Denzinger EN 3273
[The Encyclical, "Octobri mense," on the Rosary, Sept. 22, 1891]
3274 1940a The eternal Son of God, when He wished to assume the nature of man for the redemption and glory of man, and for this reason was about to enter upon a kind of mystic marriage with the entire human race, did not do this before He received the wholly free consent of His designated mother, who, in a way, played the part of the human race itself, according to that famous and truthful opinion of Aquinas: "Through the Annunciation the Virgin's consent was looked for in place of all human nature." * Therefore, no less truly and properly may it be affirmed that nothing at all of the very great treasure of every grace, which the Lord confers, since "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (Jn 1,17), nothing is imparted to us except through Mary, God so willing; so, just as no one can approach the highest Father except through the Son, so no one can approach Christ except through His Mother.
[From the Encyclical, "Fidentem," on the Rosary, Sept. 20, 1896] *
3321 For, surely, no one person can be conceived who has ever made, or at any time will make an equal contribution as Mary to the reconciliation of men with God. Surely, she it was who brought the Savior to man as he was rushing into eternal destruction, at that very time when, with wonderful assent, she received "in place of all human nature" * the message of the peace making sacrament brought to earth by the Angel; she it is "of whom was born Jesus" (Mt 1,16), namely, His true Mother, and for this reason she is worthy and quite acceptable as the mediatrix to the Mediator.
[From the Encyclical, "Providentissimus Deus," Nov., 1893]
3280 Dz 1941 Since there is need of a definite method of carrying on interpretation profitably, let the prudent teacher avoid either of two mistakes, that of those who give a cursory glance to each book, and that of those who delay too long over a certain part of one. . . . [The teacher] in this [work] will take as his text the Vulgate version, which the Council of Trent decreed [see n. 785] should be considered as authentic in public lectures, disputations, sermons, and expositions, and which the daily custom of the Church commends. Yet account will have to be taken of the remaining versions which Christian antiquity has commended and used, especially of the very ancient manuscripts. For although, as far as the heart of the matter is concerned, the meaning of the Hebrew and the Greek is well elucidated in the expressions of the Vulgate, yet if anything is set forth therein with ambiguity, or if without accuracy "an examination of the preceding language" will be profitable, as Augustine advises.*
3281 Dz 1942 . . . The Synod of the Vatican adopted the teaching of the Fathers, when, as it renewed the decree of Trent on the interpretation of the divine Word, it declared this to be its mind, that in matters of faith and morals, which pertain to the building up of Christian doctrine, that is to be held as the true sense of Holy Scripture which Mother Church has held and holds, whose prerogative it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of Scripture; and, therefore, it is permitted to no one to interpret the Holy Scripture against this sense, or even against the unanimous agreement of the Fathers [see n. 786, 1788].
3282 By this very wise law the Church by no means retards or blocks the investigations of Biblical science, but rather keeps it free of error, and aids it very much in true progress. For, to every private teacher a large field is open in which along safe paths, by his industry in interpretation, he may labor efficaciously and profitably for the Church. Indeed, in those passages of divine Scripture which still lack certain and definite exposition, it can be so effected by the kindly counsel of a provident God, that by a prepared study the judgment of the Church may be expedited; but in passages which have been explained the private teacher can be of equal help, if he sets these forth very clearly among the masses of the people, and more skillfully among the learned, or defends them more eminently against adversaries. . . .
3283 Dz 1943 In the other passages the analogy of faith must be followed, and Catholic doctrine, as received on the authority of the Church, must be employed as the highest norm. . . . Wherefore, it is clear that that interpretation must be rejected as senseless and false, which either makes inspired authors in some manner quarrel among themselves, or opposes the teaching of the Church. . . .
3284 Dz 1944 Now, the authority of the Fathers, by whom after the apostles, the growing Church was disseminated, watered, built, protected, and nurtured,* is the highest authority, as often as they all in one and the same way interpret a Biblical text, as pertaining to the doctrine of faith and morals.
