I’ve been reading reports about the establishment of a Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation in the near future, under te leadership of Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who now heads the Pontifical Academy for Life. It is said to take over some of the responsibility from the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and concern itself with evangelisation in areas where the Catholic faith is in decline, most specifically Europe and North America.
It’s not confirmed by any source in the Vatican, of course, but it is believable and interesting. Whereas the Church in Africa and Italy is flourishing, in western countries she is in a crisis. To create a specific Council, which is a department within the Vatican, for the purpose of re-evangelising those areas makes sense. After all, the entire situation is totally different from other continents, and up till now the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples had to balance their responsibilities in both these areas.
The term ‘New Evangelisation’ dates from the early years of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, and it has been something that Pope Benedict XVI has concerned himself with as well. Creating a Pontifical Council is not something he ahs done before, but perhaps it can be seen as yet another step in the pope’s slow but steady overhaul of certain aspects of the Vatican and the Church.
I’m curious to see how this’ll take shape.