卷一信仰的宣認-基督的唯一教會/ THE CHURCH IS ONE

Chinese English
 

第九條

第三節 教會是唯一、至聖、至公從宗徒傳下來的

811. 「這是基督的唯一教會,就是我們在信經中所承認的唯一、至聖、至 公、從宗徒傳下來的教會」。這四個彼此緊密相連的特徵,顯示出教會 及其使命的主要面貌。它們並非由教會自己加上去的,而是基督透過聖 神,使祂的教會成為唯一、至聖、至公、從宗徒傳下來的,而且也是基 督召喚她去實現這些特徵。

 812. 只有藉著信德才能承認,教會是從它的神聖根源取得這些特徵。不過, 它們在歷史上的表現,卻是清楚地向人類理智所說明的記號。梵一大公 會議說:「教會藉著她卓越的聖德……藉著她至公的一體性和屹立不搖 的穩定性,本身已是一個偉大與永久的可信理由,也是她神聖使命的一 個無可反駁的証據」。  

一、教會是唯一的 

「教會唯一性的神聖奧跡」 

813. 教會在其起源上是唯一的:「這個奧跡的至高典範和根源,就是父、 子、聖神一個天主於三位之中」。教會在其創立者方面而言是唯一 的:「降生成人的聖子……曾藉祂的十字架使人類與天主和好,使萬 民重新成為一個民族和一個身體」。教會在其「靈魂」方面而言亦是 唯一的:「聖神寓居於信徒內,充滿及管理整個教會,使信徒們如此 共融團結,及使眾人如此密切地與基督契合,以致成為教會合一的根 源」。因此,唯一性實是教會的本質: 克萊孟•亞力山卓,《導師》:多麼奇妙的奧跡!只有一個宇宙的天父,一個宇宙的 聖言,及一個到處相同的聖神;也只有一個成了母親的貞女,就是我所稱呼的教會。

 814. 一開始,這「唯一的」教會就是多元的,或來自不同的天主恩賜,或來 自領受恩寵者的差異。在同一個天主子民內,聚集著許多不同的民族 和文化。在教會的成員中,也有不同的恩寵、職務、身分和生活方 式:「在整個教會的共融下,也有個別教會的合法存在,享有自己獨 特的傳統」。這種多姿多采的差別,並不違反教會的唯一性。不過, 罪惡及其後果卻不斷地威脅著教會合一的恩寵。聖保祿宗徒也曾勸人 「以和平的聯繫,保持心神的合一」(弗 4:3)。 

815. 哪些是合一的聯繫呢?「在一切之上……尤該有愛德,因為愛德是全德 的聯繫」(哥 3:14)。但旅途中教會的合一也需要有形可見的共融來保 証: ──宣認由宗徒們所傳下來的唯一信仰; ──共同舉行敬天之禮,尤其是聖事; ──藉聖秩聖事的宗徒繼承,維持天主之家的手足和諧。

 816. 「基督的唯一教會……就是我們的救主在復活後,委託伯多祿牧放,由 他和其他宗徒負責傳揚和管理的教會……這個在此世建立及組織得有 如社團的教會,就是天主教會,由伯多祿的繼承者及與他共融的主教 們管理」: 梵二大公會議的大公主義法令解釋道:「基督的公教會是救恩的總匯,唯有藉此教會 能獲得圓滿的得救方法。事實上,我們相信主把新約的一切恩惠,都託付給以伯多祿 為首的宗徒團體,為建立基督在世的唯一身體;凡以某種形式屬於天主子民的人,都 該全面地加入這身體」。

 合一的創傷 

817. 事實上,「天主的這個唯一教會,從起初就出現了若干分裂,聖保祿宗 徒曾以嚴厲的話加以責斥;但在其後幾個世紀中發生了更多的紛爭, 有規模不小的團體與公教會脫離了全面的共融;對於此事,有時雙方 都難辭其咎」。破壞基督身體合一的分裂 (就是異端、背教、裂教), 都是因人類的罪惡而發生的: 奧利振,《厄則克耳先知書講道》:哪裡有罪惡,那裡就有分歧、裂教、異端、爭 論。反之,哪裡有德行,那裡就有團結、共融;眾信徒藉此就能形成一心一德。 

818. 今天,那些生於此等分裂的團體「及受過基督信仰教育的人……不能責 以分離之罪,天主教會應以兄弟般的敬愛包容他們……藉在聖洗內接 受信仰而成義的人,與基督結成一體,故應當享有基督徒的名義,天 主教徒理應承認他們為主內的弟兄」。 

819. 此外,「不少聖化和真理的因素」,「可在公教會的有形界限之外找 到,例如聖經記載的天主聖言,聖寵的生命,信、望、愛三德及聖神 的其他內在恩寵和有形的要素」。基督之神利用這些教會和教會團體 作為救恩的工具,這工具的力量是來自基督賜予公教會的豐富恩寵和 真理。所有這些恩典都來自基督並導向基督,這些恩寵本身要求「大 公統一」。

 邁向合一 

820. 基督一開始就賞給教會合一之恩,「我們深信它在公教會內永保不失, 並希望每天不斷增長,直到世界末日」。基督時常給予教會合一的恩 寵,但教會必須時常祈求,並努力保存、加強及改善基督對她所要求 的合一。因此,基督自己曾在受難時祈禱,並為自己門徒們的合一而 不斷地祈求天父:「父啊!願他們在我們內合而為一,就如祢在我 內,我在祢內,為叫世界相信是祢派遣了我」(若 17:21)。尋求所有基 督徒重新合一的願望乃基督的一項恩賜,也是聖神的呼籲。 

