Pope Highlights Culture as Terrain of Church's Missionary Action

Anthology Compiles Over a Century of Papal Teaching

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 9, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Culture is a «significant Areopagus» of the Church’s missionary action, says John Paul II.

The Pope said this at a meeting to present the book «Faith and Culture: Anthology of Texts of Papal Teaching from Leo XIII to John Paul II,» published by the Pontifical Council for Culture.

In its 1,500 pages, the volume brings together more than a century of papal teaching on the subject, touching upon questions of art, technology, ideology, the family, sports, politics, universities, cultural identity, globalization and inculturation.

Meeting with the members of the Council for Culture, the Pontiff said the book «is further testimony that in the course of the centuries papal teaching has always cultivated a positive view of relations between the Church and the protagonists of the world of culture.»

«The cultural ambit constitutes, in fact, a significant Areopagus of the missionary action of the Church,» he said.

The Holy Father added: «Following in the footsteps of my venerated predecessors, I have tried to maintain a constant dialogue with the exponents of culture, presenting to people of the third millennium the saving message of Christ.»

After the meeting with the Pope, council president Cardinal Paul Poupard explained that faith which does not create culture is not genuine faith.

He told Vatican Radio: «Faith is man’s response to God’s proposal, and when one receives this Good News of the love of God, this transforms the whole of life: personal life, family life,» work and leisure, «that is, the whole of culture.»

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