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Responding ro the promptings of John XXIII and building upon the momentum generated by the Second Vatican Council (Rome, 1962-5), the years 1962.-8 witnessed in Latin America the increasing utilisation of the Pastoral Plan (piano de pastoral),11 The pastoral plan was designed to maximise the use of limited ecclesiastical resources via a coordinated and informed approach to the pastoral terrain in which the church was seeking to work,11 With regards to Brazil and our present purposes, the two most influential pastoral plans were the Piano de Emergencia (Emergency Plan, 1962-3) and the Piano de Pastoral de Gonjunto (Joint Pastoral Plan, 1966-70).13 Making use of the latest sociological research undertaken in Latin America and Europe, and guided by the ongoing ecclesiological paradigm shift being effected at the Second Vatican Council, both pastoral plans endeavoured to adapt the Church in Brazil to its rapidly mutating context/4

In broad terms, both sociological and ecclesiological developments converged upon the theme of community. In relation to ecclesiological concerns, Vatican IPs stress upon the Church as living organism and the pilgrim people of God {Lumen Gentium, 9^17) placed emphasis upon the mutual dependence of the different parts of the ecclesial community, as well as its assorted individual participants.15 Consequently, the status and participation of the laity within the formal ecclesial arena became important, as the themes of interdependence, co-responsibility and equality were stressed (Lumen Gentium, 2, 10-12, 31-2, 37; Ad Gentes Divinitus, 21)- Likewise, the significance of the local church as the point in which the individual is inserted into the ecclesial realm was underlined {Lumen Gentium, 13, 23, 26; Ad Gentes Divinitus, 4, 8, 22), In keeping with the above themes, the ecclesiastical hierarchy were concerned to ensure that the laity be given a greater role within and access to the liturgical rites of the Church. As such, ratican II called for these rites to be simplified, chiefly in the language of

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