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The Profession of Faith

227

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

IV.

T

he

C

hurch

I

s

A

postolic

857

The Church is apostolic because she is founded on the

apostles, in three ways:

—she was and remains built on “the foundation of theApostles,”

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

For you, eternal Shepherd, do not desert your flock,

but through the blessed Apostles

watch over it and protect it always,

so that it may be governed

by those you have appointed shepherds

to lead it in the name 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

359 Cf.

RMiss

55.

360

AG

9.

361

AG

9.

362

Eph

2:20;

Rev

21:14.

363 Cf.

Mt

28:16-20;

Acts

1:8;

1 Cor

9:1; 15:7-8;

Gal

1:1; etc.

364 Cf.

Acts

2:42.

365 Cf.

2 Tim

1:13-14.

366

AG

5.

367

Roman Missal,

Preface I of the Apostles.

839

843

75

171

880

1575

551