Church Teachings Section Index

This section contains material pertaining to the official Church teachings, including Papal Encyclicals, Ecumenical Council teachings, and various Notifications and Letters promulgated by the Pope and Magisterium. By no means does this section contain all the teachings of the Church, but rather is focused on those teachings which are most relevant to support the full Truth of the Catholic Faith which is being viciously attacked by dissenters.

Church Teaching Sections

Vatican II

Liturgy, Mass, Eucharist, Sacraments, and Prayer

Modernism and Liberalism (i.e. dealing with errors and problems)

Our Lord and Our Lady

Evangelization and Ecumenism

Family and Marriage

Morals and Society

Vatican II Documents

Title Author Topics
Vatican II Opening Speech Pope John XXIII Pope John XXIII's opening speech to the Council of Vatican II. "The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more is necessary first of all that the Church should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers ...But from the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council "
Vatican II Closing Speech Pope Paul VI Pope Paul VI's closing speech to the Council of Vatican II. "We decided moreover that all that has been established synodally is to be religiously observed by all the faithful, for the glory of God and the dignity of the Church and for the tranquility and peace of all men."
Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) Vatican II Dogmatic (infallible) document explaining the Church "for the benefit of the faithful and of the whole world, to set forth, as clearly as possible, and in the tradition laid down by earlier Councils, her own nature and universal mission."
Read this to learn the Truth about the "spirit of Vatican II."
Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) Vatican II Dogmatic (infallible) document explaining "divine revelation and how it is handed on, so that by hearing the message of salvation the whole world may believe."
Declaration on Religious Freedom (Dignitatis Humanae) Vatican II "Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ."
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium) Vatican II "... in faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that Holy Mother Church holds all lawfully recognized rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way. The Council also desires that, where necessary, the rites be revised carefully in the light of sound tradition, and that they be given new vigour to meet present-day circumstances and needs."
Decree On the Mission Activity of the Church (Ad Gentes) Vatican II "Divinely sent to the nations of the world to be unto them "a universal sacrament of salvation," the Church, driven by the inner necessity of her own catholicity, and obeying the mandate of her Founder, strives ever to proclaim the Gospel to all men. The Apostles themselves, on whom the Church was founded, following in the footsteps of Christ, "preached the word of truth and begot churches." It is the duty of their successors to make this task endure "so that the word of God may run and be glorified and the kingdom of God be proclaimed and established throughout the world."
Pastoral Constitution On the Church In the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) Vatican II "Hence this Second Vatican Council, having probed more profoundly into the mystery of the Church, now addresses itself without hesitation, not only to the sons of the Church and to all who invoke the name of Christ, but to the whole of humanity. For the council yearns to explain to everyone how it conceives of the presence and activity of the Church in the world of today."
Decree On the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem) Vatican II "To intensify the apostolic activity of the people of God, 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. 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."
Declaration On the Relation Of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate) Vatican II

"In our time, when day by day mankind is being drawn closer together, and the ties between different peoples are becoming stronger, the Church examines more closely he relationship to non-Christian religions. One is the community of all peoples, one their origin, for God made the whole human race to live over the face of the earth. One also is their final goal, God. His providence, His manifestations of goodness, His saving design extend to all men, until that time when the elect will be united in the Holy City, the city ablaze with the glory of God, where the nations will walk in His light."

