INSTRUCCION
SOBRE ALGUNAS CUESTIONES
ACERCA DE LA COLABORACION
DE LOS FIELES LAICOS EN EL SAGRADO
MINISTERIO DE LOS SACERDOTES
LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA
CIUDAD DEL VATICANO 1997
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PREMISA
Del misterio de la Iglesia nace la llamada dirigida a todos los miembros del Cuerpo místico para que participen activamente en la misión y edificación del Pueblo de Dios en una comunión orgánica, según los diversos ministerios y carismas. El eco de tal llamada se ha sentido constantemente en los documentos del Magisterio, sobre todo del Concilio Ecuménico Vaticano II(1) en adelante. En particular en las últimas tres Asambleas generales ordinarias del Sínodo de los Obispos, se ha reafirmado la identidad, en la común dignidad y diversidad de funciones propias, de los fieles laicos, de los sagrados ministros y de los consagrados, y se ha estimulado a todos los fieles a edificar la Iglesia colaborando en comunión para la salvación del mundo.
Es necesario tener presente la urgencia y la importancia de la acción apostólica de los fieles laicos en el presente y en el futuro de la evangelización. La Iglesia no puede prescindir de esta obra, porque le es connatural, en cuanto Pueblo de Dios, y porque tiene necesidad de ella para realizar la propia misión evangelizadora.
La llamada a la participación activa de todos los fieles a la misión de la Iglesia no ha sido desatendida. El Sínodo de los Obispos del 1987 ha constatado « como el Espiritu ha continuado a rejuvenecer la Iglesia suscitando nuevas energías de santidad y de participación en tantos fieles laicos. Esto es testimoniado, entre otras cosas, por el nuevo estilo de colaboración entre sacerdotes, religiosos y fieles laicos; por la participación activa en la liturgia, en el anuncio de la Palabra de Dios y en la catequesis; por los múltiples servicios y tareas confiadas a los fieles laicos y por ellos asumidas; por el fresco florecer de grupos, asociaciones y movimientos de espiritualidad y de compromiso laical; por la participación más amplia y significativa de las mujeres en la vida de la Iglesia y en el desarrollo de la sociedad ».(2) De igual modo en la preparación del Sínodo de los Obispos del 1994 sobre la vida consagrada se ha encontrado « en todas partes un deseo sincero de instaurar auténticas relaciones de comunión y de colaboración entre Obispos, institutos de vida consagrada, clero secular y laicos ».(3) En la sucesiva Exhortación Apostólica post-sinodal, el Sumo Pontífice confirma el aporte específico de la vida consagrada a la misión y edificación de la Iglesia.(4)
Se tiene, en efecto, una colaboración de todos los fieles en los dos ámbitos de la misión de la Iglesia, sea en aquel espiritual de llevar el mensaje de Cristo y de su gracia a los hombres, sea en aquel temporal de permear y perfeccionar el orden de las realidades seculares con el espíritu evangélico.(5) Especialmente en el primer ámbito —evangelización y santificación— « el apostolado de los laicos y el ministerio pastoral se completan mutuamente ».(6) En él, los fieles laicos, de ambos sexos,
tienen innumerables ocasiones de hacerse activos, con el coherente testimonio de vida personal, familiar y social, con el anuncio y la condivisión del evangelio de Cristo en todo ambiente y con el compromiso de enuclear, defender y rectamente aplicar los principios cristianos a los problemas actuales.(7) En particular los Pastores son invitados « a reconocer y promover los ministerios, los oficios y las funciones de los fieles laicos, que tienen su fundamento sacramental en el Bautismo y en la Confirmación, y además, para muchos de ellos, en el Matrimonio ».(8)
En realidad la vida de la Iglesia, en este campo, ha conocido, sobre todo después del notable impulso dado por el Concilio Vaticano II y por el Magisterio Pontificio, un sorprendente florecer de iniciativas pastorales.
Hoy, en particular, el prioritario compromiso de la nueva evangelización, que implica a todo el Pueblo de Dios, exige junto al « especial protagonismo » del sacerdote, la total recuperación de la conciencia de la índole secular de la misión del laico.(9)
Esta empresa abre de par en par a los fieles laicos horizontes inmensos —algunos de ellos todavía por explorar— de compromiso secular en el mundo de la cultura, del arte, del espectáculo, de la búsqueda cientifica, del trabajo, de los medios de comunicación, de la política, de la economía, etc., y les pide de genialidad de crear siempre modadilades más eficaces para que estos ambientes encuentren en Jesucristo la plenitud de su significado.(10)
Dentro de esta vasta área de concorde trabajo, sea especificamente espiritual o religiosa, sea en laconsecratio mundi, existe un campo más especial, aquel que se relaciona con el sagrado ministerio de los clérigos, en el ejercicio del cual pueden ser llamados a colaborar los fieles laicos, hombres y mujeres, y, naturalmente, también los miembros no ordenados de los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y de las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica. A tal ámbito particular se refiere el Concilio Ecuménico Vaticano II, allí en donde enseña: « La jerarquía encomienda a los seglares ciertas funciones que están más estrechamente unidas a los deberes de los pastores, como, por ejemplo, en la exposición de la doctrina cristiana, en determinados actos litúrgicos y en la cura de almas ».(11)
Precisamente porque se trata de tareas intimamente relacionadas con los deberes de los pastores —que para ser tales deben ser marcados con el Sacramento del Orden— se exige, de parte de todos aquellos que en cualquier modo están implicados, una particular atención para que se salvaguarden bien, sea la naturaleza y la misión del sagrado ministerio, sea la vocación y la índole secular de los fieles laicos. Colaborar no significa, en efecto, sustituir.
Debemos constatar, con viva satisfacción, que en muchas Iglesias particulares la colaboración de los fieles no ordenados en el ministerio pastoral del clero se desarrolla de manera bastante positiva, con abundantes frutos de bien, en el respeto los límites fijados por la naturaleza de los sacramentos y por la diversidad de carismas y funciones eclesiales, con soluciones generosas e inteligentes para hacer frente a las situaciones de falta o escasez de sagrados ministros.(12) De este modo se ha aclarado aquel aspecto de la comunión, por el que algunos miembros de la Iglesia se ocupan con solicitud de remediar, en la medida en que les es posible, no siendo marcados por el carácter del sacramento del Orden, a situaciones de emergencia y crónicas necesidades en algunas comunidades.(13) Tales fieles son llamados y delegados para asumir precisas tareas, tan importantes cuanto delicadas, sostenidos por la gracia del Señor, acompañados por los sagrados ministros y bien acogidos por las comunidades en favor de las cuales prestan el propio servicio. Los sagrados pastores agradecen profundamente la generosidad con la cual numerosos consagrados y fieles laicos se ofrecen para este específico servicio, desarrollado con un fiel sensus Ecclesiae y edificante dedicación. Particular gratitud y estímulo va a cuantos asumen estas tareas en situaciones de persecución de la comunidad cristiana, en los ambientes de misión, sean ellos territoriales o culturales, allí en donde la Iglesia aún está escasamente radicada, y la presencia del sacerdote es sólo esporádica.(14)
No es este el lugar para profundizar toda la riqueza teológica y pastoral del papel de los fieles laicos en la Iglesia. La misma ha sido ya aclarada ampliamente en la Exhortación Apostólica Chritifidelis laici.
El objetivo del presente documento, más bien, es simplemente aquel de dar una respuesta clara y autorizada a las urgentes y numerosas peticiones enviadas a nuestros Dicasterios de parte de obispos, sacerdotes y laicos los cuales, de frente a nuevas formas de actividad « pastoral » de los fieles no ordenados en el ámbito de las parroquias y de las diócesis, han pedido de ser iluminados.
Con frecuencia, en efecto, se trata de praxis que, si bien originadas en situaciones de emergencia y precariedad, y repetidamente desarrolladas con la voluntad de brindar una generosa ayuda en las actividades pastorales, pueden tener consecuencias gravemente negativas para la entera comunión eclesial. Tales prácticas, en realidad están presentes de modo especial en algunas regiones y, a veces, varian bastante al interno de la misma zona.
Las mismas, sin embargo, son un llamado a la grave responsabilidad, pastoral de cuantos, sobre todo Obispos,(15) son responsables de la promoción y tutela de la disciplina universal de la Iglesia sobre la base de algunos principios doctrinales ya claramente enunciados por el Concilio Ecumenico Vaticano II(16) y por el sucesivo Magisterio Pontificio.(17)
Se ha tenido un trabajo de reflexión al interno de nuestros Dicasterios, se ha reunido un Simposio en el que han participado representantes de los Episcopados mayormente interesados en el problema y, en fin, se ha realizado una amplia consulta entre los numerosos Presidentes de las Conferencias Episcopales y otros Presules y expertos de distintas disciplinas eclesiásticas y áreas geográficas. Ha resultado un clara convergencia en el sentido preciso de la presente Instrucción que, sin embargo, no pretende agotar el tema, bien porque se limita a considerar los casos hoy más conocidos, bien por la extrema variedad de circunstancias particulares en las cuales tales casos se verifican.
