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Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Church- foreshadowed from the world's beginning

760 Christians of the first centuries said, "The world was created for the sake of the Church." 153 God created the world for the sake of communion with his divine life, a communion brought about by the "convocation" of men in Christ, and this "convocation" is the Church. The Church is the goal of all things, 154 and God permitted such painful upheavals as the angels' fall and man's sin only as occasions and means for displaying all the power of his arm and the whole measure of the love he wanted to give the world:

Just as God's will is creation and is called "the world," so his intention is the salvation of men, and it is called "the Church." 155


153 Pastor Hermae, Vision 2, 4, 1: PG 2, 899; cf. Aristides, Apol. 16, 6; St. Justin, Apol. 2,7: PG 6, 456; Tertullian, Apol. 31, 3; 32, 1: PL 1, 508-509.

154 Cf. St. Epiphanius, Panarion 1, 1, 5: PG 41, 181C.

155 Clement of Alex., Paed. 1, 6, 27: PG 8, 281.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.