Chapter 8: The Holy Catholic Church INTRODUCTION TO CATHOLICISM
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) ANTICIPATORY SET Discussthe consequences of a racist ideology.
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) BASIC QUESTIONS What is the Church? What is the relationship between the Church and the Faith? Who created the Church? KEY IDEAS The Church is the regathering of the People of God by Christ and the instrument of his love and grace to the world. The Church proclaims fundamental religious and moral doctrines that must be believed and lived by her members. The Church was planned by God the Father, founded by God the Son, and revealed by God the Holy Spirit; hence, it is a work of the Blessed Trinity.
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) FOCUS QUESTION What did Christ give to the world so humanity can know the truth and how to live? Christ founded his Church and instituted his teaching authority in her Magisterium, which is animated and guided by the Holy Spirit to guarantee that the Church will always teach the truth regarding Faith and morals.
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) FOCUS QUESTIONS Why is the Church a who rather than a what? The Church is a who not a what because she is the assembly of people called and gathered by God to seek holiness. What is the mission of the Church? She is to be an instrument of God’s love and grace to the world. What is the threefold usage of the word church? The Church is (1) the people who assemble to celebrate the Eucharist; (2) the local community, which is the diocesan Church assembled around her bishop; and (3) the universal assembly of baptized believers.
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) GUIDED EXERCISE Complete a focused reading of the paragraph “As an essential part…” (p. 179) using the following question: What is the connection between the Jews and the Church?
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) GUIDED EXERCISE Free write for three minutes about which one of the fundamental articles of faith (pp. 180-181) you think is easiest to believe, and why. Spend another two minutes on which one is hardest to believe, and why.
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) FOCUS QUESTIONS What does it mean to say God the Father planned the Church? In the Old Testament, God prepared his people for the Church through successive covenants and by revealing the moral law. In the New Testament, the Father sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to regather his people―separated by Original Sin―in his Church. What is the essence of the teachings of Christ? Through repentance and the forgiveness of sins, anyone can possess eternal salvation and participate in the divine life.
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) FOCUS QUESTIONS During his earthly ministry, whom did Christ appoint to exercise his authority after his Ascension? He appointed the Twelve Apostles to exercise his authority in the Church. After Christ’s Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, what did the Apostles do? Led by St. Peter, the Apostles began to exercise their responsibilities as shepherds of the Church, leading the faithful in continuing Christ’s work.
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) FOCUS QUESTIONS What was Christ’s definitive work in the foundation of the Church? Christ’s definitive work was his Death on the Cross, whence the Church was born. How does the Holy Spirit reveal the Church? Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has given the Church the ability to exercise her public ministry in the world, witnessing to and converting men and women to Christ and bringing the Gospel to every nation.
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) FOCUS QUESTIONS Who are the Apostolic Fathers? They are Fathers of the Church who were disciples of the Apostles themselves and who wrote during the first century and beginning of the second century. Who are the Fathers of the Church? They are great Christian writers who taught and clarified the teachings of the Church from the first through the eighth centuries.
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) FOCUS QUESTION Why do the Fathers of the Church have exceptional doctrinal authority? First, the doctrine they produced is a witness of the Faith they received from the Church since her founding. Second, their unanimous agreement on a particular issue is a sure rule of faith, showing the true sense of the Church’s interpretation of Divine Revelation.
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) GUIDED EXERCISE Think/Pair/Share using the following question: What analogy can be made between the creation of Eve and the founding of the Church?
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Study Questions 1-4 (p. 198) Practical Exercises 3-4 (p. 199) Workbook Questions 1-9 Read “Mother and Teacher” through the sidebar “How a Pope Is Elected” (pp. 184-188)
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) CLOSURE Write a paragraph summarizing how the Church is the work of the Blessed Trinity.
1. The Church (pp. 178-183) ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Free write for five minutes about something you did not understand in this lesson.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) ANTICIPATORY SET Discuss the following question: What did Christ imply about St. Peter’s future role in the Church?
