On-Going Instruction in the Principles of Christianity
THE CREDO OF THE PROPLE OF GOD
(The SOLEMN PROFESSION OF FAITH - 4 thru 7)
- In making this Profession, we are aware of the disquiet which agitates certain groups of men at the present time with regard to the Faith. They do not escape the influence of a world being profoundly changed, in which so many truths are being denied outright or made objects of controversy. We see even Catholics allowing themselves to be seized by a kind of passion for change and novelty. The Church, most assuredly, has always the duty to carry on the effort to study more deeply and to present in a manner ever better adapted to successive generations the unfathomable mysteries of God, rich for all in fruits of salvation. But at the same time the greatest care must be taken, while fulfilling the indispensable duty of research, to do no injury to the truths of Christian doctrine. For that would be to give rise, as is unfortunately seen in these days, to disturbance and doubt in many faithful souls.
- It is supremely important in this respect to recall that, beyond that which is observable, analyzed by the work of the sciences, the intellect which God has given us reaches that which is, and not merely the subjective expression of the structures and development of consciousness. And, on the other hand, it is important to remember that the task of interpretation—of hermeneutics—is to try to understand and extricate, while respecting the word expressed, the sense conveyed by a text, and not to recreate, in some fashion, this sense in accordance with arbitrary hypotheses.
- But above all, we place our unshakable confidence in the Holy Spirit, the soul of the Church, and in theological faith upon which rests the life of the Mystical Body. We know that souls await the word of the Vicar of Christ, and we respond to that expectation with the instructions which We regularly give. But today we are given an opportunity to make a more solemn utterance.
- On this day which is chosen to close the Year of Faith, on this Feast of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, We have wished to offer to the Living God the homage of a Profession of Faith. And as once at Caesarea Philippi the Apostle Peter spoke on behalf of the Twelve to make a true confession, beyond human opinions, of Christ as Son of the Living God, so today his humble successor, Pastor of the Universal Church, raises his voice to give, on behalf of all the People of God, a firm witness to the divine truth entrusted to the Church to be announced to all nations.
We have wished our Profession of Faith to be to a high degree complete and explicit, in order that it may respond in a fitting way to the need of light felt by so many faithful souls, and by all those in the world to whatever spiritual family they belong, who are in search of the Truth. Therefore, to the glory of God Most Holy and of Our Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in the aid of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, for the profit and edification of the Church, in the name of all the pastors and faithful, we now pronounced this Profession of Faith, in full communion with you all, beloved brothers and sisters.
(Pope Saint Paul VI, reigned 1964-1978)
Raised to the Altars October 14th, 2018