ON THE APOSTOLATE OF THE LAITY
SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS,
POPE PAUL VI
ON NOVEMBER 18, 1965
1. To intensify the apostolic activity of the people of God,(1)
the most holy synod earnestly addresses itself to the laity, whose
proper and indispensable role in the mission of the Church has
already been dealt with in other documents.(2) The apostolate
of the laity derives from their Christian vocation and the Church
can never be without it. Sacred Scripture clearly shows how spontaneous
and fruitful such activity was at the very beginning of the Church
(cf. Acts 11:19-21; 18:26; Rom. 16:1-16; Phil. 4:3).
Our own times require of the laity no less zeal:
in fact, modern conditions demand that their apostolate be broadened
and intensified. With a constantly increasing population, continual
progress in science and technology, and closer interpersonal relationships,
the areas for the lay apostolate have been immensely widened particularly
in fields that have been for the most part open to the laity alone.
These factors have also occasioned new problems which demand their
expert attention and study. This apostolate becomes more imperative
in view of the fact that many areas of human life have become
increasingly autonomous. This is as it should be, but it sometimes
involves a degree of departure from the ethical and religious
order and a serious danger to Christian life. Besides, in many
places where priests are very few or, in some instances, deprived
of due freedom for priestly work, the Church could scarcely exist
and function without the activity of the laity.
An indication of this manifold and pressing need
is the unmistakable work being done today by the Holy Spirit in
making the laity ever more conscious of their own responsibility
and encouraging them to serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances.(3)
In this decree the Council seeks to describe the
nature, character, and diversity of the lay apostolate, to state
its basic principles, and to give pastoral directives for its
more effective exercise. All these should be regarded as norms
when the canon law, as it pertains to the lay apostolate, is revised.
THE VOCATION OF THE LAITY TO THE APOSTOLATE
2. 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,(1)
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.
In the Church there is a diversity of ministry but
a oneness of mission. Christ conferred on the Apostles and their
successors the duty of teaching, sanctifying, and ruling in His
name and power. But the laity likewise share in the priestly,
prophetic, and royal office of Christ and therefore have their
own share in the mission of the whole people of God in the Church
and in the world.(2)
They exercise the apostolate in fact by their activity
directed to the evangelization and sanctification of men and to
the penetrating and perfecting of the temporal order through the
spirit of the Gospel. In this way, their temporal activity openly
bears witness to Christ and promotes the salvation of men. Since
the laity, in accordance with their state of life, live in the
midst of the world and its concerns, they are called by God to
exercise their apostolate in the world like leaven, with the ardor
of the spirit of Christ.
3. The laity derive the right and duty to the apostolate
from their union with Christ the head; incorporated into Christ's
Mystical Body through Baptism and strengthened by the power of
the Holy Spirit through Confirmation, they are assigned to the
apostolate by the Lord Himself. They are consecrated for the royal
priesthood and the holy people (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-10) not only that
they may offer spiritual sacrifices in everything they do but
also that they may witness to Christ throughout the world. The
sacraments, however, especially the most holy Eucharist, communicate
and nourish that charity which is the soul of the entire apostolate.(3)
One engages in the apostolate through the faith,
hope, and charity which the Holy Spirit diffuses in the hearts
of all members of the Church. Indeed, by the precept of charity,
which is the Lord's greatest commandment, all the faithful are
impelled to promote the glory of God through the coming of His
kingdom and to obtain eternal life for all men-that they may know
the only true God and Him whom He sent, Jesus Christ (cf. John
17:3). 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.
For the exercise of this apostolate, the Holy Spirit
Who sanctifies the people of God through ministry and the sacraments
gives the faithful special gifts also (cf. 1 Cor. 12:7), "allotting
them to everyone according as He wills" (1 Cor. 12:11) in
order that individuals, administering grace to others just as
they have received it, may also be "good stewards of the
manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10), to build up the whole
body in charity (cf. Eph. 4:16). From the acceptance of these
charisms, including those which are more elementary, there arise
for each believer the right and duty to use them in the Church
and in the world for the good of men and the building up of the
Church, in the freedom of the Holy Spirit who "breathes where
He wills" (John 3:8). This should be done by the laity in
communion with their brothers in Christ, especially with their
pastors who must make a judgment about the true nature and proper
use of these gifts not to extinguish the Spirit but to test all
things and hold for what is good (cf. 1 Thess. 5:12,19,21).(4)
4. Since Christ, sent by the Father, is the source
and origin of the whole apostolate of the Church, the success
of the lay apostolate depends upon the laity's living union with
Christ, in keeping with the Lord's words, "He who abides
in me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without me you can
do nothing" (John 15:5). This life of intimate union with
Christ in the Church is nourished by spiritual aids which are
common to all the faithful, especially active participation in
the sacred liturgy.(5) These are to be used by the laity in such
a way that while correctly fulfilling their secular duties in
the ordinary conditions of life, they do not separate union with
Christ from their life but rather performing their work according
to God's will they grow in that union. In this way the laity must
make progress in holiness in a happy and ready spirit, trying
prudently and patiently to overcome difficulties.(6) Neither family
concerns nor other secular affairs should be irrelevant to their
spiritual life, in keeping with the words of the Apostle, "What-ever
you do in word or work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Col. 3:17).
Such a life requires a continual exercise of faith,
hope, and charity. Only by the light of faith and by meditation
on the word of God can one always and everywhere recognize God
in Whom "we live, and move, and have our being" ( Acts
17:28), seek His will in every event, see Christ in everyone whether
he be a relative or a stranger, and make correct judgments about
the true meaning and value of temporal things both in themselves
and in their relation to man's final goal.
They who have this faith live in the hope of the
revelation of the sons of God and keep in mind the cross and resurrection
of the Lord. In the pilgrimage of this life, hidden with Christ
in God and free from enslavement to wealth, they aspire to those
riches which remain forever and generously dedicate themselves
wholly to the advancement of the kingdom of God and to the reform
and improvement of the temporal order in a Christian spirit. Among
the trials of this life they find strength in hope, convinced
that "the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to
be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us"
Impelled by divine charity, they do good to all
men, especially to those of the household of the faith (cf. Gal.
6:10), laying aside "all malice and all deceit and pretense,
and envy, and all slander" (1 Peter 2:1), and thereby they
draw men to Christ. This charity of God, "which is poured
forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us"
(Rom. 5:5), enables the laity really to express the spirit of
the beatitudes in their lives. Following Jesus in His poverty,
they are neither depressed by the lack of temporal goods nor inflated
by their abundance; imitating Christ in His humility, they have
no obsession for empty honors (cf. Gal. 5:26) but seek to please
God rather than men, ever ready to leave all things for Christ's
sake (cf. Luke 14:26) and to suffer persecution for justice sake
(cf. Matt. 5:10), as they remember the words of the Lord, "If
anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take
up his cross and follow me" (Matt. 16:24) . Promoting Christian
friendship among themselves, they help one another in every need
This plan for the spiritual life of the laity should
take its particular character from their married or family state
or their single or widowed state, from their state of health,
and from their professional and social activity. They should not
cease to develop earnestly the qualities and talents bestowed
on them in accord with these conditions of life, and they should
make use of the gifts which they have received from the Holy Spirit.
