Vatican Council II…

…judges Francis’ idea on ‘diversified unity’

  • The signs of the times must be scrutinized and interpreted in the light of the Gospel

To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 4, December 7, 1965)

  • The present-day conditions of the world add greater urgency to this work of the Church so that all men might also attain fuller unity in Christ

Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod gathered together in the Holy Spirit eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Gospel to every creature, to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly visible on the countenance of the Church. Since the Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race, it desires now to unfold more fully to the faithful of the Church and to the whole world its own inner nature and universal mission. This it intends to do following faithfully the teaching of previous councils. The present-day conditions of the world add greater urgency to this work of the Church so that all men, joined more closely today by various social, technical and cultural ties, might also attain fuller unity in Christ. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 1 November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on union in the Catholic Church

  • The force which the Church can inject into the modern society of man consists in faith and charity put into vital practice

The promotion of unity belongs to the innermost nature of the Church, for she is, ‘thanks to her relationship with Christ, a sacramental sign and an instrument of intimate union with God, and of the unity of the whole human race’ (cf. Sir. 15:14). Thus she shows the world that an authentic union, social and external, results from a union of minds and hearts, namely from that faith and charity by which her own unity is unbreakably rooted in the Holy Spirit. For the force which the Church can inject into the modern society of man consists in that faith and charity put into vital practice, not in any external dominion exercised by merely human means. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 42, December 7, 1965)

  • Devotions proper to individual Churches also have a special dignity

Popular devotions of the Christian people are to be highly commended, provided they accord with the laws and norms of the Church, above all when they are ordered by the Apostolic See. Devotions proper to individual Churches also have a special dignity if they are undertaken by mandate of the bishops according to customs or books lawfully approved. (Vatican Council II. Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 13, December 4, 1963)

…judges Francis’ defense of the Jovinian heresy

  • The surpassing excellence of virginity consecrated to Christ, above marriage

[In the seminary] Students ought rightly to acknowledge the duties and dignity of Christian matrimony, which is a sign of the love between Christ and the Church. Let them recognize, however, the surpassing excellence of virginity consecrated to Christ, so that with a maturely deliberate and generous choice they may consecrate themselves to the Lord by a complete gift of body and soul. (Vatican Council II. Decree Optatam totius on priestly training, no. 10, October 20, 1965)

  • Perfect continence out of desire for the kingdom of heaven, has always been held in particular honor in the Church

Likewise, the holiness of the Church is fostered in a special way by the observance of the counsels proposed in the Gospel by Our Lord to His disciples. An eminent position among these is held by virginity or the celibate state (cf. 1 Cor 7:32-34). This is a precious gift of divine grace given by the Father to certain souls (cf Mt l9:11; 1 Cor 7:7), whereby they may devote themselves to God alone the more easily, due to an undivided heart. This perfect continency, out of desire for the kingdom of heaven, has always been held in particular honor in the Church. The reason for this was and is that perfect continency for the love of God is an incentive to charity, and is certainly a particular source of spiritual fecundity in the world. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium, no. 42, November 21, 1964)

  • Chastity frees the heart of man so that it may be more inflamed with love for God and for all men

The chastity ‘for the sake of the kingdom of heaven’ (Mt 19:12) which religious profess should be counted an outstanding gift of grace. It frees the heart of man in a unique fashion (cf. 1 Cor. 7:32-35) so that it may be more inflamed with love for God and for all men. Thus it not only symbolizes in a singular way the heavenly goods but also the most suitable means by which religious dedicate themselves with undivided heart to the service of God and the works of the apostolate. In this way they recall to the minds of all the faithful that wondrous marriage decreed by God and which is to be fully revealed in the future age in which the Church takes Christ as its only spouse. (Vatican Council II. Decree Perfectae caritatis, no. 12, October 28, 1965)

  • Through virginity or celibacy observed for the Kingdom of Heaven priests are consecrated to Christ by an exceptional reason, adhering to him with an undivided heart

Indeed, celibacy has a many-faceted suitability for the priesthood. For the whole priestly mission is dedicated to the service of a new humanity which Christ, the victor over death, has aroused through his Spirit in the world and which has its origin “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of God (Jn 1:13). Through virginity, then, or celibacy observed for the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Mt 19:12) priests are consecrated to Christ by a new and exceptional reason. They adhere to him more easily with an undivided heart (cf. 1 Cor 7:32-34) they dedicate themselves more freely in him and through him to the service of God and men, and they more expeditiously minister to his Kingdom and the work of heavenly regeneration, and thus they are apt to accept, in a broad sense, paternity in Christ. In this way they profess themselves before men as willing to be dedicated to the office committed to them-namely, to commit themselves faithfully to one man and to show themselves as a chaste virgin for Christ (cf. 2Cor 11:2) and thus to evoke the mysterious marriage established by Christ, and fully to be manifested in the future, in which the Church has Christ as her only Spouse (cf. Lumen Gentium, n 42 and 44). They give, moreover, a living sign of the world to come, by a faith and charity already made present, in which the children of the resurrection neither marry nor take wives (cf. Lk 20:35-36; Pius XI, Ad Catholici Sacerdotii; Pius XII, Sacra Virginitas, nn 169-172) (Vatican Council II. Decree Presbyterorum ordinis, no. 16, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the use of internet for catholic education

  • Keep modern man, intent as he is on the science and technology of today’s world, from becoming a stranger to things divine

At the same time, however, let them look to the: profound changes which are taking place among nations, and let them exert themselves to keep modern man, intent as he is on the science and technology of today’s world from becoming a stranger to things divine; rather, let them awaken in him a yearning for that truth and: charity which God has revealed. (Vatican Council II. Decree Ad gentes, no. 11, December 7, 1965)

  • Children should be taught from their early years to have a knowledge of God

It is particularly in the Christian family, enriched by the grace and office of the sacrament of matrimony, that children should be taught from their early years to have a knowledge of God according to the faith received in Baptism, to worship Him, and to love their neighbor. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Gravissimum educationis, no. 3, October 28, 1965)

  • The Church’s weighty responsibility of diligently caring for the moral and religious education of all her children

Feeling very keenly the weighty responsibility of diligently caring for the moral and religious education of all her children, the Church must be present with her own special affection and help for the great number who are being trained in schools that are not Catholic. This is possible by the witness of the lives of those who teach and direct them, by the apostolic action of their fellow-students, but especially by the ministry of priests and laymen who give them the doctrine of salvation in a way suited to their age and circumstances and provide spiritual aid in every way the times and conditions allow. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Gravissimum educationis, no. 7 October 28, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on renouncing our own culture to benefit the refugees

  • The Church, in establishing the kingdom takes nothing away from the temporal welfare of any people. On the contrary it fosters and takes their customs to itself, insofar as they are good, purifying, strengthening, elevating and ennobling them

All men are called to belong to the new people of God. Wherefore this people, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and must exist in all ages, so that the decree of God’s will may be fulfilled. In the beginning God made human nature one and decreed that all His children, scattered as they were, would finally be gathered together as one (cf. Jn 11:52). It was for this purpose that God sent His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things (cf. Heb 1:2), that be might be teacher, king and priest of all, the head of the new and universal people of the sons of God. For this too God sent the Spirit of His Son as Lord and Life-giver. He it is who brings together the whole Church and each and every one of those who believe, and who is the well-spring of their unity in the teaching of the apostles and in fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers (cf. Acts 2:42). It follows that though there are many nations there is but one people of God, which takes its citizens from every race, making them citizens of a kingdom which is of a heavenly rather than of an earthly nature. All the faithful, scattered though they be throughout the world, are in communion with each other in the Holy Spirit, and so, he who dwells in Rome knows that the people of India are his members” (cf. S. John. Chrysos In Io. Hom. 65, 1: P. 59, 361). Since the kingdom of Christ is not of this world (cf. Jn 18:36) the Church or people of God in establishing that kingdom takes nothing away from the temporal welfare of any people. On the contrary it fosters and takes to itself, insofar as they are good, the ability, riches and customs in which the genius of each people expresses itself. Taking them to itself it purifies, strengthens, elevates and ennobles them. The Church in this is mindful that she must bring together the nations for that king to whom they were given as an inheritance (cf. Ps 2:8), and to whose city they bring gifts and offerings (cf. Ps 71:10; Is 60:4–7; Rev 21:24). This characteristic of universality which adorns the people of God is a gift from the Lord Himself. By reason of it, the Catholic Church strives constantly and with due effect to bring all humanity and all its possessions back to its source in Christ, with Him as its head and united in His Spirit. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 13, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on if doctrine can be interpreted against the infallible Magisterium

  • The Magisterium holds fast to the traditions received from the Apostles

And so the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved by an unending succession of preachers until the end of time. Therefore the Apostles, handing on what they themselves had received, warn the faithful to hold fast to the traditions which they have learned either by word of mouth or by letter (cf. 2Thess 2:15), and to fight in defense of the faith handed on once and for all (cf. Jude 1:3). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum, no. 8, November 18, 1965)

  • It is the Church’s duty to authoritatively teach that truth which is Christ Himself

In the formation of their consciences, the Christian faithful ought carefully to attend to the sacred and certain doctrine of the Church. For the Church is, by the will of Christ, the teacher of the truth. It is her duty to give utterance to, and authoritatively to teach, that truth which is Christ Himself, and also to declare and confirm by her authority those principles of the moral order which have their origins in human nature itself. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Dignitatis humanae, no. 14, December 7, 1965)

  • The light of the Gospel must illuminate the signs of the times …and not the contrary

To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 4, December 7, 1965)

  • It is only right that, at all times and in all places, the Church should have true freedom to pass moral judgment

All those dedicated to the ministry of God’s Word must use the ways and means proper to the Gospel which in a great many respects differ from the means proper to the earthly city. […] It is only right, however, that at all times and in all places, the Church should have true freedom to preach the faith, to teach her social doctrine, to exercise her role freely among men, and also to pass moral judgment in those matters which regard public order when the fundamental rights of a person or the salvation of souls require it. In this, she should make use of all the means – but only those – which accord with the Gospel and which correspond to the general good according to the diversity of times and circumstances. While faithfully adhering to the Gospel and fulfilling her mission to the world, the Church, whose duty it is to foster and elevate all that is found to be true, good and beautiful in the human community, strengthens peace among men for the glory of God. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 76)

  • The bishops are teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them, vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock

For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old (cf. Mt. 13:52), making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock (cf. 2 Tim. 4:1–4). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 25, November 21, 1964)

  • The Church has used the discoveries of different cultures so that, in her preaching, she might spread and explain the message of Christ to all nations

There are many ties between the message of salvation and human culture. For God, revealing Himself to His people to the extent of a full manifestation of Himself in His Incarnate Son, has spoken according to the culture proper to each epoch. Likewise the Church, living in various circumstances in the course of time, has used the discoveries of different cultures so that in her preaching she might spread and explain the message of Christ to all nations, that she might examine it and more deeply understand it, that she might give it better expression in liturgical celebration and in the varied life of the community of the faithful. […] The Gospel of Christ constantly renews the life and culture of fallen man, it combats and removes the errors and evils resulting from the permanent allurement of sin. It never ceases to purify and elevate the morality of peoples. By riches coming from above, it makes fruitful, as it were from within, the spiritual qualities and traditions of every people of every age. It strengthens, perfects and restores them in Christ. Thus the Church, in the very fulfillment of her own function, stimulates and advances human and civic culture; by her action, also by her liturgy, she leads them toward interior liberty. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 58, December 7, 1965)

  • Culture can do much to elevate the human family to a more sublime understanding of truth, goodness, and beauty

Christians, on pilgrimage toward the heavenly city, should seek and think of these things which are above. This duty in no way decreases, rather it increases, the importance of their obligation to work with all men in the building of a more human world. Indeed, the mystery of the Christian faith furnishes them with an excellent stimulant and aid to fulfill this duty more courageously and especially to uncover the full meaning of this activity, one which gives to human culture its eminent place in the integral vocation of man. […] Furthermore, when man gives himself to the various disciplines of philosophy, history and of mathematical and natural science, and when he cultivates the arts, he can do very much to elevate the human family to a more sublime understanding of truth, goodness, and beauty, and to the formation of considered opinions which have universal value. Thus mankind may be more clearly enlightened by that marvelous Wisdom which was with God from all eternity, composing all things with him, rejoicing in the earth, delighting in the sons of men. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 57, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on interpersonal relationships no longer need to seek purity and perfection

  • Strengthened by grace couples can strive for holiness of life

The constant fulfillment of the duties of this Christian vocation demands notable virtue. For this reason, strengthened by grace for holiness of life, the couple will painstakingly cultivate and pray for steadiness of love, large heartedness and the spirit of sacrifice. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 49, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church’s rules on matrimony being ‘overly rigid’

  • Marriage has been established by the Creator – it is rooted in the conjugal covenant of irrevocable personal consent and imposes total fidelity

The intimate partnership of married life and love has been established by the Creator and qualified by His laws, and is rooted in the conjugal covenant of irrevocable personal consent. Hence by that human act whereby spouses mutually bestow and accept each other a relationship arises which by divine will and in the eyes of society too is a lasting one. For the good of the spouses and their off-springs as well as of society, the existence of the sacred bond no longer depends on human decisions alone. For, God Himself is the author of matrimony, endowed as it is with various benefits and purposes. All of these have a very decisive bearing on the continuation of the human race, on the personal development and eternal destiny of the individual members of a family, and on the dignity, stability, peace and prosperity of the family itself and of human society as a whole. By their very nature, the institution of matrimony itself and conjugal love are ordained for the procreation and education of children, and find in them their ultimate crown. Thus a man and a woman, who by their compact of conjugal love ‘are no longer two, but one flesh’ (Mt. 19:6), render mutual help and service to each other through an intimate union of their persons and of their actions. Through this union they experience the meaning of their oneness and attain to it with growing perfection day by day. As a mutual gift of two persons, this intimate union and the good of the children impose total fidelity on the spouses and argue for an unbreakable oneness between them. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 48, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea that the Orthodox are no longer schismatics

  • The true purpose of missionary activity

The proper purpose of this missionary activity is evangelization, and the planting of the Church among those peoples and groups where it has not yet taken root. Thus from the seed which is the word of God, particular autonomous churches should be sufficiently established and should grow up all over the world, endowed with their own maturity and vital forces. Under a hierarchy of their own, together with the faithful people, and adequately fitted out with requisites for living a full Christian life, they should make their contribution to the good of the whole Church. (Vatican Council II. Decree Ad gentes, no. 6, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on zeal for the liturgy, doctrine and prestige of the Church

  • The liturgy is the summit of the activity of the Church. For the aim of apostolic works is that all come together to praise God in His Church.

