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52

Part One

articulated in terms of their reference to the three persons of the

Holy Trinity.

190

And so the Creed is divided into three parts: “the first part

speaks of the first divine Person and the wonderful work of crea­

tion; the next speaks of the second divine Person and the mystery

of his redemption of men; the final part speaks of the third divine

Person, the origin and source of our sanctification.”

4

These are “the

three chapters of our [baptismal] seal.”

5

191

“These three parts are distinct although connected with

one another. According to a comparison often used by the Fathers,

we call them

articles.

Indeed, just as in our bodily members there

are certain articulations which distinguish and separate them, so

too in this profession of faith, the name

articles

has justly and rightly

been given to the truths we must believe particularly and dis­

tinctly.”

6

In accordance with an ancient tradition, already attested

to by St. Ambrose, it is also customary to reckon the articles of the

Creed as

twelve,

thus symbolizing the fullness of the apostolic faith

by the number of the apostles.

7

192

Through the centuries many professions or symbols of

faith have been articulated in response to the needs of the different

eras: the creeds of the different apostolic and ancient Churches,

8

e.g., the

Quicumque,

also called the Athanasian Creed;

9

the profes-

sions of faith of certain Councils, such as Toledo, Lateran, Lyons,

Trent;

10

or the symbols of certain popes, e.g., the

Fides Damasi

11

or

the

Credo of the People of God

of Paul VI.

12

193

None of the creeds from the different stages in the

Church’s life can be considered superseded or irrelevant. They help

us today to attain and deepen the faith of all times by means of the

different summaries made of it.

Among all the creeds, two occupy a special place in the

Church’s life:

4

Roman Catechism,

I, 1, 3.

5 St. Irenaeus,

Dem. ap.

100: SCh 62, 170.

6

Roman Catechism,

I, 1, 4.

7 Cf. St. Ambrose,

Expl. symb.

8.

8 Cf. DS 1-64.

9 Cf. DS 75-76.

10 Cf. DS 525-541; 800-802; 851-861; 1862-1870.

11 Cf. DS 71-72.

12 Paul VI,

CPG

(1968).