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The Profession of Faith

235

887

Neighboring particular Churches who share the same cul-

ture form ecclesiastical provinces or larger groupings called patriar­

chates or regions.

413

The bishops of these groupings can meet in

synods or provincial councils. “In a like fashion, the episcopal confer-

ences at the present time are in a position to contribute in many and

fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegiate spirit.”

414

The teaching office

888

Bishops, with priests as co-workers, have as their first task

“to preach the Gospel of God to all men,” in keeping with the

Lord’s command.

415

They are “heralds of faith, who draw new

disciples to Christ; they are authentic teachers” of the apostolic

faith “endowed with the authority of Christ.”

416

889

In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith

handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer

on her a share in his own infallibility. By a “supernatural sense of

faith” the People of God, under the guidance of the Church’s living

Magisterium, “unfailingly adheres to this faith.”

417

890

The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive

nature of the covenant established by God with his people in

Christ. It is this Magisterium’s task to preserve God’s people from

deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective

possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the

pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the

People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this

service, Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism

of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this

charism takes several forms:

891

“The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys

this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and

teacher of all the faithful—who confirms his brethren in the faith—

he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or

morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present

in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they

exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical

Council.

418

When the Church through its supreme Magisterium

413 Cf.

Apostolic Constitutions

34.

414

LG

23 § 3.

415

PO

4; cf.

Mk

16:15.

416

LG

25.

417

LG

12; cf.

DV

10.

418

LG

25; cf. Vatican Council I: DS 3074.

85-87

2032-2040

2068

92

851

1785