Nevertheless the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows. For the aim and object of apostolic works is that all who are made sons of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of His Church, to take part in the sacrifice, and to eat the Lord’s supper. The liturgy in its turn moves the faithful, filled with ‘the paschal sacraments,’ to be ‘one in holiness’; it prays that ‘they may hold fast in their lives to what they have grasped by their faith’; the renewal in the Eucharist of the covenant between the Lord and man draws the faithful into the compelling love of Christ and sets them on fire. From the liturgy, therefore, and especially from the Eucharist, as from a font, grace is poured forth upon us; and the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God, to which all other activities of the Church are directed as toward their end, is achieved in the most efficacious possible way. (Vatican Council II. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum concilium, no. 10, December 4, 1963)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church having defects

  • The Holy Spirit sanctifies, guides and directs the Church

When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth (cf. Jn 17:4) was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that He might continually sanctify the Church, and thus, all those who believe would have access through Christ in one Spirit to the Father (cf. Eph 1:18). He is the Spirit of Life, a fountain of water springing up to life eternal (cf. Jn 4:14; 7:38-39). To men, dead in sin, the Father gives life through Him, until, in Christ, He brings to life their mortal bodies (cf. Rom 8:10-11). The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful, as in a temple (cf. 1Cor 3:16; 6:19). In them He prays on their behalf and bears witness to the fact that they are adopted sons (cf. Gal 4:6; Rom 8:15-16 and 26). The Church, which the Spirit guides in way of all truth (cf. Jn 16:13) and which He unified in communion and in works of ministry, He both equips and directs with hierarchical and charismatic gifts and adorns with His fruits (cf. Eph 1:11-12; 1Cor 12:4 Gal 5:22). By the power of the Gospel He makes the Church keep the freshness of youth. Uninterruptedly He renews it and leads it to perfect union with its Spouse (cf. S. Irenaeus, Adv. Haer, 111 24, 1). The Spirit and the Bride both say to Jesus, the Lord, ‘Come!’ (Rev 22:17). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium, no. 4, November 21, 1964)

  • The Church’s divine origin: founded by the Lord

Then, when He had by His death and His resurrection completed once for all in Himself the mysteries of our salvation and the renewal of all things, the Lord, having now received all power in heaven and on earth (cf. Mt 28:18), before He was taken up into heaven (cf. Acts 1:11), founded His Church as the sacrament of salvation. (Vatican Council II. Decree Ad gentes, no. 5, December 7, 1965)

  • Sinners too are embraced by the Church, herself holy, innocent and undefiled

While Christ, holy, innocent and undefiled (Heb 7:26) knew nothing of sin, (2Cor 5:21) but came to expiate only the sins of the people (cf. Heb 2:17), the Church, embracing in its bosom sinners, at the same time holy and always in need of being purified, always follows the way of penance and renewal. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, no. 8, November 21, 1964)

  • The Heavenly Church and the Church here on earth are not two separate realities; they form one complex reality

Christ, the one Mediator, established and continually sustains here on earth His holy Church, the community of faith, hope and charity, as an entity with visible delineation through which He communicated truth and grace to all. But, the society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ, are not to be considered as two realities, nor are the visible assembly and the spiritual community, nor the earthly Church and the Church enriched with heavenly things; rather they form one complex reality which coalesces from a divine and a human element. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 8, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on the role of women in the Church

  • The spotless spouse of the spotless Lamb

The Church, further, ‘that Jerusalem which is above’ is also called ‘our mother’ (Gal 4:26; cf. Rev 12:17). It is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless Lamb (Rev 19:7; 21:2 and 9; 22:17), whom Christ ‘loved and for whom He delivered Himself up that He might sanctify her’(Eph 5:26), whom He unites to Himself by an unbreakable covenant, and whom He unceasingly ‘nourishes and cherishes’(Eph 5:29), and whom, once purified, He willed to be cleansed and joined to Himself, subject to Him in love and fidelity (cf. Eph 5:24), and whom, finally, He filled with heavenly gifts for all eternity, in order that we may know the love of God and of Christ for us, a love which surpasses all knowledge (cf. Eph 3:19). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 6, November 21, 1964)

  • By the anointing of the Holy Spirit, priests are signed with a special character and are conformed to Christ the Priest

The office of priests, since it is connected with the episcopal order, also, in its own degree, shares the authority by which Christ builds up, sanctifies and rules his Body. Wherefore the priesthood, while indeed it presupposes the sacraments of Christian initiation, is conferred by that special sacrament; through it priests, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are signed with a special character and are conformed to Christ the Priest in such a way that they can act in the person of Christ the Head. (Lumen Gentium, no. 10) (Vatican Council II. Decree Presbyterorum ordinis, no. 2, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on renouncing our own culture to receive the refugees

  • Today, as always, the Church has the necessity and the sacred duty to preach the Gospel

A necessity lies upon the Church (1Cor 9:16), and at the same time a sacred duty, to preach the Gospel. And hence missionary activity today as always retains its power and necessity. By means of this activity, the Mystical Body of Christ unceasingly gathers and directs its forces toward its own growth (cf. Eph 4:11-16). The members of the Church are impelled to carry on such missionary activity by reason of the love with which they love God and by which they desire to share with all men the spiritual goods of both its life and the life to come. (Vatican Council II. Decree Ad gentes, no. 7, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on conversion of the papacy

  • Jesus Christ placed Blessed Peter over the other apostles in order that the episcopate itself might be one and undivided

Jesus Christ, the eternal Shepherd, established His holy Church, having sent forth the apostles as He Himself had been sent by the Father; (Jn 20:21), and He willed that their successors, namely the bishops, should be shepherds in His Church even to the consummation of the world. And in order that the episcopate itself might be one and undivided, He placed Blessed Peter over the other apostles, and instituted in him a permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion. […] The Lord Jesus, after praying to the Father, calling to Himself those whom He desired, appointed twelve to be with Him, and whom He would send to preach the Kingdom of God (Mk 3:1319; Mt 10:142); and these apostles (Cf. Lk 6:13) He formed after the manner of a college or a stable group, over which He placed Peter chosen from among them (Cf. Jn 21:1517). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium, no. 18-19, November 21, 1964)

  • The Roman Pontiff is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity

Just as in the Gospel, the Lord so disposing, Saint Peter and the other apostles constitute one apostolic college, so in a similar way the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are joined together. […] But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope’s power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. […] The Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity of both the bishops and of the faithful. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium, no. 22-23, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on confession

  • Priests act especially in the person of Christ; and are united with the intention and love of Christ when they administer the sacraments, especially the sacrament of Penance

Priests act especially in the person of Christ as ministers of holy things, particularly in the Sacrifice of the Mass. […] In like fashion they are united with the intention and love of Christ when they administer the sacraments. This is true in a special way when in the performance of their duty in the sacrament of Penance they show themselves altogether and always ready whenever the sacrament is reasonably sought by the faithful. (Vatican Council II. Decree Presbyterorum ordinis, no. 13, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on switching Christ for interconfessionalism

  • All men may attain to salvation by faith, baptism and the fulfilment of the commandments

Bishops, as successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord, to whom was given all power in heaven and on earth, the mission to teach all nations and to preach the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain to salvation by faith, baptism and the fulfilment of the commandments. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 24, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on Christians and Muslims sharing the same points

  • …and they were inspired by the Holy Spirit and handed on only to the Church

Those divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in Sacred Scripture have been committed to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For holy mother Church, relying on the belief of the Apostles (see Jn 20:31; 2 Tm 3:16; 2 Pt 1:19-20, 3:15-16), holds that the books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself. In composing the sacred books, God chose men and while employed by Him they made use of their powers and abilities, so that with Him acting in them and through them, they, as true authors, consigned to writing everything and only those things which He wanted. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Dei verbum, no. 11, November 18, 1965)

  • The study of the Sacred Scriptures is the soul of sacred theology

Sacred theology rests on the written word of God, together with sacred tradition, as its primary and perpetual foundation. By scrutinizing in the light of faith all truth stored up in the mystery of Christ, theology is most powerfully strengthened and constantly rejuvenated by that word. For the Sacred Scriptures contain the word of God and since they are inspired, really are the word of God; and so the study of the sacred page is, as it were, the soul of sacred theology. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Dei verbum, no. 24, November 18, 1965)

  • Sacred Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching truth which God wanted solidly, faithfully and without error

Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation. Therefore ‘all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind’ (2 Tim. 3:16-17) (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Dei verbum, no. 11, November 18, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on Ecumenical dialogue

  • The Church is, by the will of Christ, the teacher of the truth

In the formation of their consciences, the Christian faithful ought carefully to attend to the sacred and certain doctrine of the Church. For the Church is, by the will of Christ, the teacher of the truth. It is her duty to give utterance to, and authoritatively to teach, that truth which is Christ Himself, and also to declare and confirm by her authority those principles of the moral order which have their origins in human nature itself. […] The disciple is bound by a grave obligation toward Christ, his Master, ever more fully to understand the truth received from Him, faithfully to proclaim it, and vigorously to defend it. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Dignitatis humanae, no. 14, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church called to dialogue

  • Priests must live in this world, but must not be conformed to this world

Their ministry itself, by a special title, forbids that they be conformed to this world (cf. Rom 12:2); yet at the same time it requires that they live in this world among men. They are to live as good shepherds that know their sheep, and they are to seek to lead those who are not of this sheepfold that they, too, may hear the voice of Christ, so that there might be one fold and one shepherd (cf. Jn 10:14–16). (Vatican Council II. Decree on the ministry and life of priests, no. 3, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on God judging us by loving us

  • It is necessary to be constantly vigilant in order to be numbered among the blessed

Since however we know not the day nor the hour, on Our Lord’s advice we must be constantly vigilant so that, having finished the course of our earthly life (cf. Heb 9:27), we may merit to enter into the marriage feast with Him and to be numbered among the blessed (cf. Mt 25:31-46) and that we may not be ordered to go into eternal fire (cf. Mt 25:41) like the wicked and slothful servant (cf. Mt 25:26), into the exterior darkness where ‘there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth’ (Mt 22:13 and 25:30). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium, no. 48, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on Catholic Faith and Lutheran belief

  • Between these churches and the Catholic Church there exist important differences especially in the interpretation of revealed truth

It must however be admitted that in these Churches and ecclesial Communities there exist important differences from the Catholic Church, not only of a historical, sociological, psychological and cultural character, but especially in the interpretation of revealed truth. (Vatican Council II. Decree Unitatis redintegratio, no. 19, November 21, 1964)

  • The sacraments were instituted to build up the body of Christ – not divisions

The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the body of Christ, and, finally, to give worship to God. […] It is therefore of the highest importance that the faithful should easily understand the sacramental sings, and should frequent with great eagerness those sacraments which were instituted to nourish the Christian life. (Vatican Council II. Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 59, December 4, 1963)

…judges Francis’ idea on proclaiming the Gospel

  • The Church is brought to perfection by the gift of the Holy Spirit

The Church, whose mystery is being set forth by this Sacred Synod, is believed to be indefectibly holy. Indeed Christ, the Son of God, who with the Father and the Spirit is praised as ‘uniquely holy,’ loved the Church as His bride, delivering Himself up for her. He did this that He might sanctify her. He united her to Himself as His own body and brought it to perfection by the gift of the Holy Spirit for God’s glory. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Lumen gentium, no. 39, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on the pastor

  • The Lord Jesus preached holiness of life to each and every one of His disciples of every condition

The Lord Jesus, the divine Teacher and Model of all perfection, preached holiness of life to each and everyone of His disciples of every condition. He Himself stands as the author and consumator of this holiness of life: Be you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48). Indeed He sent the Holy Spirit upon all men that He might move them inwardly to love God with their whole heart and their whole soul, with all their mind and all their strength and that they might love each other as Christ loves them. The followers of Christ are called by God, not because of their works, but according to His own purpose and grace. They are justified in the Lord Jesus, because in the baptism of faith they truly become sons of God and sharers in the divine nature. In this way they are really made holy. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium, no. 40, November 21, 1964)

  • They should not seek to please men, but act in accord with the demands of Christian doctrine

In building up of the Church, priests must treat all with exceptional kindness in imitation of the Lord. They should act toward men, not as seeking to please them, but in accord with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. They should teach them and admonish them as beloved sons, according to the words of the Apostle: Be urgent in season, out of season, reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine (2Tim 4:2). (Vatican Council II. Decree Presbyterorum ordinis, no. 6, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the ‘Bread of Life’

