Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

6/29/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Many Catholics do not know what the Church actually teaches

Pope Benedict said he wanted to give the new Pontifical Council the task of promoting a renewed evangelization in countries with deep Christian roots which are now experiencing a sense of the 'eclipse of God' and becoming increasingly secularized.The Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization will be tasked with evangelizing countries where the Gospel was announced centuries ago, but where its presence in peoples' daily life seems to be all but lost.

The Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization will be tasked with evangelizing countries where the Gospel was announced centuries ago, but where its presence in peoples' daily life seems to be all but lost.

The Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization will be tasked with evangelizing countries where the Gospel was announced centuries ago, but where its presence in peoples' daily life seems to be all but lost.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/29/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in Europe


ROME (Catholic Online) - The first of numerous reports which I read concerning the formation of a Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization was from Andrea Tornielli of the Italian Daily Il Giornale. That report was picked up by John L. Allen, Jr. who wrote these words in an April 25, 2010 article for the National Catholic Reporter:

"According to a report from a well-connected Italian Vatican writer, Pope Benedict XVI will shortly announce the creation of a "Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.The office will be dedicated to rekindling the faith in the developed West, above all Europe and North America."

Then the reports began to multiply. The ever reliable Rocco Palmo, in his excellent blog for all things Roman Catholic entitled "Whispers in the Loggia" later reported that  " The office's genesis came from two prominent exponents of the "new movement" closest to Benedict, Comunione e Liberazione; the late CL founder Msgr Luigi Giussani proffered the idea to John Paul II as far back as the early 1980s, and the thought was recently revived to Benedict by the movement's highest-profile ally after the Pope, the patriarch of Venice Cardinal Angelo Scola."

On Monday, June 28, 2010 Vatican Radio confirmed that all of these reports were accurate. Pope Benedict XVI officially announced the establishment of a new Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. He did so on the Vigil of the great Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul. The Vigil took place, as is the custom, at Rome's Basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls:

"Pope Benedict announced the creation of a New Pontifical Council dedicated to the New Evangelization on Monday evening. Pope Benedict chose the Church of the first great Christian missionary - St. Paul - to announce a new Pontifical Council dedicated to the evangelization of secularized Christian nations.

"The Pope was celebrating the Vespers of the Vigil of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul in the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. During his homily, he spoke of how his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, had urgently proclaimed a new evangelization, aimed at countries which had long before received the Gospel.

"Pope Benedict said he received this legacy upon his own election to the Chair of Peter, and noted the challenges of the present time are mostly spiritual. He said he wanted to give the new Pontifical Council the task of promoting a renewed evangelization in countries with deep Christian roots which are now experiencing a sense of the "eclipse of God", and becoming increasingly secularized.

"He said this situation presents a challenge in finding the appropriate means in which to revive the perennial truth of the Gospel of Christ."

The term "New Evangelization" is a favorite of Pope Benedict XVI - as it was of his predecessor, the Venerable John Paul II.  There is a desperate need for such a new evangelization in the secularized Western world. Many Catholics do not know what the Church actually teaches. Some have embraced what is often called a "cafeteria Catholicism"- choosing what parts of their faith they will follow. Others bearing the title Christian profess the Creed but confine its influence only to recitation at the Liturgy on Sunday.

This is exactly what was warned of by the fathers of the Second Vatican Council and called the "greatest error of our age, the separation between faith and life." The result of the rejection of the very existence of objective truth was referred to by Pope Benedict XVI in his first homily as a "Dictatorship of Relativism".  The contemporary culture has clearly lost its way, throwing off almost every remnant of Christian influence. It has embraced a "new" paganism; which is just the old paganism dressed up in the sophistry of an age that purports to be "enlightened" when it is desperately lost.

The embrace of license over liberty, death over life, and the abuse of the goods of the earth over responsible stewardship, are all fueled by a counterfeit notion of freedom as a raw power over others and the accompanying delusion that "freedom" implies some feigned "right" to choose even what is wrong. The United States (which consistently polls as one of the most "religious" of the Nations of the West) demonstrates little evidence of the influence of the Christian faith in its daily life.  The principles derived from any past influence of that faith are no longer respected in its increasingly coarsened culture of death and materialism.

"Religion" is acceptable as long as it is kept "private". Yet, of all religious expressions, Christianity can never be "kept private". The Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ is profoundly public. Christian faith may be personal but evangelization and mission are at its core. 

Christianity proclaims a God who loves the world that He created so much that He wrote the universal laws governing all men and women into the fabric of a Natural Law which can be known through the exercise of reason.

This God who fashioned us also made us to reflect Him through the way we exercise our capacity for freedom, our ability to choose. He invites us to choose what is good, right and true. Christians proclaim that there is an objective truth. Truth is truth for all men and women. The new pagans find such a claim offensive. However, its reassertion by a renewed Church is a vital part of this "New Evangelization."
 
Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor Pope John Paul II both noted what is obvious, many cultures, formerly infused with a Christian culture, are now "post-Christian" and need to be "re- evangelized." This is the mission of the "New Evangelization." When the late John Paul visited the Americas, just before the turn of the third millennium; he addressed this challenge in a letter entitled "To the Church in America" with these words:

"The new Evangelization calls for a clearly conceived, serious, and well organized effort to evangelize culture. The Son of God, by taking upon Himself our human nature, became incarnate within a particular people, even though His redemptive death brought redemption to all people, of every culture, race and condition. The gift of His Spirit and His love are meant for each and every people and culture, in order to bring them all into unity after the perfect unity existing in the Triune God" (Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia in America, 70).