3285 Dz 1945 The authority of the other Catholic interpreters is, indeed, less; yet, since Biblical studies have had a certain continuous progress in the Church, their own honor must likewise be allotted to their commentaries, and much can be sought opportunely from these to refute contrary opinion and to solve the more difficult problems. But, it is entirely unfitting that anyone should ignore and look down upon the works which our own have left in abundance, and prefer the books of the heterodox; and to the immediate danger to sound doctrine and not rarely to the damage of faith seek from these, explanations of passages to which Catholics have long and very successfully directed their geniuses and labors.
3286 Dz 1946 . . . The first [aid to interpretation] is in the study of the ancient Oriental languages, and in the science which is called criticism.* Therefore, it is necessary for teachers of Sacred Scripture and proper for theologians to have learned those languages in which the canonical books were originally written by the sacred writers. . . . These, moreover, for the same reason should be more learned and skilled in the field of the true science of criticism; for to the detriment of religion there has falsely been introduced an artifice, dignified by the name of higher criticism, by which from internal evidence alone, as they say, the origin, integrity, and authority of any book emerge as settled. On the other hand it is very clear that in historical questions, such as the origin and preservation of books, the evidences of history are of more value than the rest, and should be gathered and investigated very carefully; moreover, that the methods of internal criticism are not of such value that they can be applied to a case except for a kind of confirmation. . . . This same method of higher criticism, which is extolled, will finally result in everyone following his own enthusiasm and prejudiced opinion when interpreting.
3287 Dz 1947 Knowledge of the natural sciences will be of great help to the teacher of Sacred Scripture, by which he can more easily discover and refute fallacious arguments of this kind drawn up against the Sacred Books.-- Indeed there should be no real disagreement between the theologian and the physicist, provided that each confines himself within his own territory, watching out for this, according to St. Augustine's * warning, "not to make rash assertions, and to declare the unknown as known." But, if they should disagree, a summary rule as to how a theologian should conduct himself is offered by the same author.* "Whatever," he says, "they can demonstrate by genuine proofs regarding the nature of things, let us show that it is not contrary to our Scriptures; but whatever they set forth in their volumes contrary to our Scriptures, that is to Catholic faith, let us show by some means, or let us believe without any hesitation to be most false."
3288 As to the equity of this rule let us consider, first, that the sacred writers or more truly "the Spirit of God, who spoke through them, did not wish to teach men these things (namely, the innermost constitution of the visible universe) as being of no profit to salvation"; * that, therefore, they do not carry an explanation of nature scientifically, but rather sometimes describe and treat the facts themselves, either in a figurative manner, or in the common language of their times, as today in many matters of daily life is true among most learned men themselves. Moreover, when these things which fall under the senses, are set forth first and properly, the sacred writer (and the Angelic Doctor also advised it) "describes what is obvious to the senses," * or what God Himself, when addressing men, signified in a human way, according to their capacity.
3289 Dz 1948 Because the defense of Holy Scripture must be carried on vigorously, all the opinions which the individual Fathers or the recent interpreters have set forth in explaining it need not be maintained equally. For they, in interpreting passages where physical matters are concerned have made judgments according to the opinions of the age, and thus not always according to truth, so that they have made statements which today are not approved. Therefore, we must carefully discern what they hand down which really pertains to faith or is intimately connected with it, and what they hand down with unanimous consent; for "in those matters which are not under the obligation of faith, the saints were free to have different opinions, just as we are," * according to the opinion of St. Thomas. In another passage he most prudently holds: "It seems to me to be safer that such opinions as the philosophers have expressed in common and are not repugnant to our faith should not be asserted as dogmas of the faith, even if they are introduced some times under the names of philosophers, nor should they thus be denied as contrary to faith, lest an opportunity be afforded to the philosophers of this world to belittle the teachings of the faith." *
Of course, although the interpreter should show that what scientists have affirmed by certain arguments to be now certain in no way opposes * the Scriptures rightly explained, let it not escape his notice that it sometimes has happened that what they have given out as certain has later been brought into uncertainty and repudiated. But, if writers on physics transgressing the boundaries of their science, invade the province of the philosophers with perverse opinions, let the theological interpreter hand these opinions over to the philosophers for refutation.
