Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fisichella tipped for new evangelization post

Pope Benedict will announce the creation of a new Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization with controversial Archbishop Rino Fisichella tipped to be its new president.

Andrea Tornielli, the usually well-sourced Vatican correspondent for the Italian newspaper Il Giornale, reported that the new council's aim will be to help rekindle the faith in the West, with the United States, Europe and South America being the main focus of the new structure, National Catholic Register reports.

Tornielli says that Archbishop Fisichella would resign his current positions - as president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and rector of the Pontifical Lateran University - to take up the post.

John Paul II coined the term "the New Evangelization" to mean a reawakening of the faith in long-established Christian parts of the world, particularly Europe, but which have since fallen away from the faith. These areas, he said, are need of a "New Evangelization."

Tornielli writes that the idea for a "Council for the New Evangelization" was first floated by Fr Luigi Giussani, founder of the Communion and Liberation movement, in the early 1980s, but was not taken up by Pope John Paul II, National Catholic Reporter adds.

More recently, Tornielli reports, Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice, himself close to the Communion and Liberation movement, represented the idea to Pope Benedict, NCR Online sayd.

Founded in Milan in 1954 by Giussani, Communion and Liberation was long seen as a more conservative alternative to the center-left ethos of the largest lay movement in Italy, Catholic Action.

The movement's best-known leader in the United States is Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete, who has jokingly defined Communion and Liberation as "Opus Dei for lazy Catholics."