospel, it is the youth of the Church and continually renews, and leads her to perfect union with her head which is Christ. Thus the universal Church is the people brought into unity from the very unity of God.
5. The Kingdom of God
Jesus preached the good news of the coming Kingdom of God promised in the Scriptures for ages, "the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is here" (Mk 1, 15; Mt 4, 17). This kingdom is the omnipresence of God who fills the universe and that we can, with unwavering faith, living in transparency and fidelity to His commandments to feel already that Kingdom. The word of the Lord is indeed compared to a seed is sown in a field (Mk 4, 14): those who listen with faith and are aggregated to the little flock of Christ (Lk 12, 32) welcomed the Kingdom itself; then, by its own power, the seed sprouts and grows until harvest time (cf. Mk 4: 26-29). The miracles of Jesus also confirm that the Kingdom has already come on earth: "If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, so this is the Kingdom of God is among you" (Lk 11: 20; Mt 12, 28).
The Church receives the mission of proclaiming the Kingdom of Christ and of God and establish among all the nations of that kingdom germ which aims to unify the Church which is torn by increasingly lack faith, discernment and Christian charity.
6. The various images of the Church
The church is the flock of which God is the shepherd (cf.Is 40, 11;. Ez 34: 11s), and whose sheep, although they headed human pastors, however, are continuously conducted and nourished by the Christ himself, the Good Shepherd (Jn 10, 11; 1 Peter 5: 4), who gave his life for his sheep (cf. Jn 10: 11-15).
The Church is God's field (1 Cor 3: 9). In this field grows the ancient olive tree whose patriarchs were holy root and which operates and will operate reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles (Rom 11: 13-26). It was planted by the heavenly Vigneron as a choice vineyard (Mt 21, 33-43 by;. Is 5 1 sec.). True Vine, the Christ: it is he who gives life and through the Church we abide in him, without which we can do nothing (Jn 15: 1-5).
The church is the building of God (1 Cor 3: 9). The Lord himself compared himself to the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone and (Mt 21, 42;. Acts 4: 11; 1 Peter 2: 7; Ps 117: 22). On this basis, the Church is built by the Apostles (cf. 1 Cor 3: 11).
The Church is "the Jerusalem above" and "our mother" (Gal 4: 26; cf. Rev 12: 17); it is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless Lamb (Rev 19: 7, 21, 2.9, 22, 17) that Christ "loved and for which he comes to sanctify" (Eph 5: 26).
The Church considers itself exiled, so that it is looking for top of things and keeps the taste tour where Christ is while awaiting the hour when, with her husband, she will appear in glory (cf.Col 3, 1- 4).
7. The Church, the Mystical Body of Christ
God in human nature that is united, redeemed man by overcoming death through his death and resurrection, and he turned it into a new creation (Gal 6, 15; 2 Cor 5: 17). Indeed, communicating his Spirit to his brothers, he gathered all the nations, he made the mystically as its body.
In that body the life of Christ is spreading through believers that sacraments, a mysterious and real way, united to Christ. Through Baptism we are made like Christ: "For we were all baptized by one Spirit to be only one body" (1 Cor 12: 13).
But like all members of the human body, despite their multiplicity, however, are one body, so the faithful in Christ (cf. 1 Cor 12: 12). In building up the Body of Christ also reigns a diversity of members and functions. Only one Spirit who distributes different gifts for the good of the Church to the extent of his riches and requirements of services (cf. 1 Cor 12: 11). Among these gifts of grace given to the Apostles holds the first place: the Spirit himself subjected to their authority to beneficiaries of charisms (1 Cor 14). The same Spirit which is in itself the principle of unity in the body where it exercises under and where he made the inner connection of the members, produces and urges love among the believers. As a Member can not suffer, all members suffer with it (cf. 1 Cor 12: 26).
This body of Christ is the head. It predates the universe and all remain in him. He is the head of the body which is the Church. It's Principle, the firstborn from the dead, to exercise first in every way (cf. Col. 1: 15-18). His great power gave him dominion over the things of heaven and earth, and perfection and sovereign action, it fills the riches of his glory the whole body (cf. Eph 1: 18-23).
All members must comply with it until Christ be formed in them (cf. Gal 4: 19). That's why we assumed in the mysteries of his life, conformity to him, together with his death and resurrection, waiting to be his kingdom (cf. Phil 3: 21; 2 Timothy 2: 11; Eph 2: 6; Col 2, 12, etc.). Still pilgrims on earth, putting our feet into the path of his own, through tribulation and persecution, we are associated with his sufferings as the body to the head, united in their passion to be united to his glory (cf. Rom 8: 17). From him "the whole body, by joints and ligaments, has food and cohesion for growth operate in God" (Col 2: 19).
8. The Church, both visible and spiritual
Christ, the only mediator, creates and continually supports on earth his holy Church, the community of faith, hope and charity, by which it spreads, for all, truth and grace. This is why the Church is at the service of Christ that gives life to the body's growth (cf. Eph 4: 16).
This is the one Church of Christ, which we profess in the symbols of unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity, that church which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter Either pastor (Jn 21, 17), he entrusted him to him and the other apostles to extend and rule (cf. Mt 28, 18, etc.) and he has forever 'column the foundation of the truth "(1 Tm 3: 15).
But, as in poverty and persecution which Christ brought about redemption, the Church is also called to follow the same path to communicate to men the fruits of salvation. Jesus Christ "was the form of God emptied himself, taking a servant" (Phil 2: 6) for us "he became poor, though he was rich" (2 Cor 8: 9). The Church, which nevertheless needs to fulfill its HR mission is not made to seek earthly glory, but to spread by example also, humility and selflessness. Christ was sent by the Father "to bring good news to the poor ... to heal the brokenhearted" (Lk 4, 18), "to seek and save that which was lost" (Lk 19, 10): even the Church encompasses with love those human infirmity afflicts much more in the poor and suffering, she recognizes the image of her poor and suffering founder, she strives to alleviate their poverty and in them is the Christ wants to serve it. But while Christ is holy, harmless, undefiled (Heb 7, 26) ignores sin (2 Cor 5, 21), coming only atone for the sins of the people (cf. Heb 2, 17), the Church, she, clasping sinners to her bosom, she is at once holy and always in need of purification, constantly pursuing the path of penance and renewal.
The People of God
9. The New Covenant and the new People
God has always been pleasant for anyone who fears him and works righteousness (cf. Acts 10: 35).
Christ instituted an alliance: the New Covenant in his blood (cf. 1 Cor 11: 25), he calls the crowd of men to form a whole according to the flesh but in the Spirit and become the new People of God.
Those, indeed, who believe in Christ, who "re-born" not of corruptible seed but incorruptible seed of which is the word of the living God (cf. 1 Pt 1, 23), not of the flesh but water and the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 3: 5-6), those are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people whom God has acquired, those who formerly were not a people are now the people of God "(1 Peter 2: 9-10).
