Brazil Prelate Points to Evangelization Deficit

Says That’s Why Pope Created New Pontifical Council

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SÃO PAULO, Brazil, JULY 23, 2010 ( The archbishop of São Paulo says there is an evangelization deficit around the globe today and that’s why Benedict XVI has created the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

Cardinal Odilo Scherer offered this explanation in an article in the diocesan «O São Paulo.»

The Pope’s is «truly a very significant» decision, the cardinal asserted. He «brings all to understand that this [new evangelization] is an objective of his, and that it must be the attitude of the Church worldwide, to respond to the challenges launched by the present ‘change of age in the history of humanity.'»
«We cannot lose this occasion if we don’t want the Good News of the Gospel to be excluded from the life of the people — of peoples — and of the new culture that many factors are generating,» the prelate asserted.
Cardinal Scherer said he believes the new pontifical council is especially important for Europe, «where Catholicism has been historically important and has marked the life and culture of those nations, but today faces great difficulties.»
However the concept of «new evangelization» must not be misunderstood, the cardinal clarified. «It is not about underrating the evangelizing work already carried out by the generations that preceded us in the course of the centuries.
«On the contrary, it is about appreciating ‘again’ what they already did and that, perhaps, has ceased to be done in many places.»
«We are clearly faced with a deficit of evangelization in our days,» the cardinal declared. And, he continued, «new times require a new proclamation of the Gospel, new cultural syntheses and recourse to new methodologies to evangelize.»

Never-ending task

Cardinal Scherer noted that evangelization can never be considered «finished once and for all.» On the contrary, «every generation needs to be evangelized again, and also more than once in the course of life.»

He said this is even more the case when we consider that currently the «passing on of the faith, of the ‘apostolic heritage’ and of ecclesial life no longer happens automatically; there is a rupture in the current of the transmission of the faith.»
«How difficult the evangelization of their children is for parents,» the prelate observed. «And how many Catholic parents, sadly, no longer consider their own the mission to evangelize their children! That is why a ‘new evangelization’ is necessary.»

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