2012-02-17 L’Osservatore Romano
“The Announcement of the Gospel Today, Between 'missio ad gentes' and the New Evangelization” is the theme of the Day of Prayer and Reflection for the College of Cardinals and the new Cardinals on the occasion of the Consistory. This day, called by the Holy Father, began this morning, Friday 17 February, in the New Hall of the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican and will conclude this evening after Vespers.
The Day began with a celebration of the Terce which was followed by a welcome speech by the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano. Later Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan of New York gave the inaugural address in which he defined the New Evangelization as a “sacred duty”. The Cardinal-designate elaborated on seven points of the strategy which make up the basis of the New Evangelization, which he iterated, concerns everyone. Citing the First Vatican Council, he recalled that although it is true that there are “explicit” missionaries, or those who are sent where Jesus has not been heard of, it is also true that no Christian is excluded from the duty of witnessing Jesus and communicating to others in daily life the invitation of the Lord.
Then Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, gave a communique on the Year of Faith and its meaning in light of the Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei. He also presented a series of initiatives by various Dicasteries on the occasion of the Year of Faith. The main objective of this year is to “renew and strengthen the faith”, the prelate said among other things, “in a particular moment of crisis in which, first of all, many Christians are indifferent, far removed from the life of the community, and often confused by the events of history which at this moment has entered a serious crisis of identity and social responsibility”.
After Archbishop Fisichella spoke, participants in the Day also intervened, including seven statements on various topics until the Pope led the recitation of the Angelus.
At 5:00 in the afternoon, after Vespers, the statements will continue. Of the 213 members of the College of Cardinals, including the 22 new Cardinals, 133 were present. Those absent were excused for reasons of age, health or prior unavoidable commitments.