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) BASIC QUESTIONS What is the Magisterium? Of whom does the Magisterium consist? KEY IDEAS The Church teaches the Faith entrusted to her by Christ through her Magisterium, which is her divinely guaranteed and guided teaching authority. The Magisterium consists of St. Peter and his successors—the Popes, who have the fullness of Christ’s authority in the Church—and the Apostles and their successors, the bishops.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTION Why is Mother and Teacher an appropriate phrase to describe the Church? The Church both nurtures and instructs her faithful, which is what a mother does for her children and what a teacher does for his or her students.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS In what sense does the Church teach? The Church communicates the Deposit of Faith to the faithful and the world. What is the hierarchy of the Church? It is the visible structure of those men who have been entrusted to govern the Church. This hierarchy consisted originally of the Twelve Apostles, under St. Peter, their Head, and has continued to the present day in the bishops in union with the Pope.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS Who directs the Magisterium? The Holy Spirit directs the Magisterium. With respect to the Magisterium, what does the Holy Spirit guarantee? Through the Magisterium, the Church will always teach infallibly in matters of Faith and morals.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS How does history validate Christ’s guarantee that the Church will be free from error in matters of Faith and morals? Since Christ founded his Church, she has taught the same truths without change. No other institution can demonstrate this claim. Who comprises the Magisterium? The Magisterium is comprised of the bishops of the Church in union with the Pope.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS What teaching authority does the Magisterium possess? It possesses the authority of Christ himself. Who are the Doctors of the Church? These men and women have been given this title by the Church because their writings are especially important in explaining Christian doctrine.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is Apostolic Succession? Every bishop has received his authority from another bishop in a direct line of succession all the way back to the Twelve Apostles, who received their authority directly from Christ. How does St. Peter’s name indicate his authority? Christ gave Simon a new name, Peter, which means “rock,” and told him that he would build his Church on this rock. Who is the final authority in the community of believers? The successor of St. Peter, the Pope, is the final authority in the Church.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) GUIDED EXERCISE Complete a paragraph shrink of the Catechism, no. 553 (p. 185).
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS What parallel exists between the delegation of authority in the kingdoms of David and Christ? In the Kingdom of Israel, the king appointed a leader from among his twelve chief servants, to whom he gave the key to his kingdom with power to open and shut (cf. Is 22). In the Kingdom of Heaven―the New Israel―Christ appointed Twelve Apostles, made St. Peter their Head, and gave him the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven with the power to bind and loose (cf. Mt 16). What is the papacy? The papacy is the office that Christ gave to St. Peter and his successors.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the primacy of St. Peter? Primacy comes from the Latin for “first.” Christ gave St. Peter his authority as the Head of the Church and as his visible representative on earth. St. Peter’s successors, by virtue of the papal office, exercise this same primacy. In what sense is St. Peter the vicar of Christ? A vicar is one who stands in place of another. St. Peter possesses the authority of Christ the King over the Kingdom of God on earth.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the extent of the authority of the Pope? The Pope has full, supreme, and universal authority in the Church. What has remained constant about the papacy? The papacy has remained the Church’s highest moral and doctrinal authority. Disagreements and conflicts within the Church have been resolved and clarified by the Pope.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTION Has the exact role of the papacy always been the same? No. The role of the papacy has evolved through the centuries as the political and social circumstances surrounding the Church have changed. Extension: Since the reign of St. Peter himself, the Pope has possessed full, supreme, and universal authority within the Church, but not every generation has understood this truth as fully as we do today (development of doctrine). Likewise, not every Pope has exercised his authority fully due to external political and religious factors. Such factors, however, while impairing the exercise of full papal authority, in no way detract from the Pope’s right to teach, sanctify, and govern the whole Church.