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Truths of the Catholic Church series

Pontifical Councils

Laity || Family || Justice and Peace || Promoting Christian Unity || “Cor Unum” || Culture || Social Communications || Inter-Religious Dialogue || Legislative Texts || Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People || Health Pastoral Care

The Pontifical Council for Culture assists the Pope in matters concerning the encounter between the saving message of the Gospel and cultures; and in the study of the rift between the Gospel, cultures and indifference in matters of religion.

Culture is the language, ideas, beliefs, customs, institutions, tools, works of art, rituals, and ceremonies of a society. Culture is the total pattern of how a human thinks, speaks, acts and participates within a society and whose purpose is to educate future generations.

The laity are called to join with the Church in her mission of building the kingdom of Heaven, here on earth. This mission begins within the home, the first-cell of our society.  When this first-cell is infused with the life-blood of the Gospel, it creates the embryo of Christian society, our Christian Culture.

A society, which is at once, fully human and fully divine.

Today, Christian culture is increasingly being challenged by atheistic secularism. This form of secularism transforms the culture of society into a system in which all aspects of society – including man –are measured solely by its utility (usefulness) value.

It is a system with a belief that God and religion should be ignored or purposely excluded.

It is a system, which encourages abortion and euthanasia as a ‘personal expression of freedom’ and proclaims it good for the ‘dignity’ of the individual.  

It is a system which accepts this destruction of the individual on the basis of it being good for the greater society and/or the  ‘optimal utilization of limited resources’.

It is a system which is devoid of the true human dignity which nature bestows upon all, and preys on those who are most vulnerable: the weak, defenseless, hungry, impoverished, sick, elderly and the unborn.

To reinforce and expand the Christian culture which began within our homes, the laity must infuse a Christian spirit into the mental outlook and daily behavior of all people and into the laws and structures of the civil community.

St. Gianna Beretta Molla
















St. Gianna Beretta Molla

The 10th of 13 children, St Gianna (physician, wife and mother) had considered entering the convent, but felt that she was best able to serve God through her family and her career. She was a woman who wrote tender letters to her husband, followed fashion, went skiing in the Alps, posed for pictures with her children and she drove her blue Fiat a bit to fast.

Gianna knew and joyfully embraced the demands of balancing her obligations as a career woman, wife, and mother. In a letter to her future husband, Gianna wrote: I want a Christian family where God is like one of the family; where He can reign in our hearts, enlighten our decisions and guide our programmes I want to create a family with you, with many children, like the family in which I was raised."

When discussing her career, St Gianna said “Never forget the patient's soul…We have many opportunities which priests do not have. Jesus makes Himself seen in our midst.”

While pregnant with her 4th child, tumors were detected and she had to decide between her life and the child’s. Gianna chose that her child should live. In time, the disease had progressed to the point in which medicine could no longer help and St. Gianna died in 1962, one week after the birth of her daughter, Gianna Emanuala.

Of her mother, Gianna Emanuala said “My mother was holy not because she gave her life for me; her entire life was one, with God. She didn’t preach to others about praying every day, she just prayed, every day.”



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