Denzinger EN 3567

The Author, the Time of Composition, the Historical Truth of the Gospels According to Mark and According to Luke *

[Reply of the Biblical Commission, June 26, 1912]

3568 Dz 2155 I. Whether the evident judgment of tradition, from the beginnings of the Church in wonderful agreement with and confirmed by manifold arguments, namely, the eloquent testimonies of the Holy Fathers and ecclesiastical writers, the citations and allusions which occur in the writings of the same, the practice of the ancient heretics, the versions of the Books of the New Testament, the most ancient and almost entire body of manuscripts, and also the internal reasons taken from the very text of the Sacred Books, definitely compels the affirmation that Mark, the disciple and expounder of Peter, and Luke the physician, the hearer and companion of Paul, are in fact the authors of the Gospels which are respectively attributed to them?
--Reply: In the affirmative.

3569 Dz 2156 II. Whether the reasons by which some critics strive to demonstrate that the last twelve verses of the Gospel of Mark (Mc 16,9-20) were not written by Mark himself, but were added by another hand, are such as to give the right to affirm that they are not to be accepted as inspired and canonical; or at least demonstrate that the author of the said verses is not Mark?
--Reply: In the negative to both parts.

3570 Dz 2157 III. Whether one may likewise doubt the inspiration and canonicity of the accounts given by Luke of the infancy of Christ (Lc 1-2); or the apparition of the Angel strengthening Christ, and the sweat of blood (Lc 22,43 f.); or whether it can at least be shown by solid reasons--as pleased the ancient heretics, and is agreeable also to some more recent critics--that the said accounts do not belong to the genuine Gospel of Luke?
--Reply: In the negative to both parts.

3571 Dz 2158 IV. Whether those most rare and very peculiar documents, in which the Canticle Magnificat is directed not to the Blessed Virgin but to Elizabeth, can and should in any way prevail against the harmonious testimony of almost all manuscripts, both of the original Greek text and of the versions, as well as against the interpretation which the context no less than the spirit of the Virgin herself, and the constant tradition of the Church clearly exacts?
--Reply: In the negative.

3572 Dz 2159 V. Whether, with respect to the chronological order of the Gospels, it is right to withdraw from that opinion which, strengthened equally by the most ancient and continued testimony of tradition, testifies that Mark was the second in order to write and Luke the third, after Matthew, who was the first of all to write his Gospel in his native tongue; or, whether their opinion, which asserts that the Gospel was composed second and third before the Greek version of the first Gospel, is to be regarded in turn as in opposition to this idea?
--Reply: In the negative to both parts.

3573 Dz 2160 VI. Whether the time of composition of the Gospel of Mark and Luke may be postponed until the overthrow of the city of Jerusalem; or, because the prophecy of the Lord in Luke about the overthrow of this city seems more definite, it can be sustained that his Gospel at least was composed after the siege had already begun?
--Reply: In the negative to both parts.

3574 Dz 2161 VII. Whether it ought to be affirmed that the Gospel of Luke preceded the book of the Acts of the Apostles; and although this book, with same i author Luke (Ac 1,1 f.), was finished before the end of the Apostle's Roman captivity (Ac 28,30 f.), his Gospel was not composed after this time?
--Reply: In the affirmative.

3575 Dz 2162 VIII. Whether, keeping in mind both the testimonies of tradition and internal evidence, as regards the sources which both evangelists used in composing the Gospels, that opinion can prudently be called into question which holds that Mark wrote according to the preaching of Peter, but Luke according to the preaching of Paul; and which also asserts that other sources worthy of trust were also at hand for these same evangelists, either oral or even already consigned to writing?
--Reply: In the negative.

3576 Dz 2163 IX. Whether the words and deeds which are described accurately and, as it were, graphically by Mark according to the preaching of Peter, and are most sincerely set forth by Luke, following everything diligently from the beginning through witnesses clearly worthy of trust, inasmuch as they themselves from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word (Lc 1,2 f.), rightly vindicate that complete historical faith in themselves which the Church has always given them; or, whether on the contrary the same deeds and actions are to be judged void of historical truth, at least in part, either because the writers were not eyewitnesses, or because in both Gospels defects in order and discrepancies in the succession of the deeds are not rarely caught; or because, since they came and wrote later, they were obliged to represent conceptions necessarily extraneous to the minds of Christ and the apostles, or deeds now more or less distorted by the imagination of the people; or, finally, because they indulged in preconceived dogmatic ideas, each one according to his purpose?
--Reply: In the affirmative to the first part; in the negative to the second.

