DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     September 28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 184


To print out entire text of Today's issue,
      Every day we present a short point that helps bring into focus the treasures of the Roman Catholic Church that comprise the great Deposit of Faith.

      It is no secret that over the past thirty years fewer and fewer know their Faith and it shows with the declining number of vocations, parish participation and attendance at Holy Mass. We have the new Catechism of the Catholic Church but for the common man, the one brought up on sound bites and instant gratification, it is more of a text book and that in itself prompts them to shy away from such a tome. So what's a loyal Catholic to do in evangelizing to fellow Catholics and understand their Faith? Our answer: go back to basics - to the great Deposit of Faith. We have the Baltimore Catechism which, for unknown and ridiculous reasons, was shelved after Vatican II. We have the Holy Bible but there are so many newer versions that the Douay-Rheims and Confraternity Latin Vulgate in English versions, the ones used for so long as the official Scriptural text authorized by the Church, seem lost in a maze of new interpretations that water down the Word. This is further complicated by the fact there are so few Douay-Rheims editions in circulation though it is available on the net at DOUAY-RHEIMS BIBLE. We have so many Vatican documents available at the Vatican web site and other excellent Catholic resource sites that detail Doctrine, Dogma and Canon Law. We have the traditions, and the means of grace but how do we consolidate all these sources into one where it is succinct and easy to understand? We have the perfect vehicle. It is called "My Catholic Faith", now out of print, that was compiled by Bishop Louis Laravoire Morrow and published by My Mission House. This work ties in Scriptural references, the Sacraments, Dogmas, Doctrines, Traditions, Church documents, Encyclical and Papal decrees to clearly illustrate the Faith in simple, solid and concise terms that all can understand and put into practice. We will quote from this work while adding in more recent events and persons when applicable since the book was written in the late forties during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. We also quote from the Catholic Almanac published by Our Sunday Visitor for the Roman Curial offices.

    Nothing in Holy Mother Church's teaching has changed and therefore we feel confident that these daily "points of enlightenment" will help more Catholics better understand their faith, especially those who were not blessed with early formation of the faith in the home and their parish school. Regardless of where any Catholic is in his or her journey toward salvation, he or she has to recognize that the Faith they were initiated into at the Sacrament of Baptism is the most precious gift they have been given in life.


The Pontifical Councils
part four

        Having covered the nine Sacred Congregations, and the three Tribunals in the Roman Curia, today we complete our four-part series on the Pontifical Councils with the final part, featuring the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. These councils or dicasteries oversee different aspects of the life of the Church and her relations with the realities of the world. The concept of Pontifical Councils is relatively new, having been introduced by Pope Paul VI but truly defined by our present Vicar of Christ Pope John Paul II.

  • Pontifical Council for Culture

       This council's responsibilities are to promote the Vatican's and the entire Church's relations with the world in respect culture and establishing dialogue with to unbelievers providing they are open to discussion and the process of cooperation. There are two sections within this council which are 1) faith and culture, and 2) dialogues with cultures. Attached to this council is the Coordinating Council for Pontifical Academies which are being established throughout the world, the most recent in Denver. The President of this Council is Cardinal Paul Poupard who we featured last Friday in COLLEGE OF CARDINALS and who was lauded at the most recent Venice Film Festival for his input and the Church's regarding various cultures and the role of the film industry.

        This council was first established on April 9, 1965 by Paul VI as the Secretariat for Non-Believers in the aftermath of Vatican II. On May 20, 1982 Pope John Paul II merged the Pontifical Council for Culture with Paul VI's Secretariat mentioned earlier, establishing it as an authentic council and expanded its responsibilities to its current status in his Motu Proprio of March 25, 1993.

  • Pontifical Council for Social Communications

       This council is headed by Archbishop John Patrick Foley of Philadelphia as President. He was elevated to this position on April 5, 1984 replacing Cardinal Andrezej Deskur. This dicastery is responsible for being an instrument of social communication and a conduit of the message of salvation to all peoples. This council deals with civic cultures and mores the world over, promoting human progress in the overall scheme of the God's children.

        The origins of this Council date back to Pope Pius XII who, in 1948, created it for experimental purposes, constantly reorganizing and retooling until February 22, 1959 when his successor Pope John XXIII made it an offcial council. John Paul II gave it its present functions with his Motu Proprio of June 28, 1988.

      Tomorrow: the Roman Curia: Offices

September 28, 1999       volume 10, no. 184


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