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Why do we need a New Evangelisation?


"The New Evangelization is not a matter of redoing something which has been inadequately done or has not achieved its purpose, as if the new activity were an implicit judgment on the failure of the first evangelization. Nor is the new evangelization taking up the first evangelization again, or simply repeating the past. Instead, it is the courage to forge new paths in responding to the changing circumstances and conditions facing the Church in her call to proclaim and live the Gospel today.”


There are six areas of “changing circumstances and conditions” which should be taken into account:


1. culture (a growth in secularization),

2. society (the intermingling of peoples),

3. mass media,

4. economy,

5. science

6. civic life.


The New Evangelization calls us to engage with each of these sectors, not remaining confined to our own communities and institutions, but accepting the challenge to take part in these phenomena so as to speak and bear witness from the inside. Pope Benedict proposed just this idea during his homily at Bellahouston:


'For this reason I appeal in particular to you, the lay faithful, in accordance with your baptismal calling and mission, not only to be examples of faith in public, but also to put the case for the promotion of faith’s wisdom and vision in the public forum. Society today needs clear voices which propose our right to live, not in a jungle of self-destructive and arbitrary freedoms, but in a society which works for the true welfare of its citizens and offers them guidance and protection in the face of their weakness and fragility. Do not be afraid to take up this service to your brothers and sisters, and to the future of your beloved nation.'  


Other Resources


From the Bishop's Conference of Scotland, beingcatholic.org is a website which provides Scottish Catholic Adult Education resources in Scotland. Click here to visit the website and find out more.







For the Year of Faith, the Catholic Church in Scotland has published a new website. The Year of Faith Scotland contains resources and information on The Year of Faith. The site also publishes resources and events taking place in and around Scotland and further a field for the Year of Faith. To view the web site click here.


 More on Faith Formation




The mission of the Vatican II voice of the Church website is to promote and explain the teaching of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) which was the most significant event in the modern era of the Catholic Church. The Council was instrumental for renewal in the self-understanding of the Church, its inner life and its relationship to other Christian traditions, other religions and the world. Those participating in or who lived through the time of the Council felt a profound, exhilarating sense of renewal and virtually experienced a new Pentecost. Pope John XXIII set the tone when opening the Council: 'The Church should never depart from the sacred treasure of truth inherited from the Fathers. But at the same time she must ever look to the present, to the new conditions and the new forms of life introduced into the modern world.'

With the passage of time, and now at the fiftieth anniversary of the years of the Council, there is a widespread feeling that the Vatican II legacy is being lost. Even to speak positively about the Council is to incur suspicion in some quarters. It would be well to recall the words of Pope Paul VI speaking soon after the close of the Council to establish its status:

'Whatever were our opinions about the Council's various doctrines before its conclusions were promulgated, today our adherence to the decisions of the Council must be whole hearted and without reserve; it must be willing and prepared to give them the service of our thought, action and conduct. The Council was something very new: not all were prepared to understand and accept it. But now the conciliar doctrine must be seen as belonging to the magisterium of the Church and, indeed, be attributed to the breath of the Holy Spirit.' (Paul VI to the Roman Curia, 23 April, 1966)

Whilst the Second Vatican Council took place in the 1960's it has lost none of its relevance nearly fifty years on and should still be centre place in the consciousness of the Church. As Blessed John-Paul II wrote on the eve of the new millennium: '…there [in the Council] we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning.'

The website benefits from contributions by those who experienced the Council first-hand and especially Cardinal König of Vienna and the English Benedictine Christopher Butler. Both were distinguished scholars, Council fathers and members of the influential Council Theological Commission. Click here for more from the Vatican II Voice website.


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