.- The document that will guide the deliberations of the world's bishops as they chart the re-evangelization of the West is on the verge of being released.
âThings are going well at this stage and the working document, the instrumentum laboris, is about to be published,â Cardinal Francis Arinze told CNA.âIt is the actual one that every participant in the synod in October will have.â
The former prefect of the Vaticanâs Congregation for Divine Worship is now a member of the preparatory committee for this yearâs Synod of Bishops. It will take place at the Vatican October 7-28 under the title of âThe New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.â
Cardinal Arinze said the working document will outline âthe necessity to revisitâ those areas of the world âthat have been evangelized maybe for 1000 years or 500 years and where the faith was once very strongâ but where ânow people are rather cold in the faith.â
It will also stress the need for this ânew freshnessâ and ânew ardorâ to be communicated using new technology, he said.
This yearâs Synod of Bishops will help launch Pope Benedictâs Year of Faith, which also relates to the Churchâs New Evangelization efforts. It marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Cardinal Arinze believes that life in the Western world has âmany other offers to the human personâ which are âattractingâ or even âdistractingâ people away from Christianity so that âthe message of Christ can sometimes be forgotten, given a second place, put as a footnote.â
âSo someone has to come who has the enthusiasm of an evangelizer, who has the convincing power of a witness who lives with conviction what that witness is preachingâ and who is also âready to use modern methods to contact people.â
This should also involve a direct appeal to âthe intelligentsiaâ of western society, said Cardinal Arinze.
âWhen St Paul went to Athens he didnât avoid the men of culture, the elite, but he presented the message of Christ to them in terminology that would be suitable for that group.â
Despite the focus being on the West, the 79-year-old Nigerian cleric believes that the rest world will also play its part and benefit from the New Evangelization.
âAfrica can contribute because thereâs a type of freshness which the African countries bring to the practice of Christianityâ which can âcontaminateâ those âwho have been evangelized for more years.â