We are all called freely and voluntarily Christ Life Way and Truth, He who is "delivered for our sins and rose for our justification" (Rom 4: 25).
His law is that is to love one another as Christ himself loved us (cf. Jn 13: 34).
His destiny is the knowledge of God who is omnipresent in our lives and expanding it until, at the end of time Christ our life will appear (cf. Col 3: 4) that "the creation itself will be liberated from the bondage of corruption to know the glorious freedom of the children of God" (Rom 8, 21).
That's why these people, salt of the earth, is called to make God known to the world (cf. Mt 5: 13-16).
The Church of Christ (cf. Mt 16, 18) is built by Christ Himself who gave himself for it that bought his blood (see AC20, 28), filled with His Spirit and provided means adapted to its visible and social unity.
10. The common priesthood
Christ Jesus, High Priest of mankind (cf. Heb 5: 1-5) 1-5) has made the new people "a kingdom, priests to his God and Father" (Rev 1: 6; 5, 9-10).
The baptized, in fact, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated into a spiritual house and a holy priesthood who praise God who called them out of darkness into his marvelous light (cf. 1 Pet 2: 4-10) .
The disciples of Christ, persevering in prayer and praising God (cf. Acts 2: 42-47), offer themselves as living victims, holy, acceptable to God (cf. Rom 12: 1) giving hope of eternal life (cf. 1 Pt 3: 15).
Whoever receives the ministerial priesthood has a sacred power to form and lead the priestly people, for, in the role of Christ, the Eucharistic sacrifice and offer it to God in the name of the whole people.
The faithful join in the offering of the Eucharist and exercise that priesthood by receiving the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, abnegation and active charity.
11. The exercise of the common priesthood in the sacraments
The faithful are incorporated into the Church through baptism they received.
By the sacrament of Confirmation the faithful are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit that helps both to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ.
Part in the Eucharistic sacrifice the faithful offer the divine victim to God and offer themselves with it; Thus, for the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, they manifest the unity of the People of God that this great sacrament performs admirably.
By the sacred anointing of the sick, the whole Church commends the sick to the suffering and glorified Lord, that He relieves and saves (cf. (cf. Jas 5: 14-16); better, it urges to associate freely with the passion and death of Christ (cf. Rom 8: 17; Col 1: 24; 2 Timothy 2: 11-12; 1 Peter 4, 13) to bring them for the good the People of God.
As for those who accept God's call to receive a sacred order, they become the pastors of the Church to build the unity of the People of God.
Finally, by virtue of the sacrament of marriage is the symbol of the unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church (cf. Eph 5, 32), Christian spouses help one another to attain holiness in married life, the care and education of children (cf. 1 Cor 7: 7).
12. The sense of faith and charisms in the Christian people
The people of God participates spreads his testimony by a life of faith and charity and offer to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that celebrate his Name (cf. Heb 13: 15). The community of the faithful, who have the anointing from the Holy (cf. 1 Jn 2: 20.27), can not err in faith.
With this sense of faith the people of God receives the Word of God (cf. 1 Thes 2: 13).
God distributes among the faithful of all kinds, "distributing his gifts to his will in all" (1 Cor 12: 11), special graces that make it suitable to take on the various charges and helpful offices, following what it says: "it's always for the common good as the gift of the Spirit is manifested in a man" (1 Cor 12: 7).
His Holiness the Patriarch alone or together Bishops are able to make a judgment on the authenticity of the mystical gifts. It's up to them to try everything to keep what is good (cf. 1 Th 5, 12.19-21).
13. The universality of the one People of God
All men are called to serve the People of God from which his saving plan to gather in unity scattered his son (cf. Jn 11, 52). It is for this purpose that God became man to take possession of the universe and snatch the power of rebellious angels who nevertheless believe in Him and tremble from knowing that He is unlike other angels faithful who contemplate the face of God day and night.
The Holy Spirit is God and gives life to the whole Church, to all and every believer, the principle of their assembly and their unity in the apostolic doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking bread and prayer (cf. Acts 2: 42 Greek). The people of God can not be divided as it is guided by the Holy Spirit and therefore the need for reconciliation in the Holy Spirit is necessary to eradicate all divisions that have plagued the church.
All the faithful, indeed, scattered throughout the world are in the Holy Spirit, in communion with others. But as the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world (cf. Jn 18: 36), the Church remembers that he must make unifying office with this King to whom the nations were given for an inheritance (cf. Ps. 2: 8) and in the city where they bring gifts and presents (cf. Ps 71 , 10; IS60, 4-7; Rev 21: 24).
The members of the People of God are called to share their property and each church also apply the words of the Apostle: "Put every man serving others the gift he has received, as befits good dispensers of divine grace that is so diverse "(1 Peter 4: 10).
Thus, this unity of the People of God which prefigures and promotes universal peace, all men are called including the Christian faithful, the righteous who believe in God and live in His fear and the charity they perform and all men without exception that the grace of God calls to salvation.
14. The Christian faithful
Leaning on Scripture and Tradition, the Church walks the earth teaches salvation by Christ, who is the only mediator and the way of salvation.
It is through baptism (cf. Mk 16: 16; Jn 3: 5) than men enter the Mystical Body of Christ which is the Church. That is why those who refuse either to enter the Church or to persevere as they would know the basis of God through Jesus Christ, those are the ones who need the greatest mercy of God they may be saved.
As for catechumens who, under the action of the Holy Spirit asking for an explicit act of their will to be incorporated into the Church, by the very fact of this vow, already wrapped in her love taking care of them .
15. The links of the Church
The baptized are called Christians are united in the Holy Spirit in spite of the rites in which the baptism is celebrated.
Different churches are headed by bishops who celebrate the Holy Eucharist and surround their piety the Virgin Mother of God. Added to this is a true union in the Holy Spirit, who, by his gifts and graces, also operates in his sanctifying action and whose strength has allowed some of them to go up to pay their blood.
Thus, the Spirit inspires in all Christ's disciples desire and initiatives aimed at peacefully united, in the manner desired by Christ, as one flock under the one Shepherd and High Priest.
Finally, for those who have not yet received the Gospel of Christ are called to Heaven as he majestically well in telling the good thief that he will be with Him in Heaven as it does was baptized and also sentenced to death for murder and robbery.
This is why the Church, mindful of the glory of God and the salvation of all these men, remembering the Lord's command: "Preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16, 16), puts his care to encourage and support missions.
17. The missionary nature of the Church
Christ sent his Apostles (cf. Jn20, 21) saying: "Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have prescribed. And I am with you always, to the end of time "(Mt 28: 18-20). This solemn command of Christ to proclaim the truth of salvation, the Church has received from the Apostles to continue fulfilling the ends of the earth (Acts 1: 8). That's why she endorsed the words of the Apostle: "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel" (1 Cor 9: 16)
At every disciple of Christ lies, has the burden of expanding faith. But if the baptism may be given to believers by anyone, it is the priests, however it is up to procure the edification of the Body in the Eucharistic sacrifice in fulfilling the words of God when he said through the prophet's voice "From the east to its setting, my name is great among the nations, and in all places is offered to my name a sacrifice and a pure offering" (Mal 1: 11).
