Denzinger EN 3036

4. Faith and reason

[ Against the pseudo-philosophers and the pseudo-theologians, concerning whom see n. 1679 ff.]

3037 Dz 1816 1. If anyone shall have said that no true mysteries properly so-called are contained in divine revelation, but that all the dogmas of faith can be understood and proved from natural principles, through reason properly cultivated: let him be anathema [cf. n. 1795f.].

3038 Dz 1817 2. If anyone shall have said that the human sciences should be treated with such liberty that their assertions, although opposed to revealed doctrine, can be retained as true, and cannot be proscribed by the Church: let him be anathema [cf. n.1797-1799].

3039 Dz 1818 3. If anyone shall have said that it is possible that to the dogmas declared by the Church a meaning must sometimes be attributed according to the progress of science, different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema [cf. n.1800].

3040 Dz 1819 And so, fulfilling the obligation of Our supreme pastoral office, by the incarnation of Jesus Christ We beseech all the faithful of Christ, but especially those who have charge of, or who perform the duty of teaching; and in fact, by the authority of Our same God and Savior, We command that they bring their zeal and labor to arrest and banish these errors from Holy Church, and to extend the light of a most pure faith.

3041 Dz 1820 But, since it is not sufficient to shun heretical iniquity unless these errors also are shunned which come more or less close to it, we remind all of the duty of observing also the constitutions and decrees by which base opinions of this sort, which are not enumerated explicitly here, have been proscribed and prohibited by this Holy See.

SESSION IV (July 18, 1870)* Dogmatic Constitution I on the Church of Christ

3050 Dz 1821
[The institution and foundation of the Church]. "The eternal Pastor and Bishop of our souls" (
1P 2,25), in order to render the saving work of redemption perennial, willed to build a holy Church, in which, as in the house of the living God, all the faithful might be contained by the bond of one faith and charity. Therefore, before His glory was made manifest, "He asked the Father, not only for the Apostles but also for those who would believe through their word in Him, that all might be one, just as the Son Himself and the Father are one" (Jn 17,20 f.). Thus, then, as He sent the apostles, whom He had selected from the world for Himself, as He himself had been sent by the Father (Jn 20,21), so in His Church He wished the pastors and the doctors to be "even to the consummation of the world" (Mt 28,20).

3051 But, that the episcopacy itself might be one and undivided, and that the entire multitude of the faithful through priests closely connected with one another might be preserved in the unity of faith and communion, placing the blessed Peter over the other apostles He established in him the perpetual principle and visible foundation of both unities, upon whose strength the eternal temple might be erected, and the sublimity of the Church to be raised to heaven might rise in the firmness of this faith. *

3052 And, since the gates of hell, to overthrow the Church, if this were possible, arise from all sides with ever greater hatred against its divinely established foundation, We judge it to be necessary for the protection, safety, and increase of the Catholic flock, with the approbation of the Council, to set forth the doctrine on the institution, perpetuity, and nature of the Sacred Apostolic Primacy, in which the strength and solidarity of the whole Church consist, to be believed and held by all the faithful, according to the ancient and continual faith of the universal Church, and to proscribe and condemn the contrary errors, so pernicious to the Lord's flock.

Chap. 1. The Institution of Apostolic Primacy in Blessed Peter

3053 Dz 1822 [Against heretics and schismatics]. So we teach and declare that according to the testimonies of the Gospel the primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church of God was promised and was conferred immediately and directly upon the blessed Apostle Peter by Christ the Lord. For the one Simon, to whom He had before said: "Thou shalt be called Cephas" (Jn 1,42), after he had given forth his confession with those words: "Thou art Christ, Son of the living God" (Mt 16,16), the Lord spoke with these solemn words: "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar Jona; because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it: and I shall give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven" (Mt 16,17 ff.). [against Richerius etc. (see n. 1503)]. And upon Simon Peter alone Jesus after His resurrection conferred the jurisdiction of the highest pastor and rector over his entire fold, saying: "Feed my lambs," "Feed my sheep" (Jn 21,15 ff.).