  • The Magisterium must serve the word of God

This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed. It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God’s most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum, no. 10, November 18, 1965)

  • Hold fast to the traditions learned by word of mouth or by letter

And so the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved by an unending succession of preachers until the end of time. Therefore the Apostles, handing on what they themselves had received, warn the faithful to hold fast to the traditions which they have learned either by word of mouth or by letter (see 2Thess 2:15), and to fight in defense of the faith handed on once and for all (see Jude 1:3). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum, no. 8, November 18, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea that Koran is a book of peace

  • Only with the help of God’s grace can humans achieve their own integrity

For a monumental struggle against the powers of darkness pervades the whole history of man. The battle was joined from the very origins of the world and will continue until the last day, as the Lord has attested. Caught in this conflict, man is obliged to wrestle constantly if he is to cling to what is good, nor can he achieve his own integrity without great efforts and the help of God’s grace. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 37, December 7, 1965)

  • Damaged by sin, the human relationship with God may flower only by the aid of grace

Since man’s freedom has been damaged by sin, only by the aid of God’s grace can he bring such a relationship with God into full flower. Before the judgement seat of God each man must render an account of his own life, whether he has done good or evil. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 17, December 7. 1965)

  • Social structures flawed by the consequences of sin, provide humans with newer inducements to sin

When the structure of affairs is flawed by the consequences of sin, man, already born with a bent toward evil, finds there new inducements to sin, which cannot be overcome without strenuous efforts and the assistance of grace. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 25, December 7, 1965)

  • When men vanquish sin by a union of love, they vanquish violence as well

Insofar as men are sinful, the threat of war hangs over them, and hang over them it will until the return of Christ. But insofar as men vanquish sin by a union of love, they will vanquish violence as well and make these words come true: ‘They shall turn their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into sickles. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more’ (Is 2:4). (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 78, December 7, 1965)

  • That earthly peace which arises from love of neighbor is a symbol of and results from the peace of Christ

That earthly peace which arises from love of neighbor symbolizes and results from the peace of Christ which radiates from God the Father. For by the cross the incarnate Son, the prince of peace reconciled all men with God. By thus restoring all men to the unity of one people and one body, He slew hatred in His own flesh; and, after being lifted on high by His resurrection, He poured forth the spirit of love into the hearts of men. For this reason, all Christians are urgently summoned to do in love what the truth requires, and to join with all true peacemakers in pleading for peace and bringing it about. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 78, December 7, 1965)

  • The Church strengthens peace among men for the glory of God

The Church herself makes use of temporal things insofar as her own mission requires it. She, for her part, does not place her trust in the privileges offered by civil authority. She will even give up the exercise of certain rights which have been legitimately acquired, if it becomes clear that their use will cast doubt on the sincerity of her witness or that new ways of life demand new methods. It is only right, however, that at all times and in all places, the Church should have true freedom to preach the faith, to teach her social doctrine, to exercise her role freely among men, and also to pass moral judgment in those matters which regard public order when the fundamental rights of a person or the salvation of souls require it. In this, she should make use of all the means – but only those – which accord with the Gospel and which correspond to the general good according to the diversity of times and circumstances. While faithfully adhering to the Gospel and fulfilling her mission to the world, the Church, whose duty it is to foster and elevate all that is found to be true, good and beautiful in the human community, strengthens peace among men for the glory of God. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 76, December 7, 1965)

  • Peace results from that order structured into human society by its divine Founder

Peace is not merely the absence of war; nor can it be reduced solely to the maintenance of a balance of power between enemies; nor is it brought about by dictatorship. Instead, it is rightly and appropriately called an enterprise of justice. Peace results from that order structured into human society by its divine Founder, and actualized by men as they thirst after ever greater justice. The common good of humanity finds its ultimate meaning in the eternal law. But since the concrete demands of this common good are constantly changing as time goes on, peace is never attained once and for all, but must be built up ceaselessly. Moreover, since the human will is unsteady and wounded by sin, the achievement of peace requires a constant mastering of passions and the vigilance of lawful authority. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 78, December 7, 1965)

  • The Church is like a standard lifted high for the nations to see

The Church, then, is God’s only flock; it is like a standard lifted high for the nations to see it: for it serves all mankind through the Gospel of peace as it makes its pilgrim way in hope toward the goal of the fatherland above. This is the sacred mystery of the unity of the Church, in Christ and through Christ, the Holy Spirit energizing its various functions. It is a mystery that finds its highest exemplar and source in the unity of the Persons of the Trinity: the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit, one God. (Vatican Council II. Decree Unitatis redintegratio, no. 2, November 21, 1964)

  • The Church preaches the Gospel to all men and dispenses the treasures of grace ensuring peace

Since, in virtue of her mission received from God, the Church preaches the Gospel to all men and dispenses the treasures of grace, she contributes to the ensuring of peace everywhere on earth and to the placing of the fraternal exchange between men on solid ground by imparting knowledge of the divine and natural law. Therefore, to encourage and stimulate cooperation among men, the Church must be clearly present in the midst of the community of nations both through her official channels and through the full and sincere collaboration of all Christians – a collaboration motivated solely by the desire to be of service to all. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 89, December 7, 1965)

  • The mission of the Church is to lead to the peace of Christ by the Sacraments and other means of grace

The mission of the Church, therefore, is fulfilled by that activity which makes her, obeying the command of Christ and influenced by the grace and love of the Holy Spirit, fully present to all men or nations, in order that, by the example of her life and by her preaching, by the sacraments and other means of grace, she may lead them to the faith, the freedom and the peace of Christ; that thus there may lie open before them a firm and free road to full participation in the mystery of Christ. (Vatican Council II. Decree Ad gentes, no. 5, December 7, 1965)

  • The Church is necessary for salvation; through baptism men enter it

This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism (Cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium, no. 14, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea that spiritual direction is a charism of the laity

  • The ministers serve their brethren so that they arrive at salvation

For the nurturing and constant growth of the People of God, Christ the Lord instituted in His Church a variety of ministries, which work for the good of the whole body. For those ministers, who are endowed with sacred power, serve their brethren, so that all who are of the People of God, and therefore enjoy a true Christian dignity, working toward a common goal freely and in an orderly way, may arrive at salvation. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, no. 18, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea that Christians and Muslims share the same faith

  • We now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ

The Christian dispensation, therefore, as the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away and we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1Tim 6:14 and Tit 2:13). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum, no. 4, November 18, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on good-will replacing theological investigation

  • The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth

This demand for freedom in human society chiefly regards the quest for the values proper to the human spirit. It regards, in the first place, the free exercise of religion in society. This Vatican Council takes careful note of these desires in the minds of men. It proposes to declare them to be greatly in accord with truth and justice. To this end, it searches into the sacred tradition and doctrine of the Church-the treasury out of which the Church continually brings forth new things that are in harmony with the things that are old. First, the council professes its belief that God Himself has made known to mankind the way in which men are to serve Him, and thus be saved in Christ and come to blessedness. We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men. Thus He spoke to the Apostles: ‘Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined upon you’ (Mt 28:19-20). On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it. This Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force. The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power. Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ. Over and above all this, the council intends to develop the doctrine of recent popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and the constitutional order of society. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Dignitatis humanae, no. 1, December 7, 1965)

  • Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium, each in its own way, contribute effectively to the salvation of souls

This tradition which comes from the Apostles develop in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts (see Luke, 2:19, 51) through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through Episcopal succession the sure gift of truth. For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her. […] It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God’s most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum, no. 8.10, November 18, 1965)

  • Theologians provide the nourishment of the Scriptures for the people of God

Catholic exegetes then and other students of sacred theology, working diligently together and using appropriate means, should devote their energies, under the watchful care of the sacred teaching office of the Church, to an exploration and exposition of the divine writings. This should be so done that as many ministers of the divine word as possible will be able effectively to provide the nourishment of the Scriptures for the people of God, to enlighten their minds, strengthen their wills, and set men’s hearts on fire with the love of God. The sacred synod encourages the sons of the Church and Biblical scholars to continue energetically, following the mind of the Church, with the work they have so well begun, with a constant renewal of vigor. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum, no. 8.10, November 18, 1965)

  • The study of Sacred Scripture is the soul of sacred theology

Sacred theology rests on the written word of God, together with sacred tradition, as its primary and perpetual foundation. By scrutinizing in the light of faith all truth stored up in the mystery of Christ, theology is most powerfully strengthened and constantly rejuvenated by that word. For the Sacred Scriptures contain the word of God and since they are inspired, really are the word of God; and so the study of the sacred page is, as it were, the soul of sacred theology. By the same word of Scripture the ministry of the word also, that is, pastoral preaching, catechetics and all Christian instruction, in which the liturgical homily must hold the foremost place, is nourished in a healthy way and flourishes in a holy way. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum, no. 24, November 18, 1965)

  • Theologians must seek for ways of communicating doctrine to the men of their times

Although the Church has contributed much to the development of culture, experience shows that, for circumstantial reasons, it is sometimes difficult to harmonize culture with Christian teaching. These difficulties do not necessarily harm the life of faith, rather they can stimulate the mind to a deeper and more accurate understanding of the faith. The recent studies and findings of science, history and philosophy raise new questions which effect life and which demand new theological investigations. Furthermore, theologians, within the requirements and methods proper to theology, are invited to seek continually for more suitable ways of communicating doctrine to the men of their times; for the deposit of Faith or the truths are one thing and the manner in which they are enunciated, in the same meaning and understanding, is another. (Vatican Council II. Constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 62, December 7, 1965)

  • The sacred mystery of the unity of the Church is like a standard lifted high for the nations to see it

In order to establish this His holy Church everywhere in the world till the end of time, Christ entrusted to the College of the Twelve the task of teaching, ruling and sanctifying. Among their number He selected Peter, and after his confession of faith determined that on him He would build His Church. Also to Peter He promised the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and after His profession of love, entrusted all His sheep to him to be confirmed in faith and shepherded in perfect unity. Christ Jesus Himself was forever to remain the chief cornerstone and shepherd of our souls. Jesus Christ, then, willed that the apostles and their successors – the bishops with Peter’s successor at their head – should preach the Gospel faithfully, administer the sacraments, and rule the Church in love. It is thus, under the action of the Holy Spirit, that Christ wills His people to increase, and He perfects His people’s fellowship in unity: in their confessing the one faith, celebrating divine worship in common, and keeping the fraternal harmony of the family of God. The Church, then, is God’s only flock; it is like a standard lifted high for the nations to see it: for it serves all mankind through the Gospel of peace as it makes its pilgrim way in hope toward the goal of the fatherland above. This is the sacred mystery of the unity of the Church, in Christ and through Christ, the Holy Spirit energizing its various functions. It is a mystery that finds its highest exemplar and source in the unity of the Persons of the Trinity: the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit, one God. (Vatican Council II. Decree Unitatis redintegratio, no. 2, November 21, 1964)

  • Our separated brethren are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body

Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. […] Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life – that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is ‘the all-embracing means of salvation’, that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God. (Vatican Council II. Decree Unitatis redintegratio, no. 3, November 21, 1964)

  • In dialogue it is essential that the doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety

The way and method in which the Catholic faith is expressed should never become an obstacle to dialogue with our brethren. It is, of course, essential that the doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety. Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism, in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss and its genuine and certain meaning is clouded. At the same time, the Catholic faith must be explained more profoundly and precisely, in such a way and in such terms as our separated brethren can also really understand. Moreover, in ecumenical dialogue, Catholic theologians standing fast by the teaching of the Church and investigating the divine mysteries with the separated brethren must proceed with love for the truth, with charity, and with humility. When comparing doctrines with one another, they should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists a ‘hierarchy’ of truths, since they vary in their relation to the fundamental Christian faith. (Vatican Council II. Decree Unitatis redintegratio, no. 11, November 21, 1964)

  • There exist important differences between these ecclesial Communities and the Catholic Church, especially in the interpretation of revealed truth

It must however be admitted that in these churches and ecclesial Communities there exist important differences from the Catholic Church, not only of a historical, sociological, psychological and cultural character, but especially in the interpretation of revealed truth. (Vatican Council II. Decree Unitatis redintegratio, no. 19, November 21, 1964)

  • The unity in which Christ brings together the whole Church is in the teaching of the apostles

All men are called to belong to the new people of God. Wherefore this people, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and must exist in all ages, so that the decree of God’s will may be fulfilled. In the beginning God made human nature one and decreed that all His children, scattered as they were, would finally be gathered together as one (cf. Jn 11:52). It was for this purpose that God sent His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things (cf. Heb 1:2), that he might be teacher, king and priest of all, the head of the new and universal people of the sons of God. For this too God sent the Spirit of His Son as Lord and Life-giver. He it is who brings together the whole Church and each and every one of those who believe, and who is the well-spring of their unity in the teaching of the apostles and in fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers (cf. Acts 2:42). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium, no. 13, November 21, 1964)

  • The Catholic Church is necessary for salvation

This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism (Cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved. They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium, no. 14, November 21, 1964)

  • This one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church

First, the council professes its belief that God Himself has made known to mankind the way in which men are to serve Him, and thus be saved in Christ and come to blessedness. We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men. Thus He spoke to the Apostles: ‘Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined upon you’ (Mt 28:19-20). On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it. This Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force. The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power. Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Dignitatis humanae, no. 1, December 7, 1965)