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is infallibility? Infallibility is freedom from error. Who possesses the gift of infallibility? The Pope and the bishops united to him possess this infallibility as a gift from God. In what matters does the Magisterium possess infallibility? The Magisterium possesses infallibility in matters of Faith and morals.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTION Why have doctrines of Faith and morals developed over time? The Church’s study and discernment can lead to deeper understandings of revealed truths, and the challenge to apply the Deposit of Faith to new situations can lead to the development of doctrine. Extension: Though the Church’s doctrines may develop over time, it is important to note that these doctrines never change with regard to the revealed truths they illuminate. The Pope is infallible when he speaks ex cathedra, i.e., when he exercises his “supreme apostolic authority” and teaches on matters of Faith and morals as the successor of St. Peter, the “the shepherd and teacher of all Christians.” The Pope’s infallibility is a charism from God, which keeps the Church free from error in matters of Faith and morals. The Magisterium also teaches infallibly when the bishops, united to the Pope, agree regarding a specific point of doctrine of Faith and morals. The authority of the Magisterium is most fully expressed in an Ecumenical Council, the infallible teachings of which must be submitted to by the faithful.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS In what sense is a bishop both a visible foundation and source of unity? Each bishop fulfills both functions in his own diocese, where he is the chief pastor. What is an Ecumenical Council? It is an assembly of bishops from around the world, convened and headed by the Pope, to define matters of doctrine, regulations, or discipline in the Church.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) GUIDED EXERCISE Mini-lecture on how historical circumstances can call on the Church to develop her teachings.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS What was the first Ecumenical Council? The first Ecumenical Council was the First Ecumenical Council of Nicæa (AD 325). What was the most recent Ecumenical Council? The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican was held in Vatican City from 1962 to 1965. It was the second Ecumenical Council to be held there and is, therefore, commonly referred to as the Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is a conclave? A conclave is a papal election. Extension: The word “conclave” is taken from the Latin “cum clave” (“with key”) because the cardinal-electors are locked in the Sistine Chapel, away from outside influences. Where do papal elections occur? They are held in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the significance of smoke in a conclave? It is the way the electors communicate the progress of a papal election to the outside world. Black smoke means a ballot was taken but no Pope was elected, i.e., no one person obtained the votes of two-thirds of the college of cardinals, whereas white smoke indicates a Pope has been elected. Must the person elected be installed as Pope? No. He may refuse the papacy.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) FOCUS QUESTIONS What does “HabemusPapam” mean? In Latin, “we have a Pope,” and this proclamation indicates a Pope has been elected and has accepted the papacy. What is Urbi et Orbi? It is a new Pope’s blessing to the city of Rome (in Latin, Urbi) and to the world (in Latin, orbi). Extension: When capitalized, the word “city,” refers to “the City,” which from 500 BC to AD 400 meant “Rome” to anyone anywhere in Europe, the Near East, or North Africa. Despite the fall of the Roman Empire, Rome is still often referred to as “the City” and, also frequently, “the Eternal City.”
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Study Questions 5-10 (p. 198) Practical Exercises 1-2, 7 (p. 199) Workbook Questions 10-20 Read “Church as Mystery” through “Conclusion” (pp. 189-194)
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) CLOSURE Write a paragraph summarizing the nature, protection, and purpose of the Church’s Magisterium.
2. The Magisterium (pp. 184-188) ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Using a list of Popes (online or in The History of the Church, pp. 790-791), work with a partner to select a Pope neither of you know and then research his life and contributions to the Church.
3. The Mystery of the Church (pp. 189-194) ANTICIPATORY SET Incorporate St. Paul’s teaching about the relationship between Christian husbands and wives (cf. Eph5:21–33) into the opening prayer, and then free write about what St. Paul taught about the Church.
