Online Edition: October 2008
Vol. XIV, No. 7
The Word of God in the Many Services of the Church
Excerpts from the Instrumentum Laboris for the XII Ordinary General Synod of Bishops
“The Bread of Life from the Table of both God’s Word and Christ’s Body” (Dei Verbum 21)
Ministry of the Word
32. “Like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by Sacred Scripture” (DV 21). This specific obligation, recalled at the Second Vatican Council, requires real effort.
The particular Churches are undertaking programs of service to the Word of God in various settings and situations. A prime place is being given to experiencing the Word of God in the Eucharistic liturgy and the sacraments. Responses recommend Lectio Divina as an ideal, that is, the prayerful reading of the Word of God, individually or in groups. Catechesis should serve as an introduction to Sacred Scripture and its programs and catechisms themselves, not to mention preaching and popular piety, should be grounded in the Bible. Furthermore, a biblical apostolate needs to create an encounter with the Word of God through forming and guiding Bible groups in such a way as to ensure that the Word, the Bread of Life, also becomes the material bread of assistance to the poor and suffering. Study and meetings, especially in interreligious and intercultural exchanges, urgently need to give an appreciable place to the Word of God in relation to culture and the human spirit. To realize these objectives requires an attentive faith, an apostolic zeal and a creative, well-done, ongoing pastoral program, geared at promoting the spirit of communion. The need for a pastoral program continually based on the Bible has never been greater.
From the perspective of unity and interaction, the dynamic character of the Word of God’s encounter with the person needs to be recognized and fully assisted, a dynamism which underlies all the Church’s pastoral activity. By necessity, the Word proclaimed and heard becomes the Word celebrated in the Liturgy and sacraments, so as to inspire a life lived according to the Word in communion, charity and mission.43
An Experience in Liturgy and Prayer
33. Particular Churches have many experiences in common. For a majority of Christians the world over, the celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays is the sole encounter with the Word of God. The People of God have a growing consciousness of the importance of liturgies of the Word of God, prompted in part by the reference and revision of them in the new Lectionary. In this regard, some responses mention that they want to see a better thematic coordination of the three readings as well as a greater fidelity in translations to the original texts. Homilies could clearly stand improvement. In certain cases, the Liturgy of the Word is serving as a form of Lectio Divina. Work remains in encouraging the lay faithful’s participation in praying the Liturgy of the Hours. At the same time, some indicate that the People of God have never really been introduced to a theology of the Word of God in the liturgy. Some still live it passively, unaware of its sacramental character and unmindful of the riches contained in the Introductions of the liturgical books, sometimes because bishops lack interest. The many signs and gestures proper to the Liturgy of the Word are oftentimes an external formality without interior understanding. On occasion, the relation of the Word of God to the sacraments, particularly the Sacrament of Penance, appears to be given little value.
The Theological-Pastoral Foundation: Word, Spirit, Liturgy and Church
34. Persons in every area of Church life need a better understanding of the liturgy as the privileged place of the Word of God, where the Church is built-up. Consequently, some fundamental points are important to bear in mind.
— The Bible is the book of a people and for a people, received as an inheritance and a testament given to readers to make present in its life the history of salvation therein recorded in writing. Therefore, a mutual, life-giving relationship exists between the People and the book. The Bible becomes alive in the People’s reading it. The People cannot exist without the Book, because it contains its reason for existence, its calling and its very identity.
— The mutual relationship between the People and Sacred Scripture is celebrated in the liturgical assembly, which is the place where the work of receiving the Bible takes place. In this regard, the discourse of Jesus in the Synagogue at Nazareth (cf. Lk 4:16-21) takes on a particular significance. What took place then also takes place each time the Word of God is proclaimed in the liturgy.
— The proclamation of the Word of God in the Scriptures results from the action of the Spirit. The power which made the Word into a book, now, in the liturgy, transforms the book into the Word. Indeed, the liturgical tradition in Alexandria has a double epiclesis, namely, an invocation of the Spirit before the proclamation of the readings and a second after the homily.44 The Spirit guides the presider in the prophetic task of understanding, proclaiming and adequately explaining the Word of God to the assembly and, in a parallel way, invoking a just and worthy reception of the Word by the gathered community.