  • The Vicar of Christ has full, supreme and universal power

Just as in the Gospel, the Lord so disposing, Saint Peter and the other apostles constitute one apostolic college, so in a similar way the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are joined together. […]But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope’s power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. […] The Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity of both the bishops and of the faithful. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium, no. 22-23, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on family

  • The Christian family manifests Christ’s living presence in the world

Thus the Christian family, which springs from marriage as a reflection of the loving covenant uniting Christ with the Church, and as a participation in that covenant, will manifest to all men Christ’s living presence in the world, and the genuine nature of the Church. This the family will do by the mutual love of the spouses, by their generous fruitfulness, their solidarity and faithfulness, and by the loving way in which all members of the family assist one another. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 48, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on human suffering

  • Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God

He Who is ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Col. 1:15), is Himself the perfect man. To the sons of Adam He restores the divine likeness which had been disfigured from the first sin onward. Since human nature as He assumed it was not annulled, by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too. For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 22, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the formation of youth

  • The Church has used the discoveries of different cultures to spread the message of Christ to all nations

There are many ties between the message of salvation and human culture. For God, revealing Himself to His people to the extent of a full manifestation of Himself in His Incarnate Son, has spoken according to the culture proper to each epoch. Likewise the Church, living in various circumstances in the course of time, has used the discoveries of different cultures so that in her preaching she might spread and explain the message of Christ to all nations, that she might examine it and more deeply understand it, that she might give it better expression in liturgical celebration and in the varied life of the community of the faithful. […] The Gospel of Christ constantly renews the life and culture of fallen man, it combats and removes the errors and evils resulting from the permanent allurement of sin. It never ceases to purify and elevate the morality of peoples. By riches coming from above, it makes fruitful, as it were from within, the spiritual qualities and traditions of every people of every age. It strengthens, perfects and restores them in Christ. Thus the Church, in the very fulfillment of her own function, stimulates and advances human and civic culture; by her action, also by her liturgy, she leads them toward interior liberty. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 58, December 7, 1965)

  • A contribution that elevates the human family to a more sublime understanding of truth, goodness, and beauty

Christians, on pilgrimage toward the heavenly city, should seek and think of these things which are above. This duty in no way decreases, rather it increases, the importance of their obligation to work with all men in the building of a more human world. Indeed, the mystery of the Christian faith furnishes them with an excellent stimulant and aid to fulfill this duty more courageously and especially to uncover the full meaning of this activity, one which gives to human culture its eminent place in the integral vocation of man. […] Furthermore, when man gives himself to the various disciplines of philosophy, history and of mathematical and natural science, and when he cultivates the arts, he can do very much to elevate the human family to a more sublime understanding of truth, goodness, and beauty, and to the formation of considered opinions which have universal value. Thus mankind may be more clearly enlightened by that marvelous Wisdom which was with God from all eternity, composing all things with him, rejoicing in the earth, delighting in the sons of men. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 57, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea that sin forms a part of religious life

  • Sin has diminished man, blocking his path to fulfillment

Although he was made by God in a state of holiness, from the very onset of his history man abused his liberty, at the urging of the Evil One. Man set himself against God and sought to attain his goal apart from God. Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, but their senseless minds were darkened and they served the creature rather than the Creator. What divine revelation makes known to us agrees with experience. Examining his heart, man finds that he has inclinations toward evil too, and is engulfed by manifold ills which cannot come from his good Creator. Often refusing to acknowledge God as his beginning, man has disrupted also his proper relationship to his own ultimate goal as well as his whole relationship toward himself and others and all created things. Therefore man is split within himself. As a result, all of human life, whether individual or collective, shows itself to be a dramatic struggle between good and evil, between light and darkness. […] For sin has diminished man, blocking his path to fulfillment. (Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 13, December 7, 1965)

  • Christ is the perfect man, in whom human nature has been raised up to a dignity without equal

The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. For Adam, the first man, was a figure of Him Who was to come, namely Christ the Lord. Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear. It is not surprising, then, that in Him all the aforementioned truths find their root and attain their crown. He Who is ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Col 1:15), is Himself the perfect man. To the sons of Adam He restores the divine likeness which had been disfigured from the first sin onward. Since human nature as He assumed it was not annulled, by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too. (Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 22, December 7, 1965)

  • The more fervently Religious are joined to Christ the richer the life of the Church becomes

Despite such a great variety of gifts, all those called by God to the practice of the evangelical counsels and who, faithfully responding to the call, undertake to observe the same, bind themselves to the Lord in a special way, following Christ, who chaste and poor (cf. Mt 8:20; Lk 9:58) redeemed and sanctified men through obedience even to the death of the Cross (cf. Phil 2:8). Driven by love with which the Holy Spirit floods their hearts (cf. Rom 5:5) they live more and more for Christ and for His body which is the Church (cf. Col 1:24). The more fervently, then, they are joined to Christ by this total life-long gift of themselves, the richer the life of the Church becomes and the more lively and successful its apostolate. (Vatican Council II, Decree Perfectae caritatis, no. 1, October 28, 1965)

  • The profession of the evangelical counsels: a sign to attract all to an effective fulfillment of the Christian duties

The profession of the evangelical counsels, then, appears as a sign which can and ought to attract all the members of the Church to an effective and prompt fulfillment of the duties of their Christian vocation. The people of God have no lasting city here below, but look forward to one that is to come. Since this is so, the religious state, whose purpose is to free its members from earthly cares, more fully manifests to all believers the presence of heavenly goods already possessed here below. Furthermore, it not only witnesses to the fact of a new and eternal life acquired by the redemption of Christ, but it foretells the future resurrection and the glory of the heavenly kingdom. Christ proposed to His disciples this form of life, which He, as the Son of God, accepted in entering this world to do the will of the Father. This same state of life is accurately exemplified and perpetually made present in the Church. The religious state clearly manifests that the Kingdom of God and its needs, in a very special way, are raised above all earthly considerations. Finally it clearly shows all men both the unsurpassed breadth of the strength of Christ the King and the infinite power of the Holy Spirit marvelously working in the Church. (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium, no. 44, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on sects forming part of the Church

  • This is the one Church of Christ: the Catholic church

This is the one Church of Christ which in the Creed is professed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Saviour, after His Resurrection, commissioned Peter to shepherd (Jn 21:17), and him and the other apostles to extend and direct with authority (Cf. Mt 28:18), which He erected for all ages as ‘the pillar and mainstay of the truth’ (1Tim. 3:15). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, no. 8, November 21, 1964)

  • The Trinity is the sacred mystery of the unity of the Church

The Church, then, is God’s only flock; it is like a standard lifted high for the nations to see it: for it serves all mankind through the Gospel of peace as it makes its pilgrim way in hope toward the goal of the fatherland above. This is the sacred mystery of the unity of the Church, in Christ and through Christ, the Holy Spirit energizing its various functions. It is a mystery that finds its highest exemplar and source in the unity of the Persons of the Trinity: the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit, one God. (Vatican Council II. Decree Unitatis redintegratio, no. 2, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on human suffering

  • Mary freely cooperated in the work of human salvation through faith and obedience

Rightly therefore the holy Fathers see her [Mary] as used by God not merely in a passive way, but as freely cooperating in the work of human salvation through faith and obedience. […] This union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to His death […] (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, no. 56-57, November 21, 1964)

  • Lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim, her only begotten Son

The Blessed Virgin […] faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, grieving exceedingly with her only begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart with His sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross as a mother to His disciple with these words: ‘Woman, behold thy son’ (Jn 19: 26-27). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution, Lumen gentium, no. 58, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea that man is the center of christian life

  • The fulfillment of a Christian vocation demands notable virtue

The constant fulfillment of the duties of this Christian vocation demands notable virtue. For this reason, strengthened by grace for holiness of life, the couple will painstakingly cultivate and pray for steadiness of love, large heartedness and the spirit of sacrifice. (Vatican Council II, Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 49, December 7. 1965)

  • The purity of one’s intentions is necessary for the practice of true charity

In order that the exercise of charity on this scale may be unexceptionable in appearance as well as in fact, it is altogether necessary that one should consider in one’s neighbor the image of God in which he has been created, and also Christ the Lord to Whom is really offered whatever is given to a needy person. It is imperative also that the freedom and dignity of the person being helped be respected with the utmost consideration, that the purity of one’s charitable intentions be not stained by seeking one’s own advantage or by striving for domination, and especially that the demands of justice be satisfied lest the giving of what is due in justice be represented as the offering of a charitable gift. Not only the effects but also the causes of these ills must be removed and the help be given in such a way that the recipients may gradually be freed from dependence on outsiders and become self-sufficient. (Vatican Council II, Decree Apostolican actuositatem, November 18, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on selling off churches to feed the poor

  • To serve the dignity of worship: all things should be truly worthy, becoming, and beautiful, as symbols of the supernatural world

Holy Mother Church has therefore always been the friend of the fine arts and has ever sought their noble help, with the special aim that all things set apart for use in divine worship should be truly worthy, becoming, and beautiful, signs and symbols of the supernatural world, […]The Church has been particularly careful to see that sacred furnishings should worthily and beautifully serve the dignity of worship. (Vatican Council II. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 122, December 4, 1963)

…judges Francis’ idea on anticlericalism

  • The Lord established ministers to offer sacrifice, forgive sins and perform their priestly office

The same Lord, however, has established ministers among his faithful to unite them together in one body in which, ‘not all the members have the same function’ (Rom 12:4). These ministers in the society of the faithful are able by the sacred power of orders to offer sacrifice and to forgive sins, and they perform their priestly office publicly for men in the name of Christ. (Vatican Council II. Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, Presbyterorum Ordinis, no. 2, December 7, 1965)

  • The office of priests shares the authority by which Christ builds up, sanctifies and rules his Body

The office of priests, since it is connected with the episcopal order, also, in its own degree, shares the authority by which Christ builds up, sanctifies and rules his Body. Wherefore the priesthood, while indeed it presupposes the sacraments of Christian initiation, is conferred by that special sacrament; through it priests, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are signed with a special character and are conformed to Christ the Priest in such a way that they can act in the person of Christ the Head. (Vatican Council II. Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, Presbyterorum Ordinis, no. 2, December 7, 1965)

  • The Christian faithful should have filial love for the priests

In virtue of the sacrament of Orders, exercise the most outstanding and necessary office of father and teacher among and for the People of God […] in virtue of the sacrament of Orders, exercise the most outstanding and necessary office of father and teacher among and for the People of God, […] The Christian faithful, for their part, should realize their obligations to their priests, and with filial love they should follow them as their pastors and fathers. In like manner, sharing their cares, they should help their priests by prayer and work insofar as possible so that their priests might more readily overcome difficulties and be able to fulfill their duties more fruitfully. (Vatican Council II. Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, Presbyterorum Ordinis, no. 9, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ criteria for the nomination of Bishops

  • Among those various ministries the chief place belongs to the episcopate

Among those various ministries which, according to tradition, were exercised in the Church from the earliest times, the chief place belongs to the office of those who, appointed to the episcopate, by a succession running from the beginning (1Cor 7:7, cf. S. Augustine, De Dono Persev. 14, 37), are passers-on of the apostolic seed (cf. S. Augustine, D Praed. Sanct. 14, 27). (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 20, November 21, 1964)

  • Men with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the supreme power of the sacred ministry

In the bishops, therefore, for whom priests are assistants, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Supreme High Priest, is present in the midst of those who believe. […] These pastors, chosen to shepherd the Lord’s flock of the elect, are servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God (cf. 1Cor 4:1), to whom has been assigned the bearing of witness to the Gospel of the grace of God (cf. Rom 15:16; Acts 20:24), and the ministration of the Spirit and of justice in glory (cf. 2Cor 3:8-9). For the discharging of such great duties, the apostles were enriched by Christ with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit coming upon them (cf. Acts 1:8, 2:4, Jn 20:22-23), and they passed on this spiritual gift to their helpers by the imposition of hands (cf. 1Tim 4:14; 2 Tim 1:6-7), and it has been transmitted down to us in Episcopal consecration (Denz. 959). And the Sacred Council teaches that by Episcopal consecration the fullness of the sacrament of Orders is conferred, that fullness of power, namely, which both in the Church’s liturgical practice and in the language of the Fathers of the Church is called the high priesthood, the supreme power of the sacred ministry. (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 21, November 21, 1964)

  • Bishops are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth

Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 25, November 21, 1964)

  • Bishops: true and authentic teachers of the faith, pontiffs, and pastors

The bishops themselves, however, having been appointed by the Holy Spirit, are successors of the Apostles as pastors of souls. Together with the supreme pontiff and under his authority they are sent to continue throughout the ages the work of Christ, the eternal pastor. Christ gave the Apostles and their successors the command and the power to teach all nations, to hallow men in the truth, and to feed them. Bishops, therefore, have been made true and authentic teachers of the faith, pontiffs, and pastors through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to them . (Vatican Council II, Decree Christus Dominus, no. 2, October 28, 1965)

  • Bishops: principal dispensers of the mysteries of God, governors, promoters, and guardians of the liturgical life

Therefore bishops are the principal dispensers of the mysteries of God, as well as being the governors, promoters, and guardians of the entire liturgical life in the church committed to them. They should, therefore, constantly exert themselves to have the faithful know and live the paschal mystery more deeply through the Eucharist and thus become a firmly-knit body in the unity of the charity of Christ. ‘Intent upon prayer and the ministry of the word’ (Acts 6:4), they should devote their labor to this end that all those committed to their care may be of one mind in prayer (cf. Acts 1:14 and 2:46) and through the reception of the sacraments may grow in grace and be faithful witnesses to the Lord. (Vatican Council II, Decree Christus Dominus, Chapter 2, no.15, October 28, 1965)

