Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity
Second Vatican Council
DECREE ON THE APOSTOLATE OF THE LAITY
SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS,
POPE PAUL VI
ON NOVEMBER 18, 1965
1. To intensify the apostolic activity of the people of God,(1) the
most holy synod earnestly addresses itself to the laity, whose proper
and indispensable role in the mission of the Church has already been
dealt with in other documents.(2) The apostolate of the laity derives
from their Christian vocation and the Church can never be without it.
Sacred Scripture clearly shows how spontaneous and fruitful such
activity was at the very beginning of the Church (cf. Acts 11:19-21;
18:26; Rom. 16:1-16; Phil. 4:3).
Our own times require of the laity no less zeal: in fact, modern
conditions demand that their apostolate be broadened and intensified.
With a constantly increasing population, continual progress in science
and technology, and closer interpersonal relationships, the areas for
the lay apostolate have been immensely widened particularly in fields
that have been for the most part open to the laity alone. These
factors have also occasioned new problems which demand their expert
attention and study. This apostolate becomes more imperative in view
of the fact that many areas of human life have become increasingly
autonomous. This is as it should be, but it sometimes involves a
degree of departure from the ethical and religious order and a serious
danger to Christian life. Besides, in many places where priests are
very few or, in some instances, deprived of due freedom for priestly
work, the Church could scarcely exist and function without the
activity of the laity.
An indication of this manifold and pressing need is the unmistakable
work being done today by the Holy Spirit in making the laity ever more
conscious of their own responsibility and encouraging them to serve
Christ and the Church in all circumstances.(3)
In this decree the Council seeks to describe the nature, character,
and diversity of the lay apostolate, to state its basic principles,
and to give pastoral directives for its more effective exercise. All
these should be regarded as norms when the canon law, as it pertains
to the lay apostolate, is revised.
THE VOCATION OF THE LAITY TO THE APOSTOLATE
2. The Church was founded for the purpose of spreading the kingdom of
Christ throughout the earth for the glory of God the Father, to enable
all men to share in His saving redemption,(1) and that through them
the whole world might enter into a relationship with Christ. All
activity of the Mystical Body directed to the attainment of this goal
is called the apostolate, which the Church carries on in various ways
through all her members. For the Christian vocation by its very nature
is also a vocation to the apostolate. No part of the structure of a
living body is merely passive but has a share in the functions as well
as life of the body: so, too, in the body of Christ, which is the
Church, "the whole body . . . in keeping with the proper activity of
each part, derives its increase from its own internal development"
Indeed, the organic union in this body and the structure of the
members are so compact that the member who fails to make his proper
contribution to the development of the Church must be said to be
useful neither to the Church nor to himself.
In the Church there is a diversity of ministry but a oneness of
mission. Christ conferred on the Apostles and their successors the
duty of teaching, sanctifying, and ruling in His name and power. But
the laity likewise share in the priestly, prophetic, and royal office
of Christ and therefore have their own share in the mission of the
whole people of God in the Church and in the world.(2)
They exercise the apostolate in fact by their activity directed to the
evangelization and sanctification of men and to the penetrating and
perfecting of the temporal order through the spirit of the Gospel. In
this way, their temporal activity openly bears witness to Christ and
promotes the salvation of men. Since the laity, in accordance with
their state of life, live in the midst of the world and its concerns,
they are called by God to exercise their apostolate in the world like
leaven, with the ardor of the spirit of Christ.
3. The laity derive the right and duty to the apostolate from their
union with Christ the head; incorporated into Christ's Mystical Body
through Baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit
through Confirmation, they are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord
Himself. They are consecrated for the royal priesthood and the holy
people (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-10) not only that they may offer spiritual
sacrifices in everything they do but also that they may witness to
Christ throughout the world. The sacraments, however, especially the
most holy Eucharist, communicate and nourish that charity which is the
soul of the entire apostolate.(3)
One engages in the apostolate through the faith, hope, and charity
which the Holy Spirit diffuses in the hearts of all members of the
Church. Indeed, by the precept of charity, which is the Lord's
greatest commandment, all the faithful are impelled to promote the
glory of God through the coming of His kingdom and to obtain eternal
life for all men-that they may know the only true God and Him whom He
sent, Jesus Christ (cf. John 17:3). On all Christians therefore is
laid the preeminent responsibility of working to make the divine
message of salvation known and accepted by all men throughout the
For the exercise of this apostolate, the Holy Spirit Who sanctifies
the people of God through ministry and the sacraments gives the
faithful special gifts also (cf. 1 Cor. 12:7), "allotting them to
everyone according as He wills" (1 Cor. 12:11) in order that
individuals, administering grace to others just as they have received
it, may also be "good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter
4:10), to build up the whole body in charity (cf. Eph. 4:16). From the
acceptance of these charisms, including those which are more
elementary, there arise for each believer the right and duty to use
them in the Church and in the world for the good of men and the
building up of the Church, in the freedom of the Holy Spirit who
"breathes where He wills" (John 3:8). This should be done by the laity
in communion with their brothers in Christ, especially with their
pastors who must make a judgment about the true nature and proper use
of these gifts not to extinguish the Spirit but to test all things and
hold for what is good (cf. 1 Thess. 5:12,19,21).(4)
4. Since Christ, sent by the Father, is the source and origin of the
whole apostolate of the Church, the success of the lay apostolate
depends upon the laity's living union with Christ, in keeping with the
Lord's words, "He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit,
for without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). This life of intimate
union with Christ in the Church is nourished by spiritual aids which
are common to all the faithful, especially active participation in the
sacred liturgy.(5) These are to be used by the laity in such a way
that while correctly fulfilling their secular duties in the ordinary
conditions of life, they do not separate union with Christ from their
life but rather performing their work according to God's will they
grow in that union. In this way the laity must make progress in
holiness in a happy and ready spirit, trying prudently and patiently
to overcome difficulties.(6) Neither family concerns nor other secular
affairs should be irrelevant to their spiritual life, in keeping with
the words of the Apostle, "What-ever you do in word or work, do all in
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father
through Him" (Col. 3:17).
Such a life requires a continual exercise of faith, hope, and charity.
Only by the light of faith and by meditation on the word of God can
one always and everywhere recognize God in Whom "we live, and move,
and have our being" ( Acts 17:28), seek His will in every event, see
Christ in everyone whether he be a relative or a stranger, and make
correct judgments about the true meaning and value of temporal things
both in themselves and in their relation to man's final goal.
They who have this faith live in the hope of the revelation of the
sons of God and keep in mind the cross and resurrection of the Lord.
In the pilgrimage of this life, hidden with Christ in God and free
from enslavement to wealth, they aspire to those riches which remain
forever and generously dedicate themselves wholly to the advancement
of the kingdom of God and to the reform and improvement of the
temporal order in a Christian spirit. Among the trials of this life
they find strength in hope, convinced that "the sufferings of the
present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that
will be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18).