821. 教會為能適當地予以回應,必須: ── 持續地革新,日益忠實地跟隨其聖召。這革新是合一運動的力量。 ── 內心的皈依,「度一個更符合福音的生活」。因為肢體對基督恩寵的不忠,是導 致分裂的原因。

 ── 公共的祈禱,因為「內心的皈依、生活的聖善、加上為基督徒合一的公私祈禱, 應被視為整個大公運動的靈魂,也能合理地稱為屬靈的大公主義」。

 ── 手足間的彼此認識。 ── 信徒們,尤其是司鐸們對大公主義的培育。

 ── 在不同的教會和團體中,神學家進行對話,基督徒彼此接觸。 

── 基督徒之間彼此合作,在不同的領域內為人類提供服務。 

822. 「促進教會合一,是整個教會內牧者和信徒們所關懷的」但我們也必須 承認,「使所有基督徒和好而歸屬於基督的唯一教會,這項神聖目標 超越人的能力和本領」,因此必須將我們的全部希望,「寄託在基督 為教會的祈禱,父對我們的慈愛,以及聖神的德能上」。

 二、教會是至聖的 

823. 「我們相信教會……是聖善的,毫無缺陷。因為與父和聖神被稱為『唯 一聖者』的天主子基督,愛慕教會有如自己的淨配,為她捨棄了自 己,為能聖化她;又為了天主的光榮,祂使教會與自己結合而成為自 己的身體,並使她充滿聖神的恩寵」。因此教會是「天主的聖民」, 她的成員被稱為「聖者」。 

824. 教會不但與基督結合,也被祂所聖化;藉著祂並在祂內,教會也具有聖 化的能力。教會的一切行動,都集中於此項目的,「就是在基督內聖 化人靈及光榮天主」。在教會內可以找到「圓滿的得救方法」。我們 就在她內,「藉著天主的恩寵而獲得聖德」。 

825. 「教會已在世擁有聖德,雖不完善,卻是真正的聖德」。在她的成員身 上,完善的聖德仍須追求。「既有這麼眾多而奇妙的得救方法,所有 的信徒,無論甚麼地位和環境,都被天主召叫,各按自己的途徑,修 德成聖,效法全善的天父」。

826. 愛德是聖德的靈魂,所有的人皆被召成聖:「愛德領導一切成聖的方 法,賦予活力,並導向它們目的」: 聖女小德蘭,《自傳手稿》:我了解,教會有一個身體,由各種不同的肢體組成,她 並不缺少最重要的、最高貴的肢體。我了解,教會有一顆心,而這顆心愛火炎炎。我 明白,唯有愛能促使教會各肢體活動;如果愛熄滅了,宗徒們便不再傳揚福音,殉道 者將拒絕傾流鮮血……我了解,愛懷抱一切的召叫,愛是一切,愛囊括一切 時間和空間……總言之,愛是永恆的!

827. 「聖善純潔,絕無罪污的基督,從未犯過罪,降來世上,祇為補贖人 罪。教會將罪人緊緊地抱在懷裡。因此,教會雖是聖的,仍常須淨 煉,不斷努力補贖和更新」。教會的所有成員,包括聖職人員,都要 自認為罪人。在所有的人中,直到世界末日,罪惡的莠子仍會跟福音 的好種子混在一起。所以教會聚集所有已接受基督的救恩,但仍在聖 德路上努力前進的罪人: 「天主子民信經」:教會是聖的,縱使在她懷中仍有罪人,因為她除了聖寵的生命 外,別無其他生命。教會的成員活出這恩寵的生命得以聖化;離開這生命,便陷入罪 惡與混亂,這罪惡與混亂阻止教會發出聖德的光輝。所以教會為這些罪惡受苦和做補 贖,同時也有能力以基督的聖血和聖神的恩賜,去醫治她的這些子女。

828. 冊封一些信徒為聖人,就是隆重地宣布那些信徒曾英勇地修德行,並曾 忠於天主的恩寵而生活過。教會藉此承認在她內的聖德之神的能力, 並支持信徒們的望德,給他們提供聖人作為模範和代禱者。「聖人和 聖女,常是教會歷史最困難的時刻中,革新的泉源和起點」。因為, 「聖德是她宗徒工作和傳教神火的秘密泉源和不能錯誤的準則」。

829. 「雖然教會在童貞瑪利亞身上,已經達到了她那無玷無疵的完美地步, 但信徒們卻仍須努力克服罪惡,增進聖德;因此,他們要舉目仰望瑪 利亞」:在她身上,教會已是完全聖善的。 

 三、教會是至公的 「至公」的意義 

830. 「至公」是指「普遍」,並有「全部」或「完整」之意,教會的「至 公」含有雙重意義。 教會是至公的,因為基督臨在於她內。「哪裡有耶穌基督,那裡就有 公教會」。在她內,存在著與「頭」結合的整個基督的身體。這表示 教會由基督那裡領受了「圓滿的得救方法」:宣認正確和完整的信 仰、圓滿的聖事生活、以及從宗徒繼承過來的職務。在這種基本意義 下,教會在五旬節那天已是至公的,而且直到基督再來那天,仍將繼 續如此。 

831. 教會是至公的,因為基督派遣她向全人類傳教: 所有的人都奉召參加天主的子民。因此這個子民應遍及普世,涵蓋萬代,成為獨一無 二的子民。這樣就能實現天主的計劃,祂一開始就創造了一個統一的人性,並決定把 散居各地的子女,最後重新聚集起來……這個閃爍在天主子民身上的普及性,是主自 身的恩賜,公教會藉此得以有效及持續地努力,把全人類及其全部優點,在聖神的合 一內,總歸於基督元首。 

