In 2015 the Catholic Church is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second Vatican Council, a council that was a landmark in the two thousand years of the Churchs history. At the end of the Council, inspired by what was being done and said in the Council hall, some forty bishops from various countries of the world met in the Catacombs of Domitilla to sign what is today known as The Pact of the Catacombs, a text and programme that sets out the mission of the poor in the Church.
The spirit of the Pact of the Catacombs has guided some of the best Christian initiatives of the last fifty years, not only in Latin America, where it had particular impact, but throughout the Catholic Church, so that its witness (its inspiration and its text) have become one of the most influential and important signs of twentieth-century Catholicism.
2. The text
Introduction (Heinz Kulüke)
1. Church of the poor. One of the signatories of the Pact (Luigi Bettazzi)
2. A biblical pact. The Church of the poor in the New Testament (Xabier Pikaza)
3. The framers of the Pact. Origin, evolution and decline of the group called “the Church of the poor” (Joan Planellas Barnosell)
4. “For a Church of poverty and service”. The Pact of the Catacombs – a subversive legacy of Vatican II (Norbert Arntz)
5. The “Church of the Poor” did not Prosper at Vatican II (Jon Sobrino)
6. The Pact of the Catacombs. Implications for the Church’s mission (Stephen Bevans)
7. The Pact of the Catacombs and the Church in Africa (Mary-Noelle Ethel Ezeh)
8. Mission of the Church in an Indian Church of Poor People (Virginia Saldanha)
9. The Catacomb’s Pact is to Speak to Us Now (in China) (Paul Han)
10. Broadening the Pact. Egalitarian roots and backgrounds in Jesus’ movement (Mercedes Navarro
11. A pact for consecrated life. Return to the Gospel, prepare the future (José Antunes da Silva)