Holy Father Creates New Vatican Office

“The Church has the duty to proclaim always and everywhere the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” wrote the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI as he has officially created the newest dicastery (office) of the Roman Curia, called the “Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.” On October 12, 2010, the Holy Father issued a document entitled Ubicumque et Semper (Everywhere and Always), words which call to mind the Great Commission of the Church, whereby Christ told His Apostles: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt. 29-19-20) The Holy Father reaffirmed that the “evangelizing mission, the continuation of the work desired by the Lord Jesus, is for the Church necessary and irreplaceable, an expression of her very nature.”

One might think that there are sufficient offices in Rome to deal with issues of evangelization – offices such as the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples or the Congregation for Catholic Education. But the new office has a special mission, one first recognized by the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. The idea is that there is a need for a “new evangelization” in the lands that were once collectively known as “Christendom.” In some of these societies (most notably Western Europe, but also parts of all of the developed world), the faith “still shows signs of possessing vitality and profound roots among entire peoples.” However, there are places that “appear almost completely de-Christianized.”