每一個別教會都是「至公的」 

832. 「基督的教會真正臨在各地區性的信友的合法團體中,這些團體與他們 的牧人結合一起,在新約中也稱為教會……。在這些教會團體中,信 徒由基督福音的宣講而匯集,並舉行主的聖餐奧跡……這些團體,無 論如何渺小貧窮,或散處窮鄉僻壤,基督都親臨其中,因祂的德能而 組成唯一、至聖、至公、從宗徒傳下來的教會」。 

833. 所謂個別教會,即教區,是指一個基督信徒的團體,在信仰和 聖事上跟繼承宗徒的該教區主教團結共融。這些個別教會是 「普世教會的縮影」;「唯一的公教會就在它們中間,並由 它們集合而成」。 

834. 個別教會由於跟她們中的一個教會,即「在愛德中主持」的羅馬教會共 融,就成為完全至公的。 「羅馬教會由於她的神聖首席權, 每個教 會, 即每個地方的信徒,都要以她馬首是瞻」。「因為,自從降生的 聖言下降到我們這裡後,散佈在各地的所有基督教會,都把這在羅馬 的偉大教會視為唯一的根基,因為,根據救主的許諾,地獄的門決不 能戰勝她」。 

835. 「可是我們必須留意,不要以為普世教會是個別教會的總和或聯邦。教會基於其召喚及 使命,是普世的,但當她扎根於不同文化、社會和民族時,便在世界各地以許多不同 的方式和面貌出現。」地方教會彼此協調的各種豐富的教會紀律、禮儀傳統、神學及 靈修遺產等,「更清楚地顯示了一個完整教會的至公性」。 

誰屬於至公的教會 

836. 「所有的人都奉召參加天主子民這至公的合一……公教信徒,其他信奉 基督的人,以及天主聖寵所要拯救的全體人類,都以不同方式屬於或 導向這個教會」。 

837. 「凡有基督的聖神,接受教會的全部組織及其所有的得救方法,同時在 她有形的組織內,以信仰、聖事、教會行政及共融的聯繫,而與藉教 宗和主教們治理教會的基督相結合的人,便是完全加入了教會的團 體。可是即使加入了教會,但不堅守愛德的,也不能得救;因為他只 是身在教會內,而非心在其中」。

838. 「對於那些已經受洗、享有基督徒美名,但不明認全部信仰,或不在伯 多祿繼位者的領導下保持共融合一的人,教會自知有多種理由,仍與 他們相連」。「他們既信奉基督,並有效地接受了聖洗,便與公教會 建立某種共融,縱使不很完善」。對於東正教會,這種共融是如此深 切,「只差少許就能達致圓滿,好能一起舉行主的感恩祭」。 

教會與非基督徒 

839. 「至於那些尚未接受福音的人,也以各種方式走向天主的子民」。 教會與猶太民族的關係。新約中的天主子民──聖教會,研究自己的奧 跡,發現自己與猶太民族的關係,「天主首先給他們說了話」。猶太教 與別的非基督宗教是不同的,猶太人的信仰已經是對天主在舊約中的啟 示的回應。對猶太民族而言,「義子的名分,光榮、盟約、法律、禮儀 以及恩許,都是他們的,聖祖也是他們的,並且基督按血統說,也是從 他們來的」(羅 9:4-5),因為「天主的恩賜與召選是決不會撤回的」(羅 11:29)。 

840. 此外,我們想到將來時,舊約的天主子民與天主的新子民都走向相似的目標:即期待 默西亞的來臨(或再來)。然而,這種期待一邊是期待默西亞的再來,祂已死而復活, 被承認為主和天主子。另一邊所期待的末期的默西亞面目仍被遮蔽:這一期待伴以對 耶穌基督無知或誤解的悲劇。

841. 教會與回教徒的關係。「天主的救恩計劃,也包括那些承認造物主的 人,其中首先要推回教徒,他們自稱具有亞巴郎的信仰,和我們一樣 地欽崇唯一的、仁慈的、末日要來審判萬民的天主」。

842. 教會與非基督宗教的聯繫,主要在於人類共同的根源和終向: 天主既使全人類住在世界各地,萬民同出一源,共成一家,同時也只有一個最後的終 向:天主。祂的照顧、祂仁慈的見証和祂救世的計劃,廣被全人類,直到被選者聚集 於聖城。 

843. 教會承認其他宗教,仍「在幽暗和形象中」尋找一個未識之神,但天主 離他們並不遠,因為是祂賜給眾人生命、呼吸和一切,並願眾人都得 救。因此,凡在其他宗教內所發現的「任何真和善」,教會都視之為 「接受福音的準備,也是天主的恩賜,以光照每人,使他獲得生命」。 

844. 然而在他們的宗教行為上,人們也顯露出錯誤和缺陷,歪曲了在他們身 上的天主肖象: 世人屢次受惡魔欺騙而致神智昏迷,以謊言取代天主真理,捨棄造物主而侍奉受造 物,或醉生夢死,好像沒有天主似的,終於墮入絕望的深淵裡。 

845. 正是為了重新聚集所有因罪惡而四散和迷失的子女,父願號召整個人類 加入祂兒子的教會。教會是人類重獲救恩及合一的地方。她是「和好 的世界」,是一艘「張開主十字架的帆,在聖神的吹動下,在此世穩 定航行的船」。教父們所喜愛的另一個圖象:教會是諾厄的方舟,只 有它能從洪水中拯救世人。 