Thus, the Church unites prayer and work for the whole world to be transformed into the People of God, Body of Christ and Temple of the Holy Spirit, and that are made in Christ the Creator, all honor and glory.
The hierarchical constitution and the episcopate
Christ the Lord, to make the People of God pastors and the means of its growth, instituted in his Church various departments aim at the good of the whole body.
Jesus Christ, eternal Shepherd, has built the Holy Church by sending his Apostles (cf. Jn 20, 21); he wanted the successors of the Apostles, that is to say the bishops are in the Church, pastors until the end of time.
But for the episcopate itself might be one and undivided, he placed St. Peter at the head of the other Apostles, establishing, in his person, a principle and perpetual and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion .
19. The institution of the Twelve
The Lord Jesus called to him those he wanted and instituted by twelve to be his companions and sent out to preach the kingdom of God (cf.Mc 3, 13-19; Mt 10: 1-42); this institution of the Apostles (cf. Lk 6: 13), he gave as a college, that is to say a stable group, and built the Church on faith of Peter.
The day of Pentecost, they were fully confirmed in this mission (cf. Acts 2: 1-26), according to the Lord's promise: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth "(Acts 1: 8).
Everywhere preaching the Gospel (cf. Mk 16: 20), hosted by his listeners through the action of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles together the universal Church which the Lord has established in His Apostles and built on blessed Peter, their leader, Jesus Christ being himself the supreme seat stone (Rev 21, 14; Mt 16, 18; Ep2, 20).
20. The bishops, successors of the Apostles
The divine mission entrusted by Christ to the Apostles is meant to last until the end of time (cf. Mt 28, 20), since the Gospel they must transmit the Church's principle of his life for any length of time. That is why the apostles were careful to establish in this society hierarchically ordered, successors.
Indeed, the Holy Spirit inspires and assists the Bishops to rule the Church of God (Acts 20: 28).
Therefore, the Bishops, under divine institution succeed the apostles as pastors of the Church, so that, that listens, hears Christ, who rejects them, rejects Christ and the one that sent Christ (cf. Lk 10: 16).
21. The sacramental nature of the episcopate
In the person of the Bishops, the Lord Jesus Christ, True Shepherd and High Priest, who is present among believers.
It is through them in the first place by their outstanding service, he preaches the word of God to all nations and continuously administered to believers the sacraments of the faith; it is by their paternal function (1 Cor 4, 15) that integrates with his Body by supernatural regeneration of new members; it's finally by their wisdom and prudence he directs and guides the people of the New Testament in their pilgrimage toward eternal happiness.
Chosen as pastors to shepherd the Lord's flock, they are the ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God (cf. 1 Cor 4: 1). To them was entrusted the charge to bear witness to the gospel of God's grace (cf.Rm 15, 16; Acts 20: 24) and to exercise the glorious ministry of the Spirit and of justice in glory (2 Cor 3: 8-9).
To fulfill such high loads, the apostles were enriched by Christ to an outpouring of the Holy Spirit descended on them (cf. Acts 1: 8; 2: 4; John 20: 22-23); themselves, by the imposition of hands, transmitted to their employees the spiritual gift (cf. 1 Tim 4: 14; 2 Tim 1: 6-7) that is communicated to us through episcopal consecration.
22. The episcopal college and its head
Like Peter and the other Apostles constitute, by the institution of the Lord, one apostolic college, the bishops successors of the Apostles have formed several churches.
Already the most ancient discipline whereby the bishops established worldwide lived in communion among themselves the bond of unity, charity and peace under the authority of the head of the Church which is Christ .
The Lord made Simon stone of the first church in handing over the keys to him (cf. Mt 16: 18-19); he established the first pastor flock (cf. Jn 21, 15 sec.), but this office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter (Mt 16, 19) was also assigned to the college of the Apostles (Mt. 18, 18, 28, 16-20).
In this college, the bishops enjoy for the whole Church, a power clean, the Holy Spirit by ensuring the continuous action of its strength, structure and harmony in the body.
23. relations within the college
The collegiate unit also appears in the mutual relations of individual bishops with particular churches and with the universal Church.
Bishops are, each for its part, the principle and foundation of unity in their particular Churches; they are formed in the image of the universal Church, it is in them and through them exists the one and only church. This is why each bishop represents his Church and, united represent the universal Church in the bond of peace, love and unity.
The bishops at the head of each of the particular Churches, exercise their pastoral office over the portion of the People of God entrusted to them and on which freely and voluntarily decided to put under its jurisdiction.
All bishops must promote and serve the unity of the faith and the common discipline of the whole church, to form the faithful to love for the whole Mystical Body of Christ, especially to its poorest members, suffering, and to those who suffer persecution for justice (cf. Mt 5: 10).
24. Episcopal ministry
The bishops are successors of the Apostles receive from the Lord, to whom all power was given in heaven and on earth, the mission to teach all nations and to preach the gospel to every creature, so that all men, faith, baptism and the fulfillment of the commandments, may obtain salvation (cf. Mt 28: 18; Mk 16: 15- 16; AC26, 17 sec.).
To fulfill this mission, the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost to assist the Apostles in order to be witnesses of Christ to the ends of the earth to the nations, peoples and kings (Acts 1, 8; 2, 1 s. 9, 15).
This charge, entrusted by the Lord to the pastors of his people, is a real service: in Scripture, it is called specifically "diakonia" or ministry (cf. Acts 1: 17.25; 21, 19; Rom 11: 13; 1 Tim 1, 12).
The canonical mission of bishops is given by apostolic succession.
25. The teaching office of the bishops
Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel is the first in the nation to radiate faith in the light of the Holy Spirit (cf. Mt 13, 52), making it bear fruit and attentive to reject all errors that threaten their flock (cf.2 Tim 4: 1-4).
The bishops who teach have a right on the part of all, respect that suits witnesses of divine truth; the faithful should focus on the thought that their bishops speak in the name of Christ, in matters of faith and morals, and they have to give religious assent of their spirit.
26. The sanctifying office of bishops
The bishop, dressed in the fullness of the sacrament of Orders, carries "the steward of the grace of the supreme priesthood".
Churches are, each in its place, the new people called by God in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance (cf. 1 Thes 1: 5).
27. The Government function of bishops
Responsible for particular Churches entrusted to them, bishops lead them as vicars and ambassadors of Christ, by their advice, encouragement and example, but also by their authority and exercise the sacred power, remembering that the one the biggest has to be the smallest, and the principle that the servant (cf. Lc22 26-27).
This power which they personally exercise in Christ's name is proper, ordinary and immediate.
