Questions and Answers

868. How does the Code of Canon Law define the Christian faithful? (CCC 871) The Code of Canon Law defines the Christian faithful as the baptised who are called, each according to his own state, to exercise the mission entrusted by God to the Church.
The “Code of Canon Law” is the collected laws of the Church.
869. By what is equality among Christians constituted? (CCC 872) Equality among Christians is constituted by Baptism.
870. By what are the differences between the members of the Church linked together? (CCC 873) The differences between the members of the Church are linked together by the unity of the Church’s mission.
871. What triple office has Christ entrusted to the apostles and their successors? (CCC 873) To the apostles and their successors Christ has entrusted the triple office of teaching, sanctifying and governing in His name and by His power.
872. In what office of Christ are the laity made to share? (CCC 873) The laity are made to share in the priestly, prophetical and kingly office of Christ.
873. What is a consecrated person? (CCC 873) A consecrated person is a Christian belonging to either the clergy or the laity who serves the Church by living the evangelical counsels.
The evangelical counsels” are expressed in the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
874. Why did Christ establish the hierarchical constitution of the Church? (CCC 874) Christ established the hierarchical constitution of the Church so that there might be men:
1. to shepherd the Church
2. to increase her numbers.
875. What is the “sacred power” of bishops and priests? (CCC 875) The “sacred power” of bishops and priests is their faculty to act in the person of Christ the Head.
Sacred power” is in Latin: sacra potéstas ; “in the person of Christ the Head” is in Latin: in persóna Christi Cápitis .
876. What triple character does the ecclesial ministry of bishops and priests have? (CCC 876-878) The ecclesial ministry of bishops and priests is :
1. a service (“ministry”)
2. collegial (“ecclesial”)
3. personal.
877. How does St Paul describe his ecclesial ministry in Rom 1:1? (CCC 876) In Rom 1:1 St Paul describes his ecclesial ministry as being a “slave of Jesus Christ”.
878. Wherein lies the “collegial character” of the ecclesial ministry? (CCC 877) The “collegial character” of the ecclesial ministry lies in the fact that every bishop exercises his ministry from within the episcopal college in communion with the pope.
879. What is the episcopal college? (CCC 880) The episcopal college is the permanent assembly of the bishops, at the head of which is the pope.
880. Whom did Christ make the rock of His Church? (CCC 881) Christ made St Peter the rock (= foundation) of His Church.
881. What office did Christ give to St Peter as well as to the college of the apostles? (CCC 881) Christ gave to St Peter as well as to the college of the apostles the office of binding and loosing.
In Mt 16 Christ says to St Peter: “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
882. To whom did Christ entrust the keys of His Church? (CCC 881) Christ entrusted the keys of His Church to St Peter.
883. What kind of power does the pope exercise over the Church? (CCC 882) The pope exercises a full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church.
884. How does the college of bishops exercise power over the Church? (CCC 883) The college of bishops exercises power over the Church in union with the pope, its head and has no authority otherwise.
885. When does the college of bishops solemnly exercise power over the Church? (CCC 884) The college of bishops solemnly exercises power over the Church in an ecumenical council.
There is never an ecumenical council which is not confirmed or at least recognized as such by the pope.
886. What is an ecclesiastical province? (CCC 887) An ecclesiastical province is a grouping of neighbouring dioceses that share the same culture.
Bigger ecclesiastical provinces are called patriarchates.
887. What is the first task of bishops with priests as co-workers? (CCC 888) The first task of bishops with priests as co-workers is to preach the Gospel to all men.
First” does not necessarily mean “the most important.
888. How does Christ confer on the Church a share in His infallibility? (CCC 889) Christ confers on the Church a share in His infallibility by a supernatural sense of Faith by which the believers as a whole unfailingly adhere to the Faith under the guidance of the Magisterium.
The sense of faith is in Latin: sénsus fídei .
889. What is the double mission of the Magisterium? (CCC 890) The double mission of the Magisterium is:
1. to preserve the faithful from deviations
2. to guarantee them the possibility of professing the true Faith.
890. What is the charism of infallibility? (CCC 891) The charism of infallibility is the competence of the supreme Magisterium to propose a doctrine for belief as being divinely revealed.
891. How far does the infallibility of the Magisterium extend? (CCC 891) The infallibility of the Magisterium extends:
1. as far as does the deposit of divine Revelation
2. to all doctrinal and moral elements, essential for preserving, explaining or observing the faith
3. to the specific precepts of the natural law.
This answer is explained in greater detail in CCC 2035.
892. In which two ways is the Magisterium of the Church exercised? (CCC 891-892) The Magisterium of the Church is exercised:
1. in the extraordinary Magisterium
2. in the ordinary Magisterium.
893. How is the extraordinary Magisterium exercised? (CCC 891) The extraordinary Magisterium is exercised when a doctrine pertaining to Faith and morals is proclaimed as definitive and infallible:
1. by the pope alone or
2. by the pope and an Ecumenical Council with him.
The pope makes infallible pronouncements when he speaks “ex cáthedra” (Latin: from the throne), i.e. with the full weight of his office.
894. How must the faithful accept a pronouncement of the extraordinary Magisterium? (CCC 891) The faithful must accept a pronouncement of the extraordinary Magisterium with the obedience of Faith.