Furthermore, the laity who have followed their vocation
and have become members of one of the associations or institutes
approved by the Church try faithfully to adopt the special characteristics
of the spiritual life which are proper to them as well. They should
also hold in high esteem professional skill, family and civic
spirit, and the virtues relating to social customs, namely, honesty,
justice, sincerity, kindness, and courage, without which no true
Christian life can exist.
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.(7)
All should devoutly venerate her and commend their life and apostolate
to her maternal care.
5. Christ's redemptive work, while essentially concerned
with the salvation of men, includes also the renewal of the whole
temporal order. Hence the mission of the Church is not only to
bring the message and grace of Christ to men but also to penetrate
and perfect the temporal order with the spirit of the Gospel.
In fulfilling this mission of the Church, the Christian laity
exercise their apostolate both in the Church and in the world,
in both the spiritual and the temporal orders. These orders, although
distinct, are so connected in the singular plan of God that He
Himself intends to raise up the whole world again in Christ and
to make it a new creation, initially on earth and completely on
the last day. In both orders the layman, being simultaneously
a believer and a citizen, should be continuously led by the same
6. The mission of the Church pertains to the salvation
of men, which is to be achieved by belief in Christ and by His
grace. The apostolate of the Church and of all its members is
primarily designed to manifest Christ's message by words and deeds
and to communicate His grace to the world. This is done mainly
through the ministry of the Word and the sacraments, entrusted
in a special way to the clergy, wherein the laity also have their
very important roles to fulfill if they are to be "fellow
workers for the truth" (3 John 8). It is especially on this
level that the apostolate of the laity and the pastoral ministry
are mutually complementary.
There are innumerable opportunities open to the laity for the
exercise of their apostolate of evangelization and sanctification.
The very testimony of their Christian life and good works done
in a supernatural spirit have the power to draw men to belief
and to God; for the Lord says, "Even so let your light shine
before men in order that they may see your good works and give
glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).
However, an apostolate of this kind does not consist
only in the witness of one's way of life; a true apostle looks
for opportunities to announce Christ by words addressed either
to non-believers with a view to leading them to faith, or to the
faithful with a view to instructing, strengthening, and encouraging
them to a more fervent life. "For the charity of Christ impels
us" (2 Cor. 5:14). The words of the Apostle should echo in
all hearts, "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel"
(1 Cor. 9:16).(1)
Since, in our own times, new problems are arising
and very serious errors are circulating which tend to undermine
the foundations of religion, the moral order, and human society
itself, this sacred synod earnestly exhorts laymen-each according
to his own gifts of intelligence and learning-to be more diligent
in doing what they can to explain, defend, and properly apply
Christian principles to the problems of our era in accordance
with the mind of the Church.
7. God's plan for the world is that men should work
together to renew and constantly perfect the temporal order.
All those things which make up the temporal order,
namely, the good things of life and the prosperity of the family,
culture, economic matters, the arts and professions, the laws
of the political community, international relations, and other
matters of this kind, as well as their development and progress,
not only aid in the attainment of man's ultimate goal but also
possess their own intrinsic value. This value has been established
in them by God, whether they are considered in themselves or as
parts of the whole temporal order. "God saw that all He had
made was very good" (Gen. 1:31). This natural goodness of
theirs takes on a special dignity as a result of their relation
to the human person, for whose service they were created. It has
pleased God to unite all things, both natural and supernatural,
in Christ Jesus "so that in all things He may have the first
place" (Col. 1:18). This destination, however, not only does
not deprive the temporal order of its independence, its proper
goals, laws, supports, and significance for human welfare but
rather perfects the temporal order in its own intrinsic strength
and worth and puts it on a level with man's whole vocation upon
In the course of history, the use of temporal things
has been marred by serious vices. Affected by original sin, men
have frequently fallen into many errors concerning the true God,
the nature of man, and the principles of the moral law. This has
led to the corruption of morals and human institutions and not
rarely to contempt for the human person himself. In our own time,
moreover, those who have trusted excessively in the progress of
the natural sciences and the technical arts have fallen into an
idolatry of temporal things and have become their slaves rather
than their masters.
The whole Church must work vigorously in order that
men may become capable of rectifying the distortion of the temporal
order and directing it to God through Christ. Pastors must clearly
state the principles concerning the purpose of creation and the
use of temporal things and must offer the moral and spiritual
aids by which the temporal order may be renewed in Christ.
The laity must take up the renewal of the temporal
order as their own special obligation. Led by the light of the
Gospel and the mind of the Church and motivated by Christian charity,
they must act directly and in a definite way in the temporal sphere.
As citizens they must cooperate with other citizens with their
own particular skill and on their own responsibility. Everywhere
and in all things they must seek the justice of God's kingdom.
The temporal order must be renewed in such a way that, without
detriment to its own proper laws, it may be brought into conformity
with the higher principles of the Christian life and adapted to
the shifting circumstances of time, place, and peoples. Preeminent
among the works of this type of apostolate is that of Christian
social action which the sacred synod desires to see extended to
the whole temporal sphere, including culture.(2)
8. While every exercise of the apostolate should be motivated
by charity, some works by their very nature can become specially
vivid expressions of this charity. Christ the Lord wanted these
works to be signs of His messianic mission (cf. Matt. 11:4-5).
The greatest commandment in the law is to love God
with one's whole heart and one's neighbor as oneself (cf. Matt.
22:37-40). Christ made this commandment of love of neighbor His
own and enriched it with a new meaning. For He wanted to equate
Himself with His brethren as the object of this love when He said,
"As long as you did it for one of these, the least of My
brethren, you did it for Me" (Matt. 25:40). Assuming human
nature, He bound the whole human race to Himself as a family through
a certain supernatural solidarity and established charity as the
mark of His disciples, saying, "By this will all men know
that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another"
ln her very early days, the holy Church added the
agape to the eucharistic supper and thus showed itself to be wholly
united around Christ by the bond of charity. So, too, in every
era it is recognized by this sign of love, and while it rejoices
in the undertakings of others, it claims works of charity as its
own inalienable duty and right. For this reason, pity for the
needy and the sick and works of charity and mutual aid intended
to relieve human needs of every kind are held in highest honor
by the Church.(3)
At the present time, with the development of more
rapid facilities for communication, with the barrier of distance
separating men greatly reduced, with the inhabitants of the entire
globe becoming one great family, these charitable activities and
works have become more urgent and universal. These charitable
enterprises can and should reach out to all persons and all needs.
