(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has now posted on the CCCB Website a text entitled “The Essential Elements of Evangelization Today”. Written from the context of the Canadian pluralist society, this new 16-page document is intended not only for priests, consecrated men and women, and those actively involved in pastoral work, but also for “all Catholics who desire to understand better and respond more zealously to their call to evangelize the modern world.” Although composed prior to the release of Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), its approach and recommendations are similar, while providing a uniquely Canadian perspective.
Following the recent Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith, the Commission “would like to reflect on the challenges this pluralism brings, as well as how it affects the proclamation of the Gospel.” In its pastoral reflection, the Commission proposes a path forward following the example of the early Church. The central theme is that of a threefold witness which manifests (1) a personal, living encounter with Christ, (2) the love lived in Christian community, and (3) service to others.
The Bishops of the Commission state that the style of ecclesial witness must be humble and with joyful confidence. “As Christians, we must respond ‘with gentleness and reverence’ (1 Peter 3.16), always keeping in mind that the ultimate goal for ourselves and those we meet is an encounter with God the Father in his kingdom, by means of our union with Christ in the Spirit” ( paragraph 21).