Charity and justice at the heart of new evangelisation
(Vatican Radio) Five American bishops were amongst the Synod fathers presenting their
views on new evangelisation in the Synod hall on Tuesday. They reflected on many
of the challenges they face in the United States today, from the problems of globalisation
and immigration, to the need for a new Pentecost, the rediscovery of the sacrament
of Penance and the key role of Catholic social teaching in bringing people back to
the Church. That question of the importance of works of charity and justice at
the heart of the Church’s evangelising mission was explored by Bishop Gerald Kicanas
of Tucson, chairman of Catholic Relief Services. He spoke with Vatican Radio’s Philippa
Hitchen about the task of rediscovering the rich heritage of Catholic social teaching..
rise of secularism, I think every human being is going to ask the basic questions,
‘who am I, where am I going and what is the best way to live my life? So it’s important
for the Church to find ways to address those questions … people say the hardware of
the Church doesn’t mesh with the software of people’s lives… we do need new ardour,
new expressions, better ways to articulate our faith. It’s not enough to mouth the
same messages, we need to frame our message in a way that’s going to address the questions
What I’m talking about at the Synod is the importance of works
of charity and justice as fundamental to the new evangelisation. When people see the
good the Church is doing, experience the love the Church is presenting, this is the
most people way that people encounter the Lord...
There are some who begin
to challenge the Church’s social teaching and doctrine, yet it’s endemic to all that
the Church says about human life that flows from our faith and belief in God….it was
quite inspiring for me to hear our Holy Father choosing to reflect on these two words,
confession and charity … the two go hand in hand, we have to profess our faith but
we have to live our faith with courage and commitment to those who are struggling...
I think for some people there is this tension between pro-life and pro-justice but
for a true believer in the Lord there is no such distinction…so a pro-immigration
Catholic has to be concerned about the unborn and a person who is concerned for the
unborn has to concerned about people on the margins who are living less than decent
lives….our Catholic social teaching is a tremendously rich heritage that we have that
I hope will continue to live and maybe this Synod will be an inspiration to stir the
embers of our social teaching and live it more completely.."