Impelled by divine charity, they do good to all men, especially to
those of the household of the faith (cf. Gal. 6:10), laying aside "all
malice and all deceit and pretense, and envy, and all slander" (1
Peter 2:1), and thereby they draw men to Christ. This charity of God,
"which is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been
given to us" (Rom. 5:5), enables the laity really to express the
spirit of the beatitudes in their lives. Following Jesus in His
poverty, they are neither depressed by the lack of temporal goods nor
inflated by their abundance; imitating Christ in His humility, they
have no obsession for empty honors (cf. Gal. 5:26) but seek to please
God rather than men, ever ready to leave all things for Christ's sake
(cf. Luke 14:26) and to suffer persecution for justice sake (cf. Matt.
5:10), as they remember the words of the Lord, "If anyone wishes to
come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow
me" (Matt. 16:24) . Promoting Christian friendship among themselves,
they help one another in every need whatsoever.
This plan for the spiritual life of the laity should take its
particular character from their married or family state or their
single or widowed state, from their state of health, and from their
professional and social activity. They should not cease to develop
earnestly the qualities and talents bestowed on them in accord with
these conditions of life, and they should make use of the gifts which
they have received from the Holy Spirit.
Furthermore, the laity who have followed their vocation and have
become members of one of the associations or institutes approved by
the Church try faithfully to adopt the special characteristics of the
spiritual life which are proper to them as well. They should also hold
in high esteem professional skill, family and civic spirit, and the
virtues relating to social customs, namely, honesty, justice,
sincerity, kindness, and courage, without which no true Christian life
The perfect example of this type of spiritual and apostolic life is
the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, who while leading the
life common to all here on earth, one filled with family concerns and
labors, was always intimately united with her Son and in an entirely
unique way cooperated in the work of the Savior. Having now been
assumed into heaven, with her maternal charity she cares for these
brothers of her Son who are still on their earthly pilgrimage and
remain involved in dangers and difficulties until they are led into
the happy fatherland.(7) All should devoutly venerate her and commend
their life and apostolate to her maternal care.
5. Christ's redemptive work, while essentially concerned with the
salvation of men, includes also the renewal of the whole temporal
order. Hence the mission of the Church is not only to bring the
message and grace of Christ to men but also to penetrate and perfect
the temporal order with the spirit of the Gospel. In fulfilling this
mission of the Church, the Christian laity exercise their apostolate
both in the Church and in the world, in both the spiritual and the
temporal orders. These orders, although distinct, are so connected in
the singular plan of God that He Himself intends to raise up the whole
world again in Christ and to make it a new creation, initially on
earth and completely on the last day. In both orders the layman, being
simultaneously a believer and a citizen, should be continuously led by
the same Christian conscience.
6. The mission of the Church pertains to the salvation of men, which
is to be achieved by belief in Christ and by His grace. The apostolate
of the Church and of all its members is primarily designed to manifest
Christ's message by words and deeds and to communicate His grace to
the world. This is done mainly through the ministry of the Word and
the sacraments, entrusted in a special way to the clergy, wherein the
laity also have their very important roles to fulfill if they are to
be "fellow workers for the truth" (3 John 8). It is especially on this
level that the apostolate of the laity and the pastoral ministry are
There are innumerable opportunities open to the laity for the exercise
of their apostolate of evangelization and sanctification. The very
testimony of their Christian life and good works done in a
supernatural spirit have the power to draw men to belief and to God;
for the Lord says, "Even so let your light shine before men in order
that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is
in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).
However, an apostolate of this kind does not consist only in the
witness of one's way of life; a true apostle looks for opportunities
to announce Christ by words addressed either to non-believers with a
view to leading them to faith, or to the faithful with a view to
instructing, strengthening, and encouraging them to a more fervent
life. "For the charity of Christ impels us" (2 Cor. 5:14). The words
of the Apostle should echo in all hearts, "Woe to me if I do not
preach the Gospel" (1 Cor. 9:16).(1)
Since, in our own times, new problems are arising and very serious
errors are circulating which tend to undermine the foundations of
religion, the moral order, and human society itself, this sacred synod
earnestly exhorts laymen-each according to his own gifts of
intelligence and learning-to be more diligent in doing what they can
to explain, defend, and properly apply Christian principles to the
problems of our era in accordance with the mind of the Church.
7. God's plan for the world is that men should work together to renew
and constantly perfect the temporal order.
All those things which make up the temporal order, namely, the good
things of life and the prosperity of the family, culture, economic
matters, the arts and professions, the laws of the political
community, international relations, and other matters of this kind, as
well as their development and progress, not only aid in the attainment
of man's ultimate goal but also possess their own intrinsic value.
This value has been established in them by God, whether they are
considered in themselves or as parts of the whole temporal order. "God
saw that all He had made was very good" (Gen. 1:31). This natural
goodness of theirs takes on a special dignity as a result of their
relation to the human person, for whose service they were created. It
has pleased God to unite all things, both natural and supernatural, in
Christ Jesus "so that in all things He may have the first place" (Col.
1:18). This destination, however, not only does not deprive the
temporal order of its independence, its proper goals, laws, supports,
and significance for human welfare but rather perfects the temporal
order in its own intrinsic strength and worth and puts it on a level
with man's whole vocation upon earth.
In the course of history, the use of temporal things has been marred
by serious vices. Affected by original sin, men have frequently fallen
into many errors concerning the true God, the nature of man, and the
principles of the moral law. This has led to the corruption of morals
and human institutions and not rarely to contempt for the human person
himself. In our own time, moreover, those who have trusted excessively
in the progress of the natural sciences and the technical arts have
fallen into an idolatry of temporal things and have become their
slaves rather than their masters.
The whole Church must work vigorously in order that men may become
capable of rectifying the distortion of the temporal order and
directing it to God through Christ. Pastors must clearly state the
principles concerning the purpose of creation and the use of temporal
things and must offer the moral and spiritual aids by which the
temporal order may be renewed in Christ.
The laity must take up the renewal of the temporal order as their own
special obligation. Led by the light of the Gospel and the mind of the
Church and motivated by Christian charity, they must act directly and
in a definite way in the temporal sphere. As citizens they must
cooperate with other citizens with their own particular skill and on
their own responsibility. Everywhere and in all things they must seek
the justice of God's kingdom. The temporal order must be renewed in
such a way that, without detriment to its own proper laws, it may be
brought into conformity with the higher principles of the Christian
life and adapted to the shifting circumstances of time, place, and
peoples. Preeminent among the works of this type of apostolate is that
of Christian social action which the sacred synod desires to see
extended to the whole temporal sphere, including culture.(2)
8. While every exercise of the apostolate should be motivated by
charity, some works by their very nature can become specially vivid
expressions of this charity. Christ the Lord wanted these works to be
signs of His messianic mission (cf. Matt. 11:4-5).
The greatest commandment in the law is to love God with one's whole
heart and one's neighbor as oneself (cf. Matt. 22:37-40). Christ made
this commandment of love of neighbor His own and enriched it with a
new meaning. For He wanted to equate Himself with His brethren as the
object of this love when He said, "As long as you did it for one of
these, the least of My brethren, you did it for Me" (Matt. 25:40).
