Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Ad Gentes (Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church)

December 7, 1965

Ad Gentes (Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church) is a decree released during the Second Vatican Council that announces the Catholic Church's commitment to bringing the Gospel to all people. (The name Ad Gentes comes from the Latin translation of Jesus' exhortation of the apostles to "go forth.") It establishes evangelization as one of the fundamental missions of the Catholic Church and reaffirms the tie between evangelization and charity for the less-fortunate. Ad Gentes also calls for the formation of strong lay groups, as well as strong relations with other Christians. Finally, it lays out guidelines for the training and actions of the missionaries.

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