895. How is the ordinary Magisterium exercised? (CCC 892) The ordinary Magisterium is exercised when the pope or the bishops in communion with him propose, without pronouncing in a definitive manner, a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of Faith and morals.
896. How must the faithful accept a pronouncement of the ordinary Magisterium? (CCC 892) The faithful must accept a pronouncement of the ordinary Magisterium with religious assent.
897. How do the bishops and priests sanctify the Church? (CCC 893) The bishops and priests sanctify the Church by:
1. offering the holy Eucharist
2. ministring the other sacraments
3. ministring the word
4. praying and working.
898. By what means do the bishops chiefly govern their dioceses? (CCC 894) The bishops chiefly govern their dioceses by means of their sacred power.
899. What are the three attributes of the bishops’ power? (CCC 895) The bishop’s power is:
1. proper: entrusted to the bishop personally
2. ordinary: associated with the episcopal office
3. immediate: not practised at the order of a superior but in the bishop’s own name.
The bishop exercises his authority in communion with the whole Church under the guidance of the Pope.
900. Who is the model and form of the bishop’s pastoral office? (CCC 896) The model and form of the bishop’s pastoral office is the Good Shepherd.
901. How should we follow the bishops according to St Ignatius of Antioch? (CCC 896) According to St Ignatius of Antioch (around AD 100) we should follow the bishops as Christ follows His Father.
902. How is the term ‘lay faithful’ understood in the CCC? (CCC 897) The term ‘lay faithful’ is understood in the CCC as all the baptised except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church.
903. What is the particular vocation of the lay faithful? (CCC 898-899) The particular vocation of the laity is to order according to Christ all temporal things with which they are associated.
This refers especially to the social, political and economical fields.
904. How can the lay faithful participate in Christ’s priestly office? (CCC 901) The lay faithful can participate in Christ’s priestly office by offering up their actions and prayers to the Father during Holy Mass.
905. How do parents in a special way share in Christ’s priestly office of sanctifying? (CCC 902) Parents share in a special way in Christ’s priestly office of sanctifying:
1. by leading a conjugal life in the Christian spirit
2. by seeing to the Christian education of their children.
906. To which two ministries can laymen be admitted permanently? (CCC 903) Laymen can be admitted permanently to the ministries of lector and acolyte.
907. For which clerical functions can lay persons in case of necessity supply? (CCC 903) In case of necessity lay people can supply for the following clerical functions:
1. to exercise the ministry of the word
2. to preside over liturgical prayers
3. to confer Baptism
4. to distribute Holy Communion.
The habitual use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion is not acceptable.
908. How do the lay faithful participate in Christ’s prophetic office? (CCC 904) The lay faithful participate in Christ’s prophetic office by teaching in order to lead others to Faith.
909. Where is it said that lay people have at times a duty to tell the bishop what they think? (CCC 907) The CIC can. 212 says that lay people have at times a duty to tell the bishop what they think regarding the good of the Church.
CIC is the Códex Iúris Canónici, the Code of Canon Law of the Church.
910. How do lay people participate in Christ’s kingly office according to St Ambrose? (CCC 908) According to St Ambrose (before AD 400), lay people participate in Christ’s kingly office by exercising a kind of royal power over themselves.
911. How can lay people co-operate in the governance of the Church? (CCC 911) Lay people can co-operate in the governance of the Church by participating at particular councils, synods, pastoral councils, in the pastoral care, finance committees, ecclesiastical tribunals (etc.).
912. Is the consecrated life part of the Church’s hierarchical structure? (CCC 914) No, the consecrated life is not part of the Church’s hierarchical structure.
913. How is consecrated life characterized? (CCC 915) Consecrated life is characterized by the profession of the three evangelical counsels within a permanent state of life recognized by the Church.
914. What are the three evangelical counsels? (CCC 915) The three evangelical counsels are:
1. celibacy
2. poverty
3. obedience.
915. What is a hermit? (CCC 920) A hermit is somebody who lives the evangelical counsels (celibacy, poverty, obedience), in solitude, silence, prayer and penance.
916. What is a consecrated virgin? (CCC 922) A consecrated virgin is a woman who, with the Church’s approval, lives in a state of virginity for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
917. What is a consecrated widow? (CCC 922) A consecrated widow is a woman who, with the Church’s approval, lives in a state of perpetual chastity for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
918. What is the Consecrátio Vírginum? (CCC 923) The Consecrátio Vírginum is a solemn rite by which virgins are consecrated to God by the diocesan bishop.
919. What is religious life? (CCC 925) Religious life is a form of consecrated life that is:
1. canonically erected by the Church within institutes
2. of liturgical character
3. publicly professing the evangelical counsels
4. established in communities
5. giving witness to the world.
920. What is a secular institute? (CCC 928) A secular institute is an institute of consecrated life whose members live in the world, striving for the perfection of charity and working for the sanctification of the world.
921. What is a society of apostolic life? (CCC 930) A society of apostolic life is a group whose members:
1. do not profess religious vows
2. pursue a particular apostolic purpose
3. lead a life as brothers or sisters in common
4. strive for perfection in charity.