Pope Benedict recently set the stage for the 2012 October 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that will address the topic “New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.” Italics are pull quotes from His Holiness. Bold comments are from your barely holy blogger
In his presentation, he reminds us that With farsighted understanding, the Conciliar Fathers saw on the horizon the cultural change that today is easily verifiable. Precisely this changed situation, which has created an unexpected situation for believers, requires particular attention to the proclamation of the Gospel, to give the reason for one’s faith in situations that are different from the past. Can we clearly name the changed situation? Watch the video.
The crisis being experienced bears in itself traces of the exclusion of God from people’s lives, of a generalized indifference toward the Christian faith itself, to the point of attempting to marginalize it from public life… We often see the phenomenon of persons who wish to belong to the Church, but are strongly molded by a vision of life that opposes the faith. Just so we are clear on how we define the crisis in the church. Do we really want our lives to be molded by a vision of life that we can trace to God and the Church?
…. The grace of the mission is always in need of new evangelizers capable of receiving it, so that the salvific proclamation of the Word of God will never diminish in the changing conditions of history. In youth ministry, have we grown to a point where we own the vision and now are hesitant to share it with new evangelizers because they aren’t trained, certified, connected, or whatever enough? Are we not trusting God enough regarding the Grace of the mission?
… In the course of the centuries the Church has never ceased to proclaim the salvific mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but that same proclamation today needs a renewed vigor to convince contemporary man, often distracted and insensitive. Which all should be read as shorthand for STEP UP YOUR GAME!
… I hope that in the work of these days you will be able to delineate a plan able to help the whole Church… a plan where the urgency for a renewed proclamation will take care of formation, in particular for the new generations… to make evident the answer that the Church intends to offer in this peculiar moment. Everybody needs to be involved, but the Pope just wanted to mention young people. Fans of Vatican II language who embrace “reading the signs of the times,” check in if you find that last line confusing.
“It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world, in other words, by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus — the witness of poverty and detachment, of freedom in the face of the powers of this world, in short, the witness of sanctity” (Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Nuntiandi,” 41). In short, the witness of sanctity. Got it. ‘Nuff Said!
See the whole text from Zenit News.