The mission 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:

7. Born of the love of the Eternal Father, founded in time by Christ the Redeemer, gathered in the Holy Spirit, the Church has an eschatological and salvation purpose, which only in the future world can attain fully. It is present here on earth, formed by men, that is to say, members of the earthly city who have the vocation to form in the own history of the human race the family of the children of God, who must go on increasing without ceasing until the coming of the Lord. United certainly for reasons of eternal goods and enriched by them, this family has been "constituted and organized by Christ as a society in this world" (cf. Efe 1, 3; 5, 6, 13-14, 23) and is endowed with "the appropriate means of a visible and social union". In this way, the Church, "visible social entity and spiritual community" (LG, N. 8), advances together with all humanity, experiences the earthly luck of the world, and its reason to be is to act as a ferment and as a soul of society, which must be renewed in Christ and to become a family of God. 

(Gaudium et Spes, N. 40) 


8. The teaching and dissemination of this social doctrine is part of the evangelizing mission of the Church. And since it is a doctrine that must orient the behavior of the people, it has as article One the Nature of the Social Teaching of the Church consequence the "commitment for the justice" according to the function, vocation, and circumstances of each one. To the exercise of this ministry of evangelization in the social field, which is an aspect of the prophetic function of the Church, belongs also the denounce of the ills and injustices. But it should be clarified that the announcement are always more important than the complaint, and that it cannot do without it, which gives it its true consistency and the strength of its highest motivation. 

(Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, N. 41) 


9. We confess that the Kingdom of God initiated here in the Church of Christ is not of this world, whose figure passes, and that its own growth cannot be confused with the progress of the civilization, of the science or of the human técnia, but consists in knowing every time more and more deeply the unfathomable riches of Christ, in waiting for ever more and more forcefully the eternal goods, to correspond more and more ardently to the love of God, to dispense more and more abundantly the grace and the holiness among the men. It is this same love that drives the Church to constantly worry about the true temporal good of men. Incessantly reminding their children that they do not have a permanent abode in this world, it also encourages them, in conformity with the vocation and means of each one, to contribute to the good of their earthly city, to promote justice, peace and fraternity among men. To lavish aid to his brethren, in particular to the poorest and most unfortunate (Paul VI, Creed of the people of God, N. 27). 

(Libertatis Nuntius, Conclusion) 


10. As the Church has entrusted the manifestation of the mystery of God, which is the ultimate goal of man, the Church discovers with it the meaning of one's existence, that is, the deepest truth about the human being. The Church is well aware that only God, whom she serves, responds to the deepest aspirations of the human heart, which is never fully satiated by only ground foods. 

(Gaudium et Spes, N. 41) 


11. That is why the Church, enriched with the gifts of his Founder, faithfully observing his precepts of charity, humility and selflessness, he receives the mission of announcing the Kingdom of Christ and of God, of establishing it in the midst of all the people, and constitutes on earth the germ and the beginning of this kingdom. As she grows little by little, she longs for the consummate Kingdom, waits with all her strength, and desires ardently to join her King in glory. 

(Lumen Gentium, N. 5)


12. The Church, as we know, does not exist in isolation from the world. It lives in the world and its members, therefore, are influenced and guided by the world. They breathe their culture; they are subject to their laws and adopt their customs. Intimate contact with the world is often the subject of problems for the Church, and in the present tense, these problems are extremely acute. The Christian life, motivated and preserved by the Church, must be taken care of all that can be motive of deceit, pollution or restriction of its freedom. And it must be taken care of as if it seeks to immunize itself from the contagion of error and evil. On the other hand, the Christian life must not only adapt to the forms of thought and behavior that the temporal environment offers and imposes it when they are compatible with the essential demands of its religious or moral program, but must seek to approach it , purify it, ennoble it, vivify it, sanctify it. 

(Ecclesiam Suam, N. 37) 


13. The Church offers men the Gospel, a prophetic document that responds to the demands and aspirations of the human heart and is always "Good News." The Church cannot fail to proclaim that Jesus came to reveal the face of God and to attain salvation for all men through the cross and the resurrection. 

(Redemptoris Missio, N. 11) 


14. Everything that is human belongs to us. We have in common with all humanity nature, that is to say, life with all its gifts, with all its problems. We are soon to share this first universality, to accept the deep demands of its fundamental needs, to applaud the new and sometimes sublime claims of his genius. And we have moral, vital truths that must be highlighted and that must be corroborated in the human conscience, for all beneficial. Wherever man seeks to understand himself and the world, we can unite with him. 

(Ecclesiam Suam, N. 91) 



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