12. True to the teaching and example of her divine Founder, who cited the preaching of the Gospel to the poor as a sign of His mission, (12) the Church has never failed to foster the human progress of the nations to which she brings faith in Christ. Besides erecting sacred edifices, her missionaries have also promoted construction of hospitals, sanitariums, schools and universities. By teaching the native population how to take full advantage of natural resources, the missionaries often protected them from the greed of foreigners.
We would certainly admit that this work was sometimes far from perfect, since it was the work of men. The missionaries sometimes intermingled the thought patterns and behavior patterns of their native land with the authentic message of Christ. Yet, for all this, they did protect and promote indigenous institutions; and many of them pioneered in promoting the country's material and cultural progress.
We need only mention the efforts of Pere Charles de Foucauld: he compiled a valuable dictionary of the Tuareg language, and his charity won him the title, "everyone's brother." So We deem it fitting to praise those oft forgotten pioneers who were motivated by love for Christ, just as We honor their imitators and successors who today continue to put themselves at the generous and unselfish service of those to whom they preach the Gospel.