3290 Dz 1949 Then these very principles will with profit be transferred to related sciences, especially to history. For, it must regretfully be stated that there are many who examine and publish the monuments of antiquity, the customs and institutions of peoples, and evidences of similar things, but more often with this purpose, that they may detect lapses of error in the sacred books, as the result of which their authority may even be shaken and totter. And some do this with a very hostile mind, and with no truly just judgment; for they have such confidence in the pagan works and the documents of the ancient past as to believe not even a suspicion of error is present in them; but to the books of Holy Scripture, for only a presumed appearance of error, without proper discussion, they deny even a little faith.
3291 Dz 1950 It can happen, indeed, that transcribers in copying manuscripts do so incorrectly. This is to be considered carefully and is not to be admitted readily, except in those passages where it has been properly demonstrated; it can also happen that the true sense of some passage remains ambiguous; the best rules of interpretation will contribute much toward the solution of this problem; but it would be entirely wrong either to confine inspiration only to some parts of Sacred Scripture, or to concede that the sacred author himself has erred. For the method of those is not to be tolerated, who extricated themselves from these difficulties by readily granting that divine inspiration pertains to matters of faith and morals, and nothing more.
3292 Dz 1951 The books, all and entire, which the Church accepts as sacred and canonical, with all their parts, have been written at the dictation of the Holy Spirit; so far is it from the possibility of any error being present to divine inspiration, that it itself of itself not only excludes all error, but excludes it and rejects it as necessarily as it is necessary that God, the highest Truth, be the author of no error whatsoever.
3293 Dz 1952 This is the ancient and uniform faith of the Church, defined also by solemn opinion at the Councils of Florence [see n. 706] and of Trent [see n. 783 ff.], finally confirmed and more expressly declared at the Vatican Council, by which it was absolutely declared: "The books of the Old and New Testament . . . have God as their author" [see n. 1787]. Therefore, it matters not at all that the Holy Spirit took men as instruments for the writing, as if anything false might have slipped, not indeed from the first Author, but from the inspired writers. For, by supernatural power He so roused and moved them to write, He stood so near them, that they rightly grasped in mind all those things, and those only, which He Himself ordered, and willed faithfully to write them down, and expressed them properly with infallible truth; otherwise, He Himself would not be the author of all Sacred Scripture. . . . And so utterly convinced were all the Fathers and Doctors that the holy works, which were published by the hagiographers, are free of every error, that they were very eager, no less skillfully than reverently, to arrange and reconcile those not infrequent passages which seemed to offer something contrary and at variance (they are almost the very passages which are now thrown up to us under the name of the new science); and they professed unanimously that these books, both in whole and in part, were equally of divine inspiration, and that God Himself, speaking through the sacred authors, could have set down nothing at all at variance with the truth.
Let what the same Augustine wrote to Jerome sum this up: ". . . If I shall meet anything in these works which seems contrary to truth, I shall not hesitate to believe anything other than that the text is false, or that the translator did not understand what was said, or that I did not in the least understand." *
3294 Dz 1953 . . . For many objections from every kind of teaching have for long been persistently hurled against Scripture, which now, quite dead, have fallen into disuse; likewise, at times not a few interpretations have been placed on certain passages of Scripture (not properly pertinent to the rule of faith and morals) in which a more careful investigation has seen the meaning more accurately. For, surely, time destroys the falsities of opinions, but "truth remaineth and groweth stronger forever and ever." *
[From the Encyclical, "Satis cognitum," June A, 1896]
3302 Dz 1954 Surely, it is so well established among all according to clear and manifold testimony that the true Church of Jesus Christ is one, that no Christian dare contradict it. But in judging and establishing the nature of this unity various errors have led off the true way. Indeed, not only the rise of the Church, but its entire establishment pertain to that class of things effected by free choice. Therefore, the entire judgment must be called back to that which was actually done, and we must not of course examine how the Church can be one, but how He who founded it wished it to be one.