— Through the Holy Spirit, the liturgical assembly hears Christ “Himself who speaks when the Holy Scriptures are read in the Church” (SC 7) and receives the covenant, which God renews with His People. Thus, Scripture and the liturgy converge in the single purpose of bringing the People into dialogue with the Lord. The Word which goes forth from the mouth of God and is attested to in the Scriptures returns to God in the form of the prayerful response of the People (cf. Is 55:10-11).
— During liturgical celebrations, the proclamation of the Word in the Scriptures is a deeply dynamic dialogue, a dialogue which reaches its highest degree of dynamism in the Eucharistic assembly. Throughout the history of the People of God, both in biblical and post-biblical times, the Bible has been, from the very beginning, the book providing assistance in God’s relationship with His People, namely, the book of worship and prayer. Indeed, the Liturgy of the Word “is not so much a time for meditation and catechesis as a dialogue between God and His People, a dialogue in which the wonders of salvation are proclaimed and the demands of the Covenant are continually restated”.45
— An integral part of the Word’s relation to the liturgical action is praying the Liturgy of the Hours. Though deeply important for the entire Church, the Liturgy of the Hours has particular significance in the consecrated life. The Liturgy of the Hours is particularly adept in a formation to prayer, primarily because the Psalms best illustrate the divine-human character of Sacred Scripture. The Psalms are the school of prayer, where the person who sings or recites them learns to hear, interiorize and interpret the Word of God.
— In addition to receiving the Word of God in personal and communal prayer, all Christians have the unavoidable responsibility to receive it in liturgical prayer. This requires a new outlook towards Sacred Scripture, one which sees the Bible as more than a written book, but a proclamation of and testimony to the Person of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. According to a previously cited passage from the Second Vatican Council, “Christ is present in His Word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the Holy Scriptures are read in the Church” (SC 7). Consequently, “Sacred Scripture is of the greatest importance in the celebration of the liturgy” (SC 24).
The Word of God and the Eucharist
35. Oftentimes, the Liturgy of the Word is not sufficiently prepared or is not properly linked to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. An intimate bond exists between the Word and the Eucharist as seen in scriptural testimony (cf. Jn 6), confirmed by the Fathers of the Church and reasserted by the Second Vatican Council (cf. SC 48, 51, 56; DV 21, 26; AG 6, 15; PO 18; PC 6). In this regard, the Church’s great Tradition has many significant expressions which can serve as examples: “Corpus Christi intelligitur etiam Scriptura Dei” (“The Divine Scriptures are also considered the Body of Christ”),46 and “Ego Corpus Iesu Evangelium puto” (“I consider the Gospel to be the Body of Christ”).47
The increasing consciousness of Christ’s presence in the Word is proving beneficial in the immediate preparation for the celebration of the Eucharist as well as in the action of uniting oneself with the Lord in the celebration of the Word. Consequently, this Synod, while always maintaining the priority of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, looks to reflect in a special manner on the relation of the Word of God to the Eucharist.48 St. Jerome observes in the matter: “The Lord’s flesh is real food and His blood real drink; this is our true good in this present life: to nourish ourselves with His flesh and to drink His blood in not only the Eucharist but also the reading of Sacred Scripture. In fact, the Word of God, drawn from the knowledge of the Scriptures, is real food and real drink”.49
The Word and the Economy of the Sacraments
36. The Word must be lived in the economy of the Sacraments, being seen as not only the communication of truth, teachings and moral precepts, but the reception of power and grace. Such an understanding not only creates an encounter for the person who hears in faith, but makes it a real celebration of the covenant.
Some responses call for consideration to equally be given to various forms of encountering the Word in the liturgical action, the sacraments, the celebration of the liturgical year, the Liturgy of the Hours and sacramentals. Particular attention needs to be given to the Liturgy of the Word in the celebration of the three Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. A renewed consciousness is required in proclaiming the Word during various celebrations, particularly the individual celebration of the Sacrament of Penance. An appreciation of the Word of God is also called for in the many forms of preaching and popular piety.