Decree On the Means of Social Communication (Inter Mirifica) Vatican II "Among the wonderful technological discoveries which men of talent, especially in the present era, have made with God's help, the Church welcomes and promotes with special interest those which have a most direct relation to men's minds and which have uncovered new avenues of communicating most readily news, views and teachings of every sort. The most important of these inventions are those media which, such as the press, movies, radio, television and the like, can, of their very nature, reach and influence, not only individuals, but the very masses and the whole of human society, and thus can rightly be called the media of social communication."
Declaration On Christian Education (Gravissimum Educationis) Vatican II "To fulfill the mandate she has received from her divine founder of proclaiming the mystery of salvation to all men and of restoring all things in Christ, Holy Mother the Church must be concerned with the whole of man's life, even the secular part of it insofar as it has a bearing on his heavenly calling. Therefore she has a role in the progress and development of education. Hence this sacred synod declares certain fundamental principles of Christian education especially in schools."
Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) Vatican II "The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communions present themselves to men as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided. Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature."
Decree Concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops In the Church (Christus Dominus) Vatican II "The bishops themselves, however, having been appointed by the Holy Spirit, are successors of the Apostles as pastors of souls. Together with the supreme pontiff and under his authority they are sent to continue throughout the ages the work of Christ, the eternal pastor. Christ gave the Apostles and their successors the command and the power to teach all nations, to hallow men in the truth, and to feed them."
Decree On Renewal of Religious Life (Perfectae Caritatis) Vatican II "The sacred synod has already shown in the constitution on the Church that the pursuit of perfect charity through the evangelical counsels draws its origin from the doctrine and example of the Divine Master and reveals itself as a splendid sign of the heavenly kingdom. Now it intends to treat of the life and discipline of those institutes whose members make profession of chastity, poverty and obedience and to provide for their needs in our time."
Decree On the Ministry and Life of Priests (Presbyterorum Ordinis) Vatican II

"The Lord Jesus, 'whom the Father has sent into the world' (John 10:36) has made His whole Mystical Body a sharer in the anointing of the Spirit with which He Himself is anointed. .... Therefore, there is no member who does not have a part in the mission of the whole Body; but each one ought to hallow Jesus in his heart, and in the spirit of prophecy bear witness to Jesus. The same Lord, however, has established ministers among His faithful to unite them together in one body in which, 'not all the members have the same function' (Rom. 12:4). These ministers in the society of the faithful are able by the sacred power of orders to offer sacrifice and to forgive sins, and they perform their priestly office publicly for men in the name of Christ."

Decree On Priestly Training (Optatam Totius) Vatican II "Animated by the spirit of Christ, this sacred synod is fully aware that the desired renewal of the whole Church depends to a great extent on the ministry of its priests. It proclaims the extreme importance of priestly training and lays down certain basic principles by which those regulations may be strengthened which long use has shown to be sound and by which those new elements can be added which correspond to the constitutions and decrees of this sacred council and to the changed conditions of our times. Because of the very unity of the Catholic priesthood this priestly formation is necessary for all priests, diocesan and religious and of every rite. Wherefore, while these prescriptions directly concern the diocesan clergy, they are to be appropriately adapted to all."
Decree On the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite (Orientalium Ecclesiarum) Vatican II "The Catholic Church holds in high esteem the institutions, liturgical rites, ecclesiastical traditions and the established standards of the Christian life of the Eastern Churches, for in them, distinguished as they are for their venerable antiquity, there remains conspicuous the tradition that has been handed down from the Apostles through the Fathers and that forms part of the divinely revealed and undivided heritage of the universal Church."


Documents on Liturgy, Mass, Eucharist, Sacraments and Prayer

Title Author Topics
On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist (Redemptionis Sacramentum)

Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments

"In order that especially in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy the Church might duly safeguard so great a mystery in our own time as well, the Supreme Pontiff has mandated that this Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, should prepare this Instruction treating of certain matters pertaining to the discipline of the Sacrament of the Eucharist."
Apostolic Constitution on the Publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church prepared Following the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (Fidei Depositum) Pope John Paul II "... we thank the Lord wholeheartedly on this day when we can offer the entire Church this "reference text" entitled the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for a catechesis renewed at the living sources of the faith!"
Apostolic Letter in which the Latin Typical Edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is Approved and Promulgated (Laetamur Magnopere) Pope John Paul II "IT IS A CAUSE FOR GREAT JOY THAT THE LATIN TYPICAL EDITION OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS BEING PUBLISHED."
Apostolic Letter On the Most Holy Rosary (Rosarium Virginis Mariae) Pope John Paul II "The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, which gradually took form in the second millennium under the guidance of the Spirit of God, is a prayer loved by countless Saints and encouraged by the Magisterium. ... though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety ..."
On the Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist (Dominicae Cenae) Pope John Paul II Encyclical explaining the importance of the priestly role regarding the Eucharistic, and "that the problems of the liturgy, and in particular of the Eucharistic Liturgy, must not be an occasion for dividing Catholics and for threatening the unity of the Church."
Instruction Concerning Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery (Inaestimabile Donum) Pope John Paul II Encyclical dealing with abuse of the Eucharistic whereby our Pope "cannot suppress concern at the varied and frequent abuses being reported from different parts of the Catholic world: the confusion of roles, especially regarding the priestly ministry and the role of the laity."
Mystery of Faith (Mysterium Fidei) Pope Paul VI "The Catholic Church has always devoutly guarded as a most precious treasure the mystery of faith, that is, the ineffable gift of the Eucharist which she received from Christ her Spouse as a pledge of His immense love, and during the Second Vatican Council in a new and solemn demonstration she professed her faith and veneration for this mystery."
Instruction On Music In The Liturgy (Musicam Sacram)   Sacred Congregation of Rites "Sacred music, in those aspects which concern the liturgical renewal, was carefully considered by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. It explained its role in divine services, issued a number of principles and laws on this subject in the Constitution on the Liturgy, and devoted to it an entire chapter of the same Constitution."
Dance In The Liturgy    Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship (1975) "For that reason [liturgical dance] cannot be introduced into liturgical celebrations of any kind whatever: that would be to inject into the liturgy one of the most desacralized and desacralizing elements; and so it would be equivalent to creating an atmosphere of profaneness which would easily recall to those present and to the participants in the celebration worldly places and situations."
Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest (Ecclesiae de Mysterio) Pope John Paul II "The source of the call addressed to all members of the Mystical Body to participate actively in the mission and edification of the People of God, is to be found in the mystery of the Church. The People of God participate in this call through the dynamic of an organic communion in accord with their diverse ministeries and charisms."
Careful Selection And Training Of Candidates For The States Of Perfection And Sacred Orders Sacred Congregation for Religious (1961) "...  Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers. ..."
Apostolic Letter on Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis) Pope John Paul II "Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful."
Responsum ad Dubium - Concerning the Teaching Contained in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith "This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2)."
Letter Concerning the CDF Reply Regarding Ordinatio Sacerdotalis Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger "The Pope's intervention was necessary not simply to reiterate the validity of a discipline observed in the Church from the beginning, but to confirm a doctrine "preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents," which "pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself" (n. 4)"
Declaration on the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (Inter Insigniores)


Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith "... the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith judges it necessary to recall that the Church, in fidelity to the example of the Lord, does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination. The Sacred Congregation deems it opportune at the present juncture to explain this position of the Church. It is a position which will perhaps cause pain but whose positive value will become apparent in the long run, since it can be of help in deepening understanding of the respective roles of men and women."


Documents on Modernism and Liberalism (dealing with errors)

Title Author Topics
Vatican List of Dissenters


Off-site link to the the Vatican which lists Church rulings against dissenters. (note: they only maintain a partial list online)
On the Doctrine of the Modernists (Pascendi Dominici Gregis), Pope St. Pius X Encyclical dealing with dissenters who "are striving to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, as far as in them lies, utterly to subvert the very Kingdom of Christ."
Concerning Some False Opinions Threatening to Undermine the Foundations of Catholic Doctrine (Humani Generis) Pope Pius XII "Disagreement and error among men on moral and religious matters have always been a cause of profound sorrow to all good men, but above all to the true and loyal sons of the Church, especially today, when we see the principles of Christian culture being attacked on all sides."
The Syllabus of Errors - Condemning the Errors of the Modernists (Lamentabili Sane) Pope St. Pius X "WITH TRULY LAMENTABLE RESULTS, our age, casting aside all restraint in its search for the ultimate causes of things, frequently pursues novelties so ardently that it rejects the legacy of the human race. Thus it falls into very serious errors, which are even more serious when they concern sacred authority, the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, and the principal mysteries of Faith. The fact that many Catholic writers also go beyond the limits determined by the Fathers and the Church herself is extremely regrettable. In the name of higher knowledge and historical research, (they say), they are looking for that progress of dogmas which is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas."
On the Theological and Juridical Nature of Episcopal Conferences (Apostolos Suos) Pope John Paul II

"The Lord Jesus constituted the Apostles "in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from amongst them". The Apostles were not chosen and sent by Jesus independently of one another, but rather as part of the group of the Twelve, as the Gospels make clear by the repeatedly used expression, "one of the Twelve". To all of them together the Lord entrusted the mission of preaching the Kingdom of God, and they were sent by him, not individually, but two by two. At the Last Supper Jesus prayed to the Father for the unity of the Apostles and of those who through their word would believe in him. After his Resurrection and before the Ascension, the Lord reconfirmed Peter in the supreme pastoral office and entrusted to the Apostles the same mission which he had himself received from the Father."

