bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is
“head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and
Pastor of the universal Church on earth” (CIC, can. 331).
ThePopeenjoys, bydivine institution, “supreme, full, imme-
diate, and universal power in the care of souls” (
The Bishops, established by the Holy Spirit, succeed the
apostles. They are “the visible source and foundation of
unity in their own particular Churches” (
Helped by the priests, their co-workers, and by the
deacons, the bishops have the duty of authentically
teaching the faith, celebrating divine worship, above
all the Eucharist, and guiding their Churches as true
pastors. Their responsibility also includes concern for
all the Churches, with and under the Pope.
“The characteristic of the lay state being a life led in the
midst of the world and of secular affairs, lay people
are called by God to make of their apostolate, through
the vigor of their Christian spirit, a leaven in the
2 § 2).
Lay people share in Christ’s priesthood: ever more
united with him, they exhibit the grace of Baptism and
Confirmation in all dimensions of their personal, fam-
ily, social, and ecclesial lives, and so fulfill the call to
holiness addressed to all the baptized.
Byvirtue of their propheticmission, laypeople “are called
. . . to bewitnesses toChrist in all circumstances and at the
very heart of the community of mankind” (
43 § 4).
Byvirtueof theirkinglymission, laypeoplehave thepower
touproot the ruleof sinwithinthemselvesandintheworld,
by their self-denial and holiness of life (cf. LG 36).
The life consecrated to God is characterized by the
public profession of the evangelical counsels of pov-
erty, chastity, and obedience, in a stable state of life
recognized by the Church.
Already destined for him through Baptism, the person
who surrenders himself to the God he loves above all
else thereby consecrates himself more intimately to
God’s service and to the good of the whole Church.