37. The Eucharist, specifically the Sunday Eucharist, deserves primary attention in pastoral activity, because “the table of the Word and the Bread of Life” are intimately bound together (DV 21). The Eucharist is “the privileged place where communion is ceaselessly proclaimed and nurtured”.50 Since Sunday Mass is the sole moment of sacramental encounter with the Lord for most Christians, zealously fostering authentic, joyous Eucharistic Liturgies becomes both a task and a gift. The principal aim of proclamation and the Christian life in general is the Eucharist, celebrated in a manner which shows the intimate union of Word, sacrifice and communion.
Care is needed in ensuring that the various parts of the Liturgy of the Word proceed in an harmonic way (the proclamation of the readings, the homily, the profession of faith and the prayer of the faithful), mindful of their intimate connection with the Eucharistic liturgy.51 The One spoken of in the texts makes Himself present in the total sacrifice of Himself to the Father.
Introductions to liturgical books, which explain elements in the liturgy, need to be given greater value, especially the Prænotanda of the Roman Missal, the Anaphore of the Eastern Churches, the Ordo Lectionum Missæ, the Lectionaries, and the Divine Office, all of which should be included in the liturgical formation of Pastors and the faithful, together with the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council.
Less division of passages and greater fidelity to original texts are needed in translation work. Since rite and word are to be intimately connected in the liturgy (cf. SC 35), encountering the Word of God comes about through the specific character of the signs at play in the liturgical celebration, for example, the positioning of the ambo, the care of the liturgical books, a proper style of reading, and the procession and incensation of the Gospel.
In the Liturgy of the Word, maximum attention should be given to a clear, understandable proclamation of the texts and a homily based on the Word.52 This requires competent, well-prepared readers who, for this purpose, need to be formed in schools, even ones which might be established by the diocese. At the same time, the Word of God might be better understood, if the lector made a brief introduction on the meaning of the reading to be proclaimed.
In the homily, preachers need to make a greater effort to be faithful to the biblical text and mindful of the condition of the faithful, providing them assistance in interpreting the events of their personal lives and historical happenings in the light of faith. This biblical aspect can opportunely be supplemented with the basics of theology and morality. Consequently, a proper formation of future ministers is indispensable. Some recommend the blending of hymns and music to the communication of the Word of God and a greater appreciation of words and silence. Outside of the liturgy, various forms of dramatization of the Word of God are possible in writings, figures and also noble artistic works, such as religious shows.
Some want religious communities, especially monastic ones, to assist parish communities in discovering a taste for the Word of God in liturgical celebrations. Since people are displaying an interest in participating in the Liturgy of the Hours, consideration needs to be given today on how to make this excellent means of communicating the Word of God more accessible to the faithful and a greater part of pastoral life.
38. Praying with the Word of God is a privileged experience, traditionally called Lectio Divina. “Lectio Divina is a reading, on an individual or communal level, of a more or less lengthy passage of Scripture, received as the word of God and leading, at the prompting of the Spirit, to meditation, prayer and contemplation”.53 The whole Church seems again to be giving specific attention to Lectio Divina. In some places, people have traditionally employed it. In certain dioceses, the practice has progressively increased after the Second Vatican Council. Many communities are seeing it as a new form of prayer and Christian spirituality of significant benefit in the ecumenical movement. At the same time, some see the need to take into consideration the real possibilities among the faithful and adapt this classic form to different situations in such a way as to conserve the essence of this reading in prayer, while highlighting its nutritive value for a person’s faith. Lectio Divina is a reading of the Bible which goes back to the beginnings of Christianity and has been a part of the Church throughout her history. Monasteries kept the practice alive. Today, however, the Spirit, through the Magisterium, proposes Lectio Divina as an effective pastoral instrument and a valuable tool in the Church in the education and spiritual formation of priests, in the everyday lives of consecrated women and men, in parish communities, in families, associations and movements and in the ordinary believer — both young and old — who can find in this form of reading a practical, accessible means, for individuals or entire communities, to come in contact with the Word of God (cf. OT 4).54
According to Pope John Paul II: “It is especially necessary that listening to the Word of God should become a life-giving encounter, in the ancient and ever valid tradition of Lectio Divina, which draws from the biblical text the living word which questions, directs and shapes our lives”.55 His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI specifies that this comes “through the use of new methods, carefully thought through and in step with the times”.56 In particular, the Holy Father recalls for youth that “it is always important to read the Bible in a very personal way, in a personal conversation with God; but, at the same time, it is also important to read it in the company of people with whom one can advance….”57 He urges them “to become familiar with the Bible, and to have it at hand so that it can be your compass pointing out the road to follow”.58 In a message addressed to various persons, especially young people, the Holy Father expresses his heartfelt desire that the practice of Lectio Divina spread as an important element in renewing faith today. He states: “I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of Lectio Divina: the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to Him with trusting openness of heart (cf. DV 25). If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the Church — I am convinced of it — a new spiritual springtime. As a strong point of biblical ministry, Lectio Divina should therefore be increasingly encouraged, also through the use of new methods, carefully thought through and in step with the times. It should never be forgotten that the Word of God is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (cf. Ps 119: 105)”.59
