The Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses some of the temporal issues in regards to understanding Scripture (making reference to the Vatican II document Dei Verbum) in this section (particularly paragraphs 108 - 110):
And refers to geographic issues:
The Liturgy in the light of varying cultures
Although the church has always adapted itself to culture (witness all the pagan feasts that is has borrowed or “baptized”), I don’t recall a specific pronouncement regarding “changing” over time. Short declarations such as the one dqa quoted may be as close as you’re going to get on that issue.
When the first missionaries landed in China, they adapted the liturgy to Chinese cuture in many ways. Unfortunately, the Reformation rolling over Europe at that time stiffened the necks of some of the hierarchy and the missionaries were rebuked for making changes to the “Eternal Liturgy.” In the twentieth century, after initially starting out with the 400 year old views of the Counter-Reformation, missionaries in Africa and South America began to question those protocols and began pushing for more “on the ground” freedom to improvise. This attitude was given a boost in the wake of Vatican II. As far as I know, the increasingly reactionary Curia has not reversed that process, yet. (They have curtailed some specific practices that they felt went too far astray, but they have not required that those distant churches return to a tight compliance with Roman custom.)
(One of the big tests for the church’s ability to deal with “different geography” will be celibacy. In a number of cultures lacking the 1,900 year tradition of celibacy that Europe has experienced, there is a fairly open rejection of the concept–that may be manifested in priests taking wives and simply “not mentioning” it to their bishops or in priests actively campaigning to have the rule set aside for their locale. Conversely, greater participation for women–even short of the priesthood–may become an issue in locales that have not yet adapted Western attitudes toward the equality of women.)
Basically, there is an ongoing tension between those who view the church as eternal and unchanging and those who view the church as needing to express the eternal, unchanging message of salvation in ways that are more clearly understandable to specific people at specific times and specific places. Each “side” has won various battles at various times, with the major battles usually being won by those who proclaim “unchanging” values as those who proclaim “new understandings” chip away at the monolith, eventually winning their points despite losing all the big conflicts. Vatican II was one of the few open victories by the “new understanding” crowd (and the “eternal truths” bunch have been working to restore their dominance for the last 35 years).