Plenary Council: Links Between Evangelisation And Culture
This is the text of a Plenary intervention by Archbishop Christopher Prowse on Tuesday 5 October
The Instrumentum Laboris links evangelisation and culture (n100-102)
This is a vital linkage.
The Catholic Church cannot be dismissed as a community in Australia not really representing a truly Australian way of life. We are too easily peripherised as coming from another age and imposing on Australia a type of foreign culture. Secularism is still strong in our beloved country.
True evangelisation proposes the Gospel as attractive and irresistible to the hopes of all that is truly human.
The Instrumentum Laboris, in referring to the Prologue of St John’s Gospel, stresses that “the Church is ‘made flesh’ (John 1/14) in local communities and cultural contexts.” (n100)
Perhaps an insight in the “magna carta” address of St John Paul II to the First Nations People in Alice Springs (29 No. 1986) could be applied in this context of Australian culture in general. “The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ speaks all languages. It esteems and embraces all cultures. It supports them in everything human and, when necessary, it purifies them. Always and everywhere the Gospel uplifts and enriches cultures with the revealed message of a loving and merciful God.” (n12)
Advancing a missionary option for our ancient but new land of aboriginal, colonial and multi-cultural peoples is surely a call to “walk together” in our complex yet wonderful emerging culture, especially alongside the poor and oppressed. The Catholic Church is to be noted for esteeming, supporting, purifying, enriching and healing all in our land with the revealed message of “a loving and merciful God” made present in Jesus, the “Rock in the Centre.”