Wherever there are people in need of food and drink, clothing,
housing, medicine, employment, education; wherever men lack the
facilities necessary for living a truly human life or are afflicted
with serious distress or illness or suffer exile or imprisonment,
there Christian charity should seek them out and find them, console
them with great solicitude, and help them with appropriate relief.
This obligation is imposed above all upon every prosperous nation
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,(5)
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.
Therefore, the laity should hold in high esteem
and, according to their ability, aid the works of charity and
projects for social assistance, whether public or private, including
international programs whereby effective help is given to needy
individuals and peoples. In so doing, they should cooperate with
all men of good will.(6)
THE VARIOUS FIELDS OF THE APOSTOLATE
9. The laity carry out their manifold apostolate
both in the Church and in the world. In both areas there are various
opportunities for apostolic activity. We wish to list here the
more important fields of action, namely, church communities, the
family, youth, the social milieu, and national and international
levels. Since in our times women have an ever more active shale
in the whole life of society, it is very important that they participate
more widely also in the various fields of the Church's apostolate.
10. As sharers in the role of Christ as priest,
prophet, and king, the laity have their work cut out for them
in the life and activity of the Church. Their activity is so necessary
within the Church communities that without it the apostolate of
the pastors is often unable to achieve its full effectiveness.
In the manner of the men and women who helped Paul in spreading
the Gospel (cf. Acts 18:18, 26; Rom. 16:3) the laity with the
right apostolic attitude supply what is lacking to their brethren
and refresh the spirit of pastors and of the rest of the faithful
(cf. 1 Cor. 16:17-18). Strengthened by active participation in
the liturgical life of their community, they are eager to do their
share of the apostolic works of that community. They bring to
the Church people who perhaps are far removed from it, earnestly
cooperate in presenting the word of God especially by means of
catechetical instruction, and offer their special skills to make
the care of souls and the administration of the temporalities
of the Church more efficient and effective.
The parish offers an obvious example of the apostolate
on the community level inasmuch as it brings together the many
human differences within its boundaries and merges them into the
universality of the Church.(1) The laity should accustom themselves
to working in the parish in union with their priests,(2) bringing
to the Church community their own and the world's problems as
well as questions concerning human salvation, all of which they
should examine and resolve by deliberating in common. As far as
possible the laity ought to provide helpful collaboration for
every apostolic and missionary undertaking sponsored by their
They should develop an ever-increasing appreciation
of their own diocese, of which the parish is a kind of cell, ever
ready at their pastor's invitation to participate in diocesan
projects. Indeed, to fulfill the needs of cities and rural areas,(3)
they should not limit their cooperation to the parochial or diocesan
boundaries but strive to extend it to interparochial, interdiocesan,
national, and international fields. This is constantly becoming
all the more necessary because the daily increase in mobility
of populations, reciprocal relationships, and means of communication
no longer allow any sector of society to remain closed in upon
itself. Thus they should be concerned about the needs of the people
of God dispersed throughout the world. They should especially
make missionary activity their own by giving material or even
personal assistance. It is a duty and honor for Christians to
return to God a part of the good things that they receive from
11. Since the Creator of all things has established conjugal society
as the beginning and basis of human society and, by His grace,
has made it a great mystery in Christ and the Church (cf. Eph.
5:32), the apostolate of married persons and families is of unique
importance for the Church and civil society.
Christian husbands and wives are cooperators in
grace and witnesses of faith for each other, their children, and
all others in their household. They are the first to communicate
the faith to their children and to educate them by word and example
for the Christian and apostolic life. They prudently help them
in the choice of their vocation and carefully promote any sacred
vocation which they may discern in them.
It has always been the duty of Christian married
partners but today it is the greatest part of their apostolate
to manifest and prove by their own way of life the indissolubility
and sacredness of the marriage bond, strenuously to affirm the
right and duty of parents and guardians to educate children in
a Christian manner, and to defend the dignity and lawful autonomy
of the family. They and the rest of the faithful, therefore, should
cooperate with men of good will to ensure the preservation of
these rights in civil legislation and to make sure that governments
give due attention to the needs of the family regarding housing,
the education of children, working conditions, social security,
and taxes; and that in policy decisions affecting migrants their
right to live together as a family should be safeguarded.(4)
This mission-to be the first and vital cell of society-the
family has received from God. It will fulfill this mission if
it appears as the domestic sanctuary of the Church by reason of
the mutual affection of its members and the prayer that they offer
to God in common, if the whole family makes itself a part of the
liturgical worship of the Church, and if it provides active hospitality
and promotes justice and other good works for the service of all
the brethren in need. Among the various activities of the family
apostolate may be enumerated the following: the adoption of abandoned
infants, hospitality to strangers, assistance in the operation
of schools, helpful advice and material assistance for adolescents,
help to engaged couples in preparing themselves better for marriage,
catechetical work, support of married couples and families involved
in material and moral crises, help for the aged not only by providing
them with the necessities of life but also by obtaining for them
a fair share of the benefits of an expanding economy.
At all times and places but particularly in areas
where the first seeds of the Gospel are being sown, or where the
Church is just beginning, or is involved in some serious difficulty,
Christian families can give effective testimony to Christ before
the world by remaining faithful to the Gospel and by providing
a model of Christian marriage through their whole way of life.(5)
To facilitate the attainment of the goals of their
apostolate, it can be useful for families to be brought together
12. Young persons exert very important influence
in modern society.(7) There has been a radical change in the circumstances
of their lives, their mental attitudes, and their relationships
with their own families. Frequently they move too quickly into
a new social and economic status. While their social and even
their political importance is growing from day to day, they seem
to be unable to cope adequately with their new responsibilities.
Their heightened influence in society demands of
them a proportionate apostolic activity, but their natural qualities
also fit them for this activity. As they become more conscious
of their own personalities, they are impelled by a zest for life
and a ready eagerness to assume their own responsibility, and
they yearn to play their part in social and cultural life. If
this zeal is imbued with the spirit of Christ and is inspired
by obedience and love for the Church, it can be expected to be
very fruitful. They should become the first to carry on the apostolate
directly to other young persons, concentrating their apostolic
efforts within their own circle, according to the needs of the
social environment in which they live.(8)
Adults ought to engage in such friendly discussion
with young people that both age groups, overcoming the age barrier,
may become better acquainted and share the special benefits each
generation can offer the other. Adults should stimulate young
persons first by good example to take part in the apostolate and,
if the opportunity presents itself, by offering them effective
advice and willing assistance. By the same token young people
should cultivate toward adults respect and trust, and although
they are naturally attracted to novelties, they should duly appreciate
13. The apostolate in the social milieu, that is,
the effort to infuse a Christian spirit into the mentality, customs,
laws, and structures of the community in which one lives, is so
much the duty and responsibility of the laity that it can never
be performed properly by others. In this area the laity can exercise
the apostolate of like toward like. It is here that they complement
the testimony of life with the testimony of the word.(9) It is
here where they work or practice their profession or study or
reside or spend their leisure time or have their companionship
that they are more capable of helping their brethren.
