Denzinger EN 3899

The Definition of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary *

[From the Apostolic Constitution, "Munificentissimus Deus," Nov. 1, 1950]

3900 Dz 2331 All these arguments and considerations of the Holy Fathers and of the theologians are based on the Holy Scriptures as their ultimate foundation, which indeed place before us as though before our eyes the loving Mother of God as most closely joined with her divine Son, and as ever sharing His lot. Therefore, it seems almost impossible to think of her who conceived Christ, bore Him, nourished Him with her milk, held Him in her arms, and pressed Him to her breast, as separated from Him after this earthly life in her body, even though not in soul. Since our Redeemer is the Son of Mary, surely, as the most perfect observer of divine law, He could not refuse to honor, in addition to His Eternal Father, His most beloved Mother also. And, since He could adorn her with so great a gift as to keep her unharmed by the corruption of the tomb, it must be believed that He actually did this

3901 But this especially must be remembered, that ever since the second century the Virgin Mary has been presented by the Holy Fathers as the new Eve, very closely connected with the new Adam, although subect to Him in that struggle with the enemy of hell, which, as is presignified in the protevangelium (Gn 3,15) was to result in a most complete victory over sin and death, which are always joined together in the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles (Rm 5,6 1Co 15,21-26 1Co 54-57). Therefore, just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was an essential part, and the final evidence of this victory, so the Blessed Virgin's common struggle with her Son was to be concluded with the "glorification" of her virginal body, as the same Apostle says: "When . . . this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory" (1Co 15,54).

Therefore, the august Mother of God, joined in a secret manner with Jesus Christ, from all eternity "by one and the same decree''* of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a most pure virgin in her divine maternity, noble ally of the divine Redeemer, who has gained full triumph over sin and its consequences, has finally attained as the highest crown of her privileges, that she should be immune from the corruption of the tomb, and that in the same manner as her Son she would overcome death and be taken away soul and body to the supernal glory of heaven, where as Queen she would shine forth at the right hand of the same Son of hers, the immortal King of Ages (1Tm 1,17).

Dz 2332 Since, then, the universal Church, in which the Spirit of Truth flourishes, who infallibly directs it to achieve a knowledge of revealed truths, has through the course of the ages repeatedly manifested its own faith; and since the bishops of the whole world with almost unanimous consent request that the truth of the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven be defined as a dogma of the divine and Catholic faith---a truth which is founded on the Sacred Scriptures, has been fixed deeply in the minds of the faithful in Christ, has been approved by ecclesiastical worship even from the earliest times, is quite in harmony with the other revealed truths, and has been splendidly explained and declared by the zeal, knowledge, and wisdom of the theologians---We think that the moment appointed in the plan of a provident God has now come to proclaim solemnly such an extraordinary privilege of the Virgin Mary. . . .

3903 Dz 2333 Accordingly, after We directed Our prayers in supplication to God again and again, and invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God, who lavishes His special benevolence on the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the victor over sin and death, for the increasing glory of the same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the whole Church, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul, and by Our own authority We pronounce, declare, and define that the dogma was revealed by God, that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, after completing her course of life upon earth, was assumed to the glory of heaven both in body and soul.

3904 Therefore, if anyone, which may God forbid, should dare either to deny this, or voluntarily call into doubt what has been defined by Us, he should realize that he has cut himself off entirely from the divine and Catholic faith.


ST. BONIFACE I, 418-422

The Primacy of the Roman Pontiff *

[From the Letter, "Manes beatum," to Rufus and the other Bishops through out Macedonia, etc., March 11, 422]

234 Dz 5000 The watchful care over the universal Church confided to Peter abides with him by reason of the Lord's statement; for he knows on the testimony of the Gospel (Mt 16,18) that the Church was founded on him. His office can never be free from cares, since it is certain that all things depend on his deliberation. These considerations turn my mind to the regions of the Orient, which we behold in a way with genuine solicitude. Far be it from the priests of the Lord, that anyone of them fall into the offense of making the decrees of our elders foreign to him, by attempting something in the way of a novel and unlawful usurpation, realizing that he thus makes him a rival, in whom our Christ has placed the highest power of the priesthood, and whoever rises to reproach him cannot be an inhabitant of the heavenly regions. "To you," He said, "I shall give the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 16,19) into which no one shall enter without the favor of the door--keeper.

He said: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I shall build my church" (Mt 11,29). Whoever, therefore, desires before God to be judged worthy of the dignity of the priesthood, since one reaches God with the support of Peter, on whom, as we have said above, it is certain that the Church was founded, <should> be "meek and humble of heart" (Mt 11,29). lest as a contumacious disciple of him, whose <pride> he has imitated, he undergo the punishment of the teachers. . . .