The Synoptic Question or the Mutual Relations between the Three Earlier Gospels *

[Reply of the Biblical Commission, June 26, 1912]

3577 Dz 2164 I. Whether, preserving what must be jealously preserved according to the decisions made above, especially on the authenticity and integrity of the three Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke; on the substantial identity of the Greek Gospel of Matthew with its early original; also on the order of time in which the same were written, to explain their mutual likenesses and differences, midst so many varying and opposite opinions of the authors, it is permitted for exegetes to dispute freely and to appeal to the hypotheses of tradition whether written or oral, or even of the dependence of one upon a preceding or upon several preceding?
--Reply: In the affirmative.

3578 Dz 2165 II. Whether they should be advised to preserve what was established above, who, supported by no testimony of tradition or by historical argument, easily taken in by the hypothesis publicly proclaimed of two sources, which labors to explain the composition of the Greek Gospel of Matthew and of the Gospel of Luke chiefly by their dependence upon the Gospel of Mark and a so-called collection of the Lord's discourses; and whether they are thus able to defend this freely?
--Reply. In the negative to both parts.

The Author, Time of Composition, Historical Veracity of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles

[Reply of the Biblical Commission, June 12, 1913]

3581 Dz 2166 I. Whether in view especially of the tradition of the whole Church going back to the earliest ecclesiastical writers, and noting the internal reasons of the book of Acts, considered in itself or in its relation to the third Gospel, and especially because of the mutual affinity and connection between the two prologues (Lc 1,1-4 Ac 1,1 f.), it must be held as certain that the volume that is entitled Actus A postolorum, or, (Greek text deleted), has Luke the Evangelist as author?
--Reply: In the affirmative.

3582 Dz 2167 II. Whether for critical reasons taken from the language and style, and from the manner of narrating, and from the oneness of aim and doctrine, it can be demonstrated that the book of the Acts of the Apostles should be attributed to one author alone; and therefore that the opinion of more recent writers which holds that Luke is not the only author of the book, but that different persons are to be recognized as authors of the same book is devoid of any foundation?
--Reply: In the affirmative to both parts.

3583 Dz 2168 III. Whether in outward appearance, the prominent chapters in the Acts where the use of the third person is broken off and the first person plural introduced, weaken the unity and authenticity of composition; or rather historically and philologically considered are to be said to confirm it?
--Reply: In the negative to the first part; in the affirmative to the second.

3584 Dz 2169 IV. Whether because of the fact that the book itself is abruptly concluded after scarcely making mention of the two years of Paul's first Roman captivity, it may be inferred that the author had written a second volume now lost, or had intended to write it; and so the time of composition of the Book of Acts can be deferred long after this captivity; or whether it should rather rightly and worthily be held that Luke toward the end of the first Roman captivity of the Apostle Paul had completed his book?
--Reply: In the negative to the first part; in the affirmative to the second.

3585 Dz 2170 V. Whether, if there is considered together the frequent and easy communication which Luke undoubtedly had with the first and prominent founders of the Palestinian church, and also with Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, whose assistant in the preaching of the Gospel and companion in travel he was; also his customary industry and diligence in seeking witnesses, and in observing things with his own eyes; also, and finally, the evident and amazing agreement for the most part of the Book of Acts with the letters of Paul and the more genuine monuments of history, it should be held with certainty that Luke had at hand sources worthy of all trust, and applied them accurately, well, and faithfully, so that he rightly indicates for himself full historical authority?
--Reply: In the affirmative.

3586 Dz 2171 VI. Whether the difficulties which are usually raised from the supernatural deeds related by Luke, and from the narration of certain discourses which, since they are handed down in summary, are considered fictitious and adapted to circumstances; also from certain passages, apparently at least, in disagreement with history whether profane or biblical; finally also from certain accounts which seem to be at odds with the author of the Acts, or with other-sacred authors, are such as can call the historical authority of the Acts into doubt or at least in some manner diminish it?
--Reply: In the negative.