El texto, redactado sobre la segura base del magisterio extraordinario y ordinario de la Iglesia, se confía para su fiel aplicación, a los Obispos interesados, pero se hará conocer también de los Présules de aquellas circunscripciones eclesiásticas en donde, aunque no se presenten de momento praxis abusivas, podrían ser implicados en breve tiempo, dada la actual rapidez de difusión de los fenómenos.
Antes de dar respuesta a los casos concretos que nos han sido enviados, se estima necesario anteponer en mérito al significado del Orden sagrado en la constitución de la Iglesia, algunos breves y esenciales elementos teológicos tendientes a favorecer una motivada inteligencia de la misma disciplina eclesiástica la cual, en el respeto de la verdad y de la comunión eclesial, pretende promover los derechos y los deberes de todos, para aquella « salvación de las almas que debe ser en la Iglesia la ley suprema ».(18)
PRINCIPIOS TEOLOGICOS
1. El sacerdocio comun y el sacerdocio ministerial
Jesucristo, Sumo y Eterno Sacerdote, ha deseado que su único e indivisible sacerdocio fuese participado a su Iglesia. Esta es el pueblo de la nueva alianza, en el cual, por la « regeneración y la acción del Espíritu Santo, los bautizados son consagrados para formar un templo espiritual y un sacerdocio santo, para ofrecer, mediante todas las actividades del cristiano, sacrificios espirituales y hacer conocer los prodigios de Aquel que de las tinieblas le llamó a su admirable luz (cfr. 1 Pe 2, 4-10).(19) « Un sólo Señor, una sola fe, un solo bautismo (Ef 4, 5); común es la dignidad de los miembros que deriva de su regeneración en Cristo, común la gracia de la filiación; común la llamada a la perfección ».(20) Vigente entre todos « una auténtica igualdad en cuanto a la dignidad y a la acción común a todos los fieles en orden a la edificación del Cuerpo de Cristo », algunos son constituidos, por voluntad de Cristo, « doctores, dispensadores de los misterios y pastores para los demás ».(21) Sea el sacerdocio común de los fieles, sea el sacerdocio ministerial o jerárquico, « aunque diferentes esencialmente y no sólo de grado, se ordenan, sin embargo, el uno al otro, pues ambos participan a su manera del único sacerdocio de Cristo ».(22) Entre ellos se tiene una eficaz unidad porque el Espíritu Santo unifica la Iglesia en la comunión y en el servicio y la provee de diversos dones jerárquicos y carismáticos.(23)
La diferencia esencial entre el sacerdocio común y el sacerdocio ministerial no se encuentra, por tanto, en el sacerdocio de Cristo, el cual permanece siempre único e indivisible, ni tampoco en la santidad a la cual todos los fieles son llamados: « En efecto, el sacerdocio ministerial no significa de por sí un mayor grado de santidad respecto al sacerdocio común de los fieles; pero, por medio de él, los presbíteros reciben de Cristo en el Espiritu un don particular, para que puedan ayudar al Pueblo de Dios a ejercitar con fidelidad y plenitud el sacerdocio común que les ha sido conferido ».(24) En la edificación de la Iglesia, Cuerpo de Cristo, está vigente la diversidad de miembros y de funciones, pero uno solo es el Espíritu, que distribuye sus variados dones para el bien de la Iglesia según su riqueza y la necesidad de servicios (cfr. 1 Cor 12, 1-11close1 Corinthians 12 Spiritual Gifts 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one inspanidually as he wills. One Body with Many Members 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no spanision in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and inspanidually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. 1 Corinthians 1-11 Greeting 1:1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Thanksgiving I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Divisions in the Church 10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no spanisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ spanided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. Christ the Wisdom and Power of God 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” Proclaiming Christ Crucified 2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Wisdom from the Spirit Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. Divisions in the Church 3:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. 18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's. The Ministry of Apostles 4:1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. 14 I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17 That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18 Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21 What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness? Sexual Immorality Defiles the Church 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” Lawsuits Against Believers 6:1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. Flee Sexual Immorality 12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. Principles for Marriage 7:1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not spanorce his wife. 12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not spanorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not spanorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Live as You Are Called 17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. The Unmarried and the Widowed 25 Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. 32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are spanided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your unspanided devotion to the Lord. 36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better. 39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God. Food Offered to Idols 8:1 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. Paul Surrenders His Rights 9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. 15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. 19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. Warning Against Idolatry 10:1 For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? Do All to the Glory of God 23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else's conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks? 31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Head Coverings Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God. The Lord's Supper 17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are spanisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not. 23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. 33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— 34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come. (ESV)
close1 Corinthians 12close1 Corinthians 12 Spiritual Gifts 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one inspanidually as he wills. One Body with Many Members 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no spanision in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and inspanidually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. (ESV) Spiritual Gifts 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one inspanidually as he wills. One Body with Many Members 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no spanision in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and inspanidually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. 1 Corinthians 1-11close1 Corinthians 1-11 Greeting 1:1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Thanksgiving I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Divisions in the Church 10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no spanisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ spanided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. Christ the Wisdom and Power of God 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” Proclaiming Christ Crucified 2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Wisdom from the Spirit Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. Divisions in the Church 3:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. 18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's. The Ministry of Apostles 4:1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. 14 I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17 That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18 Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21 What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness? Sexual Immorality Defiles the Church 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” Lawsuits Against Believers 6:1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. Flee Sexual Immorality 12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. Principles for Marriage 7:1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not spanorce his wife. 12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not spanorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not spanorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Live as You Are Called 17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. The Unmarried and the Widowed 25 Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. 32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are spanided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your unspanided devotion to the Lord. 36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better. 39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God. Food Offered to Idols 8:1 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. Paul Surrenders His Rights 9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. 15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. 19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. Warning Against Idolatry 10:1 For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? Do All to the Glory of God 23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else's conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks? 31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Head Coverings Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God. The Lord's Supper 17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are spanisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not. 23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. 33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— 34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come. (ESV)
Greeting 1:1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Thanksgiving I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Divisions in the Church 10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no spanisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ spanided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. Christ the Wisdom and Power of God 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” Proclaiming Christ Crucified 2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Wisdom from the Spirit Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. Divisions in the Church 3:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. 18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's. The Ministry of Apostles 4:1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. 14 I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17 That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18 Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21 What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness? Sexual Immorality Defiles the Church 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” Lawsuits Against Believers 6:1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. Flee Sexual Immorality 12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. Principles for Marriage 7:1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not spanorce his wife. 12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not spanorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not spanorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Live as You Are Called 17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. The Unmarried and the Widowed 25 Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. 32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are spanided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your unspanided devotion to the Lord. 36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better. 39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God. Food Offered to Idols 8:1 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. Paul Surrenders His Rights 9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. 15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. 19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. Warning Against Idolatry 10:1 For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? Do All to the Glory of God 23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else's conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks? 31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Head Coverings Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God. The Lord's Supper 17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are spanisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not. 23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. 33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— 34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come. (ESV)
).(25)
La diversidad está en relación con el modo de participación al sacerdocio de Cristo y es esencial en el sentido que « mientras el sacerdocio común de los fieles se realiza en el desarrollo de la gracia bautismal —vida de fe, de esperanza y de caridad, vida según el Espíritu— el sacerdocio ministerial está al servicio del sacerdocio común, en orden al desarrollo de la gracia bautismal de todos los cristianos ».(26) En consecuencia, el sacerdocio ministerial « difiere esencialmente del sacerdocio común de los fieles porque confiere un poder sagrado para el servicio de los fieles ».(27) Con este fin se exhorta el sacerdote « a crecer en la conciencia de la profunda comunión que lo víncula al Pueblo de Dios » para « suscitar y desarrollar la corresponsabilidad en la común y única misión de salvación, con la diligente y cordial valoración de todos los carismas y tareas que el Espíritu otorga a los creyentes para la edificación de la Iglesia ».(28)
Las características que diferencian el sacerdocio ministerial de los Obispos y de los presbíteros de aquel común de los fieles, y delinean en consecuencia los confines de las colaboración de estos en el sagrado ministerio, se pueden sintetizar así:
a) el sacerdocio ministerial tiene su raíz en la sucesión apostólica y esta dotado de una potestad sacra,(29) la cual consiste en la facultad y responsabilidad de obrar en persona de Cristo Cabeza y Pastor;(30)
b) esto es lo que hace de los sagrados ministros servidores de Cristo y de la Iglesia, por medio de la proclamación autorizada de la Palabra de Dios, de la celebración de los Sacramentos y de la guía pastoral de los fieles.(31)
Poner el fundamento del ministerio ordenado en la sucesión apostólica, en cuanto tal ministerio continúa la misión recibida de los Apóstoles de parte de Cristo, es punto esencial de la doctrina eclesiólogica católica.(32)
El ministerio ordenado, por tanto, es constituido sobre el fundamento de los Apóstoles para la edificación de la Iglesia:(33) « está totalmente al servicio de la Iglesia misma ».(34) « A la naturaleza sacramental del ministerio eclesial está intrinsicamente ligado el carácter de servicio. Los ministros en efecto, en cuanto dependen totalmente de Cristo, quien les confiere la misión y autoridad, son verdaderamente ‘esclavos de Cristo’ (cfr. Rm 11), a imagen de El que, libremente ha tomado por nosotros ‘la forma de siervo’ (Flp 2, 7). Como la palabra y la gracia de la cual son ministros no son de ellos, sino de Cristo que se las ha confiado para los otros, ellos se harán libremente esclavos de todos ».(35)
2. Unidad y diversidad en las funciones ministeriales
Las funciones del ministerio ordenado, tomadas en su conjunto, constituyen, en razón de su único fundamento,(36) una indivisible unidad. Una y única, en efecto, como en Cristo,(37) es la raíz de acción salvífica, significada y realizada por el ministro en el desarrollo de las funciones de enseñar, santificar y gobernar a los fieles. Esta unidad cualifica esencialmente el ejercicio de las funciones del sagrado ministerio, que son siempre ejercicio, bajo diversas prospectivas, de la función de Cristo, Cabeza de la Iglesia.