Assuming human nature, He bound the whole human race to Himself as a
family through a certain supernatural solidarity and established
charity as the mark of His disciples, saying, "By this will all men
know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another"
ln her very early days, the holy Church added the agape to the
eucharistic supper and thus showed itself to be wholly united around
Christ by the bond of charity. So, too, in every era it is recognized
by this sign of love, and while it rejoices in the undertakings of
others, it claims works of charity as its own inalienable duty and
right. For this reason, pity for the needy and the sick and works of
charity and mutual aid intended to relieve human needs of every kind
are held in highest honor by the Church.(3)
At the present time, with the development of more rapid facilities for
communication, with the barrier of distance separating men greatly
reduced, with the inhabitants of the entire globe becoming one great
family, these charitable activities and works have become more urgent
and universal. These charitable enterprises can and should reach out
to all persons and all needs. Wherever there are people in need of
food and drink, clothing, housing, medicine, employment, education;
wherever men lack the facilities necessary for living a truly human
life or are afflicted with serious distress or illness or suffer exile
or imprisonment, there Christian charity should seek them out and find
them, console them with great solicitude, and help them with
appropriate relief. This obligation is imposed above all upon every
prosperous nation and person.(4)
In order that the exercise of charity on this scale may be
unexceptionable in appearance as well as in fact, it is altogether
necessary that one should consider in one's neighbor the image of God
in which he has been created, and also Christ the Lord to Whom is
really offered whatever is given to a needy person. It is imperative
also that the freedom and dignity of the person being helped be
respected with the utmost consideration, that the purity of one's
charitable intentions be not stained by seeking one's own advantage or
by striving for domination,(5) and especially that the demands of
justice be satisfied lest the giving of what is due in justice be
represented as the offering of a charitable gift. Not only the effects
but also the causes of these ills must be removed and the help be
given in such a way that the recipients may gradually be freed from
dependence on outsiders and become self-sufficient.
Therefore, the laity should hold in high esteem and, according to
their ability, aid the works of charity and projects for social
assistance, whether public or private, including international
programs whereby effective help is given to needy individuals and
peoples. In so doing, they should cooperate with all men of good
THE VARIOUS FIELDS OF THE APOSTOLATE
9. The laity carry out their manifold apostolate both in the Church
and in the world. In both areas there are various opportunities for
apostolic activity. We wish to list here the more important fields of
action, namely, church communities, the family, youth, the social
milieu, and national and international levels. Since in our times
women have an ever more active shale in the whole life of society, it
is very important that they participate more widely also in the
various fields of the Church's apostolate.
10. As sharers in the role of Christ as priest, prophet, and king, the
laity have their work cut out for them in the life and activity of the
Church. Their activity is so necessary within the Church communities
that without it the apostolate of the pastors is often unable to
achieve its full effectiveness. In the manner of the men and women who
helped Paul in spreading the Gospel (cf. Acts 18:18, 26; Rom. 16:3)
the laity with the right apostolic attitude supply what is lacking to
their brethren and refresh the spirit of pastors and of the rest of
the faithful (cf. 1 Cor. 16:17-18). Strengthened by active
participation in the liturgical life of their community, they are
eager to do their share of the apostolic works of that community. They
bring to the Church people who perhaps are far removed from it,
earnestly cooperate in presenting the word of God especially by means
of catechetical instruction, and offer their special skills to make
the care of souls and the administration of the temporalities of the
Church more efficient and effective.
The parish offers an obvious example of the apostolate on the
community level inasmuch as it brings together the many human
differences within its boundaries and merges them into the
universality of the Church.(1) The laity should accustom themselves to
working in the parish in union with their priests,(2) bringing to the
Church community their own and the world's problems as well as
questions concerning human salvation, all of which they should examine
and resolve by deliberating in common. As far as possible the laity
ought to provide helpful collaboration for every apostolic and
missionary undertaking sponsored by their local parish.
They should develop an ever-increasing appreciation of their own
diocese, of which the parish is a kind of cell, ever ready at their
pastor's invitation to participate in diocesan projects. Indeed, to
fulfill the needs of cities and rural areas,(3) they should not limit
their cooperation to the parochial or diocesan boundaries but strive
to extend it to interparochial, interdiocesan, national, and
international fields. This is constantly becoming all the more
necessary because the daily increase in mobility of populations,
reciprocal relationships, and means of communication no longer allow
any sector of society to remain closed in upon itself. Thus they
should be concerned about the needs of the people of God dispersed
throughout the world. They should especially make missionary activity
their own by giving material or even personal assistance. It is a duty
and honor for Christians to return to God a part of the good things
that they receive from Him.
11. Since the Creator of all things has established conjugal society
as the beginning and basis of human society and, by His grace, has
made it a great mystery in Christ and the Church (cf. Eph. 5:32), the
apostolate of married persons and families is of unique importance for
the Church and civil society.
Christian husbands and wives are cooperators in grace and witnesses of
faith for each other, their children, and all others in their
household. They are the first to communicate the faith to their
children and to educate them by word and example for the Christian and
apostolic life. They prudently help them in the choice of their
vocation and carefully promote any sacred vocation which they may
discern in them.
It has always been the duty of Christian married partners but today it
is the greatest part of their apostolate to manifest and prove by
their own way of life the indissolubility and sacredness of the
marriage bond, strenuously to affirm the right and duty of parents and
guardians to educate children in a Christian manner, and to defend the
dignity and lawful autonomy of the family. They and the rest of the
faithful, therefore, should cooperate with men of good will to ensure
the preservation of these rights in civil legislation and to make sure
that governments give due attention to the needs of the family
regarding housing, the education of children, working conditions,
social security, and taxes; and that in policy decisions affecting
migrants their right to live together as a family should be
This mission-to be the first and vital cell of society-the family has
received from God. It will fulfill this mission if it appears as the
domestic sanctuary of the Church by reason of the mutual affection of
its members and the prayer that they offer to God in common, if the
whole family makes itself a part of the liturgical worship of the
Church, and if it provides active hospitality and promotes justice and
other good works for the service of all the brethren in need. Among
the various activities of the family apostolate may be enumerated the
following: the adoption of abandoned infants, hospitality to
strangers, assistance in the operation of schools, helpful advice and
material assistance for adolescents, help to engaged couples in
preparing themselves better for marriage, catechetical work, support
of married couples and families involved in material and moral crises,
help for the aged not only by providing them with the necessities of
life but also by obtaining for them a fair share of the benefits of an
At all times and places but particularly in areas where the first
seeds of the Gospel are being sown, or where the Church is just
beginning, or is involved in some serious difficulty, Christian
families can give effective testimony to Christ before the world by
remaining faithful to the Gospel and by providing a model of Christian
marriage through their whole way of life.(5)
To facilitate the attainment of the goals of their apostolate, it can
be useful for families to be brought together into groups.(6)
12. Young persons exert very important influence in modern society.(7)
There has been a radical change in the circumstances of their lives,
their mental attitudes, and their relationships with their own
families. Frequently they move too quickly into a new social and
economic status. While their social and even their political
importance is growing from day to day, they seem to be unable to cope
adequately with their new responsibilities.
