|Some Vatican recommendations – Jan 22|
By Vernon Khelawan
As parishes, religious communities and other Church ministries press ahead with strategies to implement successfully the Synod mandate to revitalise Catholic culture and identity in the Archdiocese, it would be useful to look at some recommendations for Revitalising Catholic Culture and Identity from the Pontifical Council for Culture:
• Addressing the split between the Gospel and culture. We need to regain the depths of our own tradition and take hold of our identity as Catholics before we can become relevant and make an impact on society. Recovering the Catholic tradition requires commitment.
• While cultures are subject to change and decay, the predominance of Christ is an unquenchable and permanent source of life. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb 13:8).
• The secularity that is spreading through the different cultures of the world often idealises lifestyles opposed to the values of the Gospel. The Church must live and translate its own faith into culture. Christians must own their faith to live it. That involves standing on the side of truth when faced with the reality of the day.
• Cultural rootlessness is affecting the personal identity of millions of people who are powerless, marginalised and isolated.
• The Church must involve itself in modern communications technology to preach the gospel and preserve Catholic identity.
• To teach younger generations to live with diversity and integrate diversity into their own identity is a major priority for education.
• Civilisation and social communion depend on the quality of family life.
• The world of leisure, sport, travel and tourism are new challenges for the evangelisation of culture.
• The teaching of the Church on the value of work as a means of self-fulfilment must be emphasised in the world of modern economics.
• The Church must promote a culture of solidarity at every level of society and between nations.
If we are to identify with Christ and His mission, then we will have to be Christ in today’s world – compassionate, forgiving, counter-cultural and in solidarity with the poor and marginalised. The heart of our spirituality must flow from the heart of Christian vocation, which is to lead a life of loving God by loving our neighbour.