REDISCOVERING AUTHORITY AS SERVICE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: THE LONG WAY FROM MYSTICI CORPORIS TO POPE FRANCIS
It is a useful exercise in this thematic issue to study a variety of documents issued from Rome in the long period between Mystici Corporis (1943) and Evangelii Gaudium (2013) with attention to the terminology used to describe the relationship between the different categories of the people of God. Along this long but crooked path the laity are called subjects of their superiors till the final draft of Lumen Gentium and the term subordination is found in the first draft of the Dogmatic constitution on the Church as well as in the 2013 Directory for the Ministry and the Life of Priests. Since the 1962 draft of De Ecclesia, however, Catholic ecclesiology stresses that all members of the people of God participate in the threefold office of Christ and that the ordained exercise their authority as a service towards the
Congregation for the Clergy, Directory for the Ministry and the Life of Priests, New Edition, Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, 24 (§ 13: “In” and “in the forefront of” the Church).
LG 31: “Under the title of laity are here understood all Christ’s faithful, except those who are in sacred orders or are members of a religious state that is recognized by the church.”
Peter De Mey, “Sharing in the Threefold Office of Christ, a Different Matter for Laity and Priests? The Tria Munera in Lumen Gentium, Presbyterorum Ordinis, Apostolicam Actuositatem and Ad Gentes,” in The Letter and the Spirit: On the Forgotten Documents of Vatican II. Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium, 297, ed. Annemarie Mayer, Peeters: Leuven, 2018, 155-179.
Peter De Mey, “The Actors Involved in the Exercise of the Prophetic Office in the Church: The Common Message of Lumen Gentium 12 and 25 and Dei Verbum 7-10,” in Studia Canonica 53 (2019) 127-164.
Peter De Mey, “The Sacramental Nature and Mission of the Church in Lumen Gentium,” International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 14 (2014) 348-361.
Peter De Mey, “Towards a Healthy Future of Catholicity in the Roman Catholic Church: Recommendations by Pope Francis,” in Catholicity under Pressure: The Ambiguous Relationship between Diversity and Unity (XVIIIth Academic Consultation of the Societas Oecumenica, 21-26 August, 2014), ed. Dagmar Heller & Peter Szentpétery, Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2016, 251-272
Peter Hünermann, “Theologischer Kommentar zur dogmatischen Konstitution über die Kirche Lumen Gentium,” in Herders theologischer Kommentar zum Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzil, II, ed. Peter Hünermann & Jochen Hilberath, Freiburg: Herder, 2004, 263-582, p. 444 (on LG 25), 446 (on LG 26) and 448 (on LG 27).