Their heightened influence in society demands of them a proportionate
apostolic activity, but their natural qualities also fit them for this
activity. As they become more conscious of their own personalities,
they are impelled by a zest for life and a ready eagerness to assume
their own responsibility, and they yearn to play their part in social
and cultural life. If this zeal is imbued with the spirit of Christ
and is inspired by obedience and love for the Church, it can be
expected to be very fruitful. They should become the first to carry on
the apostolate directly to other young persons, concentrating their
apostolic efforts within their own circle, according to the needs of
the social environment in which they live.(8)
Adults ought to engage in such friendly discussion with young people
that both age groups, overcoming the age barrier, may become better
acquainted and share the special benefits each generation can offer
the other. Adults should stimulate young persons first by good example
to take part in the apostolate and, if the opportunity presents
itself, by offering them effective advice and willing assistance. By
the same token young people should cultivate toward adults respect and
trust, and although they are naturally attracted to novelties, they
should duly appreciate praiseworthy traditions.
13. The apostolate in the social milieu, that is, the effort to infuse
a Christian spirit into the mentality, customs, laws, and structures
of the community in which one lives, is so much the duty and
responsibility of the laity that it can never be performed properly by
others. In this area the laity can exercise the apostolate of like
toward like. It is here that they complement the testimony of life
with the testimony of the word.(9) It is here where they work or
practice their profession or study or reside or spend their leisure
time or have their companionship that they are more capable of helping
The laity fulfill this mission of the Church in the world especially
by conforming their lives to their faith so that they become the light
of the world as well as by practicing honesty in all their dealings so
that they attract all to the love of the true and the good and finally
to the Church and to Christ. They fulfill their mission also by
fraternal charity which presses them to share in the living
conditions, labors, sorrows, and aspirations of their brethren with
the result that the hearts of all about them are quietly prepared for
the workings of saving grace. Another requisite for the accomplishment
of their task is a full consciousness of their role in building up
society whereby they strive to perform their domestic, social, and
professional duties with such Christian generosity that their manner
of acting should gradually penetrate the whole world of life and
This apostolate should reach out to all wherever they may be
encountered; it should not exclude any spiritual or temporal benefit
which they have the ability to confer. True apostles however, are not
content with this activity alone but endeavor to announce Christ to
their neighbors by means of the spoken word as well. For there are
many persons who can hear the Gospel and recognize Christ only through
the laity who live near them.
Children also have their own apostolic work to do. According to their
ability they are true living witnesses of Christ among their
10. A vast field for the apostolate has opened up on the national and
international levels where the laity especially assist with their
Christian wisdom. In loyalty to their country and in faithful
fulfillment of their civic obligations, Catholics should feel
themselves obliged to promote the true common good. Thus they should
make the weight of their opinion felt in order that the civil
authority may act with justice and that legislation may conform to
moral precepts and the common good. Catholics skilled in public
affairs and adequately enlightened in faith and Christian doctrine
should not refuse to administer pubic affairs since by doing this in a
worthy manner they can both further the common good and at the same
time prepare the way for the Gospel.
Catholics should try to cooperate with all men and women of good will
to promote whatever is true, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever
lovable (cf. Phil. 4:8). They should hold discussions with them, excel
them in prudence and courtesy, and initiate research on social and
public practices which should be improved in line with the spirit of
Among the signs of our times, the irresistibly increasing sense of the
solidarity of all peoples is especially noteworthy. It is a function
of the lay apostolate sedulously to promote this awareness and to
transform it into a sincere and genuine love of brotherhood.
Furthermore, the laity should be aware of the international field and
of the questions and solutions, doctrinal as well as practical, which
arise in this field, with special reverence to developing nations.(10)
All who work in or give help to foreign nations must remember that
relations among peoples should be a genuine fraternal exchange in
which each party is at the same time a giver and a receiver.
Travelers, whether their interest is international affairs, business,
or leisure, should remember that they are itinerant heralds of Christ
wherever they go and should act accordingly.
THE VARIOUS FORMS OF THE APOSTOLATE
15. The laity can engage in their apostolic activity either as
individuals or together as members of various groups or associations.
16. The individual apostolate, flowing generously from its source in a
truly Christian life (cf. John 4:14), is the origin and condition of
the whole lay apostolate, even of the organized type, and it admits of
Regardless of status, all lay persons (including those who have no
opportunity or possibility for collaboration in associations) are
called to this type of apostolate and obliged to engage in it. This
type of apostolate is useful at all times and places, but in certain
circumstances it is the only one appropriate and feasible.
There are many forms of the apostolate whereby the laity build up the
Church, sanctify the world, and give it life in Christ. A particular
form of the individual apostolate as well as a sign specially suited
to our times is the testimony of the whole lay life arising from
faith, hope, and charity. It manifests Christ living in those who
believe in Him. Then by the apostolate the spoken and written word,
which is utterly necessary under certain circumstances, lay people
announce Christ, explain and spread His teaching in accordance with
one's status and ability, and faithfully profess it.
Furthermore, in collaborating as citizens of this world, in whatever
pertains to the upbuilding and conducting of the temporal order, the
laity must seek in the light of faith loftier motives of action in
their family, professional, cultural, and social life and make them
known to others when the occasion arises. Doing this, they should be
aware of the fact that they are cooperating with God the creator,
redeemer, and sanctifier and are giving praise to Him.
Finally, the laity should vivify their life with charity and express
it as best they can in their works.
They should all remember that they can reach all men and contribute to
the salvation of the whole world by public worship and prayer as well
as by penance and voluntary acceptance of the labors and hardships of
life whereby they become like the suffering Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 4:10;
17. There is a very urgent need for this individual apostolate in
those regions where the freedom of the Church is seriously infringed.
In these trying circumstances, the laity do what they can to take the
place of priests, risking their freedom and sometimes their life to
teach Christian doctrine to those around them, training them in a
religious way of life and a Catholic way of thinking, leading them to
receive the sacraments frequently and developing in them piety,
especially Eucharistic devotion.(1) While the sacred synod heartily
thanks God for continuing also in our times to raise up lay persons of
heroic fortitude in the midst of persecutions, it embrace them with
fatherly affection and gratitude.
The individual apostolate has a special field in areas where Catholics
are few in number and widely dispersed. Here the laity who engage in
the apostolate only as individuals, whether for the reasons already
mentioned or for special reasons including those deriving also from
their own professional activity, usefully gather into smaller groups
for serious conversation without any more formal kind of establishment
or organization, so that an indication of the community of the Church
is always apparent to others as a true witness of love. In this way,
by giving spiritual help to one another through friendship and the
communicating of the benefit of their experience, they are trained to
overcome the disadvantages of excessively isolated life and activity
and to make their apostolate more productive.
18. The faithful are called to engage in the apostolate as individuals
in the varying circumstances of their life. They should remember,
nevertheless, that man is naturally social and that it has pleased God
to unite those who believe in Christ into the people of God (cf. 1
Peter 2:5-10) and into one body (cf. 1 Cor. 12:12). The group
apostolate of Christian believers then happily corresponds to a human
and Christian need and at the same time signifies the communion and
unity of the Church in Christ, who said, "Where two or three are
gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt.