3054 To this teaching of Sacred Scriptures, so manifest as it has been always understood by the Catholic Church, are opposed openly the vicious opinions of those who perversely deny that the form of government in His Church was established by Christ the Lord; that to Peter alone, before the other apostles, whether individually or all together, was confided the true and proper primacy of jurisdiction by Christ; or, of those who affirm that the same primacy was not immediately and directly bestowed upon the blessed Peter himself, but upon the Church, and through this Church upon him as the minister of the Church herself.

3055 Dz 1823 [Canon]. If anyone then says that the blessed Apostle Peter was not established by the Lord Christ as the chief of all the apostles, and the visible head of the whole militant Church, or, that the same received great honor but did not receive from the same our Lord Jesus Christ directly and immediately the primacy in true and proper jurisdiction: let him be anathema.

Chap. 2. The Perpetuity of the Primacy of Blessed Peter among the Roman Pontiffs

3056 Dz 1824 Moreover, what the Chief of pastors and the Great Pastor of sheep, the Lord Jesus, established in the blessed Apostle Peter for the perpetual salvation and perennial good of the Church, this by the same Author must endure always in the Church which was founded upon a rock and will endure firm until the end of the ages. Surely "no one has doubt, rather all ages have known that the holy and most blessed Peter, chief and head of the apostles and pillar of faith and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race; and he up to this time and always lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors, the bishops of the holy See of Rome, which was founded by him and consecrated by his blood, [cf. Council of Ephesus, see n. 112].

3057 Therefore, whoever succeeds Peter in this chair, he according to the institution of Christ himself, holds the primacy of Peter over the whole Church. "Therefore the disposition of truth remains, and blessed Peter persevering in the accepted fortitude of the rock does not abandon the guidance of the Church which he has received.'' *
For this reason "it has always been necessary because of mightier pre-eminence for every church to come to the Church of Rome, that is those who are the faithful everywhere," * so that in this See, from which the laws of "venerable communion" * emanate over all, they as members associated in one head, coalesce into one bodily structure.

3058 Dz 1825 [Canon]. If anyone then says that it is not from the institution of Christ the Lord Himself, or by divine right that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in the same primacy, let him be anathema.

Chap. 3. The Power and Manner of the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff

3059 Dz 1826 [Assertion of primacy]. Therefore, relying on the clear testimonies of Sacred Scripture, and adhering to the eloquent and manifest decisions not only of Our predecessors, the Roman Pontiffs, but also of the general Councils, We renew the definition of the Ecumenical Council of Florence, by which all the faithful of Christ most believe "that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold primacy over the whole world, and that the Pontiff of Rome himself is the successor of the blessed Peter, thechief of the apostles, and is the true vicar of Christ and head of the whole Church and faith, and teacher of all Christians; and that to him was handed down in blessed Peter, by our Lord Jesus Christ, full power to feed, rule, and guide the universal Church, just as is also contained in the records of the ecumenical Councils and in the sacred canons" [see n.694].

3060 Dz 1827 [Consequences denied by innovators]. Furthermore We teach and declare that the Roman Church, by the disposition of the Lord, holds the sovereignty of ordinary power over all others, and that this power of jurisdiction on the part of the Roman Pontiff, which is truly episcopal, is immediate; and with respect to this the pastors and the faithful of whatever rite and dignity, both as separate individuals and all together, are bound by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church [which is] spread over the whole world, so that the Church of Christ, protected not only by the Roman Pontiff, but by the unity of communion as well as of the profession of the same faith is one flock under the one highest shepherd. This is the doctrine of Catholic truth from which no one can deviate and keep his faith and salvation.

3061 Dz 1828 [The jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff and of the bishops]. This power of the Supreme Pontiff is so far from interfering with that power of ordinary and immediate episcopal jurisdiction by which the bishops, who, "placed by the Holy Spirit" (cf. Ac 20,28), have succeeded to the places of the apostles, as true shepherds individually feed and rule the individual flocks assigned to them, that the same (power) is asserted, confirmed, and vindicated by the supreme and universal shepherd, according to the statement of Gregory the Great: "My honor is the universal honor of the Church. My honor is the solid vigor of my brothers. Then am I truly honored, when the honor due to each and everyone is not denied.'' *

3062 Dz 1829 [Free communication with all the faithful]. Furthermore, it follows that from that supreme power of the Roman Pontiff of ruling the universal Church, the same has the right in the exercise of this duty of his office of communicating freely with the pastors and flocks of the whole Church, so that the same can be taught and guided by him in the way of salvation. Therefore, We condemn and disapprove the opinions of those who say that this communication of the supreme head with pastors and flocks can lawfully be checked, or who make this so submissive to secular power that they contend that whatever is established by the Apostolic See or its authority for the government of the Church has no force or value unless confirmed by an order of the secular power [Placitum regium, see n. 1847].