In Order to Safeguard the Faith (Ad Tuendam Fidem)   Pope John Paul II "To protect the Faith of the Catholic Church against errors arising from certain members of the Christian faithful, especially from among those dedicated to the various disciplines of sacred theology, we, whose principal duty is to confirm the brethren in the faith (Lk 22: 32), consider it absolutely necessary to add to the existing texts of the Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches new norms which expressly impose the obligation of upholding truths proposed in a definitive way by the Magisterium of the Church, and which also establish related canonical sanctions."
Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity   Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith "The faithful who are called to exercise an office in the name of the church are required to make the profession of faith according to the formula approved by the Apostolic See (cf. Canon 833). In addition, the obligation of a special oath of fidelity with regard to the particular duties inherent in the office that is to be exercised--previously prescribed solely for bishops--has been extended to the categories named in Canon 833, Nos. 5-8."
On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church (Dominus Iesus) Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith "The Church's universal mission is born from the command of Jesus Christ and is fulfilled in the course of the centuries in the proclamation of the mystery of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the mystery of the incarnation of the Son, as saving event for all humanity."
Declaration in Defense of the Catholic Doctrine on the Church Against Certain Errors of the Present Day (Mysterium Ecclesia) Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith "Likewise, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose task it is to "preserve the doctrine of faith and morals in the whole Catholic world," intends to gather together and explain a number of truths concerning the mystery of the Church which at the present time are being either denied or endangered. In this it will follow above all the lines laid down by the two Vatican Councils."
On Faith And Religion (Qui Pluribus) Pope Pius IX "a very bitter and fearsome war against the whole Catholic commonwealth is being stirred up by men bound together in a lawless alliance. These men do not preserve sound doctrine, but turn their hearing from the truth. They eagerly attempt to produce from their darkness all sorts of prodigious beliefs, and then to magnify them with all their strength, and to publish them and spread them among ordinary people. We shudder indeed and suffer bitter pain when We reflect on all their outlandish errors and their many harmful methods, plots and contrivances. These men use these means to spread their hatred for truth and light. They are experienced and skillful in deceit, which they use to set in motion their plans to quench peoples' zeal for piety, justice and virtue, to corrupt morals, to cast all divine and human laws into confusion, and to weaken and even possibly overthrow the Catholic religion and civil society."
Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian reflection on the 'New Age' Pontifical Council for Culture and Interreligious Dialogue "These reflections are offered primarily to those engaged in pastoral work so that they might be able to explain how the New Age movement differs from the Christian faith."


Documents on Our Lord and Our Lady

Title Author Topics
The Redeemer of Man (Redemptor Hominis) Pope John Paul II Encyclical dealing with "THE REDEEMER OF MAN, Jesus Christ, [who] is the center of the universe and of history."
Mother of the Redeemer (Redemptoris Mater) Pope John Paul II Encyclical dealing with the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of the Redeemer.


