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European bishops issue statement on new evangelization

Catholic World News - October 05, 2011

At the conclusion of its annual meeting, which took place this year in Albania, the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) issued a statement on the new evangelization.

“The new evangelization is a major concern for European bishops … consequently all kinds of work has already taken place: diocesan synods and reflection at the level of Bishops’ Conferences, the publication of documents (in almost every country), and many practical projects,” the bishops said, adding:

Evangelization is the manifestation of the Church’s life and vitality. It should not be understood simply as a pastoral activity, but as the manifestation of its very nature and mission. The new evangelization is not only aimed at Christians who have strayed from the faith, but at all. It seeks to proclaim Christ, true God and true man, crucified to bear every human grief, raised from the dead that we might have life.

Through their baptism, all believers are called to take part in the new evangelization: families; young people who are generally the most open to being missionaries; but also parishes, the movements, and new communities. Places of catechesis and Catholic schools must also be and become ever more places of evangelization. Finally, the sacraments are the privileged place of establishing this new evangelization.

There is also question of seeking new ways to evangelize, such as, for example, new technology, the internet, and social networking sites. But all this is only possible if, following the example of the Christians of the Acts of the Apostles, we open ourselves up in a new way to the Holy Spirit: there will be no new evangelization without a new Pentecost!

CCEE members also reelected Cardinal Péter Erdo, the Primate of Hungary, as their president and thanked Albanian government authorities for improved Church-state relations since the collapse of Communism.

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