Creeds

The Scutum Fidei, a diagram frequently used by...THE APOSTLE’S CREED handed down from the Apostles themselves.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE NICENE CREED (more properly called the Nicene-Constantinople Creed), from the Council of Constantinople in 381

I believe in one God the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only-begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through Him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
He came down from heaven.

(At the following words, up to and including “and became man”, all bow)
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
He suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets;
I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

THE ATHANASIAN CREED (late fourth century) attributed to St. Athanasius (296-373)

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith, except a man keep whole and integral, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. Now the Catholic Faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal. For such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, the Holy Ghost uncreate; the Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet, there are not three eternals, but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated, nor three incomprehensibles; but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet there are not three Almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet there are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise, the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Ghost is Lord. And yet there are not three Lords, but one Lord. For, as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord; so we are forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there be three Gods or three Lords. The Father is made by none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father, not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before or after the other. None is greater or less than another, but the whole three Persons are co-equal and co-eternal together. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity. Furthermore it is necessary unto eternal salvation that he believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ is God and man. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the world; and Man of the substance of His Mother, born into the world. Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Godhead as touching His Manhood. Who, although He be God, and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven; He sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their works. And they that have done good shall go into everlasting life, and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This, then, is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.

THE CREED OF POPE PIUS IV

The “Professio fidei Tridentina”, also known as the “Creed of Pope Pius IV”, is one of the four authoritative Creeds of the Catholic Church. It was issued on November 13, 1565 by Pope Pius IV in his bull “Iniunctum nobis” under the auspices of the Council of Trent (1545 – 1563). It was subsequently modified slightly after the First Vatican Council (1869 – 1870) to bring it inline with the dogmatic definitions of the Council. The major intent of the Creed was to clearly define the Catholic faith against Protestantism. At one time it was used by Theologians as an oath of loyalty to the Church and to reconcile converts to the Church, but it is rarely used these days.
Ego N. firma fide credo et profiteor omnia et singula, quae continentur in Symbolo, quo Sancta Romana ecclesia utitur, videlicet: I, N, with a firm faith believe and profess each and everything which is contained in the Creed which the Holy Roman Church maketh use of. To wit:
Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium. Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri; per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est, et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas, et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuius regni non erit finis. Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen. I believe in one God, The Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God. Begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And became incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary: and was made man. He was also crucified for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And on the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, and who spoke through the prophets. And one holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I await the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Apostolicas et Ecclesiasticas traditiones reliquasque eiusdem ecclesiae observationes et constitutiones firmissime admitto et amplector. The Apostolic and Ecclesiastical traditions and all other observances and constitutions of that same Church I firmly admit to and embrace.
Item sacram Scripturam iuxta eum sensum1, quem tenuit et tenet sancta Mater Ecclesia, cuius est iudicare de vero sensu et interpretatione sacrarum Scripturarum, admitto; nec eam umquam nisi iuxta unanimem consensum Patrum, accipiam et interpretabor. I also accept the Holy Scripture according to that sense which holy mother the Church hath held, and doth hold, and to whom it belongeth to judge the true sense and interpretations of the Scriptures. Neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.