The laity fulfill this mission of the Church in
the world especially by conforming their lives to their faith
so that they become the light of the world as well as by practicing
honesty in all their dealings so that they attract all to the
love of the true and the good and finally to the Church and to
Christ. They fulfill their mission also by fraternal charity which
presses them to share in the living conditions, labors, sorrows,
and aspirations of their brethren with the result that the hearts
of all about them are quietly prepared for the workings of saving
grace. Another requisite for the accomplishment of their task
is a full consciousness of their role in building up society whereby
they strive to perform their domestic, social, and professional
duties with such Christian generosity that their manner of acting
should gradually penetrate the whole world of life and labor.
This apostolate should reach out to all wherever
they may be encountered; it should not exclude any spiritual or
temporal benefit which they have the ability to confer. True apostles
however, are not content with this activity alone but endeavor
to announce Christ to their neighbors by means of the spoken word
as well. For there are many persons who can hear the Gospel and
recognize Christ only through the laity who live near them.
Children also have their own apostolic work to do.
According to their ability they are true living witnesses of Christ
among their companions.
10. A vast field for the apostolate has opened up
on the national and international levels where the laity especially
assist with their Christian wisdom. In loyalty to their country
and in faithful fulfillment of their civic obligations, Catholics
should feel themselves obliged to promote the true common good.
Thus they should make the weight of their opinion felt in order
that the civil authority may act with justice and that legislation
may conform to moral precepts and the common good. Catholics skilled
in public affairs and adequately enlightened in faith and Christian
doctrine should not refuse to administer pubic affairs since by
doing this in a worthy manner they can both further the common
good and at the same time prepare the way for the Gospel.
Catholics should try to cooperate with all men and
women of good will to promote whatever is true, whatever just,
whatever holy, whatever lovable (cf. Phil. 4:8). They should hold
discussions with them, excel them in prudence and courtesy, and
initiate research on social and public practices which should
be improved in line with the spirit of the Gospel.
Among the signs of our times, the irresistibly increasing
sense of the solidarity of all peoples is especially noteworthy.
It is a function of the lay apostolate sedulously to promote this
awareness and to transform it into a sincere and genuine love
of brotherhood. Furthermore, the laity should be aware of the
international field and of the questions and solutions, doctrinal
as well as practical, which arise in this field, with special
reverence to developing nations.(10)
All who work in or give help to foreign nations
must remember that relations among peoples should be a genuine
fraternal exchange in which each party is at the same time a giver
and a receiver. Travelers, whether their interest is international
affairs, business, or leisure, should remember that they are itinerant
heralds of Christ wherever they go and should act accordingly.
THE VARIOUS FORMS OF THE APOSTOLATE
15. The laity can engage in their apostolic activity
either as individuals or together as members of various groups
16. The individual apostolate, flowing generously
from its source in a truly Christian life (cf. John 4:14), is
the origin and condition of the whole lay apostolate, even of
the organized type, and it admits of no substitute.
Regardless of status, all lay persons (including
those who have no opportunity or possibility for collaboration
in associations) are called to this type of apostolate and obliged
to engage in it. This type of apostolate is useful at all times
and places, but in certain circumstances it is the only one appropriate
There are many forms of the apostolate whereby the
laity build up the Church, sanctify the world, and give it life
in Christ. A particular form of the individual apostolate as well
as a sign specially suited to our times is the testimony of the
whole lay life arising from faith, hope, and charity. It manifests
Christ living in those who believe in Him. Then by the apostolate
the spoken and written word, which is utterly necessary under
certain circumstances, lay people announce Christ, explain and
spread His teaching in accordance with one's status and ability,
and faithfully profess it.
Furthermore, in collaborating as citizens of this
world, in whatever pertains to the upbuilding and conducting of
the temporal order, the laity must seek in the light of faith
loftier motives of action in their family, professional, cultural,
and social life and make them known to others when the occasion
arises. Doing this, they should be aware of the fact that they
are cooperating with God the creator, redeemer, and sanctifier
and are giving praise to Him.
Finally, the laity should vivify their life with
charity and express it as best they can in their works.
They should all remember that they can reach all
men and contribute to the salvation of the whole world by public
worship and prayer as well as by penance and voluntary acceptance
of the labors and hardships of life whereby they become like the
suffering Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 4:10; Col. 1:24).
17. There is a very urgent need for this individual
apostolate in those regions where the freedom of the Church is
seriously infringed. In these trying circumstances, the laity
do what they can to take the place of priests, risking their freedom
and sometimes their life to teach Christian doctrine to those
around them, training them in a religious way of life and a Catholic
way of thinking, leading them to receive the sacraments frequently
and developing in them piety, especially Eucharistic devotion.(1)
While the sacred synod heartily thanks God for continuing also
in our times to raise up lay persons of heroic fortitude in the
midst of persecutions, it embrace them with fatherly affection
The individual apostolate has a special field in
areas where Catholics are few in number and widely dispersed.
Here the laity who engage in the apostolate only as individuals,
whether for the reasons already mentioned or for special reasons
including those deriving also from their own professional activity,
usefully gather into smaller groups for serious conversation without
any more formal kind of establishment or organization, so that
an indication of the community of the Church is always apparent
to others as a true witness of love. In this way, by giving spiritual
help to one another through friendship and the communicating of
the benefit of their experience, they are trained to overcome
the disadvantages of excessively isolated life and activity and
to make their apostolate more productive.
18. The faithful are called to engage in the apostolate
as individuals in the varying circumstances of their life. They
should remember, nevertheless, that man is naturally social and
that it has pleased God to unite those who believe in Christ into
the people of God (cf. 1 Peter 2:5-10) and into one body (cf.
1 Cor. 12:12). The group apostolate of Christian believers then
happily corresponds to a human and Christian need and at the same
time signifies the communion and unity of the Church in Christ,
who said, "Where two or three are gathered together in my
name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:20).
For this reason the faithful should participate
in the apostolate by way of united effort.(2) They should be apostles
both in their family communities and in their parishes and dioceses,
which themselves express the community nature of the apostolate,
as well as in the informal groups which they decide to form among
The group apostolate is very important also because
the apostolate must often be performed by way of common activity
both the Church communities and the various spheres. For the associations
established for carrying on the apostolate in common sustain their
members, form them for the apostolate, and rightly organize and
regulate their apostolic work so that much better results can
be expected than if each member were to act on his own.
In the present circumstances, it is quite necessary
that, in the area of lay activity, the united and organized form
of the apostolate be strengthened. In fact, only the pooling of
resources is capable of fully achieving all the aims of the modern
apostolate and firmly protecting its interests.(3) Here it is
important that the apostolate encompass even the common attitudes
and social conditions of those for whom it is designed. Otherwise
those engaged in the apostolate are often unable to bear up under
the pressure of public opinion or of social institutions.