The Author, Integrity, and Time of Composition of the Pastoral Letters of Paul the Apostle *

[Response of the Biblical Commission, June 12, 1913]

3587 Dz 2172 I. Whether, keeping in mind the tradition of the Church which continues universally and steadily from the earliest times, just as the ancient ecclesiastical records testify in many ways, it should be held with certainty that the so-called pastoral letters, that is, the two to Timothy and another to Titus, notwithstanding the rashness of certain heretics who have eliminated them as being contrary to their dogma from the number of Pauline epistles, without giving any reason, were composed by the Apostle Paul himself, and have always been reckoned among the genuine and canonical?
--Reply: In the affirmative.

3588 Dz 2173 II. Whether the so-called fragmentary hypothesis introduced by certain more recent critics and variously set forth, who for no otherwise probable reason, rather while quarreling among themselves, contend that the pastoral letters were constructed at a later time from fragments of letters, or from corrupt Pauline letters by unknown authors, and notably increased, can bring some slight prejudice upon the clear and very strong testimony of tradition?
--Reply: In the negative.

3589 Dz 2174 III. Whether the difficulties which are brought up in many places whether from the style and language of the author, or from the errors especially of the Gnostics, who already at that time are described as serpents; or from the state of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, which is supposed to have been already evolved, and other such reasons in opposition in some way, weaken the opinion which holds the authenticity of the pastoral letters as valid and certain?
--Reply: In the negative.

3590 Dz 2175 IV. Whether, since no less from historical reasons as from ecclesiastical tradition, in harmony with the testimonies of the oriental and occidental most holy Fathers; also from the indications themselves which are easily drawn from the abrupt conclusion of the Book of the Acts and from the Pauline letters written at Rome, and especially from the second letter to Timothy, the opinion of a twofold Roman captivity of the Apostle Paul should be held as certain, it can be safely affirmed that the pastoral letters were written in that period of time which intervenes between the liberation from the first captivity and the death of the Apostle?
--Reply: In the affirmitive.

The Author and Method of Composition of the Epistle to the Hebrews *

[Reply of the Biblical Commission, June 24, 1914]

3591 Dz 2176 I. Whether so much force is to be attributed to the doubts which inthe first centuries possessed the minds of some in the Occident regarding the divine inspiration and Pauline origin of the Epistle to the Hebrews, because of the special abuse of heretics, that, although aware of the perpetual, unanimous, and continued affirmation of the Oriental Fathers, to which was added after the fourth century the full agreement of the entire Western Church; weighing also the acts of the Highest Pontiffs and of the sacred Councils, especially of Trent, and also the perpetual practice of the universal Church, one may hesitate to classify it with certainty not only among the canonical--which is determined regarding faith--but also among the genuine epistles of the Apostle Paul?
--Reply: In the negative.

3592 Dz 2177 II. Whether the arguments which are usually drawn from the unusual absence of the name of Paul, and the omission of the customary introduction and salutation in the Epistle to the Hebrews--or from the purity of the same Greek language, the elegance and perfection of diction and style,--or from the way by which the Old Testament is cited in it and arguments made from it,--or from certain differences which supposedly existed between the doctrine of this and of the other epistles of Paul, somehow are able to weaken the Pauline origin of the same; or whether, on the other hand, the perfect agreement of doctrine and opinions, the likeness of admonitions and exhortations, and also the harmony of the phrases and of the words themselves celebrated also by some non-Catholics, which are observed between it and the other writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles, demonstrate and confirm the same Pauline origin?
--Reply: In the negative to the first part; in the affirmative to the second.

3593 Dz 2178 III. Whether the Apostle Paul is so to be considered the author of this epistle that it should necessarily be affirmed that he not only conceived and expressed it all by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but also endowed it with that form with which it stands out?
--Reply: In the negative, save for a later judgment of the Church.

BENEDICT XV 1914-1922

Parousia, or the Second Advent of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Epistles of St. Paul the Apostle *

[Reply of the Biblical Commission, June 18, 1915]

3628 Dz 2179 I. Whether to solve the difficulties which occur in the epistles of St. Paul and of the other apostles, where there is mention of "parousia," as they say, or of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, a Catholic exegete is permitted to assert that the apostles, although under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, taught no error, nevertheless express their own human feelings in which error or deception can lie concealed?
-- Reply: In the negative.

