Tuesday, October 12, 2010
HOLY FATHER'S MOTU PROPRIO "UBICUMQUE ET SEMPER"
VATICAN CITY, 12 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Given below are extracts of "Ubicumque et semper", the Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" by which Benedict XVI establishes the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.
"The Church has the duty to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ always and everywhere. ... Over history this mission has assumed new forms and methods, depending on place, situation and historical moment. In our own time, one of its most singular characteristics has been that of having to measure itself against the phenomenon of abandonment of the faith, which has become progressively more evident in societies and cultures that were, for centuries, impregnated with the Gospel.
"The social transformations we have seen over recent decades have complex causes, the roots of which are distant in time and have profoundly modified our perception of the world. ... If, on the one hand, humanity has seen undeniable benefits from these transformations and the Church received further stimuli to give reasons for the hope she carries, on the other, we have seen a worrying loss of the sense of the sacred, even going so far as to call into discussion apparently unquestionable foundations, such as faith in the God of creation and providence; the revelation of Jesus Christ our only Saviour, the shared understating of man's fundamental experiences like birth, death and family life, and the reference to natural moral law".
"Among the central themes examined by Vatican Council II was the question of relations between the Church and the modern world. In the wake of this conciliar teaching, my predecessors dedicated further reflection to the need to find adequate forms to allow our contemporaries to still hear the Lord's living and eternal Word".
"Venerable Servant of God John Paul II made this demanding undertaking one of the pivotal points of his vast Magisterium, summarising the task awaiting the Church today in the concept of 'new evangelisation' (which he systematically developed in numerous occasions), especially in regions of age-old Christianity".
"Thus, in my turn, sharing the concern of my venerated predecessors, I feel it appropriate to offer an adequate response so that the entire Church, allowing herself to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit, may present herself to the modern world with a missionary vigour capable of promoting a new evangelisation".
"In Churches of ancient foundation, ... although the phenomenon of secularisation continues its course, Christian practice still shows signs of possessing vitality and profound roots among entire peoples. ... We also know, unfortunately, of areas which appear almost completely de-Christianised, areas in which the light of faith is entrusted to the witness of small communities. These lands, which need a renewed first announcement of the Gospel, seem particularly unreceptive to many aspects of the Christian message".
"At the root of all evangelisation there is no human project of expansion, but the desire to share the priceless gift that God wished to give us, sharing His life with us".