3063 Dz 1830 [Recourse to the Roman Pontiff as the supreme judge]. And since the Roman Pontiff is at the head of the universal Church by the divine right of apostolic primacy, We teach and declare also that he is the supreme judge of the faithful [cf. n. 1500 ], and that in all cases pertaining to ecclesiastical examination recourse can be had to his judgment [cf. n. 466 ]; moreover, that the judgment of the Apostolic See, whose authority is not surpassed, is to be disclaimed by no one, nor is anyone permitted to pass judgment on its judgment [cf. n. 330 ff.]. Therefore, they stray from the straight path of truth who affirm that it is permitted to appeal from the judgments of the Roman Pontiffs to an ecumenical Council, as to an authority higher than the Roman Pontiff.

3064 Dz 1831 [Canon]. If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction, but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world; or, that he possesses only the more important parts, but not the whole plenitude of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate, or over the churches altogether and individually, and over the pastors and the faithful altogether and individually: let him be anathema.

Chap. 4. The Infallible "Magisterium" of the Roman Pontiff

3065 Dz 1832 [Arguments from public documents]. Moreover, that by the very apostolic primacy which the Roman Pontiff as the successor of Peter, the chief of the Apostles, holds over the universal Church, the supreme power of the magisterium is also comprehended, this Holy See has always held, the whole experience of the Church approves, and the ecumenical Councils themselves, especially those in which the Last convened with the West in a union of faith and charity, have declared.

3066 Dz 1833 For the fathers of the fourth council of Constantinople, adhering to the ways of the former ones, published this solemn profession: "Our first salvation is to guard the rule of right faith [. . .]. And since the sentiment of our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be passed over when He says: 'Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church' (Mt 16,18), these words which were spoken are proven true by actual results, since in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved untainted, and holy doctrine celebrated. Desiring, then, least of all to be separated from the faith and teaching of this [Apostolic See], We hope that We may deserve to be in the one communion which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which the solidarity of the Christian religion is whole and true" *

3067 Dz 1834 [cf. n. 171 f.]. Moreover, with the approval of the second council of Lyons, the Greeks have professed, "that the Holy Roman Church holds the highest and the full primacy and pre-eminence over the universal Catholic Church, which it truthfully and humbly professes it has received with plenitude of power from the Lord Himself in blessed Peter, the chief or head of the Apostles, of whom the Roman Pontiff is the successor; and, just as it is bound above others to defend the truth of faith, so, too, if any questions arise about faith, they should be defined by its judgment" [cf. n.466].

3068 Dz 1835 Finally, the Council of Florence has defined: "That the Roman Pontiff is the true vicar of Christ and head of the whole Church and the father and teacher of all Christians; and to it in the blessed Peter has been handed down by the Lord Jesus Christ the full power of feeding, ruling, and guiding the universal Church" [see n.694].

3069 Dz 1836 [Argument from the assent of the Church]. To satisfy this pastoral duty, our predecessors always gave tireless attention that the saving doctrine of Christ be spread among all the peoples of the earth, and with equal care they watched that, wherever it was received, it was preserved sound and pure. Therefore, the bishops of the whole world, now individually, now gathered in Synods, following a long custom of the churches and the formula of the ancient rule, referred to this Holy See those dangers particularly which emerged in the affairs of faith, that there especially the damages to faith might be repaired where faith cannot experience a failure. * The Roman Pontiffs, moreover, according as the condition of the times and affairs advised, sometimes by calling ecumenical Councils or by examining the opinion of the Church spread throughout the world; sometimes by particular synods, sometimes by employing other helps which divine Providence supplied, have defined that those matters must be held which with God's help they have recognized as in agreement with Sacred Scripture and apostolic tradition.