3629 Dz 2180 II. Whether, bearing in mind the genuine notion of the apostolic gift, and the undoubted fidelity of St. Paul with regard to the doctrine of the Master, likewise the Catholic dogma on the inspiration and inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures, according to which all that the sacred writer asserts, declares, and introduces ought to be maintained as asserted, declared, and introduced by the Holy Spirit; weighing also the texts of the epistles of the Apostle considered in themselves, especially in harmony with the method of speaking of the Lord himself, one should affirm that the Apostle Paul in his writings said nothing at all which does not agree perfectly with that ignorance of parousia of the time, which Christ Himself proclaimed to belong to man?
--Reply: In the affirmative.

3630 Dz 2181 III. Whether, noting the Greek expression, "(Greek text deleted) weighing also the explanation of the Fathers, especially of John Chrysostom, who was most versed in the native idiom and in the epistles of Paul, it is permitted to reject the traditional interpretation in the Catholic schools as more remotely desired and devoid of solid foundation (which was retained by the renewers themselves also of the sixteenth century), which explains the words of St. Paul in chapter 4, epist. 1 to the Thessalonians, vv. 15-7, without in any way involving the affirmation of parousia so proximate that the Apostle numbers himself and his readers among those faithful who are to go to meet Christ as survivers?
--Reply: In the negative.

On Dying and Dead Schismatics *

[Reply of the Holy Office to various local ordinaries, May 17 1916]

3635 2181a I. Whether when material schismatics at the point of death, in good faith seek either absolution or extreme unction, these sacraments can be conferred on them without their renouncing errors?
-- Reply: In the negative, but that it be required that they reject errors as best they can, and make a profession of faith.

3636 II. Whether absolution and extreme unction can be conferred on schismatics at the point of death when unconscious?--Reply:Conditionally, in the affirmative, especially if from additional circumstances it can be conjectured that they at least implicitly reject their errors, yet effectually removing scandal, at least by manifesting to bystanders that they accept the Church and have returned at the last moment to unity.

III. As regards ecclesiastical burial the Roman Ritual must stand firm.

Spiritism *

[Reply of the Holy Office, April 21 1917]

3642 Dz 2182 Whether it is permitted through a medium,as they call him, or without a medium, with or without the application of hypnotism, to be present at spiritistic conversations or manifestations of any kind, even though these phenomena present the appearance of honesty or piety, whether by interrogating souls or spirits, or by listening to responses, or only by looking on, even with a tacit or expressed protestation that one does not wish to have anything to do with wicked spirits.
--Reply:In negative in all cases.

From the Codex of Canon Law promulgated on May 19, 1918, variously, see in Index systematicus.

Certain Propositions on Knowledge of the Soul of Christ *

[Decree of the Holy Office, June 5, 1918]

When the question was proposed by the Sacred Congregation on Seminary and University Studies, whether the following propositions can be safely taught:

3645 Dz 2183 I. It is not established that there was in the soul of Christ while living among men the knowledge which the blessed and the comprehensors have (cf. Ph 3,12-13).

3646 Dz 2184 II. Nor can the opinion be called certain which has established that the soul of Christ was ignorant of nothing, but from the beginning knew all things in the Word, past, present, and future, or all things that God knows by the knowledge of vision.

3647 Dz 2185 III. The opinion of certain more recent persons on the limited knowledge of the soul of Christ is to be accepted in Catholic schools no less than the notion of the ancients on universal knowledge.

The Most Eminent and Reverend Cardinals, general Inquisitors in matters of faith and morals, the prayer of the Consultors being held first, decreed that the answer must be: In the negative.

The Inerrancy of Holy Scripture*

[From the Encyclical, "Spiritus Paraclitus," September 15, 1920]

3652 Dz 2186 By the doctrine of Jerome those statements are well confirmed and illustrated by which Our predecessor, Leo XIII, solemnly declared the ancient and constant faith of the Church in the absolute immunity of Scriptures from any errors: Tantum abest . . .[see n. 1951 ]. And, introducing the definitions of the Councils of Florence and Trent, confirmed in the Vatican Synod, he has the following: "Therefore, nothing at all matters . . . otherwise He Himself were not the Author of all Sacred Scripture" [See n. 1952].

