Decree on Apostolate of Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem)
solemnly promulgated by his holiness, Pope Paul VI on Nov 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
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
CHAPTER ITHE 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" (Eph. 4:16).
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
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
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
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 world.
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
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
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 can exist.
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 mutually complementary.
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,
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" (John 13:35).
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 will.(6)
CHAPTER IIITHE 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 safeguarded.(4)
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 expanding economy.
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 their
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 labor.
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 companions.
14. 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
public 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 the Gospel.
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
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.
CHAPTER IV 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 no substitute.
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
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; Col. 1:24).
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
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
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 social institutions.
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 hierarchy.(8)
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
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
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
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
CHAPTER VEXTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS
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 the hierarchy.
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
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
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 functions.
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 enterprises.(7)
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
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
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.
CHAPTER VIFORMATION 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
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 culture.
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 enhanced.
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
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 apostolate.
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
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 cases.(6)
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.
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. Article 8:
3. cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra:" A.A.S. 53
(1961) p. 402.
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)
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- 425.
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.
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) pp. 296-300.
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)
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
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.
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. 456.
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
8 cf. John XXIII, encyclical "Mater et Magistra," May 15 1961:
A.A.S. 53 (1961) p. 454.