Documents on Evangelization and Ecumenism

Title Author Topics
That They May Be One (Ut Unum Sint) Pope John Paul II "Christ calls all his disciples to unity. My earnest desire is to renew this call today, to propose it once more with determination, repeating what I said at the Roman Coliseum on Good Friday 1994, at the end of the meditation on the Via Cruces prepared by my Venerable Brother Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. There I stated that believers in Christ, united in following in the footsteps of the martyrs, cannot remain divided. If they wish truly and effectively to oppose the world's tendency to reduce to powerlessness the Mystery of Redemption, they must profess together the same truth about the Cross. The Cross! An anti- Christian outlook seeks to minimize the Cross, to empty it of its meaning, and to deny that in it man has the source of his new life. It claims that the Cross is unable to provide either vision or hope. Man, it says, is nothing but an earthly being, who must live as if God did not exist."
On Evangelization In The Modern World (Evangelii Nuntiandi)   Pope Paul VI "For this reason the duty of confirming the brethren—a duty which with the office of being the Successor of Peter we have received from the Lord, and which is for us a "daily preoccupation," a program of life and action, and a fundamental commitment of our Pontificate—seems to us all the more noble and necessary when it is a matter of encouraging our brethren in their mission as evangelizers, in order that, in this time of uncertainty and confusion, they may accomplish this task with ever increasing love, zeal and joy."
As the Third Millennium Draws Near (Tertio Millennio Adveniente) Pope John Paul II "As the Third Millennium of the new era draws near, our thoughts turn spontaneously to the words of the Apostle Paul, "When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman" (Gal 4:4). The fullness of time coincides with the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, of the Son who is of one being with the Father, and with the mystery of the Redemption of the world. In this passage, Saint Paul emphasizes that the Son of God was born of woman, born under the Law, and came into the world in order to redeem all who were under the Law so that they might receive adoption as sons and daughters. And, he adds, "Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying 'Abba! Father!'" His conclusion is truly comforting: "So, through God you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir" (Gal 4:6-7)."
Bull of Indiction of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 (Incarnationis Mysterium) Pope John Paul II "Contemplating the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God, the Church prepares to cross the threshold of the Third Millennium. Never more than at this time do we feel the need to make our own the Apostle's hymn of praise and thanksgiving: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing ..."
At the Close of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 (Novo Millennio Ineunte) Pope John Paul II "Dear Brothers and Sisters, it is especially necessary for us to direct our thoughts to the future which lies before us. Often during these months we have looked towards the new millennium which is beginning, as we lived this Jubilee not only as a remembrance of the past, but also as a prophecy of the future. We now need to profit from the grace received, by putting it into practice in resolutions and guidelines for action."
On the Ecumenical Movement The Holy Office "However, some of the initiatives that have hitherto been taken by various individuals or groups, with the aim of reconciling dissident Christians to the Catholic Church, although inspired by the best of intentions, are not always based on right principles, or if they are, yet they are not free from special dangers, as experience too has already shown. Hence this Supreme Sacred Congregation, which has the responsibility of conserving in its entirety and protecting the deposit of the faith, has seen fit to recall to mind and to prescribe the following.."
On the Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and the World (Christifideles Laici) Pope John Paul II "In our times, the Church after Vatican II, in a renewed outpouring of the Spirit of Pentecost, has come to a more lively awareness of her missionary nature and has listened again to the voice of her Lord who sends her forth into the world as "the universal sacrament of salvation." You go too. The call is a concern not only of pastors, clergy and men and women religious. The call is addressed to everyone: lay people as well are personally called by the Lord, from whom they receive a mission on behalf of the Church and the world. In preaching to the people St. Gregory the Great recalls this fact and comments on the parable of the laborers in the vineyard: "Keep watch over your manner of life, dear people, and make sure that you are indeed the Lord's laborers. Each person should take into account what he does and consider if he is laboring in the vineyard of the Lord."