3. The Mystery of the Church (pp. 189-194) BASIC QUESTIONS How is the Church a mystery? Is the Church necessary for salvation? What are the Precepts of the Church? What are the Marks of the Church? KEY IDEAS The Church is spiritual and holy, but she also includes a visible dimension comprised of sinful members. The Church is a mystery that exceeds human understanding, and she can be imaged in many ways. The Church is necessary for salvation and has both a right and duty to spread the Faith. The Precepts of the Church foster the wellbeing of her members. The Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
3. The Mystery of the Church (pp. 189-194) FOCUS QUESTIONS According to the Catechism, no. 771, for what two reasons is the Church a mystery? The Church is (1) both sinful and holy―sinful because of her sinful members and holy because of her divine members; and (2) both visible and invisible―visible in her human members and material structures and invisible in her spiritual dimensions. In the Church, what is the relationship between structure and love? As a visible institution, the Church must be rooted in love, which her structure helps build up and maintain. What do all the models of the Church presented in the text have in common? Each model has a visible, or human, element and an invisible, or spiritual, element.
3. The Mystery of the Church (pp. 189-194) FOCUS QUESTIONS In what sense is the Church the Sacrament of Salvation? A Sacrament is a visible and efficacious sign of grace instituted by Christ. The Church is a visible institution, founded by Christ, which dispenses his graces to his people. What does it mean to say, “Outside the Church there is no salvation”? God the Father has established that all salvation comes through God the Son in God the Holy Spirit. Christ established the Church with himself as the Head, and the Holy Spirit guides and gives life to the same Church, which is Christ’s Body. While all men and women of good will can be saved, their salvation is made possible through the graces won by Christ through his Death and Resurrection and made available to the world through his Church.
3. The Mystery of the Church (pp. 189-194) FOCUS QUESTIONS Can Christians who are not in full communion with the Church be saved? Yes. They are united, although not perfectly, to the Catholic Church through Baptism. What is the situation of people who, through no fault of their own, will never know Christ or his Church? Such persons, if they seek the truth and do the will of God as they discern it, can be saved by God’s grace. They would have desired Baptism had they known of its necessity.
3. The Mystery of the Church (pp. 189-194) FOCUS QUESTIONS In what sense is the Church a communion? The Church is a sign of communion between people and God and of unity among believers. In what sense is the Church the People of God? The Church is the assembly of the people God has called into communion with himself. Extension: The Greek ekklesia, meaning “church,” refers to those called together; the Greek kyriake, from which is derived the English word church, refers to that which belongs to the Lord.
3. The Mystery of the Church (pp. 189-194) FOCUS QUESTIONS In what sense is the Church the Mystical Body of Christ? We as members of the Church are united by the Holy Spirit to Christ our Head in one Body. In what sense is each Christian, as an individual member of the Mystical Body of Christ, like a part of the human body? As each part of the body has its own proper function, which cannot be performed well without the proper functioning of the other parts of the body, so too each individual member of the Church has his or her unique vocation in the life of the Church and is helped or hindered by the good or evil deeds of other members.
3. The Mystery of the Church (pp. 189-194) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the role of the Eucharist in the Mystical Body of Christ? Those members of the Church who receive the Eucharist worthily are united to each other and Christ, our Head. In what sense is the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Church like that between a person’s soul and body? The human soul gives life to, unifies, and animates its human body. The Holy Spirit does the same for the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ.
3. The Mystery of the Church (pp. 189-194) FOCUS QUESTIONS In what sense is the Church the bride of Christ? Christ’s relationship with the Church is like a groom to his bride. Christ is the lover, and his Mystical Body (the faithful) is his beloved who returns his love. Christ and his Church are bound together in a great communion of love. Why is the Church referred to as she rather than it? The Church is referred to as she because she is the Bride of Christ.
3. The Mystery of the Church (pp. 189-194) FOCUS QUESTIONS In what sense is the Church the Family of God? Christ, the unique and Only-Begotten Son of God, has made those persons united to him in Baptism his adopted brothers and sisters, who are thus children of God the Father by adoption. In what sense is the Church one of priests, prophets, and kings? Those persons who are united to Christ in Baptism share in his priestly, prophetic, and kingly offices. Every member of the Church is thus called to witness to the truth of Christ, offer spiritual sacrifices, and serve those in need.