Although these words of Our predecessors leave no place for ambiguity or evasion, We must grieve, Venerable Brothers, that not only were there not lacking some among those outside the Church, but even among the sons of the Catholic Church, moreover--which wounds Our soul more severely--among the clergy itself and the teachers of the sacred disciplines, who relying proudly on their own judgment, either openly reject the magisteriumof the Church on this subject or secretly oppose it. Indeed, We approve the plan of those who, to extricate themselves and others from the difficulties of the Sacred Codex, in order to eliminate these difficulties, rely on all the aids of scholarship and literary criticism, and investigate new avenues and methods of research; but they will wander pitifully from their purpose, if they disregard the precepts of Our predecessor and pass beyondcertain limits and bounds which the Fathers have set (
Pr 22,28). Yet by these precepts and limits the opinion of the more recent critics is not restrained, who, after introducing a distinction between the primary or religious element of Scripture, and the secondary or profane, wish, indeed, that inspiration itself pertain to all the ideas, rather even to the individual words of the Bible, but that its effects and especially immunity from error and absolute truth be contracted and narrowed down to the primary or religious element. For their belief is that that only which concerns religion is intended and is taught by God in the Scriptures; but that the rest, which pertains to the profane disciplines and serves revealed doctrine as a kind of external cloak of divine truth, is only permitted and is left to the feebleness of the writer. It is not surprising, then, if in physical, historical, and other similar affairs a great many things occur in the Bible, which cannot at all be reconciled with the progress of the fine arts of this age. There are those who contend that these fabrications of opinions are not in opposition to the prescripitions of Our predecessor, since he declared that the sacred writer in matters of nature speaks according to external appearance, surely fallacious [see n. 1947]. But how rashly, how falsely this is affirmed, is plainly evident from the very words of the Pontiff.

3653 Dz 2187 And no less do they dissent from the doctrine of the Church who think that the historical parts of Scriptures depend not on the absolute truth of facts, but only on what they callthe relativeand harmonious opinion of the multitude; and they do not hesitate to infer this from the very words of Pope Leo, because he said that the principles established regarding the things of nature can be transferred to the historical disciplines [see n.1949]. And so they contend that the sacred writers, just as in physical matters they spoke according to what was apparent, so they related events unwittingly, inasmuch as these seemed to be established according to the common opinion of the multitude or the false testimonies of others; and that they did not indicate the sources of their knowledge, and did not make the narrations of others their own. Why shall we refute at length a matter plainly injurious to Our predecessor, and false and full of error? For what is the similarity of the things of nature and history, when the physical are concerned with what "appears to the senses," and so should agree with phenomena; while on the other hand the law of history is chiefly this, that what is written must be in agreement with the things accomplished, according as they were accomplished in fact? If the opinion of these men is once accepted, how will that truth of sacred story stand safe, immune from every falsehood, which Our predecessor declares must be retained in the entire text of its literature? But if he affirms that the same principles that have a place in physics can to advantage be transferred to history and related disciplines, he certainly does not establish this on a universal basis, but is only professing that we use the same methods to refute the fallacies of adversaries as we use to protect the historical faith of Sacred Scripture against their attacks. . . .

3654 Dz 2188 Nor is Sacred Scripture lacking other detractors; We recognize those who, if they are restrained within certain limits, so abuse right principles indeed that they cause the foundations of the truth of the Bible to totter, and undermine the Catholic doctrine handed down by the Fathers in common. Among these Fathers Jerome, if he were still alive, would surely hurl the sharpest weapons of his speech, because, neglecting the sense and judgment of the Church, they very smoothly take refuge in citations which they call implicit, or in accounts historical in appearance; or, they contend that certain kinds of literature are found in the sacred books, with which the whole and perfect truth of the divine word cannot be reconciled; or, they have such an opinion on the origin of the Bible that its authority collapses and utterly perishes. Now, what must be thought of those who in expounding the Gospels themselves diminish the human faith due them and overturn divine faith? For what our Lord Jesus Christ said, and what He did they are of the opinion did not come down to us entire and unchanged, although they are witnesses of all those who wrote down religiously what they themselves had seen and heard; but that--especially with reference to the fourth Gospel-- part came down from the evangelists who themselves planned and added much, and part was brought together from the account of the faithful of another age.

Now, Venerable Brethren, with the passing of the fifteenth generation after the death of the greatest Doctor We have communicated with you not to delay to bring these words to the clergy and your people, that all, under the patronage and leadership of Jerome, may not only retain and guard the Catholic doctrine of the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, but may also cling most zealously to the principles which are prescribed in the Encyclical Letter, "Providentissimus Deus," and in this Our own. . . .