Profiteor quoque septem esse vere et proprie Sacramenta novae legis a Iesu Christo Domino nostro instituta, atque ad salutem humani generis, licet non omnia singulis, necessaria: scilicet Baptismum, Confirmationem, Eucharistiam, Paenitentiam, Extremam Unctionem, Ordinem et Matrimonium; illaque gratiam conferre; et ex his Baptismum, Confirmationem et Ordinem sine sacrilegio reiterari non posse. Receptos quoque et approbatos Ecclesiae catholicae ritus in supradictorum omnium Sacramentorum solemni administratione recipio et admitto. I also profess that there are truly and properly Seven Sacraments of the New Law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and necessary for the salvation of mankind, though not all are necessary for everyone; to wit, Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony; and that they confer grace; and that of these, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders cannot be repeated without sacrilege. I also receive and admit the accepted and approved ceremonies of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of the aforesaid sacraments.
Omnia et singula, quae de peccato originali et de iustificatione in sacrosancta Tridentina Synodo definita et declarata fuerunt, amplector et recipio. I embrace and accept each and everything which has been defined and declared in the holy Council of Trent concerning original sin and justification.
Profiteor pariter, in Missa offerri Deo verum, proprium et propitiatorium sacrificium pro vivis et defunctis. Atque in sanctissimo Eucharistiae Sacramento esse vere, realiter et substantialiter Corpus et Sanguinem, una cum anima et divinitate Domini nostri Iesu Christi, fierique conversionem totius substantiae panis in Corpus ac totius substantiae vini in Sanguinem, quam conversionem Ecclesia catholica transubstantiationem appellat. Fateor etiam sub altera tantum specie totum atque integrum Christum verumque Sacramentum sumi. I profess, likewise, that in the Mass there is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist there is truly, really, and substantially, the Body and Blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that a conversion takes place of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood, which conversion the Catholic Church calls Transubstantiation. I also confess that under either species alone Christ is received whole and entire, and a true sacrament.
Constanter teneo, Purgatorium esse, animasque ibi detentas fidelium suffragiis iuvari. Similiter et Sanctos, una cum Christo regnantes, venerandos atque invocandos esse, eosque orationes Deo pro nobis offerre, atque eorum reliquias esse venerandas. Firmiter2 assero, imagines Christi ac Deiparae semper Virginis, necnon aliorum Sanctorum habendas et retinendas esse, atque eis debitum honorem et venerationem impertiendam. I steadfastly hold that there is a Purgatory, and that the souls therein detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful. Likewise, that the saints, reigning together with Christ, are to be honored and invoked, and that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated. I most firmly assert that the images of Christ, of the Mother of God, ever virgin, and also of other Saints, ought to be kept and retained, and that due honor and veneration is to be given them.
Indulgentiarum etiam potestatem a Christo in Ecclesia relictam fuisse, illarumque usum Christiano populo maxime salutarem esse affirmo. I also affirm that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the Church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people.
Sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Romanam Ecclesiam3 omnium ecclesiarum matrem et magistram agnosco, Romanoque Pontifici, beati Petri Apostolorum principis successori, ac Iesu Christi Vicario, veram oboedientiam spondeo ac iuro. I acknowledge the Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church as the mother and teacher of all churches; and I promise true obedience to the Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ.
Cetera item omnia a sacris canonibus et oecumenicis Conciliis, ac praecipue a sacrosancta Tridentina Synodo, et ab oecumenico Concilio Vaticano tradita, definita et declarata, praesertim de Romani Pontificis Primatu et infallibili Magisterio, indubitanter recipio ac profiteor; simulque contraria omnia, atque haereses quascumque ab Ecclesia damnatas et reiectas et anathematizatas ego pariter damno, reicio, et anathematizo. I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred Canons, and general Councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent, and by the ecumenical Council of the Vatican, particularly concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching. I condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies which the Church hath condemned, rejected, and anathematized.
Hanc veram Catholicam Fidem, extra quam nemo salvus esse potest, quam in praesenti sponte profiteor et veraciter teneo, eandem integram, et immaculatam4 usque ad extremum vitae spiritum, constantissime, Deo adiuvante, retinere et confiteri, atque a meis subditis, vel5 illis, quorum cura ad me in munere meo spectabit, teneri, doceri et praedicari, quantum in me erit, curaturum, ego idem N. spondeo, voveo ac iuro. Sic me Deus adiuvet et haec sancta Dei Evangelia. This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, I do so profess and swear to maintain inviolate and with firm constancy with the help of God until the last breath of life. And I shall strive, as far as possible, that this same faith shall be held, taught, and professed by all those over whom I have charge. I N. do so pledge, promise, and swear, so help me God and these Holy Gospels of God.