  • The obligation to give an example of holiness

As those who lead others to perfection, bishops should be diligent in fostering holiness among their clerics, religious, and laity according to the special vocation of each. They should also be mindful of their obligation to give an example of holiness in charity, humility, and simplicity of life. (Vatican Council II, Decree Christus Dominus, Ch 2, no.15, October 28, 1965)

…judges Francis’ prayer in the ecumenical and interreligious Meeting in Sarajevo

  • One God and one mediator of God and men

There is but one Mediator as we know from the words of the apostle, ‘for there is one God and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a redemption for all’. (Tim 2:5-6) (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, no. 60, November 21, 1964)

  • Let all Christians confess their faith in the triune God before the whole world

Before the whole world let all Christians confess their faith in the triune God, one and three in the incarnate Son of God, our Redeemer and Lord. United in their efforts, and with mutual respect, let them bear witness to our common hope which does not play us false. (Vatican Council II. Decree Unitatis redintegratio, no. 12, November 21, 1964)

 …judges Francis’ idea on a horizontal Church

  • The Roman Pontiff enjoys supreme, full, immediate, and universal authority

In this Church of Christ the Roman pontiff, as the successor of Peter, to whom Christ entrusted the feeding of His sheep and lambs, enjoys supreme, full, immediate, and universal authority over the care of souls by divine institution. Therefore, as pastor of all the faithful, he is sent to provide for the common good of the universal Church and for the good of the individual churches. Hence, he holds a primacy of ordinary power over all the churches. (Vatican Council II. Decree Christus Dominus, no. 2, October 28, 1965)

  • The college of bishops has no authority unless together with the Roman Pontiff

But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope’s power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 22, November 21, 1964)

  • Without the action of the Head, the Bishops are not able to act as a College

As supreme pastor of the Church, the supreme pontiff can always exercise his Power at will, as his very office demands. Though it is always in existence, the college […] acts as a college in the strict sense only from the time to time and only with the consent of its head. […] It is clear throughout that it is a question of the bishops acting in conjunction with their head, never of the bishops acting independently of the pope. In the latter instance, without the action of the head, the bishops are not able to act as a college; this is clear from the concept of “college”. This hierarchical communion of all the bishops with the supreme pontiff is certainly firmly established in tradition. (Denzinger-Hünermann 4357-4358. Vatican Council II. Notifications given by the Secretary General of the Council at the 123rd General Congregation, November 16, 1964. English translation: DzH, 43rd ed. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2012, p. 970)

…judges Francis’ idea comparing Catechesis with Yoga and Zen

  • Christians have a right to a Christian education, to strive for the growth of the Mystical Body

Since all Christians have become by rebirth of water and the Holy Spirit a new creature so that they should be called and should be children of God, they have a right to a Christian education. A Christian education does not merely strive for the maturing of a human person as just now described, but has as its principal purpose this goal: that the baptized, while they are gradually introduced the knowledge of the mystery of salvation, become ever more aware of the gift of Faith they have received, and that they learn in addition how to worship God the Father in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23) especially in liturgical action, and be conformed in their personal lives according to the new man created in justice and holiness of truth (Eph 4:22-24); also that they develop into perfect manhood, to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ (cf. Eph 4:13) and strive for the growth of the Mystical Body. […] Wherefore this sacred synod recalls to pastors of souls their most serious obligation to see to it that all the faithful, but especially the youth who are the hope of the Church, enjoy this Christian education. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Gravissimum educationis, no. 2, October 28, 1965)

  • The faith, illumined by teaching, is an effective force in the lives of men

Bishops should take pains that catechetical instruction-which is intended to make the faith, as illumined by teaching, a vital, explicit and effective force in the lives of men-be given with sedulous care to both children and adolescents, youths and adults. In this instruction a suitable arrangement should be observed as well as a method suited to the matter that is being treated and to the character, ability, age, and circumstances of the life of the students. Finally, they should see to it that this instruction is based on Sacred Scripture, tradition, the liturgy, magisterium, and life of the Church. Moreover, they should take care that catechists be properly trained for their function so that they will be thoroughly acquainted with the doctrine of the Church and will have both a theoretical and a practical knowledge of the laws of psychology and of pedagogical methods. (Vatican Council II. Decree Christus Dominus, Ch. 2, no. 14, October 28, 1965)

  • The words of revelation clarify the mystery contained in them

In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will (cf. Eph 1:9) by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature (cf. Eph 2:18; 2Pet 1:4). Through this revelation, therefore, the invisible God (cf. Col 1:15; 1Tim 1:17) out of the abundance of His love speaks to men as friends (cf. Ex 33:11; Jn 15:14-15) and lives among them (cf. Bar 3:38), so that He may invite and take them into fellowship with Himself. This plan of revelation is realized by deeds and words having an inner unity: the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation manifest and confirm the teaching and realities signified by the words, while the words proclaim the deeds and clarify the mystery contained in them. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum, Ch. 1, no. 2, November 18, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on divorcees as Godparents

  • The catechumens should learn to bear witness of their lives

But this Christian initiation in the catechumenate should be taken care of not only by catechists or priests, but by the entire community of the faithful, so that right from the outset the catechumens may feel that they belong to the people of God. And since the life of the Church is an apostolic one, the catechumens also should learn to cooperate wholeheartedly, by the witness of their lives and by the profession of their faith, in the spread of the Gospel and in the building up of the Church. (Vatican Council II. Decree Ad gentes, no. 14, December 7, 1965)

  • Matrimony imposes total fidelity and an unbreakable oneness

For the good of the spouses and their off-springs as well as of society, the existence of the sacred bond no longer depends on human decisions alone. For, God Himself is the author of matrimony, endowed as it is with various benefits and purposes. All of these have a very decisive bearing on the continuation of the human race, on the personal development and eternal destiny of the individual members of a family, and on the dignity, stability, peace and prosperity of the family itself and of human society as a whole. […]As a mutual gift of two persons, this intimate union and the good of the children impose total fidelity on the spouses and argue for an unbreakable oneness between them. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 48, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on offering rosaries

  • May the cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the practices of piety recommended by the Magisterium during centuries be generously fostered

This most Holy Synod deliberately teaches this Catholic doctrine and at the same time admonishes all the sons of the Church that the cult, especially the liturgical cult, of the Blessed Virgin, be generously fostered, and the practices and exercises of piety, recommended by the magisterium of the Church toward her in the course of centuries be made of great moment (Conc. Nicea II; Conc. Trent, sess. 2). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 67, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ ideas on faith being revolutionary

  • ‘Be you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect’

The Lord Jesus, the divine Teacher and Model of all perfection, preached holiness of life to each and every one of His disciples of every condition. He Himself stands as the author and consummator of this holiness of life: ‘Be you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect’ (Mt. 5:48). Indeed He sent the Holy Spirit upon all men that He might move them inwardly to love God with their whole heart and their whole soul, with all their mind and all their strength (cf. Mk 12:30) and that they might love each other as Christ loves them (cf. Jn 13.34; 15:12). The followers of Christ are called by God, not because of their works, but according to His own purpose and grace. They are justified in the Lord Jesus, because in the baptism of faith they truly become sons of God and sharers in the divine nature. In this way they are really made holy. Then too, by God’s gift, they must hold on to and complete in their lives this holiness they have received. They are warned by the Apostle to live ‘as becomes saints’ (Eph. 5:3), and to put on ‘as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience’ (Col 3:12), and to possess the fruit of the Spirit in holiness (cf. Gal 5:22; Rom 6:22). Since truly we all offend in many things (cf. Jas 3:2) we all need God’s mercies continually and we all must daily pray: ‘Forgive us our debts’ (1Mt 6:12, Cfr. S. Irenaeus, adv. Haer, 111 24, 1: PG 7, 966 B; Harvey 2, 13i, ed. Sagnard, Sources Chr., p 398). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 40, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ ideas on finding God

  • The Liturgy, a way to encounter God

To accomplish so great a work, Christ is always present in His Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of His minister, ‘the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross’ ( Council of Trent, Session XXII, Doctrine on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, c. 2), but especially under the Eucharistic species. By His power He is present in the sacraments, so that when a man baptizes it is really Christ Himself who baptizes (cf. Saint Augustine, Tractatus in Ioannem, 6, n. 7). He is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church. He is present, lastly, when the Church prays and sings, for He promised: ‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’ (Mt 18:20). Christ indeed always associates the Church with Himself in this great work wherein God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified. The Church is His beloved Bride who calls to her Lord, and through Him offers worship to the Eternal Father. (Vatican Council II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, No. 7, December 4, 1963)

…judges Francis’ ideas on the Church closed and ailing

  • Bishops should sanctify the churches entrusted to them by an example of holiness

They [Bishops] should also be mindful of their obligation to give an example of holiness in charity, humility, and simplicity of life. Let them so hallow the churches entrusted to them that the feeling of the universal Church of Christ may shine forth fully in them. […] Those associations should also be promoted and supported which either directly or indirectly pursue a supernatural objective, that is, either the attaining of a more perfect life, the spreading of the Gospel of Christ to all men, and the promoting of Christian doctrine. (Vatican Council II. Decree Christus Dominus, nos. 15.17, October 28, 1965)

  • The people of God accepts that which is not just the word of men, but truly the word of God

The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One (Jn 2:20, 27), cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples’ supernatural discernment in matters of faith when ‘from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful’ (cf. Tertullian, Praescr. Haer. 32) they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth. It is exercised under the guidance of the sacred teaching authority, in faithful and respectful obedience to which the people of God accepts that which is not just the word of men but truly the word of God (1 Thes 5:12, 19-21). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, no. 12, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ words in his first appearance

  • Only ministers may perform the priestly office publicly for men in the name of Christ

The same Lord, however, has established ministers among his faithful to unite them together in one body in which, ‘not all the members have the same function’ (Rom 12:4). These ministers in the society of the faithful are able by the sacred power of orders to offer sacrifice and to forgive sins, and they perform their priestly office publicly for men in the name of Christ. Therefore, having sent the apostles just as he himself been sent by the Father, Christ, through the apostles themselves, made their successors, the bishops, sharers in his consecration and mission. The office of their ministry has been handed down, in a lesser degree indeed, to the priests. Established in the order of the priesthood they can be co-workers of the episcopal order for the proper fulfillment of the apostolic mission entrusted to priests by Christ. (Vatican Council II, Decree Presbyterorum ordinis, no. 2, December 7, 1965)

  • The college of bishops has no authority unless together with the Roman Pontiff

The college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope’s power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 22, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ ideas present in Laudate Si

  • The union of the human family is possible only founded on Christ, uniting all as of the family of God’s children – the innermost nature of the Church

The union of the human family is greatly fortified and fulfilled by the unity, founded on Christ, of the family of God’s sons. Christ, to be sure, gave His Church no proper mission in the political, economic or social order. The purpose which He set before her is a religious one. But out of this religious mission itself come a function, a light and an energy which can serve to structure and consolidate the human community according to the divine law. As a matter of fact, when circumstances of time and place produce the need, she can and indeed should initiate activities on behalf of all men, especially those designed for the needy, such as the works of mercy and similar undertakings. The Church recognizes that worthy elements are found in today’s social movements, especially an evolution toward unity, a process of wholesome socialization and of association in civic and economic realms. The promotion of unity belongs to the innermost nature of the Church, for she is, ‘thanks to her relationship with Christ, a sacramental sign and an instrument of intimate union with God, and of the unity of the whole human race’ (cf. 1 Cor. 7:5). Thus she shows the world that an authentic union, social and external, results from a union of minds and hearts, namely from that faith and charity by which her own unity is unbreakably rooted in the Holy Spirit. For the force which the Church can inject into the modern society of man consists in that faith and charity put into vital practice, not in any external dominion exercised by merely human means.