Pastoral care, that is to say, the usual daily care and their sheep, is fully given to them.
The bishop should keep before his eyes the example of the Good Shepherd came, not to be served but to serve (cf. Mt 20: 28; Mk 10: 45), and to give his life for his sheep (cf. Jn 10, 11).
Taken from among men and wrapped weakness, he can be indulgent towards the ignorant and erring (cf. Heb 5: 1-2).
It is not against listening to those who depend on it, surrounding them as true son and urging them to work with him in joy. Called to account to God for their souls (cf. Heb 13: 17), that his concern extends through prayer, preaching and all the works of charity, either themselves or also to those who are not yet the one flock and must be considered as being entrusted in the Lord. Being as the Apostle Paul debtor in respect of all, it is quick to proclaim the Gospel to all (cf. Rom 1: 14-15) engaging all his faithful to apostolic and missionary activity.
As for the faithful, they should focus on their Bishop as the Church of Jesus Christ that are fruitful for the glory of God (cf. 2 Cor 4: 15).
28. The priests in their relationship to Christ, the bishops, the presbytery and the Christian people
Christ coming into the world (Jn 10, 36), made of bishops successors of the Apostles.
In turn, the bishops sent legitimately in the Church the burden of their ministry to varying degrees in various subjects.
Thus the ecclesiastical ministry, instituted by God, is exercised in different degrees by those who even from ancient times have been called bishops, priests and deacons.
Priests are united with the bishops in sacerdotal dignity; and by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, in the image of Christ the eternal High Priest (Heb 5: 1-10; 7, 24, 9, 11-28) they are consecrated to preach the Gospel and shepherd the faithful and celebrate divine worship as true priests of the New Testament.
Participant at their level of ministry, of the burden of the one mediator who is Christ (1 Tim 2: 5), they announce to all of God's Word.
It is in the Eucharistic cult or Synaxis is exercised by excellence their sacred office; there, acting in the person of Christ and proclaiming his mystery, they unite the wishes of the faithful to the sacrifice of their chief representative and applying the sacrifice Mass, until the Lord comes (cf. 1 Cor 11: 26), the one sacrifice of the New Testament, that of Christ offering once and for all to the Father spotless victim (cf.He 9, 11-28).
In favor of true penitent or sick, they fill in a prominent way, the ministry of reconciliation and relief; they present to God the Father needs and prayers of the faithful (cf. Heb 5: 1-4).
Practicing for the part of authority that is theirs, the office of Christ, pastor and leader, they gather the family of God, brotherhood that has a soul, and through Christ in the Spirit, they lead to God the Father. They render to God the Father in the midst of their flock, worship in spirit and truth (cf. Jn 4: 24).
Finally, they labor in the word and teaching (1 Tim 5: 17), believing what they read and meditate in the law of the Lord, teaching what they believe, practicing what they teach.
Co advised the episcopal order they are using and instrument, called to serve the People of God, priests are with their bishop, one presbytery to the various functions.
The bishop, he must consider the priests, his co-like son and friends, just as Christ calls his disciples no longer servants but friends (cf. Jn 15: 15).
Of their faithful, they have spiritually begotten by Baptism and instruction (cf. 1 Cor 4: 15; 1 Peter 1, 23), priests must have in Christ, a paternal concern. Generously by the example of the flock (1 Pet 5: 3), they must lead and serve their local communities, so they can be worthy to receive the name that marks the one People of God in its entirety: the Church of God (cf. 1 Cor 1: 2; 2 Cor 1: 1; and passim).
Let them remember that they, through their daily behavior and in their solicitude, show the faithful and the infidels, the face of a truly priestly and pastoral ministry, and make all the testimony of the truth and the life ; be as good shepherds in search (cf. Lk 15: 4-7) those who, despite the received baptism in the Catholic Church, have abandoned the sacraments or even faith.
Deacons are on the lower level of the hierarchy whom hands have been imposed "not for priesthood but for ministry."
Sacramental grace, in effect, gives them the strength to serve the People of God in the "diakonia" of liturgy, word and charity, in communion with the bishop and his presbyterate.
The People of God is formed by the laity, religious and clergy.
It is to lay men and women return the contribution to the good of the whole Church.
They charisms proper to them, so that everyone in his way and unity is supporting the joint work. "We must, indeed, all through the practice of sincere love, we grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ whose entire body, with all the ligaments that serve, pulls cohesion and unity, and the activity assigned to each of its organs, operates its own growth to edify itself in love "(Eph 4: 15-16).
31. Who is referred to herein as "secular"?
The laity are all the faithful who are not part of the members of the sacred order and the religious state in the Church.
The secular character is proper and peculiar character of the laity. They engage in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life in which their existence is woven.
At this place, they are called by God to work for the sanctification of the world by fulfilling their own expense under the leadership of the evangelical spirit, and to manifest Christ to others, especially by the witness of their life, resplendent in faith, hope and charity.
32. The dignity of the laity as the People of God
The Holy Church, by divine institution is organized and directed along a wonderful variety. "For as in one body we have many members, and all members do not all have the same function, so in many, are one body in Christ, each being for its part, the Member one another "(Rom 12: 4-5).
There is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph 4: 5).
There is therefore, in Christ and in the Church no inequality would race or nationality, social condition or sex, because "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there neither slave nor free, male nor female, you are all one in Christ Jesus "(Gal 3, 28 Greek; cf. Col 3: 11).
If therefore in the Church, not all walk the same road, all, however, are called to holiness and have received a faith that makes them equal in the righteousness of Christ (cf. 2 Pt 1: 1).
Thus, in the same diversity all bear witness to the wonderful dignity that prevails in the Body of Christ.
The very diversity of graces, ministries and operations helps to bind the son of God in a while. Because "all this is the work of one and the same Spirit" (1 Cor 12: 11).
So by God's benevolence, they have to brother Christ came not to be served but to serve (cf. Mt 20, 28), while he is the master of everything and the laity also have to brothers who are close to the family of God pastors office, teaching, sanctifying, director by the authority of Christ for the new commandment of charity be fulfilled by all.
33. The beneficial and apostolic life of the laity
Any layman, under donations that were made to him, is a witness and also a living instrument of the mission of the Church itself, "the measure of the gift of Christ" (Eph 4: 7).
The laity can be called upon to cooperate more directly with the apostolate of the hierarchy, like those men and women who were auxiliaries of the apostle Paul in the Gospel, and in the Lord, spending a large toil (cf. Phil 4: 3; Rom 16: 3 s.).
In all lay rests the exalted duty of working so that the divine plan of salvation more and more to all men of all times and of all the earth.
34. The participation of the laity in the common priesthood and worship
Jesus Christ, the eternal High Priest, brings life to the laity by his Spirit and tireless help them achieve well.
Lay people, by virtue of their consecration to Christ and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, receive the wonderful vocation and means that allow the Spirit to produce in themselves ever more abundant fruit.