235 Dz 5001 Since the circumstances demand, examine if you please, the decrees of the canons; you will find, what church ranks second after the church at Rome, or what is third. In these (decrees) there appears a distinct order, so that the pontiffs of the other churches recognize that they nevertheless are under one church . . . and share the same priesthood, and to whom they, preserving charity, should be subject because of ecclesiastical discipline. Indeed this teaching of the canons has persisted from antiquity, and continues even at the present time, through the grace of Christ. No one has ever boldly raised his hands in opposition to the apostolic supremacy, from whose judgment there may be no withdrawal; no one in this has been rebellious, except him who wished judgment to be passed on himself. The above mentioned great churches preserve . . . their authority through the canons: the churches of Alexandria and of Antioch [cf. n. 163, 436], having the knowledge of ecclesiastical law. They preserve, I say, the statutes of our elders . .. in all things rendering and receiving an interchange of that grace which they know that they owe to us in the Lord who is our peace. But since the situation demands it, it must be shown by documents that the greatest churches of the Orient in important affairs, in which there was need of greater inquiry, have always consulted the See of Rome, and, as often as experience demanded, asked for its help. Athanasius of holy memory and Peter, priests of the church of Alexandria, sought the aid of this See.* When the Church of Antioch was afflicted during a very long period, with the result that conferences because of this were often held, it is clear that the Apostolic See was consulted, first under Meletius and later under Flavianus. According to its authority, after the many things which were accomplished by our church, no one doubts that Flavianus received the grace of communion, which he would have lacked forever if his writing had not gone forth hence upon this basis. * The emperor Theodosius of most kindly memory, thinking that the ordination of Nectarius did not possess stability, since it did not take place in our way, sending from his presence members of his court together with bishops, demanded that it be performed in this case by the Roman See, and that they direct it in the regular way, so as to strengthen the priesthood. * A short time ago, that is under my predecessor of happy memory, Innocent, the Pontiffs of the Oriental churches, grieving that they were separated from the communion of blessed Peter, through envoys asked for peace, as your charity remembers. * And at this time the Apostolic See without difficulty granted all, obeying the Master who says: "And to whom you have pardoned any thing, I also. For what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned anything, for your sakes have I done it in the person of Christ. That we be not overreached by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his devices (2Co 2,10 f.), that is, who always rejoices at dissension. Since then, most beloved Brethren, I think that the examples which we have given suffice to prove the truth, although more are retained in your own minds, without harm to our brotherhood we wish to meet your assembly, as you see by this letter which has been directed by Us through Severus, a notary of the Apostolic See, most acceptable to Our heart, chosen from Our circle. Thus in agreement, as befits brothers, let not anyone wishing to endure in our communion bring up again for discussion the name of our brother and fellow priest, Bishop Perigenas, * whose sacerdotal office the Apostle Peter has already confirmed at the suggestion of the Holy Spirit, leaving no question about this for the future, and let there be no objection to this, since he was appointed by Us during the space of that time in which the office was vacant. .

ST. SIXTUS III, 432-440

The Incarnation *

["The formula of union" of the year 433, by which the peace between St. Cyril of Alexandria and the Antiochenes was established, was approved by St. Sixtus III]

271 Dz 5002 But how we know and speak regarding the Virgin Mother of God, and about the manner of the incarnation of the only-begotten Son of God, necessary not because of increase but for satisfaction, we have taken and possess from above, from the divine Scriptures as well as from the tradition of the holy fathers, and we speak briefly, adding nothing at all to the faith of the holy Fathers, which was set forth at Nicea. For, as we have already said, this suffices for all understanding of piety and for all renunciation of heretical perfidy. But we speak not presuming the unlawful, but by confession of special weakness excluding those who wish to rise up against what we regard as beyond man.

272 Dz 5003 We confess our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and of a body, born of the Father before the ages according to the Godhead, but in the last days the same on account of us and on account of our salvation according to the incarnation from the Virgin Mary, consubstantial with the Father, the same according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the incarnation. For the unity of the two natures was made; wherefore, we confess one Christ, one son, one Lord. According to this unmingled unity we confess the holy Virgin Mother of God, because the Word of God was made flesh and was made man, and by the conception united to Himself a temple assumed from her. Moreover, we recognize the evangelical and apostolic voices about the Lord as men speaking with divine inspiration, joining these sometimes as if spoken of one person, but sometimes separating them as if of two natures, and these indeed befitting God according to the Godhead of Christ, but humbly teaching according to the incarnation.

URBAN IV, 1261-1264

The Object and Force of Rememorative Liturgical Action *

[From the Bull, "Transiturus de hoc mundo," August 11, 1264]

846 Dz 5004 For other things whose memory we keep, we embrace in spirit and mind; but we do not for this reason hold their real presence. In this sacramental commemoration, however, Jesus Christ is present with us, under another form to be sure, but in His substance.

ALEXANDER VII, 1655-1667

Gravity of Matter in Actions of Impurity *

[From the Response of the Holy Office, February 11, 1661]

2013 Dz 5005 Whether a confessor is to be denounced for solicitation on account of scarcity of material?

Reply: Since in actions of impurity scarcity of matter is not present, and if it should be present, is not in the matter at hand, they have decided that it should be denounced, and that a contrary opinion is not probable.

To the decrees of the Holy Office of February 11th 1661, Benedict XIV referred readers in the Constitution "Sacramentum Poenitentiae," of June 1, 1741 (Docum. V in Cod. Iuris. Can.) .

INNOCENT XII, 1691-1700

Matrimony as a Contract and a Sacrament *

[Reply of the Holy Office to Mission. Capucc., July 23, 1698]

2340 Dz 5006 Whether matrimony between apostates from the faith and those previously rightly baptized, entered upon after the apostasy, publicly according to the custom of pagans or Mohammedans, is truly matrimony and a sacrament.

Reply: If any agreement of dissolubility be at hand, there is no matrimony and no sacrament, but if none is at hand, there is matrimony and a sacrament

Denzinger EN 3899