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The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World

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1 The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World
Gaudium et Spes The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World

2 Outline of Presentation
Background Context of the document Story of the doc’s drafting Structure of final draft Significant Shifts and Innovations Compromises and Weaknesses Remaining Issues for the Church The Enduring Symbolic Value of GS

3 General Remarks not among the preparatory documents for the council
emerged from the floor of the council by far the longest of the sixteen documents the only document published with subtitles

4 promulgated the very last working day of the Council
addressed to all humanity (not just to Catholics, or Christians) came to be symbolic of the Council’s “style” dialogic collaborative participative

5 Previous Social Teaching Encyclicals
from Rerum Novarum (1891) to Pacem in Terris (1963) using a “deductive” methodology, these documents attempted to ground social teaching on the prior foundation of a philosophical and theological anthropology couched in the categories of Scholastic Theology appealed to “natural law” GS will come to use a more “inductive” method (but with elements of the old)

6 History of the Drafting
at the very end of the first session (4 Dec 1962), a plan for the Council’s program was proposed by Cardinal Josef Suenens a focus not only on the church “ad intra” (the internal life of the church) but also on the church “ad extra” (the church and its mission in the world)

7 History (cont’d) the long list of topics for the council’s discussion was then revised and reduced according to this plan no. 17 on the list was “Schema XVII” later became “Schema XIII” then finally “Gaudium et Spes”

8 “Ad intra” / “Ad extra” Distinction
While this distinction was helpful for dividing up the workload of the Council, it can be a misleading distinction IF it is taken to mean that “church” and “world” are like oil and water This issue of how to best name the relationship plagues the whole debate and remains somewhat unresolved in GS The world is not something apart from the church, nor the church from the world

9 The Drafting Commission
A “Mixed Commission” drawn from members of the Doctrinal Commission Commission for the Lay Apostolate but various sub-commissions were set up to deal with the many sections

10 the various drafts were prepared in French, and then translated into Latin
fourth session: translations provided in the major European languages (first time)

11 Theological tensions a significant influence of the French-speaking theologians Chenu, Congar tension with the theological vision of the German-speaking theologians Rahner, Ratzinger

12 Structure of the final version
Preface and Introduction (1-3; 4-10) Part 1: The Church and the Human Vocation Introduction: Responding to the Promptings of the Spirit (11) Chapter 1: The Dignity of the Human Person Chapter 2: The Human Community Chapter 3: Humanity’s Activity in the Universe Chapter 4: Role of the Church in Today’s World

13 Structure (cont’d) Part 2: Some More Urgent Problems
Preface (46) Chapter 1: The Dignity of Marriage and the Family (47-52) Chapter 2: Proper Development of Culture (53-62) Chapter 3: Economic and Social Life (63-72) Chapter 4: The Political Community (73-76) Chapter 5: Fostering Peace and Establishment of a Community of Nations (77-90) Conclusion: Role of Individual Christians and of Local Churches (91-93)

14 A “Pastoral” Constitution
John XXIII’s original desire that the Council have a “pastoral” focus Special footnote on the significance of title: “The constitution is called ‘pastoral’ because, while resting on doctrinal principles, it sets out the relation of the church to the world and to the people of today. In Part I, therefore, the pastoral emphasis is not overlooked, nor is the doctrinal emphasis overlooked in Part II.” The “doctrinal” principles (Part 1) and the “pastoral” applications (Part 2) are intertwined

15 Four Interrelated Levels of Doctrine
1. Anthropology the “nature” of the human person GS, 3: “It is the human person, therefore, which is the key to this discussion, each individual human person in here of his totality, body and soul, heart and conscience, mind and will.” 2. Christian Ethics in Contemporary Society the nature of moral human action

16 3. Ecclesiology the nature and mission of the church
GS, 3: “The church is not motivated by earthly ambition but is interested in one thing only – to carry on the work of Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.” Gaudium et Spes as complement to Lumen Gentium

17 4. Christology the human and divine natures of Christ
any teaching on the nature of the human person is to be grounded in teaching about Christ as the model for human personhood GS, 10: “The church believes that the key, the centre and the purpose of the whole of human history is to be found in its Lord and Master.”

