A Consideration of the Church on the Basis of the Common Christian Condition


  • José Ramón Villar


Summary: I. The baptismal perspective. II. The articulation of Ecclesiology

Until the Second Vatican Council, it was usual to take the distinction between the clergy and the laity as a starting point in order to understand the Church. It is noteworthy that during this period prior to Vatican II, in his priestly ministry and spiritual message, Saint Josemaria insisted on the common baptismal condition as the foundation for the universal call to holiness and apostolate. This perspective highlights that the substantial and radical notion on which Ecclesiology should be based is not that of the laity, but that of the “Christian faithful” and the common priesthood. As a result, the reason for being of the ministerial priesthood is to serve the congregatio fidelium. Moreover, the fact that we use the binomial faithful/ministers manifests that the Church is not only a group of faithful, or a group of ministers, but rather a priestly community organically structured by a double participation, common and ministerial, in the priesthood of Christ.