「教會之外沒有救恩」 

846. 應如何了解一再被教父們所肯定的話呢?按正面的解釋,表示全部救 恩,都由基督元首,透過祂的身體──教會而來: 神聖大公會議……訓示:根據聖經和聖傳,這個旅途中的教會,為得救是必需的。因 為只有基督是人類的中保和得救的途徑;祂在祂的身體──教會內,和我們在一起。 祂曾明白地強調了信德和聖洗的必要性,同時也確認了教會的必要性,而聖洗則是進 入教會的門。因此,誰若知道公教會是天主藉耶穌基督創立的,是得救的必經之路, 而不願加入或不願在教會內恆心到底的,便不能得救。 

847. 這項肯定並不涉及那些非因他們的罪,而未認識基督和教會的人: 一個人若非因己罪,而不認識基督的福音及其教會,卻能真心誠意地尋求天主,在天 主恩寵的感召下,按照良心的指示,努力承行天主旨意,也能獲得永遠的救恩。

848. 「雖然天主有祂自己知道的方法,能夠引導那些非因己罪而不認識福音 的人,獲得那為中悅天主所不可缺少的信德;可是向眾人傳播福音, 仍是教會不可推卸的責任,也是她神聖的權利」。 

教會至公性的要求──傳教使命 

849. 傳教的命令。「被天主派遣到萬民之中,作為『普世救恩聖事』的教 會,為了本身至公性的基本要求,並為了服從其創立者的命令,努力 向全人類宣講福音」:「所以你們要去使萬民成為門徒,因父及子及 聖神之名給他們授洗,教訓他們遵守我所吩咐你們的一切。看!我同 你們天天在一起,直到今世的終結」(瑪 28:19-20)。

850. 傳教使命的起源和目的。主的傳教命令的最後根源,在於至聖三位一體 的永恆之愛:「旅途中的教會本質上即具有傳教使命的特性,因為依 照天父的計劃,教會本身導源於子的使命和聖神的使命」。而傳教使 命的最終目的,無非使人參與父與聖子之間,在父子的愛之神內的共 融。

851. 傳教的動機。天主愛所有的人,教會一向從這愛中,取得傳教心火的力 量和職責:「因為基督的愛催迫著我們……」(格後 5:14)。因為天主 「願意所有的人都得救,並得以認識真理」(弟前 2:4)。天主願意眾人 因認識真理而得救,而救恩可在真理中找到。那些順從真理之神的感 召的人,已踏上了得救之路;然而受託保管這真理的教會,必須迎合 他們的願望,把真理帶給他們。正因為教會相信普世的救恩計劃,她 才必須是向外傳教的。

852. 傳教的途徑。「聖神是整個教會使命的主角」,是祂在傳教的途徑上引 導教會。教會「必須世世代代的繼續發展基督本身的使命,祂被派 遣,正是為給窮人傳報喜訊。在基督之神的引導下,教會應遵循基督 所走的同一道路:就是貧窮、聽命、服務、犧牲的道路……一直到 死,並從死亡中勝利地復活」。這樣,「殉道者的鮮血就成了基督徒 的種子」。

853. 可是,「即使在現代,教會也深知,在負責宣講福音者的人性弱點及其所宣講的福音之 間,存在著很大的距離」。只有不斷地利用「補贖和更新」,在「十字架的苦路上前 進」,天主的子民才能拓展基督王國。因為「正如基督在貧窮與迫害之下,完成了救 贖的工程,教會也奉命走同樣的道路,把救恩的成果帶給人類」。 

854. 教會由於她的使命,「同全人類一起前進,和世界體驗同一塵世命運;教會,可以說猶 如人類社會的酵母和靈魂,使人在基督內革新,成為天主的家庭」。因此,傳教工作 要求忍耐,先向民眾和尚未信奉基督的團體宣講福音,接著建立基督徒團體,使它成 為「天主臨現世間的標誌」,並創辦地方教會,同時要展開本地化運動,把福音融入 民族的文化中,其中當然也有失敗的例子。 「至於個人、團體、和民族方面,教會只 能逐步地去接近滲入他們,然後把他們納入大公的圓滿中」。

855. 教會的傳教使命要求對基督徒的合一作出努力。因為,「基督徒的分裂,阻止了教會在 那已領洗而不與教會共融的分離子女中,實現她固有而圓滿的至公性。更有甚者,教 會本身就在其實際生活上,從各方面都難以表達她完美的至公性」。

856. 傳教任務要求跟那些尚未接受福音的人,展開互相尊重的對話。信徒們可從這些對話中 使自己受益,學習更清楚地去認識「在各民族中所發現的任何真理與恩寵,就像是天 主親臨的跡象」。因為,他們向那些未認識福音的人宣講福音,就能鞏固、補足、提 升天主在個人和民族間所散佈的真與善,並能洗淨他們的罪過與邪惡,「使天主受光 榮,魔鬼敗亡,人類得幸福」。


Paragraph 3. THE CHURCH IS ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, AND APOSTOLIC

811 "This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic."256 These four characteristics, inseparably linked with each other,257 indicate essential features of the Church and her mission. the Church does not possess them of herself; it is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities.

