Background for Ad Gentes


Commission dealing with missions

  • Strong representation of religious orders
  • Looking at canon law and juridical issues of missionary activity

Preparatory Commission

  • Suggested drop a lot of what they had done because of overlap – LG and SC


New preparatory Commission

  • Lots of members from mission territories, and actual people from there rather than Europeans
  • Later representation of Latin America
  • Suggested merge with LG
  • 25% of fathers were missionary

2nd Period – intermission

  • LG being drafted in # 17 was a section on Church as Missionary – drafted by the commission on the missions
  • Jan 1964 new draft sent to fathers
  • Central Commission wanted to reduce everything to propositions – they did
  • Changed title to “on the missionary activity of the Church” to reduce scope, even though it expanded later

3rd Period

  • Suddenly introduced on council floor and special – pope paul VI came to ordinary session of council and he recommended the schema to the council but didn’t stay to the debate
  • A bishop said it was like dry bones that needed flesh and life
  • Cardinal Frinz said it needed a dedicated schema because of importance to be discussed in 4th
  • It was sent for revision – majority agreed

Editorial Committee

  • Many cardinals and experts (congar, ratzinger)
  • Met outside Rome to work on new draft
  • From 6 pages to 24 pages
  • Tensions:
    • Geographical territorial – canonical way of understanding missions, certain areas under propaganda
    • Congar/theologians- wanted more theological definitions based on Church as missionary in nature
  • Theologians won – biblical and pastoral and ecumenical and tied to LG, NOT an institutional approach to missions
    • Emphasis on Planta – planting a church in theological sense, building a new church in these mission territories
  • New schema sent – not much reaction over summer

4th Period

  • After 5 days (tedium and fatigue) voted on closure
  • Accepted on principle by majority?
  • Went back to revise schema
  • Connection with UR strengthened
  • Emphasized on particular churches to create a diocese
  • New vote:
    • All chapters received 2/3 majority except ch. 5 which included reorganization of Propaganda
    • 1700 Modi – back to drawing board
  • New Schema:
    • A body that represents the territories, head elected by bishop of missionary territories
  • Vote ALL Approved
  • Public session – 2394:5 Approved!
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