Loyalty to the Pope DAILY CATHOLIC for November 24
The Vicar of Christ Speaks
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vol, 8
no. 37

Gif Animation Photos of Holy Father used with permission of EWTN

INTRODUCTION: With the release on November 13th of the document on the respective duties of priests and lay people, especially in parish life and ecause of its importance and need for dissemination, we will take the next several issues to bring you this document in installments, signed by the heads of the Congregation for the Clergy, Pontifical Council for the Laity, Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Congregation for Bishops, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts. It was approved by the Holy Father on August 13 this year and signed two days later on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and released publicly November 13th, the feast of Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, a saint known for education. Education on these guidelines is necessary for all parishes at every level. Therefore, we bring you the Holy See's complete document in installments.

on the Role of the Laity

INSTRUCTION on Certain Questions regarding the Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest

sixth installment: THEOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES part two
1. The Common Priesthood of the Faithful and the Ministerial Priesthood
     The characteristics which differentiate the ministerial priesthood of Bishops and Priests from the common priesthood of the faithful and consequently delineate the extent to which other members of the faithful cooperate with this ministry, may be summarized in the following fashion:a) the ministerial priesthood is rooted in the Apostolic Succession, and vested with "potestas sacra"(29)
    (29: Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, nn. 10, 18, 27, 278; the Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis nn. 2, 6: Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 1538, 1576.)
consisting of the faculty and the responsibility of acting in the person of Christ the Head and the Shepherd.(30)
    (30: Cf. John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Pastores dabo vobis, nn. 15: AAS 84 (1992), p. 680; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 875.)
b) it is a priesthood which renders its sacred ministers servants of Christ and of the Church by means of authoritative proclamation of the Word of God, the administration of the sacraments and the pastoral direction of the faithful.(31)
    (31: Cf. John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Pastores dabo vobis, n. 16: I.c., pp. 681-684; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1592.)
To base the foundations of the ordained ministry on Apostolic Succession, because this ministry continues the mission received by the Apostles from Christ, is an essential point of Catholic ecclesiological doctrine.(32)
    (32: Cf. John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Pastores dabo vobis, nn. 14-16: I.c., pp. 678-684; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter Sacerdotum ministeriale (6 August 1983), III, 2-3: AAS 75 (1983), pp. 1004-1005.)
The ordained ministry, therefore, is established on the foundation of the Apostles for the upbuilding of the Church: (33)
    (33: Cf. Ephesians 2: 20; Rev/Apoc: 21: 14.)
"and is completely at the service of the Church".(34)
    (34: John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Pastores dabo vobis (25 March 1992), n. 16; AAS 84 (1992), p. 681.)
"Intrinsically linked to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry is its character of service. Entirely dependent on Christ who gives mission and authority, ministers are truly 'servants of Christ' (Rom 1, 1) in the image of him who freely took for us 'the form of a slave' (Phil 2,7). Because the word and grace of which they are ministers are not their own, but are given to them by Christ for the sake of others, they must freely become the slaves of all".(35)
    (35: Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 876.)

NEXT ISSUE: Theological Principles -part three 2. Unity and Diversity of MInisterial Functions

November 24, 1997 volume 8, no. 37

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