Aparecida 166-167: More On The Diocese

It seems like waffling language, but the Aparecida bishops are spot on with their assessment of “fully,” but “not the whole.”

166. The particular church is fully church, but it is not the whole church. It is the concrete embodiment of the mystery of the Universal Church in a particular place and time. Hence it must be in communion with all other particular churches and under the supreme pastoral care of the pope, bishop of Rome, who presides over all the churches.

Even a Body that is “fully a church” must labor to keep up with the Master on the path laid out:

167. Maturation in following Jesus and passion to proclaim him means that the particular church must constantly renew itself in its life and missionary ardor. Only thus can it be home and school of communion, participation and solidarity for all the baptized. In its concrete social reality, the disciples experience the encounter with Jesus Christ alive, mature in their Christian vocation, discover the wealth and grace of being a missionary, and joyfully proclaim the Word.

So, a particular church must always be in reform, renewal. Is our desire for Christ’s mission something we can mention in the same breath with “ardor”? Notice also the many descriptors: home and school, a place for participation and solidarity. Do we have a sense of shared purpose? Or do we function separately with separate gifts? Clergy and laity. Church and world. For sinners and to saints. Action and contemplation. Women and men. The possible rifts are many: dare we transcend our favorites?

For a deeper look, remember to check the English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization. Bookmark the permalink.

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