For this reason the faithful should participate in the apostolate by
way of united effort.(2) They should be apostles both in their family
communities and in their parishes and dioceses, which themselves
express the community nature of the apostolate, as well as in the
informal groups which they decide to form among themselves.
The group apostolate is very important also because the apostolate
must often be performed by way of common activity both the Church
communities and the various spheres. For the associations established
for carrying on the apostolate in common sustain their members, form
them for the apostolate, and rightly organize and regulate their
apostolic work so that much better results can be expected than if
each member were to act on his own.
In the present circumstances, it is quite necessary that, in the area
of lay activity, the united and organized form of the apostolate be
strengthened. In fact, only the pooling of resources is capable of
fully achieving all the aims of the modern apostolate and firmly
protecting its interests.(3) Here it is important that the apostolate
encompass even the common attitudes and social conditions of those for
whom it is designed. Otherwise those engaged in the apostolate are
often unable to bear up under the pressure of public opinion or of
19. There is a great variety of associations in the apostolate.(4)
Some set before themselves the broad apostolic purpose of the Church;
others aim to evangelize and sanctify in a special way. Some purpose
to infuse a Christian spirit into the temporal order; others bear
witness to Christ in a special way through works of mercy and charity.
Among these associations, those which promote and encourage closer
unity between the concrete life of the members and their faith must be
given primary consideration. Associations are not ends unto
themselves; rather they should serve the mission of the Church to the
world. Their apostolic dynamism depends on their conformity with the
goals of the Church as well as on the Christian witness and
evangelical spirit of every member and of the whole association.
Now, in view of the progress of social institutions and the the fast-
moving pace of modern society, the global nature of the Church's
mission requires that apostolic enterprises of Catholics should more
and more develop organized forms in the international sphere. Catholic
international organizations will more effectively achieve their
purpose if the groups comprising them, as well as their members, are
more closely united to these international organizations.
Maintaining the proper relationship to Church authorities,(5) the
laity have the right to found and control such associations(6) and to
join those already existing. Yet the dispersion of efforts must be
avoided. This happens when new associations and projects are promoted
without a sufficient reason, or if antiquated associations or methods
are retained beyond their period of usefulness. Nor is it always
fitting to transfer indiscriminately forms of the apostolates that
have been used in one nation to other nations.(7)
20. Many decades ago the laity in many nations began to dedicate
themselves increasingly to the apostolate. They grouped themselves
into various kinds of activities and societies which, while
maintaining a closer union with the hierarchy, pursued and continue to
pursue goals which are properly apostolic. Of these associations, or
even among similar and older institutions, those are specially
noteworthy which followed different methods of operation and yet
produced excellent results for Christ's kingdom. These societies were
deservedly recommended and promoted by the popes and many bishops,
from whom they received the title of "Catholic Action," and were often
described as the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate of the
Whether these forms of the apostolate have the name of "Catholic
Action" or some other title, they exercise an apostolate of great
value for our times and consist in the combination and simultaneous
possession of the following characteristics:
a) The immediate aim of organizations of this kind is the Church's
apostolic aim, that is, the evangelization and sanctification of men
and the formation of a Christian conscience among them so that they
can infuse the spirit of the Gospel into various communities and
departments of life.
b ) Cooperating with the hierarchy in their own way, the laity
contribute the benefit of their experience to, and assume
responsibility for the direction of these organizations, the
consideration of the conditions in which the pastoral activity of the
Church is to be conducted, and the elaboration and execution of the
plan of things to be done.
c) The laity act together in the manner of an organic body so that the
community of the Church is more fittingly symbolized and the
apostolate rendered more effective.
d) Whether they offer themselves spontaneously or are invited to
action and direct cooperation with the apostolate of the hierarchy,
the laity function under the higher direction of the hierarchy itself,
and the latter can sanction this cooperation by an explicit mandate.
Organizations in which, in the opinion of the hierarchy, the ensemble
of these characteristics is realized, must be considered to be
Catholic Action even though they take on various forms and titles
because of the needs of different regions and peoples.
The most holy council earnestly recommends these associations, which
surely answer the needs of the apostolate of the Church among many
peoples and countries, and invites the clergy and laity working in
them to develop the above-mentioned characteristics to an ever greater
degree and to cooperate at all times with all other forms of the
apostolate in a fraternal manner in the Church.
21. All associations of the apostolate must be given due appreciation.
Those, however, which the hierarchy have praised or recommended as
responsive to the needs of time and place, or have ordered to be
established as particularly urgent, must be held in highest esteem by
priests, Religious, and laity and promoted according to each one's
ability. Among these associations, moreover, international
associations or groups of Catholics must be specially appreciated at
the present time.
22. Deserving of special honor and commendation in the Church are
those lay people, single or married, who devote themselves with
professional experience, either permanently or temporarily, to the
service of associations and their activities. There is a source of
great joy for the Church in the fact that there is a daily increase in
the number of lay persons who offer their personal service to
apostolic associations and activities, either within the limits of
their own nation or in the international field or especially in
Catholic mission communities and in regions where the Church has only
recently been implanted.
The pastors of the Church should gladly and gratefully welcome these
lay persons and make sure that the demands of justice, equity, and
charity relative to their status be satisfied to the fullest extent,
particularly as regards proper support for them and their families.
They should also take care to provide for these lay people the
necessary formation, spiritual consolation, and incentive.
23. Whether the lay apostolate is exercised by the faithful as
individuals or as members of organizations, it should be incorporated
into the apostolate of the whole Church according to a right system of
relationships. Indeed, union with those whom the Holy Spirit has
assigned to rule His Church (cf. Acts 20:28) is an essential element
of the Christian apostolate. No less necessary is cooperation among
various projects of the apostolate which must be suitably directed by
Indeed, the spirit of unity should be promoted in order that fraternal
charity may be resplendent in the whole apostolate of the Church,
common goals may be attained, and destructive rivalries avoided. For
this there is need for mutual esteem among all the forms of the
apostolate in the Church and, with due respect for the particular
character of each organization, proper coordination.(1) This is most
fitting since a particular activity in the Church requires harmony and
apostolic cooperation on the part of both branches of the clergy, the
Religious, and the laity.
24. The hierarchy should promote the apostolate of the laity, provide
it with spiritual principles and support, direct the conduct of this
apostolate to the common good of the Church, and attend to the
preservation of doctrine and order.
Indeed, the lay apostolate admits of different types of relationships
with the hierarchy in accordance with the various forms and objects of
this apostolate. For in the Church there are many apostolic
undertakings which are established by the free choice of the laity and
regulated by their prudent judgment. The mission of the Church can be
better accomplished in certain circumstances by undertakings of this
kind, and therefore they are frequently praised or recommended by the
hierarchy.(2) No project, however, may claim the name "Catholic"
unless it has obtained the consent of the lawful Church authority.
Certain forms of the apostolate of the laity are given explicit
recognition by the hierarchy, though in various ways.