Creed of Pope Paul VI

We believe in one only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, creator of things visible such as this world in which our transient life passes, of things invisible such as the pure spirits which are also called angels,(3) and creator in each man of his spiritual and immortal soul.

We believe that this only God is absolutely one in His infinitely holy essence as also in all His perfections, in His omnipotence, His infinite knowledge, His providence, His will and His love. He is He who is, as He revealed to Moses;(4) and He is love, as the apostle John teaches us:(5) so that these two names, being and love, express ineffably the same divine reality of Him who has wished to make Himself known to us, and who, “dwelling in light inaccessible,”(6) is in Himself above every name, above every thing and above every created intellect. God alone can give us right and full knowledge of this reality by revealing Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose eternal life we are by grace called to share, here below in the obscurity of faith and after death in eternal light. The mutual bonds which eternally constitute the Three Persons, who are each one and the same divine being, are the blessed inmost life of God thrice holy, infinitely beyond all that we can conceive in human measure.(7) We give thanks, however, to the divine goodness that very many believers can testify with us before men to the unity of God, even though they know not the mystery of the most holy Trinity.

The Father

We believe then in the Father who eternally begets the Son; in the Son, the Word of God, who is eternally begotten; in the Holy Spirit, the uncreated Person who proceeds from the Father and the Son as their eternal love. Thus in the Three Divine Persons, coaeternae sibi et coaequales,(8) the life and beatitude of God perfectly one superabound and are consummated in the supreme excellence and glory proper to uncreated being, and always “there should be venerated unity in the Trinity and Trinity in the unity.”(9)

The Son

We believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. He is the Eternal Word, born of the Father before time began, and one in substance with the Father, homoousios to Patri,(10) and through Him all things were made. He was incarnate of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was made man: equal therefore to the Father according to His divinity, and inferior to the Father according to His humanity;(11) and Himself one, not by some impossible confusion of His natures, but by the unity of His person.(12)

He dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. He proclaimed and established the Kingdom of God and made us know in Himself the Father. He gave us His new commandment to love one another as He loved us. He taught us the way of the beatitudes of the Gospel: poverty in spirit, meekness, suffering borne with patience, thirst after justice, mercy, purity of heart, will for peace, persecution suffered for justice sake. Under Pontius Pilate He suffered—the Lamb of God bearing on Himself the sins of the world, and He died for us on the cross, saving us by His redeeming blood. He was buried, and, of His own power, rose on the third day, raising us by His resurrection to that sharing in the divine life which is the life of grace. He ascended to heaven, and He will come again, this time in glory, to judge the living and the dead: each according to his merits—those who have responded to the love and piety of God going to eternal life, those who have refused them to the end going to the fire that is not extinguished.

And His Kingdom will have no end.

The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who is Lord and Giver of life, who is adored and glorified together with the Father and the Son. He spoke to us by the prophets; He was sent by Christ after His resurrection and His ascension to the Father; He illuminates, vivifies, protects and guides the Church; He purifies the Church’s members if they do not shun His grace. His action, which penetrates to the inmost of the soul, enables man to respond to the call of Jesus: Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect (Mt. 5:48).

We believe that Mary is the Mother, who remained ever a Virgin, of the Incarnate Word, our God and Savior Jesus Christ,(13) and that by reason of this singular election, she was, in consideration of the merits of her Son, redeemed in a more eminent manner,(14) preserved from all stain of original sin(15) and filled with the gift of grace more than all other creatures.(16)

Joined by a close and indissoluble bond to the Mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption,(17) the Blessed Virgin, the Immaculate, was at the end of her earthly life raised body and soul to heavenly glory(18) and likened to her risen Son in anticipation of the future lot of all the just; and we believe that the Blessed Mother of God, the New Eve, Mother of the Church,(19) continues in heaven her maternal role with regard to Christ’s members, cooperating with the birth and growth of divine life in the souls of the redeemed.(20)

Original Offense

We believe that in Adam all have sinned, which means that the original offense committed by him caused human nature, common to all men, to fall to a state in which it bears the consequences of that offense, and which is not the state in which it was at first in our first parents—established as they were in holiness and justice, and in which man knew neither evil nor death. It is human nature so fallen, stripped of the grace that clothed it, injured in its own natural powers and subjected to the dominion of death, that is transmitted to all men, and it is in this sense that every man is born in sin. We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature, “not by imitation, but by propagation” and that it is thus “proper to everyone.”(21)

Reborn of the Holy Spirit

We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ, by the sacrifice of the cross redeemed us from original sin and all the personal sins committed by each one of us, so that, in accordance with the word of the apostle, “where sin abounded, grace did more abound.”(22)

Baptism

We believe in one Baptism instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Baptism should be administered even to little children who have not yet been able to be guilty of any personal sin, in order that, though born deprived of supernatural grace, they may be reborn “of water and the Holy Spirit” to the divine life in Christ Jesus.(23)

The Church

We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, built by Jesus Christ on that rock which is Peter. She is the Mystical Body of Christ; at the same time a visible society instituted with hierarchical organs, and a spiritual community; the Church on earth, the pilgrim People of God here below, and the Church filled with heavenly blessings; the germ and the first fruits of the Kingdom of God, through which the work and the sufferings of Redemption are continued throughout human history, and which looks for its perfect accomplishment beyond time in glory.(24) In the course of time, the Lord Jesus forms His Church by means of the sacraments emanating from His plenitude.(25) By these she makes her members participants in the Mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Christ, in the grace of the Holy Spirit who gives her life and movement.(26) She is therefore holy, though she has sinners in her bosom, because she herself has no other life but that of grace: it is by living by her life that her members are sanctified; it is by removing themselves from her life that they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for these offenses, of which she has the power to heal her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Word

Heiress of the divine promises and daughter of Abraham according to the Spirit, through that Israel whose scriptures she lovingly guards, and whose patriarchs and prophets she venerates; founded upon the apostles and handing on from century to century their ever-living word and their powers as pastors in the successor of Peter and the bishops in communion with him; perpetually assisted by the Holy Spirit, she has the charge of guarding, teaching, explaining and spreading the Truth which God revealed in a then veiled manner by the prophets, and fully by the Lord Jesus. We believe all that is contained in the word of God written or handed down, and that the Church proposes for belief as divinely revealed, whether by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal magisterium.(27) We believe in the infallibility enjoyed by the successor of Peter when he teaches ex cathedra as pastor and teacher of all the faithful,(28) and which is assured also to the episcopal body when it exercises with him the supreme magisterium.(29)