Indeed, all their activities, their prayers and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, their daily labor, their relaxation of mind and body, if they are lived in the Spirit of God, and even the trials of life, if patiently borne, all these become "spiritual offerings pleasing to God through Jesus Christ" (cf. 1 Pet 2: 5).
Thus, the laity consecrate the world to God himself, making all to God by the holiness of their lives a worship service.
35. The participation of the laity in the prophetic mission of Christ and the testimony
Christ, the great prophet who by virtue of his word, proclaimed the Kingdom of God and fulfills his prophetic office until the full manifestation of the glory of the laity which it is for this witness by providing the sense of the faith and the grace of speech (cf. Acts 2: 17-18; Rev 19: 10), that shines in everyday life, family and society, the power of the Gospel.
They present themselves as the son of promise, when, firm in the faith and in hope they take advantage of this time (cf. Eph 5: 16; Col 4: 5), and with patience await the glory come (cf. Rom 8: 25).
This hope, they should not hide the secret of their heart, but also express a continual conversion, fighting "against the rulers of this dark world, against spiritual wickedness" (Eph 6: 12).
the new law the sacraments, which feed the life and apostolate of the faithful, prefigure the new heaven and the new earth (cf. Rev 21: 1) and the laity become powerful heralds of the faith in that we hope (cf. Heb 11: 1) if they unite in a life animated by faith and the profession of the same faith.
36. The participation of the laity in the royal service
Christ, having become obedient unto death (cf. Phil 2: 8-9), entered into the glory of his kingdom; to him, everything is subject, waiting for itself to submit to the Father with all creation, that God may be all in all (cf. 1 Cor 15: 27-28).
Indeed, the Lord wishes to extend his reign also with the participation of the lay faithful; His kingdom is a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace reign in which the creation itself will be liberated from the slavery of corruption to know the glorious freedom the son of God (cf. Rom 8: 21).
Great indeed is the promise, the great commandment given to the disciples, "It is up to you but you are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (1 Cor 3: 23).
37. Relationship of the laity with the hierarchy
The laity have the right to receive in abundance the sacred pastors the resources that come from the spiritual treasures of the Church, especially the rescue of the Word of God and the sacraments.
They have the right to open up to these pastors with all the freedom and confidence that suit the son of God and brothers in Christ to their needs and their wishes.
The extent of their knowledge, their skills and their situation, they have the right to manifest their opinion regarding the good of the Church.
They do not fail to recommend to God in prayer, their leaders who watch over their souls as must give account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief (cf. Heb 13: 17).
Pastors, with the help of the laity, are set to judge more clearly and more precisely in spiritual as well as temporal, and that is the whole Church which will thus reinforced by all its members, to fill life of the world more effectively its mission.
Each of the laity is called to become the witness of the resurrection and life of the Lord Jesus. All together and each in turn should feed the world spiritual fruit (Gal 5, 22) and spread on him this spirit that animates the poor, the meek, peaceful the Lord in the Gospel proclaimed blessed (cf. . Matthew 5: 3-9).
The universal call to holiness in the Church
God is Holy animates the Church and holy (cf. Eph 5: 25-26).
The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ and is filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God.
In the Church, the faithful are called to holiness, according to the word of the Apostle: "Yes, what God wants is your sanctification" (1 Thessalonians 4: 3; Eph 1: 4).
40. The universal call to holiness
Divine Teacher and Model of all perfection, the Lord Jesus preached to all and each of his disciples, whatever their condition, that holiness of life which he is both the initiator and the consumer, "So be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect "(Mt 5: 48).
God intervened on the day of Pentecost to the faithful move from inside to love Him with all their heart and all their soul, with all their mind and all their strength (cf. MC12, 30), and also love one another as Christ loved them (Jn 13, 34; 15, 12).
The apostle Paul warned the faithful to live "as is fitting among saints" (Eph 5,3), to "put on as the elect of God holy and beloved, feelings of mercy, kindness, humility , meekness, longsuffering "(Col. 3, 12), bearing the fruits of the Spirit for their sanctification (cf. Gal 5: 22; Romans 6: 22).
However as we realize all at fault in many ways (see James 3: 2), we constantly need God's mercy and we have to say every day in our prayer: "Forgive us our trespasses" (Matthew 6 , 12).
The call to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity is for all those who are in Christ, whatever their condition or life form.
41. The multiple forms of the unique holiness of exercise
Selected to receive the fullness of the priesthood, the bishops receive sacramental grace to carry the burden of pastoral charity through prayer, sacrifice, preaching, care and episcopal service, accepting without fear of giving their lives for their sheep and becoming a model for their flock (cf. 1 Pt 5: 3), finally helping the Church by their example to advance each day in holiness.
Priests must grow in love for God and neighbor by the daily exercise of their work, keep them the bond of priestly communion, being rich for all spiritual goods and give all a living witness of God.
Deacons, serving the mystery of Christ and the Church, are called to keep clean from all vices, seeking to please God and to be before men the instruments of every possible good (cf. 1 Timothy 3 8-10.12-13).
The Christian spouses and parents are asked to help each other in fidelity of love with the help of grace, throughout their life, teaching children they have received from God, with love, Christian truths and virtues of the Gospel.
Are especially united to Christ suffering for the salvation of the world, on those facing poverty, infirmity, disease, various trials, or who suffer persecution for justice: the Lord in the Gospel declared them blessed and "the God of all grace who has called us in Christ to his eternal glory, after a short trial, the restore itself, will strengthen them and make them steadfast" (1 Peter 5, 10).
42. Ways and means of holiness
"God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him" (1 JN4, 16).
God poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (cf.Rm 5: 5).
The charity, which is the bond of perfection and the fullness of the law (cf. Col 3: 14; Rom 13: 10), directs all the means of sanctification, gives them their soul and leads them to their end.
It is love for God and neighbor that marks the true disciple of Christ.
The Church recalls the warning of the Apostle that causes the faithful to charity and urges them to feel in them the very thing that was in Christ, who "emptied himself, taking the form of a slave [...] becoming obedient unto death "(Phil 2: 7-8), and for making us" poor, he was rich "(2 Cor 8: 9).
43. The profession in a state of life recognized in the Church
The vows of chastity dedicated to God, poverty and obedience, being based on the words and example of the Lord, with the recommendation of the Apostles, the Fathers, the doctors and pastors of the Church, is a divine gift that Church has received from her Lord and which by his grace she always keeps.
The authority of the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has ensured itself to fix the doctrine and adjust practice, even establishing stable forms of life on the basis of this state of life, given the divine and hierarchical structure of the Church, is not situated between the condition of clerical and secular. God is called the Christian faithful of the one and the other condition to enjoy in the Church's life of this special gift and serve the salvific mission of the Church, each in its own way.
44. The nature and importance of the religious state in the Church
By greeting the faithful of Christ comes completely to God, he loves above all, and so he is ordered to serve the Lord and honor in a new and special title.
