Church's Duty Extends to "Everywhere and Always"
Pope Officially Decrees New Evangelization Council
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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 12, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is re-affirming a timeless truth: "The Church has the duty to proclaim always and everywhere the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
With this declaration, the Pope has officially created the newest dicastery of the Roman Curia, the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. "Ubicumque et Semper" (Everywhere and Always) was promulgated "motu proprio" and released today. The Sept. 21 document officially decrees the existence of the council, which the Holy Father had already announced June 28.
Citing Christ's command to his apostles and the Holy Spirit's action in the Church, the Pontiff affirmed that the "evangelizing mission, continuation of the work desired by the Lord Jesus, is for the Church necessary and irreplaceable, expression of her very nature."
The pontifical council is thus designed "to offer adequate answers so that the whole Church, allowing herself to be regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit, present[s] herself to the contemporary world with a missionary thrust capable of promoting a new evangelization," the document states.
This will not imply a single formula to be applied across the board, Benedict XVI clarified.
"The diversity of situations calls for careful discernment," he said. "[...] And yet, it is not difficult to realize what all the Churches need that live in traditionally Christian territories, which is a renewed missionary drive, expression of a new generous openness to the gift of grace. In fact, we cannot forget that the first task is to be docile to the gratuitous work of the Spirit of the Risen One, which supports all those who are bearers of the Gospel, and which opens the hearts of those who listen. Necessary above all to proclaim profoundly the Word of the Gospel is a profound experience of God."
The document goes on to delineate four articles, including one that lists five particular tasks:
-- to reflect on the theological and pastoral meaning of the new evangelization;
-- to promote and foster the study, diffusion and realization of the papal magisterium related to topics connected with the new evangelization;
-- to make known initiatives linked to the new evangelization already under way, availing of resources in consecrated and apostolic life and new ecclesial communities;
-- to study and foster the use of modern forms of communication, as instruments for the new evangelization;
-- to promote the use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as essential and complete formulation of the content of the faith for the men of our time.
The Pope reflected: "As I stated in my first encyclical 'Deus Caritas Est': 'Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.
"In a similar way, at the root of all evangelization there is not a human plan of expansion, but the desire to share the inestimable gift that God has willed to give us, making us sharers in his own life."
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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-30619?l=english