World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Mysterium fidei (encyclical)

Article Id: WHEBN0006216649
Reproduction Date:

Title: Mysterium fidei (encyclical)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Transubstantiation, Eucharistic adoration, Holy Hour, Mirae caritatis, Mediator Dei
Collection: 1965 in Religion, 1965 Works, Eucharist in the Catholic Church, Papal Encyclicals, Works by Pope Paul VI
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mysterium fidei (encyclical)

Mysterium Fidei is an encyclical letter of Pope Paul VI on the Eucharist, published in September 1965.

Mysterium Fidei was issued just as the closing session of the Second Vatican Council was beginning. Written in a stern and troubled tone, its purpose was to counter certain theological movements which he perceived were gaining ground in the Roman Catholic Church. Using terminology such as "pastoral concern" and "anxiety," the letter sends a direct and unequivocal message to the Church regarding the Eucharist. The Pope clearly feared that these novel teachings were threatening the Eucharistic piety which had marked the Catholic Church since the earliest centuries. To emphasize the centrality of the Eucharist in the Church, the Pope echoed the words of St. Ignatius of Antioch, referring to the Blessed Sacrament the "medicine of immortality." The Pope acknowledged that there were many "real" presences of Christ, but that in the Communion bread this presence is real and "substantial."

The letter, however, received little attention as the world's interest was focused at the time was on the final works of the council fathers, particularly Lumen gentium, issued in November of the same year at the conclusion of the Council.


  • Issues causing "pastoral anxiety" 1
  • False teachings condemned 2
  • See also 3
  • External links 4

Issues causing "pastoral anxiety"

Paul VI felt very strongly that certain theological currents were threatening several Catholic doctrines and practices including:

False teachings condemned

Pope Paul VI in the opening of the letter declares the following teachings are impermissible:

  • "to emphasize what is called the 'communal' Mass to the disparagement of Masses celebrated in private"
  • "to exaggerate the element of sacramental sign as if the symbolism, which all certainly admit in the Eucharist, expresses fully and exhausts completely the mode of Christ's presence in this sacrament"
  • "to discuss the mystery of transubstantiation without mentioning ... the marvelous conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ, speaking rather only of what is called "transignification" and transfinalization"
  • "to propose and act upon the opinion according to which, in the Consecrated Hosts which remain after the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass, Christ Our Lord is no longer present."

"These and similar opinions do great harm to the faith and devotion to the Divine Eucharist. And therefore, so that the hope aroused by the Council, that a flourishing of Eucharistic piety which is now pervading the whole Church, be not frustrated by this spread of false opinions"

See also

External links

  • Mysterium fidei, full text
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.