19. There is a great variety of associations in the apostolate.(4)
Some set before themselves the broad apostolic purpose of the
Church; others aim to evangelize and sanctify in a special way.
Some purpose to infuse a Christian spirit into the temporal order;
others bear witness to Christ in a special way through works of
mercy and charity.
Among these associations, those which promote and
encourage closer unity between the concrete life of the members
and their faith must be given primary consideration. Associations
are not ends unto themselves; rather they should serve the mission
of the Church to the world. Their apostolic dynamism depends on
their conformity with the goals of the Church as well as on the
Christian witness and evangelical spirit of every member and of
the whole association.
Now, in view of the progress of social institutions
and the the fast- moving pace of modern society, the global nature
of the Church's mission requires that apostolic enterprises of
Catholics should more and more develop organized forms in the
international sphere. Catholic international organizations will
more effectively achieve their purpose if the groups comprising
them, as well as their members, are more closely united to these
Maintaining the proper relationship to Church authorities,(5)
the laity have the right to found and control such associations(6)
and to join those already existing. Yet the dispersion of efforts
must be avoided. This happens when new associations and projects
are promoted without a sufficient reason, or if antiquated associations
or methods are retained beyond their period of usefulness. Nor
is it always fitting to transfer indiscriminately forms of the
apostolates that have been used in one nation to other nations.(7)
20. Many decades ago the laity in many nations began
to dedicate themselves increasingly to the apostolate. They grouped
themselves into various kinds of activities and societies which,
while maintaining a closer union with the hierarchy, pursued and
continue to pursue goals which are properly apostolic. Of these
associations, or even among similar and older institutions, those
are specially noteworthy which followed different methods of operation
and yet produced excellent results for Christ's kingdom. These
societies were deservedly recommended and promoted by the popes
and many bishops, from whom they received the title of "Catholic
Action," and were often described as the collaboration of
the laity in the apostolate of the hierarchy.(8)
Whether these forms of the apostolate have the name
of "Catholic Action" or some other title, they exercise
an apostolate of great value for our times and consist in the
combination and simultaneous possession of the following characteristics:
a) The immediate aim of organizations of this kind
is the Church's apostolic aim, that is, the evangelization and
sanctification of men and the formation of a Christian conscience
among them so that they can infuse the spirit of the Gospel into
various communities and departments of life.
b ) Cooperating with the hierarchy in their own
way, the laity contribute the benefit of their experience to,
and assume responsibility for the direction of these organizations,
the consideration of the conditions in which the pastoral activity
of the Church is to be conducted, and the elaboration and execution
of the plan of things to be done.
c) The laity act together in the manner of an organic
body so that the community of the Church is more fittingly symbolized
and the apostolate rendered more effective.
d) Whether they offer themselves spontaneously or
are invited to action and direct cooperation with the apostolate
of the hierarchy, the laity function under the higher direction
of the hierarchy itself, and the latter can sanction this cooperation
by an explicit mandate.
Organizations in which, in the opinion of the hierarchy,
the ensemble of these characteristics is realized, must be considered
to be Catholic Action even though they take on various forms and
titles because of the needs of different regions and peoples.
The most holy council earnestly recommends these
associations, which surely answer the needs of the apostolate
of the Church among many peoples and countries, and invites the
clergy and laity working in them to develop the above-mentioned
characteristics to an ever greater degree and to cooperate at
all times with all other forms of the apostolate in a fraternal
manner in the Church.
21. All associations of the apostolate must be given
due appreciation. Those, however, which the hierarchy have praised
or recommended as responsive to the needs of time and place, or
have ordered to be established as particularly urgent, must be
held in highest esteem by priests, Religious, and laity and promoted
according to each one's ability. Among these associations, moreover,
international associations or groups of Catholics must be specially
appreciated at the present time.
22. Deserving of special honor and commendation
in the Church are those lay people, single or married, who devote
themselves with professional experience, either permanently or
temporarily, to the service of associations and their activities.
There is a source of great joy for the Church in the fact that
there is a daily increase in the number of lay persons who offer
their personal service to apostolic associations and activities,
either within the limits of their own nation or in the international
field or especially in Catholic mission communities and in regions
where the Church has only recently been implanted.
The pastors of the Church should gladly and gratefully
welcome these lay persons and make sure that the demands of justice,
equity, and charity relative to their status be satisfied to the
fullest extent, particularly as regards proper support for them
and their families. They should also take care to provide for
these lay people the necessary formation, spiritual consolation,
23. Whether the lay apostolate is exercised by the
faithful as individuals or as members of organizations, it should
be incorporated into the apostolate of the whole Church according
to a right system of relationships. Indeed, union with those whom
the Holy Spirit has assigned to rule His Church (cf. Acts 20:28)
is an essential element of the Christian apostolate. No less necessary
is cooperation among various projects of the apostolate which
must be suitably directed by the hierarchy.
Indeed, the spirit of unity should be promoted in
order that fraternal charity may be resplendent in the whole apostolate
of the Church, common goals may be attained, and destructive rivalries
avoided. For this there is need for mutual esteem among all the
forms of the apostolate in the Church and, with due respect for
the particular character of each organization, proper coordination.(1)
This is most fitting since a particular activity in the Church
requires harmony and apostolic cooperation on the part of both
branches of the clergy, the Religious, and the laity.
24. The hierarchy should promote the apostolate of the laity,
provide it with spiritual principles and support, direct the conduct
of this apostolate to the common good of the Church, and attend
to the preservation of doctrine and order.
Indeed, the lay apostolate admits of different types
of relationships with the hierarchy in accordance with the various
forms and objects of this apostolate. For in the Church there
are many apostolic undertakings which are established by the free
choice of the laity and regulated by their prudent judgment. The
mission of the Church can be better accomplished in certain circumstances
by undertakings of this kind, and therefore they are frequently
praised or recommended by the hierarchy.(2) No project, however,
may claim the name "Catholic" unless it has obtained
the consent of the lawful Church authority.
Certain forms of the apostolate of the laity are
given explicit recognition by the hierarchy, though in various
Because of the demands of the common good of the
Church, moreover, ecclesiastical authority can select and promote
in a particular way some of the apostolic associations and projects
which have an immediately spiritual purpose, thereby assuming
in them a special responsibility. Thus, making various dispositions
of the apostolate according to circumstances, the hierarchy joins
some particular form of it more closely with its own apostolic
function. Yet the proper nature and distinctiveness of each apostolate
must be preserved, and the laity must not be deprived of the possibility
of acting on their own accord. In various Church documents this
procedure of the hierarchy is called a mandate.
Finally, the hierarchy entrusts to the laity certain
functions which are more closely connected with pastoral duties,
such as the teaching of Christian doctrine, certain liturgical
actions, and the care of souls. By virtue of this mission, the
laity are fully subject to higher ecclesiastical control in the
performance of this work.
