Skip to comments.Evangelization: In with the 'new,' while maintaining the old
Posted on 05/30/2010 2:48:54 AM PDT by GonzoII
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Even as the Vatican prepares to add an agency to promote "new evangelization," the traditional forms of "old evangelization" -- missionary outreach in non-Christian lands -- are alive and well around the world.
More than one-third of local Catholic communities today are still in "mission territory," a geographical area that includes about three-fourths of the world's population. That explains why evangelization experts at the Vatican say the task of bringing the Gospel to non-Christians has barely begun.
The Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization has yet to be officially announced, but it is expected to focus on the task of re-evangelization among traditionally Christian populations, for example in Europe and North America.
Pope Benedict XVI spelled out the rationale for the new agency during his recent trip to Portugal, saying the church's missionary map today is not only geographical but also anthropological, made up of cultural and social categories of people who have largely drifted away from the Gospel.
With the continuing mobility and mixing of cultures and populations, along with the explosion of global communications, it's easy to see why the Vatican might be paying less attention to national boundaries in its missionary strategies.
But geography still matters in many parts of the world, said Msgr. John E. Kozar, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States.
"By virtue of geographic limitations and history, there are still some peoples that have never experienced any contact with Christ or the Catholic faith. Examples of this might be in the deep jungle areas of Brazil, in Papua New Guinea, in isolated mountainous areas of Malaysia, and other lands," Msgr. Kozar said.
He added that in some countries that lived for generations under communism, there are many people today who have never known Christ.
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicnews.com ...
Hard to imagine for us in the West.
With today's secularization and pop culture, not so much.
With the number of recent articles about evangelization I am beginning to think that this next year could be “The Year of Evangelization.”
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