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The Profession of Faith

47

faith and to hand it on, to celebrate it in community, to assimilate

and live on it more and more.

171

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

faith.

57

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.

III.

O

nly

O

ne

F

aith

172

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

Father.

58

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a witness of this faith, declared:

173

“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.”

59

174

“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. . . .”

60

The

Church’s message “is true and solid, in which one and the same

way of salvation appears throughout the whole world.”

61

175

“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

renewed.”

62

57

1 Tim

3:15;

Jude

3.

58 Cf.

Eph

4:4-6.

59 St. Irenaeus,

Adv. haeres.

1, 10, 1-2: PG 7/1, 549-552.

60 St. Irenaeus,

Adv. haeres.

1, 10, 1-2: PG 7/1, 552-553.

61 St. Irenaeus,

Adv. haeres.

5, 20, 1: PG 7/2, 1177.

62 St. Irenaeus,

Adv. haeres.

3, 24, 1: PG 7/1, 966.

78, 857, 84

185

813

830

78