Si, por tanto, el ejercicio de parte del ministro ordenado del munus docendi, sanctificandi et regendi constituye la sustancia del ministerio pastoral, las diferentes funciones de los sagrados ministros, formando una indivisible unidad, no se pueden entender separadamente las unas de las otras, al contrario, se deben considerar en su mutua correspondencia y complementariedad. Sólo en algunas de esas, y en cierta medida, pueden colaborar con los pastores otros fieles no ordenados, si son llamados a dicha colaboración por la legítima Autoridad y en los debidos modos. « En efecto, El mismo conforta constantemente su cuerpo, que es la Iglesia, con los dones de los ministerios, por los cuales, con la virtud derivada de El, nos prestamos mutuamente los servicios para la salvación ».(38)«El ejercio de estas tareas no hace del fiel laico un pastor: en realidad no es la tarea la que constituye un ministro, sino la ordenación sacramental. Solo el Sacramento del Orden atribuye al ministerio ordenado de los Obispos y presbíteros una peculiar participación al oficio de Cristo Cabeza y Pastor y a su sacerdocio eterno. La función que se ejerce en calidad de suplente, adquiere su legitimación, inmediatamente y formalmente, de la delegación oficial dada por los pastores, y en su concreta actuación es dirigido por la autoridad eclesiástica ».(39)
Es necesario reafirmar esta doctrina porque algunas prácticas tendientes a suplir a las carencias numéricas de ministros ordenados en el seno de la comunidad, en algunos casos, han podido influir sobre una idea de sacerdocio común de los fieles que tergiversa la índole y el significado específico, favorenciendo, entre otras cosas, la disminución de los candidatos al sacerdocio y oscureciendo la especificidad del seminario como lugar tipico para la formación del ministro ordenado. Se trata de fenómenos intimanente relacionados, sobre cuya interdependencia se deberá oportunamente reflexionar para llegar a sabias conclusiones operativas.
3. Insostituibilidad del ministerio ordenado
Una comunidad de fieles para ser llamada Iglesia y para serlo verdaderamente, no puede derivar su guía de criterios organizativos de naturaleza asociativa o política. Cada Iglesia particular debe a Cristo su guía, porque es El fundamentalmente quien ha concedido a la misma Iglesia el ministerio apostólico, por lo que ninguna comunidad tiene el poder de darlo a sí misma,(40) o de establecerlo por medio de una delegación. El ejercicio del munus de magisterio y de gobierno, exige, en efecto, la canónica o jurídica determinación de parte de la autoridad jerárquica.(41)
El sacerdocio ministerial, por tanto, es necesario a la existencia misma de la comunidad como Iglesia: « no se debe pensar en el sacerdocio ordenado (…) como si fuera posterior a la comunidad eclesial, como si ésta pudiera concebirse como constituida ya sin este sacerdocio ».(42) En efecto, si en la comunidad llega a faltar el sacerdote, ella se encuentra privada de la presencia y de la función sacramental de Cristo Cabeza y Pastor, esencial para la vida misma de la comunidad eclesial.
El sacerdocio ministerial es por tanto absolutamente insostituible. Se llega a la conclusión inmediatamente de la necesidad de una pastoral vocacional que sea diligente, bien organizada y permanente para dar a la Iglesia los necesarios ministros como también a la necesidad de reservar una cuidadosa formación a cuantos, en los seminarios, se preparan para recibir el presbiterado. Otra solución para enfrentar los problemas que se derivan de la carencia de sagrados ministros resultaría precaria.
« El deber de fomentar las vocaciones afecta a toda la comunidad cristiana, la cual ha de procurarlo ante todo con una vida plenamente cristiana ».(43) Todos los fieles son corresponsables en el contribuir a fortalecer las respuestas positivas a la vocación sacerdotal, con una siempre mayor fidelidad en el seguimiento de Cristo superando la indiferencia del ambiente, sobre todo en las sociedades fuertemente marcadas por el materialismo.
4. La colaboracion de fieles no ordenados en el ministerio pastoral
En los documentos conciliares, entre los varios aspectos de la participación de fieles no marcados por el carácter del Orden a la misión de la Iglesia, se considera su directa colaboración en las tareas específicas de los pastores.(44) En efecto, « cuando la necesidad o la utilidad de la Iglesia lo exige, los pastores pueden confiar a los fieles no ordenados, según las normas establecidas por el derecho universal, algunas tareas que están relacionadas con su propio ministerio de pastores pero que no exigen el carácter del Orden ».(45) Tal colaboración ha sido sucesivamente regulada por la legislación post-conciliar y, en modo particular, por el nuevo Código de Derecho Canónico.
Este, después de haberse referido a las obligaciones y los derechos de todos los fieles,(46) en el título sucesivo, dedicado a las obligaciones y derechos de los fieles laicos, trata no solo de aquello que especificamente les compete, teniendo presente su condición secular,(47) sino también de tareas o funciones que en realidad no son exclusivamente de ellos. De estas, algunas corresponderían a cualquier fiel sea o no ordenado,(48) otras, al contrario se colocan en la línea de directo servicio en el sagrado ministerio de los fieles ordenados.(49) Respecto a estas últimas tareas o funciones, los fieles no ordenados no son detentores de un derecho a ejercerlas, pero son « hábiles para ser llamados por los sagrados pastores en aquellos oficios eclesiásticos y en aquellas tareas que están en grado de ejercitar según las prescripciones del derecho »,(50) o también « donde no haya ministros (…) pueden suplirles en algunas de sus funciones (…) según las prescripciones del derecho ».(51)
Al fin que una tal colaboración se pueda inserir armonicamente en la pastoral ministerial, es necesario que, para evitar desviaciones pastorales y abusos disciplinares, los principios doctrinales sean claros y que, de consecuencia, con coherente determinación, se promueva en toda la Iglesia una atenta y leal aplicación de las disposiciones vigentes, no alargando, abusivamente, los límites de excepcionalidad a aquellos casos que no pueden ser juzgados como « excepcionales ».
Cuando, en algún lugar, se verifiquen abusos o prácticas trasgresivas, los Pastores adopten todos los medios necesarios y oportunos para impedir a tiempo su difusión y para evitar que se altere la correcta comprensión de la naturaleza misma de la Iglesia. En particular, aplicarán aquellas normas disciplinares establecidas, las cuales enseñan a conocer y respetar realmente la distinción y complementariedad de funciones que son vitales para la comunión eclesial. En donde tales prácticas abusivas están ya difundidas, es absolutamente indispensable la intervención responsable de quien tiene la autoridad de hacerlo, haciéndose así verdadero artífice de comunión, la cual puede ser constituída exclusivamente en torno a la verdad. Comunión, verdad, justicia, paz y caridad son términos interdependientes.(52)
A la luz de los principios apenas recordados se señalan a continuación los oportunos remedios para enfrentar los abusos señalados a nuestros Dicasterios. Las disposiciones que siguen son tomadas de la normativa de la Iglesia.
DISPOSICIONES PRACTICAS
Artículo 1
Necesidad de una terminología apropiada
El Santo Padre en el Discurso dirigido a los participantes en el Simposio sobre « Colaboración de los fieles laicos en el ministerio presbiteral », ha subrayado la necesidad de aclarar y distinguir las varias acepciones que el término « ministerio » ha asumido en el lenguaje teológico y canónico.(53)
§ 1. « Desde hace un cierto tiempo se ha introducido el uso de llamar ministerio no solo los officia(oficios) y los munera (funciones) ejercidos por los Pastores en virtud del sacramento del Orden, sino también aquellos ejercidos por los fieles no ordenados, en virtud del sacerdocio bautismal. La cuestión del lenguaje se hace más compleja y delicada cuando se reconoce a todos los fieles la posibilidad de ejercitar —en calidad de suplentes, por delegación oficial conferida por los Pastores— algunas funciones más propias de los clérigos, las cuales, sin embargo, no exigen el carácter del Orden. Es necesario reconocer que el lenguaje se hace incierto, confuso y, por lo tanto, no útil para expresar la doctrina de la fe, todas las veces que, en cualquier manera, se ofusca la diferencia ‘de esencia y no sólo de grado’ que media entre el sacerdocio bautismal y el sacerdocio ordenado ».(54)
§ 2. « Aquello que ha permitido, en algunos casos, la extensión del termino ministerio a los munerapropios de los fieles laicos es el hecho de que también estos, en su medida, son participación al único sacerdocio de Cristo. Los Officia a ellos confiados temporalmente, son, más bien, esclusivamente fruto de una delegación de la Iglesia. Sólo la constante referencia al único y fontal ‘ministerio de Cristo’ (…) permite, en cierta medida, aplicar también a los fieles no ordenados, sin ambiguedad, el término ministerio: sin que éste sea percibido y vivido como una indebida aspiración al ministerio ordenado, o como progresiva erosión de su especificidad.
