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The Profession of Faith

231

Paragraph 4. Christ’s Faithful—Hierarchy, Laity,

Consecrated Life

871

“The Christian faithful are those who, inasmuch as they

have been incorporated in Christ through Baptism, have been

constituted as the people of God; for this reason, since they have

become sharers in Christ’s priestly, prophetic, and royal office in

their own manner, they are called to exercise the mission which

God has entrusted to the Church to fulfill in the world, in accord

with the condition proper to each one.”

385

872

“In virtue of their rebirth in Christ there exists among all

the Christian faithful a true equality with regard to dignity and the

activity whereby all cooperate in the building up of the Body of

Christ in accord with each one’s own condition and function.”

386

873

The very differences which the Lord has willed to put

between the members of his body serve its unity and mission. For

“in the Church there is diversity of ministry but unity of mission.

To the apostles and their successors Christ has entrusted the office

of teaching, sanctifying, and governing in his name and by his

power. But the laity are made to share in the priestly, prophetical,

and kingly office of Christ; they have therefore, in the Church and

in the world, their own assignment in the mission of the whole

People of God.”

387

Finally, “from both groups [hierarchy and laity]

there exist Christian faithful who are consecrated to God in their

own special manner and serve the salvific mission of the Church

through the profession of the evangelical counsels.”

388

I.

T

he

H

ierarchical

C

onstitution of

the

C

hurch

Why the ecclesial ministry?

874

Christ is himself the source of ministry in the Church. He

instituted the Church. He gave her authority and mission, orienta­

tion and goal:

In order to shepherd the People of God and to increase its

numbers without cease, Christ the Lord set up in his Church

a variety of offices which aim at the good of the whole body.

The holders of office, who are invested with a sacred power,

385 CIC, can. 204 § 1; cf.

LG

31.

386 CIC, can. 208; cf.

LG

32.

387

AA

2.

388 CIC, can. 207 § 2.

1268-1269

782-786

1934

794

814, 1937

1544