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The Church and her evangelizing mission have their origin and source in the Most Holy Trinity according to the plan of the Father, the work of the Son, which culminated in his death and glorious Resurrection, and the mission of the Holy Spirit. The Church continues this mission of God’s love in our world. Evangelization has to be understood in a broad and profound theological-doctrinal framework as an activity of word and sacrament which, especially through the Eucharist, admits us to participation in the life of the Trinity, and this then arouses through the grace of the Holy Spirit the power to evangelize and to give witness to the Word of God with enthusiasm and courage.

The New Evangelization recognizes the primacy of God’s grace and how in baptism one comes to live in Christ. This emphasis on divine filiation should bring the baptized to a life of faith that clearly manifests their Christian identity in all aspects of their personal activity.


Jesus offers the gift of the Holy Spirit and reveals to us the love of the Father.The New Evangelization is a time of awakening, of new encouragement and new witness that Jesus Christ is the center of our faith and daily life. It calls on every member of the Church to a renewal of faith and an actual effort to share it.

It also requires discerning the signs of the times in the world that impacts the ministry of the Church and in the different particular Churches in their proper territories. Among these signs one needs to recognize certainly a growing awareness of people to the changing circumstances of life today. Furthermore it calls the Church to reach out to those who are far from God and the Christian community to invite them to once again hear the Word of God in order to encounter the Lord Jesus in a new and profound way.

The New Evangelization calls for particular attention to the inculturation of the faith that can transmit the Gospel in its capacity to value what is positive in every culture, at the same time, purifying it from elements that are contrary to the full realization of the person according to the design of God revealed in Christ. Inculturation involves the effort to have the Gospel take flesh in each people’s culture” Wetboek, Codex van het Canonieke recht, Codex Iuris Canonici (25 jan 1983), 854.


God, our savior, wills everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth Vgl. 1 Tim. 2, 4 . Since the Church believes in this divine plan of universal salvation she must be missionary Vgl. H. Paus Paulus VI, Postsynodale Apostolische Exhortatie, Over de Evangelisatie in de Moderne Wereld, Evangelii Nuntiandi (8 dec 1975), 14 Vgl. Wetboek, Codex van het Canonieke recht, Codex Iuris Canonici (25 jan 1983), 851. She also knows that “those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.” 2e Vaticaans Concilie, Constitutie, Over de Kerk, Lumen Gentium (21 nov 1964), 16. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the proclamation of his life and of the paschal mystery of his passion, death, resurrection and glorification.

The Council reminds us, however, that evangelization is necessary for the salvation of all since “But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator Vgl. Rom. 1, 21.25 . Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, ‘Preach the Gospel to every creature’ (Mc. 16, 15), the Church fosters the missions with care and attention” 2e Vaticaans Concilie, Constitutie, Over de Kerk, Lumen Gentium (21 nov 1964), 16.

It is proposed that the Church proclaim the permanent world-wide missionary dimension of her mission in order to encourage all the particular Churches to evangelize.Evangelization can be understood in three aspects. Firstly, evangelization ad gentes is the announcement of the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ. Secondly, it also includes the continuing growth in faith that is the ordinary life of the Church. Finally, the New Evangelization is directed especially to those who have become distant from the Church. In so doing, all the particular Churches will be encouraged to value and integrate all their various agents and capabilities. At the same time, each particular Church must have the freedom to evangelize according to her own traits and traditions, always in unity with the proper Bishops’ Conference or the Synod of the Eastern Catholic Church. Such a world-wide mission will respond to the action of the Holy Spirit, as in a new Pentecost, through a call issued by the Roman Pontiff, who invites all faithful to visit all families and bring the life of Christ to all human situations.

We are Christians living in a secularized world. Whereas the world is and remains God’s creation, secularization falls within the sphere of human culture. As Christians we cannot remain indifferent to the process of secularization. We are in fact in a situation similar to that of the first Christians and as such we should see this both as a challenge and a possibility. We live in this world, but are not of this world Vgl. Joh 15, 19 Vgl. Joh. 17, 11.16 . The world is God’s creation and manifests his love. In and through Jesus Christ we receive God’s salvation and are able to discern the progress of his creation. Jesus opens the doors for us anew so that, without fear, we can lovingly embrace the wounds of the Church and of the world (cf. Benedict XVI).