812 Only faith can recognize that the Church possesses these properties from her divine source. But their historical manifestations are signs that also speak clearly to human reason. As the First Vatican Council noted, the "Church herself, with her marvellous propagation, eminent holiness, and inexhaustible fruitfulness in everything good, her catholic unity and invincible stability, is a great and perpetual motive of credibility and an irrefutable witness of her divine mission."258

I. THE CHURCH IS ONE

 

"The sacred mystery of the Church's unity" (UR 2)

813 The Church is one because of her source: "the highest exemplar and source of this mystery is the unity, in the Trinity of Persons, of one God, the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit."259 The Church is one because of her founder: for "the Word made flesh, the prince of peace, reconciled all men to God by the cross, . . . restoring the unity of all in one people and one body."260 The Church is one because of her "soul": "It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in those who believe and pervading and ruling over the entire Church, who brings about that wonderful communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he is the principle of the Church's unity."261 Unity is of the essence of the Church:

What an astonishing mystery! There is one Father of the universe, one Logos of the universe, and also one Holy Spirit, everywhere one and the same; there is also one virgin become mother, and I should like to call her "Church."262

814 From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God's gifts and the diversity of those who receive them. Within the unity of the People of God, a multiplicity of peoples and cultures is gathered together. Among the Church's members, there are different gifts, offices, conditions, and ways of life. "Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions."263 The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church's unity. Yet sin and the burden of its consequences constantly threaten the gift of unity. and so the Apostle has to exhort Christians to "maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."264

815 What are these bonds of unity? Above all, charity "binds everything together in perfect harmony."265 But the unity of the pilgrim Church is also assured by visible bonds of communion: 
- profession of one faith received from the Apostles; 
-common celebration of divine worship, especially of the sacraments; 
- apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders, maintaining the fraternal concord of God's family.266

816 "The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it.... This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him."267

The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: "For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God."268

Wounds to unity

817 In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame."269 The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism270 - do not occur without human sin:

Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.271

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers .... All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

Toward unity

820 "Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time."277 Christ always gives his Church the gift of unity, but the Church must always pray and work to maintain, reinforce, and perfect the unity that Christ wills for her. This is why Jesus himself prayed at the hour of his Passion, and does not cease praying to his Father, for the unity of his disciples: "That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, . . . so that the world may know that you have sent me."278 The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit.279

821 Certain things are required in order to respond adequately to this call: 
- a permanent renewal of the Church in greater fidelity to her vocation; such renewal is the driving-force of the movement toward unity;280 
- conversion of heart as the faithful "try to live holier lives according to the Gospel";281 for it is the unfaithfulness of the members to Christ's gift which causes divisions; 
- prayer in common, because "change of heart and holiness of life, along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians, should be regarded as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement, and merits the name 'spiritual ecumenism;"'282 
-fraternal knowledge of each other;283 
- ecumenical formation of the faithful and especially of priests;284 
- dialogue among theologians and meetings among Christians of the different churches and communities;285 
- collaboration among Christians in various areas of service to mankind.286 "Human service" is the idiomatic phrase.

822 Concern for achieving unity "involves the whole Church, faithful and clergy alike."287 But we must realize "that this holy objective - the reconciliation of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ - transcends human powers and gifts." That is why we place all our hope "in the prayer of Christ for the Church, in the love of the Father for us, and in the power of the Holy Spirit."288

II THE CHURCH IS HOLY

823 "The Church . . . is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy. This is because Christ, the Son of God, who with the Father and the Spirit is hailed as 'alone holy,' loved the Church as his Bride, giving himself up for her so as to sanctify her; he joined her to himself as his body and endowed her with the gift of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God."289 The Church, then, is "the holy People of God,"290 and her members are called "saints."291

824 United with Christ, the Church is sanctified by him; through him and with him she becomes sanctifying. "All the activities of the Church are directed, as toward their end, to the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God."292 It is in the Church that "the fullness of the means of salvation"293 has been deposited. It is in her that "by the grace of God we acquire holiness."294

825 "The Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real though imperfect."295 In her members perfect holiness is something yet to be acquired: "Strengthened by so many and such great means of salvation, all the faithful, whatever their condition or state - though each in his own way - are called by the Lord to that perfection of sanctity by which the Father himself is perfect."296

826 Charity is the soul of the holiness to which all are called: it "governs, shapes, and perfects all the means of sanctification."297

If the Church was a body composed of different members, it couldn't lack the noblest of all; it must have a Heart, and a Heart BURNING WITH LOVE. 
and I realized that this love alone was the true motive force which enabled the other members of the Church to act; if it ceased to function, the Apostles would forget to preach the gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. 
LOVE, IN FACT, IS THE VOCATION WHICH INCLUDES ALL OTHERS; IT'S A UNIVERSE OF ITS OWN, COMPRISING ALL TIME AND SPACE - IT'S ETERNAL!298

827 "Christ, 'holy, innocent, and undefiled,' knew nothing of sin, but came only to expiate the sins of the people. the Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal."299 All members of the Church, including her ministers, must acknowledge that they are sinners.300 In everyone, the weeds of sin will still be mixed with the good wheat of the Gospel until the end of time.301 Hence the Church gathers sinners already caught up in Christ's salvation but still on the way to holiness:

The Church is therefore holy, though having sinners in her midst, because she herself has no other life but the life of grace. If they live her life, her members are sanctified; if they move away from her life, they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for those offenses, of which she has the power to free her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.302

828 By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly pro claiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God's grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors.303 "The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church's history."304 Indeed, "holiness is the hidden source and infallible measure of her apostolic activity and missionary zeal."305

829 "But while in the most Blessed Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle, the faithful still strive to conquer sin and increase in holiness. and so they turn their eyes to Mary":306 in her, the Church is already the "all-holy."

III. THE CHURCH IS CATHOLIC

What does "catholic" mean?

830 The word "catholic" means "universal," in the sense of "according to the totality" or "in keeping with the whole." the Church is catholic in a double sense: First, the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. "Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church."307 In her subsists the fullness of Christ's body united with its head; this implies that she receives from him "the fullness of the means of salvation"308 which he has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession. the Church was, in this fundamental sense, catholic on the day of Pentecost309 and will always be so until the day of the Parousia.

