Benedict XVI creates a Pontifical Council for the “new evangelization”

Source: FSSPX News

On June 28, at the celebration of Vespers in the basilica of Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls, Benedict XVI announced his intention to create a pontifical council charged with the “renewed evangelization” of the “deserts of the secularized world”. 

The pope indicated that he intended in this way “to promote a renewed evangelization” in the countries which “are experiencing the progressive secularization of society and a sort of ‘eclipse of the sense of God’”. “There are regions of the world that are still awaiting a first evangelization; others that have received it, but need a deeper intervention; yet others in which the Gospel put down roots a long time ago, giving rise to a true Christian tradition but in which, in recent centuries with complex dynamics the secularization process has produced a serious crisis of the meaning of the Christian faith and of belonging to the Church,” the Supreme Pontiff explained.

Benedict XVI recalled that, since the pontificate of John Paul II, “the urgent need for a ‘new evangelization’” has been emphasized.  Then he explained that it is, “‘new’ not in its content but in its inner thrust, open to the grace of the Holy Spirit which constitutes the force of the new law of the Gospel that always renews the Church; ‘new’ in ways that correspond with the power of the Holy Spirit and which are suited to the times and situations; ‘new’ because of being necessary even in countries that have already received the proclamation of the Gospel”.

It was in 1979, as he made his first trip to Poland, that John Paul II explicitly used the expression “new evangelization”.  On June 9, 1979, at Nowa Huta, he declared that “on the threshold of the new millennium” a “new evangelization has begun, as if it were a new proclamation, even if in reality it is the same as ever.”

On June 30 Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Rino Fisichella to head the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.  This appointment entails his departure from the Pontifical Academy for Life; as the new head of the Academy the pope appointed Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, until now the chancellor of that institution and a member of Opus Dei.  Furthermore, to succeed Abp. Fisichella, who had also been rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, the Holy Father named Fr. Enrico dal Covolo, a Salesian Father who had preached earlier this year the Lenten spiritual exercises in the Vatican. – The Roman Curia consists of 9 congregations and now 12 pontifical councils.