Archbishop’s weekly letter you still making sense of missionary activity and evangelization of the Church? 4, III, 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters
A few weeks ago a believer and practitioner I expressed his conviction that today is meaningless missionary activity of the Church and what we call New Evangelization, because everyone has “their” truth and evangelism is always an unjustifiable intrusion into their privacy . I promised to reflect on this issue in one of my letters a week. I do so from the “Doctrinal Note on some Aspects of Evangelization”, published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on December 3, 2008, with the support of the Pope.
His starting point is the perennial value of the missionary mandate of Christ to the Apostles: “As the Father sent me, I send you” (Jn 20.21). Therefore, all activity across the Church must have a missionary imprint essential, as its fundamental purpose and foremost is to help all men to find Christ in faith. The note stresses that modern culture any attempt to convince others on religious matters is a lack of respect for their freedom, is a sign of intolerance and contempt of religious pluralism. Therefore, the Church’s missionary activity today makes no sense, even as it puts in danger the peace among peoples.
The paper tries to clarify the relationship between the missionary mandate of the Lord and respect for conscience and religious freedom of others. Against those who argue that there is no objective truth, since it can be in different and even contradictory doctrines, says that truth exists, and there is also a man’s ability to get to it, which is also a need for a moral and . Consequently, there is an attack on the freedom of others to the proposal clear and convincing, legitimate and well-argued, of what we consider true to ourselves.
Note also states that “truth can be imposed only by the force of truth itself” (DH 3), while emphasizing that man was created to know and follow the truth, accepting all that is true, noble and good. So honestly encourage intelligence and freedom of a person to encounter Christ and his Gospel is not an undue intrusion into their privacy, but a legitimate offer and invaluable service of charity.
evangelization, missionary activity and redouble again repeat with St. Paul, “Woe to me if not evangelize!” (1 Cor 9.16). Conquered by the love of Christ, we burn with desire to communicate to our brothers the gift received, sharing with them the greatest, we have beautiful and beloved, Christ Himself, we can not reserve exclusively for ourselves. In any case it is an offering, not an imposition or coercion of an offer made in liberty and freedom of others, made for love of Christ and our brothers.
Consequently, we must be free from unwarranted timidity and false respect for freedom of others, as if the proclamation of the Gospel, the truth that saves, was indiscreet interference in their lives, as if indifferent to their existence known or not Jesus Christ. It is not indifferent to us, convinced that our meeting with the Lord is the most important thing that has happened in life. Nor should it be for them, for “full commitment to Christ, who is Truth, and entry into his Church but do not diminish that exalt human freedom” (n. 7).
The note puts much emphasis on the urgency of evangelization task entrusted by the Lord to the Apostles and of concern to all the baptized. The words of Jesus, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28, 19-20), question to all Christians, to each according to his own vocation. Today many people living in the desert of God’s darkness, emptiness and existential life meaningless and aimless. Therefore, as we say Pope Benedict XVI’s homily at the beginning of his pontificate, “the Church as a whole and their Pastors, they set out as Christ to rescue the men of the desert, towards the place of life, towards friendship with the Son of God, to Him who gives us life and life more abundantly “. All we have to approach from the love of Christ with zeal, confidence and courage, from person to person, supported by the power of the Gospel and the power of God and in the eloquent testimony of our own bright life.
To all, my fraternal greeting and my blessing.
+ Juan Jose Asenjo Pelegrina
Archbishop of Seville