3070 For, the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth. Indeed, all the venerable fathers have embraced their apostolic doctrine, and the holy orthodox Doctors have venerated and followed it, knowing full well that the See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord the Savior made to the chief of His disciples: "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren" (Lc 22,32).

3071 Dz 1837 So, this gift of truth and a never failing faith was divinely conferred upon Peter and his successors in this chair, that they might administer their high duty for the salvation of all; that the entire flock of Christ, turned away by them from the poisonous food of error, might be nourished on the sustenance of heavenly doctrine, that with the occasion of schism removed the whole Church might be saved as one, and relying on her foundation might stay firm against the gates of hell.

3072 Dz 1838 [Definition of infallibility]. But since in this very age, in which the salutary efficacy of the apostolic duty is especially required, not a few are found who disparage its authority, We deem it most necessary to assert solemnly the prerogative which the Only-begotten Son of God deigned to enjoin with the highest pastoral office.

3073 Dz 1839 And so We, adhering faithfully to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God, our Savior, the elevation of the Catholic religion and the salvation of Christian peoples, with the approbation of the sacred Council, teach and explain that the dogma has been divinely revealed:

3074 that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, through the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, operates with that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished that His church be instructed in defining doctrine on faith and morals; and so such definitions of the Roman Pontiff from himself, but not from the consensus of the Church, are unalterable.

3075 Dz 1840 [Canon]. But if anyone presumes to contradict this definition of Ours, which may God forbid: let him be anathema.

Twofold Power on Earth *

[From the Encyclical, "Etsi multa luctuosa," Nov. 2, 1873]

Dz 1841
Faith (however) teaches and human reason demonstrates that a two- fold order of things exists, and that at the same time two powers are to be distinguished on earth, one naturally which looks out for the tranquillity of human society and secular affairs, but the other, whose origin is above nature, which presides over the city of God, namely, the Church of Christ, divinely established for the peace and the eternal salvation of souls. Moreover, these duties of the twofold power have been very wisely ordained, that "the things that are God's may be rendered to God," and, on account of God, "to Caesar the things that are Caesar's" (Mt 22,21), who "is great on this account, because he is less than heaven; for he himself belongs to Him to whom belong heaven and every creature.''* And from him, surely by divine mandate, the Church has never turned aside, which always and everywhere strives to nurture obedience in the souls of her faithful; and they should inviolably keep, (this obedience) to the supreme princes and their laws insofar as they are secular; and, with the Apostle it has taught that princes "are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil," ordering the faithful "to be subject not only for wrath," because the prince "beareth not the sword as an avenger to execute wrath upon him that cloth evil, but also for conscience' sake," because in his office "he is God's minister" (Rm 13,3 ff.). Moreover, it itself has restricted this fear of princes to evil works, plainly excluding the same from the observance of the divine law, mindful of that which blessed Peter taught the faithful: "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a railer, or a coveter of other men's things. But if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name" (1P 4,15 f )

The Liberty of the Church *

[From the Encyclical, "Quod nunquam," to the bishops of Prussia, February 5, 1875]

Dz 1842 We intend to fulfill parts of Our duty through this letter, announcing to all to whom this matter pertains, and to the whole Catholic world, that those laws are invalid, namely, which are utterly opposed to the constitution of the divine Church. For, the Lord of holy things did not place the powerful of this world over the bishops in these matters which pertain to the holy ministry, but blessed Peter to whom he commended not only His lambs but also His sheep to be fed (cf. Jn 21,16-17); and so by no worldly power, however elevated, can they be deprived of their episcopal office "whom the Holy Ghost hath placed as bishops to rule the Church of God" (cf. Ac 20,28). Moreover, let those who are hostile to you know that in refusing to pay to Caesar what belongs to God, you are not going to bring any injury to royal authority, nor to detract anything from it; for it is written: "We ought to obey God, rather than men" (Ac 5,29); and at the same time let them know that everyone of you is prepared to give tribute and obedience to Caesar, not for wrath, but for conscience (cf. Rm 13,5 f.) in those matters which are under civil authority and power.

