At the Last Supper Jesus promised that the Spirit would lead all the Apostles to the truth.

Thursday, 8/8/13

Jesus told Simon, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.” And he said, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.”

But, two chapters, on in 18:18 of his Gospel, Matthew quoted Jesus as telling the other disciples, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.”

I mention that because I have been reading about the discussions held during the second session of Vatican II when the bishops were composing the Constitution on the Church. The members of the Curia, who had been ruling in the Pope’s name, felt that Jesus had given all his authority to the popes; but the bishops at the Council saw themselves as sharing the Pope’s authority.

In the long discourse after the Last Supper, Jesus did not restrict his guidance to Peter. To all the Twelve he said, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth he will lead you to all truth.”

The twenty-four hundred bishops who took part in the Council discussions were all men of prayer, and it was remarkable how they contributed their prayer- earned insights to clarifying what we mean by the Church.

The American bishop of Manchester moved the bishops to approve of their calling other religious bodies by the name of churches. They agreed with Cardinal Henri de Lebac having the first chapter state that the Church is a Mystery. They all came together in giving the world an accurate picture of Christ’s Church.

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