Pope Benedict XVI told members of the one year-old Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation Monday that their mission is to proclaim the Good News to contemporary man, who is often “distracted and indifferent". At the same time, they must support the faithful in the "difficult relationship with modernity:" Being Christian “is not a kind of clothing to be worn privately or on special occasions, but it is something living and all-encompassing, capable of assimilating all that is good in modern times."
The Holy Father was speaking to dicastery members led by Council President Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who are currently holding their first Plenary Assembly. He recalled that he created the new Pontifical Council June 28 last after "a long period" of personal reflection on the urgent need to address the crisis of Christianity in countries with an ancient tradition.
Pope Benedict continued "Today… the new Pontifical Council has become a reality”. One that is faced with the contemporary crisis.
He noted that the urgency of a new evangelization has now clearly emerged. "The crisis currently being experienced brings with it traits of the exclusion of God from people’s lives, a general indifference towards the Christian faith, an attempt to marginalize it from public life. In the past decades it was still possible to find a general Christian sense that unified the common feeling of entire generations, who grew up in the shade of the faith that had shaped culture. Unfortunately, today we are witnessing the tragedy of a fragmentation which no longer allows for a unifying reference point. In addition, there is often the phenomenon of people who wish to belong to the Church, but are strongly shaped by a vision of life in contrast to the faith " .
The Pope said that although "proclaiming Jesus Christ as the only Saviour of the world is more complex today than in the past," the mission has not changed". He spoke of the need to "revive the missionary spirit to proclaim the good news that the people of our time are waiting for”. He also said that "the lifestyle of believers needs a genuine credibility, the more dramatic the condition of those they serve, the more convincing it must be".
Finally, quoting Paul VI’s Evangelii Nuntiandi, he concluded: "It is by her conduct, by her life that the Church will evangelize the world, namely through her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus, of poverty and detachment, of freedom from the powers of this world, in a word, holiness "(EN, 41). Listen to Vatican Radio : >>