Day #141: Gaudium Et Spes 58-59

Today in the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, today we finish up our look at principles for developing the culture as it ought to be.

The Church belongs to all cultures, nations and peoples.  The Church “is not bound exclusively and indissolubly to any race or nation, any particular way of life or any customary way of life recent or ancient” (article 58).  The Church learns from the culture new ways to proclaim the timeless Gospel, but the Gospel also purifies the culture.  The culture must always be at the service of authentic human development (article 59).  This is where the Church informs the culture.

The Council takes this semi-symbiotic relationship between Church and culture and connects it to Vatican I’s “two orders of knowledge”: faith and reason.

Here are the footnotes:

6. Cf. Eph. 1:10.

7. Cf. the words of Pius XI to Father M. D. Roland-Gosselin “It is necessary never to lose sight of the fact that the objective of the Church is to evangelize, not to civilize. If it civilizes, it is for the sake of evangelization.” (Semaines sociales de France, Versailles, 1936, pp. 461-462).

8. First Vatican Council, Constitution on the Catholic Faith: Denzinger 1795, 1799 (3015, 3019). Cf. Pius XI, encyclical letter Quadragesimo Anno: AAS 23 (1931), p. 190.

9. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), p. 260.

10. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), p. 283; Pius XII, Radio address, Dec. 24, 1941: AAS 34 (1942), pp. 16-17.


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