THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
BRINGING IN THE STRAYS
Today’s gospel: Matthew 18:12-14
The New Evangelization requires open eyes to see the true
situation of Christians today. We do not need to wait for
things to worsen before acting decisively. Europe drifted
away from the faith through the decades. The USA promoted
the culture of death with the support of priests and nuns,
and under the unwatchful eye of bishops. Now once-strong Catholic
countries such as Ireland are not only turned off from the
faith but are strongly anti-Church. Now the USA whose founding
values included God and life are aggressively pushing abortion
and homosexual rights throughout the whole world.
happened? With Christianity dominating the world, the pastors
of the Church (churches) became complacent. With churches
full on Sunday Mass, we assumed things were all right. With
Catholic charities and good works leading the way in many
nations, we decided we were firmly on the right track. But
secularism crept in. Today we even have the enemy within the
churches. Worse, the churches themselves have become the enemy,
with for example Protestant churches all out for contraception,
abortion and active homosexuality.
looked at the one lost sheep and presumed the 99 were fine.
But the wolf had entered the sheepfold. The 99 were systematically
New Evangelization necessitates that we see this reality.
There are 99 lost sheep and only one who is a true Christian.
first of all those who are living lives of active sin. Then
consider those who might not be great sinners, but who are
living lives apart from Christ and the Church.
But more importantly, consider those who are active and serving
in the Church, but might be among the 99.
There is the bishop who allows or even encourages parishes
to be openly warm and welcoming to active gay groups.
There is the theologian who actively opposes the authentic
teaching of the Church, proposing the acceptance of such
things as contraception.
There is the priest who actively opposes the pope and even
sets up an association of clerics to do the same.
is the nun who actively campaigns for politicians who promote
the culture of death.
is the Catholic professor in a Catholic university who openly
and publicly voices support for reproductive health legislation.
is the lay leader who attacks his fellow lay leader and
causes scandal in the Church.
is more. We know that “it is not the will of your heavenly
Father that one of these little ones be lost.” (Mt 18:14).
When they stray, who looks for them? The shepherds. They are
the ones who “go in search of the stray” (Mt 18:12d).
If they do not, then the strays stay lost.
there are many lost Catholics. They are the lapsed, nominal
or cultural Catholics. They need guidance and direction. They
need solid authentic teaching. Their consciences need to be
formed well. They need to be pastored. This is the work of
leaders in the Church. Unfortunately there are today many
bishops and priests and religious who have neglected their
is the parish priest who does not preach against contraception
because he does not want to offend anyone.
is the Catholic university President who tolerates the open
dissent of Catholic professors in the name of academic freedom.
is the seminary rector who allows dissident theologians
to form the minds of impressionable seminarians.
is the bishop who will not speak clearly about how pro-abortion
Catholic politicians are living in sin and should not receive
We are losing the culture war. The culture of death is predominant
in many societies and nations. Many Catholics do not know
authentic Catholic teaching. The Church many times does not
speak clearly about who is going astray.
is late in the day. It is time to boldly proclaim authentic
Catholic teaching, and to stand for what is right and good
and oppose what is wrong and bad. This starts with our bishops.
For the New Evangelization, it is “very imperative that
Catholic bishops exercise strong pastoral leadership over
the flock, especially concerning Catholic identity and doctrinal
orthodoxy. They must speak clearly and forcefully in forming
the consciences of Catholics. They will have to confront the
secularization of Catholic educational institutions, the veering
away of religious communities from orthodox faith, the staffing
of diocesan and parish offices with modernists, the extreme
liberalism of politicians who claim to be devout Catholics
while openly for abortion and same-sex unions, the widespread
acceptance of contraception and reproductive health among
the laypeople, the open dissent of theologians and clerics.
If necessary, they must look to ecclesiastical penalties such
as interdict and excommunication. They must speak out as needed
on moral issues as related to social, political, economic
and environmental matters. They must rise up in defense of
the Church Magisterium. They must work tirelessly to bring
renewal and restoration in all the structures of Catholic
life.” (From “The New Evangelization--A Work of
the Divine Family”).
The New Evangelization is a God-given opportunity for the
whole Catholic Church to cleanse her ranks, to bring back
the strays, to strengthen the faith, and to become the truly
evangelizing and missionary church that God intends her to