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date: 04 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Ratzinger’s ecclesiology is a Eucharistic ecclesiology: the church is the people of God existing from the sacramental Body of Christ and thus becoming the ecclesial Body of Christ. Therefore the church is communio: the communion at the table with Christ and among the believers, and also a communion of local churches (communio ecclesiarum) that is the basis for the collegiality of the bishops. The spiritual and institutional dimensions of the Body of Christ are mutually interwoven. In every particular church the universal church is present; its representation and the point of reference in doctrinal matters for all is the pope. The church serves the presence of the Word of God in the world in such a way that the Word as it is witnessed to in Holy Scripture is communicated to all by authorized witnesses. Witness (content) and witnesses are inseparable, as succession and tradition are mutually interrelated as form and content.

Keywords: apostolic succession, Benedict XVI, body of Christ, collegiality, communio, ecumenism, Eucharist, papacy, tradition, word of God

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