The newness of Lectio Divina among the People of God requires an appropriate pedagogy of initiation which leads to a good understanding of what is treated, and provides clear teaching on the meaning of each of its steps and their application to life in a manner both faithful and creatively wise. Various programs, such as the Seven Steps, are already being practiced by many particular Churches on the African continent. This form of Lectio Divina receives its name from the seven moments of encounter with the Bible (acknowledging the presence of God, reading the text, dwelling on the text, being still, sharing insights, searching together and praying together) in which meditation, prayer and sharing the Word of God are central. In various places, Lectio Divina is called by another name, for example, “the School of the Word” or “Reading in Prayer”. Because of rapidly changing and oftentimes divisive situations in people’s lives today, the hearer/reader of the Word of God is different from the hearer/reader of the past, requiring that the clergy, consecrated persons and the lay faithful receive a formation which is instructive, patient and ongoing. In this regard, the sharing of experiences, drawn from listening to the Word (collatio),60 or practical applications, above all, in works in charity (actio), already being done in some places, can be useful. Lectio Divina should become a source of inspiration in various practices of the community, such as, spiritual exercises, retreats, devotions and religious experiences. An important aim is to help a person mature in reading the Word and wisely discern reality.
Lectio Divina is not confined to a few, well-committed individuals among the faithful nor to a group of specialists in prayer. Instead, Lectio Divina is a necessary element of an authentic Christian life in a secularized world, which needs contemplative, attentive, critical and courageous people who, at times, must make totally new, untried choices. These particular undertakings will not be purely routine nor come from public opinion but will result from hearing the Word of the Lord and perceiving the mysterious stirring of the Holy Spirit in the heart.
The Word of God and the Service of Charity
39. Diakonia or the service of charity is the vocation of the Church of Jesus Christ in response to the charity shown by the Word of God Incarnate in His words and deeds.
The Word of God should lead to love of neighbor. Many communities demonstrate that the encounter with the Word is not limited to hearing alone or celebrations in themselves but seeks to become a real commitment, by individuals or a community, to the poor, who are a sign of the Lord present in our midst. This understanding underlies a liberationist approach to the Bible. “A decisive factor” in the further development of this approach and its benefits to the Church “will rest in clarifying its hermeneutical presuppositions, its methods and its coherence with the faith and the Tradition of the Church as a whole”.61
The Word of God’s relation to charity urgently needs to be shown, since charity is particularly powerful in causing an encounter with the Word of God for both believers and non-believers alike. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, attests to this association in his Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est in pointing to the three elements which make up the essential nature of the Church: proclamation of the Word of God (kerygma-martyria), celebration of the sacraments (leitourgia) and the exercise of the ministry of charity (diakonia). The Holy Father writes: “The Church cannot neglect the service of charity any more than she can neglect the Sacraments and the Word”.62 The Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi states that “the Christian message was not only ‘informative’ but ‘performative’. That means: the Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known — it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing. The dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open. The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life”.63 The basis for the relationship between the Word and charity is clearly the example of the Word-made-flesh Himself, Jesus of Nazareth, who “went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).
Many pages of Sacred Scripture not only recommend but command respect for justice towards one’s neighbor (cf. Deut 24:14-15; Am 2:6-7; Jer 22:13; Joel 5:4). Faithfulness to the Word of God exists when the first form of charity is realized in a respect for the rights of the human person and in defense of the oppressed and those who suffer. For this reason, specific importance is rendered by communities of faith, grounded in Bible reading, which also include the poor, who need to hear the message of consolation and hope. With His Word, the Lord, who loves life, desires to enlighten, guide and bring comfort to believers throughout their lives and in every aspect of those lives — in work, at celebrations, in times of suffering, at leisure, in duties to family and society and in life’s every moment — so that all might test everything and hold fast to what is good (cf. I Thess 5:21), thereby coming to know God’s will and put it into practice (cf. Mt 7:21).
