Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's Intervention

«The Challenge of the New Evangelization Must be Marked by a Robust Confrontation of Ideas»

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2012 ( The following is the summary of the intervention given by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin at the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization.

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The challenge of language is especially felt in those countries where English dominates, characterized by linguistic philosophies with known epistemological challenges. There is however a further challenge of the day-to-day language, not just of the media, but of a culture of the manipulation of language and the management of information where the meaning of words is changed and manipulated for commercial, ideological or political motives. 

The concern I wish to particularly address is the challenge that this manipulation of language represents for young people in their search for the message of Jesus Christ. Young people live in a culture of relativism and indeed banalization of the truth often without even being aware of it. It is a culture which they did not create. They may not know any other culture, yet they must find Christ in the midst of this culture while they have little familiarity with the language of faith. 

I am not thinking here of the large groups of young people who have found strength and support in events such as World Youth Day, but of the many young men and women who, at what is a complex and difficult time in their lives, in their search for meaning find themselves very much alone among their classmates and fellow students and indeed may experience hostility and incomprehension as they try to find or maintain their faith in Jesus Christ. 

Where are we present among the large student population, especially for those whose basic Christian education may well have been all but superficial in either family or school? 
The challenge of the New Evangelization must be marked by a robust confrontation of ideas, not in terms of ideological aggression, but in helping young people in the discernment of ideas. 

The culture of individualism can be counteracted by the creation of a variety of new ecclesial communities, not just those of the ecclesial movements, but around our parishes, which will be the building blocks of the Eucharistic communities of the future.

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