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The new evangelization is the particular process by which baptized members of the Catholic Church express the general Christian call to evangelization. One emphasis is outreach to other Christians who have fallen away from the faith.[1][2][3][4] According to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, "in a special way, the New Evangelization is focused on 're-proposing' the Gospel to those who have experienced a crisis of faith."[1] There is a special focus on Europe and the Americas, areas which have traditionally been Catholic but which have been heavily influenced by secularization.[2][4]


Papal use of new evangelizationEdit

The term was first used by Pope Paul VI in his 1975 apostolic exhortation, Evangelii nuntiandi, but it built upon documents from the Second Vatican Council including Lumen gentium, Ad gentes, Gaudium et spes, and Dignitatis humanae.

The term was popularized by Pope John Paul II[4] who first used it during an address to the Latin American bishops in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on May 9, 1983. He declared that the fifth centenary of the first evangelization of the Americas (1492–1992) should mark the beginning of a new era of evangelization, "evangelization will gain its full energy if it is a commitment, not to re-evangelize but to a New Evangelization, new in its ardor, methods and expression".[5][6] Pope John Paul II then expounded on the idea later, including his encyclical, Redemptoris missio, a Magna Carta of the new evangelization,[7] his apostolic letter, Tertio millennio adveniente,[8] issued for the Great Jubilee of the year 2000 and his apostolic exhortation, Novo millennio ineunte. In Redemptoris missio, he wrote:

I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church's energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples.[9]

In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI established the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.[3] When he called for a Year of Faith[10] from 2012 to 2013 on the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, he opened it with a general assembly of the Synod of Bishops on The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.[4]

On June 29, 2013, Pope Francis released a related apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium (English: The Joy of the Gospel) on "the church's primary mission of evangelization in the modern world".[11]

As of April 2019, Pope Francis was reported to be planning a reorganization of the Curia that will make evangelization its principal focus. A final draft of his apostolic constitution on the Roman Curia, titled Praedicate Evangelium (“Preach the Gospel”), has been submitted for comment to national bishops’ conferences and a variety of other bodies.[12][13]

Responses to papal appealsEdit

In 2005, the Augustine Institute in Denver was established to train lay Catholics for the new evangelization.

In 2011, Saint John's Seminary in Boston established a Theological Institute for the New Evangelization, which offers a Master's of Theological Studies for the New Evangelization. Despite being located at a seminary, the program is designed for laity, deacons, and professed religious.[2].

In 2012, Franciscan University of Steubenville established the Father Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization [14]

Synod of BishopsEdit

Year Topic Concluding document or apostolic exhortation
2012 The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith Francis, Pope (24 November 2013), Evangelii gaudium (Apostolic exhortation), Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana


  1. ^ a b "New Evangelization". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Allen, John L., Jr. (March 7, 2013). "What's this 'new evangelization' thing, anyway?". Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Cotter, Kevin (June 3, 2013). "What is the New Evangelization? The answer might surprise you". Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "What Is the New Evangelization?". Ave Maria Press. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  5. ^ John Paul II, Address to CELAM (Opening Address of the Nineteenth General Assembly of CELAM, 9 March 1983, Port-au-Prince, Haiti), L'Osservatore Romano English Edition 16/780 (18 April 1983), no. 9.
  6. ^ Dulles SJ, Avery (2009). Evangelism for the Third Millennium. Paulist Press.
  7. ^ Weigel, George. "Rethinking Mission Territory". Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  8. ^ John Paul II, Pope. "Tertio Millennio Adveniente". Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  9. ^ Redemptoris missio 3
  10. ^ "Year of Faith 2012–2013, Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization".
  11. ^ Thavis, John (26 November 2013). "Pope Francis' document delivers wake-up call on evangelization". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  12. ^ Lamb, Christopher (22 April 2019). "Pope proposes radical shakeup of the Roman Curia". The Tablet. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  13. ^ San Martín, Inés. "New Vatican document to put evangelization ahead of doctrine". Crux. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Franciscan University Announces the Father Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization".

Further readingEdit

  • Compendium on the new evangelization : texts of the Pontifical and Conciliar Magisterium, 1939-2012. Catholic Church. Pontificium Consilium de Nova Evangelizatione Promovenda. Washington, DC. 2015. ISBN 9781601373960. OCLC 938064954.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • 1918-2008., Dulles, Avery (2009). Evangelization for the third millennium. New York: Paulist Press. ISBN 9780809146222. OCLC 302414555.
  • John Paul II and the new evangelization : how you can bring the good news to others. Houck, William (William R.), Martin, Ralph, 1942-, Williamson, Peter S., 1951-. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 1995. ISBN 0898705363. OCLC 32573496.CS1 maint: others (link)

External linksEdit