3303 Dz 1955 Now, if we look at what was done, Jesus Christ did not arrange and organize such a Church as would embrace several communities similar in kind, but distinct, and not bound together by those bonds that make the Church indivisible and unique after that manner clearly in which we profess in the symbol of faith, "l believe in one Church." . . . Now, Jesus Christ when He was speaking of such a mystical edifice, spoke only of one Church which He called His own: "I will build my Church" (Mt 16,18). Whatever other church is under consideration than this one, since it was not founded by Jesus Christ, cannot be the true Church of Christ. . . . And so the Church is bound to spread among all men the salvation accomplished by Jesus Christ, and all the blessings that proceed therefrom, and to propagate them through the ages. Therefore, according to the will of its Author the Church must be alone in all lands in the perpetuity of time. . . .
3304 The Church of Christ, therefore, is one and perpetual; whoever go apart (from it) wander away from the will and prescription of Christ the Lord and, leaving the way of salvation, digress to destruction.
3305 Dz 1956 But He who founded the only Church, likewise founded it as one; namely, in such a way that whoever are to be in it, would be held bound together by the closest bonds, so much so that they form one people, one kingdom, one body: "One body and one spirit, as you are called in one hope of your calling" (Ep 4,4). . . . Agreement and union of minds are the necessary foundation of so great and so absolute a concord among men, from which a concurrence of wills and a similarity of action naturally arise. . . . Therefore, to unite the minds of men, and to effect and preserve the union of their minds, granted the existence of Holy Writ, there was great need of a certain other principle. . . .
Dz 1957 Therefore, Jesus Christ instituted in the Church a living, authentic, and likewise permanent magisterium, which He strengthened by His own power, taught by the Spirit of Truth, and confirmed by miracles. The precepts of its doctrines He willed and most seriously commanded to be accepted equally with His own. . . . This, then, is without any doubt the office of the Church, to watch over Christian doctrine and to propagate it soundly and without corruption. . . .
Dz 1958 But, just as heavenly doctrine was never left to the judgment and mind of individuals, but in the beginning was handed down by Jesus, then committed separately to that magisterium which has been mentioned, so, also, was the faculty of performing and administering the divine mysteries, together with the power of ruling and governing divinely, granted not to individuals [generally] of the Christian people but to certain of the elect. . . .
Therefore, Jesus Christ called upon all mortals, as many as were, and as many as were to be, to follow Him as their leader, and likewise their Savior, not only separately one by one, but also associated and united alike in fact and in mind; one in faith, end, and the means proper to that end, and subject to one and the same power. . . . Therefore, the Church is a society divine in origin, supernatural in its end, and in the means which bring us closest to that end; but inasmuch as it unites with men, it is a human community.
3308 Dz 1960 When the divine Founder decreed that the Church be one in faith, and in government, and in communion, He chose Peter and his successors in whom should be the principle and as it were the center of unity. . . . But, order of bishops, as Christ commanded, is to be regarded as joined with Peter, if it be subject to Peter and obey him; otherwise it necessarily descends into a confused and disorderly crowd. For the proper preservation of faith and the unity of mutual participation, it is not enough to hold higher offices for the sake of honor, nor to have general supervision, but there is absolute need of true authority and a supreme authority which the entire community should obey. . . . Hence those special expressions of the ancients regarding St. Peter, which brilliantly proclaim him as placed in the highest degree of dignity and authority. They everywhere called him prince of the assembly of disciples, prince of the holy apostles, leader of that choir, mouthpiece of all the apostles, head of that family, superintendent of the whole world, first among the apostles, pillar of the Church. . . .