Exegesis of Sacred Scripture and Theology
40. “The study of the sacred page is, as it were, the soul of sacred theology” (DV 24). Undoubtedly, the Lord is owed praise for the fruits produced in the period after the Second Vatican Council, one of which is the commitment of a great number of exegetes and theologians who study and explain the Scriptures “according to the sense of the Church” and interpret and present the Word, written in the Bible, within the context of a living Tradition. In doing so, they also take into account the heritage of the Church Fathers and the guidelines of the Magisterium (DV 12). In this way they offer assistance to Pastors in their ministry, and thereby merit a word of gratitude and encouragement.64
In one sense, because the Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among us (cf. Jn 1:14), the Spirit is prompting us to meditate on the new itinerary which He intends to pursue among the people of our time. At the same time, that same Spirit sends us forth to gather the people’s prospects and challenges to the Word. Both aspects call for new efforts in study as well as service to the community.
Study in this area requires a program set up according to the guidelines of the Magisterium, in a knowledge, method of research and process of interpretation which must focus on the fullness given by the spiritual sense of the sacred text.65 In the course of work, the apparent division between exegetical research and theological formulation needs to be overcome and lead to reciprocal collaboration. Theology will then use biblical data in an objective fashion, and exegetical research will not limit itself to a literal interpretation only but recognize and communicate the theological content present in the inspired text. In particular, theological study is to work hand-in-hand with a theology of Sacred Scripture as an assistance in understanding and appreciating the truth of the Bible in the life of faith, in the dialogue with cultures and in reflecting on present-day anthropological currents, moral questions, faith and reason and the dialogue with the great religions.
Exegetical and theological study is also to appreciate the testimony from Sacred Tradition, such as the liturgy and the Fathers of the Church. From those dedicated to study, the Christian community expects appropriate help, which might assist the ministers of the Divine Word to offer “the nourishment of the Scriptures for the People of God, to enlighten their minds, strengthen their wills, and set their hearts on fire with the love of God” (DV 23). To achieve this, some responses call for an ongoing constructive dialogue among exegetes, theologians and Pastors, which would lead to translating theological reflection into proposals for a more incisive evangelization. Generally speaking, greater attention should be given to the recommendations found in Optatam Totius on the subject of teaching theology and biblical exegesis and the reflection on methodology in preparation to form future pastors. For the most part, these recommendations are still waiting to be implemented.
The Word of God in the Life of the Believer
41. The consciousness that the Word of God is an inestimable gift leads to the responsibility to receive that gift in faith. Therefore, inherent to hearing the Word is — as Jesus says — doing the Word (cf. Mt 7:21). The Church has always preached a conduct of life in keeping with the Word, seeking to build formation on a biblical spirituality.
The kind of relation believers have with the Word of God is clearly determined by their faith. A study of the responses reveals that for some the Bible is seen purely as a cultural object with no effect on life, while others, instead, display a certain affection for the book but without knowing why. Generally speaking, however, like the types of soil in the parable of the sower, there are also those who yield fruit, thirty, sixty and one-hundred fold (cf. Mk 4:20). Experience is proving that progress in catechetics and spirituality are among the most appealing and promising aspects of the encounter of the Word of God with His People.
The basis for a believer’s vital relationship to the Bible is summarized in Dei Verbum as holding fast to the Sacred Scriptures through diligent sacred reading and careful study (cf. DV 25), because the Bible is the “the pure and everlasting source of spiritual life” (DV 21). An authentic spirituality of the Word demands “that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for ‘we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine sayings’” (DV 25).66 St. Augustine confirms this: “Your prayer is your word addressed to God. When you read the Bible God speaks to you; when you pray you speak to God”.67 The faithful must learn in their Christian lives what leads to truly reading the Bible with faith. In doing so, they will make their hearts into a library of the Word.68
The Word of God has an impact on the life of faith, not primarily as a collection of doctrinal questions or a series of ethical principles, but as God’s love inviting the believer to a personal encounter with Him and as a manifestation of His ineffable greatness in the Paschal Mystery. The Word of God presents the salvific plan of the Father for each person and for all peoples. The Word questions, exhorts and incites the believer on the road of discipleship and in the following of Christ; prepares a person to accept the transforming action of the Spirit; greatly promotes communion and the creation of deep bonds of fellowship; and inspires a commitment to spreading the Word. Such is the case, especially for consecrated persons.
