The Profession of Faith
Christ Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us from all
iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own”
“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy
nation, God’s own people” (
One enters into the People of God by faith and Bap-
tism. “All men are called to belong to the new People
of God” (
13), so that, in Christ, “men may form one
family and one People of God” (
The Church is the Body of Christ. Through the Spirit and
his action in the sacraments, above all the Eucharist,
Christ, who once was dead and is now risen, establishes
the community of believers as his own Body.
In the unity of this Body, there is a diversity of mem-
bers and functions. All members are linked to one
another, especially to those who are suffering, to the
poor and persecuted.
The Church is this Body of which Christ is the head:
she lives from him, in him, and for him; he lives with
her and in her.
The Church is the Bride of Christ: he loved her and
handed himself over for her. He has purified her by
his blood andmade her the fruitful mother of all God’s
The Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit
is the soul, as it were, of the Mystical Body, the source
of its life, of its unity in diversity, and of the riches of
its gifts and charisms.
“Hence the universal Church is seen to be ‘a people
brought into unity from the unity of the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit’” (
4 citing St. Cyprian,
23: PL 4, 553).