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The new pontifical council: a bureaucratic solution?

Catholic World News - December 14, 2010

In a typically perceptive column, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter notes that Pope Benedict XVI has, on a number of occasions, voiced his skepticism about the effectiveness of bureaucratic structures around the Vatican. Why then, Allen wonders, has the Pope entrusted the important task of the “new evangelization” to yet another Vatican office: the newly minted Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization?

In an interview with the first president of the new dicastery, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, Allen pushes hard for an explanation of how a single small office can pursue a worldwide task. The archbishop’s responses are revealing. For instance, when asked about specific initiatives his office will undertake, Archbishop Fisichella responds:

One first step is that after Christmas, we’ll have a conference with several specialists to clarify the concept of the “new evangelization.”

So the first task is to figure out exactly what the task is? Not encouraging.

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