US Catholic Faith in Real Life

General principles of Vatican II

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The church is a mystery, or sacrament, and not primarily a means of salvation.

The church is the whole People of God, not just the hierarchy.

The whole People of God participates in the mission of Christ, and not just in the mission of the hierarchy.

The mission of the church includes service to those in need, and not just the preaching of the Gospel or the celebration of the sacraments.

The church is truly present at the local level as well as at the universal level. A diocese or parish is not just an administrative division of the church universal.

The church includes Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants.

The mission of the church includes proclamation of the Word, celebration of the sacraments, witnessing to the Gospel individually and institutionally, and providing service to those in need.

All authority is for service, not domination.

Religious truth is to be found Outside the church as well. No one is to be coerced to embrace the Christian or the Catholic faith.

The church is always for the sake of the Kingdom of God and is not itself the Kingdom.