Moreover, since in virtue of her mission and nature she is bound to no particular form of human culture, nor to any political, economic or social system, the Church by her very universality can be a very close bond between diverse human communities and nations, provided these trust her and truly acknowledge her right to true freedom in fulfilling her mission. For this reason, the Church admonishes her own sons, but also humanity as a whole, to overcome all strife between nations and race in this family spirit of God’s children, and in the same way, to give internal strength to human associations which are just. (Vatican Council II, Constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 42, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on Laudate Si

  • ‘Religious submission of mind and will’: to the authentic teaching of the Magisterium that is proclaimed by a definitive act be shown to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff when he is not speaking ex cathedra

Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking. (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 25, November 21, 1964)

  • In our days it is the human person that must to be preserved; human society to be renewed

Though mankind is stricken with wonder at its own discoveries and its power, it often raises anxious questions about the current trend of the world, about the place and role of man in the universe, about the meaning of its individual and collective strivings, and about the ultimate destiny of reality and of humanity. Hence, giving witness and voice to the faith of the whole people of God gathered together by Christ, this council can provide no more eloquent proof of its solidarity with, as well as its respect and love for the entire human family with which it is bound up, than by engaging with it in conversation about these various problems. The council brings to mankind light kindled from the Gospel, and puts at its disposal those saving resources which the Church herself, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, receives from her Founder. For the human person deserves to be preserved; human society deserves to be renewed. (Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 3, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea that the Pope should not judge

  • The Vicar of Christ has full, supreme and universal power

Just as in the Gospel, the Lord so disposing, Saint Peter and the other apostles constitute one apostolic college, so in a similar way the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are joined together. […]But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope’s power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. […] The Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity of both the bishops and of the faithful. (Vatican Council II, Dogmaic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 22-23, November 21, 1964)

  • Man has in his heart a law written by God; according to it he will be judged

In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him to obedience. Always summoning him to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience when necessary speaks to his heart: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law written by God; to obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged (cf. Rom. 2:15-16). Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths (cf. ius XII, Radio address on the correct formation of a Christian conscience in the young). In a wonderful manner conscience reveals that law which is fulfilled by love of God and neighbor (Matt. 22:37-40; Gal. 5:14). In fidelity to conscience, Christians are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth, and for the genuine solution to the numerous problems which arise in the life of individuals from social relationships. Hence the more right conscience holds sway, the more persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and strive to be guided by the objective norms of morality. Conscience frequently errs from invincible ignorance without losing its dignity. The same cannot be said for a man who cares but little for truth and goodness, or for a conscience which by degrees grows practically sightless as a result of habitual sin. (Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 16, December 7, 1965)

  • Duty of the Roman Pontiff to provide for the common good of the Church and the care of souls

In this Church of Christ the Roman pontiff, as the successor of Peter, to whom Christ entrusted the feeding of His sheep and lambs, enjoys supreme, full, immediate, and universal authority over the care of souls by divine institution. Therefore, as pastor of all the faithful, he is sent to provide for the common good of the universal Church and for the good of the individual churches. Hence, he holds a primacy of ordinary power over all the churches. (Vatican Council II, Decree Christus Dominus, no. 2, October 28, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church reduced to a minority

  • The Church should keep increasing until the Lord returns, renewing human society in Christ

Coming forth from the eternal Father’s love (cf. Titus 3:4: ‘love of mankind’), founded in time by Christ the Redeemer and made one in the Holy Spirit (cf. Eph 1:3; 5:6; 13-14, 23), the Church has a saving and an eschatological purpose which can be fully attained only in the future world. But she is already present in this world, and is composed of men, that is, of members of the earthly city who have a call to form the family of God’s children during the present history of the human race, and to keep increasing it until the Lord returns. […] She serves as a leaven and as a kind of soul for human society as it is to be renewed in Christ and transformed into God’s family. (Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 40, December 7, 1965)

  • The Church has a sacred duty to preach the Gospel

Therefore though God in ways known to Himself can lead those inculpably ignorant of the Gospel to find that faith without which it is impossible to please Him (Heb 11:6), yet a necessity lies upon the Church (1Cor 9:16), and at the same time a sacred duty, to preach the Gospel. And hence missionary activity today as always retains its power and necessity. By means of this activity, the Mystical Body of Christ unceasingly gathers and directs its forces toward its own growth (cf. Eph 4:11-16). (Vatican Council II. Decree Ad gentes, no. 7, December 7, 1975)

  • The Church is compelled by the Holy Spirit: Christ is the source of salvation for the whole world

As the Son was sent by the Father (cf. Jn. 20:21), so He too sent the Apostles, saying: ‘Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world’ (Mt. 2:18-20). […] For the Church is compelled by the Holy Spirit to do her part that God’s plan may be fully realized, whereby He has constituted Christ as the source of salvation for the whole world. (Vatican Council II, Constitution Lumen gentium, no. 17, November 21, 1964)

  • The member who fails to contribute to the development of the Church is useless

The Church was founded for the purpose of spreading the kingdom of Christ throughout the earth for the glory of God the Father, to enable all men to share in His saving redemption, (cf. Pius XI, Rerum Ecclesiae) and that through them the whole world might enter into a relationship with Christ. All activity of the Mystical Body directed to the attainment of this goal is called the apostolate, which the Church carries on in various ways through all her members. For the Christian vocation by its very nature is also a vocation to the apostolate. No part of the structure of a living body is merely passive but has a share in the functions as well as life of the body: so, too, in the body of Christ, which is the Church, ‘the whole body . . . in keeping with the proper activity of each part, derives its increase from its own internal development’ (Eph 4:16). Indeed, the organic union in this body and the structure of the members are so compact that the member who fails to make his proper contribution to the development of the Church must be said to be useful neither to the Church nor to himself. […] On all Christians therefore is laid the preeminent responsibility of working to make the divine message of salvation known and accepted by all men throughout the world. (Vatican Council II. Decree Apostolicam actuositatem, no. 2-3, November 18, 1965)

  • All the faithful are duty-bound to cooperate in the expansion of the Church

As members of the living Christ, incorporated into Him and made like unto Him through baptism and through confirmation and the Eucharist, all the faithful are duty – bound to cooperate in the expansion and spreading out of His Body, to bring it to fullness as soon as may be (Eph. 4:13). (Vatican Council II, Decree Ad gentes, no. 36, December 7, 1975)

  • The successors of the Apostles have the duty to establish the kingdom of God throughout the world

Divinely sent to the nations of the world to be unto them ‘a universal sacrament of salvation’ (Lumen Gentium 48), the Church, driven by the inner necessity of her own catholicity, and obeying the mandate of her Founder (cf. Mk 16:16), strives ever to proclaim the Gospel to all men. The Apostles themselves, on whom the Church was founded, following in the footsteps of Christ, ‘preached the word of truth and begot churches’ (St. Augustine, Exposition on Psalm 44:23). It is the duty of their successors to make this task endure’ so that the word of God may run and be glorified (2Thess 3:1) and the kingdom of God be proclaimed and established throughout the world. (Vatican Council II. Decree Ad gentes, no. 1, December 7, 1975)

  • All bishops are consecrated for the salvation of the entire world

All bishops, as members of the body of bishops succeeding to the College of Apostles, are consecrated not just for some one diocese, but for the salvation of the entire world. The mandate of Christ to preach the Gospel to every creature (Mk 16:15). (Vatican Council II, Decree Ad gentes, no. 38, December 7, 1975)

  • The growth of the Church was foretold by Christ: ‘And I will draw all things to myself’

The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ now present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world. This inauguration and this growth are both symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of a crucified Jesus (cf. Jn 19:34), and are foretold in the words of the Lord referring to His death on the Cross: ‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself’ (Jn 12:32). (Vatican Council II, Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 3, November 21, 1964)

  • All must be converted to Christ and be incorporated by baptism

This missionary activity derives its reason from the will of God, ‘who wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, Himself a man, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself as a ransom for all’ (1Tim 2:45), ‘neither is there salvation in any other’ (Acts 4:12). Therefore, all must be converted to Him, made known by the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body. […] Wherever God opens a door of speech for proclaiming the mystery of Christ (cf. Col. 4:3), there is announced to all men (cf. Mk 16:15; 1Cor 9:15; Rom 10:14) with confidence and constancy (cf. Acts 4:13, 29, 31; 9:27, 28; 13:46; 14:3; 19:8; 26:26; 28:31; 1Thess 2:2; 2Cor 3:12; 7:4; Phil 1:20; Eph 3:12; 6:19, 20) the living God, and He Whom He has sent for the salvation of all, Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Thess 1:9-10; 1Cor 1:18-21; Gal 1:31; Acts 14:15-17, 17:22-31), in order that non – Christians, when the Holy Spirit opens their heart (cf. Acts 16:14), may believe and be freely converted to the Lord, that they may cleave sincerely to Him Who, being the ‘way, the truth, and the life’ (Jn 14:6), fulfills all their spiritual expectations, and even infinitely surpasses them. (Vatican Council II. Decree Ad gentes, no. 7.13, December 7, 1965)

  • All men are called to belong to the Church

All men are called to belong to the new People of God. Wherefore this people, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and must exist in all ages, so that the decree of God’s will may be fulfilled. In the beginning God made human nature one and decreed that all His children, scattered as they were, would finally be gathered together as one (cf. Jn 11:52). It was for this purpose that God sent His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things (cf. Heb 1:2), that be might be teacher, king and priest of all, the head of the new and universal people of the sons of God. (Vatican Council II, Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 13, November 21, 1964)

  • The Church both prays and labors so that the entire world may become the People of God

By the proclamation of the Gospel she prepares her hearers to receive and profess the faith. She gives them the dispositions necessary for baptism, snatches them from the slavery of error and of idols and incorporates them in Christ so that through charity they may grow up into full maturity in Christ. […] In this way the Church both prays and labors in order that the entire world may become the People of God, the Body of the Lord and the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and that in Christ, the Head of all, all honor and glory may be rendered to the Creator and Father of the Universe. (Vatican Council II. Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 17, November 21, 1964)

  • Communicating divine life, the Church makes man and history more human

Pursuing the saving purpose which is proper to her, the Church does not only communicate divine life to men but in some way casts the reflected light of that life over the entire earth, most of all by its healing and elevating impact on the dignity of the person, by the way in which it strengthens the seams of human society and imbues the everyday activity of men with a deeper meaning and importance. Thus through her individual matters and her whole community, the Church believes she can contribute greatly toward making the family of man and its history more human. (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes, no. 40, December 7, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on the immortality of the soul

  • Recognizing a spiritual and immortal soul, one plunges into the depths of reality

Now, man is not wrong when he regards himself as superior to bodily concerns, and as more than a speck of nature or a nameless constituent of the city of man. For by his interior qualities he outstrips the whole sum of mere things. He plunges into the depths of reality whenever he enters into his own heart; God, Who probes the heart (cf. 1Kings 16:7; Jer 17:10), awaits him there; there he discerns his proper destiny beneath the eyes of God. Thus, when he recognizes in himself a spiritual and immortal soul, he is not being mocked by a fantasy born only of physical or social influences, but is rather laying hold of the proper truth of the matter. (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes, no. 14, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the role of non-christian religions

  • Whoever knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ refuses to enter or to remain in it, cannot be saved

This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3.5) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved. (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 14, November 21, 1964)

  • It is only through Christ’s Catholic Church that one can benefit fully from the means of salvation

For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is ‘the all-embracing means of salvation,’ that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God. (Vatican Council II, Decree Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 3, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on the laicity of the State

  • Christian revelation leads us to a deeper understanding of the laws of social life

One of the salient features of the modern world is the growing interdependence of men one on the other, a development promoted chiefly by modern technical advances. Nevertheless brotherly dialogue among men does not reach its perfection on the level of technical progress, but on the deeper level of interpersonal relationships. These demand a mutual respect for the full spiritual dignity of the person. Christian revelation contributes greatly to the promotion of this communion between persons, and at the same time leads us to a deeper understanding of the laws of social life which the Creator has written into man’s moral and spiritual nature. (Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 23, On the Church in the Modern World, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the multiplication of the loaves

  • The Magisterium must serve the Word of God

Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church. Holding fast to this deposit the entire holy people united with their shepherds remain always steadfast in the teaching of the Apostles, in the common life, in the breaking of the bread and in prayers (Acts 2, 42, Greek text), so that holding to, practicing and professing the heritage of the faith, it becomes on the part of the bishops and faithful a single common effort (cf. Pius XII, , ‘Munificentissimus Deus,’ Nov. 1, 1950; St. Cyprian, Letter 66, 8). But the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on (cf. Vatican Council I, Dz 1792 (3011)), has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church (cf. Pius XII, ‘Humani Generis’ Aug 12, 1950), whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed. It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God’s most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls. (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum, no. 10, November 18, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the formation of consciences

  • Christian faithful must form their consciences according to definite doctrine of the Church

In the formation of their consciences, the Christian faithful ought carefully to attend to the sacred and certain doctrine of the Church (cf. Pius XII, radio message, March 23, 1952). For the Church is, by the will of Christ, the teacher of the truth. It is her duty to give utterance to, and authoritatively to teach, that truth which is Christ Himself, and also to declare and confirm by her authority those principles of the moral order which have their origins in human nature itself (Vatican Council II, Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, no. 14, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on knowing God’s will from the people

  • Bishops are endowed with the authority of Christ to preach and ward off errors

For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old (cf. Mt. 13:52), making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock (cf. 2Tim 4:1-4). (Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, no. 25, November 21, 1964)

  • Priests must live among men, yet are forbidden to be conformed to this world

Their ministry itself, by a special title, forbids that they be conformed to this world (cf. Rom 12:2); yet at the same time it requires that they live in this world among men. They are to live as good shepherds that know their sheep, and they are to seek to lead those who are not of this sheepfold that they, too, may hear the voice of Christ, so that there might be one fold and one shepherd (cf. Jn 10:14-16). (Vatican Council II, Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis, no. 3, December 7, 1965)

  • God chose to reveal Himself; out of the abundance of His love he speaks to men as friends

In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will (Eph 1:9) by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature (Eph 2:18; 2Peter 1:4). Through this revelation, therefore, the invisible God (Col 1;15, 1Tim 1:17) out of the abundance of His love speaks to men as friends (Ex 33:11; John 15:14-15) and lives among them (Bar 3:38), so that He may invite and take them into fellowship with Himself. (Vatican Council II, Dei Verbum, no. 2, November 18, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the essence of divinity

  • The intimate union with God should be understood rightly in Christ

Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod gathered together in the Holy Spirit eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Gospel to every creature (Mk. 16:15) to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly visible on the countenance of the Church. Since the Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race, it desires now to unfold more fully to the faithful of the Church and to the whole world its own inner nature and universal mission. This it intends to do following faithfully the teaching of previous councils. The present-day conditions of the world add greater urgency to this work of the Church so that all men, joined more closely today by various social, technical and cultural ties, might also attain fuller unity in Christ. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium n.1, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on contemplative life

  • Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, many founded religious families which the Church gladly welcomed