Documents on the Family and Marriage

Title Author Topics
Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith "There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law."
On the Regulation of Birth (Humanae Vitae) Pope Paul VI "The problem of birth, like every other problem regarding human life, is to be considered, beyond partial perspectives -- whether of the biological or psychological, demographic or sociological orders -- in the light of an integral vision of man and of his vocation, not only his natural and earthly, but also his supernatural and eternal vocation. And since, in the attempt to justify artificial methods of birth control, many have appealed to the demands both of conjugal love and of "responsible parenthood," it is good to state very precisely the true concept of these two great realities of married life, referring principally to what was recently set forth in this regard, and in a highly authoritative form, but the Second Vatican Council in its pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes."
The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality Pontifical Council for the Family "Among the many difficulties parents encounter today, despite different social contexts, one certainly stands out: giving children an adequate preparation for adult life, particularly with regard to education in the true meaning of sexuality. ... Aware of this family dimension of education for love and for living one's own sexuality properly and conscious of the unique "experience of humanity" of the community of believers, our Council wishes to put forward pastoral guidelines, drawing on the wisdom which comes from the Word of the Lord and the values which illuminate the teaching of the Church."
On Chastity in Marriage (Casti Connubii) Pope Pius XI "How great is the dignity of chaste wedlock, Venerable Brethren, may be judged best from this that Christ Our Lord, Son of the Eternal Father, having assumed the nature of fallen man, not only, with His loving desire of compassing the redemption of our race, ordained it in an especial manner as the principle and foundation of domestic society and therefore of all human intercourse, but also raised it to the rank of a truly and great sacrament of the New Law, restored it to the original purity of its divine institution, and accordingly entrusted all its discipline and care to His spouse the Church." This also covers divorce and the roles of husband and wife.
Letter to Women Pope John Paul II Letter to women before the Beijing Women's Conference.
On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World (Familiaris Consortio) Pope John Paul II "Knowing that marriage and the family constitute one of the most precious of human values, the Church wishes to speak and offer her help to those who are already aware of the value of marriage and the family and seek to live it faithfully, to those who are uncertain and anxious and searching for the truth, and to those who are unjustly impeded from living freely their family lives."
On Christian Marriage (Arcanum) Pope Leo XIII "God thus, in His most far-reaching foresight, decreed that this husband and wife should be the natural beginning of the human race, from whom it might be propagated and preserved by an unfailing fruitfulness throughout all futurity of time. He bore witness to the Jews and to His Apostles that marriage, from its institution, should exist between two only, that is, between one man and one woman; that of two they are made, so to say, one flesh; and that the marriage bond is by the will of God so closely and strongly made fast that no man may dissolve it or render it asunder."
On the Dignity and Vocation of Women (Mulieris Dignitatem) Pope John Paul II "... the Second Vatican Council, which declares in its Closing Message: "The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of women is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at his moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling."
The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae) Pope John Paul II "The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus' message. ... When he presents the heart of his redemptive mission, Jesus says: "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (Jn 10:10)."


Documents on Morals and Society

Title Author Topics
Doctrinal Note On some questions regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life  Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, having received the opinion of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, has decided that it would be appropriate to publish the present Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life. This Note is directed to the Bishops of the Catholic Church and, in a particular way, to Catholic politicians and all lay members of the faithful called to participate in the political life of democratic societies."
Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics (Persona Humana) Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith "In the present period, the corruption of morals has increased, and one of the most serious indications of this corruption is the unbridled exaltation of sex. Moreover, through the means of social communication and through public entertainment this corruption has reached the point of invading the field of education and of infecting the general mentality." NOTE: this also deals with the "Fundamental Option" theory.
On the Splendor of Truth (Veritatis Splendor) Pope John Paul II "Called to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ 'the true light that enlightens everyone' (Jn 1:9), people become 'light in the Lord' and 'children of light' (Eph 5:8), and are made holy by 'obedience to the truth' (1 Pet 1:22)"
Letter on Combatting Abortion and Euthanasia Pope John Paul II "a striking picture emerged from the reports and the work of the consistory. In the context of the numerous and violent attacks against human life today, especially when it is weakest and most defenseless, statistical data point to a veritable "slaughter of the innocents" on a worldwide scale. A source of particular concern, however, is the fact that people's moral conscience appears frighteningly confused and they find it increasingly difficult to perceive the clear and definite distinction between good and evil in matters concerning the fundamental value of human life."
On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum (Centesimus Annus)  Pope John Paul II "I now wish to propose a "rereading" of Pope Leo's encyclical by issuing an invitation to "look back" at the text itself in order to discover anew the richness of the fundamental principles which it formulated for dealing with the question of the condition of workers. But this is also an invitation to "look around" at the "new things" which surround us and in which we find ourselves caught up, very different from the "new things" which characterized the final decade of the last century. Finally, it is an invitation to "look to the future" at a time when we can already glimpse the third millennium of the Christian era, so filled with uncertainties but also with promises--uncertainties and promises which appeal to our imagination and creativity, and which reawaken our responsibility, as disciples of the "one teacher" (cf. Mt 23:8), to show the way, to proclaim the truth and to communicate the life which is Christ (cf. Jn 14:6)."
On the Condition of the Working Classes (Rerum Novarum) Pope Leo XIII "Once the passion for revolutionary change was aroused -- a passion long disturbing governments -- it was bound to follow sooner or later that eagerness for change would pass from the political sphere over into the related field of economics. In fact, new developments in industry, new techniques striking out on new paths, changed relations of employer and employee, abounding wealth among a very small number and destitution among the masses, increased self-reliance on the part of workers as well as a closer bond of union with one another, and, in addition to all this, a decline in morals have caused conflict to break forth."
On Atheistic Communism (Divini Redemptoris) Pope Pius XI

