164. The first step in the formation of any Christian community of catechesis must inevitably be the continuous exposition of the faith together with the proclamation of the Gospel. This is a matter of priority. It is not interchangeable with the need for pastoral concerns to develop a spirit of communication and dialogue with the various social and political Dimensions of reality or with the challenges of moral questions and questions of peace. The proclamation of the faith must be linked directly to pastoral and sociological concerns.
165. We must also welcome encounter with persons of other faiths, coexistence with pagans and respect for the diversity of cultures. In this situation, a certain openness to the ethos of other cultures can help us contribute to the learning and formation of the foreign cultures. I find this attitude already to be a very positive one. It is a willingness to dialogue and an openness to Spirit. This same attitude, precisely because it is open to Spirit, enables us to have a very concrete and specific awareness of the identity of the Universal Church and of our own identity as Catholics. In this way, it will be possible to develop an understanding of the role of evangelization in living together in a pluralist society.
166. This openness to the ethos of other cultures can also be of great benefit when we are faced with Christian minorities or with people who profess non-Christian religions. We must always analyze the situation of these people to ascertain how they live a faith which is in their own culture as well as in their own life, with their own spiritual choices. Such an open and generous approach enables us to move away from narrow and inappropriate views of “others” and puts us firmly on the path to justice.
167. With regard to other religions, in the case of Christianity, a certain prestige is attached to those religions which have attained a higher level of culture in their respective social and political contexts. This is due to the fact that they have been able to penetrate more deeply into the depths of their own national tradition and to maintain a wide culture which is intrinsically linked to its own ethnic and civilizational identity. d2c66b5586