Catechism of the Catholic Church

246 Part One bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is “head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church on earth” (CIC, can. 331). 937 ThePopeenjoys, bydivine institution, “supreme, full, imme- diate, and universal power in the care of souls” ( CD 2). 938 The Bishops, established by the Holy Spirit, succeed the apostles. They are “the visible source and foundation of unity in their own particular Churches” ( LG 23). 939 Helped by the priests, their co-workers, and by the deacons, the bishops have the duty of authentically teaching the faith, celebrating divine worship, above all the Eucharist, and guiding their Churches as true pastors. Their responsibility also includes concern for all the Churches, with and under the Pope. 940 “The characteristic of the lay state being a life led in the midst of the world and of secular affairs, lay people are called by God to make of their apostolate, through the vigor of their Christian spirit, a leaven in the world” ( AA 2 § 2). 941 Lay people share in Christ’s priesthood: ever more united with him, they exhibit the grace of Baptism and Confirmation in all dimensions of their personal, fam- ily, social, and ecclesial lives, and so fulfill the call to holiness addressed to all the baptized. 942 Byvirtue of their propheticmission, laypeople “are called . . . to bewitnesses toChrist in all circumstances and at the very heart of the community of mankind” ( GS 43 § 4). 943 Byvirtueof theirkinglymission, laypeoplehave thepower touproot the ruleof sinwithinthemselvesandintheworld, by their self-denial and holiness of life (cf. LG 36). 944 The life consecrated to God is characterized by the public profession of the evangelical counsels of pov- erty, chastity, and obedience, in a stable state of life recognized by the Church. 945 Already destined for him through Baptism, the person who surrenders himself to the God he loves above all else thereby consecrates himself more intimately to God’s service and to the good of the whole Church.