Explanation of Transubstantiation*

[From the Decree of the Holy Office, July 7, 1875]

Reply to the question: "Whether the explanation of transubstantiation in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist can be tolerated, which is comprehended by the following propositions:

3121 Dz 1843 1. Just as the formal reason for hypostasis is "to be through itself," or, "to subsist through itself," so the formal reason for substance is "to be in itself" and "actually not to be sustained in another as the first subject"; for, rightly are those two to be distinguished: "to be through itself" (which is the formal reason for hypostasis), and "to be in itself" (which is the formal reason for substance).

3122 Dz 1844 2. Therefore, just as human nature in Christ is not hypostasis, because it does not subsist through itself but is assumed from a superior divine hypostasis, so finite substance, for example, the substance of bread, ceases to be substance by this alone and without any change of itself, because it is sustained supernaturally in another, so that it is not already in itself, but in another as in a first subject.

3123 Dz 1845 3. Thus, transubstantiation, or the conversion of the entire substance of bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, can be explained in this way, that the body of Christ, while it becomes substantially present in the Eucharist, sustains the nature of bread, which by this very fact and without any change in itself ceases to be substance, because it is not now in itself, but in another sustaining; and, indeed, the nature of bread remains, but in it the formal reason for substance ceases; and so there are not two substances, but one only, that, of course, of the body of Christ.

3124 Dz 1846 4. Therefore, in the Eucharist the matter and form of the elements of bread remain; but now, existing supernaturally in another, they do not have the nature of substance, but they have the nature of supernatural accident, not as if in the manner of natural accidents they affected the body of Christ, but on this account, insofar as they are sustained by the body of Christ in the manner in which it has been said."

The reply is that "the doctrine of transubstantiation, as it is set forth here, cannot be tolerated."

Royal Assent *

[From the Allocution, "Luctuosis exagitati," March 12, 1877]

Dz 1847 . . . Very recently We have been forced to declare that the following can be tolerated: that the acts of the canonical institution of certain bishops be shown to a secular power, so that, as far as We could, We might avert certain baneful consequences, in which there was no longer question of the possession of temporal goods, but of the consciences of the faithful, their peace, the care and salvation of souls, which is the supreme law for us, and which were called into open risk. But in this which We have done in order to avoid most serious dangers, We wish it to be known publicly and again that We entirely disapprove and abominate that unjust law which is called "royal assent," declaring openly that by it the divine authority of the Church is harmed and its liberty violated. . . . [see n. 1829 ].

LEO XIII 1878-1903

The Reception of Converted Heretics *

[From the Decree of the Holy Office, Nov. 20, 1878]

3128 Dz 1848 To the question: "Whether baptism should be conferred conditionally on heretics who are converted to the Catholic religion, from whatever locality they come, and to whatever sect they pertain?" The reply is: "In the negative. But in the conversion of heretics, from whatever place or from whatever sect they come, inquiry should be made regarding the validity of the baptism in the heresy which was adopted. Then after the examination has been established in individual cases, if it is found either that none was conferred, or it was conferred without effect, they shall have to be baptized absolutely. But if according to circumstances and by reason of the localities, after the investigation has been completed, nothing is discovered in favor either of validity or invalidity, or, probable doubt still exists regarding the validity of the baptism, then let them be baptized conditionally, in secret. Finally, if it shall be established that it was valid, they will have to be received only for the profession of faith."

Socialism *

[From the Encyclical, "Quod Apostolici muneris," Dec. 28, 1878]

3130 Dz 1849 From the records of the Gospels the equality of men consists in this, that all have received the same nature, and are called to the same highest dignity of the sons of God; and at the same time that, since the same end is established for all, each is to be judged individually according to the same law, to obtain punishments or rewards according to merit.

3131 An inequality of right and power, however, emanates from the very author of nature, "from whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named" (Ep 3,15). But the souls of princes and subjects, according to Catholic doctrine and precepts, are so bound by mutual duties and rights that both the passion for ruling is tempered and the way of obedience is made easy, steadfast, and most noble. . . .

