Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Profession of Faith 247 Paragraph 5. The Communion of Saints 946 After confessing “the holy catholic Church,” the Apostles’ Creed adds “the communion of saints.” In a certain sense this article is a further explanation of the preceding: “What is the Church if not the assembly of all the saints?” 479 The communion of saints is the Church. 947 “Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others. . . . We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head. . . . Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments.” 480 “As this Church is governed by one and the same Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common fund.” 481 948 The term “communion of saints” therefore has two closely linked meanings: communion “in holy things ( sancta )” and “among holy persons ( sancti ).” Sancta sanctis! (“God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people”) is proclaimed by the celebrant in most Eastern liturgies during the elevation of the holy Gifts before the distribution of communion. The faithful ( sancti ) are fed by Christ’s holy body and blood ( sancta ) to grow in the communion of the Holy Spirit ( koinonia ) and to communicate it to the world. I. C ommunion in S piritual G oods 949 In the primitive community of Jerusalem, the disciples “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers.” 482 Communion in the faith. The faith of the faithful is the faith of the Church, received from the apostles. Faith is a treasure of life which is enriched by being shared. 479 Nicetas, Expl. symb. 10: PL 52:871B. 480 St. Thomas Aquinas, Symb. , 10. 481 Roman Catechism I, 10, 24. 482 Acts 2:42. 1474-1477 823 790 1331 185