Baptism already had made die to sin and consecrated to God, but to be able to gather more abundant fruit of baptismal grace, he will, by the profession free from hindrances that could hold him in his search for a fervent charity and perfect worship to render to God, and dedicate more closely to divine service.
This consecration will be the more perfect as firmer and more stable links more reproduce the image of Christ united with the Church his Bride by an indissoluble bond.
45. The Church's authority over religious
The function of the hierarchy in the Church is that of the shepherd who leads the People of God the rich pastures (cf. Ez 34: 14), it is to her that it is to host the proposed rules by men or first class of women and, after having more perfectly ordered, it gives them a genuine approval.
The Church's authority is there to ensure and extend its protection on institutes created around to building the Body of Christ so that, faithful to the spirit of their founders, they grow and flourish .
Furthermore, to be better equipped to the needs of the Lord's flock as a whole, His All Holiness Patriarch may, because of the primacy that is his on the universal Church, and in consideration of public interest, subtract any institute of perfection and every subject to the jurisdiction of the local Ordinary and subordinate it alone.
46. Grandeur of the profession
Religious by their consecration do not become strangers to men or useless in the earthly city. Because they are present deeper into the heart of Christ, spiritually cooperate with them, so that construction of the earthly city always has its foundation in the Lord and is facing him, that the builders are not likely to toil in vain .
All who are called to the profession of vows, it is for them to watch carefully to persevere freely and voluntarily in the vocation, whatever it is, to which they were called to be constantly progress to greater holiness of the Church, for the greater glory of the one and undivided Trinity, which in Christ and through Christ is all holiness the source and origin.
The eschatological character of the Church
pilgrimage and its union with the Church in heaven
48. eschatological character of the Christian vocation
Leglise will have in heavenly glory consumption, when the time comes where are renewed all things (Acts 3: 1) and that, with the human race, the universe itself, intimately united with the man and by reaching his destiny, finds in Christ its final perfection (cf. Eph 1: 10; Col 1: 20; 2 Peter 3: 10-13).
Christ lifted up shot at him all men (cf. Jn 12, 32 Greek); rose from the dead (cf. Rom 6: 9), he sent out his apostles the Spirit of life and set up his Body which is the Church.
The Holy Spirit has given to the Church by her momentum and it continues in the Church where the faith teaches us about the very meaning of our temporal life, since we carry to completion, with the hope of future goods, the task entrusted to us by the Father and that we do so our salvation (cf. Phil 2: 12).
However, until the time will be made the new heavens and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness (cf. 2 Pt 3: 13), the pilgrim Church in her sacraments and institutions the figure of the century passes ; it has its place among the creatures which groan currently still in pains, waiting for the manifestation of the son of God (cf. Rom 8: 19- 22).
Thus united with Christ in the Church and marked with the Holy Spirit, "pledges of our inheritance" (Eph 1: 14), in truth we are called children of God, and we are (cf. Jn 1 3, 1); but the time has not yet come when we shall appear with Christ in glory (cf. Col 3: 4), become like God because we see him as he is (cf. 1 JN3, 2) .
"As long as we remain in this body, we are away from the Lord" (2 Co5, 6), with the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly (cf. Rom 8, 23) and we aspire to be with Christ (Phil 1, 23).
The same charity urges us the desire to live more for him who died for us and rose again (cf. 2 Cor 5: 15). So we have to heart to please the Lord in all things (cf. 2 Cor 5: 9) and we endorse the armor of God in order to stand against the snares of the devil and resist in the evil day (Eph 6, 11-13).
Ignorant of the day and time, it must follow the advice of the Lord, constantly so power will end when the single course of our earthly life (cf. Heb 9: 27), with admission him to the marriage and counted among the blessed of God (cf.Mt 25: 31-46).
Indeed, before reigning with Christ glorious, all we will be one day "before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the reward of what he has done while he was in his body, whether good or evil "(2 Cor 5, 10).
At the end of the world "men come out of the tomb, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, those who have done evil to a resurrection of judgment" (Jn 5, 29; cf. Mt 25: 46).
"Therefore, considering that there is no proportion between the sentences of the present and the glory which shall be manifested in us" (RM8, 18; cf. 2 Tim 2: 11-12), "we expect, firm in the faith, the blessed hope and glorious manifestation of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ "(Titus 2, 13)" who will transform our lowly body in a body like his glorious body "(Philippians 3, 21), and that will come "to be glorified in his saints and admired in all them that believe" (2 Thess 1: 10).
49. The communion between the heavenly Church and the Church on earth
Thus, until the Lord has come in his majesty, accompanied by all the angels (cf. Mt 25, 31) and that the destroyed death while he was subjected (cf. 1 Cor 15: 26-27) , each among his followers continue their pilgrimage on earth; others have died and are in glory they deserved, contemplating God as he is.
All who are of Christ and have his Spirit form one Church and hold each other as a whole in Christ (cf. Eph 4: 16).
The inhabitants of the sky contribute to more firmly establish the Church in holiness, they add to the grandeur of the worship that the Church renders to God on earth and in many ways help him build more widely (cf. 1 Cor 12: 12-27).
Allowed in the country and present to the Lord (cf. 2 Cor 5: 8), through him, with him and in him they do not cease to intercede for us before the Father, offering the merits they acquired on earth through the only Mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus (cf. 1 Tim 2: 5), serving the Lord in all things and filling in their flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for his Body which is the Church (cf. Col 1: 24).
50. The reports of the Church on earth with the Church in heaven
The Church in its pilgrim members on the ground in the early days of Christianity, is surrounded by many pious memory of the dead by offering their votes for them too, because "the thought to pray for the dead, so that they may be loosed from their sins is a holy and pious thought "(2 M 12, 45).
Indeed, to contemplate the lives of men who have faithfully followed Christ, is an exciting new look to the city to come (cf. Heb 13, 14; 11, 10), and at the same time we are learning here and there to know the way which, about the vicissitudes of the world, according to the state and each own condition, it will be possible for us to achieve the perfect union with Christ, that is to say to holiness.
In the life of our fellow human beings more perfectly transformed into the image of Christ (2 Cor 3, 18), God reveals to men in bright light his presence and his face.
In them, God himself speaks to us, he gives us a sign of His Kingdom and we are powerfully attracted, so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us (cf. Heb 12: 1) and as the gospel truth is attested.
But we do not worship only in respect of their example the memory of the inhabitants of heaven; we are looking much more by then strengthening (through the exercise of fraternal charity) unity of the whole Church in the Spirit (cf. Eph 4: 1-6).
It is especially in the sacred liturgy that is realized in the highest way our union with the Church in heaven: there indeed, by the sacramental signs is exerted on us the power of the Holy Spirit; there we proclaim in a common joy, praise the Divine Majesty; all redeemed in the blood of Christ from every tribe and language and people and nation (cf. Rev 5: 9).
