VATICAN CITY, NOV 14, 2003 (VIS) - Today at midday in the Holy See Press Office, the 'vademecum' or handbook of the Catholic Cultural Centers, edited by the Pontifical Council for Culture, was presented. Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the dicastery, and Bishop Giuseppe Betori, secretary general of the Italian Episcopal Conference, spoke during the conference.
Cardinal Poupard said that the vademecum is the outcome of international meetings of the Catholic Cultural Centers 'in culturally and geographically homogenous areas.' These meetings began in 1993. 'On every occasion, in addition to offering our contribution to the promotion and development of the Catholic Cultural Centers, we listened carefully and considered the questions, needs, and expectations of each one of them. One of the first demands which was fully accepted was to create a way of communication to form a true network for these realities.'
'The Pontifical Council for Culture,' he continued, 'has published an international directory of all the Catholic Cultural centers,' which can be consulted on the dicastery's web site. The directory of Italian Cultural Centers has been published as a separate booklet.
The president of the dicastery explained that behind the denomination 'Catholic Cultural Center,' there are 'extremely diversified realities, characterized by many activities and interests' whose essential goal is 'to put the Christian faith in touch with culture and the cultures of our time, and with all related phenomena. Therefore, the relationship between faith and culture is the essential area in which all the Catholic Cultural Centers operate.'
'In order to bridge the gap between faith and culture, between the Gospel and daily experience, between the proclamation of Christ and the indifference and atheism of so many men and women of our time, the Church has made great steps, especially after the Vatican Council II and the appeal of Paul VI who in 'Evangelii nuntiandi' defined the fracture as the real drama of our age.' In addition to interventions by the Magisterium and pastors, he added, 'local action from the ground level is necessary, action which takes places locally, which values cultural traditions of every reality, which responds to the needs of a specific population.'
Bishop Betori spoke about the 'cultural project based on the Christian tradition,' which he said, 'is an initiative that the Italian Church has promoted for almost eight years and whose objective is to make a connection between the Gospel and culture.'
At present, he said, 'there are 341 registered cultural centers, 'which operate in Italy and collaborate in different ways with the national service for the cultural project.' The handbook which was presented today contains the addresses of these centers, as well as information on the 'general mission, the initiatives and cultural services they offer.' For more information, consult the web site: www.progettoculturale.it
Keys: ;CATHOLIC CULTURAL CENTERS;...;POUPARD; BETORI ;VIS;20031114;Word: 470;