831 Secondly, the Church is catholic because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of the human race:310

All men are called to belong to the new People of God. This People, therefore, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and to all ages in order that the design of God's will may be fulfilled: he made human nature one in the beginning and has decreed that all his children who were scattered should be finally gathered together as one.... the character of universality which adorns the People of God is a gift from the Lord himself whereby the Catholic Church ceaselessly and efficaciously seeks for the return of all humanity and all its goods, under Christ the Head in the unity of his Spirit.311

Each particular Church is "catholic"

832 "The Church of Christ is really present in all legitimately organized local groups of the faithful, which, in so far as they are united to their pastors, are also quite appropriately called Churches in the New Testament.... In them the faithful are gathered together through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, and the mystery of the Lord's Supper is celebrated.... In these communities, though they may often be small and poor, or existing in the diaspora, Christ is present, through whose power and influence the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is constituted."312

833 The phrase "particular church," which is the diocese (or eparchy), refers to a community of the Christian faithful in communion of faith and sacraments with their bishop ordained in apostolic succession.313 These particular Churches "are constituted after the model of the universal Church; it is in these and formed out of them that the one and unique Catholic Church exists."314

834 Particular Churches are fully catholic through their communion with one of them, the Church of Rome "which presides in charity."315 "For with this church, by reason of its pre-eminence, the whole Church, that is the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord."316 Indeed, "from the incarnate Word's descent to us, all Christian churches everywhere have held and hold the great Church that is here [at Rome] to be their only basis and foundation since, according to the Savior's promise, the gates of hell have never prevailed against her."317

835 "Let us be very careful not to conceive of the universal Church as the simple sum, or . . . the more or less anomalous federation of essentially different particular churches. In the mind of the Lord the Church is universal by vocation and mission, but when she pub down her roots in a variety of cultural, social, and human terrains, she takes on different external expressions and appearances in each part of the world."318 The rich variety of ecclesiastical disciplines, liturgical rites, and theological and spiritual heritages proper to the local churches "unified in a common effort, shows all the more resplendently the catholicity of the undivided Church."319

Who belongs to the Catholic Church?

836 "All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God.... and to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God's grace to salvation."320

837 "Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who - by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion - are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but 'in body' not 'in heart.'"321

838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."324

The Church and non-Christians

839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325 
The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ",328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329

840 and when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."330

842 The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:

All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331

843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332

844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:

Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333

845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. the Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. the Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood.334

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338

Mission - a requirement of the Church's catholicity

849 The missionary mandate. "Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be 'the universal sacrament of salvation,' the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men":339 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age."340

850 The origin and purpose of mission. the Lord's missionary mandate is ultimately grounded in the eternal love of the Most Holy Trinity: "The Church on earth is by her nature missionary since, according to the plan of the Father, she has as her origin the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit."341 The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love.342

851 Missionary motivation. It is from God's love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, "for the love of Christ urges us on."343 Indeed, God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth";344 that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in God's universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary.

852 Missionary paths. the Holy Spirit is the protagonist, "the principal agent of the whole of the Church's mission."345 It is he who leads the Church on her missionary paths. "This mission continues and, in the course of history, unfolds the mission of Christ, who was sent to evangelize the poor; so the Church, urged on by the Spirit of Christ, must walk the road Christ himself walked, a way of poverty and obedience, of service and self-sacrifice even to death, a death from which he emerged victorious by his resurrection."346 So it is that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians."347

853 On her pilgrimage, the Church has also experienced the "discrepancy existing between the message she proclaims and the human weakness of those to whom the Gospel has been entrusted."348 Only by taking the "way of penance and renewal," the "narrow way of the cross," can the People of God extend Christ's reign.349 For "just as Christ carried out the work of redemption in poverty and oppression, so the Church is called to follow the same path if she is to communicate the fruits of salvation to men."350

854 By her very mission, "the Church . . . travels the same journey as all humanity and shares the same earthly lot with the world: she is to be a leaven and, as it were, the soul of human society in its renewal by Christ and transformation into the family of God."351 Missionary endeavor requires patience. It begins with the proclamation of the Gospel to peoples and groups who do not yet believe in Christ,352 continues with the establishment of Christian communities that are "a sign of God's presence in the world,"353 and leads to the foundation of local churches.354 It must involve a process of inculturation if the Gospel is to take flesh in each people's culture.355 There will be times of defeat. "With regard to individuals, groups, and peoples it is only by degrees that [the Church] touches and penetrates them and so receives them into a fullness which is Catholic."356

855 The Church's mission stimulates efforts towards Christian unity.357 Indeed, "divisions among Christians prevent the Church from realizing in practice the fullness of catholicity proper to her in those of her sons who, though joined to her by Baptism, are yet separated from full communion with her. Furthermore, the Church herself finds it more difficult to express in actual life her full catholicity in all its aspects."358

856 The missionary task implies a respectful dialogue with those who do not yet accept the Gospel.359 Believers can profit from this dialogue by learning to appreciate better "those elements of truth and grace which are found among peoples, and which are, as it were, a secret presence of God."360 They proclaim the Good News to those who do not know it, in order to consolidate, complete, and raise up the truth and the goodness that God has distributed among men and nations, and to purify them from error and evil "for the glory of God, the confusion of the demon, and the happiness of man."361

 

 

四、從宗徒傳下來的教會 從宗徒傳下來的教會 

 

857. 教會是從宗徒傳下來的,因為是建立在宗徒們身上的,這具有下列三重 意義:

