Evangelization and Social Teaching of The Church
Fragment of the document produced by the Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. It belongs to article one: The nature of the social teaching of the Church of the Compendium of Social Doctrine.

Author: François-Xavier Nguyên Cardinal Van Thuân, President of the Pontifical Council Justice and Peace | Source:

33. The "new evangelization", of which the modern world has an urgent need and on which I have insisted on more than one occasion, must include among its essential elements the announcement of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which, as in the times of Leo XIII, remains ideal to indicate the straight path when it comes to responding to the great challenges of the contemporary age, as the discredit of ideologies grows. As then, it must be repeated that there is no real solution for the "social issue" outside the Gospel and that, on the other hand, "new things" can find in it their own space of truth and due moral approach. 

(Centesimus Annus, N. 5) 


34. What counts here, as in every sector of Christian life, is the trust that springs from faith, that is, the certainty that we are not the protagonists of the mission, but Jesus Christ and his spirit. We are only collaborators and, when we have done all we can, we must say: "Useless servants are; we have done what we should do "(Lc 17, 10). 

(Redemptoris Missio, N. 36) 


35. I want to propose now a "rereading" of the encyclical Leoniana, inviting "to take a retrospective look" at its own text, to discover again the richness of the fundamental principles formulated in it, in order to the solution of the worker question.... In this way, not only will the permanent value of such teachings be confirmed, but also the true meaning of the tradition of the Church, which, always alive and always vital, builds on the foundation laid by our fathers in the faith and , singularly, on which it has been "transmitted by the Apostles to the Church" (Saint Ireneo, Adversary Haereses I, 10), in the name of Jesus Christ, the foundation that no one can replace (cf. 1 Cor 3, 11). 

(Centesimus Annus, N. 3) 


36. The presentation of the Gospel message is an optional contribution to the Church. It is a duty that concerns you because of the mandate of the Lord Jesus, so that all men can believe and be saved. This message, indeed, necessary is unique. It cannot be supplemented. 

(Evangelii Nuntiandi, N. 5) 


37. We have been sent. We are sent: to be at the service of life is not for us a motive of vainglory, but a duty, born from the consciousness of being the people acquired by God to announce their praises (cf. 1 Pt 2, 9). On our way we guide and uphold the law of love: love whose source and model is the Son of God made man, who "dying has given life to the world" (cf. Roman Missal, prayer before communion). We are sent as a people. The commitment to the service of life obliges each and every one. It is a proper "ecclesial" responsibility, which requires the concerted and generous action of all the members and all the structures of the Christian community. However, the community mission does not eliminate or diminish the responsibility of each person, to whom the mandate of the Lord to "become neighbor" of each man is directed: "Go away and do the same" (Lk 10, 37). 

(Evangelium Vitae, N. 79) 


38. All together we feel the duty to proclaim the Gospel of life, to celebrate it in the liturgy and in all existence, to serve it with the various initiatives and structures of support and promotion. 

(Evangelium Vitae, N. 79) 



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