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|Vatican Ecumenical Council II|
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1. Christ the Lord, Son of the living God, came that He might save His people from their sins1 and that all men might be sanctified. Just as He Himself was sent by the Father, so He also sent His Apostles.2 Therefore, He sanctified them, conferring on them the Holy Spirit, so that they also might glorify the Father upon earth and save men, "to the building up of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:12), which is the Church.
2. In this Church of Christ the Roman pontiff, as the successor of Peter, to whom Christ entrusted the feeding of His sheep and lambs, enjoys supreme, full, immediate, and universal authority over the care of souls by divine institution. Therefore, as pastor of all the faithful, he is sent to provide for the common good of the universal Church and for the good of the individual churches. Hence, he holds a primacy of ordinary power over all the churches.
The bishops themselves, however, having been appointed by the Holy Spirit, are successors of the Apostles as pastors of souls.3 Together with the supreme pontiff and under his authority they are sent to continue throughout the ages the work of Christ, the eternal pastor.4 Christ gave the Apostles and their successors the command and the power to teach all nations, to hallow men in the truth, and to feed them. Bishops, therefore, have been made true and authentic teachers of the faith, pontiffs, and pastors through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to them.5
3. Bishops, sharing in the solicitude for all the churches, exercise this episcopal office of theirs, which they have received through episcopal consecration,6 in communion with and under the authority of the supreme pontiff. As far as their teaching authority and pastoral government are concerned, all are united in a college or body with respect to the universal Church of God.
They exercise this office individually in reference to the portions of the Lord's flock assigned to them, each one taking care of the particular church committed to him, or sometimes some of them jointly providing for certain common needs of various churches.
This sacred synod, therefore, attentive to the conditions of human association which have brought about a new order of things in our time,7 intends to determine more exactly the pastoral office of bishops and, therefore, has decreed the things that follow.
1. cf. Matt. 1:21.
2. cf. John 20:21.
3. cf. First Vatican Council, fourth session, part 1 of Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, c. 3, Denz. 1828 (3061).
4. cf. First Vatican Council, fourth session, Introduction to Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, Denz. 1821 (3050).
5. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 3, nos. 21, 24 and 25: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 24-25, 29-31.
6. cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 3, no. 21: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 24-25.
7. cf. John XXIII's apostolic constitution, Humanae Salutis, Dec. 25, 1961: A.A.S. 54 (1962) p. 6.
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