Because of the demands of the common good of the Church, moreover,
ecclesiastical authority can select and promote in a particular way
some of the apostolic associations and projects which have an
immediately spiritual purpose, thereby assuming in them a special
responsibility. Thus, making various dispositions of the apostolate
according to circumstances, the hierarchy joins some particular form
of it more closely with its own apostolic function. Yet the proper
nature and distinctiveness of each apostolate must be preserved, and
the laity must not be deprived of the possibility of acting on their
own accord. In various Church documents this procedure of the
hierarchy is called a mandate.
Finally, the hierarchy entrusts to the laity certain functions which
are more closely connected with pastoral duties, such as the teaching
of Christian doctrine, certain liturgical actions, and the care of
souls. By virtue of this mission, the laity are fully subject to
higher ecclesiastical control in the performance of this work.
As regards works and institutions in the temporal order, the role of
the ecclesiastical hierarchy is to teach and authentically interpret
the moral principles to be followed in temporal affairs. Furthermore,
they have the right to judge, after careful consideration of all
related matters and consultation with experts, whether or not such
works and institutions conform to moral principles and the right to
decide what is required for the protection and promotion of values of
the supernatural order.
25. Bishops, pastors of parishes, and other priests of both branches
of the clergy should keep in mind that the right and duty to exercise
this apostolate is common to all the faithful, both clergy and laity,
and that the laity also have their own roles in building up the
Church.(3) For this reason they should work fraternally with the laity
in and for the Church and take special care of the lay persons in
these apostolic works.(4)
Special care should be taken to select priests who are capable of
promoting particular forms of the apostolate of the laity and are
properly trained.(5) Those who are engaged in this ministry represent
the hierarchy in their pastoral activity by virtue of the mission they
receive from the hierarchy. Always adhering faithfully to the spirit
and teaching of the Church, they should promote proper relations been
laity and hierarchy. They should devote themselves to nourishing the
spiritual life and an apostolic attitude in the Catholic societies
entrusted to them; they should contribute their wise counsel to the
apostolic activity of these associations and promote their
undertakings. Through continuous dialogue with the laity, these
priests should carefully investigate which forms make apostolic
activity more fruitful. They should promote the spirit of unity within
the association as well as between it and others.
Finally, in keeping with the spirit and norms of their societies,
Religious Brothers and Sisters should value the apostolic works of the
laity and willingly devote themselves to promoting lay enterprises.(6)
They should also strive to support, uphold, and fulfill priestly
26. In dioceses, insofar as possible, there should be councils which
assist the apostolic work of the Church either in the field of
evangelization and sanctification or in the charitable, social, or
other spheres, and here it is fitting that the clergy and Religious
should cooperate with the laity. While preserving the proper character
and autonomy of each organization, these councils will be able to
promote the mutual coordination of various lay associations and
Councils of this type should be established as far as possible also on
the parochial, interparochial, and interdiocesan level as well as in
the national or international sphere.(8)
A special secretariat, moreover, should be established at the Holy See
for the service and promotion of the lay apostolate. It can serve as a
well-equipped center for communicating information about the various
apostolic programs of the laity, promoting research into modern
problems arising in this field, and assisting the hierarchy and laity
in their apostolic works with its advice. The various movements and
projects of the apostolate of the laity throughout the world should
also be represented in this secretariat, and here clergy and Religious
also are to cooperate with the laity.
27. The quasi-common heritage of the Gospel and the common duty of
Christian witness resulting from it recommend and frequently require
the cooperation of Catholics with other Christians, on the part of
individuals and communities within the Church, either in activities or
in associations, in the national or international field.(9)
Likewise, common human values not infrequently call for cooperation
between Christians pursuing apostolic aims and those who do not
profess Christ's name but acknowledge these values.
By this dynamic and prudent cooperation,(10) which is of special
importance in temporal activities, the laity bear witness to Christ,
the Savior of the world, as well as to the unity of the human family.
FORMATION FOR THE APOSTOLATE
28. The apostolate can attain its maximum effectiveness only through a
diversified and thorough formation. This is demanded not only by the
continuous spiritual and doctrinal progress of the lay person himself
but also by the accommodation of his activity to circumstances varying
according to the affairs, persons, and duties involved. This formation
for the apostolate should rest upon those bases which have been stated
and proclaimed by this most holy council in other documents.(1) In
addition to the formation which is common for all Christians, many
forms of the apostolate demand also a specific and particular
formation because of the variety of persons and circumstances.
29. Since the laity share in their own way in the mission of the
Church, their apostolic formation is specially characterized by the
distinctively secular and particular quality of the lay state and by
its own form of the spiritual life.
The formation for the apostolate presupposes a certain human and
well-rounded formation adapted to the natural abilities and conditions
of each lay person. Well-informed about the modern world, the lay
person should be a member of his own community and adjusted to its
However, the lay person should learn especially how to perform the
mission of Christ and the Church by basing his life on belief in the
divine mystery of creation and redemption and by being sensitive to
the movement of the Holy Spirit who gives life to the people of God
and who urges all to love God the Father as well as the world and men
in Him. This formation should be deemed the basis and condition for
every successful apostolate.
In addition to spiritual formation, a solid doctrinal instruction in
theology, ethics, and philosophy adjusted to differences of age,
status, and natural talents, is required. The importance of general
culture along with practical and technical formation should also be
kept in mind.
To cultivate good human relations, truly human values must be
fostered, especially the art of living fraternally and cooperating
with others and of striking up friendly conversation with them.
Since formation for the apostolate cannot consist in merely
theoretical instruction, from the beginning of their formation the
laity should gradually and prudently learn how to view, judge and do
all things in the light of faith as well as to develop and improve
themselves along with others through doing, thereby entering into
active service to the Church.(2) This formation, always in need of
improvement because of the increasing maturity of the human person and
the proliferation of problems, requires an ever deeper knowledge and
planned activity. In the fulfillment of all the demands of formation,
the unity and integrity of the human person must be kept in mind at
all times so that his harmony and balance may be safeguarded and
In this way the lay person engages himself wholly and actively in the
reality of the temporal order and effectively assumes his role in
conducting the affairs of this order. At the same time, as a living
member and witness of the Church, he renders the Church present and
active in the midst of temporal affairs.(3)
30. The training for the apostolate should start with the children's
earliest education. In a special way, however, adolescents and young
persons should be initiated into the apostolate and imbued with its
spirit. This formation must be perfected throughout their whole life
in keeping with the demands of new responsibilities. It is evident,
therefore, that those who have the obligation to provide a Christian
education also have the duty of providing formation for the
In the family parents have the task of training their children from
childhood on to recognize God's love for all men. By example
especially they should teach them little by little to be solicitous
for the material and spiritual needs of their neighbor. The whole
family in its common life, then, should be a sort of apprenticeship
for the apostolate. Children must be educated, too, in such fashion
that transcending the family circle, they may open their minds to both
ecclesiastical and temporal communities. They should be so involved in
the local community of the parish that they will acquire a
consciousness of being living and active members of the people of God.
Priests should focus their attention on the formation of the laity for
the apostolate in their catechetics, their ministry of the word, their
direction of souls, and in their other pastoral services.