We believe that the Church founded by Jesus Christ and for which He prayed is indefectibly one in faith, worship and the bond of hierarchical communion. In the bosom of this Church, the rich variety of liturgical rites and the legitimate diversity of theological and spiritual heritages and special disciplines, far from injuring her unity, make it more manifest.(30)

One Shepherd

Recognizing also the existence, outside the organism of the Church of Christ, of numerous elements of truth and sanctification which belong to her as her own and tend to Catholic unity,(31) and believing in the action of the Holy Spirit who stirs up in the heart of the disciples of Christ love of this unity,(32) we entertain the hope that the Christians who are not yet in the full communion of the one only Church will one day be reunited in one flock with one only shepherd.

We believe that the Church is necessary for salvation, because Christ, who is the sole mediator and way of salvation, renders Himself present for us in His body which is the Church.(33) But the divine design of salvation embraces all men; and those who without fault on their part do not know the Gospel of Christ and His Church, but seek God sincerely, and under the influence of grace endeavor to do His will as recognized through the promptings of their conscience, they, in a number known only to God, can obtain salvation.(34)

Sacrifice of Calvary

We believe that the Mass, celebrated by the priest representing the person of Christ by virtue of the power received through the Sacrament of Orders, and offered by him in the name of Christ and the members of His Mystical Body, is the sacrifice of Calvary rendered sacramentally present on our altars. We believe that as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper were changed into His body and His blood which were to be offered for us on the cross, likewise the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the body and blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven, and we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under what continues to appear to our senses as before, is a true, real and substantial presence.(35)

Transubstantiation

Christ cannot be thus present in this sacrament except by the change into His body of the reality itself of the bread and the change into His blood of the reality itself of the wine, leaving unchanged only the properties of the bread and wine which our senses perceive. This mysterious change is very appropriately called by the Church transubstantiation. Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery must, in order to be in accord with Catholic faith, maintain that in the reality itself, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the Consecration, so that it is the adorable body and blood of the Lord Jesus that from then on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine,(36) as the Lord willed it, in order to give Himself to us as food and to associate us with the unity of His Mystical Body.(37)

The unique and indivisible existence of the Lord glorious in heaven is not multiplied, but is rendered present by the sacrament in the many places on earth where Mass is celebrated. And this existence remains present, after the sacrifice, in the Blessed Sacrament which is, in the tabernacle, the living heart of each of our churches. And it is our very sweet duty to honor and adore in the blessed Host which our eyes see, the Incarnate Word whom they cannot see, and who, without leaving heaven, is made present before us.

Temporal Concern

We confess that the Kingdom of God begun here below in the Church of Christ is not of this world whose form is passing, and that its proper growth cannot be confounded with the progress of civilization, of science or of human technology, but that it consists in an ever more profound knowledge of the unfathomable riches of Christ, an ever stronger hope in eternal blessings, an ever more ardent response to the love of God, and an ever more generous bestowal of grace and holiness among men. But it is this same love which induces the Church to concern herself constantly about the true temporal welfare of men. Without ceasing to recall to her children that they have not here a lasting dwelling, she also urges them to contribute, each according to his vocation and his means, to the welfare of their earthly city, to promote justice, peace and brotherhood among men, to give their aid freely to their brothers, especially to the poorest and most unfortunate. The deep solicitude of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, for the needs of men, for their joys and hopes, their griefs and efforts, is therefore nothing other than her great desire to be present to them, in order to illuminate them with the light of Christ and to gather them all in Him, their only Savior. This solicitude can never mean that the Church conform herself to the things of this world, or that she lessen the ardor of her expectation of her Lord and of the eternal Kingdom.

We believe in the life eternal. We believe that the souls of all those who die in the grace of Christ whether they must still be purified in purgatory, or whether from the moment they leave their bodies Jesus takes them to paradise as He did for the Good Thief are the People of God in the eternity beyond death, which will be finally conquered on the day of the Resurrection when these souls will be reunited with their bodies.

Prospect of Resurrection

We believe that the multitude of those gathered around Jesus and Mary in paradise forms the Church of Heaven where in eternal beatitude they see God as He is,(38) and where they also, in different degrees, are associated with the holy angels in the divine rule exercised by Christ in glory, interceding for us and helping our weakness by their brotherly care.(39)

We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are attaining their purification, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion the merciful love of God and His saints is ever listening to our prayers, as Jesus told us: Ask and you will receive.(40) Thus it is with faith and in hope that we look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

Blessed be God Thrice Holy. Amen.

PAUL VI

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