The Deacon's Bench

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New Vatican evangelization office unveiled

posted by jmcgee

An important new Vatican office was announced today — but not without what might be considered an embarrassing hitch.

Details:

Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday outlined his most tangible initiative yet to try to revive Christianity, creating a Vatican office for re-evangelizing Europe and other traditionally Christian regions where the faith is falling by the wayside.

In an official decree, Benedict said the new office would work with bishops to promote church doctrine, use modern communication methods to get the church’s message out and mobilize missionary-type activities using members of religious orders and new religious movements.

But even on its first day of existence, the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization ran into an all-too-typical Vatican snag: The four-page decree instituting the office was issued only in Latin and Italian, even though the pope announced the office’s creation four months ago.

Asked how the pope expected to bring the church’s message to the world in such relatively unknown languages, the head of the new office, Monsignor Rino Fisichella said he hadn’t been in charge until Tuesday and wasn’t responsible for how the decree was issued.

He stressed that he planned to have language sections in his department to deal with the faithful in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German and Slavic languages. And the Vatican spokesman said the decree would eventually be published in other languages.

Fisichella denied the creation of the office was a mere bureaucratic attempt to fix a complex cultural phenomenon, saying Benedict had made an astute, pastoral decision to focus attention on a growing problem that had preoccupied popes for decades.

Read more.

Additional details — and translation — as they emerge.



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Drew

posted October 12, 2010 at 10:58 am


According to the AP story,
“In the decree, Benedict lamented that with tremendous scientific, social and cultural progress over the past century, parts of the world that once had strong Christian roots had grown to believe that they can exist without God.
“While some greeted this as a freedom, they soon realized the interior desert that is born when man — thinking himself the architect of his own nature and destiny — finds himself lacking that which is fundamental to everything,” Benedict wrote.
Perhaps after getting the translation ready, the second correction could be recognizing there are more people in the world than just a ‘man.’ Would it hurt anything to recognize women? Perhaps the Vatican can be evangelized in this area.



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Panthera

posted October 12, 2010 at 1:00 pm


I certainly do greet any genuine attempt to bring God’s mercy and forgiveness of our sins to this world.
I certainly believe the Roman Catholic church is making a genuine attempt.
Whether women in Western Europe, having tasted the freedom of full sovereignty and franchise will be open to a Church which will work politically to restore them to a lesser status is questionable.
Whether gays and transgender, having received full human status and full civil rights (the Second World War opened a lot of eyes as to just what inequality leads to) will be so eager to welcome a Church which will ferociously fight to have them stripped of their full human status and equal civil rights is also questionable.
In the least developed parts of Africa, much of the United States, Eastern Europe and other countries and places where education is third rate and equality is unknown, yes, I imagine gains are to be made.
It will be exactly in those countries where science and education have progressed the most, where women, gays and the transgender enjoy full human and citizenship rights that this office is going to have the most difficulty. Especially with that tone. Especially considering the very much still current abuse and coverup scandals.



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Joe Gonzalez

posted October 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm


Big Dreams of Even Bigger Accomplishments ! Shoddy Workmanship, as usual !



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Kiro

posted October 12, 2010 at 1:46 pm


lol at the idea that women having “sovereignty” is somehow an improvement.
The only women who believe *that* are the ones who got launched into this world by affluent parents, and who don’t realize that they enjoy “sovereignty” because they were given generous gifts – and that(theological observances aside) gifts don’t come from nowhere; someone, somewhere, has to earn them.
For the vast majority of women in this world, “sovereignty” just means loneliness and poverty, and a job at Wallyworld in one’s old age – foregoing the chance to make the human race’s most beneficial alliance does nothing to improve a woman’s situation, and the cold hard reality is that alliance means giving as well as taking.
The idea that women should be supported when they need support, protected when they are vulnerable, and granted economic gifts when they are unable to earn their own money – but that it is selfish for that evil patriarchy to actually expect the woman to do anything for the unit that sustains and supports her – as if men ought to be perfectly happy to support, protect, and pay for a woman who never lets him see “her” child – is a folly that simply does not survive in the real world, where money has to be earned.
It is no coincidence that all the prominent feminists had wealthy daddies to send them to top notch schools and endow them with trust funds.