Schools, colleges, and other Catholic educational institutions also
have the duty to develop a Catholic sense and apostolic activity in
young persons. If young people lack this formation either because they
do not attend these schools or because of any other reason, all the
more should parents, pastors of souls, and apostolic organizations
attend to it. Teachers and educators on the other hand, who carry on a
distinguished form of the apostolate of the laity by their vocation
and office, should be equipped with that learning and pedagogical
skill that are needed for imparting such education effectively.
Likewise, lay groups and associations dedicated to the apostolate or
other supernatural goals, should carefully and assiduously promote
formation for the apostolate in keeping with their purpose and
condition.(4) Frequently these groups are the ordinary vehicle for
harmonious formation for the apostolate inasmuch as they provide
doctrinal, spiritual, and practical formation. Their members meet in
small groups with their associates or friends, examine the methods and
results of their apostolic activity, and compare their daily way of
life with the Gospel.
Formation of this type must be so organized that it takes into account
the whole lay apostolate, which must be carried on not only among the
organized groups themselves but also in all circumstances throughout
one's whole life, especially one's professional and social life.
Indeed, everyone should diligently prepare himself for the apostolate,
this preparation being the more urgent in adulthood. For the advance
of age brings with it a more open mind, enabling each person to detect
more readily the talents with which God has enriched his soul and to
exercise more effectively those charisms which the Holy Spirit has
bestowed on him for the good of his brethren.
31. Various types of the apostolate demand also a specially suitable
a) In regard to the apostolate for evangelizing and sanctifying men,
the laity must be specially formed to engage in conversation with
others, believers, or non-believers, in order to manifest Christ's
message to all men.(5)
Since in our times, different forms of materialism are spread far and
wide even among Catholic, the laity should not only learn doctrine
more diligently, especially those main points which are the subjects
of controversy, but should also exhibit the witness of an evangelical
life in contrast to all forms of materialism.
b) In regard to the Christian renewal of the temporal order, the laity
should be instructed in the true meaning and value of temporal things,
both in themselves and in relation to all the aims of the human
person. They should be trained in the right use of things and the
organization of institutions, attentive always to the common good in
line with the principles of the moral and social teaching of the
Church. Laymen should above all learn the principles and conclusions
of the social doctrine so as to become capable of working for the
development of this doctrine to the best of their ability and of
rightly applying these same principles and conclusions to individual
c) Since the works of charity and mercy express the most striking
testimony of the Christian life, apostolic formation should lead also
to the performance of these works so that the faithful may learn from
childhood on to have compassion for their brethren and to be generous
in helping those in need.(7)
32. There are many aids for lay persons devoted to the apostolate,
namely, study sessions, congresses, periods of recollection, spiritual
exercises, frequent meetings, conferences, books, and periodicals
directed toward the acquisition of a deeper knowledge of sacred
Scripture and Catholic doctrine, the nourishment.of spiritual life,
the discernment of world conditions, and the discovery and development
of suitable methods.(8)
These aids in formation take into consideration the various types of
the apostolate in the milieu where it is exercised.
For this purpose also centers or higher institutes have been erected,
and they have already proved highly successful.
The most holy council rejoices over projects of this kind which are
already flourishing in certain areas, and it desires that they may be
promoted also in other areas where they may be needed. Furthermore,
centers of documentation and study not only in theology but also in
anthropology, psychology, sociology, and methodology should be
established for all fields of the apostolate for the better
development of the natural capacities of the laity-men and women,
young persons and adults.
33. The most holy council, then, earnestly entreats all the laity in
the Lord to answer gladly, nobly, and promptly the more urgent
invitation of Christ in this hour and the impulse of the Holy Spirit.
Younger persons should feel that this call has been directed to them
especially and they should respond to it eagerly and generously.
Through this holy synod, the Lord renews His invitation to all the
laity to come closer to Him every day, recognizing that what is His is
also their own (Phil. 2:5), to associate themselves with Him in His
saving mission. Once again He sends them into every town and place
where He will come (cf. Luke 10:1) so that they may show that they are
co-workers in the various forms and modes of the one apostolate of the
Church, which must be constantly adapted to the new needs of our
times. Ever productive as they should be in the work of the Lord, they
know that their labor in Him is not in vain (cf. 1 Cor. 15:58).
1. cf. John XXIII, apostolic constitution "Humani Salutis," Dec. 25,
1961: A.A.S. 54 (1962) pp. 7-10.
2. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature of
the Church, nos. 33 ff.: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 39 ff.; cf; also
Constitution on the Liturgy, nos. 26-40; A.A.S. 56 (1964) pp. 107-
111; cf. Decree on Instruments of Social Communication: A.A.S. 56
(1964) pp. 145-158; cf. Decree on Ecumenism: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp.
90-107; cf. Decree on Pastoral Duties of Bishops, nos. 16, 17, 18; cf.
Declaration on Christian Education, nos. 3, 5, 7; cf. Decree on
Missionary Activity of Church, nos. 15, 21, 41; cf. Decree on Priestly
Life and Ministry, no. 9.
3. cf. Pius XII, allocution to cardinals, Feb. 18, 1946: A.A.S. 38
(1946) pp. 101-102; Idem., sermon to young Catholic workers, Aug. 25,
1957: A.A.S. 49 (1957) p. 843.
Chapter 1 Article 2:
1. cf. Pius XI, encyclical "Rerum Ecclesiae:" A.A.S. 18 (1926) p. 65.
2. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature of
the Church, no. 31: A.A.S. 57 (1965) p. 37. Article 3:
3. cf. ibid., no. 33, p. 39; cf. also no. 10, ibid., p. 14.
4. cf. ibid., no. 12, p. 16. Article 4:
5. cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Liturgy, Chap. 1,
no. 11: A.A.S. 56 (1964) pp. 102-103.
6. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature of
the Church, no. 32: A.A.S. 57 (1965) p. 38; cf. also nos. 40-41:
ibid., pp. 45-47.
7. ibid., no. 62, p. 63; cf. also no. 65. ibid., pp. 64-65. CHAPTER II
1. cf. Pius XI, encyclical "Ubi Arcano," Dec. 23, 1922: A.A.S. 14
(1922) p. 659; Pius XII, encyclical "Summi Pontificatus," Oct. 20,
1939: A.A.S. 31 (1939) pp. 442-443. Article 7:
2. cf. Leo XIII, encyclical "Rerum Novarum:" A.A.S. 23 (1890-91) p.
47; Pius XI encyclical "Quadragesimo anno:" A.A.S. 23 (1931) p 190;
Pius XII, radio message of June 1, 1941: A.A.S. 33 (1941) p. 207.
3. cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra:" A.A.S. 53 (1961) p.
4. cf. ibid., pp. 440-441.
5. cf. ibid., pp. 442-443.
6. cf. Pius XII, allocution to "Pax Romana" April 25, 1957: A.A.S. 49
(1957) pp. 298-299; and especially John XXIII, "Ad Conventum Consilii"
Food and Agriculture Organization Nov. 10, 1959: A.A.S. 51 (1959) pp.