The Doctrines of Theosophy*

[Reply of the Holy Office, July 18, 1919]

3648 Dz 2189 Whether the doctrines, which today are called theosophical, can be in harmony with Catholic doctrine; and thus whether it is permitted to join theosophical societies, attend their meetings, and read their books, daily papers, journals, and writings.
--Reply :In the negative in all cases.

PIUS XI 1922-1939

The Relation Between Church and State *

[From the Encyclical, "Ubi arcano," December 23, 1922]

Dz 2190 But if the Church thinks it unlawful to mingle in these worldly affairs, concerned in the mere controlling of politics, without reason, yet by her own right she strives that civil power invent no cause for obstructing in any way those higher blessings in which man's eternal salvation is contained, or for threatening harm or destruction by unjust laws and orders; or for undermining the divine constitution of the Church; or, finally, of trampling upon the sacred laws of God in the civil community of men.

The Law and Method of Following the Doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas *

[From the Encyclical, "Studiorum Ducem," June 29, 1923]

3665 Dz 2191 We desire very much that those especially who hold the magisteriaof the higher disciplines in the schools of the clergy note carefully and observe inviolably all the precepts which both Our predecessors, and first of all Leo XIII * and Pius X,* have decreed and We ourselves have ordered last year.* Moreover, let them be convinced that they will then satisfy the demands of their office and will likewise fulfill Our expectation, if, when they begin truly to love the Doctor Aquinas, by a long and intensive study of his works, and by interpreting the Doctor himself, they communicate the warmth of this love to the students under their instruction, and render them capable of exciting a similar zeal in others.

3666 Dz 2192 Naturally among lovers of St. Thomas, such as all the sons of the Church who are concerned with the highest studies should be, We desire that there exist that honorable rivalry with just freedom from which studies make progress, but no detraction which is not favorable to truth and which serves only to break the bonds of charity. Therefore, let whatever is prescribed * in the Code of Canon Law be sacred to each one of them, that "the professors may carry on the study of rational * philosophy and of theology and the instruction of their students in these disciplines according to the method, doctrines, and principles of the Angelic Doctor, and may hold them sacred," and that all so conduct themselves according to this norm as to be truly able to call him that master.

3667 "But let not some exact from others anything more than this which the Church the mistress and mother of all demands of all; for in those matters about which there is wont to be varied opinions among teachers of higher distinction among our Catholic schools no one is to be prevented from following the opinion which seems to him the more probable."

The Revival of Merits and Gifts *

[From the Bull of Jubilee, "lnfinita Dei misericordia," May 29, 1924]

3670 Dz 2193 Now when the Hebrews in the year of the Sabbath, after recovering their goods which had passed into the ownership of others, were returning "totheir own possession,"and the servants, now free, were betaking themselves "to their former family" (Lv 25,10), and the debt of the debtors was cancelled, all this more happily happens and is accomplished among us in the year of atonement. For, all who by doing penance carry out the salutary orders of the Apostolic See in the course of the great Jubilee, the same regain anew and receive that abundance of merits and gifts which they had lost by sinning, and they are so set free from the cruel domination of Satan that they regain the freedom "wherewith Christ has made us free" (Ga 4,31), and, finally, of all the punishment which they would have been obliged to pay for their faults and sins, because of the highly accumulated merits of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints, they are fully absolved.

The Kingship of Christ *

[From the Encyclical, "Quas primas," December 11, 1925]

3676 Dz 2194 Moreover, on what foundation this dignity and power of our Lord rests, Cyril of Alexandria aptly observes: "He obtained his dominion over all creatures, to speak in a word, not by having wrested it by force or brought it in from some other source, but by His own essence and nature"; * naturally, His kingdom depends on that wonderful union which is called hypostatic. Therefore, it follows not only that Christ is to be adored as God by angels and men, but also that angels and men obey and are subject to His power as man, namely, that Christ obtains His power over all creatures solely in the name of the hypostatic union. ---But yet what could be more pleasing to us and more pleasant to contemplate than that Christ commands us not only by right of birth but also by an acquired right, that is, of redemption? Would that all forgetful men would recall what price they have cost our Savior, for, "not with corruptible things as with gold or silver were you redeemed but by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled" (1P 1,18-19). Now we are not our own, since Christ has bought us "with a great price" (1Co 5,20); our very bodies "are members of Christ" (1Co 6,15).

