Part II of this document delves into A PROPOSAL FOR A RESPONSE BY THE CHURCH: THE VIA PULCHRITUDINIS
So, the “Way of Beauty.” The Pontifical Council for Culture addresses the first section here to the notion of Accepting the Challenge.
Given the historical, social, cultural and religious challenges discerned during the last two plenary assemblies, what aspects of its pastoral work can the Church favor in her apostolic dialogue with the men and women of our times, notably with the unbelievers and the indifferent?
The topics in 2002 and 2004 were “Handing on the Faith at the Heart of Cultures, Novo Millennio Ineunte,” and 2004, “The Christian Faith at the Dawn of the New Millennium and the Challenge of Unbelief and Religious Indifference.” The 2002 title references Pope John Paul II’s 2001 apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte. The 2004 concern remains significant today.
Each of these topics presents a challenge to the people of the Church. Are we prepared to move into human cultures to present the faith and show Jesus Christ to other people? Are we ready to admit formerly Christian cultures have wide swaths no longer dedicated to what was once the chief religion of the West? This document reorients our approach to the basic kerygma, the grounding of the proclamation of the Good News.
The Church accomplishes her mission of leading people to Christ the Savior by sharing the Word of God and the gift of the sacraments of Grace. In order to reach people with an apt pastoral approach to culture, in the light of Christ contemplated in the mystery of the Incarnation (Gaudium et Spes 22), the Church examines the signs of the times and draws pointers from them to develop “bridges” which lead to a meeting with the God of Jesus Christ through an itinerary of friendship in a dialogue of truth.
Years before Pope Francis, we see a glimmer of the Spirit’s movement in the Church–the recognition of the importance of friendship and accompaniment. We can use the various aspects of human culture to communicate with seekers, the curious, and even attract those who remain indifferent to institutional religion.
The full document is here.
Image: the rose window at Notre Dame in Paris, By Zachi Evenor based on File:North rose window of Notre-Dame de Paris, Aug 2010.jpg by Julie Anne Workman – CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60404628