Perspectief 2014-26

2014-26 37 Towards a Healthy Future of Catholicity in the Roman Catholic Church Recommendations by Pope Francis Prof. dr. Peter De Mey For my paper on this last day of our conference I decided to focus on the future of the understanding and implementation of catholicity in my own Church as opened up in the reflections and reform plans of pope Francis. Since pope Francis bases his ecclesiology strongly on the documents of Vatican II, I start with a brief prelude on the paragraph on catholicity in Lumen Gentium . 1 Remembering the Second Vatican Council and its understanding of catholicity Upon further revising the dogmatic constitution on the Church in the Spring of 1964 it was decided to dedicate the new paragraph 13 to the theme of unity and diversity in the Church. The draft version suggested in its working title that ‘universality’ and ‘catholicity’ are synonymous terms, but the actual paragraph contains separate definitions of both terms: This note of universality (hic universalitatis character), which adorns the people of God, is a gift of the Lord himself by which the catholic church effectively and continually tries to recapitulate the whole of humanity, with all its riches, under Christ the head in the unity of his Spirit. By virtue of this catholicity (vi huius catholicitatis eius), the individual parts bring their own gifts to the other parts and to the whole church, in such a way that the whole and individual parts grow greater through the mutual communication of all and their united efforts towards fullness in unity.