Chapter III Article 10:
1. cf. St. Pius X, apostolic letter "Creationis Duarum Novarum
Paroeciarum" June 1, 1905: A.A.S. 38 (1905) pp. 65-67; Pius XII,
allocution to faithful of parish of St. Saba, Jan. 11, 1953:
Discourses and radio messages of His Holiness Pius XII, 14 (1952-53)
pp. 449- 454; John XXIII allocution to clergy and faithful of
suburbicarian diocese of Albano, "Ad Arcem Gandulfi Habita," Aug. 26,
1962: A.A.S. 54 (1962) pp. 656-660.
2. cf. Leo XIII, allocution Jan. 28, 1894: Acts, 14 (1894) pp. 424-
3. cf. Pius XII, allocution to pastors, etc., Feb. 6, 1951: Discourses
and Radio Messages of His Holiness Pius XII, 12 (1950-51) pp. 437-
443; 852: ibid, 14 (1952-53) pp. 5-10; March 27, 1953: ibid., 15
(1953-54) pp. 27-35; Feb. 28, 1954: ibid., pp. 585-590. Article 11:
4. cf. Pius XI, encyclical "Casti Connubii:" A.A.S. 22 (1930) p. 554;
Pius XII, Radio Messages, Jan. 1, 1941: A.A.S. 33 (1941) p. 203;
idem., to delegates of the convention of the members of the
International Union to Protect the Rights of Families, Sept. 20, 1949;
A.A.S. 41 (1949) p. 552; idem., to heads of families on pilgrimage
from France to Rome, Sept. 18, 1951: A.A.S. 43 (1951) p. 731, idem.,
Christmas Radio Message of 1952: A.A.S. 45 (1953) p. 41; John XXIII,
encyclical "Mater et Magistra" May 15, 1961: A.A.S. (1961) pp. 429,
5. cf. Pius XII, encyclical "Evangelii Praecones," June 2, 1951: A.A.S.
43 (1951) p. 514.
6. cf. Pius XII, to delegates to the convention of members of the
International Union for the Defense of Family Rights, Sept. 20, 1949:
A.A.S. 41 (1949) p. 552. Article 12:
7. cf. St. Pius X, allocution to Association of French Catholic Youth
on piety, knowledge and action, Sept. 25, 1904: A.A.S. 37 (1904- 05)
8. cf. Pius XII, letter "Dans Quelques Semaines" to Archbishop of
Montreal, Canada, to be relayed to the Assemblies of Canadian Young
Christian Workers, May 24, 1947: A.A.S. 39 (1947) p. 257; radio
message to Young Christian Workers, Brussels, Sept. 3, 1950: A.A.S. 42
(1950) pp. 640-641. Article 13:
9. cf. Pius XI, encyclical "Quadragesimo Anno," May 15, 1931: A.A.S.
23 (1931) pp. 225-226. Article 14:
10. cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra" May 15, 1961: A.A.S.
53 (1961) pp. 448-450.
Chapter IV Article 17:
1. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the first convention of laymen
representing all nations on the promotion of the apostolate, Oct. 15,
1951: A.A.S. 43 (1951) p. 788. Article 18:
2. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the first convention of laymen
representing all nations on the promotion of the apostolate Oct. 15,
1951: A.A.S. 43 (1951) pp. 787-788.
3. cf. Pius XII, encyclical "Le Pelerinage de Lourdes," July 2, 1957:
A.A.S. 49 (1957) p. 615. Article 19:
4. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the assembly of the International
Federation of Catholic Men, Dec. 8, 1956: A.A.S. 49 (1957) pp. 26- 27.
5. cf. in Chap. 5, no. 24.
6. cf. Sacred Congregation of the Council, concerning the dissolution
of the Corrientes diocese in Argentina, Nov. 13, 1920: A.A.S. 13
(1921) p. 139.
7. cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Princeps Pastorum," Dec. 10, 1959:
A.A.S. 51 (1959) p. 856. Article 20:
8. cf. Pius XI, letter "Quae Nobis" to Cardinal Bertram, Nov. 13,
1928: A.A.S. 20 (1928) p. 385. cf. also Pius XII, allocution to
Italian Catholic Action, Sept. 4, 1940: A.A.S. 32 (1940) p. 362.
Chapter V Article 23:
1. cf. Pius XI, encyclical "Quamvis Nostra," April 30, 1936: A.A.S.,
28 (1936) pp. 160-161. Article 24:
2. cf. Sacred Congregation of the Council on the dissolution of the
diocese of Corrientes, Argentina, Nov. 13, 1920; A.A.S. 13 (1921) pp.
137-140. Article 25:
3. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the second convention of laymen
representing all nations on the promotion of the apostolate, Oct. 5
1957: A.A.S. 49 (1957) p. 927.
4. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature of
the Church, no. 37. A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 442-443.
5. cf. Pius XII, apostolic exhortation "Menti Nostrae," Sept. 23 1950:
A.A.S. 42 (1950) p. 660.
6. cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Renovation of Religious
Life, no. 8. Article 26:
7. cf. Benedict XIV, On the Diocesan Synod, I, 3, Chap. 9, no. 7.
8. cf. Pius XI, encyclical "Quamvis Nostra," April 30, l936: A.A.S. 28
(1936) pp. 160-161. Article 27:
9. cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra," May 15, 1961: A.A.S.
53 (1961) pp. 456-457. cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree on
Ecumenism, no. 12: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 99-100.
10. cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree on Ecumenism, no. 12: A.A.S. 57
(1965) p. 100. Also cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature of the
Church, no. 15: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 19-20.
CHAPTER VI Article 28:
1. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature of
the Church, Chaps. 2, 4 and 5: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 12- 21, 37-49;
also cf. Decree on Ecumenism, nos. 4, 6, 7 and 12: A.A.S. 57 (1965)
pp. 94, 96, 97, 99, 100; cf. also above, no. 4. Article 29:
2. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the first international Boy Scouts
congress, June 6, 1952: A.A.S. 44 (1952) pp. 579-580; John XXIII,
encyclical, "Mater et Magistra," May 15, 1961: A.A.S. 53 (1961) p.
3. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Nature of
the Church, p. 33: A.A.S. 57 (1965) p. 39. Article. 30:
4. cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra," May 15, 1961: A.A.S.
53 (1961) p. 455. Article 31:
5. cf. Pius XII, encyclical "Sertum Laetitiae," Nov. 1, 1939: A.A.S.
31 (1939) pp. 653-654; cf. idem., to graduates of Italian Catholic
Action, May 24, 1953.
6. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the universal congress of the World
Federation of Young Catholic Women, April 18, 1952: A.A.S. 42 (1952)
pp. 414-419. cf. idem., allocution to the Christian Association of
Italian Workers, May 1, 1955: A.A.S. 47 (1955) pp. 403-404.
7. cf. Pius XII, to delegates of the Assembly of Charity Associations,
April 27,1952: pp.470-471.
8 cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra," May 15 1961: A.A.S.
53 (1961) p. 454.
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