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Emily

posted October 12, 2010 at 1:51 pm


Yikes, Kiro. Yikes. It makes me sad that there is someone in the world who really thinks the way you do about women.



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romancrusader

posted October 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm


“Whether gays and transgender, having received full human status and full civil rights (the Second World War opened a lot of eyes as to just what inequality leads to) will be so eager to welcome a Church which will ferociously fight to have them stripped of their full human status and equal civil rights is also questionable.”
And the Church has the right to opposed gay unions! Period.
“It will be exactly in those countries where science and education have progressed the most, where women, gays and the transgender enjoy full human and citizenship rights that this office is going to have the most difficulty.”
What are you talking about? Gays arleady have full citizenship. Your ignorance is showing once again.



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romancrusader

posted October 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm


Archbishop Fisischella lamented the excommunication of an abortion doctor in Brazil. In fact, he never admitted that he erred in his statements. Archbishop Fisischella owes Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho an apology. Judie Brown of the ALL asked for a clarification from Archbishop Fisischella but got none. I pray to God that Archbishop Rino Fisichella ultimately sees the damage created by his imprudent comments of the past, publicly corrects them and reconciles with those Academy members who have taken this public position in an effort to bring healing based on Christ’s truth rather than church politics.



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Emily

posted October 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm


romancrusader-
You missed Panthera’s point. In countries where homosexuals have full and equal rights to heterosexuals, the church will have difficulty convincing those individuals to go back in the closet and stop living their lives the way they had been. I know that if a church were trying to excite me about their beliefs, I would be a little bit skeptical if I was required to end the life I had been enjoying living in order to join.



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Panthera

posted October 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm


RomanCrusader,
It is precisely, exactly your statements – coupled with your tone, which are causing this office in the Vatican to clutch at their few remaining hairs and to scream loudly.
Do keep it up, please – after all, you’re only hurting the evangelistic efforts of a Christian church. I mean, who cares how many non-Christians only come to know your face of our God’s mercy?
Kiro,
I can only repeat what I have said. My husband and I have left our homes – where our marriage is recognized and we enjoy full human and civil status to come live with my parents in the depths of Dixie. A place where we neither enjoy full civil rights nor full human status.
We have done so out of love and affection for my parents, his in-laws. As he is now an only child, we shall do the same, eventually, for his parents. In my case, there are 12 other adults who like living in the deep South, who all swear up and down how “Christian” they are, who can’t be bothered to actually make it possible for my parents to finish out their remaining years on their own farm, in their own home.
So please, stop already with the conflation of human and civil rights for gays with women somehow suffering.
In fact, have you taken a look at the social status and aid available to old women in Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, etc. as compared to the US? All those countries actually do treat old women as Christ ordered us to. May I point out that the express goal of your side of the political and Christian debate is actively promising to cut social security and abolish health care for old women in the US? That’s a fact, RomanCrusader, so you don’t get to go running to the Deacon saying I’m generalizing or picking on your poor Republicans.



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romancrusader

posted October 12, 2010 at 3:16 pm


Given the ongoing problems with the political structure of the Church these days, we lay people have to work together to bring about the demand for a culture of life in exactly the way that Pope John Paul II outlined in Evangelium Vitae. If we wait for the hierarchy, more babies will die. Pure and simple.



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romancrusader

posted October 12, 2010 at 3:19 pm


“Do keep it up, please – after all, you’re only hurting the evangelistic efforts of a Christian church. I mean, who cares how many non-Christians only come to know your face of our God’s mercy?”
Stop beating a dead horse that has long since, lost it’s heartbeat.



