THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
POPE BENEDICT XVI ON EVANGELIZATION
“The true motivation for missionary work is not to increase
the Church’s size but to share the joy of knowing Christ,”
so says Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Thus it is with LCSC.
Are there still brethren who do not fully support LCSC because
they cannot accept that the LCSC work does not automatically
result in greater membership for CFC-FFL? Then ask yourself
again: am I working for Christ or for our community? Do I
want to increase the numbers of people who meet Christ or
do I want to increase the numbers of our membership?
“The risen Lord instructed his apostles, and through
them his disciples in all ages, to take his word to the ends
of the earth and to make disciples of all people. But does
that still apply?,” again says Pope Benedict. We are
now the “disciples in all ages.” What Jesus instructed
the apostles, he also instructs us. We are to do massive worldwide
evangelization. This cannot happen through a comfortable life
in CFC-FFL. There are just too many people to reach, especially
lapsed Catholics. So God has given us LCSC. The instruction
is there, the provision is there. Does Jesus’ instruction
still apply? Yes, more than ever.
“We proclaim Jesus Christ not to procure as many members
as possible for our community,” finally says Pope Benedict.
We through LCSC proclaim Jesus Christ to procure as many people
as possible for the Kingdom of God.
When Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation in February
of 2013, he said he would continue to serve the church "through
a life dedicated to prayer.” He has made few public
appearances since he left office, and has said and written
His relative silence was broken Oct. 21, when his longtime
secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, read a 1,800-word speech
written by Benedict on the occasion of the dedication of the
Aula Magna at the Pontifical Urbaniana University to the Pope
Emeritus. The university belongs to the Congregation for the
Evangelization of Peoples. It dedicated the hall as a “gesture
of gratitude” for what Benedict “has done for
the Church as a conciliar expert, with his teaching as professor,
as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
and, finally, the Magisterium."
In the speech, the Pope emeritus said that dialogue with other
religions is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian
cultures, and warned against relativistic ideas of religious
truth as “lethal to faith.” He also said the
true motivation for missionary work is not to increase the
Church’s size but to share the joy of knowing Christ.
“The risen Lord instructed
his apostles, and through them his disciples in all ages,
to take his word to the ends of the earth and to make disciples
of all people,” retired Pope Benedict
wrote. “‘But does that still apply?’ many
inside and outside the Church ask themselves today. ‘Is
mission still something for today? Would it not be more appropriate
to meet in dialogue among religions and serve together the
cause of world peace?’ The counter-question is: ‘Can
dialogue substitute for mission?’"
“In fact, many today think religions should respect
each other and, in their dialogue, become a common force for
peace. According to this way of thinking, it is usually taken
for granted that different religions are variants of one and
the same reality,” the retired Pope wrote. “The
question of truth, that which originally motivated Christians
more than any other, is here put inside parentheses. It is
assumed that the authentic truth about God is in the last
analysis unreachable and that at best one can represent the
ineffable with a variety of symbols. This renunciation of
truth seems realistic and useful for peace among religions
in the world."
“It is nevertheless lethal to faith. In fact, faith
loses its binding character and its seriousness, everything
is reduced to interchangeable symbols, capable of referring
only distantly to the inaccessible mystery of the divine,”
Pope Benedict wrote that some religions, particularly “tribal
religions,” are “waiting for the encounter with
Jesus Christ,” but that this “encounter is always
reciprocal. Christ is waiting for their history, their wisdom,
their vision of the things.” This encounter can also
give new life to Christianity, which has grown tired in its
historical heartlands, he wrote.
“We proclaim Jesus Christ
not to procure as many members as possible for our community,
and still less in order to gain power,” the retired
Pope wrote. “We speak of him because we feel the duty
to transmit that joy which has been given to us.”
News Service contributed to this article.