Vatican Official: New Evangelization Not Just for Europe
Conference Highlights Jesus' Call to Bring Relief to the Suffering
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By Antonio Gaspari
ROME, NOV. 23, 2011 (Zenit.org).- There is a global perspective to the new evangelization, says the Vatican official heading the council dedicated to this mission. It is more than re-enkindling the faith in Europe.
Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, said this at the conclusion of a "Europe and the New Evangelization" seminar held Tuesday in Rome.
The meeting was organized jointly by the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the European bishops' united efforts.
Archbishop Fisichella explained that the new evangelization is necessary to respond to the anthropological, ethical and social crisis caused by the neglect of God.
According to the Vatican official, the enthusiasm of a faith that embraces reason is the key for a rebirth in truth and liberty of the whole world.
In this connection, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pope's secretary of state, stressed that for "baptized persons whose faith is extinguished and who are no longer practicing, the Gospel must be proclaimed with new ardor, new methods and new expressions."
Cardinal Bertone said it is the time to rediscover the "first love," that is "reflected in the immense love that God the Father has shown for us by giving us his Son," because that "first love" is the force that moves the hearts and steps of so many new evangelizers: individuals, families, communities, ecclesial movements.
Cardinal Péter Erdõ, president of the CCEE, said that although it seems that secularization prevails, "through her doctrine, art and liturgy, the Church offers the world a look at the Mystery of God capable of opening the human heart and reason."
And he added, "evangelization passes always and necessarily through charity lived daily," because charity "is a sign of the presence and love of Christ."
"In the call to the new evangelization," Cardinal Erdõ concluded, "Christians are challenged by Jesus and the Church and also by the cry of persons seeking meaning for their life, to commit themselves to bring relief to all those suffering in soul and body."