3677 Dz 2195 Now to explain briefly the force and nature of this kingship, it is hardly sufficient to say that it consists of a threefold power, and if it lacked this, it is scarcely recognized as a kingship. Testimonies drawn and gathered from Sacred Scriptures indicate more than sufficiently this fact about the universal power of our Redeemer, and according to the Catholic faith it must be believed that Jesus Christ was given to men as a Redeemer, in whom to trust; but at the same time as a legislator, to whom to give obedience (Cone. Trid., sess. VI, can. 21 [see n. 831]). But the Gospels do not insist so much on the fact that He established laws, as they do of Him observing laws; and, indeed, whoever keep these precepts, the same are said in different words in different places by the divine Master both to prove their love for Him, and to remain in His love (Jn 14,15 Jn 15,10). Jesus Himself declared to the Jews, who accused Him of violating the quiet of Sabbath by the wonderful healing of the sick man, that the Father had bestowed judicial power on Him: "For neither cloth the Father judge any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son" (Jn 5,22); by which this also is understood--- since the fact cannot be separated from the judgment---that by His own right He confers rewards and punishments upon men while still living. And furthermore that power which is called executive is to be attributed to Christ, since it is necessary that all obey His power, and since no one can escape what has been imposed upon the contumacious in the imposing of punishment.

3678 Nevertheless, that such a kingdom is spiritual in a special way, and pertains to spiritual things, not only do the words which we have quoted above from the Bible show, but Christ the Lord by His manner of action confirms. For, on more than one given occasion, when the Jews, or rather the apostles themselves were of the opinion through error that the Messias would deliver the people into liberty and would restore the kingdom of Israel, He Himself destroyed and dispelled their vain opinion and hope; when He was about to be proclaimed king by a surrounding multitude, He declined the name and honor by fleeing and hiding; in the presence of the Roman governor He declared that His kingdom was not "of this world" (Jn 18,36). Indeed. this kingdom is presented in the Gospels as such, into which men prepare to enter by doing penance; moreover, they cannot enter it except through faith and baptism, which, although an external rite, yet signifies and effects an interior regeneration; it is opposed only to the kingdom of Satan and to the powers of darkness, and demands of its followers not only that, with mind detached from wealth and earthly things, they prefer gentleness of character, and hunger and thirst after justice, but also that they renounce themselves and take up their cross. Moreover, since Christ as Redeemer has acquired the Church by His blood, and as Priest has offered and continues to offer Himself as a victim for our sins, does it not seem right that He assume the nature of both offices and participate in them?

3679 Dz 2196 Otherwise he would err basely, who should deprive Christ, the man, of power over all civil affairs, since He has received the most absolute right over created things from the Father, so that all have been placed under His authority. But yet, as long as He led His life on earth, He abstained entirely from exercising such domination; and just as He once belittled the possession and desire of human things, so He then permitted and today permits the possession of them. And regarding this the following is very aptly said: "He does not snatch away mortal things, who gives heavenly kingdoms" [Hymn, "Crudelis Herodes," in the Office of the Epiphany]. And so the kingdom of our Redeemer embraces all men, and in this matter We gladly make the words of Our predecessor of immortal memory Our own: "Clearly His power is not only over Catholic peoples, or over those alone who, cleansed by holy baptism, surely belong to the Church, if right is considered, though error of opinion leads them in devious ways, or dissension separates them from charity, but it embraces even those who are reckoned as destitute of Christian faith, so that in all truth all mankind is under the power of Jesus Christ" [Encyclical, "Annum sacrum," given May 25, 1899]. Nor is there in this matter any difference among individuals and domestic and civic groups, because men united in society are no less under the power of Christ. Surely the same (Christ) is the source of individual and common salvation: "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved" (Ac 4,12); the same Person is the author of prosperity and true happiness for individual citizens and for the state: "For the city is not made happy from one source, and man from another, since the state is nothing else than a harmonious multitude of men."* Therefore, let the rulers of nations not refuse to offer the public service of reverence and obedience to the power of Christ through themselves and through the people, if they truly wish, while preserving their authority to advance and increase the fortunes of their country.

Denzinger EN 3567