En este sentido original, el termino ministerio (servitium) manifiesta solo la obra con la cual los miembros de la Iglesia prolongan, a su interno y para el mundo, la misión y el ministerio de Cristo. Cuando, al contrario, el termino es diferenciado en relación y en comparación entre los distintosmunera e officia, entonces es necesario advertir con claridad que sólo en fuerza de la sagrada ordenación éste obtiene aquella plenitud y correspondencia de significado que la tradición siempre le ha atribuido ».(55)
§ 3. El fiel no ordenado puede asumir la denominación general de « ministro extraordinario », sólo si y cuando es llamado por la Autoridad competente a cumplir, unicamente en función de suplencia, los encargos, a los que se refiere el can. 230, § 3,(56) además de los cann. 943 y 1112. Naturalmente puede ser utilizado el término concreto con que canónicamente se determina la función confiada, por ejemplo, catequista, acólito, lector, etc.
La delegación temporal en las acciones litúrgicas, a las que se refiere el can. 230, § 2, no confiere alguna denominación especial al fiel no ordenado.(57) No es lícito por tanto, que los fieles no ordenados asuman, por ejemplo, la denominación de « pastor », de « capellán », de « coordinador », « moderador » o de títulos semejantes que podrían confundir su función con aquella del Pastor, que es unicamente el Obispo y el presbítero.(58)
Artículo 2
El ministerio de la palabra(59)
§ 1. El contenido de tal ministerio consiste « en la predicación pastoral, la catequesis, y en puesto privilegiado la homilía ».(60)
El ejercicio original de las relativas funciones es propio del Obispo diocesano, como moderador, en su Iglesia, de todo el ministerio de la palabra,(61) y es también propio de los presbíteros, sus cooperadores.(62)
Este ministerio corresponde también a los diáconos, en comunión con el obispo y su presbiterio.(63)
§ 2. Los fieles no ordenados participan según su propia índole, a la función profética de Cristo, son constituidos sus testigos y proveídos del sentido de la fe y de la gracia de la palabra. Todos son llamados a convertirse, cada vez más, en heraldos eficaces « de lo que se espera » (cfr. Heb 11, 1closeHebrews 11 By Faith 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones. 23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. 29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. 32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Hebrews 1 The Supremacy of God's Son 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”?
Or again, “I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God's angels worship him.” Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds,
and his ministers a flame of fire.”
But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
10 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
12 like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.”
13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? (ESV)
closeHebrews 11closeHebrews 11 By Faith 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones. 23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. 29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. 32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. (ESV) By Faith 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones. 23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. 29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. 32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Hebrews 1closeHebrews 1 The Supremacy of God's Son 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”?
Or again, “I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God's angels worship him.” Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds,
and his ministers a flame of fire.”
But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
10 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
12 like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.”
13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? (ESV)
The Supremacy of God's Son 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”?
Or again, “I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God's angels worship him.” Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds,
and his ministers a flame of fire.”
But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
10 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
12 like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.”
13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? (ESV)
).(64) Hoy, la obra de la catequesis, en particular, mucho depende de su compromiso y de su generosidad al servicio de la Iglesia.
Por tanto, los fieles y particularmente los miembros de los Institutos de vida consagrada y las Sociedades de vida apostólica pueden ser llamados a colaborar, en los modos legítimos, en el ejercicio del ministerio de la palabra.(65)
§ 3. Para que la colaboración de que se habla en el § 2 sea eficaz, es necesario retomar algunas condiciones relativas a las modalidades de tal colaboración.
El C.I.C., can. 766, establece las condiciones por las cuales la competente Autoridad puede admitir los fieles no ordenados a predicar in ecclesia vel oratorio. La misma expresión utilizada, admitti possunt, resalta, como en ningún caso, se trata de un derecho propio como aquel específico de los Obispos(66) o de una facultad como aquella de los presbíteros o de los diáconos.(67)
Las condiciones a las que se debe someter tal admisión —« si en determinadas circunstancias senecesita de ello », « si en casos particulares lo aconseja la utilidad »— evidencia la excepcionalidad del hecho. El can. 766, además, precisa que se debe siempre obrar iuxta Episcoporum conferentiae praescripta. En esta última claúsula el canón citado establece la fuente primaria para discernir rectamente en relación a la necesidad o utilidad, en los casos concretos, ya que en las mencionadas prescripciones de la Conferencia Episcopal, que necesitan de la “recognitio” de la Sede Apostólica, se deben señalar los oportunos criterios que puedan ayudar al Obispo diocesano en el tomar las apropiadas decisiones pastorales, que le son propias por la naturaleza misma del oficio episcopal.
§ 4. En circunstancias de escasez de ministros sagrados en determinadas zonas, pueden presentarse casos en los que se manifiesten permanentemente situaciones objetivas de necesidad o de utilidad, tales de sugerir la admisión de fieles no ordenados a la predicación.
La predicación en las iglesias y oratorios, de parte de los fieles no ordenados, puede ser concedida en suplencia de los ministros sagrados o por especiales razones de utilidad en los casos particulares previstos por la legislación universal de la Iglesia o de las Conferencias Episcopales, y por tanto no se puede convertir en un hecho ordinario, ni puede ser entendida como auténtica promoción del laicado.
§ 5. Sobre todo en la preparación a los sacramentos, los catequistas se preocupen de orientar los intereses de los catequizandos a la función y a la figura del sacerdote como solo dispensador de los misterios divinos a los que se están preparando.
Artículo 3
La homilia
§ 1. La homilía, forma eminente de predicación « qua per anni liturgici cursum ex textu sacro fidei mysteria et normae vitae christianae exponuntur »,(68) es parte de la misma liturgia.
Por tanto, la homilía, durante la celebración de la Eucaristía, se debe reservar al ministro sagrado, sacerdote o diácono.(69) Se excluyen los fieles no ordenados, aunque desarrollen la función llamada « asistentes pastorales » o catequistas, en cualquier tipo de comunidad o agrupación. No se trata, en efecto, de una eventual mayor capacidad expositiva o preparación teológica, sino de una función reservada a aquel que es consagrado con el Sacramento del Orden, por lo que ni siquiera el Obispo diocesano puede dispensar de la norma del canón,(70) dado que no se trata de una ley meramente disciplinar, sino de una ley que toca las funciones de enseñanza y santificación estrechamente unidas entre si.
No se puede admitir, por tanto, la praxis, en ocasiones asumida, por la cual se confía la predicación homilética a seminaristas estudiantes de teología, aún no ordenados.(71) La homilía no puede, en efecto, considerarse como una práctica para el futuro ministerio.
Se debe considerar abrogada por el can. 767, § 1 cualquier norma anterior que haya podido admitir fieles no ordenados a pronunciar la homilia durante la celebración de la Santa Misa.(72)
§ 2. Es licita la propuesta de una breve monición para favorecer la mayor inteligencia de la liturgia que se celebra y también cualquier eventual testimonio siempre según las normas litúrgicas y en ocasión de las liturgias eucarísticas celebradas en particulares jornadas (jornada del seminario, del enfermo, etc.), si se consideran objetivamente convenientes, como ilustrativas de la homilía regularmente pronunciada por el sacerdote celebrante. Estas explicaciones y testimonios no deben asumir características tales de llegar a confundirse con la homilía.
§ 3. La posibilidad del « diálogo » en la homilía,(73) puede ser, alguna vez, prudentemente usada por el ministro celebrante como medio expositivo con el cual no se delega a los otros el deber de la predicación.
§ 4. La homilía fuera de la Santa Misa puede ser pronunciada por fieles no ordenados según lo establecido por el derecho o las normas litúrgicas y observando las claúsulas allí contenidas.
§ 5. La homilía no puede ser confiada, en ningún caso, a sacerdotes o diáconos que han perdido el estado clerical o que, en cualquier caso, han abandonado el ejercicio del sagrado ministerio.(74)
Artículo 4
El párroco y la parroquia
Los fieles no ordenados pueden desarrollar, como de hecho en numerosos casos sucede, en las parroquias, en ámbitos tales como centros hospitalarios, de asistencia, de instrucción, en las cárceles, en los Obispados Castrenses, etc., trabajos de efectiva colaboración en el ministerio pastoral de los clérigos. Una forma extraordinaria de colaboración, en las condiciones previstas, es aquella regulada por el can. 517, § 2.
