WASHINGTON D.C., March 5, 2015—Marking the 50th promulgation anniversary of the pastoral Constitution “Gaudium et Spes”, Manila’s top churchman on Monday urged the Catholic faithful to propagate the Gospel by becoming agents of reconciliation and by being in solidarity with the poor and suffering.
“Come in contact with people of all walks of life as sign of respect for their dignity… We can start building a presence and become agents of reconciliation,” ,” Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said as he delivered the Cardinal Dearden Lecture at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Value of the human person
The cardinal noted that evangelization can be attained by engaging with people—whether in “families, including those where spouses practice different religious traditions, and in neighborhoods, the workplace, politics, and Christian and non-Christian religious communities.”
Tagle added that through Gaudium et Spes, “the council manifests the church’s amazement at the value and dignity of every human being.”
According to the prelate, the said Church document, from one perspective, could be considered “an ode of the Church to the beauty, the value of human person.”
“The (Second Vatican) council was very clear that it presents this teaching for no other reason than to evangelize. There is mission involved here,” he added.
“It is to share the good news. It is not so much to present a parallel government, a parallel economic system. It presents valuable insight coming from revelation and presents modest contribution to humanity as it searches for a better life, a better world,” he added.
Rapidly changing society
Gaudium et Spes (Latin: “Joy and Hope”), the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World released by Vatican II in December 1965, lays out the Church’s relationship to a rapidly changing society and engagement to the modern world.
The lecture, which was sponsored by the Catholic University’s School of Theology and Religious Studies, is held annually in honor of Cardinal John F. Dearden, archbishop of Detroit, for his role in spreading the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.
Tagle received his licentiate and doctorate in sacred theology in 1987 and 1991 respectively, both from the Catholic University. He also received an honorary doctoral degree in theology from the same institution in May 2014. (Jennifer M. Orillaza/CBCP News)