"Entire peoples find themselves in danger of falling back into a barbarism worse than that which oppressed the greater part of the world at the coming of the Redeemer. This all too imminent danger, Venerable Brethren, as you have already surmised, is Bolshevistic and atheistic Communism, which aims at upsetting the social order and at undermining the very foundations of Christian civilization ."

Declaration on Procured Abortion Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith "The tradition of the Church has always held that human life must be protected and favored from the beginning, just as at the various stages of its development. Opposing the morals of the Greco-Roman world, the Church of the first centuries insisted on the difference that exists on this point between those morals and Christian morals. In the Didache (1st century) it is clearly said: 'You shall not kill by abortion the fruit of the womb and you shall not murder the infant already born.' ... The Decree of Gratian reported the following words of Pope Stephen V: 'That person is a murderer who causes to perish by abortion what has been conceived.'[10] St. Thomas, the Common Doctor of the Church, teaches that abortion is a grave sin against the natural law.'"
Declaration on Euthanasia Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith "The rights and values pertaining to the human person occupy an important place among the questions discussed today. In this regard, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council solemnly reaffirmed the lofty dignity of the human person, and in a special way his or her right to life. The Council therefore condemned crimes against life 'such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or willful suicide' (Pastoral Constitution GAUDIUM ET SPES, no. 27)."
On the Right Ordering of Christian Life (Exeunte Iam Anno) Pope Leo XIII "We must therefore strive diligently that after beginning well we may also end well, that the counsels of God may be both understood and put in practice. The obedience shown to the Apostolic See will then be full and perfected, if it be joined with Christian virtue, and thus lead to the salvation of souls--the only end to be sought for, which will also abide forever."
On the Nature of Human Liberty (Libertas) Pope Leo XIII "Liberty, the highest of natural endowments, being the portion only of intellectual or rational natures, confers on man this dignityóthat he is "in the hand of his counsel" and has power over his actions. But the manner in which such dignity is exercised is of the greatest moment, inasmuch as on the use that is made of liberty the highest good and the greatest evil alike depend. ... The Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, having restored and exalted the original dignity of nature, vouchsafed special assistance to the will of man; and by the gifts of His grace here, and the promise of heavenly bliss hereafter, He raised it to a nobler state. In like manner, this great gift of nature has ever been, and always will be, deservingly cherished by the Catholic Church, for to her alone has been committed the charge of handing down to all ages the benefits purchased for us by Jesus Christ. Yet there are many who imagine that the Church is hostile to human liberty. Having a false and absurd notion as to what liberty is, either they pervert the very idea of freedom, or they extend it at their pleasure to many things in respect of which man cannot rightly be regarded as free."
On Christianity and Social Progress (Mater et Magistra) Pope John XXIII "Christianity is the meeting-point of earth and heaven. It lays claim to the whole man, body and soul, intellect and will, inducing him to raise his mind above the changing conditions of this earthly existence and reach upwards for the eternal life of heaven, where one day he will find his unfailing happiness and peace. Hence, though the Church's first care must be for souls, how she can sanctify them and make them share in the gifts of heaven, she concerns herself too with the exigencies of man's daily life, with his livelihood and education, and his general, temporal welfare and prosperity."


Home ] What's New ] Articles ] Bible ] Canon Law ] Dissent ] Faith ] Indulgences ] Liturgy ] Prayers ] Renew ] Saints ] [ Teachings ] Links ] About Us ] Reviews ] Contact Us ] Our Lord ] Our Lady ] Table of Contents ]