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Pope Francis: The Church is catholic because of her respect for other peoples and cultures

During his General Audience, Pope Francis explained the need to “inculturate” the Gospel “in every time and place,” that is, applying the Gospel message to different peoples and cultures.   

He says that what gives the Church her catholic identity is not the “imposition of any one cultural model” but in the truths that reside in diverse societies. 

The Pope also asks Catholics to respond creatively proclaim the Gospel to all peoples, highlighting the Church's place in today's rapidly developing technological and media culture. 


Dear brothers and sisters, 

In our continuing catechesis on Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, we have seen that our new life of freedom in Christ comes as an unmerited gift of God’s grace through baptism, which makes us sharers in the Lord’s saving passion, death and resurrection. We have been set free by love, which becomes the new and supreme law of the Christian life. 

This Gospel message of our liberation is universal, addressed to all men and women, and to every people and culture. Indeed, the Gospel is meant to be “inculturated” in every time and place. 

The Church’s catholicity, her universality, is not found in uniformity of style or custom, or the imposition of any one cultural model, but in her respect for all that is good and true in each people and culture. 

As the Church seeks to inculturate the Gospel in contemporary culture, including today’s rapidly developing technological and media culture, may we respond creatively in proclaiming to all peoples the Good News of the freedom won for us by Christ the universal Saviour. 

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from the United States of America. In this month of October, through the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary, may we grow in the Christian freedom that we received at baptism. 

Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord. May God bless you!