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Archbishop describes agenda of Pontifical Council for New Evangelization

Catholic World News - January 13, 2011

In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, discussed the background of the new dicastery and described its agenda.

The pontifical council, he said, has its roots in Blessed John XXIII’s famous opening address to the Second Vatican Council in which the Pontiff called for the unchanging faith to be presented in new ways to the contemporary world. A milestone in the years that followed was Pope Paul VI’s 1974 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, which the archbishop described as a “key document in the life of the Church.” Pope John Paul II “continued to focus on the new evangelization,” while Pope Benedict has set forth “the particular task of rethinking and implementing the new evangelization” in cooperation with bishops around the world.

Archbishop Fisichella said that the dicastery’s mission field is the secularized countries of the West. In the years before the next synod of bishops, which will be devoted to the new evangelization, the archbishop hopes to gain “a complete picture of the various initiatives-- and there are already so many-- in place in the Church. We know that there are very well organized groups and movements, born at the time of John Paul II, with the intent to promote and support the new evangelization.”

Citing evangelization efforts on US university campuses as well as Latin American and European apostolates, the archbishop said that

there is a wealth of lay movements that have as their purpose the new evangelization. There are diocesan pastoral plans designed for this purpose. But all this is rather fragmented. The first objective of the department, therefore, is to know the realities in the field in order to harmonize and support the efforts of all, overcoming fragmentation and fostering greater unity. The intent is to promote the complementarity of each group … working together, while respecting and enhancing the charism of each.

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  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Jan. 13, 2011 5:38 PM ET USA

    How about actually teaching and preaching the faith? They can start by returning sanity to catechetics. What was ever wrong with the Baltimore Catechism and hard hitting sermons about the reality of sin and hell? We are in this mess because many members of the Church simply lost their faith and stopped teaching it.

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