18 Interrelated Leitmotifs
“solidarity” “dialogue” “reading the signs of the times”

19 “Solidarity” GS, 1: “The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well. Nothing that is genuinely human fails to find an echo in their hearts. For theirs is a community of people united in Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit in their pilgrimage towards the Father’s kingdom, bearers of a message of salvation for all humanity. That is why they cherish a feeling of deep solidarity with the human race and its history.”

20 “Dialogue” the motif of the divine-human dialogue
the motif of church’s “dialogue with the world” a church open to learning (GS 44)

21 Paul VI and the Dialogue motif
Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam 6 August 1964 (during the third session) the influence of “personalist” philosophies Gabriel Marcel Martin Buber

22 GS, 3 “And so the council… can find no more eloquent expression of this people’s solidarity, respect and love for the whole human family, of which it forms a part, than to enter into dialogue with it about all these various problems, throwing the light of the Gospel on them and supplying humanity with the saving resources which the church has received from its founder under the promptings of the Holy Spirit.”

23 GS 92 Four concentric circles of dialogue
dialogue within the church itself dialogue with other Christians dialogue with other religious believers dialogue with non-believers

24 Reading “the signs of the times”
starting with contemporary context (inductive method) attentiveness to the God of history GS 4 GS 11 GS 44

25 GS 4 “To discharge this function [with the guidance of the Paraclete Spirit, to continue the work of Christ (GS, 3)], the church has the duty in every age of examining the signs of the times and interpreting them in the light of the gospel, so that it can offer in a manner appropriate to each generation replies to the continual human questionings on the meaning of this life and the life to come and on how they are related. There is a need, then, to be aware of, and to understand, the world in which we live, together with its expectations, its desires and its frequently dramatic character.”

26 GS 11 “Impelled by its belief that it is being led by the Spirit of the Lord who fills the whole earth, God’s people works to discern the true signs of God’s presence and purpose in the events, needs and desires which it shares with the rest of modern humanity. It is faith which shows everything in a new light and clarifies God’s purpose in his complete calling of the human race, thus pointing the mind towards solutions which are fully human…

27 GS 11 (cont’d) … The council’s first aim is to subject the values most highly regarded today to this light and to relate them to their divine source, since these values are very good insofar as they proceed from the God-given character of the human person, but are in need of purification from the distortion they often receive from the corruption of the human heart…

28 GS 11 (cont’d) … What is the church’s view of woman and man? What does it consider is to be commended in constructing today’s society? What is the ultimate significance of human activity in the world as a whole? These questions require answers which will show more clearly that the people of God and the human race of which it is a part are of service to each other, and that the church’s mission is seen to be a religious one and by that very fact an outstandingly human one.”

29 GS 44 “It is for God’s people as a whole, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and especially for pastors and theologians, to listen to the various voices of our day, discerning them and interpreting them, and to evaluate them in the light of the divine word, so that the revealed truth can be increasingly appropriated, better understood and more suitably expressed.”

30 GS 62 meaning/expression of doctrine
“evaluating and interpreting everything with an authentically Christian sense of values” “it is hoped that more of the laity will receive adequate theological formation and that some of them will dedicate themselves professionally to these studies and contribute to their advancement. But for the proper exercise of this role, the faithful, both clerical and lay, should be accorded a lawful freedom of inquiry, of thought, and of expression, tempered by humility and courage in whatever branch of study they have specialized.”