 ──無論過去或現在,教會常是在「宗徒的基礎上」建立的(弗 2:20), 宗徒們是基督親自簡選和派去傳教的証人;

 ──教會藉著住在她內的聖神的助佑,保管和傳授來自宗徒們的訓誨、 美好的寶庫和健全的道理;

 ──直到基督再來,教會透過宗徒們在牧民使命上的繼承者──世界主 教團,繼續受到宗徒們的訓誨、聖化和引導;而普世主教團則 「由司鐸們輔助,並與伯多祿的繼承人和教會的最高司牧團 結」。 

《羅馬彌撒經書》,宗徒頌謝詞一:永恆的善牧,祢不離棄祢的羊群,卻藉聖宗徒們 不斷予以守護,使由祢選派為祢聖子代表而作羊群司牧的,治理祢的羊群。

 宗徒的使命 

858. 耶穌是聖父的使者:當祂一開始自己的任務,「就把自己所想要的人召 來……選定了十二人,為同祂常在一起,並為派遣他們去宣講」(谷 3:13-14) 。 從 那 時 起, 他 們 就 成 了 祂 的「 使 者 」 ( 這 就 是 希臘 語 «apostoloi» 的意義) 。耶穌在他們身上繼續自己的使命:「就如父派遣 了我,我也同樣派遣你們」(若 20:21)。所以他們的職務是繼續執行祂 的使命,祂對十二位宗徒說:「誰接納你們,就是接納我」(瑪 10:40)。 

859. 耶穌把宗徒們的使命與祂受自父的使命連結在一起:正如「子不能由自 己作甚麼」(若 5:19,30),卻由派遣祂的父那裡接受一切;同樣,耶穌 所派遣的那些人,沒有祂也不能作甚麼,他們從祂那裡接受使命及完 成它的能力。基督的宗徒們知道天主使他們「成了新約的僕役」(格後 3:6)、「天主的僕役」(格後 6:4)、「代基督作大使」(格後 5:20)、以及 「基督的服務員和天主奧秘的管理人」(格前 4:1)。

860. 在宗徒們的職務中,有不能傳下去的一面:就是成為主復活的特選証人 和教會的基礎,但也有持續下去的一面:基督答應要同他們在一起, 直到今世的終結。「基督託付給宗徒們的神聖使命,將延續到世界末 日。因為他們所應傳授的福音,對教會來說,常是她整個生命的根 源。因此……宗徒們要留心選擇自己的繼承者」。 

主教是宗徒的繼承人 

861. 「宗徒們為使委託給他們的使命,在他們死後仍能繼續,就把他們已開 始的工作,像遺囑一般,留給自己的直接助手,託付他們去完成和鞏 固,並叮囑他們照顧整個羊群,因為聖神已委任他們去牧養天主的教 會。所以宗徒們選定了這些人,並吩咐他們在去世後,要有其他可靠 的人繼承他們的職務」。 862. 「正如由主單獨委託給宗徒之長伯多祿的職務,藉其繼位者的傳遞而繼 續存在,同樣,管理教會的宗徒們職務,也藉主教聖秩不斷地持續下 去」。所以教會訓示:「主教們因天主的制定,繼承宗徒們的職務, 作教會的司牧:聽從他們的,就是聽從基督;拒絕他們的,就是拒絕 基督及那派遣祂來的」。 

宗徒工作 

863. 整個教會都是從宗徒傳下來的,因為透過聖伯多祿和宗徒們的繼承人, 她與其根源保持著信仰和生活的共融。整個教會都是從宗徒傳下來 的,因為她被派遣到整個世界;教會的所有成員,即使方式不同,都 參與這個使命。「因為基督徒的召叫,本質上就是從事宗徒工作的召 叫」。「所謂宗徒工作,就是奧體為傳揚基督神國於普世所進行的所 有活動」。 

864. 「既然教會整個宗徒工作的根源是天父所派遣的基督,那麼,宗徒工作 的成效( 無論是聖職人員的或是平信徒的) 自然取決於他們跟基督生命 的契合」。按照各人聖召、時代需求、以及聖神的不同恩賜,宗徒工 作能有極多的方式,然而愛德,尤其是從感恩祭中吸取的愛德,常是 「整個宗徒工作的靈魂」。 

865. 教會在她最深和最終的自我認同上,是唯一、至聖、至公、從宗徒傳下 來的,因為「天國」或「天主之國」,在她內已存在,並將在世界末 日完成;天國已在基督身上來臨,並奧妙地在那些結合於基督的人心 中發展,直到天國於末日全面地顯示。那時所有被祂救贖的、在天主 前「因愛德而成為聖潔無瑕」的人(弗 1:4),都將聚集,作為唯一的天 主子民、「羔羊的新娘」(默 21:9)、「從天主那裡降下的具有天主光榮 的聖城」(默 21:10-11)、以及「上面刻著羔羊十二宗徒十二個名字的十 二座基石的城牆」(默 21:14)。


 IV. THE CHURCH IS APOSTOLIC

 

857 The Church is apostolic because she is founded on the apostles, in three ways: 
- she was and remains built on "the foundation of the Apostles,"362 The witnesses chosen and sent on mission by Christ himself;363 
- with the help of the Spirit dwelling in her, the Church keeps and hands on the teaching,364 The "good deposit," the salutary words she has heard from the apostles;365 
- she continues to be taught, sanctified, and guided by the apostles until Christ's return, through their successors in pastoral office: the college of bishops, "assisted by priests, in union with the successor of Peter, the Church's supreme pastor":366

You are the eternal Shepherd

who never leaves his flock untended.