3309 Dz 1961 But it is far from the truth and openly opposed to the divine constitution, to hold that it is right for individual bishops to be subordinate to the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiffs, but not for all taken together. . . . Now this power, about which we speak, over the college of bishops, which Holy Writ clearly discloses, the Church has at no time ceased to acknowledge and attest. . . . For these reasons in the decree of the Vatican Council [see n. 1826 ff.], regarding the power and authority of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, no new opinion is introduced, but the old and uniform faith of all ages is asserted. Nor, indeed, does the fact that the same (bishops) are subordinate to a twofold power cause any confusion in administration. In the first place, we are prohibited from suspecting any such thing by God's wisdom, by whose counsel that very form of government was established. Secondly, we should note that the order of things and their mutual relations are confused, if there are two magistrates of the same rank among the people, neither of them responsible to the other. But the power of the Roman Pontiff is supreme, universal, and definitely peculiar to itself; but that of the bishops is circumscribed by definite limits, and definitely peculiar to themselves. . . .
3310 Dz 1962 But Roman Pontiffs, mindful of their office, wish most of all that whatever is divinely instituted in the Church be preserved; therefore, as they watch with all proper care and vigilance their own power, so they have always seen to it that their authority be preserved for the bishops. Rather, whatever honor is paid the bishops, whatever obedience, all this they attribute as paid themselves.
[From the Letter, "Apostolicae curae," Sept. 13, 1896]
3315 Dz 1963 In the rite of conferring and administering any sacrament one rightly distinguishes between the ceremonial part and the essential part, which is customarily called the matter and form. And all know that the sacraments of the New Law, as sensible and efficient signs of invisible grace, ought both to signify the grace which they effect, and effect the grace which they signify [see n. 695, 849]. Although this signification should be found in the whole essential rite, namely, in matter and form, yet it pertains especially to form, since the matter is the part not determined by itself, but determined by form. And this appears more clearly in the sacrament of orders, for the conferring of which the matter, insofar as it presents itself for consideration in this case, is the imposition of hands. This, of course, by itself signifies nothing, and is employed for certain
3316 Dz 1964 orders, and for confirmation. Now, the words which until recent times were everywhere held by the Anglicans as the proper form of priestly ordination, namely, "Receive the Holy Spirit," certainly do not in the least signify definitely the order of priesthood, or its grace and power, which is especially the power "of consecrating and of offering the true body and blood of the Lord," in that sacrifice which is no "nude commemoration of the sacrifice offered on the Cross" [see n. 950]. Such a form was indeed afterwards lengthened by these words, "for the office and work of a priest"; but this rather convinces one that the Anglicans themselves saw that this first form was defective, and not appropriate to the matter. But the same addition, if perchance indeed it could have placed legitimate significance on the form, was introduced too late, since a century had elapsed after the adoption of the Edwardine Ordinal; since, moreover, with the extinction of the hierarchy, there was now no power for ordaining.
3317 Dz 1965 The same is true in regard to episcopal consecration. For to the formula "Receive the Holy Ghost" were not only added later the words "for the office and work of a bishop," but also, as regards these very words, as we shall soon see, a different sense is to be understood than in the Catholic rite. Nor is it any advantage in the matter to bring up the prayer of the preface, "Almighty God," since this likewise has been stripped of the words which bespeak the summum sacerdotium. It is, of course, not relevant to examine here whether the episcopate is a complement of the priesthood, or an order distinct from it; or whether when conferred, as they say, per saltum, that is, on a man who is not a priest, it has its effect or not. But the episcopate without doubt, from institution of Christ, most truly pertains to the sacrament of orders, and is a priesthood of a pre-eminent grade, that which in the words of the Fathers and in the custom of our ritual is, of course, called "summum sacerdotium," "sacri ministerii summa." Therefore, it happens that since the sacrament of orders and the true sacerdoium of Christ have been utterly thrust out of the Anglican rite, and so in the consecration of a bishop of this same rite the sacerdotium is by no means conferred; likewise, by no means can the episcopacy be truly and validly conferred; and this is all the more true because among the first duties of the episcopacy is this, namely, of ordaining ministers for the Holy Eucharist and the sacrifice. . . .
