On the Mystical Body of Christ
A Term Paper.
Mr. Diosdado Almine
San Beda College – Alabang
In Partial Fulfillment for the Requirement of the subject
Theology 102: Church and Ecumenism.
Academic Year 2012 - 2013
BAIST - IA
Mystici Corporis Christi is a papal encyclical issued by Pope Pius XII on June 29, 1943, during World War II, on the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. It is one of the more important encyclicals of Pope Pius XII, because of its topic, the Church, and because its Church concept was fully included in Lumen Gentium but also strongly debated during and after Vatican II. The Church is called body, because it is a living entity; it is called the body of Christ, because Christ is its Head and Founder; it is called mystical body, because it is neither a purely physical nor a purely spiritual unity, but supernatural.
Pope Pius XII issued the Mystici Corporis Christi on June 29, 1943. The first and the most fundamental contribution it made to Catholic thought on the Church is contained in the following sentence: If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ — which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church — we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression "the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ" — an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the holy Fathers.
What is the primary purpose of the document? The purpose of the document is to throw an added ray of glory on the supreme beauty of the Church; to bring out into fuller light the exalted supernatural nobility of the faithful who in the Body of Christ are united with their Hear; and finally, to exclude definitely the many current errors with regard to this matter. And if at times there appears in the Church something that indicates the weakness of our human nature, it should not be attributed to her/his juridical constitution, but rather to that regrettable inclination to evil found in each individual, which its Divine Founder permits even at times in the most exalted members of His Mystical Body, for the purpose of testing Christian faith.
How was the Church founded? Church was founded because it is the only haven of salvation; but we are also aware that the Church of God not only is despised and hated maliciously by those who shut their eyes to the light of Christian wisdom and miserably return to the teachings, customs and practices of ancient paganism. The more fervent devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus practiced today, have brought many souls to a deeper consideration of the unsearchable riches of Christ which are preserved in the Church. Church is nothing but a judicial and social union, there is on the other hand a false mysticism creeping in, which, in its attempt to eliminate the immovable frontier that separates creatures from their Creator, falsifies the Sacred Scriptures. Church is made of men, so that through her all might cooperate with Him in when in excruciating agony He would redeem mankind, so in the same way throughout the centuries He makes use of the Church that the work begun might endure.
How is the true Church described and why is it called mystical body of Christ? The papal encyclical Mystici Corporis expresses the dogmatic ecclesiology of the Catholic Church thus: "If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ—which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church–we shall find no expression more noble, more sublime, or more divine, than the phrase which calls it 'the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ'." The Church is called body, because it is a living entity; it is called the body of Christ, because Christ is its Head and Founder; it is called mystical body, because it is neither a purely physical nor a purely spiritual unity, but supernatural.
Who are the members united to...
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