Indeed from the very beginning of the Church men and women have set about following Christ with greater freedom and imitating Him more closely through the practice of the evangelical counsels, each in his own way leading a life dedicated to God. Many of them, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, lived as hermits or founded religious families, which the Church gladly welcomed and approved by her authority. So it is that in accordance with the Divine Plan a wonderful variety of religious communities has grown up which has made it easier for the Church not only to be equipped for every good work (cf. 2Tim 3:17) […] but also to appear adorned with the various gifts of her children like a spouse adorned for her husband (cf. Apoc. 21:2) and for the manifold Wisdom of God to be revealed through her (cf. Eph. 3:10). (Vatican Council II, Perfectae caritatis, no. 1, October 28, 1965)

  • Communities entirely dedicated to contemplation hold an honorable place in the Mystical Body of Christ

Communities which are entirely dedicated to contemplation, so that their members in solitude and silence, with constant prayer and penance willingly undertaken, occupy themselves with God alone, retain at all times, no matter how pressing the needs of the active apostolate may be, an honorable place in the Mystical Body of Christ, whose ‘members do not all have the same function’ (Rom. 12:4). For these offer to God a sacrifice of praise which is outstanding. Moreover the manifold results of their holiness lends luster to the people of God which is inspired by their example and which gains new members by their apostolate which is as effective as it is hidden. Thus they are revealed to be a glory of the Church and a well-spring of heavenly graces. (Vatican Council II, Perfectae caritatis, no. 7, October 28, 1965)

  • Great importance in the conversion of souls – the contemplative life

Institutes of the contemplative life, by their prayers, sufferings, and works of penance have a very great importance in the conversion of souls, because it is God who sends workers into His harvest when He is asked to do so (cf. Mt 9:38) God who opens the minds of non – Christians to hear the Gospel (cf. Acts 16:14), and God who fructifies the word of salvation in their hearts (cf. 1Cor. 3:7). (Vatican Council II, Ad gentes, no. 40, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea that no one is saved alone

  • Though part of the body of the Church, he is not saved who does not persevere in charity

This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved. They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. He is not saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a ‘bodily’ manner and not ‘in his heart’ (cf. St. Augustine Bapt. c. Donat. V, 28, 39; ib., III, 19, 26; V, 18, 24: col. 189; In Io. Tr. 61, 2). (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 14, November 21, 1964)

  • Salvation depends on fidelity to baptism and the fulfilment of the commandments

Bishops, as successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord, to whom was given all power in heaven and on earth, the mission to teach all nations and to preach the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain to salvation by faith, baptism and the fulfilment of the commandments (cf. Mt 28:18; Mk 16:15-16; Acts 26:17 ff). (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 24, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea that the Virgin Mary was capable to rebel against God

  • Mary cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior

Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin was on this earth the virgin Mother of the Redeemer, and above all others and in a singular way the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord. She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace. (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 61, November 21, 1964)

  • Perfect example: the most Blessed Virgin Mary, who was always intimately united with her Son and in an entirely unique way cooperated in the Savior’s work

The perfect example of this type of spiritual and apostolic life is the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, who while leading the life common to all here on earth, one filled with family concerns and labors, was always intimately united with her Son and in an entirely unique way cooperated in the work of the Savior. Having now been assumed into heaven, with her maternal charity she cares for these brothers of her Son who are still on their earthly pilgrimage and remain involved in dangers and difficulties until they are led into the happy fatherland. (cf. St. Pius X. Allocution to Association of French Catholic Youth on piety, knowledge and action, Sept. 25, 1904) (Vatican Council II. Decree Apostolicam actuositatem, no. 4, November 18, 1865)

  • Before the cross Mary lovingly consented to the immolation of the Victim

After this manner the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan (cf. Jn 19:25), grieving exceedingly with her only begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart with His sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth. (Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, no. 58, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on doing good

  • Sin is overcome only by the aid of God’s grace

Man achieves such dignity when, emancipating himself from all captivity to passion, he pursues his goal in a spontaneous choice of what is good, and procures for himself through effective and skilful action, apt helps to that end. Since man’s freedom has been damaged by sin, only by the aid of God’s grace can he bring such a relationship with God into full flower. Before the judgement seat of God each man must render an account of his own life, whether he has done good or evil. (Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 17)

  • When God is forgotten, the atheist himself is unintelligible

For without the Creator the creature would disappear. For their part, however, all believers of whatever religion always hear His revealing voice in the discourse of creatures. When God is forgotten, however, the creature itself grows unintelligible. (Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 36)

…judges Francis’ idea on eternal condemnation

  • At the end of the world, those who have done evil will come forth unto resurrection of judgment

We strive therefore to please God in all things (2Cor 5:9) and we put on the armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil and resist in the evil day (Eph 6:11-13). Since however we know not the day nor the hour, on Our Lord’s advice we must be constantly vigilant so that, having finished the course of our earthly life, (Heb 9:27) we may merit to enter into the marriage feast with Him and to be numbered among the blessed (Mt 25:31-46) and that we may not be ordered to go into eternal fire (Mt 25:41) like the wicked and slothful servant (Mt 25:26), into the exterior darkness where ‘there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth’(Mt 22:13; 25:30). For before we reign with Christ in glory, all of us will be made manifest ‘before the tribunal of Christ, so that each one may receive what he has won through the body, according to his works, whether good or evil’ (2Cor 5:10) and at the end of the world ‘they who have done good shall come forth unto resurrection of life; but those who have done evil unto resurrection of judgment’ (Jn 5:29; Mt 25:46). (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 48, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on the harmony among good and evil

  • The Apostles warned the faithful to hold fast to the traditions and to fight in defense of the faith handed on once and for all

And so the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved by an unending succession of preachers until the end of time. Therefore the Apostles, handing on what they themselves had received, warn the faithful to hold fast to the traditions which they have learned either by word of mouth or by letter (2Thes 2:15), and to fight in defense of the faith handed on once and for all (Jude 1:3). (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum, no. 9, November 18, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the evils in our times

  • A grave error: the separation between faith and life

This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age. Long since, the Prophets of the Old Testament fought vehemently against this scandal (cf. Is. 58: 1-12) and even more so did Jesus Christ Himself in the New Testament threaten it with grave punishments.   (cf. Mt 23:3-23; Mk 7: 10-13). (Denzinger-Hünermann 4343. Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 43, December 7, 1965)

  • The most urgent needs today are resolved in the light of the ideals of the Gospel

This council has set forth the dignity of the human person, and the work which men have been destined to undertake throughout the world both as individuals and as members of society. There are a number of particularly urgent needs characterizing the present age, needs which go to the roots of the human race. To a consideration of these in the light of the Gospel and of human experience, the council would now direct the attention of all. Of the many subjects arousing universal concern today, it may be helpful to concentrate on these: marriage and the family, human progress, life in its economic, social and political dimensions, the bonds between the family of nations, and peace. On each of these may there shine the radiant ideals proclaimed by Christ. By these ideals may Christians be led, and all mankind enlightened, as they search for answers to questions of such complexity. (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes, no. 46, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the impossibility of finding God with entire certainty

  • Sacred Scripture and Tradition guarantee the conservation of truth in the Church

Hence there exists a close connection and communication between Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For Sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, while sacred tradition takes the word of God entrusted by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and hands it on to their successors in its full purity, so that led by the light of the Spirit of truth, they may in proclaiming it preserve this word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known. Consequently it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence (cf. Vatican Council I, ‘On Revelation,’ Dz 1786). (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum, November 18, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on new customs among today’s youth

  • Inescapable obligation of forming young people according to true conjugal morals

Especially in the heart of their own families, young people should be aptly and seasonably instructed in the dignity, duty and work of married love. Trained thus in the cultivation of chastity, they will be able at a suitable age to enter a marriage of their own after an honorable courtship. (Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution, Gaudium et spes, no. 49)

…judges Francis’ idea on God

  • The Catholic Church is the only true religion revealed by God

First, the council professes its belief that God Himself has made known to mankind the way in which men are to serve Him, and thus be saved in Christ and come to blessedness. We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men. Thus He spoke to the Apostles: ‘Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined upon you’ (Mt 28: 19-20). On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it. (Vatican Council II, Dignitatis humanae, no. 1, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the liberty of conscience

  • It is the Church’s duty to preach the one true God

Therefore the Church announces the good tidings of salvation to those who do not believe, so that all men may know the true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, and may be converted from their ways, doing penance. To believers also the Church must ever preach faith and penance, she must prepare them for the sacraments, teach them to observe all that Christ has commanded , and invite them to all the works of charity, piety, and the apostolate. For all these works make it clear that Christ’s faithful, though not of this world, are to be the light of the world and to glorify the Father before men. (Vatican Council II. Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 9, December 4, 1963)

  • Christians are sufficient equipped to adjust their life to the Divine Law

The Christian man, conformed to the likeness of that Son Who is the firstborn of many brothers, receivesthe first-fruits of the Spirit’ (Rom. 8:23) by which he becomes capable of discharging the new law of love. (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes, no. 22, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the harmony of all christian faiths

  • The unity to which all men are called is in the teaching of the Apostles

All men are called to belong to the new people of God. Wherefore this people, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and must exist in all ages, so that the decree of God’s will may be fulfilled. In the beginning God made human nature one and decreed that all His children, scattered as they were, would finally be gathered together as one (cf. Jn 11:52). It was for this purpose that God sent His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things (cf. Heb 1:2), that he might be teacher, king and priest of all, the head of the new and universal people of the sons of God. For this too God sent the Spirit of His Son as Lord and Life-giver. He it is who brings together the whole Church and each and every one of those who believe, and who is the well-spring of their unity in the teaching of the apostles and in fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers (cf. Acts 2:42). (Vatican Council II, Dogatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on who decides what is good and evil

  • Duty of the Church to preach the one true God

Therefore the Church announces the good tidings of salvation to those who do not believe, so that all men may know the true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, and may be converted from their ways, doing penance. To believers also the Church must ever preach faith and penance, she must prepare them for the sacraments, teach them to observe all that Christ has commanded, and invite them to all the works of charity, piety, and the apostolate. For all these works make it clear that Christ’s faithful, though not of this world, are to be the light of the world and to glorify the Father before men. (Vatican Council II. Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 9, December 4, 1963)

…judges Francis’ relations with  ‘ordained’ women of the christian churches

  • Among the faithful, the Lord constitutes only some as ministers

The Lord Jesus, ‘whom the Father has sent into the world’ (Jn 10:36) has made his whole Mystical Body a sharer in the anointing of the Spirit with which he himself is anointed.  In him all the faithful are made a holy and royal priesthood; they offer spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ, and they proclaim the perfections of him who has called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. Therefore, there is no member who does not have a part in the mission of the whole Body; but each one ought to hallow Jesus in his heart, and in the spirit of prophecy bear witness to Jesus. The same Lord, however, has established ministers among his faithful to unite them together in one body in which, ‘not all the members have the same function’ (Rom 12:4). These ministers in the society of the faithful are able by the sacred power of orders to offer sacrifice and to forgive sins, and they perform their priestly office publicly for men in the name of Christ. Therefore, having sent the apostles just as he himself been sent by the Father, Christ, through the apostles themselves, made their successors, the bishops, sharers in his consecration and mission. The office of their ministry has been handed down, in a lesser degree indeed, to the priests. Established in the order of the priesthood they can be co-workers of the episcopal order for the proper fulfillment of the apostolic mission entrusted to priests by Christ.(9) The office of priests, since it is connected with the episcopal order, also, in its own degree, shares the authority by which Christ builds up, sanctifies and rules his Body. Wherefore the priesthood, while indeed it presupposes the sacraments of Christian initiation, is conferred by that special sacrament; through it priests, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are signed with a special character and are conformed to Christ the Priest in such a way that they can act in the person of Christ the Head. (Vatican Council II, Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis, no.2, December 7, 1965)

  • The Church: God’s only flock like a standard lifted high for the nations to see

In order to establish this His holy Church everywhere in the world till the end of time, Christ entrusted to the College of the Twelve the task of teaching, ruling and sanctifying. Among their number He selected Peter, and after his confession of faith determined that on him He would build His Church. Also to Peter He promised the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and after His profession of love, entrusted all His sheep to him to be confirmed in faith and shepherded in perfect unity. Christ Jesus Himself was forever to remain the chief cornerstone and shepherd of our souls. Jesus Christ, then, willed that the apostles and their successors – the bishops with Peter’s successor at their head – should preach the Gospel faithfully, administer the sacraments, and rule the Church in love. It is thus, under the action of the Holy Spirit, that Christ wills His people to increase, and He perfects His people’s fellowship in unity: in their confessing the one faith, celebrating divine worship in common, and keeping the fraternal harmony of the family of God. The Church, then, is God’s only flock; it is like a standard lifted high for the nations to see it: for it serves all mankind through the Gospel of peace as it makes its pilgrim way in hope toward the goal of the fatherland above. This is the sacred mystery of the unity of the Church, in Christ and through Christ, the Holy Spirit energizing its various functions. It is a mystery that finds its highest exemplar and source in the unity of the Persons of the Trinity: the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit, one God. (Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 2, November 21, 1964)

  • The separated brethren are not blessed with that unity which Christ wished to bestow on His Church

Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church – whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church – do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church. […] Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life – that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is ‘the all-embracing means of salvation,’ that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God. (Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 3, November 21, 1964)

