Appeared in Spring 1992, Vol. XVIII, No. 1

Amidst all the flutter in the press over the papal encyclical Centesimus Annus, an earlier encyclical of far greater theological significance has already been forgotten in most quarters. Redemptoris Missio, although initially acknowledged in the press and in Catholic publications, has not been given the attention it deserves. The world, of course, is far more interested in economics than the Church’s divine mission ad gentes.

The encyclical was issued on December 7, 1990 and is well worth a serious reading by theologians and all of Christ’s faithful.* It is a rather lengthy document given the complexities and vastness of the missionary field today. The encyclical is of particular importance because it deals with a number of theological errors and distortions which have weakened the once vibrant missionary outreach of the Roman Catholic Church.

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