As regards works and institutions in the temporal order, the role
of the ecclesiastical hierarchy is to teach and authentically
interpret the moral principles to be followed in temporal affairs.
Furthermore, they have the right to judge, after careful consideration
of all related matters and consultation with experts, whether
or not such works and institutions conform to moral principles
and the right to decide what is required for the protection and
promotion of values of the supernatural order.
25. Bishops, pastors of parishes, and other priests
of both branches of the clergy should keep in mind that the right
and duty to exercise this apostolate is common to all the faithful,
both clergy and laity, and that the laity also have their own
roles in building up the Church.(3) For this reason they should
work fraternally with the laity in and for the Church and take
special care of the lay persons in these apostolic works.(4)
Special care should be taken to select priests who
are capable of promoting particular forms of the apostolate of
the laity and are properly trained.(5) Those who are engaged in
this ministry represent the hierarchy in their pastoral activity
by virtue of the mission they receive from the hierarchy. Always
adhering faithfully to the spirit and teaching of the Church,
they should promote proper relations been laity and hierarchy.
They should devote themselves to nourishing the spiritual life
and an apostolic attitude in the Catholic societies entrusted
to them; they should contribute their wise counsel to the apostolic
activity of these associations and promote their undertakings.
Through continuous dialogue with the laity, these priests should
carefully investigate which forms make apostolic activity more
fruitful. They should promote the spirit of unity within the association
as well as between it and others.
Finally, in keeping with the spirit and norms of
their societies, Religious Brothers and Sisters should value the
apostolic works of the laity and willingly devote themselves to
promoting lay enterprises.(6) They should also strive to support,
uphold, and fulfill priestly functions.
26. In dioceses, insofar as possible, there should
be councils which assist the apostolic work of the Church either
in the field of evangelization and sanctification or in the charitable,
social, or other spheres, and here it is fitting that the clergy
and Religious should cooperate with the laity. While preserving
the proper character and autonomy of each organization, these
councils will be able to promote the mutual coordination of various
lay associations and enterprises.(7)
Councils of this type should be established as far
as possible also on the parochial, interparochial, and interdiocesan
level as well as in the national or international sphere.(8)
A special secretariat, moreover, should be established
at the Holy See for the service and promotion of the lay apostolate.
It can serve as a well-equipped center for communicating information
about the various apostolic programs of the laity, promoting research
into modern problems arising in this field, and assisting the
hierarchy and laity in their apostolic works with its advice.
The various movements and projects of the apostolate of the laity
throughout the world should also be represented in this secretariat,
and here clergy and Religious also are to cooperate with the laity.
27. The quasi-common heritage of the Gospel and
the common duty of Christian witness resulting from it recommend
and frequently require the cooperation of Catholics with other
Christians, on the part of individuals and communities within
the Church, either in activities or in associations, in the national
or international field.(9)
Likewise, common human values not infrequently call
for cooperation between Christians pursuing apostolic aims and
those who do not profess Christ's name but acknowledge these values.
By this dynamic and prudent cooperation,(10) which
is of special importance in temporal activities, the laity bear
witness to Christ, the Savior of the world, as well as to the
unity of the human family.
FORMATION FOR THE APOSTOLATE
28. The apostolate can attain its maximum effectiveness
only through a diversified and thorough formation. This is demanded
not only by the continuous spiritual and doctrinal progress of
the lay person himself but also by the accommodation of his activity
to circumstances varying according to the affairs, persons, and
duties involved. This formation for the apostolate should rest
upon those bases which have been stated and proclaimed by this
most holy council in other documents.(1) In addition to the formation
which is common for all Christians, many forms of the apostolate
demand also a specific and particular formation because of the
variety of persons and circumstances.
29. Since the laity share in their own way in the
mission of the Church, their apostolic formation is specially
characterized by the distinctively secular and particular quality
of the lay state and by its own form of the spiritual life.
The formation for the apostolate presupposes a certain human and
well-rounded formation adapted to the natural abilities and conditions
of each lay person. Well-informed about the modern world, the
lay person should be a member of his own community and adjusted
to its culture.
However, the lay person should learn especially
how to perform the mission of Christ and the Church by basing
his life on belief in the divine mystery of creation and redemption
and by being sensitive to the movement of the Holy Spirit who
gives life to the people of God and who urges all to love God
the Father as well as the world and men in Him. This formation
should be deemed the basis and condition for every successful
In addition to spiritual formation, a solid doctrinal
instruction in theology, ethics, and philosophy adjusted to differences
of age, status, and natural talents, is required. The importance
of general culture along with practical and technical formation
should also be kept in mind.
To cultivate good human relations, truly human values
must be fostered, especially the art of living fraternally and
cooperating with others and of striking up friendly conversation
Since formation for the apostolate cannot consist
in merely theoretical instruction, from the beginning of their
formation the laity should gradually and prudently learn how to
view, judge and do all things in the light of faith as well as
to develop and improve themselves along with others through doing,
thereby entering into active service to the Church.(2) This formation,
always in need of improvement because of the increasing maturity
of the human person and the proliferation of problems, requires
an ever deeper knowledge and planned activity. In the fulfillment
of all the demands of formation, the unity and integrity of the
human person must be kept in mind at all times so that his harmony
and balance may be safeguarded and enhanced.
In this way the lay person engages himself wholly
and actively in the reality of the temporal order and effectively
assumes his role in conducting the affairs of this order. At the
same time, as a living member and witness of the Church, he renders
the Church present and active in the midst of temporal affairs.(3)
30. The training for the apostolate should start
with the children's earliesteducation. In a special way, however,
adolescents and young persons should be initiated into the apostolate
and imbued with its spirit. This formation must be perfected throughout
their whole life in keeping with the demands of new responsibilities.
It is evident, therefore, that those who have the obligation to
provide a Christian education also have the duty of providing
formation for the apostolate.
In the family parents have the task of training
their children from childhood on to recognize God's love for all
men. By example especially they should teach them little by little
to be solicitous for the material and spiritual needs of their
neighbor. The whole family in its common life, then, should be
a sort of apprenticeship for the apostolate. Children must be
educated, too, in such fashion that transcending the family circle,
they may open their minds to both ecclesiastical and temporal
communities. They should be so involved in the local community
of the parish that they will acquire a consciousness of being
living and active members of the people of God. Priests should
focus their attention on the formation of the laity for the apostolate
in their catechetics, their ministry of the word, their direction
of souls, and in their other pastoral services.
Schools, colleges, and other Catholic educational
institutions also have the duty to develop a Catholic sense and
apostolic activity in young persons. If young people lack this
formation either because they do not attend these schools or because
of any other reason, all the more should parents, pastors of souls,
and apostolic organizations attend to it. Teachers and educators
on the other hand, who carry on a distinguished form of the apostolate
of the laity by their vocation and office, should be equipped
with that learning and pedagogical skill that are needed for imparting
such education effectively.