§ 1. La recta comprensión y aplicación de tal canón, según el cual « si ob sacerdotum penuriam Episcopus dioecesanus aestimaverit participationem in exercitio curae pastoralis paroeciae concrecendam esse diacono aliive personae sacerdotali charatere non insignitae aut personarum communitati, sacerdotem constituat aliquem qui, potestatibus et facultatibus parochi instructus, curam pastoralem moderetur », exige que tal disposición excepcional tenga lugar respetando escrupulosamente las claúsulas en él contenidas, es decir:
a) ob sacerdotum penuriam, y no por razones de comodidad o de una equivocada « promoción del laicado », etc.
b) permaneciendo el hecho de que se trata de participatio in exercitio curae pastoralis y no de dirigir, coordinar, moderar o gobernar la parroquia, cosa que según el texto del canón, compete sólo a un sacerdote.
Precisamente porque se trata de casos excepcionales, es necesario, sobre todo, considerar la posibilidad de valerse, por ejemplo, de sacerdotes ancianos, todavía con posibilidades de trabajar, o de confiar diversas parroquias a un solo sacerdote o a un coetus sacerdotum.(75)
Se tiene presente, de todos modos, la preferencia que el mismo canon establece para el diácono.
Permanece la afirmación, en la misma normativa canónica, que estas formas de participación en el cuidado de las parroquias no se pueden identificar, en algún modo, con el oficio de párroco. La normativa ratifica que también en aquellos casos excepcionales « Episcopus dioecesanus (…) sacerdotem constituat aliquem qui, potestatibus et facultatibus parochi instructus, curam pastoralem moderetur ». El oficio de párroco, en efecto, puede ser válidamente confiado solamente a un sacerdote (cfr. can. 521, § 1), también en los casos de objetiva penuria de clero.(76)
§ 2. A tal propósito se debe tener en cuenta que el párroco es el pastor propio de la parroquia a él confiada(77) y permanece como tal hasta cuando no ha cesado su oficio pastoral.(78)
La presentación de la dimisión del párroco por haber cumplido 75 años de edad no lo hace por eso mismo cesar ipso iure de su oficio pastoral. Esto se verifica sólo cuando el Obispo diocesano —después de la prudente consideración de todas las circunstancias— haya aceptado definitivamente sus dimisiones, a norma del can. 538, § 3, y se lo haya comunicado por escrito.(79) Aún más, a la luz de situaciones de penuria de sacerdotes existentes en algunas partes, será sabio hacer uso, a tal propósito, de una particular prudencia.
También considerando el derecho que cada sacerdote tiene de ejercitar las propias funciones inherentes a la ordenación recibida, a no ser que se presenten graves motivos de salud o de disciplina, se recuerda que el 75o año de edad no constituye un motivo que oblige el Obispo diocesano a la aceptación de la dimisión. Esto también para evitar una concepción funcionalista del sagrado ministerio.(80)
Artículo 5
Los organismos de colaboración en la Iglesia particular
Estos organismos, pedidos y experimentados positivamente en el camino de la renovación de la Iglesia según el Concilio Vaticano II y codificados en la legislación canónica, representan una forma de participación activa en la misión de la Iglesia como comunión.
§ 1. La normativa del código sobre el Consejo presbiteral establece cuales sacerdotes puedan ser miembros.(81) El mismo, en efecto, es reservado a los sacerdotes, porque encuentra su fundamento en la común participación del Obispo y de los sacerdotes en el mismo sacerdocio y ministerio.(82)
No pueden, por tanto, gozar del derecho de elección ni activo ni pasivo, los diáconos y los otros fieles no ordenados, aunque si son colaboradores de los sagrados ministros, así como los presbíteros que han perdido el estado clerical o que, en cualquier caso, han abandonado el ejercicio del sagrado ministerio.
§ 2. El Consejo pastoral, diocesano o parroquial(83) y el consejo parroquial para los asuntos económicos,(84) de los cuales hacen parte los fieles no ordenados, gozan unicamente de voto consultivo y no pueden, de algún modo, convertirse en organismos deliberativos. Pueden ser elegidos para tal cargo sólo aquellos fieles que poseen las cualidades exigidas por la normativa canónica.(85)
§ 3. Es propio del párroco presidir los consejos parroquiales. Son por tanto inválidas, y en consecuencia nulas, las decisiones deliberativas de un consejo parroquial no reunido bajo la presidencia del párroco o contra él.(86)
§ 4. Todos los consejos diocesanos pueden manifestar válidamente el propio consenso a un acto del Obispo sólo cuando tal consenso ha sido solicitado expresamente por el derecho.
§ 5. Dadas las realidades locales los Ordinarios pueden valerse de especiales grupos de estudio o de expertos en cuestiones particulares. Sin embargo, los mismos no pueden constituirse en organismos paralelos o de desautorización de los consejos diocesanos presbiteral y pastoral, como también de los consejos parroquiales, regulados por el derecho universal de la Iglesia en los cann. 536, § 1 y 537.(87) Si tales organismos han nacido en pasado en base a costumbres locales o a circunstancias particulares, se dispongan los medios necesarios para adaptarlos conforme a la legislación vigente de la Iglesia.
§ 6. Los Vicarios foráneos, llamados también decanos, arciprestes o con otros nombres, y aquellos que se le equiparan, « pro-vicarios », « pro-decanos », etc. deben ser siempre sacerdotes.(88) Por tanto, quien no es sacerdote no puede ser validamente nombrado a tales cargos.
Artículo 6
Las celebraciones litúrgicas
§ 1. Las acciones litúrgicas deben manifestar con claridad la unidad ordenada del Pueblo de Dios en su condición de comunión orgánica(89) y por tanto la íntima conexión que media entre la acción liturgica y la manifestación de la naturaleza orgánicamente estructurada de la Iglesia.
Esto se da cuando todos los participantes desarrollan con fe y devoción la función propia de cada uno.
§ 2. Para que también en este campo, sea salvaguardada la identidad eclesial de cada uno, se deben abandonar los abusos de distinto tipo que son contrarios a cuanto prevee el canon 907, según el cual en la celebración eucarística, a los diáconos y a los fieles no ordenados, no les es consentido pronunciar las oraciones y cualquier parte reservada al sacerdote celebrante —sobre todo la oración eucarística con la doxología conclusiva— o asumir acciones o gestos que son propios del mismo celebrante. Es también grave abuso el que un fiel no ordenado ejercite, de hecho, una casi «presidencia » de la Eucaristía dejando al sacerdote solo el mínimo para garantizar la válidez.
En la misma línea resulta evidende la ilicitud de usar, en las ceremonias litúrgicas, de parte de quien no ha sido ordenado, ornamentos reservados a los sacerdotes o a los diáconos (estola, casulla, dalmática).
Se debe tratar cuidadosamente de evitar hasta la misma apariencia de confusión que puede surgir de comportamientos litúrgicamente anómalos. Como los ministros ordenados son llamados a la obligación de vestir todos los sagrados ornamentos, así los fieles no ordenados no pueden asumir cuanto no es propio de ellos.
Para evitar confusiones entre la liturgia sacramental presidida por un clérigo o un diácono con otros actos animados o guiados por fieles no ordenados, es necesario que para estos últimos se adopten formulaciones claramente diferentes.
Artículo 7
Las celebraciones dominicales en ausencia de presbitero
§ 1. En algunos lugares, las celebraciones dominicales(90) son guiadas, por la falta de presbíteros o diáconos, por fieles no ordenados. Este servicio, válido cuanto delicado, es desarrollado según el espíritu y las normas específicas emanadas en mérito por la competente Autoridad eclesiástica.(91) Para animar las mencionadas celebraciones el fiel no ordenado deberá tener un especial mandato del Obispo, el cual pondrá atención en dar las oportunas indicaciones acerca de la duración, lugar, las condiciones y el presbítero responsable.
§ 2. Tales celebraciones, cuyos textos deben ser los aprobados por la competente Autoridad eclesiástica, se configuran siempre como soluciones temporales.(92) Está prohibido inserir en su estructura elementos propios de la liturgia sacrificial, sobre todo la « plegaria eucarística », aunque si en forma narrativa, para no engendrar errores en la mente de los fieles.(93) A tal fin debe ser siempre recordado a quienes toman parte en ellas que tales celebraciones no sustituyen al Sacrificio eucarístico y que el precepto festivo se cumple solamente participando a la S. Misa.(94) En tales casos, allí donde las distancias o las condiciones físicas lo permitan, los fieles deben ser estimulados y ayudados todo el posible para cumplir con el precepto.
Artículo 8
El ministro extraordinario de la Sagrada Comunión
Los fieles no ordenados, ya desde hace tiempo, colaboran en diversos ambientes de la pastoral con los sagrados ministros a fin que « el don inefable de la Eucaristía sea siempre más profundamente conocido y se participe a su eficacia salvífica con siempre mayor intensidad ».(95)
Se trata de un servicio litúrgico que, responde a objetivas necesidades de los fieles, destinado, sobre todo, a los enfermos y a las asambleas litúrgicas en las cuales son particularmente numerosos los fieles que desean recibir la sagrada Comunión.
