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310

Part Two

Liturgy and culture

1204

The celebration of the liturgy, therefore, should corre-

spond to the genius and culture of the different peoples.

70

In order

that the mystery of Christ be “made known to all the nations . . . to

bring about the obedience of faith,”

71

it must be proclaimed, cele-

brated, and lived in all cultures in such a way that they themselves

are not abolished by it, but redeemed and fulfilled:

72

It is with and

through their own human culture, assumed and transfigured by

Christ, that the multitude of God’s children has access to the Father,

in order to glorify him in the one Spirit.

1205

“In the liturgy, above all that of the sacraments, there is an

immutable part,

a part that is divinely instituted and of which the

Church is the guardian, and parts that

can be changed,

which the

Church has the power and on occasion also the duty to adapt to

the cultures of recently evangelized peoples.”

73

1206

“Liturgical diversity can be a source of enrichment, but it

can also provoke tensions, mutual misunderstandings, and even

schisms. In this matter it is clear that diversity must not damage

unity. It must express only fidelity to the common faith, to the

sacramental signs that the Church has received from Christ, and to

hierarchical communion. Cultural adaptation also requires a con-

version of heart and even, where necessary, a breaking with ances-

tral customs incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

74

IN BRIEF

1207

It is fitting that liturgical celebration tends to express itself

in the cultureof thepeoplewhere theChurchfindsherself,

though without being submissive to it. Moreover, the

liturgy itself generates cultures and shapes them.

1208

The diverse liturgical traditions or rites, legitimately rec-

ognized, manifest the catholicity of the Church, because

they signifyandcommunicate the samemysteryofChrist.

1209

The criterion that assures unity amid the diversity of

liturgical traditions is fidelity to apostolic Tradition, i.e.,

the communion in the faith and the sacraments received

from the apostles, a communion that is both signified

and guaranteed by apostolic succession.

70 Cf.

SC

37-40.

71

Rom

16:26.

72 Cf.

CT

53.

73 John Paul II,

Vicesimus quintus annus,

16; cf.

SC

21.

74 John Paul II,

Vicesimus quintus annus,

16.

2684

854, 1232

2527

1125