  • Nothing is as foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism

The way and method in which the Catholic faith is expressed should never become an obstacle to dialogue with our brethren. It is, of course, essential that the doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety. Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism, in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss and its genuine and certain meaning is clouded. At the same time, the Catholic faith must be explained more profoundly and precisely, in such a way and in such terms as our separated brethren can also really understand. Moreover, in ecumenical dialogue, Catholic theologians standing fast by the teaching of the Church and investigating the divine mysteries with the separated brethren must proceed with love for the truth, with charity, and with humility. When comparing doctrines with one another, they should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists a ‘hierarchy’ of truths, since they vary in their relation to the fundamental Christian faith. (Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 11, November 21, 1964)

  • There are significant differences between these Churches and ecclesial Communities and the Catholic Church

It must however be admitted that in these Churches and ecclesial Communities there exist important differences from the Catholic Church, not only of a historical, sociological, psychological and cultural character, but especially in the interpretation of revealed truth. (Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 19, November 21, 1964)

  • The Catholic Church was made necessary for salvation by Christ

This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved. They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 14, November 21, 1964)

  • The one true religion subsists in the Catholic Church

First, the council professes its belief that God Himself has made known to mankind the way in which men are to serve Him, and thus be saved in Christ and come to blessedness. We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men. Thus He spoke to the Apostles: ‘Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined upon you’ (Mt 28: 19-20). On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it. This Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force. The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power. Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ. (Vatican Council II, Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, no. 1, December 7, 1965)

  • The purpose of missionary activity consists in attracting all people to the Church of Christ

‘Go into the whole world, preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who does not believe, shall be condemned’ (Mk 16:15ff.). Whence the duty that lies on the Church of spreading the faith and the salvation of Christ, not only in virtue of the express command which was inherited from the Apostles by the order of bishops, assisted by the priests, together with the successor of Peter and supreme shepherd of the Church, but also in virtue of that life which flows from Christ into His members; ‘From Him the whole body, being closely joined and knit together through every joint of the system, according to the functioning in due measure of each single part, derives its increase to the building up of itself in love’ (Eph. 4:16). The mission of the Church, therefore, is fulfilled by that activity which makes her, obeying the command of Christ and influenced by the grace and love of the Holy Spirit, fully present to all men or nations, in order that, by the example of her life and by her preaching, by the sacraments and other means of grace, she may lead them to the faith, the freedom and the peace of Christ; that thus there may lie open before them a firm and free road to full participation in the mystery of Christ. […] The proper purpose of this missionary activity is evangelization, and the planting of the Church among those peoples and groups where it has not yet taken root. Thus from the seed which is the word of God, particular autochthonous churches should be sufficiently established and should grow up all over the world, endowed with their own maturity and vital forces. Under a hierarchy of their own, together with the faithful people, and adequately fitted out with requisites for living a full Christian life, they should make their contribution to the good of the whole Church. […] Wherever God opens a door of speech for proclaiming the mystery of Christ (cf. Col. 4:3), there is announced to all men (cf. Mark 16:15; 1Cor. 9:15; Rom. 10:14) with confidence and constancy (cf. Acts 4:13, 29, 31; 9:27, 28; 13:46; 14:3; 19:8; 26:26; 28:31; 1Thess. 2:2; 2 Cor. 3:12; 7:4; Phil. 1:20; Eph. 3:12; 6:19, 20) the living God, and He Whom He has sent for the salvation of all, Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Thess. 1:9-10; 1 Cor. 1:18-21; Gal. 1:31; Acts 14:15-17, 17:22-31), in order that non – Christians, when the Holy Spirit opens their heart (cf. Acts 16:14), may believe and be freely converted to the Lord, that they may cleave sincerely to Him Who, being the ‘way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6), fulfills all their spiritual expectations, and even infinitely surpasses them. This conversion must be taken as an initial one, yet sufficient to make a man realize that he has been snatched away from sin and led into the mystery of God’s love, who called him to enter into a personal relationship with Him in Christ. (Vatican Council II, Decree Ad gentes, no. 5-6; 13, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on responsible parenthood

  • Couples who accept a large family merit special mention

Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and educating of children. […] Thus, trusting in divine Providence and refining the spirit of sacrifice, married Christians glorify the Creator and strive toward fulfillment in Christ when with a generous human and Christian sense of responsibility they acquit themselves of the duty to procreate. Among the couples who fulfil their God-given task in this way, those merit special mention who with a gallant heart and with wise and common deliberation, undertake to bring up suitably even a relatively large family. (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes, no. 50, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on the obedience of a Religious

  • Do the will of him who sent you and not your own will

Among the virtues that priests must possess for their sacred ministry none is so important as a frame of mind and soul whereby they are always ready to know and do the will of him who sent them and not their own will. The divine task that they are called by the Holy Spirit to fulfill surpasses all human wisdom and human ability. ‘God chooses the weak things of the world to confound the strong’ (1 Cor 1:27). (Vatican Council II, Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis, no. 15, December 7, 1965)

  • Accept and adhere to Bishops in matters of faith and morals

Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 25, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on all being saved

  • Those that refuse to enter the Church cannot be saved

This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk. 16:16; Jn. 3:5) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 14, November 21, 1964)

  • Constant vigilance is necessary so as not to be ordered to go into eternal fire

Since however we know not the day nor the hour, on Our Lord’s advice we must be constantly vigilant so that, having finished the course of our earthly life (cf. Heb 9:27), we may merit to enter into the marriage feast with Him and to be numbered among the blessed (Cf. Mt 25:31-46) and that we may not be ordered to go into eternal fire (Mt 25:41) like the wicked and slothful servant, (Cf. Mt 25:26) into the exterior darkness where ‘there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth’. (Mt 22:13 and 25:30) (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 48, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on the teaching of moral issues

  • Bishops are obliged to be authentic teachers of those committed to them

For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old (Mt 13:52), making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock (2Tim 4:1-4). (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 25, November 21, 1964)

  • By the will of Christ, the Church’s duty is to authoritatively teach the truth

For the Church is, by the will of Christ, the teacher of the truth. It is her duty to give utterance to, and authoritatively to teach, that truth which is Christ Himself, and also to declare and confirm by her authority those principles of the moral order which have their origins in human nature itself. (Vatican Council II, Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, no. 14, December 7,  1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on Catholic Education to the Youth

  •  Young people should be motivated to know and love God

This sacred synod likewise declares that children and young people have a right to be motivated to appraise moral values with a right conscience, to embrace them with a personal adherence, together with a deeper knowledge and love of God. Consequently it earnestly entreats all those who hold a position of public authority or who are in charge of education to see to it that youth is never deprived of this sacred right. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Gravissimum Educationis, no. 1, October 28, 1965)

  • Christian education promotes maturity of the human person while seeking to instill the gift of Faith

Since all Christians have become by rebirth of water and the Holy Spirit a new creature so that they should be called and should be children of God, they have a right to a Christian education. A Christian education does not merely strive for the maturing of a human person as just now described, but has as its principal purpose this goal: that the baptized, while they are gradually introduced the knowledge of the mystery of salvation, become ever more aware of the gift of Faith they have received, and that they learn in addition how to worship God the Father in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23) especially in liturgical action, and be conformed in their personal lives according to the new man created in justice and holiness of truth (Eph. 4:22-24); also that they develop into perfect manhood, to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ (cf. Eph. 4:13) and strive for the growth of the Mystical Body. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Gravissimum Educationis, no. 2, October 28, 1965)

  • Children should be taught the Catholic faith from their early years

It is particularly in the Christian family, enriched by the grace and office of the sacrament of matrimony, that children should be taught from their early years to have a knowledge of God according to the faith received in Baptism. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Gravissimum Educationis, no. 3, October 28, 1965)

  • The Church has the responsibility of announcing the way of salvation to all men 

In a special way, the duty of educating belongs to the Church, not merely because she must be recognized as a human society capable of educating, but especially because she has the responsibility of announcing the way of salvation to all men, of communicating the life of Christ to those who believe, and, in her unfailing solicitude, of assisting men to be able to come to the fullness of this life. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Gravissimum Educationis, no. 3, October 28, 1965)

  • The Church is obliged to give her children an education that imbues them with the spirit of Christ

The Church is bound as a mother to give to these children of hers an education by which their whole life can be imbued with the spirit of Christ and at the same time do all she can to promote for all peoples the complete perfection of the human person, the good of earthly society and the building of a world that is more human.  (Vatican Council II. Declaration Gravissimum Educationis, no. 3, October 28, 1965)

  • Grave responsibility of the Church to care for the moral and religious education of all her children

Feeling very keenly the weighty responsibility of diligently caring for the moral and religious education of all her children, the Church must be present with her own special affection and help for the great number who are being trained in schools that are not Catholic. This is possible by the witness of the lives of those who teach and direct them, by the apostolic action of their fellow-students, but especially by the ministry of priests and laymen who give them the doctrine of salvation in a way suited to their age and circumstances and provide spiritual aid in every way the times and conditions allow. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Gravissimum Educationis, no. 7, October 28, 1965)

  • The task of enlightening all the knowledge of students with the light of faith

The influence of the Church in the field of education is shown in a special manner by the Catholic school. No less than other schools does the Catholic school pursue cultural goals and the human formation of youth. But its proper function is […] order the whole of human culture to the news of salvation so that the knowledge the students gradually acquire of the world, life and man is illumined by faith. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Gravissimum Educationis, no. 8, October 28, 1965)

  • Education to promote the good of the earthly city and the spreading of the Kingdom

So indeed the Catholic school, while it is open, as it must be, to the situation of the contemporary world, leads its students to promote efficaciously the good of the earthly city and also prepares them for service in the spread of the Kingdom of God, so that by leading an exemplary apostolic life they become, as it were, a saving leaven in the human community. (Vatican Council II. Declaration Gravissimum Educationis, no. 8, October 28, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea that the Church should not be a Point of Reference

  • By the will of Christ, the Church is the master of truth

In the formation of their consciences, the Christian faithful ought carefully to attend to the sacred and certain doctrine of the Church. For the Church is, by the will of Christ, the teacher of the truth. It is her duty to give utterance to, and authoritatively to teach, that truth which is Christ Himself, and also to declare and confirm by her authority those principles of the moral order which have their origins in human nature itself. […] The disciple is bound by a grave obligation toward Christ, his Master, ever more fully to understand the truth received from Him, faithfully to proclaim it, and vigorously to defend it. (Vatican Council II, Declaration Dignitaries Humane, no. 14, December 7, 1965)

  • Bishops should ward off errors that threaten their flock

For Bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old (cf. Mt 13:52), making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock (2 Tim 4:1-4). (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, November 21, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Re-reading of the Gospel

  • The light of the Gospel should illuminate the Church’s action today

To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. (Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 4, December 7, 1965)

  • The mission of the Church is to teach the truth, of which it is the depository

In the formation of their consciences, the Christian faithful ought carefully to attend to the sacred and certain doctrine of the Church. (Pius XII, Radio message, March 23, 1952: AAS 44 (1952) pp. 270-278) For the Church is, by the will of Christ, the teacher of the truth. It is her duty to give utterance to, and authoritatively to teach, that truth which is Christ Himself, and also to declare and confirm by her authority those principles of the moral order which have their origins in human nature itself. (Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, no. 14, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on Ascetism and silence in the Spiritual Exercises

  • Souls who dedicate themselves to penance are the glory of the Church

Communities which are entirely dedicated to contemplation, so that their members in solitude and silence, with constant prayer and penance willingly undertaken, occupy themselves with God alone, retain at all times, no matter how pressing the needs of the active apostolate may be, an honorable place in the Mystical Body of Christ, whose ‘members do not all have the same function’ (Rom 12:4). For these offer to God a sacrifice of praise which is outstanding. Moreover the manifold results of their holiness lends luster to the people of God which is inspired by their example and which gains new members by their apostolate which is as effective as it is hidden. Thus they are revealed to be a glory of the Church and a well-spring of heavenly graces. (Vatican Council II, Decree Perfectae Caritatis, no. 7, October 28, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on proselytism

  • The duty of the Church and the faithful is to teach and fulfill all that Christ commands

Therefore the Church announces the good tidings of salvation to those who do not believe, so that all men may know the true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, and may be converted from their ways, doing penance (Jn 17:3; Lk 24:27; Acts 2:38). To believers also the Church must ever preach faith and penance, she must prepare them for the sacraments, teach them to observe all that Christ has commanded. (Mt 28:20), and invite them to all the works of charity, piety, and the apostolate. For all these works make it clear that Christ’s faithful, though not of this world, are to be the light of the world and to glorify the Father before men. (Vatican Council II, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 9, December 4, 1963)

…judges Francis’ idea of the Roman Curia

  •  The Apostles: origin of the Sacred Hierarchy

From the very beginning, the Lord Jesus ‘called to Himself those whom He wished; and He caused twelve of them to be with Him, and to be sent out preaching’ (Mk 3:13; cf. Matt. 10:1-42). Thus the Apostles were the first budding – forth of the New Israel, and at the same time the beginning of the sacred hierarchy. (Vatican Council II, Decree Ad Gentes, no.5, December 1, 1965)

  • Duties for the benefit of the entire Church

In exercising supreme, full, and immediate power in the universal Church, the Roman pontiff makes use of the departments of the Roman Curia which, therefore, perform their duties in his name and with his authority for the good of the churches and in the service of the sacred pastors. (Vatican Council II. Decree Christus Dominus, no. 9, October 28, 1965)

…judges Francis’ ideas on all being children of God

  • Baptism and the Church are Indispensable for Salvation

This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved. (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution of the Church: Lumen Gentium, n.14)

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