§ 1. La disciplina canónica sobre el ministro extraordinario de la sagrada Comunión debe ser, sin embargo, rectamente aplicada para no generar confusión. La misma establece que el ministro ordinario de la sagrada Comunión es el Obispo, el presbítero y el diacono,(96) mientras son ministros extraordinarios sea el acólito instituido, sea el fiel a ello delegado a norma del can. 230, § 3. (97)
Un fiel no ordenado, si lo sugieren motivos de verdadera necesidad, puede ser delegado por el Obispo diocesano, en calidad de ministro extraordinario, para distribuir la sagrada Comunión también fuera de la celebración eucarística, ad actum vel ad tempus, o en modo estable, utilizando para esto la apropiada forma litúrgica de bendición. En casos excepcionales e imprevistos la autorización puede ser concedida ad actum por el sacerdote que preside la celebración eucarística.(98)
§ 2. Para que el ministro extraordinario, durante la celebración eucarística, pueda distribuir la sagrada Comunión, es necesario o que no se encuentren presentes ministros ordinarios o que, estos, aunque presentes, se encuentren verdaderamente impedidos.(99) Pueden desarrollar este mismo encargo también cuando, a causa de la numerosa participación de fieles que desean recibir la sagrada Comunión, la celebración eucarística se prolongaria excesivamente por insuficiencia de ministros ordinarios. (100)
Tal encargo es de suplencia y extraordinario (101) y debe ser ejercitado a norma de derecho. A tal fin es oportuno que el Obispo diocesano emane normas particulares que, en estrecha armonía con la legislación universal de la Iglesia, regulen el ejercicio de tal encargo. Se debe proveer, entre otras cosas, a que el fiel delegado a tal encargo sea debidamente instruido sobre la doctrina eucarística, sobre la índole de su servicio, sobre las rúbricas que se deben observar para la debida reverencia a tan augusto Sacramento y sobre la disciplina acerca de la admisión para la Comunión.
Para no provocar confusiones han de ser evitadas y suprimidas algunas prácticas que se han venido creando desde hace algún tiempo en
algunas Iglesias particulares, como por ejemplo:
— la comunión de los ministros extraordinarios como si fueran concelebrantes;
— asociar, a la renovación de las promesas de los sacerdotes en la S. Misa crismal del Jueves Santo, otras categorías de fieles que renuevan los votos religiosos o reciben el mandato de ministros extraordinarios de la Comunión.
— el uso habitual de los ministros extraordinarios en las SS. Misas, extendiendo arbitrariamente el concepto de « numerosa participación ».
Artículo 9
El apostolado para los enfermos
§ 1. En este campo, los fieles no ordenados pueden aportar una preciosa colaboracion. (102) Son innumerables los testimonios de obras y gestos de caridad que personas no ordenadas, bien individualmente o en formas de apostolado comunitario, tienen hacia los enfermos. Ello constituye una presencia cristiana de primera línea en el mundo del dolor y de la enfermedad. Allí donde los fieles no ordenados acompañan a los enfermos en los momentos más graves es para ellos deber principal suscitar el deseo de los Sacramentos de la Penitencia y de la sagrada Unción, favoreciendo las disposiciones y ayudándoles a preparar una buena confesión sacramental e individual, como también a recibir la Santa Unción. En el hacer uso de los sacramentales, los fieles no ordenados pondrán especial cuidado para que sus actos no induzcan a percibir en ellos aquellos sacramentos cuya administración es propia y exclusiva del Obispo y del Presbítero. En ningún caso, pueden hacer la Unción aquellos que no son sacerdotes, ní con óleo bendecido para la Unción de los
Enfermos, ni con óleo no bendecido.
§ 2. Para la administración de este sacramento, la legislación canónica acoge la doctrina teológicamente cierta y la practica multisecular de la Iglesia, (103) según la cual el único ministro válido es el sacerdote. (104) Dicha normativa es plenamente coherente con el misterio teológico significado y realizado por medio del ejercicio del servicio sacerdotal.
Debe afirmarse que la exclusiva reserva del ministerio de la Unción al sacerdote está en relación de dependencia con el sacramento del perdón de los pecados y la digna recepción de la Eucaristía. Ningún otro puede ser considerado ministro ordinario o extraordinario del sacramento, y cualquier acción en este sentido constituye simulación del sacramento. (105)
Artículo 10
La asistencia a los Matrimonios
§ 1. La posibilidad de delegar a fieles no ordenados la asistencia a los matrimonios puede revelarse necesaria, en circunstancias muy particulares de grave falta de ministros sagrados.
Tal posibilidad, sin embargo, está condicionada a la verificación de tres requisitos. El Obispo diocesano, en efecto, puede conceder tal delegación únicamente en las casos en los cuales faltan sacerdotes o diáconos y sólo después de haber obtenido, para la propia diócesis, el voto favorable de la Conferencia Episcopal y la necesaria licencia de la Santa Sede. (106)
§ 2. También en estos casos se debe observar la normativa canónica sobre la validez de la delegación (107) y sobre la idoneidad, capacidad y actitud del fiel no ordenado. (108)
§ 3. Excepto el caso extraordinario previsto por el can. 1112 del CIC, por absoluta falta de sacerdotes o de diáconos que puedan asistir a la celebración del matrimonio, ningún ministro ordenado puede delegar a un fiel no ordenado para tal asistencia y la relativa petición y recepción del consentimiento matrimonial a norma del can. 1108, § 2.
Artículo 11
El ministro del Bautismo
Se debe alabar particularmente la fe con la cual no pocos cristianos, en dolorosas situaciones de persecución, pero también en territorios de misión y en casos de especial necesidad, han asegurado —y aún aseguran— el sacramento del Bautismo a las nuevas generaciones, cuando se da la ausencia de ministros ordenados.
Además del caso de necesidad, la normativa canónica establece que, en el caso que el ministro ordinario faltara o fuera impedido, (109) el fiel no ordenado pueda ser ministro extraordinario del bautismo. (110) Sin embargo, se debe estar atento a interpretaciones demasiado extensivas y evitar conceder tal facultad de modo habitual.
Así, por ejemplo, la ausencia o el impedimento, que hacen lícita la delegación de fieles no ordenados a administrar el bautismo, no pueden asimilarse a las circunstancias de excesivo trabajo del ministro ordinario o a su no residencia en el territorio de la parroquia, como tampoco a su no disponibilidad para el día previsto por la familia. Tales motivaciones no constituyen razones suficientes.
Artículo 12
La animación de la celebración de las exequias eclesiásticas
En las actuales circunstancias de creciente descristianización y de abandono de la practica religiosa, el momento de la muerte y de las exequias puede constituir una de las más oportunas ocasiones pastorales para un encuentro directo de los ministros ordenados con aquellos fieles que, ordinariamente, no frecuentan.
Por tanto, es auspicable que, aunque con sacrificio, los sacerdotes o los diáconos presiedan personalmente ritos fúnebres según las más laudables costumbres locales, para orar convenientemente por los difuntos, acercándose a las familias y aprovechando para una oportuna evangelización.
Los fieles no ordenados pueden animar las exequias eclesiásticas sólo en caso de verdadera falta de un ministro ordenado y observando las normas litúrgicas para el caso. (111) A tal función deberán ser bien preparados, sea bajo el aspecto doctrinal que litúrgico.
Artículo 13
Necesaria selección y adecuada formación
Es deber de la Autoridad competente, cuando se diera la objetiva necesidad de una “suplencia”, en los casos anteriormente detallados, de procurar que la persona sea de sana doctrina y ejemplar conducta de vida. No pueden, por tanto, ser admitidos al ejercicio de estas tareas aquellos católicos que no llevan una vida digna, no gozan de buena fama, o se encuentran en situaciones familiares no coherentes con la enseñanza moral de la Iglesia. Además, la persona debe poseer la formación debida para el adecuado cumplimiento de las funciones que se le confían.
A norma del derecho particular perfeccionen sus conocimientos frecuentando, por cuanto sea posible, cursos de formación que la Autoridad competente organizará en el ámbito de la Iglesia particular, (112) en ambientes diferentes de los seminarios, que son reservados sólo a los candidatos al sacerdocio, (113) teniendo gran cuidado que la doctrina enseñada sea absolutamente conforme al magisterio eclesial y que el clima sea verdaderamente espiritual.
CONCLUSION
La Santa Sede confía el presente documento al celo pastoral de los Obispos diocesanos de las varias Iglesias particulares y a los otros Ordinarios, en la confianza que su aplicación produzca frutos abundantes para el crecimiento, en la comunión, entre los sagrados ministros y los fieles no ordenados.
