On inculturation and the liturgy

Read the reflections of Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses on the pressing need for the liturgy to be inculturated.


A reminder of what our Catechetical Framework says in part about inculturation and catechesis:

All human beings, created in the image and likeness of the Triune God, are of their nature essentially relational and social. Therefore, the truth of the Gospel cannot be communicated except through the socio-cultural context in which real people actually live. There can be no such thing as an a-cultural articulation of the faith. “Since catechesis always occurs within a social and cultural context, catechists must carefully consider both the integrity of the Christian message they announce and the particular circumstances in which they announce it” (NDC 14).

The prototypical example of this inculturated expression of the Gospel is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ himself. “The Word of God became man, a concrete man, in space and time and rooted in a specific culture” (GDC 109). Those engaged in the ministry of catechesis are called to follow this divine pedagogy and articulate the Gospel message by means of the actual socio-cultural reality in which those to whom the catechesis is directed find themselves. “Evangelization loses much of its force and effectiveness if it does not take into consideration the actual people to whom it is addressed, if it does not use their language, their signs and symbols, if it does not answer the questions they ask, and if it does not have an impact on their concrete life” (EN 63).