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The Profession of Faith

27

times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition,

these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the

guidance of the Church’s magisterium.

III.

T

he

I

nterpretation of

the

H

eritage of

F

aith

The heritage of faith entrusted to the whole of the Church

84

The apostles entrusted the “Sacred deposit” of the faith

(the

depositum fidei

),

45

contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition,

to the whole of the Church. “By adhering to [this heritage] the

entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to

the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of

bread and the prayers. So, in maintaining, practicing, and profess-

ing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkable

harmony between the bishops and the faithful.”

46

The Magisterium of the Church

85

“The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word

of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has

been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone.

Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus

Christ.”

47

This means that the task of interpretation has been

entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter,

the Bishop of Rome.

86

“Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God,

but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At

the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens

to this devotedly, guards it with dedication, and expounds it

faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed

is drawn from this single deposit of faith.”

48

87

Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles: “He who hears

you, hears me,”

49

the faithful receive with docility the teachings

and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.

45

DV

10 § 1; cf.

1 Tim

6:20;

2 Tim

1:12-14 (Vulg.).

46

DV

10 § 1; cf.

Acts

2:42 (Gk.); Pius XII, apostolic constitution,

Munificentissimus Deus,

November 1, 1950: AAS 42 (1950), 756, taken along

with the words of St. Cyprian,

Epist.

66, 8: CSEL 3, 2, 733: “The Church is

the people united to its Priests, the flock adhering to its Shepherd.”

47

DV

10 § 2.

48

DV

10 § 2.

49

Lk

10:16; cf.

LG

20.

857, 871

2033

888-892

2032-2040

688

1548

2037