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The Question of the Use of Syntagm In Persona Ecclesiae

Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Zagreb; [email protected]
Publication Date
  • In Persona Christ
  • In Persona Ecclesiae
  • Sakramentalnost Krista
  • Sakramentalnost Crkve
  • Krštenje
  • Euharistija
  • Pomirenje
  • In Persona Christi
  • In Persona Ecclesiae
  • Sacramentality Of Christ
  • Sacramentality Of The Church
  • Baptism
  • Eucharist
  • Reconciliation
  • Religious Science


This article is divided into three sections: The sacramentality of Christ and the Church; acting in the name of Christ and the Church; and the reasons for and against the use of the syntagmatic phrase in persona Ecclesiae. Presenting the question of the sacramentology of Christ and the Church, the author leans on several significant theologians in recent times (Johannes Kuhn, Otto Semmelroth, Edward Schillebeeckx, Karl Rahner). In the second chapter the author refers to celebrants of the sacraments who represent the person of Jesus Christ in the name of the Church to offer the sacrament of Baptism, the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. In the third chapter the author gives several arguments for and against the use of the said syntagmatic phrase. Connecting but not equating the sacramentality of Christ and the Church, significant documents from the Second Vatican Council use the term in persona Christi while at the same time they do not use the term in persona Ecclesiae. We therefore ask, are there any important theological reasons against that nuance and in using the term in persona Ecclesiae. The question should be primarily approached from the viewpoint of the sacramentology. It is especially questioned the representative dimension of the minister of sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation and the Eucharist. From that perspective the author suggests a conclusion: the use of the term in persona Christi does not present any vital theological reasons not to use the nuanced term in persona Ecclesiae.

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