Challenges to inculturating the faith
68. The Christian substratum of certain peo-
ples – most of all in the West – is a living reality.
Here we find, especially among the most needy,
a moral resource which preserves the values of
an authentic Christian humanism. Seeing reality
with the eyes of faith, we cannot fail to acknowl-
edge what the Holy Spirit is sowing. It would
show a lack of trust in his free and unstinting
activity to think that authentic Christian values
are absent where great numbers of people have
received baptism and express their faith and soli-
darity with others in a variety of ways. This means
more than acknowledging occasional “seeds of
the word”, since it has to do with an authentic
Christian faith which has its own expressions and
means of showing its relationship to the Church.
The immense importance of a culture marked by
faith cannot be overlooked; before the onslaught
of contemporary secularism an evangelized cul-
ture, for all its limits, has many more resources
than the mere sum total of believers. An evan-
gelized popular culture contains values of faith
and solidarity capable of encouraging the devel-
opment of a more just and believing society, and
possesses a particular wisdom which ought to be
gratefully acknowledged.
69. It is imperative to evangelize cultures in or-
der to inculturate the Gospel. In countries of
Catholic tradition, this means encouraging, fos-
tering and reinforcing a richness which already
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