Book Culls a Century of Papal Writings on Faith and Culture

From Leo XIII to John Paul II

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 11, 2003 ( The Holy See unveiled a new book that gathers more than a century of papal teachings on faith and culture.

The volume, entitled “Faith and Culture: Anthology of Texts of Papal Teaching from Leo XIII to John Paul II,” was published by the Pontifical Council for Culture.

In more than 1,500 pages, the book covers issues that extend “from the arts to technology, from ideologies to the family, from sports to politics, from universities to cultural identity, from globalization to inculturation,” explained Cardinal Paul Poupard, council president.

The volume, which covers papal teachings from 1890 to 2002, includes several indexes for easy reference.

Cardinal Poupard shared a story to illustrate the importance the Pope attaches to the book’s contents. At the start of his pontificate, John Paul II, who already had in mind the creation of a Council for Culture, told then Bishop Poupard in a private meeting: “Without a pastoral program of culture, there can be no pastoral care at all.”

The Holy Father would explain this concept later in the letter he wrote when establishing the Pontifical Council for Culture in 1982: “A faith that does not build culture is a faith that is not fully accepted, not fully thought out, not faithfully lived.”

“This anthology,” Cardinal Poupard said, “seeks to present different pastoral moments and attitudes of the last nine popes, noting the continuity and innovations of a dialogue between faith and culture, in the complex mission of inculturating and evangelizing the culture.”

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