Some aspects related to the subject need attentive consideration. First of all, the Word of God is encountered by those who are poor in spirit, both interiorly and exteriorly, “for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich” (II Cor 8:9). To be poor in spirit is a way of being, like Jesus, one who hears the Word of the Father and announces it to the poor (cf. Lk 4:18). Some persons, especially women, work under great hardship, watch over the family, dedicate themselves to their children and, with an ardent faith, provide multiple services to their neighbors, reminiscent of the Psalms and the Gospels. The witness of a good life makes reading the Bible credible.
The masters of the spiritual life describe certain situations where the Word can nourish the life of the believer, thereby creating a biblical spirituality: a deep interiorizing of the Word; persevering in trials with the Word’s inspiration; and continuing the spiritual warfare against all erroneous and hateful words, thoughts and deeds. The Bible is also under the sign of the cross, where the Crucified Christ is present. The above situations exist in many religious communities and centers of spirituality which offer real assistance in deepening an experience of the Word of God.
45 IOANNES PAULUS II, Epist. Apost. Dies Domini (31.05.1998), 41: AAS 90 (1998) 738-739.
46 WALTRAMUS, De Unitate Ecclesiae Conservanda: 13, ed. W. Schwenkenbecher, Hannover 1883, p. 33: “Dominus enim Iesus Christus ipse est, quod praedicat Verbum Dei, ideoque Corpus Christi intelligitur etiam Evangelium Dei, doctrina Dei, Scriptura Dei.”
48 Cf. BENEDICTUS XVI, Adhort Apost. Post-Syn. Sacramentum caritatis (22.02.2007), 44-46: AAS 99 (2007) 139-141.
50 IOANNES PAULUS II, Litt. Apost. Novo Millennio Ineunte (06.01.2001), 36: AAS 93 (2001) 291.
51 Cf. BENEDICTUS XVI, Adhort Apost. Post-Syn. Sacramentum caritatis (22.02.2007), 44-48: AAS 99 (2007) 139-142.
54 Cf. IOANNES PAULUS II, Adhort. Apost. Post-Syn. Pastores Dabo Vobis (25.03.1992), 47: AAS 84 (1992) 740-742; BENEDICTUS XVI, Meeting of the Youth of Rome and the Lazio Region (06.04.2006); L’Osservatore Romano: Weekly Edition in English, 12.04.2006, pp. 6-7; Message for the 21st World Youth Day (22.02.2006): L’Osservatore Romano: Weekly Edition in English, 01.03.2006, p. 3.
55 IOANNES PAULUS II, Litt. Apost. Novo Millennio Ineunte (06.01.2001), 39: AAS 93 (2001) 294.
59 BENEDICTUS XVI, Ad Conventum Internationalem The Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church (16.09.2005): AAS 97 (2005) 957; cf. DV 21, 25; PO 18-19; CATECHISMUS CATHOLICÆ ECCLESIÆ, 1177; IOANNES PAULUS II, Adhort. Apost. Post-Syn. Pastores Dabo Vobis (25.03.1992), 47: AAS 84 (1992) 740-742; Adhort. Apost. post-syn, Vita Consecrata (25.03.1996), 94: AAS 88 (1996) 469-470; Litt. Apost. Novo Millennio Ineunte (06.01.2001), 39-40: AAS 93 (2001) 293-295; Adhort. Apost. post-syn, Ecclesia in Oceania (22.11.2001), 38: AAS 94 (2002) 411; Adhort. Apost. Post-Syn. Pastores Gregis (16.10.2003), 15: AAS 96 (2004) 846-847.
62 BENEDICTUS XVI, Litt. Enc. Deus Caritas Est (25.12.2005), 22: AAS 98 (2006) 234-235.
63 BENEDICTUS XVI, Litt. Enc. Spe Salvi (30.11.2007), 2: AAS 99 (2007) 986.