3132 Dz 1850 If, however, it should ever happen that public power is exercised by princes rashly and beyond measure, the doctrine of the Catholic Church does not permit rising up against them on one's own terms, lest quiet and order be more and more disturbed, or lest society receive greater harm therefrom. Whenever matters have come to such a pass that no other hope of a solution is evident, it teaches that a remedy is to be hastened through the merits of Christian patience, and by urgent prayers to God. But if the decisions of legislators and princes should sanction or order something that is contrary to divine and natural law, the dignity and duty of the Christian name and the opinion of the apostles urge that "we ought to obey God, rather than men" (Ac 5,29).

3133 Dz 1851 But also, Catholic wisdom most skillfully provides for public and domestic tranquillity, supported by the precepts of divine law, through what it holds and teaches concerning the right of ownership and the distribution of goods which have been obtained for the necessities and uses of life. For when Socialists proclaim the right of property to be a human invention repugnant to the natural equality of man, and, seeking to establish community of goods, think that poverty is by no means to be endured with equanimity; and that the possessions and rights of the rich can be violated with impunity, the Church, much more properly and practically, recognizes inequality among men, who are naturally different in strength of body and of mind; also in the possession of goods, and it orders that right of property and of ownership, which proceeds from nature itself, be for everyone intact and inviolate; for it knows that theft and raping have been forbidden by God, the author and vindicator of every right, in such a way that one may not even look attentively upon (al.: covet) the property of another, and "that thieves and robbers, no less than adulterers and idolators are excluded from the kingdom of heaven" (cf. 1Co 6,9 f.).

Dz 1852 And yet she does not on this account neglect the care of the poor, or, as a devoted mother, fail to take thought for their necessities; but rather, embracing them with maternal affection, and realizing well that they represent the person of Christ Himself, who considers as done to Himself whatever benefit is conferred by anyone on the least of the poor, holds them in great honor; she relieves them by every resource possible; she has erected everywhere in the world homes and hospices to receive them, and to nourish and to care for them, and she takes these institutions under her loving care. By most urgent precept she commands the rich to distribute their superfluous possessions among the poor, and terrifies them by the divine judgment, whereby, unless they go to the aid of the needy poor, they are to be tormented by everlasting punishments. Finally, she especially refreshes and consoles the souls of the poor either by presenting the example of Christ who, "although he was rich, became poor for our sakes" (cf. 2Co 8,9), or by recalling the words, by which He addressed the poor as "blessed" (cf. Mt 5,3), and bade them hope for the rewards of eternal blessedness.

Christian Marriage *

[From the Encyclical, "Arcanum divinae sapientiae," February l0, 1880]

3142 Dz 1853 To the apostles as masters are to be referred the accepted matters which our holy Fathers, the Councils, and the Universal Church have always taught [see n. 970], namely, that Christ our Lord raised matrimony to the dignity of a sacrament, and at the same time brought it about that the spouses strengthened and fortified by heavenly grace which His merits procured, obtain sanctity in the marriage; and that in it, marvelously conformed to the model of the mystical marriage of Himself with the Church, He perfected a love which is befitting to nature [Conc. Trid. sess. 24, C. I de reform. matr.; cf. n. 969], and He cemented the union of man and woman, indivisible by its own nature, more strongly by the bond of divine love. . . .

3145 Dz 1854 And the distinction put forward especially by royal legists must not disturb anyone, in which they separate the nuptial contract from the sacrament, with, of course, this purpose, that, while reserving the conditions of the sacrament to the Church, they may hand over the contract to the power and will of the chiefs of the State. For such a distinction or, more truly, a severance, cannot be approved, since it has been proved that in Christian marriage the contract is inseparable from the sacrament; and so it cannot be a true and legitimate contract without being a sacrament, for this very reason. For, Christ our Lord honored marriage with the dignity of a sacrament; but marriage is the contract itself, provided it is lawfully made.

3146 In addition, marriage is a sacrament for this reason, because it is a holy sign, both giving grace and conveying an image of the mystical nuptials of Christ with the Church. Moreover, the form and figure of these nuptials are expressed by the very bond of the supreme union in which man and woman are bound together, and which is nothing other than marriage itself. And thus it is evident that every just union between Christians is in itself and by itself a sacrament; and that nothing is more inconsistent with truth than the belief that the sacrament is a kind of added ornament, or an external property which can be disengaged and separated from the contract according to man's pleasure.

Denzinger EN 3036