A reader writes:
“When you have time, would you please explain what the New Evangelisation is? I hear/read the term a lot. Pope Francis has said on various occasions that Catholics are not to proselytise (not to convert people to the Catholic Faith) but I thought evangelisation (sharing the Gospel) involves proselytising. Hence, I am confused. Am I misunderstanding the terms “to proselytise” and “to evangelise” or is the “New Evangelisation” something different?”
Saint Pope John Paul II continuously used the phrase “New Evangelization” from the very beginning and throughout his pontificate. Benedict XVI followed suit. As did Francis. What they all mean exactly has been the subject of doctoral dissertations. I have to wonder if any of them actually settled on any kind of accurate description. But none of that matters. It’s how it’s used today, right now. And I have no idea what it’s all about.
Obviously, it’s all purposely unclear when no one defines the terms while causing world-class confusion and ambiguity and obfuscation and rancor and division and dissension on a continuous basis in the face of grave objections from basically everyone on the face of the earth. Since you can make of such confusion and ambiguity and obfuscation whatever you want, in the end it doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s just a tool for those considering themselves to be clever to bully others. And therefore it is to be ignored. There is nothing reasonable that one can do with… nothing. And whatever you do, don’t try to understand error as error is unreasonable by definition, and therefore cannot be understood.
On the one hand, maybe Pope Francis is simply calling to mind the admonition of Jesus:
- “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.” (Matthew 23:15)
On the other hand, maybe Pope Francis really hates the idea that anyone would get to know and love Jesus, Christ our God, our Savior, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.
I don’t know. He’s not clear. And, yes, that’s really annoying. For about 10 seconds. Then I get over it by ignoring it, because nothing means… well… nothing.
Meanwhile, for my part, in the worst case scenario, even if I were to be dismissed from the clerical state and excommunicated because of my wanting to share my love for Jesus (call that proselytizing or evangelizing or being just plain friendly), I will still share my love for Jesus in any way I can.
It is Jesus’ love which is stronger than all things, even death, bringing us to heaven.
It’s all so sad, I’ll grant you that. However, we are to be joyful in speaking of Christ’s good friendship. And if there are those who object of whatever class or rank, let them do their thing. For my part, I will continue to love Jesus and introduce others to Jesus.