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Nharlyhotep

posted October 12, 2010 at 3:22 pm


While I have no doubt that the Vatican’s intention is, overall, good for both the world and the Romans, I question how long this initiative will last and what will come out of it. The moment that it becomes political in some way (by either supporting or opposing the positions Pathera mentions) it will die. The moment it stops becoming about the people and starts becoming about the Roman Church (where the Bishops develop petting infighting like in romancrusader’s story), it will fail.
I guess my concern is that this all too well intended initiative will falter and fail when fully entrusted to all too human hands.



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romancrusader

posted October 12, 2010 at 3:27 pm


“In fact, have you taken a look at the social status and aid available to old women in Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, etc. as compared to the US? All those countries actually do treat old women as Christ ordered us to. May I point out that the express goal of your side of the political and Christian debate is actively promising to cut social security and abolish health care for old women in the US? That’s a fact, RomanCrusader, so you don’t get to go running to the Deacon saying I’m generalizing or picking on your poor Republicans.”
It’s a health care program that murders unborn children Panthera. Get used to that fact. I refuse to have money taken away from me without my consent. I refuse to be bullied by somebody who thinks that everytime I state an official Church position on something no matter what it be, that I’m simply called a bigot. Just keep screaming bigot Panthera, it won’t get you any points in Heaven that I promise you.
And another thing I do not endorse the Republican party. So stop playing the “I support the Republican Party” card. It just doesn’t work anymore on me. You got that?



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 12, 2010 at 3:48 pm


Emily…
I imagine the ancient Romans and Greeks were skeptical when the first Christians began to evangelize 20 centuries ago, and then ended up being fed to the lions. But Christianity swept across Europe and the world anyway.
You never know how God will work.
Dcn. G.



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Eka

posted October 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm


Here is an unofficial translation of the Moto Proprio into English. I for one (and based on the above comments, apparently the ONLY one here) am enthusiastic about this new vehicle for re-evangelization of regions of the world that desperately need it. I will pray for it’s success!
http://benedettoxviforum.freeforumzone.leonardo.it/discussione.aspx?idd=8527207&p=148



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wineinthewater

posted October 13, 2010 at 12:14 pm


Emily,
If the goal were to just affirm us where we are, then there would have been no point in the Incarnation and Passion to begin with. Christianity calls us to transformation, to conversions, to death to self. Every person who hears the call of Christ needs to stop living the life to which they have been accustomed and put on the new life of Jesus.



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nnmns

posted October 13, 2010 at 6:18 pm


“I refuse to have money taken away from me without my consent.”
Then it’s jail or leave the country in a timely way. I hated when they used my money for a senseless war that put us in the economic bind we’re in, but they did it.
I personally think the RC hierarchy is thinking more about the Church’s income than about the good of the world, and what they consider the good of the world I consider the worsening of the world so I sincerely hope this new office fails miserably.
And I think they should get their house in order, a long-term process, before they enlarge it.



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Emily

posted October 13, 2010 at 11:11 pm


Dcn. Kandra-
So are you saying we should feed gay people to the lions? I’m sorry, I don’t understand your point.
We should resume this conversation in a number of years, when we know if the church succeeded or not.



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 14, 2010 at 6:30 am


Emily…
Sorry I wasn’t more clear.
You had said:
I know that if a church were trying to excite me about their beliefs, I would be a little bit skeptical if I was required to end the life I had been enjoying living in order to join.
Which is undoubtedly what some of the Greeks and Romans felt thousands of years ago — and yet the church’s message was so powerful and persuasive, many DID end the life they had been enjoying to become Christian. Countless numbers of them were martyred as a result. But a movement that began with a handful of people on an upper room in Jerusalem ended up sweeping the world, and continues to attract new believers every day — over a billion around the globe today — many facing persecution and even death for practicing what they believe.
My point is that being a Christian requires sacrifice, turning away from a comfortable and convenient life, “ending the life I’d been enjoying to join.” But people do it anyway. They have for centuries. Conversion is a mysterious thing.
Dcn. G.



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foxfan6

posted November 2, 2010 at 6:52 pm


Panthera,
Are you by any chance a gay man or woman who is currently in a so-called gay marriage?



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