The Church as communio: Revisiting Joseph Ratzinger’s ecclesiology

By Veronica A. Arntz

In Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Mystici Corporis from 1943, we are given a beautiful description of the Church as Christ’s Mystical Body here on earth, born out of love from his sufferings on the Cross. Toward the end of the encyclical, the Pope offers a heartfelt exhortation to love the Church:

Let this be the supreme law of our love: to love the Spouse of Christ as Christ wished her to be and as He purchased her with His blood. Hence not only should we cherish the sacraments with which Holy Mother Church sustains our life, the solemn ceremonies she offers for our solace and our joy, the sacred chant and liturgy by which she lifts our souls up to heaven, but the sacramentals too and all those exercises of piety which she uses to console the hearts of the faithful and gently to imbue them with the Spirit of Christ (art. 102).

For Pius XII, the Church is deeply sacramental and liturgical, for, by her very being, she is turned toward the Lord, anticipating with hope Christ’s second coming. In loving the Church, we love her liturgies and her sacramental life, for these things are part of her very being and essence. How much these words are needed for the Church in our own time! In a time when the sacraments are frequented less and less, piety is disregarded as being “individualistic,” and, most especially, the liturgy is viewed as a theatrical act by the priest rather than the eternal sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, we are in desperate need of a reminder of the true nature of the Church. In our time, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has helped us to understand the true nature of the Church as Eucharistic and liturgical, oriented toward communion with God. To understand Ratzinger’s ecclesiological vision, let us first understand what the Church is not.

Read more here: RORATE CÆLI: The Church as communio: Revisiting Joseph Ratzinger’s ecclesiology

6 Replies to “The Church as communio: Revisiting Joseph Ratzinger’s ecclesiology”

  1. Steve Brown

    I like this ability to comment. Was this just a mistake or are you opening all articles going forward to comments?

    • Scoop Post author

      I got your editorial. I’ll have to read it after I take Fred for a walk. Then I will have to break it into pragraphs (do you normally write everything in 1 paragraph? 🙂 ). Seems that it does not come to my email but is in a place called FEEDBACK in the menu. So I learned something. Thanks.

      • Steve Brown

        Good title you selected, also. Sorry, I just copied the comment, didn’t know you would post it. But, it was great.

        I will hold off on my critique of this site until I use it for a few days, but thanks for opening comments on all articles. It might cause you more trouble than it’s worth. Don’t feel obligated to answer all of them, as you have in the past.

        • Scoop Post author

          Notice that if you go into the editorial section your post is shown there as well. It will remain at the top until another editorial is written.

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