All women & men are called to belong to the new People of God. This people, therefore, whilst remaining one and unique, is to be spread throughout the whole world and to all ages in order that the design of God’s will may be fulfilled.
– (cf. Lumen Gentium, #13)
The image of “the People of God” is rooted in the Biblical understanding of the Hebrews as the People of God. Vatican II in the Constitution on the Church teaches that all baptized Christians who follow the teaching of Jesus are incorporated into the People of God, together with all persons seeking union with God and/or “striving to live a good life thanks to God’s grace” (cf. paragraph 16 of Constitution on the Church).
This broad and basic understanding links all humans in some way with the People of God. Therefore, we see the value and need for synodality in the Church. Synodality listens to the input of all people and discerns the movement of the Spirit in the Church and the world, ultimately leading to unity. The image calls us as disciples of Jesus to embrace the mission of God’s reign for the common good.
The image of the People of God promotes the foundational equality of all persons and likewise calls us to confront governance systems when they block discernment for the common good of all. The blockages occur in monarchies, autocracies, as well as in democracies. Within the Church, clericalism stifles discernment of the Holy Spirit by promoting a separation of the clergy from the laity and a subsequent superiority of the clergy. It fails and at times even refuses to acknowledge the Spirit’s movement within women and all others in the Church and the world.
About This Series
Vatican II is a priority of the AUSCP. The AUSCP Vatican II working group has prepared a three-year agenda, which will focus on the following topics:
- The People of God
- Religious Freedom
- The Church in the Present World