Vatican Council 1869-1870
Constitution on the Catholic Faith
1 On God the creator of all things
The holy, catholic, apostolic and Roman church believes
and acknowledges that there is one true and
and lord of heaven and earth,
must be declared to be in reality and in
from the world,
happy in himself and from himself, and
loftier than anything besides himself which
either exists or can be imagined.
This one true God,
his goodness and almighty power,
with the intention of increasing his happiness,
indeed of obtaining happiness,
in order to manifest his perfection by the good
things which he bestows on what he creates,
an absolutely free plan,
from the beginning of time
into being from nothing
twofold created order, that is
spiritual and the bodily,
angelic and the earthly,
thereafter the human which is, in a way, common
to both since it is composed of spirit and body
Everything that God has brought into being he protects
and governs by his providence, which reaches from
one end of the earth to the other and orders all things
well  . All things are open and laid bare to his
eyes  , even those which will be brought about
by the free activity of creatures.
2 On revelation
The same holy mother church holds and teaches
that God, the source and end of all things,
certainty from the consideration of created
the natural power of human reason : ever since
the creation of the world, his invisible nature
has been clearly perceived in the things that
have been made. 
was, however, pleasing to his wisdom and goodness
eternal laws of his will
the human race by another, and that a supernatural,
is how the Apostle puts it : In many and various
ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the
prophets; but in these last days he has spoken
to us by a Son  .
It is indeed thanks to this divine revelation, that
those matters concerning God
are not of themselves beyond the scope of human
even in the present state of the human race, be
firm certitude and
no intermingling of error.
is not because of this that one must hold revelation
to be absolutely necessary; the reason is that God
directed human beings to a supernatural end,
is a sharing in the good things of God that utterly
surpasses the understanding of the human mind;
indeed eye has not seen, neither has ear heard,
nor has it come into our hearts to conceive what
things God has prepared for those who love him
complete books of the old and the new Testament with
all their parts, as they are listed in the decree
of the said council and as they are found in the old
Latin Vulgate edition, are to be received as
sacred and canonical.
books the church holds to be sacred and canonical
because she subsequently approved them by her
authority after they had been composed by unaided
simply because they contain revelation without
written under the inspiration of the holy Spirit,
have God as their author,
were as such committed to the church.
Now since the decree on the interpretation of holy
scripture, profitably made by the council of
Trent, with the intention of constraining rash
speculation, has been wrongly interpreted by some,
we renew that decree and declare
its meaning to be as follows: that
matters of faith and morals,
as they do to the establishing of christian doctrine,
meaning of holy scripture must be held
to be the true one,
holy mother church held and holds,
it is her right to judge of the true meaning
and interpretation of holy scripture.
consequence, it is not permissible for anyone
to interpret holy scripture in a sense contrary to
this, or indeed against the unanimous consent of the
3 On faith
Since human beings are totally dependent on God as
their creator and lord, and created reason is completely
subject to uncreated truth, we are obliged to yield
to God the revealer full submission of intellect and
will by faith.
faith, which is the beginning of human salvation,
the Catholic Church professes to be
means of which,
the grace of God inspiring and assisting us,
believe to be true what He has revealed,
because we perceive its intrinsic truth by the
natural light of reason,
because of the authority of God himself, who
makes the revelation and can neither deceive
nor be deceived.
declares the Apostle, is the assurance of things hoped
for, the conviction of things not seen .
Nevertheless, in order that the submission of our
faith should be in accordance with reason, it was
God's will that there should be linked to the internal
assistance of the holy Spirit external indications
of his revelation, that is to say divine acts, and
and foremost miracles and prophecies,
clearly demonstrating as they do the omnipotence
and infinite knowledge of God, are
most certain signs of revelation and are
to the understanding of all.
especially Christ our lord himself,
many absolutely clear miracles and delivered prophecies;
of the apostles we read:
they went forth and preached every, while the
Lord worked with them and confirmed the message
by the signs that attended it  . Again it
have the prophetic word made more sure; you
will do well to pay attention to this as to
a lamp shining in a dark place  .
the assent of faith is by no means a blind movement
of the mind,
no one can accept the gospel preaching
the way that is necessary for achieving salvation
the inspiration and illumination of the holy Spirit,
gives to all facility in accepting and believing
the truth  .
so faith in itself,
though it may not work through charity,
a gift of God,
its operation is a work belonging to the order
that a person yields true obedience to God himself
when he accepts and collaborates with his grace
which he could have rejected.
Wherefore, by divine and catholic faith all those
things are to be believed
are contained in the word of God as found
in scripture and tradition,
which are proposed by the church as matters
to be believed as divinely revealed,
by her solemn judgment
in her ordinary and universal magisterium.
Since, then, without faith it is impossible to please
God  and reach the fellowship of his sons and
daughters, it follows that
one can ever achieve justification without it,
can anyone attain eternal life unless he or she
perseveres in it to the end.
that we could fulfil our duty of embracing the
true faith and of persevering unwaveringly in it,
God, through his only begotten Son,
he endowed his institution with clear notes to
the end that she might be recognised by all as
the guardian and teacher of the revealed word.
To the Catholic Church alone belong all those
things, so many and so marvellous, which have been
divinely ordained to make for the manifest credibility
of the christian faith.
outstanding holiness and
inexhaustible fertility in every kind of
catholic unity and
a kind of great and perpetual motive of credibility
and an incontrovertible evidence of her own
So it comes about that,
a standard lifted up for the nations  ,
both invites to herself those who have not yet
likewise assures her sons and daughters that the
faith they profess rests on the firmest of foundations.
this witness is added the effective help of power
from on high. For,
kind Lord stirs up those who go astray and helps
them by his grace
that they may come to the knowledge of the truth
also confirms by his grace those whom he has translated
into his admirable light ,
that they may persevere in this light,
abandoning them unless he is first abandoned.
situation of those, who
the heavenly gift of faith
embraced the catholic truth,
by no means the same as that of those who,
a false religion;
those who have accepted the faith under the guidance
of the church can never have any just cause for
changing this faith or for calling it into question.
being so, giving thanks to God the Father who has made
us worthy to share with the saints in light  let us
not neglect so great a salvation  , but looking unto
Jesus the author and finisher of our faith  , let
us hold the unshakeable confession of our hope .
Rm 1, 20.
Heb 1, 1-2
1 Cor 2, 9.
Council of Trent, session 4, first decree (see above
Heb 11, 1
Mk 16, 20.
2 Pt 1, 19.
Council of Orange II(529), canon 7 (Bruns 2, 178; Msi
Heb 11, 6.
Is 11, 12
23 1 Tm 2, 4
24 1 Pt 2, 9; Col 1, 13
25 Col 1, 12
26 Heb 2, 3
27 Heb 12, 2