The Holy Father published a long-awaited Motu Proprio, Ubicumque et semper, by which he established a new office (dicastery) at the Roman Curia: “Pontifical Council for Promotion of the New Evangelization.” The new head of the Council is, as you know, Archbishop Rino Fisichella.
The objectives of the new Pontifical Council:
- To deepen the theological and pastoral meaning of the new evangelization.
- To promote and to foster in close collaboration with bishops’ conferences, teaching of the Magisterium relative to the new evangelization.
- To make known initiatives already under way in local churches and to promote new initiatives, involving also resources of religious institutes and groups of the faithful and new lay communities;
- To study and to foster the use of modern means of communications as instruments for the new evangelization.
- To promote the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
A summary of Ubicumque et semper can be read here.
I am happy that a papal document finally appeared since it was expected since four months ago. Now a more concerted effort at the needs of evangelization will be worked on by the Roman Curia and that good works already in play with groups like Communion and Liberation, Opus Dei, Focolare, Sant’Egidio will be more coordinated and collaborated with. I hope the big religious orders like the Benedictines, Franciscans and Dominicans will respond positively to the hopes and desires of the Pope. The expectation of the new Council are looking to re-energize the work of evangelization of culture and to give renewed interest and thrust of the Church as missionary. Please note, secularism, not secularity needs to be addressed by the entire Church, not just the bishops and certainly not just the Roman Curia.
The Pope said, “At the root of all evangelization there is no human project of expansion, but the desire to share the priceless gift that God wished to give us, sharing His life with us.”
There are, however, a number of missed opportunities already since the announcement of the Council: there was a too long of wait for the motu proprio, the motu proprio is only available in Latin and Italian at this point, the staff has not been announced, and there is no web presence for the new Council as of yet. Another example of not doing the homework on the part of those who work for the Pope.