Pope St. John Paul II marked the 25th anniversary of the decree of Vatican II Ad gentes, with his encyclical Redemptoris Missio on the missionary mandate of the Church. The Pope calls for a new impetus in the missionary work of the Church, a Church who is ‘missionary by her very nature’.
Respect for what is good in other religions should not stop the Church from proclaiming Christ as the “the only one able to reveal God and lead to God.” He says,
“’For if I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!’ (1 Cor 9:16) In the name of the whole Church, I sense an urgent duty to repeat this cry of St Paul. From the beginning of my Pontificate I have chosen to travel to the ends of the earth in order to show this missionary concern. My direct contact with peoples who do not know Christ has convinced me even more of the urgency of missionary activity, a subject to which I am devoting the present encyclical.”
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