1964: Vatican II Commission on Gaudium et Spes

The Vatican II Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today (Gaudium et Spes) was drafted by a Commission of bishops and experts who worked from 1963-65 on a series of draft texts.

Over the course of this work, the document, which still lacked its final title, took on the name “Schema XIII” or “Schema 13.”

At at meeting from 17-20 October 1964, the Commission responsible for its drafting issued a series of instructions to the sub-commissions responsible for the compilation of the various sections of the draft document.

It was during this meeting that it was decided that the drafting of Schema XIII should follow the see-judge-act model:

“Dans toute la mesure du possible, chaque sous-commission devra :

– partir des faits ;

– porter un jugement chrétien, à la lumière de l’Evangile et de la tradition catholique, depuis les Pères jusqu’aux documents contemporains du magistère.

– indiquer des orientations concrètes d’action (aspect pastoral).”

English translation:

“As far as possible, each sub-commission should:

– start from the facts;

– make a Christian judgment in the light of the Gospel and Catholic Tradition from the Church Fathers to contemporary documents of the Magisterium;

– provide concrete orientations for action (pastoral aspect).”


Stefan Gigacz, Chapter 9, The Three Truths in Gaudium et Spes, The Leaven in the Council: Joseph Cardijn and the Jocist Network at Vatican II


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