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New Evangelization requires new dedication, not new programs: Archbishop Fisichella

Catholic World News - August 09, 2012

Speaking at a conference in Sydney, Australia, the president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization observed: “We cannot conduct a new evangelization without new evangelizers.”

Archbishop Salvatore (Rino) Fisichella, keynoting a conference on the New Evangelization, said that the effort requires not new structures or programs, but a new dedication by all Catholics. “The proclamation of the Gospel cannot be delegated to others,” he said. “Rather, it requires the awareness specific to the believer that he or she is to be a bearer of Christ wherever they go.”

It is a mistake, the archbishop said, to see the New Evangelization purely as a response to “strong pressure from secularism.” Without denying the reality of that pressure, he said that the primary motive for evangelization has never changed. The Church, he said, “wishes to be obedient and faithful to the word of the Lord Jesus, who commanded her to go into the whole world and to bring his Gospel to every creature.”

Archbishop Fisichella asked his audience to recognize the “very special link between the new evangelization and the liturgy.” Particularly at baptisms and funerals, he said, the liturgy offers an opportunity to present and promote the faith. He asked: “How many people ‘indifferent’ to religion take part in such ceremonies, and how many people are present at them who often are searching for a genuine spirituality?”

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