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Christ's Church

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 Contents - Mar 2008AD2000 March 2008 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Man-made global warming: new religion? - Michael Gilchrist
Tribute: B.A. Santamaria: ten years on - Cardinal George Pell
News: The Church Around the World
Man-made climate change: another great hoax? - Peter Finlayson
Recovering the sacred in modern church architecture - Moyra Doorly
40 Years On: Vatican II at its mid-life crisis - Br Barry Coldrey
Easter: The Sacred Triduum in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (1962 Missal)
Crescat amor: What is the nature and purpose of theology? - Fr John O'Neill PP
La Sapienza: Benedict XVI: the papacy and the university - Pope Benedict XVI
Vocations: The priesthood: a special relationship with Christ - Fr Pat Stratford
Vocations: Signs of hope in US diocese
Letters: Christ's Church - Frank Mobbs
Letters: Married clergy - Frank Bellet
Letters: Canadian Lectionary - Matt Walton
Letters: Language - Kevin McManus
Letters: Liturgical abuses - Dennis Macdonald
Letters: Response - Richard Stokes
Letters: Homosexual 'marriage' - Arnold Jago
Letters: Altar rails - Corinne O'Loughlin
Letters: 'Re-ordered' churches - Brian Tooley
Letters: Abortion laws - Robert Prinzen-Wood
Letters: From India - Fr. A. Joseph
Poetry: Time-Warp - Bruce Dawe
Books: GOD AND CAESAR: Religion, Politics, and Society, by Cardinal George Pell - Catherine Sheehan (reviewer)
Books: SEARCHING FOR AND MAINTAINING PEACE, by Father Jacques Philippe - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: JOURNEY OF A FAITH COMMUNITY, compiled by Tom Johnstone - James E. Scarlett (reviewer)
DVD: NO TURNING BACK: Confessions of a Catholic priest, by Fr D. Calloway - Fr Martin Durham (reviewer)
Books: Books available from AD2000 Books
Reflection: Benedict XVI on Lent: 'authentic conversion to the love of Christ' - Pope Benedict XVI

John Frey (February AD2000) once again raises the question of the import of the use of 'subsists in' in Vatican II's Lumen Gentium. The document says the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church (Art. 8). Does this expression mean that the Church of Christ = the Catholic Church?

A library of books has been written on the subject, to little avail. I think the best way of working out the meaning is paying attention to what Vatican II teaches elsewhere.

Let me repeat points made in my article of September 2007. The Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops: 'In this Church of Christ the Roman Pontiff ... has been granted by God supreme, full, and immediate and universal power over the care of souls' (Art. 2). Note that Church of Christ = ruled by the Pope (Roman Pontiff).

The Decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches speaks of 'The holy Catholic Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ' which was entrusted to 'the pastoral guidance of the Roman Pontiff' (Art. 2). The Catholic Church is the Body of Christ and is governed by the Pope.

The Decree on Ecumenism says, 'Christ founded one Church and one Church only' (Art. 1). Which one? The one taught and ruled by the successors of the twelve apostles - the bishops, 'with Peter's successor as their head' (Art. 2).

Lumen Gentium itself says the sole Church of Christ which we profess in the Creed 'subsists in the Catholic Church which is governed by the successor of Peter ...' (Art. 8).

One might be excused for thinking that is all the evidence needed to answer the question.

Gosford, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 21 No 2 (March 2008), p. 13

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