The Profession of Faith
faith and to hand it on, to celebrate it in community, to assimilate
and live on it more and more.
The Church, “the pillar and bulwark of the truth,” faith-
fully guards “the faith which was once for all delivered to the
saints.” She guards the memory of Christ’s words; it is she who
from generation to generation hands on the apostles’ confession of
As a mother who teaches her children to speak and so to
understand and communicate, the Church our Mother teaches us
the language of faith in order to introduce us to the understanding
and the life of faith.
Through the centuries, in so many languages, cultures,
peoples, and nations, the Church has constantly confessed this one
faith, received from the one Lord, transmitted by one Baptism, and
grounded in the conviction that all people have only one God and
St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a witness of this faith, declared:
“Indeed, the Church, though scattered throughout the
whole world, even to the ends of the earth, having received the
faith fromthe apostles and their disciples . . . guards [this preaching
and faith] with care, as dwelling in but a single house, and similarly
believes as if having but one soul and a single heart, and preaches,
teaches, and hands on this faith with a unanimous voice, as if
possessing only one mouth.”
“For though languages differ throughout the world, the
content of the Tradition is one and the same. The Churches estab-
lished in Germany have no other faith or Tradition, nor do those
of the Iberians, nor those of the Celts, nor those of the East, of Egypt,
of Libya, nor those established at the center of the world. . . .”
Church’s message “is true and solid, in which one and the same
way of salvation appears throughout the whole world.”
“We guard with care the faith that we have received from
the Church, for without ceasing, under the action of God’s Spirit,
this deposit of great price, as if in an excellent vessel, is constantly
being renewed and causes the very vessel that contains it to be
59 St. Irenaeus,
1, 10, 1-2: PG 7/1, 549-552.
60 St. Irenaeus,
1, 10, 1-2: PG 7/1, 552-553.
61 St. Irenaeus,
5, 20, 1: PG 7/2, 1177.
62 St. Irenaeus,
3, 24, 1: PG 7/1, 966.
78, 857, 84