I have an awkward confession to make. When I hear American Catholics cheerlead the New Evangelization, I’m sorry to say, I become very skeptical very quickly. As they unpack their bold vision for evangelical reform, I start feeling a lot like Mugatu, who, in an exasperated breakdown at the end of the 2001 film Zoolander, famously exclaimed, “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” Read more >>The reader who sent the above linked article to me observed:
Comical, considering it is such a carefully phrased and politely deferential posing of the question so many have got to be thinking:If bishops are meant to "always to be in close contact with their priests," as Pope Francis has urged, and if priests are to be in close contact with their parishioners, then it might be well to ask why skepticism of this sort keeps percolating up to the surface in recent years."The 'New' Evangelization? Are you kidding me? Haven't we been hearing about this for 20 years now?"Reminds me of mis-spending my money on Weigel's Evangelical Catholicism, where he takes pages and pages to present what could honestly be better communicated in a pamphlet, and repeats the awkward title phrase over and over again, so many times I had to stop reading from syllabic exasperation.
It's one thing to have seminary degrees, diocesan initiatives, and parish programs with the expression "New Evangelization" attached to them. It's another thing altogether, like St. Francis Xavier, St. Dominic, St. Francis, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, or, for that matter, Father John McCloskey or Michael Voris, to go out and evangelize, which is something anybody can do if he wants to. Without any seminary course, diocesan initiative, or parish program. All you have to do is share your faith -- or, better, share The Faith.