Reconciliatio et Paenitentia 9: The Reconciled Church, Part 3

Let’s complete Pope John Paul II’s thinking on The Reconciled Church. He leans on his second predecessor to suggest that our mission to evangelize the world by preaching Jesus’ good news is part of our expression as a community “reconciled to God.” Can we show this to the unchurched, the nones, the non-believers? It may be easy to blame secularism and avoid our own self-inflicted wounds in the eyes of those who witness and consider the worst of Christian behavior.

Finally, in order that the church may say that she is completely reconciled, she feels that it is her duty to strive ever harder, by promoting the “dialogue of salvation,”(Cf Pope Paul VI, encyclical, Ecclesiam Suam) to bring the Gospel to those vast sections of humanity in the modern world that do not share her faith, but even, as a result of growing secularism, keep their distance from her and oppose her with cold indifference when they do not actually hinder and persecute her. She feels the duty to say once more to everyone in the words of St. Paul: “Be reconciled to God.” (Cf 2 Cor 5:20)

At any rate, the church promotes reconciliation in the truth, knowing well that neither reconciliation nor unity is possible outside or in opposition to the truth.

True enough. And sometimes opponents to the truth have wrapped themselves in the mantle of faithfulness. The commandment to be reconciled to God requires each believer to examine the conscience carefully, thoroughly, and frequently. Our communities: parishes, dioceses, institutions, and certainly our leadership–these must all consider the ongoing project of reconciliation.

This document is Copyright © 1984 – Libreria Editrice Vatican. The link on the Vatican site is here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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