Vatican II

Gaudium et Spes

10/10/2012 8:35 pm

Second Vatican Council: Gaudium et Spes

The first document that we’re looking at is Gaudium et Spes.


Gaudium et Spes: Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World

Gaudium et Spes affirms that the Church must read the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the Gospel. The Church does not exist alongside or apart from the world; the Church is part of the world and is called to engage with culture. Its mission is to serve the whole human family.

"…the Church has always had the duty of scrutinising the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. We must therefore recognise and understand the world in which we live, its expectations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics." GS 4

Gaudium et Spes on the Holy See's official website

Summary texts prepared by the Bishops' Conference Home Mission Desk.