Likewise, lay groups and associations dedicated
to the apostolate or other supernatural goals, should carefully
and assiduously promote formation for the apostolate in keeping
with their purpose and condition.(4) Frequently these groups are
the ordinary vehicle for harmonious formation for the apostolate
inasmuch as they provide doctrinal, spiritual, and practical formation.
Their members meet in small groups with their associates or friends,
examine the methods and results of their apostolic activity, and
compare their daily way of life with the Gospel.
Formation of this type must be so organized that it takes into
account the whole lay apostolate, which must be carried on not
only among the organized groups themselves but also in all circumstances
throughout one's whole life, especially one's professional and
social life. Indeed, everyone should diligently prepare himself
for the apostolate, this preparation being the more urgent in
adulthood. For the advance of age brings with it a more open mind,
enabling each person to detect more readily the talents with which
God has enriched his soul and to exercise more effectively those
charisms which the Holy Spirit has bestowed on him for the good
of his brethren.
31. Various types of the apostolate demand also
a specially suitable formation.
a) In regard to the apostolate for evangelizing
and sanctifying men, the laity must be specially formed to engage
in conversation with others, believers, or non-believers, in order
to manifest Christ's message to all men.(5)
Since in our times, different forms of materialism
are spread far and wide evenamong Catholic, the laity should not
only learn doctrine more diligently, especially those main points
which are the subjects of controversy, but should also exhibit
the witness of an evangelical life in contrast to all forms of
b) In regard to the Christian renewal of the temporal
order, the laity should be instructed in the true meaning and
value of temporal things, both in themselves and in relation to
all the aims of the human person. They should be trained in the
right use of things and the organization of institutions, attentive
always to the common good in line with the principles of the moral
and social teaching of the Church. Laymen should above all learn
the principles and conclusions of the social doctrine so as to
become capable of working for the development of this doctrine
to the best of their ability and of rightly applying these same
principles and conclusions to individual cases.(6)
c) Since the works of charity and mercy express
the most striking testimony of the Christian life, apostolic formation
should lead also to the performance of these works so that the
faithful may learn from childhood on to have compassion for their
brethren and to be generous in helping those in need.(7)
32. There are many aids for lay persons devoted
to the apostolate, namely, study sessions, congresses, periods
of recollection, spiritual exercises, frequent meetings, conferences,
books, and periodicals directed toward the acquisition of a deeper
knowledge of sacred Scripture and Catholic doctrine, the nourishment.of
spiritual life, the discernment of world conditions, and the discovery
and development of suitable methods.(8)
These aids in formation take into consideration
the various types of the apostolate in the milieu where it is
For this purpose also centers or higher institutes
have been erected, and they have already proved highly successful.
The most holy council rejoices over projects of
this kind which are already flourishing in certain areas, and
it desires that they may be promoted also in other areas where
they may be needed. Furthermore, centers of documentation and
study not only in theology but also in anthropology, psychology,
sociology, and methodology should be established for all fields
of the apostolate for the better development of the natural capacities
of the laity-men and women, young persons and adults.
33. The most holy council, then, earnestly entreats
all the laity in the Lord to answer gladly, nobly, and promptly
the more urgent invitation of Christ in this hour and the impulse
of the Holy Spirit. Younger persons should feel that this call
has been directed to them especially and they should respond to
it eagerly and generously. Through this holy synod, the Lord renews
His invitation to all the laity to come closer to Him every day,
recognizing that what is His is also their own (Phil. 2:5), to
associate themselves with Him in His saving mission. Once again
He sends them into every town and place where He will come (cf.
Luke 10:1) so that they may show that they are co-workers in the
various forms and modes of the one apostolate of the Church, which
must be constantly adapted to the new needs of our times. Ever
productive as they should be in the work of the Lord, they know
that their labor in Him is not in vain (cf. 1 Cor. 15:58).
1. cf. John XXIII, apostolic constitution "Humani Salutis,"
Dec. 25, 1961: A.A.S. 54 (1962) pp. 7-10.
2. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature
of the Church, nos. 33 ff.: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 39 ff.; cf; also
Constitution on the Liturgy, nos. 26-40; A.A.S. 56 (1964) pp.
107- 111; cf. Decree on Instruments of Social Communication: A.A.S.
56 (1964) pp. 145-158; cf. Decree on Ecumenism: A.A.S. 57 (1965)
pp. 90-107; cf. Decree on Pastoral Duties of Bishops, nos. 16,
17, 18; cf. Declaration on Christian Education, nos. 3, 5, 7;
cf. Decree on Missionary Activity of Church, nos. 15, 21, 41;
cf. Decree on Priestly Life and Ministry, no. 9.
3. cf. Pius XII, allocution to cardinals, Feb. 18, 1946: A.A.S.
38 (1946) pp. 101-102; Idem., sermon to young Catholic workers,
Aug. 25, 1957: A.A.S. 49 (1957) p. 843.
Chapter 1 Article 2:
1. cf. Pius XI, encyclical "Rerum Ecclesiae:" A.A.S.
18 (1926) p. 65.
2. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature
of the Church, no. 31: A.A.S. 57 (1965) p. 37. Article 3:
3. cf. ibid., no. 33, p. 39; cf. also no. 10, ibid., p. 14.
4. cf. ibid., no. 12, p. 16. Article 4:
5. cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Liturgy, Chap.
1, no. 11: A.A.S. 56 (1964) pp. 102-103.
6. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature
of the Church, no. 32: A.A.S. 57 (1965) p. 38; cf. also nos. 40-41:
ibid., pp. 45-47.
7. ibid., no. 62, p. 63; cf. also no. 65. ibid., pp. 64-65. CHAPTER
II Article 6:
1. cf. Pius XI, encyclical "Ubi Arcano," Dec. 23, 1922:
A.A.S. 14 (1922) p. 659; Pius XII, encyclical "Summi Pontificatus,"
Oct. 20, 1939: A.A.S. 31 (1939) pp. 442-443. Article 7:
2. cf. Leo XIII, encyclical "Rerum Novarum:" A.A.S.
23 (1890-91) p. 47; Pius XI encyclical "Quadragesimo anno:"
A.A.S. 23 (1931) p 190; Pius XII, radio message of June 1, 1941:
A.A.S. 33 (1941) p. 207. Article 8:
3. cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra:" A.A.S.
53 (1961) p. 402.
4. cf. ibid., pp. 440-441.
5. cf. ibid., pp. 442-443.
6. cf. Pius XII, allocution to "Pax Romana" April 25,
1957: A.A.S. 49 (1957) pp. 298-299; and especially John XXIII,
"Ad Conventum Consilii" Food and Agriculture Organization
Nov. 10, 1959: A.A.S. 51 (1959) pp. 856-866.