31 Three Major Innovations
primarily a Biblical vision an increased historical awareness a relating of the Church’s mission and its social vision

32 1. A Biblical Vision a biblical vision more than “natural law”
an appeal to revelation and secondarily an appeal to the order that God has inscribed in human nature

33 2. Historical Awareness Deductive methodology
from general unchanging principles to their application from abstract natural law to concrete new situations the rise of “historical consciousness” (19-20th centuries) an appreciation of the changing historical conditions of social, cultural and political spheres all elements of the human situation are conditioned by history

34 Inductive methodology
from an examination of the concrete situation to the application of the Gospel in that situation What are the features problems of the contemporary world that require solutions? GS 5: “The human race is moving from a more static view of things to one which is more dynamic and evolutionary, giving rise to new combinations of problems which call for new analyses and syntheses.” an emerging methodology of the council

35 3. Relating the Church’s mission and its social vision
Lumen Gentium: the church “ad intra” looking “to within” what is the nature of the church? Gaudium et Spes: the church “ad extra” looking “to outside” given the nature of the church, what is the mission of the church?

36 The Mission of the Church
“the religious mission” of the church to proclaim and to realize the Reign of God The Reign of God is to permeate all aspects of human life and society Shift: from church as an end in itself to church as a servant of the Reign of God

37 GS, 40-42 Part One, Chapter IV summary of the basis of the church’s social mission

38 Four Specific Tasks of the Church’s Proper Mission
to defend human dignity to promote human rights to cultivate the unity of the human family to make clear the meaning of human life

39 Relation of the Church to the Reign of God
the church is not equivalent to the Reign of God related, however, in two ways the Reign of God transcends every political authority therefore, the religious mission is to critique political ideology the Reign of God relates to diverse dimensions of social and economic reality therefore, the religious mission is related to the right ordering of the social and economic order

40 Summary of Shifts in Church Teaching
Methodology from deductive to inductive Historical Consciousness from “ahistorical” to an historical approach

41 Evolutionary not static view of reality
GS, 5: “The human race is moving from a more static view of things to one which is more dynamic and evolutionary, giving rise to new combinations of problems which call for new analyses and syntheses.” Modernity From rejection of modernity to engagement with its strengths

42 Shifts (cont’d) The “world” Natural Law Notion of the human person
from the world as Godless to the world as the place of God’s redeeming activity Natural Law parallel to the inductive/more historical approach Notion of the human person a move away from an eternal “nature” of the human person, to one historically situated

43 Church and State Conscience War
from achieving “Christendom” to the Church as leaven, as prophetic witness Conscience War

44 Marriage: from “contract” to “covenant”
previous legalistic framework contract shift to a personalist framework intimate partnership and covenant the “ends” of marriage not only reproduction and the rearing of children also conjugal love

45 Other Docs the social mission
(1) Decree on Laity Laity have a twofold role to work for evangelization to renew the temporal order Presupposition Christ’s work of redemption is primarily related to the salvation of the human being but involves “the renewal of the whole temporal order” (AA, 5-7) a shift in the theology of grace: from extrinsic to intrinsic

46 (2) Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity
to work for Christ’s redemption includes “the right ordering of social and economic affairs” the church’s missionary activity involves collaborating with all peoples for eliminating hunger, disease, ignorance for establishing peace and justice and “human” working conditions for workers (AG, 12)

47 Some Weaknesses and Open Questions
overly optimistic about “progress” too “60s” not enough emphasis on evil and the effects of original sin ecological crisis not mentioned in fact, a perpetuation of some of the mentality causing it

48 “Little attention is given in the document to environmental pollution, the depletion of non-renewable resources, and general environmental exploitation. The council fathers’ language concerning nature and the relation of humankind to nature is rather disturbing. Humanity should “consolidate its control over creation” (9), “subject to himself the earth and all that it contains” (34), “subdue the earth” (57), and hold “increasing domination over nature” (63)… The council fathers seem oblivious both to the environmental problems already evident in the world and the impact of framing the human/nature relationship in terms of domination.” (Lois Ann Lorentzen)

49 Issues taken off the agenda by Paul VI
divorce mixed marriages birth control

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