Before the 2013 Papal Conclave that elected him to the Chair of Peter, Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio, S.J. offered his thoughts on the New Evangelization:
Evangelizing Implies Apostolic Zeal
1. Evangelizing pre-supposes a desire in the Church to come out of herself. The Church is called to go to the peripheries, not only geographically, but also the existential peripheries: the mystery of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance and indifference to religion, of intellectual currents, and of all misery.
2. When the Church does not come out of herself to evangelize, she becomes self-referential and then gets sick. . .living within herself, of herself, for herself. This should shed light on the possible changes and reforms which must be done for the salvation of souls.
3. Thinking of the next Pope: He must be a man who, from the contemplation and adoration of Jesus Christ, helps the Church to go out to the existential peripheries, that helps her to be the fruitful mother, who gains life from “the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing.”
Given our relatively affluent, comfortable middle-class lifestyle, I wonder how many American Catholic preachers understand those who struggle at the existential peripheries of our culture?____________________
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