Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves, Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops, reflects on the Apostolic Exhortation for the 25 th anniversary of its publication. October was coming to an end when the Synod of Bishops' Assembly on the challenging theme of evangelization also concluded, or rather, was on its last day of work. In an intervention that turned out to be of great importance, we could say providential, the Cardinal suggested that the Synod's recommendations be entrusted to the Pope so that he could transform them into the Synod's final document. Paul VI accepted what the Synod Fathers had requested. As the fruit of the whole Synod, from the Instrumentum laboris to the Commendationes , andabove all as the result of the Pope's own study, the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi was published on 8 December For the first time by an unprecedented procedure, unlike all the preceding Assemblies but customary afterwards , the Synod President, at the unanimous suggestion of its members, signed the final post-synodal document.
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The assembly was charged with clarifying the church's evangelizing identity in a way that did justice both to traditional theology and to the liberationist construction of mission and evangelization. Unable to arrive at a synthetic position and publish a document, it handed the results of its deliberations to Paul VI for his elaboration and study.
The exhortation comprises seven chapters. The exhortation's unifying concern is with the organic nature of evangelization as a fundamental concept and focal image of the mission and ministry of the church. It articulates the answers to three questions: 1 how can "the hidden energy of the Good News have a powerful effect on the human conscience? In chapter one, the pope roots the church's evangelizing mission in the person and work of Jesus.
As evangelization was central to the life of Jesus, so it is to the life of the church. In chapter two, "What Is Evangelization? In that process, witness is primary but proclamation is necessary to make what is implicit explicit and to make it capable of drawing new members into the Christian community EN 22 — Chapter three, "On the Content of Evangelization," confronts both those who overemphasize the inner dimensions of Christian conversion and those who accentuate the public and the political, but downplay the spiritual.
This chapter envisages a church vitally inserted in the dramas of the day, armed with an anthropology that is always aware of humanity's tendency to confuse its temporal accomplishments with permanent achievements, while forgetting the need for constant conversion of heart EN 35 — This emphasis in the exhortation is widely taken as Paul VI 's warning that changing social structures that lead to sin and oppression will not suffice as the sole focal image of the Christian mission in the world.
In sections on the "methods" chapter four "beneficiaries" chapter five and the "workers" chapter six of evangelization, Pope Paul advocates the use of all modern means to spread the gospel message among all peoples and all strata of every society, including "dechristianized" and non-Christian peoples. In regard to the latter, the pope teaches both that respect is due to followers of other traditions, but also that "the religion of Jesus … objectively places human beings in relation with the plan of God … which the other religions do not succeed in doing, even though they have, as it were, their arms stretched out to heaven" EN Of special importance in chapter six, where the pope differentiates the proper roles of the various orders of the church in the evangelization of the world, is the stress he places on the role of the laity, whose field of work is "the vast and complicated world of politics, society and economics, but also the world of culture, of the sciences and the arts, of international life, of the mass media" EN In chapter seven, the pope emphasizes the action of the Holy Spirit EN 75 , displaying his consciousness of the need for a fully Trinitarian theology of religion and evangelization.
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Evangel University: Narrative Description. Evan, Frances Y. Evan, Blanche — Evan and Jaron. Evangelista, Daniella —. Evangelista, Linda —. Evangelisti, Franco. Evangelisti, Silvia. Evangelists, Iconography of. Evangelization of Peoples, Congregation for the. Evanier, Mark Evanovich, Janet —. Evans v. Abney U. Evans, Jean Cherry Drummond — Evans, Richard Gwynfor — Evans, Sir Geraint Llewellyn.
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Evangelii nuntiandi: Paul VI's Pastoral Testament to the Church
Pope Francis has cited it at least 31 times on at least 11 different occasions, including 13 times in his new apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Evangelii Nuntiandi is an important part of the soil from which the teaching of Evangelii Gaudium has sprung; to use another image, they are akin to two plates of a diptych. The document inspired my whole approach to theology and ecclesiology…. When understood correctly, evangelization will assure us, as I tell the seminarians, that we cannot be rectory or sacristy priests—evangelization moves us beyond the comfort zones that a priestly lifestyle might otherwise end looking like…I suppose the theology of evangelization challenges me to never allow apathy to keep me settled.
Summary of Evangelii Nuntiandi
One might lament the present day and its many problems, and look to the Church as a bastion of good sense and virtue, holding back the flood waters of evil. Pope Paul VI had it hard in some ways. But his successor was left to oversee three-fourths of its sessions, plus weather the inevitable joys, storms, and resistance that followed. Plus, he is remembered for Humanae Vitae. I think the perspective here is a bit wider. The Church is not interested only in lassoing members into the official fold. Without jumping too far ahead of ourselves, suffice it to say that this is an important document.