Kościół jest ludem Bożym, który żyje Ciałem Chrystusa i w celebrowaniu Eucharystii sam staje się Ciałem Chrystusa.






The author puts forwards a hypothesis relating to the interpretation of the thought of Joseph Ratzinger – Benedict XVI concerning the essence of the Church as the Body of Christ. Jesus Christ built His Church in a visible form through His choice of the Twelve, who were called to build a special community with Him. By building the Church, the Apostles participated in Christ’s earthly mission. The essence of the Church does not lie in the very fact of its apostolic foundation, but in the event of the Last Supper, that is of the Eucharist, which marks the actualization of the Church. The Eucharist concretizes the Body of Christ in its “physical” and its risen dimension (Corpus Christi verum) as well as its social form, where Jesus is the Head of the body of all the baptised faithful (Corpus Christi mysticum), that is in the aspect of the integral Church. The Eucharist is a manifestation of both, the individual Body of Christ (“This is my Body” 1 Cor 11:24; Mk 14:22b) and the “social” Body of Christ’s Church. Therefore, the essence of the Church is the community of Christ with the baptised faithful, whose sacramental participation actualizes of the Body of Christ through the Eucharist (“He is the Head of the Body – the Church” Col 1:18; cf. Eph 1:10; and we are “the Body of Christ and each of you is a part of it” 1 Cor 12:27, cf. 12:12–13). In other words, the essence of the Church lies in its being the Body of Christ in both of its aspects: individual and social, which are actualized through the Eucharist. Ratzinger himself also puts it in the following manner: “The Church is the People of God through the Body of Christ.” In this sense, the Church is not only a sacramental sign (signum), but it is a matter of fact (res). This is how Ratzinger advocates the original Christian idea of a strong link between the Church and the Eucharist. By doing so, he opts for the full ontical, realist approach to theology, refuting the idealist stance. For Ratzinger, the Church is more than a sign. It constitutes the full reality of Christ as its Head in communion with the faithful as members of His Body.

Autor: Natalia Haniewska
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 29.06.2017, godz. 21:29 - Natalia Haniewska