3318 Dz 1966
So with this inherent defect of form is joined the defect of intention, which it must have with equal necessity that it be a sacrament. . . .
3319 And so, assenting entirely to the decrees of all the departed Pontiffs in this case, and confirming them most fully and, as it were, renewing them by Our authority, of Our own inspiration and certain knowledge We pronounce and declare that ordinations enacted according to the Anglican rite have hitherto been and are invalid and entirely void. . . .
[Response of the Holy Of lice, March 30th, 1898]
3333 1966a Whether a missionary can confer baptism on an adult Mohammedan at the point of death, who in his errors is supposed to be in good faith:
1. If he still has his full faculties, only by exhorting him to sorrow and confidence, not by speaking about our mysteries, for fear that he will not believe them.
3334 2. Whatever of his faculties he has, by saying nothing to him, since on the one hand, he is not supposed to be wanting in contrition, and on the other, it is supposed to be imprudent to speak with him about our mysteries.
3335 3. If now he has lost his faculties, by saying nothing further to him.
Reply to I and 2: in the negative, i.e., it is not permitted to administer baptism absolutely or conditionally to such Mohammedans; and these decrees of the Holy Office were given to the Bishop of Quebec on the 25th of January, and the 10th of May, 1703 [see n. 1349 a f.].
To 3: regarding Mohammedans who are dying and already deprived of their senses, we must rely as in the decree of the Holy Office, Sept. 18, 1850, to the Bishop of Pertois, that is: "If they have formerly given indications that they wish to be baptized, or in their present state either by a nod or any other manner have shown the same disposition, they can be baptized conditionally; but where the missionary after examining all collateral circumstances so judges it wise," . . . His Holiness has approved.
[From the Letter, "Testem benevolentiae," to Cardinal Gibbons, January 22, 1899]
3340 Dz 1967 The basis of the new opinions which we have mentioned is established as essentially this: In order that those who dissent may more easily be brought over to Catholic wisdom, the Church should come closer to the civilization of this advanced age, and relaxing its old severity show indulgence to those opinions and theories of the people which have recently been introduced. Moreover, many think that this should be understood not only with regard to the standard of living, but even with regard to the doctrines in which the deposit of faith is contained. For, they contend that it is opportune to win over those who are in disagreement, if certain topics of doctrine are passed over as of lesser importance, or are so softened that they do not retain the same sense as the Church has always held.--Now there is no need of a long discussion to show with what a reprehensible purpose this has been thought out, if only the character and origin of the teaching which the Church hands down are considered. On this subject the Vatican Synod says: "For there is to be no receding. . . . " [see n. 1800].
3341 Dz 1968 Now the history of all past ages is witness that this Apostolic See, to which not only the office of teaching, but also the supreme government of the whole Church were assigned, has indeed continually adhered "to the same doctrine, in the same sense, and in the same mind" [Conc. Vatic., see n. 1800]; that it has always been accustomed to modify the rule of life so as never to overlook the manners and customs of the various peoples which it embraces, while keeping the divine law unimpaired. If the safety of souls demands this, who will doubt that it will do so now?-- This, however, is not to be determined by the decision of private individuals
Dz 1969 who are quite deceived by the appearance of right; but it should be the judgment of the Church. . . . But in the case about which we are speaking, Our Beloved Son, more danger is involved, and that advice is more inimical to Catholic doctrine and discipline, according to which the followers of new ideas think that a certain liberty should be introduced into the Church so that, in a way checking the force of its power and vigilance, the faithful may indulge somewhat more freely each one his own mind and actual capacity.
3342 Dz 1970 The entire external teaching office is rejected by those who wish to strive for the acquisition of Christian perfection, as superfluous, nay even as useless; they say that the Holy Spirit now pours forth into the souls of the faithful more and richer gifts than in times past, and, with no intermediary, by a kind of hidden instinct teaches and moves them. . . .