This "New Evangelization" calls all members of the Church to live out our baptismal vocation through lives of sacrificial service at the heart of the Church, for the sake of the world. It is a call to the transformation of culture.  Since the Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church the consistent teaching concerning the importance of missionary activity has been that the Church is by nature missionary and that every baptized Christian participates in her missionary activity.

The Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization will be tasked with evangelizing countries where the Gospel was announced centuries ago, but where its presence in peoples' daily life seems to be all but lost. Europe, the United States and Latin America would be among the major areas of influence of the mission of this vital new effort.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Europe

Pope Francis and St Augustine Speak to Bishops

Image of Francis encouraged these men, called to be shepherds of the flock of Christ, to be men of courage. He charged them to overcome the initial fears which can accompany the daunting task entrusted to them by the Lord and His Church.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

This week, Pope Francis met with all of the Bishops who received their appointments in the past year. They are all participating in a training session which is held at the Vatican every year. Francis, the Bishop of Rome, told his brothers they were  - the ... continue reading


Pope hailed as 'pontiff of the poor' by noted Greek atheist and leftist leader Watch

Image of Alexis Tsipras, Greece's opposition leader and a renowned atheist and leftist, met with Pope Francis as part of starting a dialogue between the Church and leftists in Europe.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Alexis Tsipras, a radical leftists and self-described atheist-as well as Greece's opposition leader-has hailed Pope Francis as the "pontiff of the poor" after a meeting at the Vatican. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Tsipras, one of the loudest critics of ... continue reading


New apostolic constitution to overhaul Vatican drawn up by Council of Cardinals Watch

Image of The nine cardinals will help advise the Pope on the reform of the Vatican's organization and church governance. Discussions are reportedly now more

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis' international Council of Cardinals have begun a first draft of a new apostolic constitution intended to reform Vatican bureaucracy. Appointed by Pope Francis, the so-called "C-9" of nine cardinal members held its sixth meeting this week. LOS ... continue reading


Until death 'til they part - and then some! Skeletons hold hands for centuries Watch

Image of The skeletons were placed together in this position, as there was enough room in the grave to have them buried apart, according to Vicki Score, ULAS project manager.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was a remarkable find - and a reminder on how love can last past the grave. Two skeletons, holding hands centuries after their passing, were discovered in an old, British churchyard. Fingers still entwined, the couple was found in a site that overlooks the ... continue reading


Who was the mysterious third tribe that formed gene pool with primitive Europeans? Watch

Image of Hunter-gatherers arrived in Europe thousands of years before the advent of agriculture. These hunters took shelter in the south during the Ice Age and then expanded during a period called the Mesolithic, after the ice sheets had retreated from central and northern Europe.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers at Harvard medical School have definitely linked at least three tribes that combined to create Europeans of 7,000 years ago. Scientists say that blue-eyed hunters with olive skin mingled with brown-eyed, fair-completed farmers as these tillers swept ... continue reading


Shakespearean villain Richard III died from battle wounds Watch

Image of King Richard III suffered a total of 11 wounds around the time of his death. According to analysis, Richard suffered nine wounds to his skull and two to the rest of his body.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Classical Shakespearean villain and colorful historical figure King Richard III died from a particularly brutal blow to the skull he suffered in battle. A forensic analysis of his skeleton gave scientists' clues to his final moments. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Millions displaced from homes due to natural disasters Watch

Image of Last year, seasonal floods caused significant displacements in sub-Saharan Africa, notably in Niger, Chad, Sudan and South Sudan, countries also affected by conflict and drought.

By Laura Onita, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Almost 22 million people were forced to flee their homes due to natural disasters last year and the numbers uprooted could increase as urban populations grow, a refugee agency said on Wednesday. (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The majority were in Asia, where 19 million ... continue reading


Pope Francis invites Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet with him Watch

Image of It's not yet known how Chinese President Xi Jinping will respond to Pope Francis' request for a special meeting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has reportedly invited the President of China, Xi Jinping to meet with him, either in the Vatican or Beijing. The pontiff wants to speak to the president in order to build a lasting global peace, which the Pope says is engaged in a "piecemeal" ... continue reading


Marriage and Holiness: Pope Marries Twenty Couples on the Exaltation of the Cross Watch

Image of One of the twenty couples who exchanged their vows in the presence of Pope Francis

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Much of the Press, including circles of the Catholic Press, focused on the unique path which some of the couples followed to the Sacrament of Marriage; even though they had all arrived at the Altar, offering their love to the Source of all true Love, for ... continue reading


Pope Francis Gives Impassioned Plea for an End to War: What Does it Matter to Me? Watch

Image of Pope Francis walks inside the Austro-Hungarian cemetery at Fogliano in Redipuglia September 13, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

By Catholic Online

With this - What does it matter to me?-  in their hearts, the merchants of war perhaps have made a great deal of money, but their corrupted hearts have lost the capacity to cry.  That - What does it matter to me?- prevents the tears.  Cain did not ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 55:6-9
6 Seek out Yahweh while he is still to be found, call ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
2 Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 1:20-24, 27
20 all in accordance with my most confident hope and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 21st, 2014 Image

St. Matthew
September 21: St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter