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Part One

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

world” (


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.