Website Review: The Evangelical Catholic
A review based on: http://www.evangelicalcatholic.com
The Evangelical Catholic is a non-profit organization operating out of Madison, Wisconsin that seeks "to promote an evangelically Catholic spirituality and ministry within the Catholic Church." To this end, it sponsors conferences, offer training, and provide resources for an evangelical renewal within the Church.
The previous version of the website drew heavily from Protestant sources, giving users the overall impression that the evangelical nature of the site was of primary importance, while the Catholicity of the material was only secondary. The new site does not provide any links or sources that may be evaluated. However, Evangelical Catholic's description of their ministry continues to give an impression of a Protestant approach:
. . . a concrete method for bringing about the Evangelical Catholic Vision. Its goal is relational, not ideological, nurturing individuals and ecclesial communities in their relationship with Jesus and His body, the Church, through a focus on the priorities of the Evangelical Catholic Vision.
Basically they are saying that their purpose is to create a relationship with Jesus and the Church and not be concerned with ideas or beliefs. Nothing in their "Evangelical Catholic Vision" as stated on the website changes that impression:
EC vision is that the Catholic Church be experienced as a vibrant, evangelical movement. We work towards the renewal of individuals, campus ministries, and parishes through an emphasis on interior conversion, devotion to the Scriptures, formation in the habits of discipleship, intense Christian community, and a commitment to evangelization.
In fact, nothing in the description of their mission or in their vision would not be applicable to any Protestant faith. It seems that the whole emphasis is on "empowering" the laity to do the work of the ministry, but again the emphasis is on process and not on the concrete dogmas of the Faith. It is one thing to train evangelists, but one must wonder what they will teach the people they are trying to evangelize.
The Evangelical Catholic sponsors a yearly Institute featuring such speakers as Cardinal Avery Dulles and Archbishop Timothy Dolan. In 2005 and 2006 two people who hold dissident views were featured speakers. Fr. Jim Bacik, a proponent of women's ordination who believes abortion should not be criminalized, and Dr. William Portier, editor of "Creative Fidelity" which attacks the Church's teaching on contraception among other things.
Review Ratings what do these ratings mean?
First Evaluated: 12/15/2005; Last Updated: 01/21/2011
- Fidelity: Caution
- Resources: Good
- Useability: Normal
- Information on EC's services Resources
- Fidelity: CONNECTIONS, a movement to form Small Faith Communities Example(s)
- Fidelity: Program has a Protestant tone. Example(s)
- Fidelity: Fr. Jim Bacik was a speaker at the 2005 EC Institute. Example(s)
- Fidelity: Dr. William Portier was a speaker at the Reality Ministry 2006: EC Example(s)
CategoriesCatholicism > Evangelization
Catholicism > Spiritual Life
8505 Miller Road
Verona, Wisconsin 53593
NB: All reviews are current as of the Evaluation or Update Date cited above. If you notice that a review contains information that is no longer accurate, please contact us and we will be happy to amend our review.