Chapter III Article 10:
1. cf. St. Pius X, apostolic letter "Creationis Duarum Novarum
Paroeciarum" June 1, 1905: A.A.S. 38 (1905) pp. 65-67; Pius
XII, allocution to faithful of parish of St. Saba, Jan. 11, 1953:
Discourses and radio messages of His Holiness Pius XII, 14 (1952-53)
pp. 449- 454; John XXIII allocution to clergy and faithful of
suburbicarian diocese of Albano, "Ad Arcem Gandulfi Habita,"
Aug. 26, 1962: A.A.S. 54 (1962) pp. 656-660.
2. cf. Leo XIII, allocution Jan. 28, 1894: Acts, 14 (1894) pp.
3. cf. Pius XII, allocution to pastors, etc., Feb. 6, 1951: Discourses
and Radio Messages of His Holiness Pius XII, 12 (1950-51) pp.
437- 443; 852: ibid, 14 (1952-53) pp. 5-10; March 27, 1953: ibid.,
15 (1953-54) pp. 27-35; Feb. 28, 1954: ibid., pp. 585-590. Article
4. cf. Pius XI, encyclical "Casti Connubii:" A.A.S.
22 (1930) p. 554; Pius XII, Radio Messages, Jan. 1, 1941: A.A.S.
33 (1941) p. 203; idem., to delegates of the convention of the
members of the International Union to Protect the Rights of Families,
Sept. 20, 1949; A.A.S. 41 (1949) p. 552; idem., to heads of families
on pilgrimage from France to Rome, Sept. 18, 1951: A.A.S. 43 (1951)
p. 731, idem., Christmas Radio Message of 1952: A.A.S. 45 (1953)
p. 41; John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra" May
15, 1961: A.A.S. (1961) pp. 429, 439.
5. cf. Pius XII, encyclical "Evangelii Praecones," June
2, 1951: A.A.S. 43 (1951) p. 514.
6. cf. Pius XII, to delegates to the convention of members of
the International Union for the Defense of Family Rights, Sept.
20, 1949: A.A.S. 41 (1949) p. 552. Article 12:
7. cf. St. Pius X, allocution to Association of French Catholic
Youth on piety, knowledge and action, Sept. 25, 1904: A.A.S. 37
(1904- 05) pp. 296-300.
8. cf. Pius XII, letter "Dans Quelques Semaines" to
Archbishop of Montreal, Canada, to be relayed to the Assemblies
of Canadian Young Christian Workers, May 24, 1947: A.A.S. 39 (1947)
p. 257; radio message to Young Christian Workers, Brussels, Sept.
3, 1950: A.A.S. 42 (1950) pp. 640-641. Article 13:
9. cf. Pius XI, encyclical "Quadragesimo Anno," May
15, 1931: A.A.S. 23 (1931) pp. 225-226. Article 14:
10. cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra" May
15, 1961: A.A.S. 53 (1961) pp. 448-450.
Chapter IV Article 17:
1. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the first convention of laymen
representing all nations on the promotion of the apostolate, Oct.
15, 1951: A.A.S. 43 (1951) p. 788. Article 18:
2. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the first convention of laymen
representing all nations on the promotion of the apostolate Oct.
15, 1951: A.A.S. 43 (1951) pp. 787-788.
3. cf. Pius XII, encyclical "Le Pelerinage de Lourdes,"
July 2, 1957: A.A.S. 49 (1957) p. 615. Article 19:
4. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the assembly of the International
Federation of Catholic Men, Dec. 8, 1956: A.A.S. 49 (1957) pp.
5. cf. in Chap. 5, no. 24.
6. cf. Sacred Congregation of the Council, concerning the dissolution
of the Corrientes diocese in Argentina, Nov. 13, 1920: A.A.S.
13 (1921) p. 139.
7. cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Princeps Pastorum," Dec.
10, 1959: A.A.S. 51 (1959) p. 856. Article 20:
8. cf. Pius XI, letter "Quae Nobis" to Cardinal Bertram,
Nov. 13, 1928: A.A.S. 20 (1928) p. 385. cf. also Pius XII, allocution
to Italian Catholic Action, Sept. 4, 1940: A.A.S. 32 (1940) p.
Chapter V Article 23:
1. cf. Pius XI, encyclical "Quamvis Nostra," April 30,
1936: A.A.S., 28 (1936) pp. 160-161. Article 24:
2. cf. Sacred Congregation of the Council on the dissolution of
the diocese of Corrientes, Argentina, Nov. 13, 1920; A.A.S. 13
(1921) pp. 137-140. Article 25:
3. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the second convention of laymen
representing all nations on the promotion of the apostolate, Oct.
5 1957: A.A.S. 49 (1957) p. 927.
4. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature
of the Church, no. 37. A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 442-443.
5. cf. Pius XII, apostolic exhortation "Menti Nostrae,"
Sept. 23 1950: A.A.S. 42 (1950) p. 660.
6. cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Renovation of Religious
Life, no. 8. Article 26:
7. cf. Benedict XIV, On the Diocesan Synod, I, 3, Chap. 9, no.
8. cf. Pius XI, encyclical "Quamvis Nostra," April 30,
l936: A.A.S. 28 (1936) pp. 160-161. Article 27:
9. cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra," May
15, 1961: A.A.S. 53 (1961) pp. 456-457. cf. Second Vatican Council,
Decree on Ecumenism, no. 12: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 99-100.
10. cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree on Ecumenism, no. 12: A.A.S.
57 (1965) p. 100. Also cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature
of the Church, no. 15: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 19-20.
CHAPTER VI Article 28:
1. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature
of the Church, Chaps. 2, 4 and 5: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 12- 21,
37-49; also cf. Decree on Ecumenism, nos. 4, 6, 7 and 12: A.A.S.
57 (1965) pp. 94, 96, 97, 99, 100; cf. also above, no. 4. Article
2. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the first international Boy Scouts
congress, June 6, 1952: A.A.S. 44 (1952) pp. 579-580; John XXIII,
encyclical, "Mater et Magistra," May 15, 1961: A.A.S.
53 (1961) p. 456.
3. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature
of the Church, p. 33: A.A.S. 57 (1965) p. 39. Article. 30:
4. cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra," May
15, 1961: A.A.S. 53 (1961) p. 455. Article 31:
5. cf. Pius XII, encyclical "Sertum Laetitiae," Nov.
1, 1939: A.A.S. 31 (1939) pp. 653-654; cf. idem., to graduates
of Italian Catholic Action, May 24, 1953.
6. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the universal congress of the World
Federation of Young Catholic Women, April 18, 1952: A.A.S. 42
(1952) pp. 414-419. cf. idem., allocution to the Christian Association
of Italian Workers, May 1, 1955: A.A.S. 47 (1955) pp. 403-404.
7. cf. Pius XII, to delegates of the Assembly of Charity Associations,
April 27,1952: pp.470-471.
8 cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra," May
15 1961: A.A.S. 53 (1961) p. 454.