It is neither a question of organization nor a strategic issue, nor even less a problem of the search for alternative models to the current forms of pastoral action. Nor is it a question of compiling a “new Gospel”, given that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever”. So what does “new evangelization mean?”. It means, essentially, “an adequate response to the signs of the times, to the needs of individuals and people of today and to the new sectors with their cultures through which we express our identity and the meaning of our lives”.
In other words, “having the courage to raise again the question of God in these places and situations”, through a witness of faith that restores “a high quality and motivation”, thereby offering the people of our time a reasonable and attractive possibility of being led out of the “interior desert” in which they live.
The next General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops , scheduled to take place from 7 to 28 October on the theme “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”, will be required to measure itself against these basic lines suggested by the Instrumentum Laboris, whose text was presented on Tuesday morning, 19 June, at the Holy See Press Office.
The Document, the product of the summary of the answers to the Lineamenta sent in by the Bishops' Conferences, the Synods of Bishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris, the dicasteries of the Roman Curia and the Union of Superiors General — as well as by institutions and individual institutes of consecrated life, lay people, the members of ecclesial associations and movements — provides an exhaustive picture of evangelizing activities. Above all, however, it points out to the Synod Fathers a multiplicity of themes to study “so that the Church may continue to perform adequately her work of evangelization, while taking into account the many challenges and difficulties of the present moment”. And it delineates eight scenes – from that of culture, characterized by secularization, to scenes of migration, economics, politics, scientific research and technology, communicative and religious – like as many challenges.