Monday, October 01, 2012

A Few Thoughts on the Synod on Evangelisation

The real question I hope that will be asked at the Synod which starts on Rosary Sunday is: why are we so ineffective at Evangelistion?
It is pretty obvious that that renewal of the Church which Vatican Council called for hasn't happened. It was for the purpose of Evangelisation or "Renewal" of the Church that the Council was called, to address the political, social, economic, and technological change that the Church faced in the 20th century. It is worth reading Humanae Salutis in which Blessed Pope John announces the Council, interestingly, I couldn't find it English on Vatican website.
The forthcoming Council, then, will meet happily and at a moment in which the Church has a more lively desire to fortify her faith and to contemplate herself in her own awe-inspiring unity, just as she feels the more urgent duty to give greater effectiveness to her healthy vitality and to promote the sanctification of her members, the spread of revealed truth, and the consolidation of her structures. This will be a demonstration of the Church, always living and always young, that feels the rhythm of time, that in every century beautifies herself with new splendor, radiates new light, achieves new conquests, all the while remaining identical to herself, faithful to the divine image impressed on her face by her divine Bridegroom, who loves her and protects her, Christ Jesus.
The Pope's bright vision of the Church contemplating herself  "in her own awe-inspiring unity" seems to have disappeared like the morning dew. If anything this unity has devolved into factions; many parts of the Church seem to be on the verge of schism, some like the LCWR have moved beyond Christ, others seek to overturn the teaching of Christ and his Church especially on sex and sexuality, leading laymen and women openly dissent from her teaching, bishops and priests are weak and uncertain in the proclamation of her most basic teachings.
I presume that part of the reason for calling the Synod is again to underline the hermeneutic of continuity and the unity of the Church. Opening it on Rosary Sunday is I presume a little Benedictine ploy to underline the fundamental Christolgical mysteries of the faith.
The Synod will be an occasion for the Pope to redefine and reassess the Council.


Cosmos said...

In my opinion, evangelization has been so tepid because people don't believe conversion is a matter of life or death. Its more of choosing between the most excellent way and a less excellent way (not that we are judging anyone!). It is not a choice between the out-dated, relgioius categories of salvation and perdition (what does all that mean anyway?).

The new essential of our Catholic faith is realizing a just world through political action. We have fallen in love with Rahner's anonymous Christiantiy, which is the perfect soluition to the uncomfortable clash between the Great Commission and Political Correctness. Now, Ghandi is the best Christian. And anonymous Christiatiny do not require exterior conversions.

So if the ideal Christian is a political activist with a silent faith, it is completely unnnecessary--if not un-Christian--to try to convince that person to follow a religion that is so bogged down with intellectual and historical baggage that has nothign to do with Christ. It is a truism that evangelization is almost always embarrassing and counter-productive (St Francis said something to this effect 800 years ago).

Instead, we will chide old-fashion, "devotional" Catholics for ignoring the radical implications of the Gospel--anyone can raise children, but who is brave enough to protest a Western Government or a corporate headquarters? And we will fight old-fashioned missionaries for being dnagerous cultural imperialists carrying a brand of Christianity which is nothing more than the projection of Westerners.


There are a number of reasons why the evangelisation has been so tepid, but, I am always taken by how easy it is for the Jehovah's Witnesses to go out and knock on doors. Catholics would run a mile from this.

I have nothing against the Jehovah' Witnesses but, I am sure that Satan works harder the closer you get to spiritual truths.

Let's put it like this. Satan will be actively placing more barriers up to Catholics evangelising, because we are going to be drawing the people that we evangelise closer to Christ. Maybe, Satan isn't working quite so hard with other denominations.

Just a thought.

Gatepost productions said...

Why is evangelization running tepid?


as a simple layman, I read through these blogs and find myself puzzled at the degree of bureaucratic detail one has to battle through to fully understand what it is that the Church has become. It is within this bureaucratic detail that perhaps Satan lies.

Once I knew that, 'Daily, Daily, sing to Mary...' was 100 in Hymn book, and life was simpler and less tepid. Holy Websites notwithstanding.

Sadie Vacantist said...

The photo caption for this thread looks like a still from the opening ceremony of the Second Vatican Council. It's odd that they should all march in like that in order to participate in a process that would bring an end to such pageantry.

Pesumably, at the next Council, they will all walk in looking as miserable as sin and vote for a restoration. It would be fun to read about how the 'modernisers' grab hold of the schemas and manipulate a weak Pope but I shall be too old if not dead by then.

My understanding is that 85% of UK Catholics who go through the RCIA programs lapse. The jig is up boys, it's all over.

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