Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity (Ad Gentes Divinitus) (December 7, ), in Austin Flannery, ed., Vatican Council II: The. AD GENTES DIVINITUS Decree of the Second Vatican Council on the Church’s missionary activity. The Church’s mission is defined as. Ad Gentes (Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church) is a decree released during the Second Vatican Council that announces the Catholic Church’s.

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Therefore their training must be so accomplished and so adapted to advances on the cultural level that as reliable coworkers of the priestly order, they may perform their task well, though it be weighed down with new and greater burdens.

Hence, the differences recognizable in this, the Church’s activity, are not due to the inner nature of the mission itself, but rather to the circumstances in which this mission is exercised. Divinely sent to the nations of the world to be unto them “a universal sacrament of salvation,” 1 the Church, driven by the inner necessity of her own catholicity, and obeying the mandate of her Founder cf.

In this way, whole parishes become more missionary, reaching out and forging bonds between American and mission parishes.

Ad Gentes (Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church)

In this sense, every Catholic who has had a personal encounter with Christ has the heart of a missionary. Under a hierarchy of their own, together with the faithful people, and adequately fitted out with requisites for living a full Christian life, they should make their contribution to the good of the whole Church. According to Origen, the Gospel must be preached before the end of this world: The laity strive by their civic and apostolic activity to set up a public order based on justice and love.

But they must give expression to this newness of life in the social and cultural framework of their own homeland, according to their own national traditions.

In order to strengthen this mission effort, we diviniuts this letter particularly to all those who fulfill the special role of teaching and forming the Catholics in our dioceses and eparchies. The means of social communication are put to wise use at the opportune time.


Augustine, Sermo4 PL 38, Whence the duty that lies on the Church of spreading the faith and the salvation of Christ, not only in virtue of the express command which was inherited from the Apostles by the order of bishops, assisted by the priests, together with the successor of Peter and supreme shepherd of the Church, but also in virtue of that life which flows from Christ into His members; “From Him the whole body, being ar joined and knit together through every joint of the system, according to the functioning in due measure of each single part, derives its increase to the building up of itself in love” Eph.

All these, of divinius kind, should defer to the local Ordinary in all that concerns missionary activity dlvinitus.

Both the supreme pontiffs and the Fathers and scholastics have spoken of the expansion of the Church: For thus did all the Apostles walk in hope, and by many trials and sufferings they filled up those things wanting to the Passion of Christ for His body which is the Church cf. From the very beginning, the Lord Jesus “called to Himself those whom He wished; and He caused twelve of them to be with Him, and to be sent out preaching Mark 3: In this notion of missionary divinitua, as is evident, according to the circumstances, even those parts of Latin America are included in which there is neither a hierarchy proper to the region, nor maturity of Christian life, nor sufficient preaching of the Gospel.

This response, however can only be given when the Holy Spirit gives His inspiration and His power. And so, whatever good is found to be sown in the hearts and minds of men, or in the rites and cultures peculiar to various peoples, not only is not lost, but is healed, uplifted, and perfected for the glory of God, the shame of the demon, and the bliss of gsntes.

In order that this missionary zeal may flourish among those in their own homeland, it is very fitting that the young churches should participate as soon as possible in the universal missionary work of the Church, and send their own missionaries to proclaim the Gospel all over the world, even though they themselves are suffering from a shortage of clergy.


Chronological list of ecumenical councils.

Teaching the Spirit of Mission Ad Gentes: Continuing Pentecost Today

Therefore, even at the very founding of diinitus Church, great attention is to be paid to establishing a mature, Christian laity. Let it arrange for an orderly plan of action, issue directives and principles adapted to evangelization, and give the impetus.

Although every disciple of Christ, as far in him lies, has the duty of spreading the Faith, 1 Christ the Lord always calls whomever He will from among the number of His disciples, to be with Him and to be sent by Him to preach to the nations cf. Dogmatic Constitution ” Lumen Gentium ,” While we always invite others to the Catholic faith, we also strive to understand—and value—what is positive in their beliefs. Their Ordinaries and superiors should gather the missionaries together from time to time, that they be strengthened in the hope of their calling and may be divihitus in the apostolic ministry, even in houses expressly set up for this purpose.

In Liturgy of Baptism cf.

Often vast territories were committed to them by the Holy See for evangelization, and there they gathered together a new people for God, a local church clinging to their own shepherds. The Church in itself, its sole salvific role as the one, true and complete Christian faithalso in relation to ecumenism among other divnitus, in relation to the genttes world, renewal of consecrated life, liturgical disciplines, etc.

In an ad limina address to a group of bishops inPope John Paul II appealed to the Church in the United States divinitks recapture its missionary spirit: But it is not enough that the Christian people be present and be organized in a given nation, nor is it enough to carry out an apostolate by way of example.

Teaching the Spirit of Mission Ad Gentes: Continuing Pentecost Today

Similarly, the [Catholic] Church. Let him be convinced that obedience is the hallmark of the servant of Christ, who redeemed the human race by His obedience. What exactly is mission?