51. Pastoral Guidelines
When mutual charity and the unanimous praise of the Holy Trinity make us communicate with each other, all of us, son of God, who do not in Christ one family (Heb 3: 6), we answer the profound vocation of the Church, and we take in advance an already tasty part in the liturgy of perfect glory.
At the time of Christ appear, when to realize the glorious resurrection of the dead, the glory of God will light the heavenly City and the Lamb is its lamp (cf. Rev 21: 24).
While the Church of the entire holy worship God and "the Lamb that was slain" (Rev 5, 12), proclaiming with one voice: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise, honor and glory and dominion for ever and ever "(Revelation 5: 13-14).
The Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of God in the mystery of Christ and the Church
52. The Blessed Virgin in the mystery of Christ
God "when the fullness of time, sent his Son, born of woman ... to make us adoptive son" (Gal 4: 4-5).
53. The Blessed Virgin and the Church
The Virgin Mary received the Word of God both in her heart and in her body and gave Life to the world, is recognized and honored as the true Mother of God and of the Redeemer.
54. In the gospels rejected by Saint Gerome
In one of the apocryphal gospels Mary is presented as the incarnation of the Holy Spirit.
The Church, being careful about every word or any gesture likely to mislead the faithful his true doctrine, has explain carefully the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the mystery of the Incarnate Word and the Mystical Body and that the duties of redeemed mankind toward the Mother of God, Mother of Christ and Mother of men.
Therefore, opinions remain legitimate that are freely available in Christian schools about The one occupies in the Holy Church the highest place below the Christ, and is nearby.
II. Role of the Virgin in the economy of salvation
55. Mother of the Messiah in the Old Testament
The books of the Old Testament describe the history of salvation and the slow preparation of the coming of Christ to the world, first in the promise made to Adam and Eve in a victory over the serpent (Genesis 3 , 15).
Similarly, it is she, the Virgin who shall conceive and bear a son, and name will be called Immanuel (Is 7, 14; cf. Mi 5: 2-3; Matthew 1: 22-23).
Finally, with her, the daughter of Zion par excellence, after the long wait for the promise, the times are fulfilled and established the new economy when the Son of God, for her, took human nature to release man of sin by the mysteries of his flesh.
56. Mary at the Annunciation
Enriched from the first instant of his conception of an absolutely unique holiness, the Virgin of Nazareth is greeted by the Angel of the Annunciation, which speaks of God as "full of grace" (cf. Lk 1 28).
heavenly messenger whom she made this reply: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word" (Lk 1: 38).
Thus Mary, a daughter of Adam, giving the Word of God's consent, became the Mother of Jesus, and marrying in the heart, without which no sin shall keep the divine will of salvation, indulged itself in full, as the handmaid of the Lord to the person and work of her Son, to serve in his addiction and with it, by the grace of Almighty God, the mystery of redemption.
57. The Virgin and Child Jesus
Marie hence in haste to visit Elizabeth, is greeted by her name the blessed for believing in the promised salvation, while the Forerunner trembled at his mother's womb (cf. Lk 1: 41-45).
When she presented her son to the Lord, she heard Simeon prophesied that the Son would be a sign of contradiction, and the soul of the mother would be pierced by a sword: thus reveal the inner thoughts of many (cf. . Luke 2: 34-35).
The Child Jesus said to His Mother as the Temple is the house of his Father. "Mary kept all this in her heart and meditated" (Lk 2: 41-51).
58. The Blessed Virgin and the public ministry of Jesus
During the public life of Jesus, his mother appears and specifically, the wedding at Cana in Galilee, touched with pity, she brought about by her intercession the first sign of Jesus the Messiah (cf. Jn 2: 1-11).
During the preaching of Jesus, she received the words with which the Son, putting the Kingdom beyond considerations and ties of flesh and blood, proclaimed blessed those who heard and kept the word of God (cf.Mc 3, 35. and Lk 11: 27-28), as she did faithfully itself (cf. Lk 2: 19.51).
Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, faithfully preserving her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood (cf. Jn 19, 25) to be finally, by the same Christ Jesus, dying on the cross, given as mother to the Apostle John: "Woman, behold your Son" (cf. Jn 19: 26-27).
59. Lady after Ascension
God, who wanted the mystery of men's salvation is manifested openly at a time when it would pour out the Spirit promised by Christ, we see the Apostles before the day of Pentecost "persevering with one heart in prayer with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers "(Acts 1, 14).
The Holy Spirit who at the Annunciation, Mary had already overshadow you; the Immaculate Virgin has become the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (Rev 19, 16), conqueror of sin and death.
60. Mary, handmaid of the Lord <: em>
Unique is our Mediator in the words of the Apostle: "For there is one God, there is also one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus, man himself, who gave himself a ransom for all "(1 Tim 2: 5-6). But the maternal role of Mary towards men obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its virtue.
For every salutary influence on the part of the Blessed Virgin on men originates in a purely gratuitous provision of God: it is not born of an objective necessity, but stems from the superabundance of the merits of Christ; it rests on his mediation, depends in all and from which it derives all its power; the immediate union of the faithful with Christ is thereby prevented in any way, but favored the opposite.
61. Mary, the associate of the Lord
The Blessed Virgin, predestined from all eternity within the incarnation of the Word of purpose, to be the Mother of God, was on earth, under a disposition of divine Providence, the amiable divine Mother Redeemer generously associated with his work in a singular way, humble servant of the Lord. In designing the Christ, putting the world, feeding him, presenting him in the temple to the Father, suffering with her Son who died on the cross, she brought to the work of the Savior cooperation absolutely unmatched by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity, for the making of supernatural life to souls. That is why it is now for us in the order of grace, our Mother.
62. Mary, Mother of Grace
From the consent which she brought with her faith in the Annunciation and which she sustained under the cross in its firmness, this maternity of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly until the final consumption of all elected. Indeed, after the Assumption to heaven, his role in the salvation does not stop: with its multiple intercession continues to obtain for us the gifts of eternal salvation. Her maternal love she cares for the brethren of her Son, whose pilgrimage is not complete, and who are involved in dangers and difficulties, until they reach the blessed homeland. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, helping, mediating, all understood, however, so that no derogation, no adds anything to the dignity and the effectiveness of the one Mediator, Christ.
The subordinate role of Mary, the Church professes without hesitation; she continues to experience it; it recommends to the heart of the faithful so that encouraged by this maternal help to more closely adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.
63. Mary, the Church's model
The Blessed Virgin is the lamp that illumines our faith to practice charity in a perfect union with Christ.
Indeed, in the mystery of the Church, receiving it also rightly called mother and virgin, the Blessed Virgin Mary occupies the first place, providing in eminent and singular fashion as exemplar of virgin the mother by her faith and obedience she has created on earth the Son of the Father himself, without knowing man but overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, like a new Eve who gives the messenger of God, a faith that certainly alters.