En efecto, como ha recordado el Santo Padre, « es necesario reconocer, defender, promover, discernir y coordinar con sabiduría y determinación el don peculiar de todo miembro de la Iglesia, sin confusión de papeles, de funciones o de condiciones teológicas y canónicas ». (114)
Si, de una parte, la escasez numérica de sacerdotes es especialmente advertida en algunas zonas, en otras se verifica un prometente florecer de vocaciones que deja entrever positivas perspectivas para el futuro. Las soluciones propuestas para la escasez de ministros ordenados, por tanto, no pueden ser que transitorias y contemporáneas a una prioridad pastoral específica para la promoción de las vocaciones al sacramento del Orden. (115)
A tal propósito recuerda el Santo Padre que « en algunas situaciones locales se han creado soluciones generosas e inteligentes. La misma normativa del Código de Derecho Canónico ha ofrecido posibilidades nuevas que, sin embargo, van aplicadas rectamente para no caer en el equívoco de considerar ordinarias y normales soluciones normativas que han sido previstas para situaciones extraordinarias de falta o de escasez de ministros sagrados ». (116)
Este documento pretende trazar precisas directivas para asegurar la eficaz colaboración de los fieles no ordenados en tales contingencias y en el respeto a la integridad del ministerio pastoral de los clérigos. « Es necesario hacer comprender que estas precisaciones y distinciones no nacen de la preocupación de defender privilegios clericales, sino de la necesidad de ser obedientes a la voluntad de Cristo, respetando la forma constitutiva que El ha indeleblemente impreso a su Iglesia ». (117)
Su recta aplicación, en el cuadro de la vital communio jerárquica, ayudará a los mismos fieles laicos, invitados a desarrollar todas las ricas potencialidades de su identidad y de una « disponibilidad siempre más grande para vivirla en el cumplimiento de la propia misión. (118)
La apasionada recomendación que el Apóstol de las gentes dirige a Timoteo, « Te conjuro en presencia de Dios y de Cristo Jesús (…) proclama la palabra, insiste a tiempo y a destiempo, reprende, exhorta (…) vigila atentamente (…) desempeña a la perfección tu ministerio » (2 Tim. 4, 1-5close2 Timothy 4 Preach the Word 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. Personal Instructions Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Final Greetings 19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. 2 Timothy 1-4 Greeting 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 15 You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— 18 may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus. A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus 2:1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself. A Worker Approved by God 14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” 20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. Godlessness in the Last Days 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God 10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. Preach the Word 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. Personal Instructions Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Final Greetings 19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. (ESV)
close2 Timothy 4close2 Timothy 4 Preach the Word 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. Personal Instructions Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Final Greetings 19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. (ESV) Preach the Word 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. Personal Instructions Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Final Greetings 19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. 2 Timothy 1-4close2 Timothy 1-4 Greeting 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 15 You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— 18 may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus. A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus 2:1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself. A Worker Approved by God 14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” 20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. Godlessness in the Last Days 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God 10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. Preach the Word 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. Personal Instructions Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Final Greetings 19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. (ESV)
Greeting 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 15 You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— 18 may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus. A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus 2:1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself. A Worker Approved by God 14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” 20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. Godlessness in the Last Days 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God 10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. Preach the Word 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. Personal Instructions Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Final Greetings 19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. (ESV)
), interpela en modo especial los sagrados Pastores llamados a desarrollar la propia tarea de « promover la disciplina común a toda la Iglesia (…) y urgir la observancia de todas las leyes eclesiásticas ». (119)
Tal gravoso deber constituye el instrumento necesario para que las ricas energias existentes en cada estado de la vida eclesial sean correctamente orientadas según los maravillosos designios del Espíritu Santo y la communio sea realidad efectiva en el cuotidiano camino de la entera comunidad.
La Virgen Maria, Madre de la Iglesia, a cuya intercesión confiamos este documento, nos ayude a todos a comprender sus intenciones y a hacer toda clase de esfuerzo para su fiel aplicación al fin de una más amplia fecundidad apostólica.
Quedan revocadas las leyes particulares y las costumbres vigentes que sean contrarias a estas normas, como asimismo eventuales facultades concedidas ad experimentum por la Santa Sede o por cualquier otra autoridad a ella subordinada.
El Sumo Pontífice, en fecha del 13 Agosto 1997, ha aprobado de forma específica el presente decreto general ordenando su promulgación.
Del Vaticano, 15 Agosto 1997. Solennidad de la Asunción de la B.V. Maria.
Congregación para el Clero
Darío Castrillón Hoyos
Pro-Prefecto
Crescenzio Sepe
Secretario
Pontificio Consejo para los Laicos
James Francis Stafford
Presidente
Stanislaw Rylko
Secretario
Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe
Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefecto
Tarcisio Bertone SDB
Secretario
Congregación para el Culto Divino y la Disciplina de los Sacramentos
Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez
Pro-Prefecto
Geraldo Majella Agnelo
Secretario
Congregación para los Obispos
Bernardin Card. Gantin
Prefecto
Jorge María Mejía
Secretario
Congregación para la Evangelización de los Pueblos
Jozef Card. Tomko
Prefecto
Giuseppe Uhac
Secretario
Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica
Eduardo Card. Martínez Somalo
Prefecto
Piergiorgio Silvano Nesti CP
Secretario
Pontificio Consejo para la Interpretación de los Textos Legislativos
Julián Herranz
Presidente
Bruno Bertagna
Secretario
INDICE
Premisa
Principios teologicos
1. El sacerdocio comun y el sacerdocio ministerial
2. Unidad y diversidad en las funciones ministeriales
3. Insostituibilidad del ministerio ordenado
4. La colaboracion de los fieles no ordenados en el ministerio pastoral
Disposiciones practicas
Conclusion
________________________________________
(1) Cfr. Concilio Vaticano II, Const. dogm. Lumen gentium, 33; Dec. Apostolicam actuositatem,24.
(2) Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Christifidelis laici (30 diciembre 1988), 2: AAS 81 (1989), p. 396.
(3) Sinodo de los Obispos, IXa Asamblea General Ordinaria Instrumentum laboris, n. 73.
(4) Cfr. Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Vita consecrata (25 marzo 1996), n. 47: AAS 88 (1996), p. 420.
(5) Cfr. Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Dec. Apostolicam actuositatem, n. 5.
(6) Ibid., n. 6.
(7) Cfr. ibid.
(8) Cfr. Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Chritifidelis laici, 23: l.c., p. 429.
(9) Cfr. Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. dogm. Lumen gentium, n. 31; Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Christifidelis laici, n. 15: l.c., pp. 413-416.
(10) Cfr. Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. past. Gaudium et spes, n. 43.
(11) Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Decr. Apostolicam actuositatem, n. 24.
(12) Cfr. Juan Pablo II, Discurso en el Simposio sobre « Colaboración de los laicos en el ministerio pastoral de los presbíteros » (22 abril de 1994), n. 2: L’Osservatore Romano, 23 abril 1994.
(13) Cfr. C.I.C., cann. 230, § 3; 517, § 2; 861, § 2; 910, § 2; 943; 1112; Juan pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Christifideles laici, n. 23 y nota 72: l.c., p. 430.
(14) Cfr. Juan Pablo II, Carta enc. Redemptoris missio (7 diciembre 1990), n. 37, AAS 83 (1991), pp. 282-286.
(15) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 392.
(16) Cfr. sobre todo: Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. Dogm. Lumen gentium; Const. Sacrosanctumconcilium; Dec. Presbyterorum ordinis e Dec. Apostolica actuositatem.
(17) Cfr. sobre todo las Exhortaciones apostólicas Christifidelis laici y Pastores dabo vobis.
(18) C.I.C., can. 1752.
(19) Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. Lumen gentium, n. 10.
(20) Ibid., n. 32.
(21) Ibid.
(22) Ibid., n. 10.
(23) Cfr. ibid., n. 4.
(24) Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Pastores dabo vobis (25 marzo 1992), n. 17: AAS 84 (1992), p. 684.
(25) Cfr. Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. dogm. Lumen gentium, n. 7.
(26) Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica, n. 1547.
(27) Ibid., n. 1592.
(28) Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Pastores dabo vobis, n. 74: l.c., p. 788.
(29) Cfr. Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. dogm. Lumen gentium nn. 10, 18, 27, 28; Dec.Presbyterorum ordinis n. 2, 6; Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica nn. 1538, 1576.
(30) Cfr. Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Pastores dabo vobis, n. 15: l.c., p. 680;Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica, n. 875.
(31) Cfr. Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Pastores dabo vobis, n. 16: l.c., pp. 681-684;Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica, n. 1592.
(32) Cfr. Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Pastores dabo vobis, nn. 14-16: l.c., pp. 678-684; Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, Carta Sacerdotium ministeriale (6 agosto 1983), III, 2-3:AAS 75 (1983), pp. 1004-1005.
(33) Cfr. Ef 2, 20; Ap 21, 14.
(34) Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Pastores dabo vobis, n. 16: l.c., p. 681.
(35) Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica, n. 876.
(36) Cfr. ibid., n. 1581.
(37) Cfr. Juan Pablo II, Carta Nuovo incipiente (8 abril 1979), n. 3: AAS 71 (1979), p. 397.
(38) Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. dogm. Lumen gentium, n. 7.
(39) Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. Chritifidelis laici, n. 23: l.c., p. 430.
(40) Cfr. Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, Carta Sacerdotium ministeriale, III, 2: l.c., p. 1004.
(41) Cfr. Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. dogm. Lumen gentium. Nota explicativa praevia, n. 2.
(42) Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Pastores dabo vobis, n. 16: l.c., p. 682.
(43) Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Dec. Optatam totius, n. 2.
(44) Cfr. Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Dec. Apostolicam actuositatem, n. 24.
(45) Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Christifideles laici, n. 23: l.c., p. 429.
(46) Cfr. C.I.C., cann. 208-223.
