Skip to comments.US Bishops Issue Document on New Evangelization
Posted on 04/17/2012 4:23:59 PM PDT by eastsider
As the Church throughout the world prepares for the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, led by Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, has issued a 31-page statement entitled Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization.
The New Evangelization seeks to invite modern man and culture into a relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church, the document states. The New Evangelization strives to engage our culture and to help us draw our inspiration from the Gospel. The New Evangelization calls all Catholics first to be evangelized and then in turn to evangelize. While it is directed to all people, the New Evangelization focuses specifically on those Christian communities that have Catholic roots but have lost a living sense of the faith, or even no longer consider themselves members of the Church.
The documents five parts are devoted to the current cultural context, the historical context of the New Evangelization, the focus of the New Evangelization, a culture of witness, and key components of outreach programs.
The New Evangelization invites people to experience Gods love and mercy through the sacraments, especially through the Eucharist and Penance and Reconciliation, the document states.
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Pope Benedict Warns Americans:
Get Active or Lose Your
We rapidly approaching a new election, and much hangs in the balance.
The Church is under assault in America, with the government intruding more and more, passing laws and policies that violate the Catholic faith and the basic principles of morality. Whether the issue is abortion, homosexual marriage, religious freedom, or a host of other issues, the forces that oppose the Church are on the attack.
Even Pope Benedict Is Alarmed
Word of how bad things are getting in America has even caused the pope himself to become gravely concerned. Recently, Pope Benedict told the U.S. bishops:
It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Churchs public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life.
Pope Benedict noted that one right is being targeted in a new and frightening way:
Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms; the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection, on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions, with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.
The situation is alarming, but Pope Benedict pointed out the solution to the bishops.
Yet it isnt something that the bishops can do by themselves. They cant even do it with the help of their priests. The task is so great that it must involve Catholics at every level of the Church in America, including ordinary church-going men and women like you and me. Pope Benedict explained:
Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate, and well-formed Catholic laity . . . with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would de-legitimize the Churchs participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society. The preparation of committed lay leaders and the presentation of a convincing articulation of the Christian vision of man and society remain a primary task of the Church in your country.
Pope Benedict has told us what we need to do, and it isnt rocket science. We need to mobilize the lay Catholics of America to stand up and fight, to engage the democratic process and to use their voices and their votes in determining the future of American society.