PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PROMOTING
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Pontificium Consilium de Nova Evangelizatione Promovenda
Pope Benedict XVI, with the Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu proprio, Ubicumque et semper (September 21, 20109), established the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. In the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes and the Decree Ad gentes, as well as in subsequent papal Magisterium, especially the Apostolic Exhortations Evangelii nutiandi (1974) and Christifideles laici (1988), great emphasis has been placed on the need for a renewed proclamation of the Gospel. The urgency for such a renewal is the consequence of the profound social changes which have occurred in recent years. During his Homily in Mogila on June 9, 1997, Blessed John Paul II introduced the expression “New Evangelization” and repeatedly referred to it as the mission of the Church in its third millennium (Novo millennio ineunte, 2001). The institution of the Pontifical Council responds to the concerns repeatedly expressed by the Magisterium and works to provide adequate responses for the Church in its missionary work of promoting and implementing the New Evangelization. In a particular way, the work of this Council is at the service to the Churches of ancient foundations and to those in traditionally Christian areas where secularization has become most apparent.
With the Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu proprio, Fides per doctrinam (January 16, 2013), Benedict XVI, following in the direction set forth by the Second Vatican Council which had emphasized more than ever the link between catechesis and evangelization, transferred the competency on all facets of catechesis from the Congregation for Clergy to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. At the same time, he has also transferred to this same Pontifical Council the International Council for Catechesis, established by Pope Paul VI in a letter dated June 7, 1973 and which has the responsibility of studying for the Holy See and the Episcopal Conferences the most important catechetical topics. This International Council serves to facilitate the exchange of ideas among those working in the catechetical field and to provide proposals and suggestions.
It is the work of the Pontifical Council to deepen the theological and pastoral sense of the New Evangelization, promoting to the Episcopal Conferences the study, the dissemination and the implementation of the Papal Magesterium on the New Evangelization. In particular, this Dicastery is charged with encouraging the use of modern forms of communication and to examine the ways in which they are valid instruments of evangelization.
Regarding Catechesis, one of the competencies of the Dicastery, in addition to identifying the most consistent means of promoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the effective teaching for the transmission of the faith, this Council is charged with: promoting the religious formation of the faithful of all ages and conditions, issuing norms which will ensure that catechetical instruction is imparted in accordance with the Church’s constant tradition, monitoring catechetical formation, granting the necessary approval of the Apostolic See, with the consent of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of catechisms and other writings pertaining to catechetical instruction and offering assistance to the Offices of Catechesis within Episcopal Conferences.
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