(47) Cfr. ibid., cann. 225, § 2; 226; 227; 231, § 2.
(48) Cfr. ibid., cann. 225, § 1; 228, § 2; 229; 231, § 1.
(49) Cfr. ibid., can. 230, §§ 2-3, en lo relacionado con el ámbito litúrgico; can. 228, § 1, en relación a otros campos del sagrado ministerio; este último parágrafo se extiende también a otros ámbitos fuera del ministerio de los clérigos.
(50) Ibid., can. 228, § 1.
(51) Ibid., can. 230, § 3; cfr. 517, § 2; 776; 861, § 2; 910, § 2; 1112.
(52) Cfr. Sagrada Congregación para el Culto Divino y la Disciplina de los Sacramentos, Inst.Inaestimabile donum (3 abril 1980), proemio: AAS 72 (1980), pp. 331-333.
(53) Cfr. Juan Pablo II, Discurso al Simposio sobre « Colaboración de los fieles laicos al Ministerio presbiteral », n. 3; l.c.
(54) Ibid.
(55) Cfr. Juan Pablo II, Discurso al Simposio sobre « Colaboración de los fieles laicos al Ministerio presbiteral », n. 3; l.c.
(56) Cfr. Pontificia Comisión para la interpretación auténtica del Codigo de Derecho Canónico, Respuesta (1 junio 1988): AAS 80 (1988) p. 1373.
(57) Cfr. Pontificio Consejo para la Interpretación de los Textos Legislativos, Respuesta (11 julio 1992): AAS 86 (1994) pp. 541-542. Cuando se prevee una función para el inicio de un ministerio laical de cooperación de los asistentes pastorales al ministerio de los clérigos, se evite de hacer coincidir o de unir dicha función con una ceremonia de sagrada ordenación, como también de celebrar un rito análogo a aquel previsto para conceder el acólitado y el lectorado.
(58) En tales ejemplos se deben incluir todas aquellas expresiones linguísticas que, en los idiomas de los distintos Países, pueden ser análogas o equivalentes e indicar una función directiva de guía o de vicariedad respecto a la misma.
(59) Para las diversas formas de predicación, cfr. C.I.C., can. 761; Missale Romanum, Ordo lectionum Missae, Praenotanda: ed. Typica altera, Libreria editrice Vaticana, 1981.
(60) Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. dogm. Dei Verbum, n. 24.
(61) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 756, § 2.
(62) Cfr. ibid., can. 757.
(63) Cfr. ibid.
(64) Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. dogm. Lumen gentium, n. 35.
(65) Cfr. C.I.C., nn. 758-759; 785, § 1.
(66) Cfr. Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. dogm. Lumen gentium, n. 25; C.I.C., can. 763.
(67) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 764.
(68) Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. dogm. Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 52; cfr. C.I.C., can. 767, §, 1.
(69) Cfr. Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. Catechesi tradendae (16 octubre 1979), n. 48: AAS 71 (1979), pp. 1277-1340; Pontificia Comisión para la interpretacion de los Decretos del Concilio Vaticano II,Respuesta (11 enero 1971): AAS 63 (1971), p. 329; Sagrada Congregación para el Culto Divino, Instrucción Actio pastoralis (15 mayo 1969), n. 6d: ASS 61 (1969), p. 809; Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (26 marzo 1970), nn. 41; 42; 165; Instrución Liturgicae instaurationes (15 septiembre 1970), n. 2a: AAS 62 (1970), p. 696; Sagrada Congregación para los Sacramentos y el Culto Divino, Instrución Inaestimabile donum, n. 3: AAS 72 (1980), p. 331.
(70) Pontificia Comisión para la interpretación auténtica del Código de Derecho Canónico, Respuesta (20 junio 1987): AAS 79 (1987), p. 1249.
(71) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 266, § 1.
(72) Cfr. ibid. can. 6, § 1, 2.
(73) Cfr. Sagrada Congregación para el Culto Divino, Directorio Pueros Baptizatos para las Misas de los niños (1 noviembre 1973), n. 48: AAS 66 (1974), p. 44.
(74) A propósito de los sacerdotes que han obtenido la dispensa del celibato cfr. Sagrada Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, Normae de dispensatione a sacerdotali coelibatu ad
instantiam partis (14 octubre 1980), « Normae substantiales » art. 5.
(75) Cfr. C.I.C., 517, § 1.
(76) Se evite por lo tanto nominar con el título de « Guía de la comunidad » —o con otras expresiones que indiquen el mismo concepto— el fiel no ordenado o grupo de fieles a los cuales se confía una participación en el ejercicio de la cura pastoral.
(77) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 519.
(78) Cfr. ibid., can. 538, §§ 1-2.
(79) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 186.
(80) Cfr. Congregación para el Clero, Directorio para el ministerio y la vida de los presbíteros Tota Ecclesia (31 enero 1994), n. 44.
(81) Cfr. C.I.C., cann. 497-498.
(82) Cfr. Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, dec. Presbyterorum ordinis, n. 7.
(83) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 514, 536.
(84) Cfr. ibid., can. 537.
(85) Cfr. ibid., can. 512, §§ 1 y 3; Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica, n. 1650.
(86) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 536.
(87) Cfr. ibid., can. 135, § 2.
(88) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 553, § 1.
(89) Cfr. Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Const. Sacrosanctum Conciium, nn. 26-28; C.I.C., can. 837.
(90) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 1248, § 2.
(91) Cfr. ibid., can. 1248, § 2; Sagrada Congregación de los Ritos, Instr. Inter oecumenici (26 septiembre 1964), n. 37; AAS 66 (1964), p. 885; Sagrada Congregación para el Culto Divino, Directorio para las celebraciones dominicales en ausencia de presbítero Christi Ecclesia (10 junio 1988): Notitiae 263 (1988).
(92) Cfr. Juan Pablo II, Alocución (5 junio 1993): AAS 86 (1994), p. 340.
(93) Sagrada Congregación para el Culto Divino, Directorio para las celebraciones dominicales en ausencia de presbítero Christi Ecclesia n. 35: l.c.; cfr. también C.I.C., can. 1378, § 2, n. 1 y § 3; can. 1384.
(94) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 1248.
(95) Sagrada Congregación para la Disciplina de los Sacramentos, Instrucción Immensae caritatis(29 enero 1973), proemio: AAS 65 (1973), p. 264.
(96) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 910, § 1; cfr. también Juan Pablo II, Carta Dominicae Coenae (24 febrero 1980), n. 11: AAS 72 (1980), p. 142.
(97) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 910, § 2.
(98) Cfr. Sagrada Congregación para la Disciplina de los Sacramentos, Instrución Immensae caritatis, n. 1: l.c., p. 264; Missale Romanum, Appendix: Ritus ad deputandum ministrum S. Communionis ad actum distribuendae; Pontificale Romanum: De institutione lectorum et acolythorum.
(99) Pontificia Comisión para la Interpretación auténtica del Codigo de Derecho Canónico, Respuesta (1 junio 1988): AAS 80 (1988), p. 1373.
(100) Sagrada Congregación para las Disciplina de los Sacramentos, Instrución Immensae caritatis,n. 1: l.c., p. 264; Sagrada Congregación para los Sacramentos y el Culto Divino, InstruciónInaestimabile donum, n. 10: l.c., p. 336.
(101) El can. 230, § 2 y § 3 del C.I.C. afirma que los servicios litúrgicos allí mencionados pueden ser asumidos por los fieles no ordenados solo « ex temporanea deputatione » o en suplencia.
(102) Cfr. Rituale Romanum – Ordo Unctionis Infirmorum, praenotanda, n. 17: Editio Typica, 1972.
(103) Cfr. St 5, 14-15; S. Tomas de Aquino, In IV Sent., d. 4, q. un.; Conc. Ecum. de Florencia, bolla Exsultate Deo (DS 1325); Conc. Ecum. Trid., Doctrina de sacramento extremae unctionis,cap. 3 (DS 1697, 1700) y can. 4 de estrema unctione (DS 1719); Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica, n. 1516.
(104) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 1003, § 1.
(105) Cfr. C.I.C., cann. 1379 y 392, § 2.
(106) Cfr. ibid., can. 1112
(107) Cfr. ibid., can. 1111, § 2.
(108) Cfr. ibid., can. 1112, § 2.
(109) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 861, § 2; Ordo baptismi parvulorum, praenotanda generalia, nn. 16-17.
(110) Cfr. ibid., can. 230.
(111) Cfr. Ordo Exsequiarum, praenotanda, n. 19.
(112) Cfr. C.I.C., can. 231, § 1.
(113) Se deben excluir los llamados seminarios « integrados ».
(114) Juan Pablo II, Discurso al Simposio sobre « Colaboración de los laicos en el ministerio pastoral de los presbíteros », n. 3: l.c.
(115) Cfr. ibid., n. 6.
(116) Ibid., n. 2.
(117) Juan Pablo II, Discurso al Simposio sobre « Colaboración de los laicos en el ministerio pastoral de los presbíteros », n. 5.
(118) Juan Pablo II, Exhort. ap. post-sinodal Christrifidelis laici, n. 58: l.c., p. 507.
(119) C.I.C., can. 392