Free Choice of Schools


Free Choice of Schools

Parents, moreover, have the right to determine, in accordance with their own religious beliefs, the kind of religious education that their children are to receive. Government, in consequence, must acknowledge the right of parents to make a genuinely free choice of schools and of other means of education, and the use of this freedom of choice is not to be made a reason for imposing unjust burdens on parents, whether directly or indirectly. Besides, the right of parents are violated, if their children are forced to attend lessons or instructions which are not in agreement with their religious beliefs, or if a single system of education, from which all religious formation is excluded, is imposed upon all.

-Dignitatis Humanae, 5

Unchanged Truth


Unchanged Truth

Formulas are adapted to all men of all times and all places. They can, it is true, be made clearer and more obvious; and doing this is of great benefit. But it must always be done in such a way that they retain the meaning in which they have been used, so that with the advance of an understanding of the faith, the truth of faith will remain unchanged.

For it is the teaching of the First Vatican Council that “the meaning that Holy Mother the Church has once declared, is to be retained forever, and no pretext of deeper understanding ever justifies any deviation from that meaning.”

-Mysterium Fidei, 25

Mother of the Church


Mother of the Church

Therefore, to the glory of the Blessed Virgin and our consolation We proclaim Mary “Mother of the Church”, that is of the whole People of God, both faithful and shepherds, who call her their most beloved Mother; and We decree that henceforth the whole Christian people should, by this most sweet name, give still greater honour to the Mother of God and address prayers to her.

-Post duos menses, 30
Pope Paul VI Conclusion of the Third Session of the Second Vatican Council, 21.XI.1964.

Igitur ad Beatae Virginis gloriam ad nostrumque solacium, Mariam Sanctissimam declaramus Matrem Ecclesiae, hoc est totius populi christiani, tam fidelium quam Pastorum, qui eam Matrem amantissimam appellant; ac statuimus ut suavissimo hoc nomine iam nunc universus christianus populus magis adhuc honorem Deiparae tribuat eique supplicationes adhibeat.

Intelligibility does not mean banality


Intelligibility does not mean banality

Then there were the principles: intelligibility, instead of being locked up in an unknown language that is no longer spoken, and also active participation. Unfortunately, these principles have also been misunderstood. Intelligibility does not mean banality, because the great texts of the liturgy – even when, thanks be to God, they are spoken in our mother tongue – are not easily intelligible, they demand ongoing formation on the part of the Christian if he is to grow and enter ever more deeply into the mystery and so arrive at understanding. And also the word of God – when I think of the daily sequence of Old Testament readings, and of the Pauline Epistles, the Gospels: who could say that he understands immediately, simply because the language is his own? Only ongoing formation of hearts and minds can truly create intelligibility and participation that is something more than external activity, but rather the entry of the person, of my being, into the communion of the Church and thus into communion with Christ.

Pope Benedict XVI,
14 February 2013