It begot the Son, God made the firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8, 29), that is to say, among the believers, birth and education which it provides its cooperation maternal love.
64. The Church, Mother and Virgin
The Church, through the Word of God she receives in faith, becomes in turn Mother: indeed by preaching and by baptism she engenders a new and immortal life of the son conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of God.
She is a virgin who gave her Spouse her faith, she keeps whole and pure; imitating the mother of her Lord, she maintains, by virtue of the Holy Spirit in their virginal purity an integral faith, a firm hope and a sincere charity.
65. The Church and the imitation of the virtues of Mary
However, if the Church in the person of the Blessed Virgin has already reached that perfection without spot or wrinkle (cf. Eph 5: 27), Christ's faithful themselves are still tight in their effort to grow in holiness by victory over sin: that is why they turn their eyes to Mary exemplary virtue that shines on the whole community of the elect.
In Devoutly in the thought of her and contemplating her in the light of the Word made man, the Church reverently penetrates more deeply into the great mystery of the Incarnation and becomes ever increasingly like her Spouse.
In effect intimately entry in the history of salvation, Mary gathers and reflects itself in some way the supreme truths of the faith and when the preaching and honors, it returns the believers to her Son and his sacrifice and to the love of the Father.
The church, in turn, continuing the glory of Christ, becomes increasingly similar to his great model continually progresses in faith, hope and charity, seeking and doing everything in God's will.
Therefore, in the exercise of his ministry, the Church rightly looks to her who brought forth Christ, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin specifically to be born and to grow also by the Church in the heart of the faithful. The Virgin in her life the model of that maternal love which should inspire all who cooperate in the apostolic mission of the Church, cooperate in the regeneration of men.
IV. The cult of the Virgin in the Church
66. Nature and foundation of the cult of the Virgin Mary
Having taken part, as the most holy Mother of God, the mysteries of Christ, brought by the grace of God, after her Son, above all angels and men, Mary is rightly honored by the Church of Special worship. And in fact, from the earliest times the Blessed Virgin is honored under the title of "Mother of God"; and the faithful take refuge under his protection, begging in all the dangers and needs. Especially since the Council of Ephesus the cult of the People of God towards Mary was a wonderful increase in the forms of veneration and love, in invocation and imitation, realizing her own prophetic words: "All generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things to me" (Lk 1: 48).
This cult, as it has always existed in the Church, has an absolutely unique; it is nevertheless essentially different from the worship service that is rendered to the Incarnate Word and to the Father and the Holy Spirit; it is eminently suitable to serve.
Indeed, the various forms of piety towards the Mother of God, the Church approves (maintained within the bounds of good orthodox doctrine) under the conditions of time and place, temperament and genius of the faithful people, make, through the honor given to his Mother, the Son, for whom everything exists (cf. Col 1: 15-16) and in whom it pleased the Father that "to live the fullness" (Col 1 19) can be as he is known, loved and glorified and obeyed in his commandments.
67. The spirit of preaching and the worship of the Virgin Mary
The application to Sacred Scripture, the writings of the Fathers and doctors, the study of the Church's liturgy, under the guidance of the Magisterium, has to put them in a just light the role and privileges of the Blessed Virgin which are always oriented towards Christ, the source of all truth, sanctity and piety.
Let the faithful remember that true devotion proceeds from true faith, which leads us to recognize the eminent dignity of the Mother of God, and grows to love this Mother with filial love, and to continue the imitation of her virtues.
V. Mary, sign of hope and consolation for the People of God in motion
68. Mary, sign of hope
However, just like in the sky where it is already glorified in body and soul, the Mother of Jesus image and beginning of the Church in its fulfillment in the future age, and in this land, until the coming of the day of the Lord (cf. . 2 P 3, 10).
69. Mary and Christian unity
All faithful believers addressed to the Mother of God and Mother of men earnest supplications to that after attending to his prayers the nascent Church even now exalted in heaven above all the blessed and angels, she continues to intercede with her Son in the fellowship of all the saints, until all families of people, whether they are honored with the name of Christian or whether they still know the Saviour, may be happily gathered together in peace and harmony into one People of God.
The future state of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Nations
70. Choice of State and signature of agreements
The Orthodox Patriarchate of Nations is destined to be erected in a sovereign state and Independent by agreements with the state, similar to that created by the Vatican of the Lateran Pacts, signed February 11, 1929 by the Holy See and Italy, and who defined his existence as an organization of sovereign international public law.
The purpose of the agreements to be signed with a respectful status of human rights, would be to ensure the seat of His Holiness the Patriarch, as the ecclesiastical institution that aims to unite the Churches of God, the absolute independence and visible and ensure it indisputable sovereignty even in the international field.
71. The Central Government
The Nations Church carries out its evangelical mission both through its various churches and local distinct, and its central government, formed by Prime Patriarch and organizations that help in the exercise of its responsibilities to the universal Church.
This government in the form of an absolute monarchy. As Head of State, His All Holiness Patriarch who has the fullness of legislative, executive and judicial.
72. The vacancy of His Holiness Patriarch Headquarters
During the vacancy, these powers are referred to the College of patriarchs and metropolitans as well as judicial vicar.
73. The Legislature
Legislative power is exercised by His All Holiness Patriarch, assisted by a committee of the Judicial Vicar, who presides and other judges appointed by him for five years.
74. The Executive Power
Executive power is entrusted to the Chairman of the Committee that, in this role, takes the name of President of the Government and is assisted by the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General.
It was from him that depend directorates and central offices that form the Government or all organizations through which this power.
75. The Judiciary
The judicial power is exercised in the name of His All Holiness Patriarch by institutions incorporated under the state's judiciary.
76. The flag, currency and stamps
Sa Headquarters All Holiness Patriarch Premier has its own flag. It beat its own currency, precious metal, gold, and will issue its own stamps.
77. The newspaper, radio and television
Sa Headquarters All Holiness Patriarch Prime publish a public electronic journal. It will have a radio and a television that transmit their broadcasts in different languages around the world.
78. The dual nationality of the faithful
The faithful will enjoy dual citizenship, even if they do not live to ensure their safety and moving to escape persecution.
79. The guards, the Intelligence Service of the First Patriarch and the gendarmerie
Safety and First Patriarch of the future state belongs to the body of the Guards whose members wear uniforms and the Intelligence Service of the First Patriarch (SIPP). Security will also be provided by the body of the Force who will take care of all police and security services of the future state.
The whole and each of the points that have been enacted in this dogmatic constitution are meant for those who are in Christ and those who decide to become one. And we, by virtue of the Apostolic power We want Christ in union with the venerable Fathers, We agree, let's stop and decree in the Holy Spirit, and We order that this has been well established to be promulgated for the glory of God.
Paris, May 21, 2015.
I, Nicolas I, Patriarch of CHURCH OF UNITY.
(Follow the signatures of witnesses including those of the judicial vicar and all the bishops and priests present)