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Code of Canon Law
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BOOK III : THE TEACHING OFFICE OF THE CHURCH
Can. 747 §1 It is the obligation and inherent right of the Church, independent of any human authority, to preach the Gospel to all peoples, using for this purpose even its own means of social communication, for it is to the Church that Christ the Lord entrusted the deposit of faith, so that by the assistance of the Holy Spirit, it might conscientiously guard revealed truth, more intimately penetrate it, and faithfully proclaim and expound it. §2 The Church has the right always and everywhere to proclaim moral principles, even in respect of the social order, and to make judgements about any human matter in so far as this is required by fundamental human rights or the salvation of souls.
Can. 748 §1 All are bound to seek the truth in the matters which concern God and his Church; when they have found it, then by divine law they are bound, and they have the right, to embrace and keep it.
§2 It is never lawful for anyone to force others to embrace the catholic faith against their conscience.
Can. 749 §1 In virtue of his office the Supreme Pontiff is infallible in his teaching when, as chief Shepherd and Teacher of all Christ's faithful, with the duty of strengthening his brethren in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act a doctrine to be held concerning faith or morals.
§2 The College of Bishops also possesses infallibility in its teaching when the Bishops, gathered together in an Ecumenical Council and exercising their magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals, definitively declare for the universal Church a doctrine to be held concerning faith or morals; likewise, when the Bishops, dispersed throughout the world but maintaining the bond of union among themselves and with the successor of Peter, together with the same Roman Pontiff authentically teach matters of faith or morals, and are agreed that a particular teaching is definitively to be held.
§3 No doctrine is understood to be infallibly defined unless this is manifestly demonstrated.
Can. 750 Those things are to be believed by divine and catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal magisterium, which is manifested by the common adherence of Christ's faithful under the guidance of the sacred magisterium. All are therefore bound to shun any contrary doctrines.
Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed by divine and catholic faith. Apostasy is the total repudiation of the christian faith. Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.
Can. 752 While the assent of faith is not required, a religious submission of intellect and will is to be given to any doctrine which either the Supreme Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising their authentic magisterium, declare upon a matter of faith or morals, even though they do not intend to proclaim that doctrine by definitive act. Christ's faithful are therefore to ensure that they avoid whatever does not accord with that doctrine.
Can. 753 Whether they teach individually, or in Episcopal Conferences, or gathered together in particular councils, Bishops in communion with the head and the members of the College, while not infallible in their teaching, are the authentic instructors and teachers of the faith for Christ's faithful entrusted to their care. The faithful are bound to adhere, with a religious submission of mind, to this authentic magisterium of their Bishops.
Can. 754 All Christ's faithful are obliged to observe the constitutions and decrees which lawful ecclesiastical authority issues for the purpose of proposing doctrine or of proscribing erroneous opinions; this is particularly the case of those published by the Roman Pontiff or by the College of Bishops.
Can. 755 §1 It pertains especially to the entire College of Bishops and to the Apostolic See to foster and direct among catholics the ecumenical movement, the purpose of which is the restoration of unity between all christians which, by the will of Christ, the Church is bound to promote.
§2 It is a matter likewise for Bishops and, in accordance with the law, for Episcopal Conferences, to promote this same unity and, in line with the various needs and opportunities of the circumstances, to issue practical norms which accord with the provisions laid down by the supreme authority of the Church.
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