Through the apostles you watch over us and protect us always.

You made them shepherds of the flock

to share in the work of your Son....367

The Apostles' mission

 

858 Jesus is the Father's Emissary. From the beginning of his ministry, he "called to him those whom he desired; .... and he appointed twelve, whom also he named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach."368 From then on, they would also be his "emissaries" (Greek apostoloi). In them, Christ continues his own mission: "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."369 The apostles' ministry is the continuation of his mission; Jesus said to the Twelve: "he who receives you receives me."370

859 Jesus unites them to the mission he received from the Father. As "the Son can do nothing of his own accord," but receives everything from the Father who sent him, so those whom Jesus sends can do nothing apart from him,371 from whom they received both the mandate for their mission and the power to carry it out. Christ's apostles knew that they were called by God as "ministers of a new covenant," "servants of God," "ambassadors for Christ," "servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God."372

860 In the office of the apostles there is one aspect that cannot be transmitted: to be the chosen witnesses of the Lord's Resurrection and so the foundation stones of the Church. But their office also has a permanent aspect. Christ promised to remain with them always. the divine mission entrusted by Jesus to them "will continue to the end of time, since the Gospel they handed on is the lasting source of all life for the Church. Therefore, . . . the apostles took care to appoint successors."373

The bishops - successors of the apostles

 

861 "In order that the mission entrusted to them might be continued after their death, [the apostles] consigned, by will and testament, as it were, to their immediate collaborators the duty of completing and consolidating the work they had begun, urging them to tend to the whole flock, in which the Holy Spirit had appointed them to shepherd the Church of God. They accordingly designated such men and then made the ruling that likewise on their death other proven men should take over their ministry."374

862 "Just as the office which the Lord confided to Peter alone, as first of the apostles, destined to be transmitted to his successors, is a permanent one, so also endures the office, which the apostles received, of shepherding the Church, a charge destined to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops."375 Hence the Church teaches that "the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ."376

The apostolate

 

863 The whole Church is apostolic, in that she remains, through the successors of St. Peter and the other apostles, in communion of faith and life with her origin: and in that she is "sent out" into the whole world. All members of the Church share in this mission, though in various ways. "The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well." Indeed, we call an apostolate "every activity of the Mystical Body" that aims "to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth."377

864 "Christ, sent by the Father, is the source of the Church's whole apostolate"; thus the fruitfulness of apostolate for ordained ministers as well as for lay people clearly depends on their vital union with Christ.378 In keeping with their vocations, the demands of the times and the various gifts of the Holy Spirit, the apostolate assumes the most varied forms. But charity, drawn from the Eucharist above all, is always "as it were, the soul of the whole apostolate."379

865 The Church is ultimately one, holy, catholic, and apostolic in her deepest and ultimate identity, because it is in her that "the Kingdom of heaven," the "Reign of God,"380 already exists and will be fulfilled at the end of time. the kingdom has come in the person of Christ and grows mysteriously in the hearts of those incorporated into him, until its full eschatological manifestation. Then all those he has redeemed and made "holy and blameless before him in love,"381 will be gathered together as the one People of God, the 
"Bride of the Lamb,"382 "the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God."383 For "the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."384


 

撮要 

866. 教會是唯一的:她只有一個主,宣認一個信仰,藉著一個洗禮而獲新 生,形成一個身體,由一個聖神賦予生命,及持有同一希望,當那希 望完成時,所有的分歧將會消失。

867. 教會是至聖的:至聖天主是她的創立者;她的淨配基督為了聖化她而把 自己交付給了她;而聖德之神又賦予她生命。雖然她懷有罪人,但她 是「由罪人組成的無罪者」。在聖人們身上,教會的聖德得以顯揚; 在瑪利亞身上,教會已經是完全聖的。

868. 教會是至公的:她宣講完整的信仰,擁有及施行圓滿的得救方法;她被 派到萬民中,關心一切的人,懷抱各個時代;教會「在本質上就具有 傳教使命的特性」。

869. 教會是從宗徒傳下來的:她建立在鞏固的基礎上:即那「羔羊的十二宗 徒」(默 21:14),故此是不能毀滅的,在真理方面是不能錯誤的。基督 透過伯多祿和其他宗徒,以及他們的繼承者,即教宗和世界主教團來 管理教會。 

870. 「這就是基督的唯一教會,我們在信經內所承認的唯一、至聖、至公、 從宗徒傳下來的教會……她存在於天主教會內,這教會是由伯多祿的 繼承人及與此繼承人共融的主教們所管理,雖然在此有形的組織外, 仍存有許多聖化及真理的要素」。

 

IN BRIEF

866 The Church is one: she acknowledges one Lord, confesses one faith, is born of one Baptism, forms only one Body, is given life by the one Spirit, for the sake of one hope (cf  Eph 4:3-5), at whose fulfillment all divisions will be overcome.

867 The Church is holy: the Most Holy God is her author; Christ, her bridegroom, gave himself up to make her holy; the Spirit of holiness gives her life. Since she still includes sinners, she is "the sinless one made up of sinners." Her holiness shines in the saints; in Mary she is already all-holy.

868 The Church is catholic: she proclaims the fullness of the faith. She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompasses all times. She is "missionary of her very nature" (AG 2).

869 The Church is apostolic. She is built on a lasting foundation: "the twelve apostles of the Lamb" ( Rev 21:14). She is indestructible (cf  Mt 16:18). She is upheld infallibly in the truth: Christ governs her through Peter and the other apostles, who are present in their successors, the Pope and the college of bishops.

870 "The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, . . . subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines"(LG 8).

   
   
   
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