In our present age, that manifests aspects more difficult than the past, even if we are like “the little flock” (Lc. 12, 32), we bear witness to the Gospel message of salvation and we are called to be salt and light of a new world Vgl. Mt. 5, 13-16 .


The foundation of all initial proclamation, the kerygmatic dimension, the Good News, makes prominent an explicit announcement of salvation. “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve” (1 Kor. 15, 3-5).

The ‘first proclamation’ is where the kerygma, the message of salvation of the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ, is proclaimed with great spiritual power to the point of bringing about repentance of sin, conversion of hearts and a decision of faith. At the same time there has to be continuity between first proclamation and catechesis which instructs us in the deposit of the faith. We consider it necessary that there be a Pastoral Plan of Initial Proclamation, teaching a living encounter with Jesus Christ. This pastoral document would provide the first elements for the catechetical process, enabling its insertion into the lives of the parish communities.

The Synod Fathers propose that guidelines of the initial proclamation of the kerygma be written. This compendium would include:

  • Systematic teaching on the kerygma in Scripture and Tradition of the Catholic Church;
  • Teachings and quotations from the missionary saints and martyrs in our Catholic history that would assist us in our pastoral challenges of today; and
  • Qualities and guidelines for the formation of Catholic evangelizers today.
To proclaim the Good News and the person of Jesus is an obligation for each Christian, founded in the Gospel: “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” (Mt. 28, 19).

At the same time, it is an inalienable right for each person, whatever one’s religion or lack of religion, to be able to know Jesus Christ and the Gospel. This proclamation, given with integrity, must be offered with a total respect for each person, without any form of proselytizing.

God has communicated himself to us in his Word made flesh. This divine Word, heard and celebrated in the Liturgy of the Church, particularly in the Eucharist, strengthens interiorly the faithful and renders them capable of authentic evangelical witness in daily life. The Synod Fathers desire that the divine word “be ever more fully at the heart of every ecclesial activity” Paus Benedictus XVI, Postsynodale Apostolische Exhortatie, Over de Heilige Schrift - naar aanleiding van de Bisschoppensynode 2008 "Het Woord van God in het leven en de zending van de Kerk", Verbum Domini (30 sept 2010), 1.

The gate to Sacred Scripture should be open to all believers. In the context of the New Evangelization every opportunity for the study of Sacred Scripture should be made available. The Scripture should permeate homilies, catechesis and every effort to pass on the faith. In consideration of the necessity of familiarity with the Word of God for the New Evangelization and for the spiritual growth of the faithful, the Synod encourages dioceses, parishes, small Christian communities to continue serious study of the Bible and Lectio Divina, the — the prayerful reading of the Scriptures Vgl. Paus Benedictus XVI, Postsynodale Apostolische Exhortatie, Over de Heilige Schrift - naar aanleiding van de Bisschoppensynode 2008 "Het Woord van God in het leven en de zending van de Kerk", Verbum Domini (30 sept 2010), 21-22.

The Synod Fathers recognize the teaching of Vaticanum II as a vital instrument for transmitting the faith in the context of the New Evangelization. At the same time, they consider that the documents of the Council should be properly read and interpreted. Therefore, they wish to manifest their adherence to the thought of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who has indicated the hermeneutical principle of reform within continuity so as to be able to discover in those texts the authentic spirit of the Council. “There is the "hermeneutic of reform", of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God. {...} However, wherever this interpretation guided the implementation of the Council, new life developed and new fruit ripened” Paus Benedictus XVI, Toespraak, Expergiscere homo - Tot de Romeinse Curie bij gelegenheid van het uitwisselen van de Kerstwensen 2005 (22 dec 2005), 6. In this way it will be possible to respond to the need for renewal required by the modern world and, at the same time, faithfully preserve the identity of the Church’s nature and mission.


Soort: Bisschoppensynodes
Auteur: Synodevaders
Datum: 27 oktober 2012
Copyrights: © 2012, Radio Vaticana
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Bewerkt: 7 november 2019


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