3343 Dz 1971 Yet, to one who examines the matter very thoroughly, when any external guide is removed, it is not apparent in the thinking of the innovators to what end that more abundant influx of the Holy Spirit should tend, which they extol so much.--Surely, it is especially in the cultivation of virtues that there is absolute need of the assistance of the Holy Spirit; but those who are eager to pursue new things extol the natural virtues beyond measure, as if they correspond better with the way of life and needs of the present day, and as if it were advantageous to be endowed with these, since they make a man better prepared and more strenuous for action.--It is indeed difficult to believe that those who are imbued with Christian knowledge can hold the natural above the supernatural virtues, and attribute to them greater efficacy and fruitfulness. . . .
3344 Dz 1972 With this opinion about the natural virtues another is closely connected, according to which all Christian virtues are divided into two kinds, as it were, passive as they say, and active; and they add that the former were better suited for times past, that the latter are more in keeping with the present. . . . Moreover, he who would wish that the Christian virtues be accommodated some to one time and some to another, has not retained the words of the Apostle: "Whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be made conformable to the image of His Son" (Rm 8,29). The master and exemplar of all sanctity is Christ, to whose rule all, as many as wish to be admitted to the seats of the blessed, must conform. Surely, Christ by no means changes as the ages go on, but is "yesterday, and today; and the same forever" (He 13,8). Therefore, to the men of all ages does the following apply: "Learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart" (Mt 11,23); and at all times Christ shows himself to us "becoming obedient unto death" (Ph 2,8); and in every age the judgment of the Apostle holds: "And they that are Christ's have crucified their flesh with the vices and concupiscences" (Ga 5,24).
3345 Dz 1973 From this contempt, as it were, of the evangelical virtues, which are wrongly called passive, it easily followed that their minds were gradually imbued with a contempt even for the religious life. And that this is common among the advocates of the new opinions we conclude from certain opinions of theirs about the vows which religious orders pronounce. For, they say that these vows are at very great variance with the spirit of our age, and that they are suited to weak rather than to strong minds; and that they are quite without value for Christian perfection and the good of human society, but rather obstruct and interfere with both.--But it is clearly evident how false these statements are from the practice and teaching of the Church, by which the religious way of life has always been especially approved. . . . Moreover, as for what they add, that the religious way of life is of no or of little help to the Church, besides being odious to religious orders, will surely be believed by no one who has studied the annals of the Church. . . .
Dz 1974 Finally, not to delay too long, the way and the plan which Catholics have thus far employed to bring back those who disagree with them are proclaimed to be abandoned and to be replaced by another for the future. --But if of the different ways of preaching the word of God that seems to be preferred sometimes by which those who dissent from us are addressed not in temples, but in any private and honorable place, not in disputation but in a friendly conference, the matter lacks any cause for adverse criticism, provided, however, that those are assigned to this duty by the authority of the bishops, who have beforehand given proof to the bishops of their knowledge and integrity. . . .
3346 Dz 1975 Therefore, from what We have said thus far it is clear, Our Beloved Son, that those opinions cannot be approved by us, the sum total of which some indicate by the name of Americanism. . . . For it raises a suspicion that there are those among you who envision and desire a Church in America other than that which is in all the rest of the world.
Dz 1976 One in unity of doctrine as in unity of government and this Catholic, such is the Church; and since God has established that its center and foundation be in the Chair of Peter, it is rightly called Roman; for "where Peter is, there is the Church." * Therefore, whoever wishes to be called by the name of Catholic, ought truly to heed the words of Jerome to Pope Damasus: "I who follow no one as first except Christ, associate myself in communion with your Beatitude, that is, with the Chair of Peter; upon that Rock, I know the Church is built (Mt 16,18); . . . whoever gathereth not with thee scattereth" * (Mt 12,30).
Denzinger EN 3273