“VATICAN OFFICIAL ADVISES BRITONS ON EVANGELISATION
An influential Vatican official has urged Catholics in Britain to be confident but ‘not overbearing’ in evangelising secular culture.
LECTURE AT WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL, LONDON
Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, an official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was speaking as part of the Faith Matters lecture series in Westminster Cathedral. He said: ‘The New Evangelisation has been based primarily here in Europe where the decline has been perceived as more pronounced and troubling… while no one disputes the new cultural and social situation in which we live, there is considerable disagreement among historians, sociologists, and theologians whether this should be seen as a religious decline, strictly speaking, or simply a long term process of religious change.’
CHURCH TO MAINTAIN ITS PUBLIC PRESENCE
Addressing the subject of Contemporary Challenges to Proclaiming the Catholic Faith, Archbishop Di Noia spoke of the need for the Church to maintain its public presence and witness to Gospel values in society in a more secular world.
He said: ‘In order to confront these challenges we need a confident, evangelising spirit and robust but not overbearing apologetics. The Apostles in the early Christian communities proclaimed a message that was not welcome and we are in a similar situation today.’
TODAY, LIKE AT THE TIME OF THE EARLY CHRISTIANS IN THE ANCIENT ROMAN EMPIRE, THE CHRISTIAN MESSAGE IS NOT VERY WELCOME
Dominican Archbishop Di Noia, 70, a leading member of the Roman Curia, said: ‘In these circumstances retrenchment is not an option, nor can we take refuge in the powerful emotional comforts of the Christian faith… behind the emotional truth of the Christian faith, there needs to be something solid if it is to be anything more than a comforting illusion, like a tale we tell children who are afraid of the dark.
The emotional sense of the Christian faith creates is rooted in convictions, principally that God wants to make a place for us in the life of the Blessed Trinity and that Jesus opens the way to this communion and that our transformation into his image gets us through the muddle of sin but also launches us into the life of glory.'”
– This article entitled “Vatican official advises Britons on evangelisation” by Ed West (headings in capital letters added afterwards) was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue November 29 2013. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link)